What Fools These Mortals is a text adventure parody of NetHack. As a god, you respond to the prayers of your "chosen one" as he or she tries to retrieve the Amulet of Yendor for you. You need Python to run it.

The name of the game is a clear reference to Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream, Act 3, Scene 2, where Puck exclaims "Lord, what fools these mortals be!"

You can download the game here.

Example session Edit

Okay, I downloaded the game on a Unix machine.

$ ls WhatFools-1.0.tar.gz
$ tar -xvzf

It is extracted; let me run it...

$ cd WhatFools-1.0
$ ./

I reach this screen:

What Fools These Mortals, Copyright 2003
                          By Leonard Richardson.
                          See license for details.

Shall I pick a deity for you? [ynq]

Okay, just press y and start.

It is written in your most sacred book:

   After the Creation, the cruel god Moloch rebelled against the
   authority of Marduk the Creator.  Moloch stole from Marduk the most
   powerful of all the artifacts of the gods, the Amulet of Yendor,
   and he hid it in the dark cavities of Gehennom, the Under World,
   where he now lurks, and bides his time.

You seek to possess the Amulet, and with it to gain deserved ascendance over
the other gods.

One young human, now a newly trained Aspirant, has been heralded from birth as
your instrument.  He is destined to recover the Amulet for you, or die in the
attempt.  His hour of destiny has come.  May he go bravely with you!


After pressing space to proceed to the game...

Hello, Shan Lai Ching, Lawful protector of Monks.
Your chosen one has just entered the dungeon.

Argh! Your chosen one just died!
All the other gods laugh at you.


Your chosen one scored 4662 points before dying.
Your tithe of that is 466 points.

What? My chosen one died before the first prayer!

Okay, try another game...

Hello, Mercury, Lawful protector of Rangers.
Your chosen one has just entered the dungeon.

"Dear Mercury, I need your help."
Sounds like she needs some help.
Do you want to [i]gnore, [h]elp, or [s]mite her?

Already? I care not; let me press s...

Hells yeah! Make with the lightning!

What the?!? Your chosen one just quit her quest!
All the other gods laugh at you.


Your chosen one scored 8873 points before quitting.
Because she quit, you get none of that.

This game is too hard. How can I claim the Amulet if all of my adventurers are incompetent or cowardly?


The easiest way to win is to let your hero use discovery mode: ./ -D

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