HACK(6)HACK(6)NAMEhack - exploring The Dungeons of Doom
/usr/games/hack [ -d directory ] [ -n ] [ -u playername ]
/usr/games/hack [ -d directory ] -s [ -X ] [ playernames ]
Hack is a display oriented dungeons & dragons - like game. Both dis‐
play 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 command
? 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 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 if somebody does, he will probably go down in history as a hero
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 with
the -d option, or, if no such option is given, in the directory speci‐
fied 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 top scorers and a
subdirectory save where games are saved. The game administrator may
however choose to install hack with a fixed playing ground, usually
The -n option suppresses printing of the news.
The -u playername option supplies the answer to the question "Who are
you?". When playername has as suffix one of -T -S -K-F-C-W then
this supplies the answer to the question "What kind of character ...
The -s option will print out the list of your scores. It may be fol‐
lowed by arguments -X 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 mentioned.
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.
FILEShack The hack program.
data, rumors Data files used by hack.
help, hh Help data files.
record The list of top scorers.
save A subdirectory containing the saved
bones_dd Descriptions of the ghost and
belongings of a deceased adventurer.
xlock.dd Description of a dungeon level.
safelock Lock file for xlock.
record_lock Lock file for record.
USER or LOGNAME Your login name.
HOME Your home directory.
SHELL Your shell.
TERM The type of your terminal.
HACKPAGER, PAGER Pager used instead of default pager.
MAIL Mailbox file.
MAILREADER Reader used instead of default
(probably /bin/mail or /usr/ucb/mail).
HACKOPTIONS String predefining several hack options
(see help file).
Several other environment variables are used in debugging (wizard)
mode, like GENOCIDED, INVENT, MAGIC and SHOPTYPE.
Probably infinite. Mail complaints to mcvax!aeb .
4th Berkeley Distribution 31 March 1985 HACK(6)