Diablo 2 — The Story: The Awesome Precursor to Diablo 3

Originally posted 11/29/2011

For many of my WoW friends and gamer friends, they are all too aware that Diablo 3 is on it’s way, but unfortunately, a lot of them have no idea what to expect other than the current site Blizzard has up with all it’s updates on the classes, the gameplay, etc. Knowing this is an injustice to the franchise, I have decided to give you a brief over view of the key players from Diablo 2 and it’s story accompanied with the cinema scenes that made the game so famous. For those of you who know the story, enjoy revisiting this old tale with as much nostalgia as I have when I view the cinema scenes. For those of you who are new to the story, enjoy learning about who Tyrael is and why his charger really IS that cool (among many other things.)

I will make one small disclaimer before I start. Diablo 2 was made in 2000. The cinema scenes and the gameplay from that era of gaming were groundbreaking, at the time, but looking back on it now doesn’t really show all the glory it encompassed to my 13 year old self and my 10 year old brother. So, if you’re watching these cinema scenes and thinking to yourself, “Man those graphics blow” you’re missing the point. Diablo 3 will have what you’re looking for when it comes to graphics and gameplay, but what good will that do you when you have no idea who Deckard Cain is or why a kid’s leg named Wirt is so important. The story is what you need to focus on.

So, without further ado…

Act I Cinematic: The Beginning

(Note: The cinema scene(s) barely touch(es) the story line your hero is about the embark on. It gives you a story of the source of the problem… not what happens within the game.)

Act I — The Rogue Encampment

Like most games, the beginning of the game has you choose between one of five classes to be. The classic setting of Diablo 2 (prior to the expansion) was to choose from either a Barbarian, Mage, Necromancer, Amazon, or Paladin. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out what they do, so I won’t dwell on any particular class.

Once you’re hero is picked they are planted in the first act of the game, the Rogue Encampment. Here, you meet a few key people: Akira, Warriv, and Deckard Cain. Akira is the lady in charge of the encampment. She sends you on the majority of the quests and eventually leads you to kill Andariel, who is the reason (along with Diablo) that evil is spreading among their area. Warriv isn’t really all that special but he is your caravan to the next place, and helps get you set up in the next area. Deckard Cain… is a pimp. Well, ok no, he isn’t a pimp, but if you haven’t played the game you’re missing out on how funny it is to hear the old man talk. He doesn’t show up until Akira sends you on a quest to find him in Tristram, the old setting for the original game, Diablo.

Once Akira has you fetch good ole’ Deckard from hell incarnate that is now Tristram, he is in the camp there to aid you for the rest of the game with his knowledge. He is a scholar and is a very important character to the plot and storyline mainly because he tells you about all the lore, in essentially every area you visit.

The idea behind this Act is to not throw you knee deep in the Hell on earth that Diablo has created in the other Acts that follow. Rather, you get to see the corruption slowly growing over time in this area. You first start out doing quests to kill possessed (or “turned”) Rogues that the people in the encampment knew. Later, you will confront Andariel, the one put in charge by Diablo to continue corrupting the area, and kill her to purify the area and save the Encampment from danger.

Act II Cinematic — In to the East

Act II — The Shining Jewel: Lut Gholein

Warriv, the nice guy that he is takes you and good ole’ Deckard to Lut Gholein with him. Lut Gholein is a very prosperous town in the desert filled with secret ancient history, old ass tombs, and those stupid Lightning Bugs that spam charged bolts on the ground that will insta-kill you. Yes, my resentment toward those retarded things still holds to this day, they suck.

 It is here that you meet two more key people: Meshif and Drognan. Like the last Act, Meshif will be your caravan to the next area. He is a sailor and knows a thing or two about Lut Gholein and Kurast (your next destination) — again, not that important, but noteworthy. Drognan is the only other person you meet in this area worth mentioning. Everyone else you meet just has you go on mindless quests or are merchants with funny things to say. Drognan, along with the help of Deckard helps point you in the right direction to your goal within this Act.

Here, you are tasked with two major things. One, assemble/find the Horadric Cube, and two, find Tal Rasha’s tomb. The Horardic cube doesn’t have a big impact on this area, but it will in the next act so let’s focus on Tal Rasha.

If you watched the cinematic, like I hoped you did. You would understand that “The Wanderer” aka Diablo is headed here to find Tal Rasha’s tomb. It is within this tomb he is looking for his brother, Baal. If you noticed in the cinematic, they talk about how Tal Rasha was a brave man that was imprisoned with the demon. Essentially that means they killed Baal, took the soulstone that holds his soul (because like all awesome bad guys, they never really die) and plunges the stone into himself. Tied within the tomb, he wages a war with the demon to keep him locked inside himself so that his evil cannot be unleashed (WOTLK, much? Yeah, hate to break it to you, but Blizz reused a plot twist they already wore out in another game. Hence, my anger when some had to ‘take the thrown and his crown’ to ‘enslave the Lich King within’)

The Wanderer that you see in the cinematic is actually the unarmed warrior from the first game, who defeats Diablo, but is possessed by him at the end of the game. That is why Diablo is able to move across Sanctuary, without being noticed, or bound in a tomb. He has a hold of this man who carries the burden of releasing his brothers so they can have an awesome party and kill Earth. So, obviously Diablo has to go take the soulstone out of Tal Rasha so that Baal can have some fun too.

At the very end of the Act, as you race to find his hidden tomb, you end up being too late and are met by the Archangel Tyrael. He tells you that you have the skills to go hunt down Diablo, Baal, and Mephisto and you must do so quickly. You are to head to Kurast to find where Mephisto is and kill him before the three can unite and bring the end of the world.

Cool note about Tyrael: Not only does he look badass, but he is very important. He was the guy who helped imprison the souls of the three Prime Evils (Diablo, Baal, Mephisto) in to soulstones. Before that, they just would be struck down and possess the next living creature they could find, essentially making them immortal. By binding them to soulstones, you can take the soulstone and destroy it, if you know how…

The next Act and the conclusion in my next blog post. This is very long…
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