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Video Game: Diablo
aka: Diablo II

Stay a while and listen.
Deckard Cain

Note: This page is for the first two games. Diablo III has its own page.

An isometric 2D Hack and Slash game series from Blizzard Entertainment. Notorious for having an elaborate backstory and plot that nobody ever follows concerning a war between Heaven and Hell. As a sort of simple graphical roguelike, the pursuit of the perfect randomly-generated equipment and character build to satisfy one's inner Munchkin gives the game tremendous replayability.

The first game is essentially a huge dungeon crawl, consisting of 16 levels of increasing difficulty under the old cathedral of Tristram, the only town in the game, where various NPCs provide you with quests, healing, and equipment. The player has three characters to choose from - Warrior, Rogue and Sorcerer. The goal is to reach the Big Bad, Diablo, in the very bottom level of the dungeon and kill him. The non-canonical third-party expansion pack Hellfire added eight new separate levels and four new quests (a quest to kill another Diablo-esque baddy in the crypt near the church, a quest from Lester the farmer, a cow quest and a quest to retrieve a teddy bear) as well as three more characters (Monk, Bard and Barbarian), though you have to enter a special edit to a text file to get the last two of those quests and the last two of those new characters.

The second game follows the storyline, which ended with the protagonist of the original game implanting Diablo's soulstone into his own forehead (it's implied that it was the warrior). Despite remaining in a resolution of 640x480, it brought numerous gameplay improvements. It has five player characters - Barbarian, Necromancer, Amazon, Sorceress and Paladin. It is broken into four acts, each with its own town, and has six quests per act except for Act 4, which has only three. The expansion pack, Lord of Destruction, added an improved resolution of 800x600, two new characters (Assassin and Druid) and Act 5, in which, after defeating Mephisto and Diablo in the original game, the player confronts Baal, the last of the three Prime Evils.

The third game in the series, Diablo III, was announced in June 2008 and was released on May 15th, 2012. Trailers for it are on Blizzard's homepage.

Meanwhile, the developers of the first two Diablo games, Blizzard North, resigned en masse and formed "Flagship Studios", which continued to produce Hack and Slash games, specifically Hellgate: London and Mythos. After Flagship folded, the same people formed "Runic Games", which produced Torchlight. All three titles can be considered Spiritual Successors to Diablo; they certainly all play similarly.

See also Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance and its spiritual successor Champions of Norrath. A character sheet is in the works.


This game series is the Trope Namer for:


It also provides examples of:

  • Ability Required to Proceed: In Hellfire (an expansion pack to the original game), you cannot reach the insect hive until the farmer character knows you well enough to talk to you about his problems (and then to give you the explosives you need to create an entrance to the hive).
  • The Abridged Series: Diablo 2 Abridged.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: In the second game, the pace of experience slows down to a crawl by the mid-80s. A handful of people do reach 99, but it takes an insanely long time. Most characters will have attained optimal skills long before this. This is because shortly after it was released, Diablo II ended up with hundreds of Level 99 Hardcore Barbarians on Battle.net, much to the chagrin of the game designers who were certain reaching level 99 in Hardcore (where dying even once permanently ended your game) was impossible. Several nerfs to the signature Barbarian skill (Whirlwind) were applied, only for other game-breaking abilities to be uncovered in other character classes. Finally, they simply applied a patch that set all experience gains for level 80 or higher characters to be 1/10th normal, all past level 90 to be 1/100th normal, and past level 95 to be 1/1000th normal (most non-boss enemies, even on Hell difficulty, give only one experience point per kill at that level). By mathematically guaranteeing that players would need to kill 10 enemies per second, 24 hours a day, for nearly a year to go from level 98 to level 99, they finally succeeded in killing off interest in attaining the maximum level.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewers under Lut Gholein. Averted somewhat since there are passageways that are tiny and cramped and will only allow one character to move forward at a time. The sewers under Kurast are larger still.
  • Action Girl: The Amazon, the Sorceress, the Assassin, the NPC Rogues.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: In Diablo 2, a market developed in trading items between players: but the game's "official" currency, gold, quickly became worthless due to inflation as most items were valued at more gold than a character could ever carry or transfer. Instances of a particular rare magic item, the Stone of Jordan, became the unofficial currency.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: In the world of Diablo most of the magical equipment you come by (barring some made using ancient relics) was forged by the demons for use in their wars. The events of the first game created a bustling trade from adventurers dredging the items up from the demons of the cathedral, while most traders in Diablo III admit to getting their goods by stealing, looting corpses, or digging them out of the ground.
  • An Adventurer Is You: The original game emphasized solo-play more than group play. The warrior was not a tank, but just a Mighty Glacier, the sorcerer was a Squishy Wizard, and it was a Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards situation. The rogue was an archer and Jack of All Stats between the other two. The second game was still geared for soloing, but was better PVP Balanced, and classes edged closer to traditional MMO archetypes, while having absolutely nothing to do with normal party roles:
    • Barbarian - Scrapper-type DPSer, Tank
    • Amazon - DPSer of any of the three types, depending on what skills you choose
    • Sorceress - Nuker, but woefully dependent on Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors considering you could only master one element
    • Necromancer - Petmaster or Nuker or Mezzer, depending on your choices
    • Paladin - DPSer, DPSer/Healer, or Healer, depending — the most team-oriented Class in the game, groups of Paladins could be far more powerful than groups of any single other Class.
    • Druid - Melee DPSer, Petmaster or Nuker, depending
    • Assassin - Ninja/Scrapper DPSer, but could choose to learn Traps.
  • Affably Evil: "I shall take your position into consideration."
  • The Alcoholic:
    • Farnham the Drunk from the original game, a comedic character who actually had a tragic side to him; he had to watch most of his friends get slaughtered during a raid in the dungeons. He lost his mind and fell to drink soon after being one of the only survivors of those who followed the treacherous Lazarus into the Cathedral.
    • In the sequel, there's Geglash in Act II. While he is played for comedy, he is also an experienced fighter, and Atma notes that he has been drinking more than usual since the 'troubles' began.
  • Alien Geometries: In Diablo II, the Arcane Sanctuary area contains some quite Escher-esque geometry: platforms are supported by pillars that stand on other platforms which ought to be at the same height. The game gives the option of displaying in perspective (parallel lines converge at the horizon) or isometric (parallel lines remain parallel). In Arcane Sanctuary, the perspective option is disabled, due to it being impossible to draw.
  • All Deaths Final: The game includes a feature called "Hardcore Mode" that prevents any kind of resurrection. When a Player Character dies, that's it; they can't be brought back, and their save file can no longer be played.
  • All-Natural Gem Polish: Diablo II's socketed items can be fitted with gems of many grades, the lowest being Chipped and the highest being Perfect. The game also has the refining process present in the Horadric Cube.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • Background information for much of the series is not actually in the game, though you do get plenty of tidbits from NPCs. The Diablo manual contained most of the plot and backstories of all the races and units. This includes a very vivid description of a little boy being transformed into Diablo.
    • In Diablo II, practically any information about items in the game, such as Horadric Cube recipes, crafted item formulas and Rune Words, or even what's a magic/rare/set/unique item and their colors, are not explained in-game, and are explained here instead.
  • Almost Dead Guy: The dying villager at the entrance to the Church that begins the "Butcher" quest in Diablo. Since he'll hang on forever as long as you don't speak to him, and you don't actually need to speak with him to deal with the Butcher, some players simply ignore him in order to save his life.
  • Amazon Brigade: Diablo II starts the player out in the Rogues' camp (a reference to the female-only Rogue class from original Diablo). Everyone permanently living there is female, from the blacksmith Charsi to the matronly high priestess Akara to the guard captain Kashya. They're staying in the camp because they had been evicted from their monastery after Diablo's minions took over and mind-controlled half their numbers, whom you fight throughout Act I, and who are also all female.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Oddly enough, it's not the actual Amazon class but the Female Barbarian, who (at least in concept art) looks like a buff version of Red Sonja.
  • Ambiguously Brown: The sorceress and the paladin in Diablo II.
  • Ancient Tomb:
    • In Diablo, the cathedral holds many free-standing stone coffins, many of which contain skeletons that will attack you. And then there is an entire level called The Tomb of King Leoric, which is not particularly ancient, but is still crawling with skeletons.
    • In Diablo II, Act II, the desert around Lut Gholein has the Stony Tomb and the Halls of the Dead. In the last section of the act, you reach the Valley of the Magi, which is lined with tombs.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • The Diablo Warrior. You know that somewhere during his voyage to the East, he realized that Diablo has more and more control over him, and that instead of seeking salvation, Diablo will make him free another Prime Evil.
    • Tal Rasha, deliberately having himself imprisoned with Baal's soul inside him in much the same way, intending to fight it inside him for all eternity.
    • Inarius the angel. Mephisto tore the wings from his back, sliced open his eyelids, and sealed him in a prison of mirrors. He's got nothing to do for the rest of eternity except gaze upon the reflection of his ruined form.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie:
    • At the end of Diablo, the hero defeats the titular boss and jams its soulstone in his/her own forehead to contain it. This results in the hero becoming the new Big Bad in Diablo 2. This was later retconned in Diablo 2 by saying that said hero was more or less mindraped into doing so.
    • It's uncertain how long Tal Rasha held out containing Baal this way, but considering the Diablo 2 expansion, it's probably safe to say that anyone who fights demons succumbs to this in some degree.
  • Angels, Devils and Squid: The series mainly focuses on the Angels and Devils, but some Squid are present in the novels, such as the dreamers, who are stated to come from a dimension beyond both Heaven and Hell, as well as whatever Trag'Oul is (although, he's more of a benevolent squid).
  • Animate Dead: Justified on the website. Evidently skeletons are actually dirt and bone dust held together by magic, rather than actual skeletons.
    • Revive is the Necromancer spell that turns corpses of monsters into your minions.
    • The Witch Doctor's Wall of Zombies spell in the third game.
  • Animorphism: Druids in Lord of Destruction can acquire the ability to turn into a werewolf, or the slightly-more-exotic werebear.
  • Antagonist Title: It even provides the image for the trope page.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • In Diablo II, when you die, you respawn in the nearest town with no equipped items or gold. To get your items back, you need to go back to where you were killed and recover your own corpse. This is often unfeasible, especially on higher difficulties, because the enemies that killed you are still hanging around your corpse and now you have no weapons to defeat them or armor to survive them. Thankfully, you can restart your game and your corpse will appear in town with all the items intact and only the gold gone. This was a consequence of not having this option in the first Diablo in multiplayer mode. Imagine your prized gear on the floor surrounded by monsters right at the entrance of the level waiting to chomp down on you.
    • The sequel also introduced running and the ability to highlight items on the ground.
  • Anti-Grinding: In the first game, each floor had a finite number of enemies, limiting experience and item acquisition. Although it's obvious fast enough that you can still grind by starting a new game with the same character, resetting the entire dungeon bosses and all.
  • Anyone Can Die: In Diablo II, the town of Tristram from the previous game is revisited but it has been destroyed and the townspeople slain, what's more the original heroes of the first game have been corrupted and have to be killed, with the Warrior being possessed by Diablo himself. Even the narrator of Diablo II (Marius) is killed in the end. When Diablo III was announced it was hinted that some of the heroes of Diablo II have been driven insane by their ordeal and so it could be possible to have to kill some of them too.
  • Appendage Assimilation: Radament from Diablo 2 is a mummy whose limbs were replaced with animal parts so he can be more effective at fighting graverobbers. The fact that he started collecting and assimilating human limbs to reconstruct his body is the first sign that something has gone very wrong in the eastern deserts (i.e. Baal has been released).
  • April Fools' Day: Deckard Cain GPS voice pack.
  • Arabian Nights Days: Lut Gholein, a desert city with this motif.
  • Area of Effect: Diablo and Diablo II feature lots of spells and effects with a circular hit radius, like Nova and its counterparts of other elements (including Diablo's Fire Nova), the Sorceress's Static Field (drops every nearby enemy's HP by a direct percentage), the Necromancer's Corpse Explosion and curses, the Barbarian's Warcries (both the buffing and de-buffing ones), and the Paladin's auras.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The Countess from Diablo II. With her pools of blood, she is loosely based on the Real Life Countess Elizabeth Bathory.
  • Armor and Magic Don't Mix: In a roundabout way. A character's ability to wear a piece of armor (aside from level and any specific class restrictions on an item) more often than not depends on how many stat points are in STR. The result is that the 'pure' mage classes (wizards in the first game, necromancers and sorceresses in the second) can't wear the heaviest armor because the player has likely put most of their stat points into INT. In other words, they can't wear the armor because they're squishy, and they're squishy because they train their minds more than their bodies. Additionally, the first game gives wizards the lowest STR cap of any class, further restricting what armors they can equip.
  • The Artful Dodger: Wirt from the first game, who deals in illicit goods and has perhaps the saddest backstory of the entire first game.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Hirelings in Diablo II clearly fall into this trope. While the enemy AI is okay, the ally AI is definitely not. Hirelings don't seem to understand basic concepts like "I should use that door just a few steps from me instead of trying to walk through the wall", they have the annoying habit of exploring all the whole time in a world where just walking a few metres triggers a new wave of dozens of enemies... And monsters by the Necromancer are even worse, as getting too far from them (and they aren't good AT ALL at following you) makes them disappear. After numerous reports of necromancers getting stuck in a corner by their minions, Blizzard added an Unsummon skill to remove them when needed.
  • Artistic License - Economics: Diablo 2 had a big problem in that gold coins were so easy to obtain in large amounts that the multiplayer economy was unwilling to accept them as a currency. The economy turned to barter and finally started using Stone of Jordan rings which were valuable enough and rare enough to be used as a currency for high value items. Later on various runes were used as an alternate currency.
  • Ascended Glitch: Diablo II 's Hammerdins. Basically, Blessed Hammer is a nigh-useless spell on the non-spellcaster Paladin. Due to some bug, Blessed Hammer's damage was boosted by the Concentration aura (which should only be boosting physical attacks). This created the Hammerdin, making a Blessed Hammer/Concentration combo a viable character build (with the right equipment, of course). Blizzard made sure it would continue to work properly in subsequent patches. Incidentally, this made Hammerdins into one of the strongest builds in the game (some would argue the strongest) and is a huge gamebreaker. Technically the bug was fixed in the expansion, then put back in on purpose.
  • Ascended Meme: In Diablo there was a fan spoof of a hidden cow level that did not exist. It shows up in Diablo II. That prompted a number of fan spoofs, including a secret bunny level in the hopes that they would show up in Diablo III.
  • Attack of the Monster Appendage: In the Diablo II expansion Baal can summon a trio of tentacles to harass the player during the final battle.
  • Attack Reflector:
    • The Paladin has a "Wall of Thorns" ability that reflects a certain percentage of damage back to the attacker.
    • There is also a Necromancer curse called Iron Maiden that causes enemies to be damaged by their own attacks. It also multiplies the reflected damage. Unfortunately for players, enemies can use it as well.
  • Autosave: The second game seems to autosave after some time has passed, as well as when leaving the game.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Diablo has a LOT of spells that are cool but useless. Town Portal can be learned as a spell, but you're very likely to find a scroll anyway. Couple that with the fact you have to learn it multiple times to reduce the mana cost to reasonable levels (especially for the Warrior) and, well... Likewise, Healing is a lot less useful than just slugging back a potion, and the unique ability each class has will see use only on the far side of never. Telekinesis has no redeeming qualities whatsoever (you can just walk up to the items, and being able to push a foe back a square is more than inadequate for the amount of mana it costs).
      • Don't underestimate Telekinesis. It is useful if you're playing under multiplayer rules (death = all items drop to the floor) and you have to extract your precious items from under the noses of the monsters that killed you with those items on and will most likely kill you again without them, over and over until they swarm the only entrance to the level.
    • In Diablo II the druid's Armageddon spell causes a rain of meteors to follow you, but the meteors hit randomly and do very little damage compared to the sorceress ones. The entire martial arts tree of the assassin is spectacular to watch but does next to no damage.
      • The higher level martial arts spells look downright awesome (And CAN be devastating with synergy bonuses from SEVERAL other skills), particularly Phoenix Strike. But, Phoenix strike does mostly elemental damage- which most enemies have ludicrous defence against in Hell difficulty!
      • Diablo II suffered this with many, many skills for every class:
      • The Barbaran can pull the Bad Ass trick of dual-wielding throwing weapons. This has only been successfully utilized by a select few individuals for Player vs Monster or PvP due to how limited one's choices for dealing consistent damage with them are.
      • The Sorceress' awesome-looking Lightning Storm is Exactly What It Says on the Tin but even maximum-twinked damage from it is relatively pitiful compared to more boring utility lightning skills. The multi-headed Hydra spell is a fireball-shooting stationary turret that does little damage at maximum and most monsters are immune to fire anyway. She can also activate a skill that leaves fire in her wake wherever she walks that when used, even if you again take max-twinked damage into account, is effectively cosmetic.
      • Then again the majority of skills in the game are not viable for Hell difficulty and each class has only 1-2 usable builds max (out of 30 skills). Class balance just wasn't particularly important in '99.
  • Ax-Crazy: Every hero from 2.
    • Equip a Barbarian with an axe (or two). Cast Berserk. or Frenzy. Literal example. Ax, crazy.
    • Really, every hero from 1 as well. By the sequel, the first game's Rogue is Blood Raven, the Sorcerer is the Summoner, and the Warrior is the Big Bad (though they were all corrupted by demons to some degree).
  • An Axe to Grind:
    • Choosing the Barbarian from the character select screen in Diablo II will prompt him to let out a yell and start grinding an axe while you choose his name. His starting inventory includes an axe.
    • Diablo II also introduced one-handed axes that the Barbarian can use with a shield or in each hand, while the first game only had two-handed axes. Axes have more consistent damage output, with higher minimum but lower maximum damage than swords and maces.
  • Badass: Any character who dives into hell and makes it his/her own blood soaked parking lot deserves special mention. Especially single handed.
  • Badass Beard: Possible explanation for the Monk's Bald of Awesome.
  • Badass Boast: In Diablo II, just before you're about to fight Diablo; "Not even death can save you from me!" He's right.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Diablo ends with the Big Bad successfully convincing the hero to make a Heroic Sacrifice and become the can to seal the evil in, which in Diablo II proves to be a Senseless Sacrifice. Diablo II ends with the successful Evil Plan of the Bigger Bad. In the expansion, the new Big Bad manages to corrupt the Cosmic Keystone enough to force the protagonists to destroy it. However, this paves the way for Diablo III because the keystone was the only thing preventing a full-scale demonic invasion. Notice a pattern yet?
  • Bad Powers, Good People: The Necromancers are an order devoted to maintaining the Balance Between Good and Evil, but because Hell has the upper hand 90% of the time, in practice most of them are strictly heroic.
  • Bad with the Bone: There were wands, helmets, and shields made of bone plus socketable demon skulls. All particular favorites of the necromancer class.
  • Bag of Holding: The Horadric Cube is four inventory spaces outside, twelve inside.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: The necromancers base their actions on the notion of a Balance. The novels attempt to (not always successfully) play with this. In one book, the villain is a necromancer who points out that all the necromancers do is fight evil, which doesn't adhere to the concept of a Balance. The hero of the book, another necromancer, continues to fight him, but doesn't bother to explain why he's wrong. In another book, the Balance is interestingly defined not as Good and Evil, but Good and the absence of Evil. It's explained that light and dark are not necessarily good and evil, and while the balance tipping to evil would mean torment, the absence of evil would lead to stagnation. One additional point to consider that the Balance is sometimes portrayed (though not described as) not as being between good and evil, but making sure that neither the angels or the demons of the series gain too much of a foothold in the world, as both are jerks. It just so happens that at the time of the second game, the "evil" forces are much more overt in screwing with mortal reality, and only one angel is bothering to do something.
    • Apparently the books make it more confusing than the game. In-game materials and the guidebook make it clear that necromancers are True Neutral or even Chaotic Neutral. It's just that when the world is completely full of Always Chaotic Evil demons, and there are not one but three Satan Expys running loose, True or Chaotic Neutral is right there side by side with Lawful Good.
      • This a running theme with Neutral alignments in everything, and mentioned in more than one flavor text description of the Neutral alignments in D&D. In general, even characters utterly devoted toward neutrality and balance will almost always side with Good in the end, especially if the forces of Evil are strong enough. Rarely is there an instance of the opposite occurring, unless the good guys are going the Well-Intentioned Extremist route or the Neutral characters lean more towards Evil themselves. It's often stated that Neutral characters begrudgingly admit that Good-aligned characters make slightly more manageable neighbors, as opposed to their much more unpleasant cousins.
  • Bald of Awesome: The Diablo II Barbarian.
  • Baleful Polymorph: One of the runewords in Diablo II has a chance of turning the user into an undead pigmy skeleton.
  • Ballistic Bone: The Diablo II Necromancer class can shoot Bone Spears and Teeth.
  • Barbarian Hero: The Barbarian is available as a character class in Diablo II.
  • Barbarian Tribe: Act 5 of Diablo II had you helping a friendly version. Barbarians were even a choosable class.
  • Batman Gambit: In Diablo II, the fallen archangel Izual reveals that :the Dark Exile, the capturing of the Prime Evils in soulstones and the plot of Diablo I was a Batman Gambit planned by the Prime Evils and himself. This is no doubt a retcon, though.
  • Battle Aura: The Paladin character has literal auras of various types which can be shared with his allies.
  • Battle Trophy: In II, after a victory in PvP mode, you win the ear of your foe.
  • The Beastmaster: Diablo II Druids can summon wolves and ravens, among other things.
    • It also has Necromancers, who have an archetype called the "summonmancer", they are generally held to make better pure summoners then druids (Druid summons are mainly for support).
  • Beating A Dead Player: The first game, but not the sequel.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: King Leoric went from a righteous and noble king to a bloody-handed madman and eventual undead abomination by the time that Diablo and his Evil Chancellor Lazarus got through with him.
  • Bedlam House: The rendered cinematics of Diablo II (but not Lord of Destruction) take place in a Bedlam House style of sanitarium, where the inmates are whipped and tend to scream a lot. The Archangel Tyrael "visits" to interrogate a man named Marius about how he'd gotten caught up in the events of the story. The twist is that it's not Tyrael, but Baal. He burns the asylum down behind him as he leaves.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: In the lore, the angel Izual was captured by the forces of evil and tortured until he became evil. After you kill him he reveals that he was Evil All Along, and was the one who kicked off the 'Soul Stone' thing with the direct intention of helping The Three.
  • Big Bad: Diablo, the Lord of Terror, is the Big Bad of the series that bears his name, though in Diablo II, he shares this status with his two brothers, Mephisto and Baal, as the "Prime Evils."
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal, the Three Prime Evils. Diablo is the Big Bad in the first game and at least the Final Boss in the second, and Baal is the Big Bad in the expansion, while Mephisto is an intermediate boss in Diablo II, but for the plot as a whole (if anyone notices it) they are equals. They seem to be loyal to each other too (well, they are brothers). The third installment makes it explicitly clear that the Prime Evils are willing to work together so long as it suits their individual agendas, but that Hell has never really posed a serious threat to Heaven before because the Prime Evils have never been able to resist the temptation to stab each other in the back a bit too soon.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Diablo II has scores of them.
  • Big Good: Tyrael.
  • Big Red Devil: Guess who?
  • Bizarrchitecture: In Diablo II, act II, the Arcane Sanctuary consists of many paths and stairways with Unlikely Foundations (actually, no foundations at all).
    • It's basically an entire level designed by M.C. Escher. Go down stairs to a level which then passes over the one you were just on, etc. Surprisingly doesn't hurt your brain as much as you would think it ought to.
  • Black and Gray Morality: See Light Is Not Good. With a few exceptions, the forces of Heaven have little to no regard for humanity. At best, they see them as pawns in their war against Hell and at worst they want to completely wipe out Sanctuary because it is part demonic.
  • Black Cloak: Tyrael is a brown cloak, and oddly enough, he's one of the good guys.
    • Although the brown-cloaked figure seen in the cinematics is actually Baal pretending to be Tyrael. And he's definitely not one of the good guys.
    • And there's the Dark Wanderer, dressed similarly in almost black, although he doesn't much bother to hide his face with the hood. Maybe because it's not his, anyway.
  • Black Mage: The Sorceress in Diablo II.
  • The Blacksmith: Griswold in Diablo I. Followed by several in the second game: Charsi, Fara, Hratli, Halbu and Larzuk.
  • Bladder of Steel: You cannot pause Diablo 2 when playing online, as with most multiplayer online games. This becomes especially rough when you play "hardcore", where when you die the game deletes your character.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: The Assassin class in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction specializes in katar-type weapons.
  • Blade on a Stick:
    • The cows in Diablo 2 's Secret Cow Level wield halberds bardiches.
    • The Amazon class can also wield spears and javelins, which can only stab, thus avoiding Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship with a spear. Also, only Javelins can be thrown. The other polearms in the game, on the other hand, always slash.
  • Blatant Item Placement: Diablo II, besides having equipment that Randomly Drops, has beneficial shrines and healing wells that can be found even in the Chaos Sanctuary, Diablo's lair.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation:
    • The Spanish version of Diablo II had several with the names of the monsters and items:
      • Unraveler — Desenrredador (Untangler)
      • Claw Viper — Garra Viperina (Viper Claw)
      • Overseer — El que todo lo ve (The one that sees everything)
      • Hollow One — Hueco uno (Hole #1, as if we have a hole or hollow labeled "number one")
      • The Necromancer Head items — Translated as "Leader", so you got things like "Leader of the Zombies", "Leader of the Untanglers", and "Leader of the Demons" (Hey, isn't it Diablo this one? You've already won the game!)
      • And the infamous Great Poleaxe, translated as "El Gran Pollax", with literally means "The big cock". This, combined with the suffixes and prefixes, may lead to things like "The hard big cock", "The relaxing big cock", and such.
    • The French version translated the Eldritch Orb as "Orbe d'Eltrich", as in "Eldritch's Orb", probably having no idea what 'eldritch' means.
      • Still can work, as you can translate it "Orb of Eldritch" which, while cumbersome, can work.
  • Blood Bath: One monster in Diablo II, dubbed "The Countess" in reference to Elizabeth Bathory, is described as having "bathed in the rejuvenating blood of a hundred virgins" in the tome that initiates her quest. And her room in the old tower contains a basin full of (still fresh-looking) blood.
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows: Early on in Diablo II, you have to battle demons in the Rogues' Monastery Cathedral, which Andariel has turned into an outpost of Hell.
