The Air Elemental FAQ List

By David Goldfarb
HTML Conversion by Kate Nepveu

Last Updated April 23, 2002.

  1. What are air elementals? Why are they so dangerous?

    Air elementals are animated embodiments of the element air. They engulf unwary adventurers and pummel them with flying debris. Nethack 3.3.0 introduced a new speed system; as a side effect of it, air elementals (which are naturally at the highest speed possible) get several attacks to an adventurer's one. Since they do a lot of damage, death can be fast. [Note: in version 3.4.0, the Dev Team has compensated for this somewhat by reducing the damage they do.]

  2. Where do they show up?

    They can be randomly generated in the dungeon (where they can be quite deadly to early-middlegame characters); also a number of them are guaranteed to show up in the endgame on the Plane of Air. Ones in the dungeon typically have about 50 hit points; in the Plane of Air, about 150. (Of course, an adventurer in the endgame will be much better prepared to face them than one in the middlegame.)

  3. Since they're so dangerous, can I genocide them?

    No. The game does not allow you to genocide any kind of elemental. Blessed-genocide of E only kills stalkers; not very worthwhile.

  4. What can I do about them, then?

    They have no specific Achilles heel. However, there are several things you can do. Listed here roughly from least to most effective:

On the Plane of Air, where the air elementals are most numerous and dangerous, you can avoid encounters with a teleport trick. The plane itself (like all of the endgame) is a no-teleport level. But you can deliberately let a fog cloud, steam vortex, or energy vortex engulf you, and then zap a wand of teleport at it. It will teleport and take you along. You can't control the destination, but if you know where the portal is you can keep zapping till you end up near it. [Note: in 3.4.0 this no longer works -- the vortex will be teleported but you will not.]

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