HACK(6) BSD Games Manual HACK(6)
hack — exploring The Dungeons of Doom
hack [-d directory] [-n] [-u playername]
hack [-d directory] [-s] [-X] [playername ...]
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 command ? will give you a
list of the available commands and the command / will identify the things you see on the
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 if somebody does, he will probably go down in his‐
tory 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
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 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. The game administrator may however choose to install hack with a fixed
playing ground, usually /var/games/bsdgames/hack.
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, or -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 followed 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.
hack The hack program.
data, rumors Data files used by hack.
help, hh Help data files.
record The list of topscorers.
save A subdirectory containing the saved games.
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 /usr/bin/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 .
BSD March 31, 1985 BSD