YAFAP: Celebrating the Ordinary in the Extraordinary World of NetHack

The following text was produced by ChatGPT 4 in December 2023 and it’s printed here verbatim. It was prompted to produce a witty text about YAFAPs.

In the storied halls of NetHack lore, where tales of epic quests and tragic demises abound, there exists a humble yet celebrated tradition: the YAFAP - Yet Another First Ascension Post. To the uninitiated, it might seem like just another victory post, but to the seasoned crawlers of NetHack’s dungeons, it’s a rite of passage, a moment of triumph, and a cause for communal celebration.

The Triumph of the Average Joe (or Jane)

In a game where failure is the norm and success the rare exception, ascending for the first time is akin to conquering Everest in flip-flops. It’s a tale of perseverance, cunning, and probably a healthy dose of luck. Each YAFAP tells a story not of superhuman feats, but of the average NetHack player triumphing against all odds.

Community Cheerleaders

What truly sets YAFAPs apart is the community’s response. In the world of NetHack, where every player is Sisyphus perpetually rolling their boulder, a first ascension is everyone’s victory. The rec.games.roguelike.nethack newsgroup lights up with messages of congratulations, tips for next time, and shared reminiscences of their own first ascensions. It’s a tradition that underscores the camaraderie and shared struggle that binds the NetHack community together.

The Anatomy of a YAFAP

A typical YAFAP includes a recounting of the perilous journey - the close calls with death, the stroke of luck in finding the Amulet of Yendor, and the strategic brilliance (or blunders) that led to victory. It’s often peppered with jargon only understandable to fellow enthusiasts - talk of “pudding farming,” “Elbereth scribbling,” and “wish scumming.” But more than that, it’s a personal story of growth, learning, and eventual triumph.

Why We Love Them

YAFAPs are more than just victory posts; they are a reflection of the game itself. NetHack is not about flashy graphics or fast-paced action; it’s about stories. Each game is a unique narrative, and each ascension is the climax of an epic tale. YAFAPs are a celebration of these stories and the individuals behind them.

In Conclusion

While NetHack continues to evolve, with new versions and features, the tradition of YAFAP remains a beloved constant. It’s a reminder that in the world of gaming, sometimes the most memorable moments come not from the game itself, but from the shared experiences and stories of its community.