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NetHack from aaaa to Zruty Ep. 16: Learning about The Quest and cockatrice

In this episode: NetHack's back! Wes and Jeremy continue their Valkyrie adventures, but not before Jeremy delivers some very important pro tips for shopping. After that, it's onto something exciting and new: the Shrine of Destiny!?

NetHack from aaaa to Zruty is our newest Let's Play series. I'm diving into the end-all-be-all of roguelikes, a game you may have heard of but probably haven't played. NetHack has been around since 1987 as a descendant of Rogue, which afew games have taken inspiration from since then. But where Rogue was a simple game that was expanded on in Hack and NetHack, NetHack hasn't spawned its own sequel: it's simply grown and grown and grown in complexity for nearly 30 years.

Well, except for the ASCII graphics. Those are still pretty simple.

The same way I took on Dwarf Fortress, I decided I wanted to learn the ropes of NetHack with an experienced player at my side. My friend Jeremy Nissen, who has completed many NetHack runs, joins me for this series to impart wisdom, explain NetHack's intricacies, and let me get my self killed on more than one occasion.

This is our final episode for now, but we may be back for more NetHack in the future! Let us know if you'd like to see more NetHack videos, and if so, which parts of the game we should focus on.

Wes Fenlon
Wes Fenlon

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter (opens in new tab) and Tested (opens in new tab) before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.


When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).