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Castle

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The Castle is a special level just above The Valley Of The Dead. It is the lowest level of the Dungeons of Doom, and will be located at DL 25-29. This level is ineligible to leave bones files and is non-teleport. It is considered a graveyard level (undead are unlikely to leave corpses).

The stairs up are always on the left side of the level, where there's a small maze. The middle part of the level contains the castle, surrounded by a moat. One of the four corner rooms contains a chest containing a wand of wishing. The floor and the walls are undiggable, and the only way down is through the trap doors in the castle. If you fill the trap doors, you need to level teleport down.

Climbing the upstair from the Valley of the Dead will place you in a random location in the right-hand maze on the Castle level.

The map of the castle (with the random mazes removed) looks like:

----------------------------------------------------------------- 
|}}}}}}}}}.............................................}}}}}}}}}| 
|}-------}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}-------}| 
|}|.....|-----------------------------------------------|.....|}| 
|}|.....+...............................................+.....|}| 
|}-------------------------------+-----------------------------}| 
|}}}}}}|........|..........+...........|.......S.S.......|}}}}}}| 
|.....}|........|.barracks.|...........|.store.|.|.store.|}...... 
|.....}|........------------...........---------S---------}.....| 
|.....}#...{....+..........+.........\.+.^...^...^...^..^+......| 
|.....}|........------------...........---------S---------}.....| 
......}|........|.barracks.|...........|.store.|.|.store.|}.....| 
|}}}}}}|........|..........+...........|.......S.S.......|}}}}}}| 
|}-------------------------------+-----------------------------}| 
|}|.....+...............................................+.....|}| 
|}|.....|-----------------------------------------------|.....|}| 
|}-------}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}-------}| 
|}}}}}}}}}.............................................}}}}}}}}}| 
-----------------------------------------------------------------

The four rooms marked "store" are filled with food, weapons, armor and gems, and may include useful magical items.

The Castle moat contains four sharks and four giant eels. The two marked barracks contain their usual complement of soldiers and officers; in addition, each corner tower contains two soldiers, and the atrium eight soldiers and a lieutenant. The throneroom contains 27 monsters, roughly equally chosen from the characters EHLMNORTXZ; a chest is behind the throne. The alcoves between the marked storerooms contain two random dragons each.

A player may bypass the drawbridge entirely by entering through the back door. It is accessible by crossing the moat via levitation (preferably ring) or freezing the water (with Wand of Cold or Cone of Cold spell). Another way is level teleporting down to the Valley of the Dead, and taking the stairs up, which will bring you to the other side of the castle.

A character with polymorph control may also enter the Castle by polymorphing into a Xorn (taking care not to break body armor, shirts or cloaks), and simply walking through the castle walls. This method has the advantage of allowing you to travel directly to the wand, bypassing most or all of the monsters in the atrium and the throne room.

It may be useful to quaff a blessed potion of object detection (or cast the Skilled spell of detect treasure) before entering the castle, as this will both reveal the location of the wand (allowing you to travel to it directly), and the contents of the store rooms (which frequently contain magical armor or artifact weapons and therefore might influence how you spend your wishes).

ToolsEdit

Lazy players may find the automated Mastermind solver at http://nethack.gridbug.de/mm.html useful.

DrawbridgeEdit

The # at the front of the castle is the drawbridge. If you don't know the passtune, the way to open it is to play a game of "mastermind" with it. The player must use an instrument and be standing a knight's move from the drawbridge. Applying the instrument, the player must guess the 5 note combination to open the drawbridge. The different notes you can play are A, B, C, D E, F, and G. Once you get the right combination, the drawbridge opens and you can cross the moat. You may close the drawbridge by playing the passtune again, to crush any monster that happens to be on it. Zapping the open drawbridge with a wand of striking or a spell of force bolt will smash it to pieces, also tearing apart any monster - or player - currently standing on or next to it.

The drawbridge may also be opened with a wand of opening, a spell of knock, or the blessed(!), charged Bell of Opening.

The drawbridge has been a source of many deaths. Here are a few things you can do to avoid YASD:

  • Do not zap the drawbridge with a wand of striking while standing directly in front of it.
  • Do not open it while standing on either of the two spaces directly in front of it.
  • Do not linger near it when other monsters have wands of striking (Even with reflection, the bridge will collapse, killing you).
This page is based on a spoiler by Dylan O'Donnell. The original license is:

Redistribution, copying, and editing of these spoilers, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. The original contributors to any spoiler must continue to be credited.
  2. Any modifications to the spoiler must be acknowledged and credited.

Alternative StrategiesEdit

You can whistle pets into the castle without entering yourself, e. g. floating over the moat between the corner towers and the edge of the map. Vampire lords work well due to regeneration provided you give them an elven cloak to cancel the lichs' cold attack. It is still a good idea to monitor your pet's health. In some cases, pet dragons have apported the chest.

History Edit

The original Castle appears in NetHack 3.0.0. The wand of wishing appears in one of the corner turrets, as in the current version; but it lies exposed on the floor instead of being protected by a chest and Elbereth. Furthermore, the Castle has empty rooms where the barracks are now. The next level is the beginning of Hell, and so the trap doors can lead to instadeath.

NetHack 3.1.0 adds the barracks and engraves Elbereth under the wand of wishing. Gehennom replaces Hell and so an adventurer without fire resistance no longer risks instadeath, though rashly dropping through the trap doors is still not a good idea.

NetHack 3.2.0 places the wand of wishing in a chest for the first time.


This page is based on a spoiler by Dylan O'Donnell. The original license is:

Redistribution, copying, and editing of these spoilers, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. The original contributors to any spoiler must continue to be credited.
  2. Any modifications to the spoiler must be acknowledged and credited.

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