Long worm

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A Long worm, w~~~~ , is a monster that occupies several squares. Only its head can hurt you, but if you hit it in the middle (even with bare hands), you might merely cut it in half, creating two shorter long worms instead of one. The tail segment is free game, and a good way to kill long worms. Unlike the purple worm, the long worm does not engulf its victims.

The earthly remains of this monster include an edible corpse and a worm tooth, which can be enchanted into a crysknife.

Neither long worms nor baby long worms can be saddled (and thus, neither can be ridden).

Pet long worms and their baby forms cannot be displaced, which is annoying if you want to improve it with a polytrap.[1]

The DevTeam intended the whole length of a long worm to be dangerous, but currently software limitations prevent this [2].

Splitting a long worm can be dangerous, as it may cause the game to crash under certain circumstances (see bug C343-324). This bug is marked "fixed" for a possible next version of Nethack..


The long worm represents the sandworm from Frank Herbert's Dune series of novels. As well as long worms being excessively large, this can be seen from the encyclopedia entry, and the fact they drop a worm tooth, which may be made into a crysknife, as in the novels.

In the novels, sandworms may be ridden. As noted above, this feature is not replicated in NetHack.

Encyclopedia entryEdit

[The crysknife] is manufactured in two forms from teeth taken
from dead sandworms. The two forms are "fixed" and "unfixed".
An unfixed knife requires proximity to a human body's
electrical field to prevent disintegration. Fixed knives
are treated for storage. All are about 20 centimeters long.

[ Dune, by Frank Herbert ]


  1. Uhitm.c#line318
  2. worm.c, line 280
This page is based on a spoiler by J. Ali Harlow.

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