Category : OS/2 Files
Archive   : NH313OS2.ZIP
Filename : README.OS2

Output of file : README.OS2 contained in archive : NH313OS2.ZIP

Installing NetHack 3.1.3 Binary for the OS/2
(last revision: Jul 28, 1993)

0. What is NetHack

NetHack is a dungeons and dragons type of computer game, where the incentive
is to retrieve the mythical artifact, The Amulet of Yendor, from the depths
of the dungeon. On the way the player will encounter and sometimes fight
numerous inhabitants of the dungeon, stumble into traps, collect (sometimes
magical) items to help his / her journey etc. A map of the current dungeon
level is displayed on the screen together with various statistics about the
player's chosen role character. For a more complete overview of NetHack see
the game guidebook included in this package.

1. Unpacking the archive

The NetHack binary and the auxiliary files required to run the game are
contained in this archive, usually either NH313OS2.EXE or NH313OS2.ZIP. The
former archive format is a family mode self-extracting archive created by
PKZIP version 1.02, and the latter a straight ZIP format by PKZIP 2.04. It
is also possible that some other archive format (ZOO, ARJ, LZH,...) was used
depending on where you got this file. Some archive sites may prefer other
more compact packaging formats. The following unpacking instructions assume
one of the original formats. Of course, if you have already unpacked the
thing and are reading this file from the archive itself, they needn't concern
you :-).

1.1. The self extracting archive

The size of NH313OS2.EXE is 818946 bytes, which means that it does not fit on
one 720 KB floppy disk. It is assumed (hoped) that no such OS/2 system
exists that would have a low density floppy drive as its only transferrable
mass medium. If problems arise with this, however, DOS and OS/2 BACKUP /
RESTORE commands can be used to split the file on two low density floppies
while transferring it across systems.

To unpack the archive, create the directory where you want the game to be
installed and go to that directory. Then type, e.g., "a:\nh313os2", if
installing from a floppy disk in drive `a'. If you feel suspicious about
running self-extracting archives (especially in DOS), you can also unzip the
archive manually by typing "pkunzip a:\nh313os2.exe".

Since NH313OS2.EXE is a family mode program, the installation procedure can
be carried out either in DOS or OS/2. However, the binary itself will run
only in OS/2.

1.2. The ZIP-archive

The size of NH313OS2.ZIP is 714198 bytes, which goes just below the 720 KB
limit, but the downside is that PKZIP 2.0 isn't available for OS/2 yet.
Furthermore, it cannot produce self extracting archives for OS/2. There are
compatible ZIP-utilities available which can be used to unpack the game,
though, and it is naturally always possible to use DOS version of the
product for the purpose.

1.3. The archive contents

The following files will be created in the game directory:

file: size: synopsis:

NETHACK.EXE 1111883 NetHack executable
NETHACK.CMD 115 command file for starting NetHack under PM/WPS
NETHACK.ICO 888 NetHack icon for PM/WPS
DUNGEON 1646 dungeon file
*.LEV varies special level files (88 files)
CMDHELP 4874 help file
HELP 8656 - " -
HH 4635 - " -
OPTHELP 6894 - " -
WIZHELP 323 - " -
HISTORY 5223 NetHack history file
LICENSE 5071 NetHack license
QUEST.DAT 80039 data file
ORACLES 6074 - " -
DATA 27628 - " -
RUMORS 40878 - " -
OPTIONS 722 - " -
NETHACK.CNF 5150 game configuration file
TERMCAP 5555 terminal configuration file
GUIDEBOO.TXT 75500 NetHack guidebook in ASCII format
GUIDEBOO.TEX 63543 - " - in LaTeX format
RECOVER.EXE 10399 crash recovery utility
RECOVER.MAN 4575 documentation for the above in ASCII format
README.OS2 12102 this file

The entire distribution includes 111 files and requires approximately 1.8 MB
of free disk space.

2. Playing the game

The following startup options are available for NetHack in OS/2:

-d dir switch to directory "dir" before starting the game
-n don't display NEWS file if one exists
-[ABCEHKPRSTVW] set the player role according to the letter
-u name set the player name to "name"
-X start the game in non-scoring explore mode
-D start the game in debug (wizard) mode (player name
"wizard" must be supplied earlier on the command line
or otherwise normal explore mode is started)
-r don't use RAM disk
-ibm use IBM character graphics
-s print out the list of your scores (must be the first
option specified)
-? print out help about startup options

When the game is played for the first time, one additional file, RECORD, is
created for the game's scoring records. If an old record file already
exists, it will be used instead.

Old saved games (*.SAV) or bones files (BONES*.*) from previous versions of
NetHack should be deleted, since they will not work with the newest version.

