This is a page for players who are brand new to HellMOO, and need a quick guide on connecting to and playing the game. Players with more experience should check out Player-written guides instead.
HellMOO is and always has been a work in progress. The game contains a lot of unfinished content, many bugs, and many imbalances and strange behaviors. There is no guarantee that your character will not be a victim of one of these problems, but the game is still very fun. However, be advised: This game is not for those who might be easily offended. There are extremely graphic depictions of violence, harsh language, and completely inappropriate situations.
Throughout this guide, there will be fields with angle brackets, <like so>. This is to inform you that you must fill the appropriate space with information of your own; when you fill these spots in, the angle brackets should be omitted and appropriate information added in that field's place. In addition, whenever you see text, that means that those words are exactly what you should type into the game's interpreter to get the results you want.
Finally: You must be at least 18 years old to play HellMOO.
To connect to HellMOO, a special MUD client will be necessary. Recommended clients include:
- MUSHClient for Windows: gammon.com.au/mushclient
- SimpleMU for Windows: download.com/SimpleMU/3000-2381_4-10009782.html
- Atlantis for Mac: riverdark.net/atlantis
For players with pre-existing client preferences, any platform that supports ANSI will be fine. Using color is optional, but it makes a lot of things in the game easier. A raw telnet connection is not recommended; it looks excessively awful.
Once your client is downloaded and set up, connect to HellMOO using this address:
new.hellmoo.org port 7777
The first time you connect, you'll need to request a character. You can do this from the login screen by typing:
HellMOO names are unique; generic names will likely not be available. Once you've done this, you will be immediately disconnected from the game, and should receive an email shortly with your character's password. If it doesn't show up in good time, try asking for help on the zotnet channel of the server's discord (after checking your Spam folder). The server's discord is here:
Once you have you have received your password, connect to the game again, and then log in with
You can change your password once you've logged in successfully with thecommand, like so:
When you first log in, your character will be an orphan in the basement of the Orphanage in Freedom City. In this state, nothing you do has any consequence, and you can explore, read help files and get familiar with the controls with no risk. Once you're ready to move on, check out the 2012 Newbie Guide, which is still up to date and accurate, and move on to Character Creation.
HellMOO uses a command-line interface. Each line you type is interpreted as a command. Reading the help files (Preferences page.) will inform you further about commands. For players who are not accustomed to text games, the command-line interaction can be strange, but with enough practice, it becomes very normal. If elements of the interface are particularly problematic for you, you may wish to investigate the
If you are a blind HellMOO player, do not worry, you are not alone. There is a small but active blind community in HellMOO. For non-blind players, the map is on by default and very useful, but for blind players, the map and other features can disrupt screenreaders. For this reason, there is a special preference that makes HellMOO suit screenreaders better:
Once your preferences are set, it's a good idea to make sure that you're in good health. The simplest way is to simply look at yourself, as in:
That will get you your description and a general feel for how you're doing. For a more comprehensive review, however, you will need(short for ).
Theoutput should look something like this:
Health [|||||||||||||||||||] Thirst [ ] Hunger [ ] Stress [ ] You're horny. You're holding two Cab Colaway sodas. Your credit chip shows $300.
These are all fairly self-explanatory:
- Like in any other game, a full healthbar is a good thing, and an empty one means that you're dead. For more information on health and health management, you may want to read Health.
- The next three bars refer to your character's thirst, hunger and stress levels. These are the opposite, and should be kept empty when possible; being very thirsty, hungry or stressed out will debuff your character, and at very high levels, may lead to death!
- Some extra status lines below will tell you other relevant information, like what you're currently holding, whether you're horny, whether you need to pee, and other points.
- The next line will display your cash total. There is no physical money in Freedom City, most everything here runs on a digital credit. All clones (players and NPCs alike) are spawned with the chip in them and the information of their credit stored on it, enabling you to save your money even in death.
- Finally, the status command will tell you how encumbered you are (if you are encumbered at all). The more you're carrying, the harder it will be to get around, and if you're carrying too much you won't be able to move at all.
These are just basic descriptions of what kind of shape your character is in; for more in-depth information on assessing a character's wellbeing and treating them, check out the Medic page.
