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A Guided Tour of Nethack
The adventures of Spyke Johnson, ascii archaeologist.
By - Dave "Fargo" Kosak

Once again I'm going to go against the grain and -- in the face of the imminent release of Diablo II -- say that it couldn't possibly be as cool as Nethack.

See, while Diablo II may seem to be taking forever, Nethack was developed over the course of over fifteen years. And because the whole thing is ascii graphics (that means they use nothing but text characters to draw the pictures of the dungeons), all of that development time went into gameplay. You know -- pets you can train, banks you can rob, and vampires you can kill (or become.) If you trust me, you'd go check out the no-frills Nethack Home Page and you'd Download Nethack (for windows) or (for Macintosh) -- right now. Be sure to type a "?" when you begin to access the help files.

But I knew you wouldn't take my word for it.

So I brought in an expert. Long-time adventurer and master of the ascii gaming realm, ladies and gentlemen, we present:

Phear his l33t typing skillz! Beware his prowress with the ] and the ). He tosses a wicked / and cooks up a mean %. Confused? Don't be! Remember that everything in Nethack is represented by letters on a text screen, like so:

To the untrained eye, it's a bunch of lines and dots. To the ascii commandos out there, that image above is a dank dungeon room with slime-covered walls, tempting treasures, and a small little puppy dog.

Enough from me. Allow Spyke to show you what ascii adventuring is all about.

Next: The journey begins...


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