A 1-turn ascension is possible in wizard mode:
- Level teleport (Ctrl + v) to the Plane of Earth - use ? to see the menu and select the Plane of Earth ("-1" will not work), this will also automagically give you the Amulet of Yendor
- Level teleport to the Astral Plane
- Wish for a (lawful/neutral/chaotic) altar
- #offer the Amulet
Although this is four steps, none of them consume turns in wizard mode. Players hoping to save themselves tremendous amounts of embarrassment should refrain from claiming this as a real ascension.
If you don't consider exploiting bugs to be cheating, the following procedure may allow an ascension on turn 1 in non-wizard mode:
- Play until you have the following:
- Double-check you are not crowned, your god is not angry, and your experience level is at most 17.
- Get the Amulet of Yendor, reach the Plane of Earth, kill the umber hulk and all other digging monsters.
- Create open space around the portal by digging. Drop the Amulet next to it and walk onto the portal.
- Read the cursed scrolls of genocide to surround yourself with spotted jellies
- Read the scroll of earth to surround yourself with boulders
- Confuse yourself and read create monster until all squares are occupied with acid blobs, and all phasing monsters are in rock
- Drop the blessed scroll of scare monster, optionally burn Elbereth
- Put on the mummy wrapping
- Put on the ring of slow digestion while well-nourished, remove all other jewelry, and drop the Amulet of Yendor
Now write the following in a text editor:
Be sure to replace <ESC> with an actual escape character, and <CR> with an actual carriage return. These can be inserted, for example, with vi's Ctrl-V command.
Duplicate this line about 238 600 times, copy it into your paste buffer, paste it into NetHack's terminal, and wait approximately 19 days. This will overflow the turn counter, wrap around to -2 147 483 648 and slowly creep back up to zero. Each pasted line passes 18000 turns, so you must calculate precisely how many lines must be pasted to bring the counter back up to zero. As it approaches zero, prepare to ascend, then offer the amulet to your deity as the counter ticks over to 1.
The hungry and weak status messages will interrupt the waiting command. Filling all tiles makes sure the Wizard and spellcasters cannot be created, whose spells would interrupt you and make the prayer go off too soon. You really nead to wait until you are "weak" but not "fainting" 17999 turns later because "hungry" counts only as a minor problem, and your cursed ring of slow digestion would get improved instead of your hunger. The mummy wrapping makes you visible - monsters won't destroy your jellies and boulders because they mislocate you. You need to block the portal to avoid monsters wandering out and freeing up squares. The limit on experience levels is because at higher levels, you stand a minuscule chance of a gigantic prayer timeout. While irrelevant in normal games, probabilities do add.
Another way to make this strategy succeed might be to execute it before you kill the Wizard, and at a low(-numbered) enough dungeon level that you can genocide all spellcasters that would be randomly generated at that level. Of course, the farther away from ascension you are when you do this, the more time you need to leave to actually get the Amulet and reach the planes with it.
A variation is to do this in the Astral Plane sanctuary. The Wizard cannot appear on Astral, but scrolls of earth do not work there. You need to polymorph statues to get boulders, and you can revive jelly corpses from under the boulders.
If NetHack is compiled for a 64-bit platform, the "long" type will not wrap around until it gets to 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. The above trick still works in principle, but will take a few hundred million years to complete.