It's possible that you will catch the "black lung" disease in early visits to the Orphanage. This disease isn't directly dangerous, but it does come with some nasty debuffs. To fix it, the most pragmatic option for newbies is to visit Sister Agnes and ask her for healing (see the below sections on communication for info on how to do that). Protection from black lung can be found in wearing a gas mask, should you find one.
By typing(short for ), you can review some of your character's key stats, which will look like this:
brawn [16.60 /18] cool [11.08 /12] reflexes [14.83 /16] brains [15.64 / ] senses [13.65 /12] endurance [15.05 /16] Mutations // superclot, leapfrog, high density, twitchy nerves, rubberskin, flight, fuck machine, ripper, firewalker, brute strength XP // 63,129 total // 1,090 to spend IP // 1,228 total equivalent // 50 available for gym Skill Raw + + Total Depends Improve dodge 6.18 +1 +1  ref,sen 5578xp Dizzying combat reactions! (-5 to fists 0.00 +2 +1  brw,end 1568xp Street fighter. fuck 5.09 +4  end,sen 2548xp God, you sicken me. teach 1.00  brn 504xp Experienced teacher. fish 0.01 +1  col,end 332xp Gifted amateur. wrestle 0.00 +2 +1  ref,end 1344xp Tag-teamer. climb 0.00 +2 +1  ref,end 784xp Avid climber. chemistry 0.00 -1 [ 9] brn 1120xp Let's mix acids and bases. pilot 0.00 +1 -1 [ 9] brn,ref 896xp Student driver. focus 0.00 -2 [ 7] end,sen 1120xp Dim. medic 0.00 -3 [ 7] brn 1200xp Dr. Kevorkian. repair 0.00 -3 [ 7] brn 896xp Can change lightbulbs. locksmith 0.00 +1 -5 [ 5] brn,ref 1120xp You're clueless. craft 0.00 -1 -4 [ 4] brn,sen 1120xp You're clueless.
The first three lines show your stats. Your character's stats are the basis for all rolls in the game:
- Brawn: Physical strength. This affects how much you can carry, and how hard you hit, the max speed you can achieve with attacks, among other things.
- Brains: Cognitive ability. Intellectual skills like repair depend on brains.
- Cool: Ability to stay focused in hectic situations; also helps with implants.
- Reflexes: Ability to react quickly; calculates attack speed and such.
- Endurance: How much of a beating you can take and how long you can give it out, as well as drug resistance and disease resistance so forth.
- Senses: Ability to notice things about the world around you.
These are all brief, abstract descriptions of the stats; for concrete facts and details, feel free to read the linked pages.
Sometimes, there is another number after your stat numbers. If this number is shown, this is your effective value for that stat, and the stat is being either buffed or debuffed. You can view such influences on your stats with the Buffs and Debuffs, as well as Drugs.readout; for more information on what can affect stats, check out
Below this is your XP and IP readout. Like most RPGs, HellMOO has an XP system. Your total XP is your "level"; how much XP your character has accumulated. This is one of your character's most important stats. Next to that is the spendable XP, which can be used to purchase levels in skills. Beneath that are similar stats for IP, which are just like XP, except that they're used for increasing stats instead of skills.
Finally, there is a large list of skills. There are many skills in the game, some of them absolutely essential, some hopelessly esoteric. Read the linked page for more info on each skill, and for more info on reading your skills readout. Improving these stats and skills is an important part of your character progressing, which will come with time. For information on how to increase your stats, check out Working Out. Aside from niche grinding interests, the chief way to increase skills is by learning them from NPCs; to do this, seek out the correct teacher, and then ; skills can be taught by both NPCs and other players.
Interacting with the World
Now that you know all about your skills and experience and your health, we can move on to how you actually play the game. Your character is a human (for now) in the game world; when you traipse around, you'll see stuff in the world that your character sees, like so:
You see a razor bat lying on the sidewalk.
This doesn't tell you much. You might want to learn more about the bat with(short for ):
razor bat (aka razor bat and bat) Several lengths of rusty razor ribbon have been wound around the end of a heavy wooden bat. Obvious commands: at*tack/kill/shoot/stab/hit/smash/break <something> with razor bat give/hand razor bat to <something> hold/wield/draw razor bat stow/unwield/rem*ove/sheath*e razor bat junk razor bat app*raise razor bat Use your appraise skill to evaluate its value. throw/toss razor bat <something> <something>
This command is giving you a list of commands that you can use with the razor bat. The commands are listed as you would type them. Commands with a '*' in them have shortcuts; the shortest alias for the command is the name up to the '*'.
