So here I am, playing good old NethackCocoa (an app store port of the game) and up in the top toolbars I see a drop down box for something called Wizard Mode, full of all sorts of attractive powers.

The problem lies in me not knowing how to activate it.

Is it a bonus for finishing the game, or is it just another hidden feature?

How do I become a wizard?

  • A note: I'm relatively novice in the game, and I've searched through every menu I know is available, to no avail.
    – Lizahrd
    Nov 25, 2016 at 1:19

1 Answer 1


"Wizard mode" is a special mode intended for debugging the game; it's also useful if you want to explore the game with no risk, or play around trying to break things.

In order to enter wizard mode, the game needs to have been compiled with it active (I don't know if NethackCocoa has). If it has, you may be able to enter it by starting Nethack with the -D command-line option: assuming that NethackCocoa has been installed in the location I'd expect, you'd open up a command prompt and enter /Applications/NethackCocoa.app/Contents/MacOS/nethack -D. You may need to do this as a user named "wizard" if NethackCocoa has been compiled with restrictions on who can use wizard mode.

Note that you can get most of the powers of wizard mode (including the ever-popular Die? [yn] prompt) by activating explore mode while playing. You do this with the #exploremode extended command.

Note that playing in either wizard mode or explore mode will keep your score from being recorded on the high-score list.

  • Kinda thought I'd end up sifting through the game files at some point. Thanks!
    – Lizahrd
    Nov 25, 2016 at 16:16

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