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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
This gateway leads to the Vestibule of Hell. Few would go there voluntarily.

The Vestibule of Hell is guarded by Geryon, along with various denizens of each of the hells themselves.

Portals to the Vestibule of Hell are found abundantly in the Depths.

Welcome to Hell! Please enjoy your stay.

Hell is a forbidding domain, crawling with demonic entities of all shapes and sizes. It is actually comprised of five separate branches: the Vestibule of Hell and its four sub-branches.

The Vestibule of Hell

Hell entry.png You're guaranteed to find multiple portals to the Vestibule throughout the Depths, though there is a Lair:5 vault that has a portal to Hell.

Geryon, the three-headed gatekeeper of the Hells, always appears. He is accompanied by all sorts of demons. The unique curse skull Murray will also be there 25% of the time.

Hell's Branches

There are four branches accessible from the Vestibule of Hell:

Each branch of Hell is 7 levels deep. Floors 1-6 are all about a quarter the size of a regular floor, containing only one gateway out and downstair. Notice how there isn't an upstair - instead, there are portals leading directly to the Vestibule.

The final level of each houses a unique, named demon lord protecting several treasure vaults, a rune of Zot, and in some cases an unrandart weapon. These floors are often very large in comparison, even to regular dungeon floors.

The Zot clock is shared between the Vestibule and the four branches.

Hell Effects

Each Hell, excluding the Vestibule, will inflict a persistent effect on any who dare venture into them.

These effects last for as long as you remain in their respective Hell.

Hell's Mystical Force

In Hell's branches, every time you go down a staircase, Hell's "mystical force" may lash out at you:[1]

In addition to this, there is a 16.67% chance of making noise (loudness 15), unless you are silenced.

Zin will sometimes protect you from the forces of Hell. The chance to prevent an effect scales linearly, up to a 50% chance at maximum (200) piety. In addition, Zin's mutation protection will work as normal, even if the initial prevention fails; this leads to a true rate of 62.5% to prevent an effect at max piety.


Hell is generally considered part of the extended game. You shouldn't intend to clear the four branches unless you want all 15 runes, or otherwise want a challenge.

That being said, most characters ready for Depths can complete the Vestibule in reasonable safety. This is often done for the Horn of Geryon, obtained when you kill Geryon. For more details on completing the Vestibule, see Vestibule of Hell.

It technically isn't required to defeat Geryon to enter the four sub-branches, but it is recommended. A character who can't defeat Geryon probably isn't ready for the other Hell branches.

Clearing Hell Branches

You may be tempted to 'dive' each of the hell branches, rushing straight to the downstairs. However, XP is used to cure the effects of Hell's mystical force. Thus, clearing the floors is recommended if possible.

Ideally, you have high resistances to counteract each branch's element: rF+++ for Gehenna, rC+++ for Cocytus, rN+++ for Tartarus, and a little bit of everything for Dis. Weapons with the holy wrath brand are effective against all manners of demons and undead.

The portals out make stair dancing harder, but make escape easier. Should you take a nasty beating or realize you're under-prepared, simply take a portal back to the Vestibule, keeping whatever map knowledge you've had. Going back will make you experience more Hell effects, though.


  • Prior to 0.29, Hell's Mystical Force happened over time, rather than when descending stairs.
  • The Hells received a rework in 0.28; introducing many new monsters and the unique branch-wide forces of each Hell. Prior to this version, Hell's Mystical Force was slower, but more varied, with miscasts and monster spawns. In addition, Hell's floors were normal sized, with 3 stairs in each direction.
  • Prior to 0.14, players needed to evoke Geryon's horn to access the branches of Hell.
  • Prior to 0.9, a frequent Hell effect was banishment. This was replaced with Malign Gateway, mostly to reduce annoyance to the player.


  1. stairs.cc:484 (0.30.1)
Dungeon branches
Dungeon exit.png The DungeonTemple entry.png The TempleDepths entry.png The DepthsZot entry.png Realm of Zot
Lair entry.png The Lair ( Spider entry.png Spider's NestSnake entry.png Snake PitSwamp entry.png The SwampShoals entry.png The ShoalsSlime entry.png Slime Pits)
Orc entry.png Orcish Mines ( Elf entry.png Elven Halls) • Vaults entry.png The Vaults ( Crypt entry.png The CryptTomb entry.png The Tomb)
Abyss entry.png The AbyssPandemonium entry.png PandemoniumHell entry.png Hell ( Cocytus entry.png CocytusDis entry.pngDisGehenna entry.png GehennaTartarus entry.png Tartarus)
See also: Portal