NetHack: More lessons learned the hard way

Originally posted to /r/nethack.

I just got to Medusa’s level. I wanted to follow the same strategy I’ve had success with previously: dig down to skip the water, magic map the maze to find the stairs quickly, blind myself, walk up the stairs, and apply an uncursed mirror at her to instantly turn her to stone.

The first thing I did was try to dig down on the starting island. I promptly learned that water fills in pits that you dig adjacent to water tiles. Now my armor is rusty and some of my scrolls got blanked.

After using a scroll of earth and pushing the boulders into the water to make enough land tiles to dig down on, I made it to the maze level. The magic mapping went fine and I walked up the stairs with my blindfold on and my mirror ready. I even had reflection this time so I shouldn’t even have needed the mirror according to the wiki.

Except that this time… the mirror didn’t do anything. Medusa started whaling away at me with her attacks. I tried applying the mirror a second time and it still didn’t work.

Then I tried meleeing her directly and was losing hitpoints rapidly. I hit her with a wand of lightning a couple times and she wouldn’t go down. I ended up zapping a wand of digging downward to GTFO… and landed back in the maze nearby a golem, a yellow light, and one of the two minotaurs (what a combination – screwed if you blind yourself, screwed if you don’t). I managed to survive by using a scroll of taming on the minotaur after it took me down to 9 HP.

After I recovered, I left my new pet minotaur “Angus” behind, walked back up the stairs, and tried applying the mirror at Medusa again. It still didn’t work and I was worried that maybe she was still blind from the wand of lightning. Except then I tried meleeing her again and she read a freaking cursed scroll of teleportation and now I have to go hunt her down on another dungeon level.

And just now I remembered I was invisible the whole time…

Other lessons I’ve learned so far in this same game include:

  • Sacrificing the orc corpses on the altar to Moloch in Orctown is same-race sacrifice if you are playing an orcish barbarian. I summoned peaceful Juiblex and Yeenoghu. I eventually killed Juiblex for the XP once I got a unicorn horn and a wand of digging. Yeenoghu still just sort of follows me around chilling whenever I am on that level.
  • The scroll of scare monster is not sufficient to stop a werewolf from grabbing the amulet of reflection and escaping the Sokoban treasure zoo wearing it before I even get there.

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