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North American box art.

Diablo is an isometric top-down dungeon crawler action-RPG with a demonic Gothic theme. It was developed by Blizzard North and published by Blizzard Entertainment and released for Windows in 1996 and later ported to Macintosh and PlayStation.

I first saw Diablo at a friend's house in 1996 or 1997. I think it was the demo version, but I'm not sure. He made a warrior and got to the Butcher but was killed. In 1997, a different friend and I bought Diablo together, each paying half of the price, and swapped it between each other every few days. After he beat the game, he sold me his half, and I still have the original game to this day.

Playing Diablo always reminds me of the music from Queen's Sheer Heart Attack album, which I listened to a lot while playing this game.


I own this game for Windows and have beaten it as a warrior, rogue, and sorcerer. I've also beaten the Hellfire expansion as a monk (though I don't own it).


  • Overall: 7/10
  • Best Version: Windows


  • Ignoring the cheats and exploits, the game engine is pretty solid.
  • The monster AI is varied and interesting allowing for different tactics. Fallen Ones can be scared away by killing a monster in front of them, scavengers can be delayed by making corpses for them to eat, etc.
  • The ambient music is creepy and the town music is quite nice. Good sound effects too.
  • The palette is nicely dark and foreboding fitting the mood of the game.
  • The prefix/suffix system for items and dungeon randomizer allows for a lot of replay value.
  • The dungeon generator changes based on the various environments of the game.


  • The story is pretty typical.
  • The pre-rendered 3D graphics are very bland. I would have preferred hand-drawn sprites.
  • The cut-scene animations are rather poorly animated.
  • Once you've explored the town and find it has little to offer, it becomes tedious to navigate.
  • Farnham and Gillian are entirely pointless NPCs.
  • Like many games that use a prefix/suffix approach to items, the vast majority of them are unwanted wasting your time.
  • The map generation is a little too random, sometimes placing doors where they're unneeded, creating long dead-ends, or making numerous rooms with nothing in them.
  • There is a lot of recorded dialog for quests among NPCs, almost all of which is unimportant and wastes your time.
  • The Witch monster set was shameless targeted for teen male gamers. She's topless, g-string, leather boots, and when she dies, she moans and falls into a doggy-style position.


  • The later levels become an exercise in tedium for the warrior. A large portion of the enemies shoot projectiles at you and, when you try to near, run or teleport away. The game's weak follow algorithm makes things worse by often failing to take you in the most direct path, giving them time to escape.
  • Battle.net has been shutdown for Diablo, and when it was available it was horrible broken with cheating. You could only safely play in password-protected games with friends.



North American box art.

Hellfire is an expansion for Diablo developed by Synergistic Software and published by Sierra On-Line in 1997 for Windows. The expansion adds the monk class, two new dungeons (hive and crypt) each with new monsters and quests, new items (oils and traps), new spells, and new prefixes/suffixes. The expansion was supposed to add two more classes (barbarian and bard), but they were scrapped before the game was released. However, with a little configuration modification, they can be unlocked.


I don't like the hive dungeon, as it seemed too insect/alien which I don't think fits with the demonic fantasy vibe of Diablo. The crypt was more fitting, but the lich monster class made it extremely annoying.