If an environment variable "TERM" is set, NetHack will search the TERMCAP
file for a matching entry of appropriate ANSI terminal control sequences.
Otherwise, preset defaults are used. Note that ANSI must be set ON in the
OS/2 session where NetHack is run.

You will have to edit NETHACK.CNF file to make it reflect your directory
setup as well as your personal preferences regarding game options. See
the guidebook for more details.

If you'll be running NetHack from a different subdirectory, you may want to
do "set HACKDIR=c:\games\nh31" (or whatever directory you want to use). Add
it to your config.sys, if you'll be playing often. Alternatively you can set

You can also create a special NetHack entry in your Presentation Manager /
Workplace Shell desktop. This will use the included NetHack icon. The
following is a sample program description for OS/2 1.3 desktop, but it's
similar in OS/2 2.0:

Program title: NetHack 3.1
Path and file name: c:\games\nh31\nethack.cmd
Working directory: c:\games\nh31
Program type: OS/2 Full screen

Naturally you must fill in your own game directory and parameters if you want
to set any. The program type can be either OS/2 Full screen or OS/2
Windowed. Note that you should set the executable path to use the command
file NETHACK.CMD. This file generates an extra pause after the program exit,
because otherwise you wouldn't get to see the high score list upon quitting
due to PM/WPS automatically closing the program window. When starting
NetHack normally from OS/2 command prompt, the command processor starts
NETHACK.EXE instead, so no extra pause is generated.

If file named NEWS exists in the game directory, it will be printed on screen
upon startup. This allows the game administrator to distribute game specific
news and announcements to other players. Although OS/2 is basically a single
user system, this feature is supported in this binary.

Wizard mode password is "wizard" and the command sequence to enter it is thus
"nethack -uwizard -D". Note that wizard mode is really intended for
debugging only, and using it gets boring fast. Standard explore mode should
be quite sufficient for all game practicing.

3. Recovering a crashed game

In case the game crashes due to segmentation faults or otherwise, an included
game recovery utility RECOVER.EXE is available. File RECOVER.MAN contains
general information about this program. Operation of RECOVER.EXE in this
package differs from other systems in such a way that the base name for the
level files is always LEVELS. I.e., in order to recover a crashed game, go
to the directory where the level files are and invoke the program by saying
"recover levels". A save file with your player name (e.g., JOE.SAV) should
be created in that directory and the level files deleted in the process.
Note that if you are using a ramdisk to store the levels during game, a power
failure will wipe the game out permanently. If you are afraid of that, don't
define the RAMDISK parameter in NETHACK.CNF. For the recovery to be possible
the checkpoint option in NetHack must be on during game (it is by default
unless explicitly turned off).

4. Information about this binary

For the technically oriented, some information about the binary: This
executable is a 16 bit OS/2 text mode window-compatible application, and it
was created using Microsoft C 6.0A under IBM OS/2 1.3 Extended Edition. It
has also been tested under IBM OS/2 1.1 EE and OS/2 2.0 using FAT file
system, but not under any other version. However, it should run properly in
all existing versions of OS/2 with either FAT or HPFS file system. The
reason why this executable format was chosen was to maximize portability
across platforms. Besides, NetHack is one of those programs that don't enjoy
any real performance boost when compiled into a true 32 bit application in
OS/2 2.x.

The following flags were used in the compile:

/AL /O /Gs /G2 /Gt10 /Zp1 /FPi

and in linking:

/stack:8192 /seg:1024

Refer to MSC documentation for explanations. 8087 emulation libraries were
used (LLIBCEP.LIB), so the game will run with or without an 80x87 math
coprocessor. As mentioned above, the game is also window-compatible, which
means that it will run in a text window under Presentation Manager /
Workplace Shell.

The following game features were compiled in:


i.e., everything. The following system features were defined:


To find out exactly what these all mean, you'll have to consult the NetHack
source code. Suffice it to say, they provide for the maximum functionality
in most cases.

5. Release history

Version: Date: File(s): Comments:

3.1.0 (initial) Feb 2, 93 NHOS2310.EXE PKZIP 1.02 self extract
3.1.1 Mar 15, 93 NHOS2311.EXE - " -
3.1.2 Not publicly released
3.1.3 (current) Jul 28, 93 NHOS2313.EXE PKZIP 1.02 self extract

6. Additional information

The full source code for NetHack 3.1.3 can be obtained via anonymous ftp from,,, and from several other
archive sites.

NetHack 3.1.3 is free but copyrighted - see LICENSE file for details on what
you may and may not do with this program.

Queries concerning this packaging in particular should be addressed to:

[email protected] (Timo Hakulinen)

and the game in general to:

[email protected] (NetHack development team)

Last but nor least: When transferring the archive either via ftp, kermit or
whatever file transfer utility, remember to use BINARY mode.