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Netwhack is a roguelike game written in Java by Usgai.

Beta Project
Developer Usagi
Theme Fantasy
Influences NetHack, ADOM
Released 1997 Jun 24
Updated 2011 Oct 27 (0.6.0)
Licensing Closed Source, Freeware
P. Language Java
Platforms Java
Interface ASCII, Keyboard
Game Length 45 minutes
Official site of Netwhack



Netwhack is under development, currently on Step 14 of How to Write a Roguelike in 15 Steps.

This game is intended to be a full-on roguelike adventure game in the tradition of Nethack and ADOM. It is under development, but has reached a playable stage and it is probably possible to ascend within 30 minutes of play. Among my non-roguelike influences I am a great fan of the Ultima "Avatar" trilogy and Diablo II.

I really hope you enjoy this game. I value your comments and suggestions, please send me email and let me know what you think. I often put user requests at the top of my TODO list.

Versions and platforms

Netwhack requires Sun Java 1.6 or higher. Get Java Now!

The latest beta or live version is v. 0.6.0, which can be played online at


  • 80x25 Color ASCII display
  • Internet High Score list (works on Windows, Mac and Linux, on the web, or offline.)
  • Several level layouts and dungeon generators, with persistance. Script-based dungeon generation for ease of worldbuilding.
  • An orc princess
  • Complex AI system for various NPC and monster types (Pathfinding, Moods, Patrols, Monsters communicating via speech, Field of View, Field of Hearing, self-modifying AI scripts)
  • Effect system for item enchants, potion, scroll and food effects, rare & unique weapons and armor, magic items
  • Shops of various kinds
  • Paged inventory and equipment screens
  • Raytracing line of sight, Dynamic lighting
  • Field of View
  • Literacy & other NPC abilities (orcs and some very smart dogs can open doors, but rats can't, etc)
  • Devious traps
  • Enslaved elven cooks
  • Secret passages and hidden items
  • Permadeath
  • Traders, guards, farmers
  • Pets
  • Stairs, holes, pits, caves
  • Village at which you can buy/sell or identify items, restore health.
  • Gain experience and level up.
  • Kicks ass

Bugs / In Progress

  • Naming system needs a few bandaids. ("You see a the floor")
  • Poor input handling (especially wrt "What is your name?" prompt)
  • Currently fixing up Croky Castle and working on Brynn a bit.
  • Adding a few more items and monsters, cool stuff like town portal scrolls etc.
  • Balance issues, esp. regarding middle game quests & experience.

Boring Facts

  • Netwhack v0.6.0 has 7,700 lines of Java source code.
  • Since 1997. On again, off again project.


  • If you've read this far, I'll tell you what to do to ascend. This will change in future versions (this will become a side quest ^^)
  • Kill the monsters in town and get the crumpled note. Get some weapons and armor if you can afford them, in town.
  • Descend into the dungeon and get to level 7 in the BDungeon branch, which is Croky Castle.
  • Kill the Orc Princess to retrieve the Sunsword.
  • Escape the dungeon alive.

Please Help

  • I'm looking for a "VGA" truetype font larger than the one in use; the one in use on the webpage is 16 point. I'd like to use 24 point, but I'd like the font to scale to that size very well. 32 point is a little large. I think a 22 point version is available, or a 19 point version. I can't get it to work. If you can help, please contact me.


The development of this game would not have been possible without the following people's assistance.
Mike Anderson - for "The Algorithm", and a great game to look up to (Tyrant)
Dr. Lowenthal - for the DDungeon algorithm (no longer used)
Jim Babcock - for the Cellular Automata method of generating cave-like levels
R. Alan Monroe - for the L-Cave algorithm
The Nethack Devteam - for not doing anything significant with Nethack for almost 20 years, prompting me to do it myself and learn in the process.
Bjorn Bergstrom - for the roguelike development website he maintains. It's a great resource.
Last but not least, the good peole of, who have provided much advice, encouragement, and entertainment over the years. Thank you!

See also

Java Roguelikes

Personal tools