One possible death reason in NetHack is "petrified by swallowing a cockatrice whole".

However, when polymorphed into a purple worm and attacking a cockatrice, simply biting it the first time instakills me, giving just the normal "petrified by a cockatrice" death reason. How can I die after swallowing the cockatrice instead of just when I take a bite?

1 Answer 1


You need to use an engulfing attack on the cockatrice. Purple worms have both a Bite attack and an Engulf attack. My guess is that since it seems like you used the Bite attack, the bite caused you to be petrified before you had a chance to actually engulf the cockatrice.

As an alternative, trappers and lurkers above will also work, as their sole attack is an engulf attack. (Lots of other monsters have engulfing attacks as well, but everything aside from the aforementioned three types are petrification-resistant, which you obviously don't want for this.)

  • Using a t seems to work flawlessly; attempting to get a purple worm lifesaved on the bite attack then proceed to the engulf attack was my first thought, which failed horribly. Now... to try to set myself up with a polykit in the devnull tournament so I can get this unique death :)
    – Wooble
    Nov 11, 2013 at 18:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .