The game can be played alone or in groups, and there are two separate paths that
characters can develop along. The solo game is designed to allow a single character
to travel the depths from level 1 down to level 16 alone, without restarting
otherwise assisted. The multi-player game (which can be played over the internet,
a local network, by modem, or via null cable) allows up to 4 people to play together
in the same game. Multi-player characters are constantly saved, while the solo
characters are saved only when the player requests it. The multi-player characters,
though, can start a new game whenever they want--allowing the same character to
clear the first dungeon level over and over, gaining experience, gold, and items each
time. Multi-player games come in three difficulty levels, from "normal" to "hell", while
the solo game only has one difficulty level.

Diablo uses a three-quarters isometric view; the graphics are all 640x480 Super-VGA
and 3-D rendered, heroes, monsters, and walls alike. The World View of your
surroundings takes up a little over 2/3 of the screen, from the top down. Here you
see your hero in the center, and you can zoom in or out to enlarge or shrink your
surroundings. The bottom portion is the Status and Options area, where you have
buttons to access your inventory (which then temporarily unfolds over half of your
World View), spell book, disk options, and the like. Also included here is a status
line, which updates things such as spells cast or objects acquired, and two globes,
one red, one blue. These two globes represent your health and mana, respectively.
All interaction, excluding programmable macros, is done through the use of the
mouse, including battle.

There are three basic types of characters: Warriors, Rogues, and Sorcerers. Each
class has their own image set, strengths, and weaknesses. Any character can wield
any weapon and wear any armor they find--so long as the base requirements for the
item are met. Luckily, magical items can help boost stats--letting low-level or weak
characters equip themselves with the heavy armor and weapons found in the depths
of the dungeon.

There are many items in the game--around forty different types of weapons, several
dozen different types of armor, a hundred (or so) unique items. Weapons come in
five basic types: staves, for the Sorcerers; bows, for the Rogues; and swords, axes,
and blunt weapons for the Warriors. Note that any character class can wield any
weapon, although the specific strengths and restrictions of each of the character
classes lend themselves to the given pairings. Besides weapons and armor, there
are also rings and amulets--which are only useful when magical. Magical items are
described by one or two special adjectives, which appear as either prefixes or suffixes.

There are over 200 monsters in Diablo, and all have an incredibly fluid motion, and
are very distinctive. Zombies shamble, skeletons rattle, acid beasts spit, fallen
ones run away if you kill their fellows. Additonally, they all act different; the various clans
of goatmen are cowardly, and will run when attacked, however if one counts on the
blood knights behaving the same way, one shall most likely have an untimely demise.
The differences include a unique appearance, different hit points, slightly varying
behaviors, and sometimes alternate weapons or attacks. Each of these variants
also has its own Boss, or Light Source (so called because they emit light, like a
candle or torch).

Both the solo and multi-player games have their own set of special quests that
provide intermediate goals before finally tackling Diablo himself. Quests in the
solo game, once complete, often reward the player with unique items that make
the journey easier. There are over 30 different quests that the game will randomly
choose from to put into the solo game, although any single game will have (at most)
half of those. Quests in the multi-player game, though, are not as large a part of the
game, and are designed for killing of boss creatures on certain levels.

Battle is the most important of Diablo, and is hence the most varied. One cannot
use the same strategies for all situations. Combat is a very dynamic, fluid process,
and varies wildly depending on the characters and monsters involved. Combat is
accomplished completely through the mouse, with 4 macros selecting spells (the
rest from the menu) a left click swings the equipped weapon while a right click will
cast the selected spell. Weapon choice can also have an effect on combat, and not
just due to damage range. Spells also "feel" different. The flash spell was designed
to be used when surrounded, and fires extremely fast. The fireball, on the other hand
takes a moment to cast, and is best used from a distance. Monsters also can be
resistant to certain spells, as well as certain weapons, and hence, one cannot master
an ultimate spell to destroy all monsters, or use a super sword on them all either.
Undead should be battled with blunt weapons, while demons seem to be most
susceptible to a sharp blade.

Story of Diablo
The kingdom of Khandaras has fallen into chaos. An unknown force of evil has
swept across the land, plunging it into civil war and terrorizing the populace. A mad
king, his missing son, and a mysterious Archbishop are all pieces to the puzzle that
faces you. You have journeyed to the source of the evil, the town of Tristram, now
inhabited by only a handful of survivors. The cathedral there is built over the ruins
of an ancient monastery, and now eerie lights and sounds are heard echoing through
its abandoned halls. Perhaps the answer lies within the remains of a forgotten past.


