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The statuscolors patch allows the user to configure colors for the bottom status line; these colors vary as the HP and Pw change and status indicators appear and disappear. This patch is modeled after the menucolors patch, which allows the user to configure colors for menu items. Both patches only operate in the tty interface. The user must put STATUSCOLOR lines into their nethackrc, or the statuscolors patch does nothing.
Statuscolors patch is an extension of HPmon patch; HPmon only colors the HP display. However, the fact that statuscolors does nothing without configuration from the nethackrc, this fact is perhaps a regression. The HPmon patch remains far more popular; you can find HPmon at nethack.alt.org, while an expanded version of HPmon exists in GruntHack.
The HPmon patch only overwrites the HP display with a colorised version, occasionally neglecting to do this (in which case the display is not colorised) or writing the numbers at the wrong position. The statuscolors patch actually modifies the code in botl.c that generates the status line, thus inserting color. However, this brings the statuscolors patch into conflict with the dumplog patch, which tries to modify the same code to support the provision of a string to the end-of-game character dump. NetHack brass players can use the brass interface patch which provides one possible resolution to this conflict.