Diablo is an action role-playing hack and slash video game developed by Blizzard North and released by Blizzard Entertainment on December 31, 1996.
Set in the fictional Kingdom of Khanduras, located in the world of Sanctuary, Diablo has the player take control of a lone hero battling to rid the world of Diablo, the Lord of Terror. Beneath the town of Tristram, the player journeys through sixteen randomly generated dungeon levels, ultimately entering Hell itself in order to face Diablo.
Diablo has three character classes: the Warrior, the Rogue, and the Sorcerer. Each class has a different level of assigned attributes along with a unique skill. Each class is capable of using almost all of the same items and spells, in contrast to later titles in the Diablo series which have class-specific items and spells. However, the limitations in the attributes for each class reward play that utilizes them efficiently; for instance the Warrior’s low maximum level of Magic prevents him from learning the higher levels of powerful spells like the Sorcerer, instead the Warrior is best suited to melee with a faster weapon swing plus a “critical strike” for bonus damage.
Warrior: The most physically able of the three classes. The Warrior is a close-quarters fighter and can generally take the most physical punishment. The Warrior’s primary character attribute is Strength. The Warrior starts with the skill to repair objects in his possession at the cost of overall durability.
Rogue: A master of ranged weapons. While not as strong as the Warrior, the rogue is very effective at attacking enemies from a distance with the bow. The Rogue’s primary character attribute is Dexterity. The Rogue’s unique starting skill is the ability to disarm traps.
Sorcerer: A spellcaster being the most physically weak of the three classes, but can learn the most spells at the highest levels. The Sorcerer’s primary character attribute is Magic. The Sorcerer’s unique starting skill is the ability to recharge spell staves at the cost of lowering the maximum number of spell charges that the staff can hold.
In the expansion set, Diablo: Hellfire, the Monk was added. The Monk was meant to be proficient at melee combat with the staff, and is not related to the Monk class in Diablo III. Two other classes, the Bard and Barbarian, were unfinished but remained hidden characters in Diablo: Hellfire, and could be enabled using a hack. Using the in-game sprites of the Rogue and Warrior, respectively, the Bard is capable of dual-wielding weapons while the Barbarian was a two-handed axe specialist.
Multiplayer can be done with up to four players. Multiplayer characters’ states are saved periodically. Players can either be aggressive towards, or play co-operatively with, other players. Players can connect by one of the following: direct connection, modem connection, Battle.net connection or IPX network connection. The game lacks the stronger anti-cheating methods of Blizzard’s later games and as a result, many characters online have been altered in various ways by common third-party programs known as trainers and/or game editing programs such as Cheat Engine.
The game starts when the player’s character arrives in Tristram. Several of the remaining townsfolk assist the player, notably Cain the Elder (Deckard Cain in the sequels) who reveals more of the events. The labyrinth under the Cathedral descends from the dungeon/church, to the catacombs, followed by the caves, and finally Hell itself, each with a mixture of the undead, animals, and demons. Leoric has been re-animated as the Skeleton King, and the hero must kill him so he can be released from his curse.
Late in the game, the hero must fight Archbishop Lazarus, and eventually Diablo himself. At the end of the game the hero kills Diablo’s mortal form, leaving Diablo trapped in a soulstone once again, leaving behind the lifeless form of Prince Albrecht. The hero then drives the soulstone into his/her own forehead in an attempt to contain the Lord of Terror. However this results in Diablo possessing the Hero.