Orb of Zot

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Version 0.21: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Once you have escaped to the surface with this invaluable artefact, your quest is complete.

Orb of Zot.png The Orb of Zot is located in a vault on the deepest floor of the Realm of Zot, guarded by terrible monsters (ancient liches, Orb Guardians, orbs of fire, all kinds of dragons and draconians) and surrounded by indestructible walls. Acquiring the Orb and escaping back to the surface is the final step to win the game. Doing so without fighting your way past its guardians is nearly impossible, as the entire Realm of Zot slows down teleportation and renders Controlled Blink random, and the Orb actively resists Apportation attempts (1 out of every 3 attempts will fail, each attempt will create a loud noise, and successfully apporting it means all hell breaks loose).


Once the Orb is in your possession, you merely have to carry it out of the Dungeon to win the game. Unfortunately, once the Orb has been moved (either through Apportation or by simply picking it up), the various entities guarding it are alerted to your theft and will begin chasing you down en masse; this part of the game is often referred to as the orb run. During the orb run, numerous terrible things happen:


  • You don't need to pick up the Orb of Zot as soon as you reach it. If you want a higher score, you should clear out the extended end-game and collect as many of the 15 runes as you can before beginning the ascent.
  • Your goal after picking up the Orb is to get out of the Dungeon as quickly as possible. Use auto-travel (Shift + G) to make the game calculate the fastest route out possible; picking D:0 as your destination plots a course straight for the exit.
  • The only enemies that matter once you have the Orb are the ones that get in your way. Ignore any enemies that aren't able to kill you or that you can simply run away from. For this reason, boots of running or other sources of fast movement speed are extremely useful at this point. Quaffing a Potion of haste and casting Swiftness lets you outrun even very fast threats, but only for a short stretch. Use this to get that one space of distance between you and your pursuers while running towards the stairs.
  • Summoning a minion may cause your pursuer to spend a turn killing it. Also this may give you just the one space distance you need to leave the level without company. Call Imp does the trick, Summon Butterflies probably even better.
  • Don't be afraid to use up your consumable items at this point. Potions of haste, scrolls of holy word, and all manner of restoratives should be used as needed to clear a path to the exit as quickly as possible. Also, if you've got a wand of digging, feel free to create impromptu tunnels if it'll get you away from nasty opponents or up a floor even faster. If you're feeling paranoid (and why shouldn't you be?), consider creating those pathways before you grab the Orb.
  • Even with the delay on teleportation, it's worth considering as an escape option. If you find yourself cornered by enemies or a long way away from the next stair case up, activate a teleport and hold out until it kicks in. Teleport traps still function instantly, by the way.
  • The Abyss is unique in that its monster generation rate and makeup is unaffected once you pick up the Orb. If you're cornered and could use a chance to heal up in (relative) safety, zipping off to the Abyss will give you the time you need. Of course, unless you're a Lugonu follower, convenient access to the Abyss is rarely available outside of the Depths... but wielding and unwielding a distortion weapon may send you there in a pinch (be careful, though, as the other options include teleporting next to monsters or eating a heavy dose of magic contamination).
  • Find Dungeon Crawl too easy? For an added challenge, try avoiding the Tomb, Pandemonium, or the branches of Hell until you're already on your Orb run.
  • Using Apportation on the Orb of Zot WILL start the Orb run. Previously it was advisable to apport the orb to the nearest stairs, but now using Apportation will begin the ascension. Plan accordingly.

Zot Defence

In the Zot Defence mini-game, you are instead charged with guarding the Orb from wave after wave of random enemies. Only after you've fought off enough enemies to earn 15 runes are you allowed to grab the Orb and escape.


The Orb's origin
The Orb of Zot originally comes from an old text-based DOS game called The Wizard's Castle, in which the player was an adventurer on a quest to retrieve it, much as in Dungeon Crawl.


  • Prior to 0.17, Controlled Blinks functioned normally while the Orb was in your possession. Additionally, the orb run only started when you had physically picked up the orb -- Apportation was only difficult and generated noise.
  • Prior to 0.14, grabbing the Orb sealed the portals to Abyss/Pan/Hell, and it counted as an inventory item.
  • In 0.13, the monsters you faced while ascending were made deadlier (fewer weak demons, plus the addition of Orb Guardians).
  • Prior to 0.13, possession of the Orb caused a teleportation delay of 5-9 turns only 50% of the time.
  • Prior to 0.12, the player could drop the Orb after it had been picked up. Also, the Apportation failure rate was only 1 in every 6 attempts.
  • Prior to 0.10, the Orb did not have any penalties to stealth or magic contamination.
  • Prior to 0.9, the orb didn't apply -cTele while it was in your possession, and instead removed -cTele from Zot:5. Also, the Orb's weight was only 30 aum.
  • Prior to 0.8, the Orb wouldn't resist Apportation attempts.