Help me name this video game from the late 80s-early 90s.
November 28, 2019 1:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm at my parents house going through boxes of old ephemera and came across a few sheets of computer paper with notes from a video game written on it. It would have been played on a PC, probably via pirated floppy, sometime in the late 80s (perhaps a little later).

The paper has dozens of one-liner "tips" that would show up randomly in the game. I really remember NOTHING about the game but we played a lot of Sierra Adventure-type game and some text-heavy dungeon-crawlers around that time. Googling a couple of lines hasn't returned anything. Do you remember this game? Here are the "tips" we recorded:
Rays aren't boomerangs, but still...
Savings _do_ include amnesia.
No level has two shops. The maze is no level. So....
Only a real dummy would call his sword "Elbereth."
Ever tried digging through a vault guard?
They say that you can't take your pick-axe into a shop.
After being attacked by a harpy you have a lot of arrows.
... and rings may protect your fingers.
Afraid of mimics? Try to wear a ring of true seeing.
One level further down somebody is getting killed, right now.
Ropes are made from the long, blonde hairs of dead Nymphs.
If you want to float you'd better eat a Floating Eye.
Beware of wands of instant disaster.
When you have a key, you don't have to wait for the guard.
Reward your doggie with a giant Bat.
Stay clear of the level of NO RETURN.
Many monsters make a murdering mob.

...AskMefi, I've seen you work miracles before. I call upon you once more. What was this game?? Thank you!
posted by chowflap to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
posted by daikaisho at 1:31 PM on November 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

That’s Nethack, or possibly it’s predecessor Rogue.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:31 PM on November 28, 2019

Yeah, this is Nethack.
posted by selfnoise at 1:32 PM on November 28, 2019

Wow, yes, it must be NetHack! Thanks so much!!
posted by chowflap at 1:35 PM on November 28, 2019

First release of Nethack was 1987, so I'd say that was a strong possibility. Hack, of course, predates it, and ADOM came out at the end of this time frame (1994). Moria and Angband were also around, too. But I'd say that some of those tips sound a lot more like Nethack to me.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:35 PM on November 28, 2019

My husband still plays Nethack today in 2019 on a laptop running Linux. (It's free, no pirating necessary.)
posted by heatherlogan at 3:45 PM on November 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

Potential Nethack spoilers behind all links, in case you're planning on revisiting it. I can confirm it's still a lot of fun.

More specifically, these are rumors, which are sometimes true, sometimes misleading snippets of in-game text received when you eat one of Nethack's fortune cookies or consult the Oracle. Here's a list of interpreted true rumors from v 3.6.1. False rumors.

I didn't find every one of yours verbatim on the 3.6.1 lists, but I assume this is because they weren't transcribed word-for-word, or are from an older version, a fork or derivitave, or possibly a public server modded with custom rumors--some did this, as noted in the list of true rumors.
posted by pullayup at 6:02 PM on November 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

FWIW, D&D guy Matt Colville has done a long series of NetHack playthroughs on his Twitch channel (he won at least once, as a valkyrie).
posted by Chrysostom at 7:00 PM on November 29, 2019

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