Category Archives: nethack

NetHack 4 on iPhone 4

[update 2014-01-03]
Hi Kevin, sorry, I inadvertently deleted your comment and I can’t comment on this blog anymore 🙁 That’s probably a bug you mentioned, though iNetHack is no longer maintained (by me).

Vanilla NetHack 3.4.3 Binaries (Terminal Port) for OSX Lion

Since I had to test something on a pure TTY vanilla NetHack anyway, and as always it took me a while to figure all the minimal patches out, I decided to upload the result to github. Then I realized that OSX Lion users are no longer able to download the official NetHack Mac binaries due to lack of Rosetta, so made the whole thing into a binary distribution as well.

It’s a single-player dist that you have to extract directly into your home folder, so you’ll get ~/NetHack as a result. If you want to relocate the installation you have to do so manually (think setting HACKDIR or editing the main script).

Download NetHack 3.4.3 Terminal Port for OSX Lion

Please let me know if you run into any trouble.

Happy hacking!

RogueTerm is released

RogueTerm is available right now in the app store . Get it now while supply lasts and connect to your favorite roguelike server. And don’t forget to let me know about your experience with it.


  • Works out-of-the-box for NetHack
  • Movable on-screen D-Pad with vi-keys
  • Run-support in NetHack with tap-and-hold on any D-Pad key
  • Freely configurable action bar that contains your most often used commands
  • Switch easily between different action bar configurations

RogueTerm, a dedicated Roguelike Telnet Client

I’ve used it mostly for connecting to NetHack servers, but DCSS looks playable too. The 0.9.0 seems to have some glitches due to UTF-8, but nothing preventing you from playing (and should be fixed soon). You can add and delete servers and create and edit shortcuts.

It’s an iOS 4.x universal app with retina support and should appear in the app store soon (next Wednesday if all goes as planned).

App store link to follow as soon as it’s final.

Here are some screenshots:

iNetHack and related projects are in limbo

Back in July it really felt like a good idea, I was in the mood for it and thought I have the time, but many things have changed. I played prototypes on the iPad but I can’t get it to the point where it’s ergonomic. Hovering over the screen aggravates pretty much the same muscles that for a guy like me are already strained to the max. If you put it on the table and control everything from one or two small touch areas (so your arms can rest) you have to look down all the time. The smaller devices have their own problems if you want to push ergonomics to the max. Due to some health related issues I have to reduce my time spent before the computer (that’s probably why I started to focus on ergonomics in the first place).

To make a long story short: I currently can’t justify spending time on iHack related things. This may or may not change at any time. All the source produced so far is on github if anyone’s interested.

New UI (with all its bugs) or iNetHack-like shortcuts?

So you’ve played the Slash’EM iPhone port. Some have noticed that it contains bugs 🙂 Many of them are very hard to get rid of. It’s certainly not impossible but maybe a little impractical for a port. The reason is that the UI builds and sends keyboard macros to the core, like ‘Tc’ to take off ‘c’. Can lead to weird behavior if you’re not wearing anything else and ‘c’ is uncursed. Or if you die just after the core has processed ‘T’ you just skipped the DYWYPI prompt (I can’t thoroughly explain it but I’ve experienced similar situations).

The alternative is to get back to a shortcut system. Maybe refine the way to build your own on-the-fly (which would then be subject to the bugs just mentioned though). Maybe even leave that out to avoid those bugs. Some Slash’EM features can remain (e.g. the context menu seems quite stable if you omit direct item interaction).

What would you prefer? Please leave your vote in the poll to-left!

Performance issues in iOS 4, especially for iNetHack

Just wanted to say that I’m aware of iNetHack’s performance issues on iOS 4. This forces me to change plans and port it to iHack as soon as possible. Before that I will release some Slash’EM bugfixes, which will hopefully add iOS 4 fast app switching (at this stage there are still major problems with it, but I don’t want to give it up yet), since Slash’EM and iNetHack will (hopefully) soon share the same exact iHack UI code.

(Universal) iPad support will have to wait a little bit longer :(. My original plan was to address this first with Slash’EM (since this is what I currently play, vampiric necromancers ftw!)

First known NetHack HD Ascension, Wizards ftw!

At least it’s the first one I’ve heard of, courtesy Sean. All the more amazing since a shortcoming in the UI code created a challenge itself 🙂

Here’s his comment from another post:

“I just spent 45 minutes typing up an ascension post and then the site crashed and lost it when I tried to post.”

“Long story short: Chaotic elven wizard ascended with just over 4,000,000 points. I made one huge mistake and left my spellbooks behind before entering end game thinking I wouldn’t need them, but when the Crystal ball couldn’t be used to detect traps I had to search for them the hard way taking way too long and forgetting Magic Missile by the time I was done the plane of air. This did lead me to discover that charm monster is my new favorite spell however, so there was some benefit.”

It’s certainly not the first ascension on an iDevice, the beta forums have had a couple of ascension posted for iNetHack 1.3. I’m waiting for a Slash’EM ascension now 🙂 If you did it, please post details (the more the merrier) here (don’t forget screenshots!) or give me a ping if you posted on rgrn (did I mention screenshots?).