Diablo & Diablo II


Where and when did you first play this game? How many times have you played this game?  And when was the last time you played the game?

Diablo was released in 1996, but I picked up the game in 1997 while I was attending my second semester at Michigan State University.  Diablo II was released in 2000 as I was finishing my degree at Arizona State University, both games to me are games I was playing during my college years.  I had both Diablo and Diablo II for the PC, but I haven’t played either game since 1997 and 2000.

Overall, the first two Diablo games hold fond memories for me, but I never found the story lines to be interesting enough to go back and play the games a second or third time.

On the other hand, the Battle.net (online play) features created a whole new way to play Diablo II, and this was a huge draw for several months.  I haven’t engaged in Battle.net play in years, but I remember it fondly.  Ah, good times!

What is it about this game that you loved?

Diablo and Diablo two are both fairly slow paced games with it’s 3/4 top down prospective, much like Ys or Zelda.  Diablo was one of the first times I played a real-time fantasy RPG-like game on the PC where you could enter a dungeon, talk with the townsfolk and collect gold and items.

But, Diablo I was set in a single town with a limited number of NPC to talk and interact with.  This meant the first game was really relatively short, or at least it seemed limited because of the lack of variation in location and characters.  The dungeons were all randomly generated, which meant it wasn’t a matter of learning a specific spot for a specific weapon or plot point.  And that’s good for replay value or networked game play, but I also found the fact there was not reliability to the maps and items within the dungeons to be annoying.

The second game add more locations to the game play so you got to see more of the world of Sanctuary and could walk the country side and explore more of the world.  This was a big step forward in the Diablo series.  Diablo II had a more explorative feature to the over-world map, while Diablo I felt every bottled and limited in the game exploration.

Both games included mini-missions which didn’t NEED to be completed in order to complete the game, but many times it helped you uncover a better weapon, armor or spell for example.  It’s always a nice touch when you get to go off the beaten path and discover some thing new.

What is the best (or worst) moment in this game? Or what about this game made it memorable?

One of the things I found annoying about both games were the weapon and armaments.  The basic idea, as I understand it, is there are some basic weapons, like swords, maces, knives, axes, hammers, etc.  These weapons are randomly generated when monsters drop them.  There were unique weapons, but it was really a luck of the draw if you got a plain weapon, medium quality weapon or a really great weapon!

The lack of a major specialized weapon is one of the things I really disliked about Diablo and Diablo II.  Maybe this was the case and I just missed it;  I didn’t remember there being a final weapon to kill Diablo, like the “Mace of Diablo Death” for example.  The same could be said for Diablo II, which again didn’t seem to include any specific weapons, which were required to defeat the final bosses.

But I guess, the more you played and explored the dungeons, the more likely you were to pick up a “unique” weapon which would assist in killing the Prince of Darkness.

The most interesting feature of the games was that weapon and armor did wear down if not properly repaired on a regular basis.  The more you used item (weapon or armor), and didn’t repair it, the weapon would eventually become worthless.  It forced you to make sure that you took care of your tools with at the blacksmith.  Also, as you equipped new weapons and armor the characters look was properly changed on screen so you could actually “see” the new weapon or armor.  A very nice touch!

Is there a special story about this game? Maybe an event in your life or some thing memorable you associate with this game?

Diablo used a lot of campy voice acting to create a mood and effect to the game, which was pretty interesting.  The best moment was the old man, Cain, who sounded like a bad Sean Connery impression, who would say, “Stay a while and listen” almost every time you approached to talk with him.  It became this short lived punch line with my friends, to “stay a while and listen” when some one was just talking and talking.   But, it didn’t really have the staying power and never left me  satisfied.   “That’s what she said”!

One of the most endearing features of Diablo was the Battle.net online gameplay, which was always interesting to get some people together to complete a mission, maybe do some dungeon crawling in mazes, killing monsters and creating some general mayhem.  As I understand the Battle.net game play has continued for years without me.

In the end, I have been putting off playing Diablo III but I break down and play the game at some point in the near future.  I’ll let you know what I think!


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