Two commands that are common to all objects you'll find in the world areand . In order to use most of the commands on an object you will need to be holding it, and you do this by using the command:
Spunky picks up a razor bat off the pavement.
Now that you have something, it will show up in your inventory if you use thecommand (or just ):
Carrying: a wristpad [10g] a razor bat (wielded) [1kg] [ Total Load: 1 kilogram ]
Your inventory will list everything you're carrying, and how much it weighs. Note that just because you are holding the bat does not mean you'll attack with it; HellMOO has a rather confusing weapon management system, and if you just have the weapon in your inventory, your character will immediately sheathe it and attack with their fists, no matter how much better the weapon may be. To use the weapon, you must input; this will make your character remember that on starting a fight, they should wield their bat.
If you want to get out your weapon, use the 'wield' or 'hold' command:
Spunky gets out his razor bat.
If you want to put your weapon (or any other object) away, use the 'stow' command:
Spunky puts away his razor bat.
For even more information about an item, the Appraise skill; see that page for more info on appraising. For more information on your inventory and how to use it, check out the Inventory Management page.command can be a good tool. This uses the
In the starting room, there isn't a whole lot for your character to mess with. To move around, you will need to input compass directions; to go west, for instance, you would input, or just for short. All eight compass directions work, as do and . To get an idea of where you're going, try ing in a valid direction first; there may be danger ahead!
If you want to know exactly where you're going, you can check the map. There are several map commands available, but the most generally useful one is Movement for more info on getting around the world and navigating., or for short, which will give you a detailed readout of all the tiles in your character's general vicinity, with a handy key and a big diagram. If this is overwhelming, don't worry too much. Check out
At first, your main mission will be to stay alive. HellMOO has a reputation for being a violent, dangerous game, but this is an echo from an era long past; today, the area you spawn in (called the Orphanage) is a relatively safe place, as is Freedom City in general. Still, you may still be attacked by wandering dogs, rabid orphans, or if you are very unlucky, the occasional raving terrorist or raider. With this in mind, there are several priorities for your fledgling character:
- Join a Corporation. Corps are analogous to clans in other RPGs; joining one will give you access to other players who might help you, as well as people to back you up when you get in a tough spot. Going corpless is not recommended for new players at all; it adds a lot of extra difficulty to what is already a confusing experience.
- Get money. See the linked guide for more on that. In the early game, you can get money by killing orphans in the orphanage; Sister Agnes will pay you for clearing out the "lost ones".
- Get a weapon. Your bare fists will only carry you so far. Which weapon you use will depend a great deal on your build; consult the Player-written guides for more advice on specifics.
- Get a blade. Any blade will do, but you will need one for scavenging things from corpses. It's yucky business, but butchering things is an essential part of getting things done in-game, from cutting out raw meat to eat (if you're really that hungry) to cutting treasures out of bizarre creatures of the dark. If you can find a butcher knife, that's the best choice, since it gives you a bonus to successfully cutting things.
Wiki guides will only get you so far. To progress in the game, you'll need to join a corp and talk to NPCs.
The most basic way to talk to other people in the game is through the 'say' command. You can talk by typing:
Spunky says, "hello"
You can also abbreviate your say command just by starting a line with a double quote. Anything that appears after the double-quote will come out as speech from your character. For instance:
Spunky says, "testing 1 2 3"
You also have the capability to make your character emote things. These are little things you do that convey meaning but don't necessarily involve speech. For instance:
Spunky looks puzzled.
Just like 'say', the 'emote' command has a shortcut. You can emote something just by starting the line with a ":". For instance:
Spunky looks puzzled.
Please don't abuse your power to emote!
Talking to NPCs
In addition to regular speech, you can also direct your speech at a particular player or npc target. You do this with the - command. This command is a little different than the ones we've seen before, in that you include the target's name as a part of the command. For instance:
Wilson [to Spunky]: hello
Directed speech is very important for interacting with lots of the characters you'll encounter in the game. If you speak directly to them about certain things, you can strike up a conversation. For example:
Spunky [to Sister Agnes]: hi there Sister Agnes [to Spunky]: I'm Sister Agnes, the head of the Gein Foundation for Wayward Youths. Spunky [to Sister Agnes]: Gein? Never heard of him. Who is he? Sister Agnes [to Spunky]: Mr. Gein, I'm told, was a great philanthropist who wanted children to be placed where they were most wanted. Spunky [to Sister Agnes]: Ah, so you want to save the children huh? Sister Agnes [to Spunky]: We take in the children nobody wants -- the feral, the mutated, the abandoned. It's our mission. Of course, some of the children are causing problems for us...
