Immortalized for geeks via copious usage as a NetHack
creature mis-identifier. Creatures would be mis-identified when your character was in "Hallucination
" status (most commonly incurred by quaffing
a potion of hallucination
, or encountering an exploding black light
), and unable to tell what a creature really was. The usual message upon seeing a creature (friendly or not) would identify the creature and its action like so:
"The water nymph
tries to seduce
This would be replaced by:
"The one-eyed, one-horned flyin' purple people eater tries to seduce you!"
The creature mis-identification would change every instance of an action being observed (i.e., almost every turn), but the one-eyed, one-horned flyin' purple people eater was not only the longest mis-identifier
, it was also one of the few fictional ones (most mis-identifiers would display random names of actual in-game creatures). That combination made it easy for the one-eyed, one-horned flyin' purple people eater to lodge in the mind of the player.