Compiled by David Corbett for NetHack 3.4.2.
Last updated for 3.4.3 on 9 February, 2004.
Corrections, suggestions, additions, etc. welcome.
"Behold the cockatrice, whose diminutive stature belies its hidden might. The cockatrice can petrify any ordinary being it contacts--save those wise adventurers who eat a dead lizard or blob of acid when they feel themselves
slowly turning to stone."
This spoiler lists the ways a cockatrice can kill you, and what you can do about it. (Except where otherwise stated, "cockatrice" refers to both cockatrices and chickatrices, the baby form of cockatrices.)
(All methods are instantly fatal unless noted)
Wearing an amulet of life saving will save you if you are petrified.
(1) Get hit by a monster wielding it (delayed death)
(2) Eat it
- Always be wary of monsters picking up cockatrice corpses. For monsters that can wield cockatrice corpses, see section VII.
- Gaining the 'food appraisal' intrinsic warns you before eating dangerous food, including food that will petrify you. ('This smells like it could be something very dangerous!') It is gained by reading a blessed scroll of food detection, or casting 'detect food' at skilled or expert in divination spells. It lasts for one warning.
- Keep food (especially cockatrice corpses) out of slot 'y': this will help avoid accidentally eating something you shouldn't.
Without wearing gloves:
(3) Pick it up
- If you are polymorphed into a creature without hands than can pick up objects, you will also be stoned.
(4) Put it into or take it out of a container
(5) Try to throw or fire it
(6) Wield it
(7) Snag it (with a bullwhip or grappling hook)
(8) Steal it (e.g., polymorphed into a nymph)
(9) Sacrifice it (yes, even if it's on the altar)
(10) Tin it
- To prevent these, wear gloves (obviously). Creatures without hands cannot perform these actions, except 5 and 9.
Without wearing gloves, and while blind:
(11) Step on to the square containing it
(12) Cease levitating over it
(13) Look ':' at the square containing it
- Again, wearing gloves will prevent these deaths.
- If you're wearing the Eyes of the Overworld, the astral vision effect overrides blindness.
Without wearing a helmet:
(14) Throw it upwards
Without wearing boots:
(15) Kick it
Wearing gloves and wielding the corpse:
(16) Go down stairs while burdened or worse
(17) Go down stairs while fumbling (boots or gloves)
(18) Go down stairs while punished
- It's not a good idea to go downstairs wielding the corpse. If you're flying, however, you won't fall and won't get petrified.
(19) Fall down a pit, hole or trapdoor
- If you're flying or levitating, you can pass over these without falling in (except in Sokoban).
(20) Fall into a chasm (pit) created by a drum of earthquake
- If you're flying, levitating, or can cling to the ceiling, you escape the chasm.
(21) Fall onto a sink while levitating
(22) Lose your gloves to disintegration by a scroll of destroy armor
(23) Lose your gloves to overenchantment (or underenchantment) by a scroll of enchant armor
- If the enchantment on the gloves is +4 or higher, reading a non-cursed scroll of enchant armor may destroy them. If the enchantment is -4 or lower, reading a cursed scroll may do the same.
(24) Lose your gloves to the monster spell Destroy Armor
- Magic resistance protects you from magical attacks.
(25) Take off your gloves
(26) Have your gloves taken off by an incubus or succubus
- You have a Ch-in-20 chance of stopping a foocubus from removing an item of armour. Canceling them stops their seduction attacks altogether.
- Nymphs and monkeys can't steal your gloves if you're holding a weapon - they'll try to take your weapon first.
Without wearing gloves and wielding the corpse, while stoning-resistant:
(27) Change to a non-stoning-resistant form
- Polymorph control or unchanging can prevent this.
- Note that reaching zero HP while polmorphed will change you to your normal form if you don't have unchanging, and kill you if you do.
(28) Attack (strike, touch or claw) it with bare, ungloved hands
(29) Attack it with ungloved hands, wielding a potion
(30) Attack it in monster-form: bite, butt, grab (or brush against), hug or sting
(31) Suck its brain with tentacles (as mind flayer or master mind flayer)
(32) Swallow it whole (as trapper, lurker above, or purple worm)
(33) Kick it without wearing boots (as a monster attack or as a command)
- If you have no weapon or gloves, or if polymorphed into a form which has an unusual attack (30 to 33), cockatrices should not be directly attacked: attack them with ranged weapons or spells.
- If you suck a cockatrice's brain, you turn to stone. If your life is saved, you still suffer the delayed death stoning effects.
(34) Without gloves, attempt to saddle it
(35) Attempt to untrap it from a pit without gloves
- More rather strange things to do with a cockatrice...
(36) Hear its hissing (delayed death - see 1)
- A cockatrice's hissing normally has a 10% chance of beginning the stiffening process. If it's a new moon, and you aren't carrying a lizard corpse in your main inventory, the chance is 100%. You'll be told when you start or restore the game if it is new moon.
- Cancelling a cockatrice prevents it from hissing.
(37) Get reduced to zero HP by its attacks
- This turns you into a statue. The petrification occurs after you die.