Some of the things NPCs will say to you appear in bold (unless you suffer from lack of ANSI in your terminal). These are the key words that that NPC will actually react to; the example above is more of an extended, in-character approach. Carrying out the entire conversation with single word prompts works just as well. Many NPCs are unfinished and do not have dialog attached to them, but the ones that do will almost always respond to "hi"; tryif in doubt.
There are also tons of built-in Social commands, which you really can type just like regular commands. For instance:
Wilson hugs Spunky. Wilson licks Spunky. Wilson nods.
If for some reason your ability to speak is inhibited, you can useand to indicate yes or no to NPCs; they will recognize this as well as a verbal response.
There is also a built-in method for directly communicating with another player. You do this with the 'page' command as follows:
You tap your text message to Spunky into your wristpad.
Paging has a shortcut as well:
You tap your text message to Spunky into your wristpad.
As you can see, the in-game mechanism for sending pages is your wristpad. Every time you page someone you are typing a message to them on your wristpad in the game, and sometimes other people notice that you're doing it.
If you get hurt, another player may offer aid, and you may want to accept it, or perhaps accept a healing item from them so that you can fix yourself. To do this, you must allow them to do so. Similarly, it is wise to disallow gifts from people who, say, might want to hand you a live grenade. Tryfor an overview of what you allow from various people:
You allow medical from friends, and refuse medical from anyone else. You allow gifts from friends and kevlar, and refuse gifts from anyone else. You allow sex from friends, and refuse sex from anyone else.
Allowing medical means that you will allow someone to use medical equipment on you, like a suture kit. Allowing gifts means that you'll allow someone to hand you things. Allowing sex means that you'll allow them to perform acts of a potentially sexual nature on you, like taking off your clothes.
If you want to allow someone to do one of these things to you, just type:
You could also allow gifts or sex, but you get the idea. If you want to take someone off of your list, you can use the 'refuse' command in exactly the opposite way:
To handle these permissions more efficiently, there is also a friends system in place in the game, tryfor more info on that.
On death, you will respawn at the Freedom City clone bank. HellMOO does not allow players to keep items on death; any lost gear must be manually recovered. In addition, if your clone was not updated before death, you will lose any experience gained between your death and your last clone update. To prevent this, you canyour clone at a clone bank before doing anything dumb or risky. Updating your clone and recloning are not free benefits. The cost of doing either scales with your character's total XP, and if the cost is too high, extra XP may be deducted instead.
For more information on dying, check out Death.
If you find something that you think is a bug, please report your bug as follows:
> @qsend *bugs Subject: a line of input [or `@abort' to abort.] > short description of the bug Enter lines of message: [Type lines of input; `?' for help; end with `.', `@abort' or `@edit'.] > type as much information as you can about what you were doing and > what caused the bug. If you got a code traceback, please copy and > paste it into the body of your message if you can. When you are > done, just enter a period ('.') on a line by itself, like this: > . Message sent.
Note that many bugs in HellMOO are long-standing issues that have remained unfixed for years and years, which admins are tired of hearing about; don't take it personally if you get a grumpy response.
Exploits are bugs that, when manufactured, can be used to benefit you or other players. The general idea is not to abuse exploits or let them go unnoticed so somebody else can abuse them. Generally, you know something is an exploit when it's not working as intended, like Corpclave security system not responding properly to incidents and you taking advantage of that. Basically, when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is and you should think carefully about if it abuses game mechanics.
What's the benefit to you, you ask, if you report them with @qsend *exploits instead of abusing them for getting money, XP, or IP? The benefit is that, by reporting it, you help game balance. Also, a fringe benefit of this is that you don't get the banhammer for exploiting stuff.
This guide is just a primer, and barely scratches the surface of all there is to know about HellMOO. A variety of topics await you, most with their own wiki page, like Mutations! For a variety of guides on many topics, check out the Player-written guides page.