The introduction text when starting a new game:
It is written in the book of (god X): After the creation, the cruel god Moloch rebelled against the authority of Marduk the Creator. Moloch stole from Marduk the most powerful of all the artifacts of the gods, the Amulet of Yendor, and he hid it in the dark cavities of Gehennom, the Under World, where he now lurks, and bides his time. Your god (god X) seeks to possess the Amulet, and with it to gain deserved ascendance over other gods. You, a newly trained (title X), have been heralded from birth as the instrument of (god X). You are destined to recover the Amulet for your deity, or die in the attempt. Your hour of destiny has come. For the sake of us all: Go bravely with (god X)!
The NetHack Guidebook contains its own introduction:
- "Recently, you have begun to find yourself unfulfilled and distant in your daily occupation. Strange dreams of prospecting, stealing, crusading, and combat have haunted you in your sleep for many months, but you aren't sure of the reason. You wonder whether you have in fact been having those dreams all your life, and somehow managed to forget about them until now. Some nights you awaken suddenly and cry out, terrified at the vivid recollection of the strange and powerful creatures that seem to be lurking behind every corner of the dungeon in your dream. Could these details haunting your dreams be real? As each night passes, you feel the desire to enter the mysterious caverns near the ruins grow stronger. Each morning, however, you quickly put the idea out of your head as you recall the tales of those who entered the caverns before you and did not return. Eventually you can resist the yearning to seek out the fantastic place in your dreams no longer. After all, when other adventurers came back this way after spending time in the caverns, they usually seemed better off than when they passed through the first time. And who was to say that all of those who did not return had not just kept going?
- "Asking around, you hear about a bauble, called the Amulet of Yendor by some, which, if you can find it, will bring you great wealth. One legend you were told even mentioned that the one who finds the amulet will be granted immortality by the gods. The amulet is rumored to be somewhere beyond the Valley of Gehennom, deep within the Mazes of Menace. Upon hearing the legends, you immediately realize that there is some profound and undiscovered reason that you are to descend into the caverns and seek out that amulet of which they spoke. Even if the rumors of the amulet's powers are untrue, you decide that you should at least be able to sell the tales of your adventures to the local minstrels for a tidy sum, especially if you encounter any of the terrifying and magical creatures of your dreams along the way. You spend one last night fortifying yourself at the local inn, becoming more and more depressed as you watch the odds of your success being posted on the inn's walls getting lower and lower.
- "In the morning you awake, collect your belongings, and set off for the dungeon. After several days of uneventful travel, you see the ancient ruins that mark the entrance to the Mazes of Menace. It is late at night, so you make camp at the entrance and spend the night sleeping under the open skies. In the morning, you gather your gear, eat what may be your last meal outside, and enter the dungeon..."
Vulture's interfaces provide an illustrated introduction that follows the plot from the Guidebook. Upon the creation of a new character (after selection of race, role, gender and alignment), Vulture's displays a sequence of images with captions, while the intro theme music plays. The player may either wait through this introduction or press any key to skip the entire introduction. After this introduction, Vulture's starts the game and the usual in-game introduction ("It is written in the book of...") appears.
This might be a good place to insert a gallery of Vulture's intro screenshots into this wiki.
Uncyclopedia:NetHack has a humorous synopsis of the introduction, in the style of a NetHack game.
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