(38) Eat a tin of cockatrice meat (see 2)
(39) Eat a cockatrice egg (delayed death - see 1, 2)
(40) Get hit by a thrown cockatrice egg
(41) Without a helmet, throw a cockatrice egg in the air
(42) Without gloves, smash a potion of polymorph over a monster, turning it into a cockatrice
IV. Stoning Resistance:
You become stoning-resistant by polymorphing into:
- acid blob or gelatinous cube
- chickatrice or cockatrice
- gargoyle or winged gargoyle
- spotted or ochre jelly
- baby yellow dragon or yellow dragon
- air, earth, fire or water elemental
- green mold
- black naga hatchling or black naga
- stone golem
- any of vyP
Note: getting petrified as a golem turns you into a stone golem, unless they've been extincted.
Other stoning-resistant creatures:
- ghosts and shades
- djinn, sandestins
- Death, Famine and Pestilence
- all Quest Nemeses
- You'll have at least one turn to prevent the stiffening. If you're burdened, however, this may not translate to having at least one *move* (especially if you're being hit repeatedly by a cockatrice corpse).
- When the stiffening starts, you lose intrinsic speed.
- The stiffening can be stopped by:
- eating lizard meat (even if tinned, assuming you can open the tin in time...)
- eating an acidic corpse (note that tinned food is never acidic, so will not help)
- quaffing a potion of acid (watch those HPs)
- casting stone-to-flesh on yourself (this will turn gems and other stone items in your inventory to meat)
- praying for divine help (whenever you can safely do so)
- polymorphing into your own race
- polymorphing into a stoning-resistant monster (see section IV)
Fun with rubber chickens:
As you would have guessed, cockatrice corpses are potent weapons. Hitting a monster with it will stone it, unless it is stoning resistant or immediately eats lizard meat or something acidic.
If you stone a monster while it has engulfed you, you "jump through an opening in the new statue" of the monster.
Chickatrices leave corpses 25% of the time, cockatrices 50% of the time. They're subject to the same rotting as most corpses. You won't be able to wish for a corpse if they've been genocided.
Cockatrice eggs can be used to stone monsters (see 40). If you wield one, you'll (better) hit your target. If you throw it, you may miss. You should only wield one at a time - if you hit, all the eggs you wield will break. If you laid the egg yourself, there is a -1 penalty to luck for breaking it.
You can lay cockatrice eggs by polymorphing into a female (adult) cockatrice and using the #sit command. Cockatrice eggs may also be randomly generated on any level that cockatrices can be. Chickatrices will hatch from cockatrice eggs, if they haven't been genocided. Cockatrice eggs can still be wished for, even after genociding or extincting cockatrices/chickatrices. They will still stone, but they won't hatch.
Chickatrices are 'very rare' monsters, with difficulty 7. They have a 1/2 chance of being generated in small (2 to 4) groups. Cockatrices are 'common' monsters, with difficulty 8.
Cockatrices (but not chickatrices) may be summoned as part of the 'summon nasties' monster spell. They may be summoned even if 120 have already be generated (i.e. they are considered to be 'extinct'.)
Cockatrice nests may be generated in rooms on dungeon level 17 or lower. The room will be filled with sleeping cockatrices (not chickatrices). The nests do not respect extinction.
Genociding class 'c' wipes out all chickatrices, cockatrices, and pyrolisks. This will prevent them being generated by any means.
For the sake of completeness, here are the ways to be killed involving a cockatrice that don't involve petrification:
- Choke on a cockatrice egg (Eggs have 80 nutrition)
- Get reduced to zero HP by:
- While wearing a helmet, throwing a cockatrice corpse in the air
- Throwing a tin, figurine or statue in the air
- While wearing boots, kicking a cockatrice corpse against the wall
- Kicking a tin, figurine or statue against the wall
- Eating a rotten corpse (cadaver)
While in a stoning-resistant form and wearing an amulet of unchanging:
Get reduced to zero HP by:
- Getting hit by a monster wielding the corpse (1 HP damage per hit)
- Throwing the corpse in the air
While in a stoning-resistant, breathing form:
- Choke on a cockatrice corpse or tin of cockatrice meat
While in a stoning-resistant form other than a green mold:
- Get food poisoning from a tainted corpse
VII. Monsters able to wield cockatrice corpses:
- all hkoCGHKOT, except:
- kobold shamans, orc shamans, gnomish wizards, minotaurs, Cyclops, Lord Surtur
- all @ except:
- nurses, Oracle, Wizard of Yendor, monks, Grand Master, Thoth Amon, Master Kaen, Master Assassin, Ashikaga Takauji, Dark One, abbots
- Aleaxes, Angels, Archons, salamanders, skeletons, iron golems
- water demons, horned devils, mariliths, bone devils, pit fiends, balrogs, djinn, sandestins
Contributions and corrections from Dayv!, Andreas Dorn, Wes Irby, Arien Malec, nyra, Dylan O'Donnell, Quietust, Rast, Haakon Studebaker and others on r.g.r.n.
Dylan O'Donnell's spoilers
Back to the NetHack Page
Trevor Powell's insta-death spoiler
Ray Chason's Incubus and Succubus spoiler
Hojita Discordia's Extinctionist FAQ