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At one point in Brogue, I decided to run in a northwesterly direction (Shift+Num7). To my surprise, instead of running in that direction, the following message was delivered:

A dark presence surrounds you, whispering promises of stolen power. Succumb to demonic temptation? (y/n)

I've said No, to which,

The evil dissipates, hissing, from the air around you.

This was exceptionally unexpected, but it's also made me vastly curious. While I turned down the offer, I can bring it up again at any time by pressing the same key combination, to get the same promises and the same choice. This key choice isn't listed in the in-game help as far as I saw, so it's never quite explained what it does.

What happens if I do what appears to be selling my soul to demons? What is the benefits, the stolen power I receive? And what, naturally, is the catch, the drawback of doing so?

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This reminds me quite a bit of the warning you get when you enable "wizard mode" in Angband. Generally this means you can cheat, but your character is permanently marked as a cheater and can therefore not set high scores. No idea if this is related, but I'll throw this thought out there anyhow. –  agent86 Jan 17 '12 at 17:32
3  
The stolen power of travel in a diagonal direction? –  badp Jan 17 '12 at 17:52

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

This Shift-Num7 combination only works when Num Lock is off - so what you're really pressing is Shift-7 — the ampersand symbol on some keyboard layouts.

Anyway, the current version of the game explains the prompt by saying:

Succumb to demonic temptation (i.e. enable easy mode)?

Answering Yes gives:

An ancient and terrible evil burrows into your willing flesh! --MORE--
Wracked by spasms, your body contorts into an ALL-POWERFUL AMPERSAND!!!
You have a feeling that you will take 20% as much damage from now on.
But great power comes at a great price -- specifically, a 90% income tax rate.

It should be said that easy mode does not reduce the gold you find in the dungeon, but your final score.

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Shift+7 = &, y'know. Which is the kind of demon you become. Intriguing. It's like a lower-level version of wizard mode - the benefits of trying the game without the high risk of death, but at the cost of your score. –  Grace Note Jan 17 '12 at 18:10
    
@GraceNote Shift-7 is / on the Italian keyboard layout :) –  badp Jan 17 '12 at 19:14
    
Shift + 7 with or without NumLock doesn't give me the ampersand (or any character); I thought Windows (or any OS) interprets the numeric pad keys differently than the others. –  Nick T Jan 17 '12 at 19:55
    
@Nick Shift-7, not Shift-Num7 –  badp Jan 17 '12 at 20:06
    
I misspoke. Did OP mean 7, not Num7 then? I don't understand the reason for your first paragraph –  Nick T Jan 17 '12 at 20:24

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