In both Nethack and Slash'Em, it is possible for your character to hallucinate. This is most commonly caused by drinking a potion of hallucination or an exploding black light (which causes hallucination for a somewhat shorter period), but there are other obscure causes, such as applying a cursed unicorn horn.

The main effect of hallucination is that the appearance of all monsters and items changes every move, making it impossible to determine which monsters are hostile. In vanilla Nethack, you can see the true forms of objects on the ground or in your inventory, but in Slash'Em you cannot. There are also some other minor effects - for example, in Slash'Em some shopkeeper services will not work properly and you will be unable to use techniques which require concentration - and many YAFMs are associated with hallucination.

Hallucination caused by a black light only lasts for about 100 turns, so if you can't cure it, you can just wait for it to wear off. Hallucination caused by a potion of hallucination lasts for much longer, and you will get hungry if you try to wait all that time. In Nethack, you can keep going if you are careful. Leave your pet behind so you don't kill it, stay away from Minetown or anywhere else with large numbers of peaceful monsters, and watch out for hallucinogen-distorted floating eyes. In Slash'Em, however, hallucination is a crippling disability, as you cannot recognise anything. It's best not to drink potions that might be hallucination unless you have a means of curing yourself.

The commonest method of curing hallucination is to apply a unicorn horn. You can also quaff a potion of extra healing, full healing or sickness (if you don't mind the loss of stats and hit points). Wielding Grayswandir conveys hallucination resistance. There is a small chance that prayer will cure hallucination.

According to psychiatry: "A false perception arising in the absence of an external sensory stimulus" (Lyttle 1986). Hallucinations can be one of the following kinds:

These will usually be the result of mental disorder, although hallucinogenic or "psychotomimetic" drugs can also induce them. Psychotomimetic literally means "mimicking madness", because the effects of these drugs (E.G. LSD-25, psilocybin, mescaline) are similar to some symptoms of psychotic illnesses.

Hal*lu`ci*na"tion (?), n. [L. hallucinatio cf. F. hallucination.]


The act of hallucinating; a wandering of the mind; error; mistake; a blunder.

This must have been the hallucination of the transcriber. Addison.

2. Med.

The perception of objects which have no reality, or of sensations which have no corresponding external cause, arising from disorder or the nervous system, as in delirium tremens; delusion.

Hallucinations are always evidence of cerebral derangement and are common phenomena of insanity. W. A. Hammond.


© Webster 1913.

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