Exploring The Dungeons of
hack is a display oriented dungeons &
dragons - like game. Both display and command structure resemble rogue. (For
a game with the same structure but entirely different display - a real cave
instead of dull rectangles - try Quest.)
To get started you really only need to know two commands. The
? will give you a list of the available
commands and the command
/ will identify the things
you see on the screen.
To win the game (as opposed to merely playing to beat other people's high scores) you must locate the Amulet of Yendor which is somewhere below the 20th level of the dungeon and get it out. Nobody has achieved this yet and whoever does will probably go down in history as a hero among heroes.
When the game ends, either by your death, when you quit, or if you
escape from the caves,
hack will give you (a
fragment of) the list of top scorers. The scoring is based on many aspects
of your behavior but a rough estimate is obtained by taking the amount of
gold you've found in the cave plus four times your (real) experience.
Precious stones may be worth a lot of gold when brought to the exit. There
is a 10% penalty for getting yourself killed.
The administration of the game is kept in the directory specified
-d option or, if no such option is given,
in the directory specified by the environment variable
HACKDIR, or, if no such variable exists, in the
current directory. This same directory contains several auxiliary files such
as lockfiles and the list of topscorers and a subdirectory
save where games are saved.
-n option suppresses printing of the
playername option supplies the answer to the question
"Who are you?". When playername has as
suffix one of -T,
-W, then this
supplies the answer to the question "What kind of character ...
-s option will print out the list of
your scores. It may be followed by arguments
where X is one of the letters C, F, K, S, T, W to print the scores of
Cavemen, Fighters, Knights, Speleologists, Tourists or Wizards. It may also
be followed by one or more player names to print the scores of the players
- Your login name.
- Your home directory.
- Your shell.
- The type of your terminal.
- Pager used instead of default pager.
- Mailbox file.
- Reader used instead of default (probably /usr/bin/mail).
- String predefining several hack options (see help file).
Several other environment variables are used in debugging (wizard)
- The hack program.
- data, rumors
- Data files used by hack.
- help, hh
- Help data files.
- The list of topscorers.
- A subdirectory containing the saved games.
- Descriptions of the ghost and belongings of a deceased adventurer.
- Description of a dungeon level.
- Lock file for xlock.
- Lock file for record.
Jay Fenlason (+ Kenny Woodland, Mike Thome and Jon Payne) wrote the original hack, very much like rogue (but full of bugs).
Andries Brouwer continuously deformed their sources into the current version – in fact an entirely different game.