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Have you seen that old man pacing around the dungeon? He looks troubled.

The Nurse

The Old Man is an NPC whose primary function is to summon Skeletron. He can be found at the Dungeon's entrance. When spoken to at night, the Old Man will give the player the option to "Curse", which summons Skeletron. When spoken to during the day, the Old Man will tell the player to return at night. He will also judge players with 300 maximum health (15 hearts) or less, or 10 defense or less as unworthy but still allows them to summon Skeletron.

The Dungeon can be entered without defeating Skeletron, but traveling deeper than ground level within it (below zero depth) will spawn Dungeon Guardians that will most likely kill the player on contact (see Guide:Dungeon Guardian strategies).

When Skeletron is defeated, the Old Man is freed from his curse and will arrive as the Clothier (as long as a vacant house is available), in addition to allowing access to the Dungeon.


  • The Old Man can be hurt with lava, Dart Traps, which cause normal damage and debuff effects, and explosives. He will also take damage from a rolling Boulder and Suffocation like all other NPCs. However, enemies cannot hurt him, and he does not defend himself against them ( unlike other NPCs), although he will still run away from them.
  • If the Old Man dies or the player fails to defeat Skeletron, the Old Man will respawn at the Dungeon entrance the following day.


  • During the day:

    • "I cannot let you enter until you free me of my curse."
    • "Come back at night if you wish to enter."
    • "My master cannot be summoned under the light of day."

    When the player has 300 or less max health or 10 or less defense:

    • "You are far too weak to defeat my curse. Come back when you aren't so worthless."
    • "You pathetic fool. You cannot hope to face my master as you are now."
    • "I hope you have like six friends standing around behind you."
    • "Please, no, stranger. You'll only get yourself killed."

    When the player has more than 300 max health and more than 10 defense:

    • "Stranger, do you possess the strength to defeat my master?"
    • "You just might be strong enough to free me from my curse..."
    • "Please! Battle my captor and free me! I beg you!"
    • "Defeat my master, and I will grant you passage into the Dungeon."
  • Trivia[]

    • Other NPCs will "interact" with the Old Man and engage in conversations.
    • He is depicted in the painting “Cursed Man”.
    • He is the only NPC that will not defend himself and is not damaged by enemies. He also cannot be drowned.
    • He is one of only two friendly NPCs that does not have a map icon, the other being the Skeleton Merchant Old-gen console version. However, he does appear as a red dot similar to an enemy.
    • Upon summoning Skeletron, the Old Man dies, which makes it seem as if he turns into Skeletron, further supported by his Bestiary entry.
      • He can however respawn the following day while Skeletron is still alive, but dies if Skeletron is beaten.

    The BestiaryBestiary entry for the Old Man: "This hapless Old Man carries the burden of a heavy curse. It's said at night he transforms into a horrific demon which guards the Dungeon."


    • Desktop The Old Man's Bestiary entry will now fill itself out upon the death of Skeletron if it somehow doesn't get filled out due to other circumstances.
    • Desktop 1.0.5: The Old Man now warns players before transforming into Skeletron at night.