Hellfire is the first official Diablo add-on. It is based on the original Diablo code and
offers two new dungeons, a new character class, new weapons, armor, spells, potions,
monsters, quests, and a number of improvements to the standard Diablo interface. Hellfire
runs as an enhancement to the original Diablo, and not as a standalone "mission pack."
You'll need the Diablo CD to run the new levels, and it enhances single-player mode only.
There is talk of a future multiplayer patch, and although multiplayer hack programs
exist, officially this is a single player game only.

Hellfire improves the existing Diablo levels, while also adding original areas and
items. Players can now select the difficulty level for single-player games. In
nightmare mode, the creatures gain increased armor class and resistance, as well as
three times their normal health plus another 100. Rewards are also increased; you
gain 10 times the experience you would normally gain and 10 times the gold. In Hell
mode, the creatures are further strengthened, and their health is double that in
Nightmare; but likewise, the rewards are doubled. Characters
have the choice to zip around town at double speed using the 'jog' setting, or can keep
the slower 'walk' pace. Griswold the Blacksmith will offer different items each time you
visit, based on your level and the stock already in your inventory. New shrines have been
added to the church and catacombs, and new spells are available to be learned. And, of
course, there are new monsters to face.

On first impression the town may seem unchanged, but on investigation a new resident,
Lester the Farmer, and two new structures are present. The first structure is a small dome
down on the south side of the town below Farnham the Drunk. The second is a new grave
in the churchyard. These will become the entrances to the two new sets of levels,
the Festering Nest and the Demon Crypt.

Hellfire's quests revolve around a powerful demon known as Na-Krul. A creature who once
served as Diablo's chief minion and strongest ally, Na-Krul and his cohorts were
banished to the Nether Realms when he incited rebellion among Diablo's minions. Freed
by an evil sorceror, Na-Krul has set up command in the ancient Demon Crypts and has once
again marshalled his plans to destroy Diablo and rule Hell for himself. Gathering
together a small army of never-before-seen monsters, Na-Krul now poses a threat nearly
as deadly as the mighty Diablo.

The Story of Hellfire
Not long ago, before the betrayal of Archbishop Lazarus and the freeing of Diablo,
a Dark Mage was seen on the outskirts of Tristram. Many claimed that he often lurked
near the cemetery at night. As this skulking figure did not appear to harm the graves,
the townspeople left him alone. But then, one evening, a thin smoke came drifting
from the soil, as from a smoldering fire. An orange glow from below lit up the tombstones,
and someone thought that he saw the Dark Mage descend into the earth itself. The smoke
dissipated, the glow faded, and the cemetery was still. Whispers of evil sorcery
and necromancy filled the tavern gossip for a while, but were soon forgotten as King Leoric
grew madder and other troubles plagued the town.

Shortly before the Hero came and descended into the depths below the Monastery, the ground
began smoldering again in the cemetery. A passing traveler told of spying a cloaked
figure fleeing from the smoky site. Splattered with a thick, glowing substance, the
Dark Mage ran to the river and crossed the bridge, where he collapsed. To the traveler's
unbelieving eyes, the stained, glowing body of the mage seemed to dissolve and melt into
the earth, the soil greedily soaking up the remains.

Alarmed, some of the townspeople investigated the area by the river. To their dismay,
they found an unclean, alien growth near the spot where the Dark Mage fell. A hard,
dome-like shell sat in the center of the large atrocity, impenetrable and bizarre.
Since a small meteorite had fallen and exploded at this same location years earlier,
it was now a place not only to be avoided, but also to be feared. The people pitied
the poor Farmer whose land was affected, and many were concerned for his sanity, as he
had taken to talking to his cattle for hours.

Disturbed and filled with dread, the people of Tristram have lately had many tragedies
befall them. Signs of evil and chaos are everywhere, and the odd events by the river and
in the graveyard are only a few of the many horrors that they have to contemplate.
It is their hope that the Hero can unravel these mysteries, as well as defeat
the Lord of Terror, Diablo.

Return to Diablo Hellfire Page

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HELLFIRE is a trademark of Sierra On-Line/Synergistic Software.

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Last modified: May 6, 2005
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