    • The first half of the first game revolves around working your way down through a cathedral's basements and catacombs.
  • Bloody Bowels of Hell:
    • Hell in the first game consisted of what seems to be bony walls filled with blood. The Nest in Hellfire was even more organic, but less infernal.
    • Averted in Diablo II, where some parts of Hell look like islands floating in the void. Other areas have the classic rivers of flame.
  • Bloody Murder: The Necromancer has the Blood Golem skill as part of his Summoning skilltree.
  • Blow Gun: Diablo II has pygmy enemies that uses blow darts to attack.
  • Boastful Rap: Bind Those Keys by Amerigo Vespucci. Yep, an actually good fan song about Diablo II.
  • Bodyguard Babes: According to the Diablo II manual, the succubi enemies in Lord of Destruction are Baal's personal harem. Given that you'll fight a few hundred over the course of Act V, Baal is clearly a pimp.
  • Bonsai Forest: Diablo II has rather short trees. It may be justified in the first half of chapter 1 and chapter 5 due to them taking place in moors, stony fields, marshes and tundras where the growth of trees is naturally poor. Chapter 3, however, doesn't have that excuse since it takes place in a rainforest.
  • Bonus Boss: Über Diablo. Lilith. Über Izual. Über Duriel. Beating the last three gets you items that take you to Über Tristram where you can fight Über Baal, Über Mephisto, and Pandemonium Diablo (who is even more Über than Über Diablo). There's a lot of them.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The Cow Level in Diablo II (and the Hellfire Expansion Pack for Diablo), inserted as a response to a rumor from the original game that such a place existed. Later, the 1.11 patch introduced an elaborate Pandemonium quest with several bonus dungeons.
  • Boobs of Steel: How the Amazon in Diablo II can move around without her assets getting in the way is truly something. Other females in the series are more realistically endowed.
    • See also Breast Plate for the same Amazon.
    • Lampshaded in one of the dialogue options with Larzuk.
  • Border Patrol: In the offline version of Diablo II, if you walk out of the area where your current quest is at and try to walk into a new area your character hasn't been told to go to yet, you will be immediately attacked by a large swarm of higher-level creatures. This is especially difficult for the Necromancer Class, as their Summoned Help likes to wander around, sometimes into these dangerous areas, which invariably brings down the wrath of the developers.
  • Boring Return Journey: The games usually have some variant on this. All three feature the Town Portal spell which lets you return to base and then go right back to where you left off.
    • Diablo was linear, and all took place underneath the same town. Every now and then you'd find a secret passage that took you right back to the surface.
    • Diablo II had Waypoints which allowed travel between them, but only a few per Act. Optional dungeons usually required walking back out, and since you had probably killed everything on the way in it could be tedious.
  • Boss Banter: Most Bosses in Diablo II say a specific phrase when you first meet them. As do three bosses in Diablo I (the Butcher, the Archbishop, and Diablo himself):
    "AH, FRESH MEAT."
  • Boss Dissonance: Diablo 2 does both kinds. Act 1 and 2 have bosses that can chew you up in the matter of seconds if you blink. Especially Duriel, who's not only super tough and super fast, but you must also fight him in a small chamber that doesn't even leave any room for strategy, so if you're playing a ranged character, you can kiss him goodbye. In Acts 3, 4, and 5, the Elite Mooks and their leaders that you need to fight before facing the boss are MUCH harder than their infernal masters. Mainly because when facing the boss, all you really need to do is dodge. In hell difficulty, act bosses and superuniques without minions are usually much easier than normal uniques and their minions since act bosses don't get extra boss modifiers and immunities.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing:
    • The Oblivion Knights in Diablo 2 and the minions of Destruction in the expansion. The first acting a lot like a boss would: commanding large armies of minions while bombing you with powerful attacks and curses, while the second is powerful enough to take out a player character 1 on 1. Yes, both are normal creatures. God help you if you meet a unique variant (and you WILL). Luckily, they only appear directly before the boss battle of their respective acts.
    • Interestingly in the first game, Diablo himself, the final boss of the game, is treated as a regular mook known simply as "The Dark Lord".
  • Bottomless Magazines: In Diablo II, quivers hold an utterly ridiculous but finite number of arrows (350 arrows in the same amount of inventory space as a short sword). The Amazon skill Magic Arrow creates arrows out of Mana and completely removes the need for a quiver. One unique bow, aptly named Endlesshail, has the property that it fires Magic Arrows as its default attack and does not cost any mana.
  • Bow and Sword in Accord: Your warrior in the first game ought to hang on to a bow in case he gets a chance to shoot anything through a portcullis. (Most enemies can't open doors.) For the Rogue, this is much more important, as if she's caught at close range she needs a sword and shield to defend herself.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: This is what the entire gameplay of Diablo 2 is about. The game goes something like this: make a new character. Beat Normal difficulty. Farm some items and levels before continuing. Beat Nightmare difficulty. Farm some items and levels before continuing. Beat Hell difficulty to complete the game. Proceed to grind a specific dungeon/boss hundreds of times looking for powerful items. Trade those items for even better items. Level Grind to 99 by doing a different dungeon/boss hundreds of times. Continue grinding for items. Trade more. Perhaps buy some for real money off third party item sweatshops. Eventually after many many hours you have the best and most optimal item setup for your character, with which you can... grind for items even faster.
  • Brain Food: Apparently the Zombie family of Undead monsters in the verse want to eat brains. If you don't attack them, and they don't see you, they will occasionally mumble "Brains...".
  • Breakable Weapons: An item keeps all its characteristics intact until it reaches zero durability, at which point it instantly becomes useless, but can still be repaired. Diablo II: Lord of Destruction added three special cases: Ethereal items, which are more powerful than regular items but have lower durability and cannot be repaired, the Indestructible attribute found on some unique and set items as well as regular magical items with the "of ages" suffix and finally the Zod rune (but good luck finding it). In the first Diablo, using the repair skill at lower levels would fix the weapon, but lower its maximum durability number, meaning it would need fixing again sooner.
    • In Diablo 1, items reduced to Zero Durability are destroyed, making low durability items like the Thinking Cap very tedious to use. However, there were shrines in the game that raised maximum durability, and making use of the Thinking Cap item (which had 1 durability) to start with, almost required exploiting these shrines.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: The hero of the first game winds up with a case of The Virus, since the only way he could come up with to utterly stop the Lord of Evil was to shove a chunk of it into his face. The hero of Diablo II figures out a better way... and hits it with a hammer.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Hell Tristram and the super version, Chaos Tristram. They require items you have to fight Hell difficulty act bosses to maybe see. And this isn't the only stage in the process...
  • Building of Adventure: The series tends to have these. The original had all its action take place in the Tristram Cathedral and its various basements. Diablo 2 had the Rogue's Monastery.
  • Burning Rubber: In Diablo II, the sorceress has a spell called "Blaze" which literally leaves a trail of fire wherever she walks.
  • The Butcher: "Aaaah, Fresh Meat!"
  • The Caligula: King Leoric of Khanduras was once a just and noble king, but was driven mad by Diablo's attempt to take him over. When his Evil Chancellor, Archbishop Lazarus, kidnapped his youngest son Albrecht to be made a vessel for Diablo, Leoric lost it completely and fell into this trope's territory, having many people tortured and executed, up to and including his own queen, out of paranoia, an event that would come to be known in Tristram as "the Darkening." Leoric was slain by the captain of his army, Lachdanan, who could no longer bear to see his people suffer under his liege's madness. Unfortunately for Lachdanan, his knights, and Tristram, the story did not end there.
  • Cannibal Larder: The Butcher's room.
  • Canon Name: While Diablo II hints at the fate of the three possible characters from the original game, it only explicitly states that one of them (hinted to be the Warrior) became Diablo, and Blood Raven, the Rogue (maybe), is the only one given an actual name. The Sorcerer from the original game also reappears in the sequel, where he's called the Summoner (more of a title than a name, but that's as close as a unique identifier as we got). Diablo III states that the warrior of the first game is named Aidan.
  • The Casanova: The second game indicates that Deckard Cain was this in his youth. He says about Anya being like some Zakarum priestesses he had known. He also says that they did not have to take vows of chastity. Do the math.
  • Cast From Hitpoints:
    • A unique curse that Baal and some of his succubus minions cast causes players with more mana than health (i.e. most spellcasters) to use up health instead of mana when using their abilities, essentially forcing them to cast from their hit points.
    • The Paladins "Sacrifice" skill plays it straight
  • Cat Girl: Jaguar Women enemies, and variants.
  • Celestial Body: Trag'oul, a dragon/deity in the lore, is described as a dragon whose entire body is made from stars, and who bears the world on his spine.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The series seems to be riding on this. Despite its immense popularity, Diablo II was sometimes derided for not being as dark and edgy as the first game. In the books as well, the mood can range from as dark and edgy as the first game to surprisingly goofy. On the other hand, whatever funny moments the series can prevent it from getting too dark.
  • Chain Lightning: This shows up several times in the series.
    • The original game has a spell that is called "Chain Lightning" but isn't actually chain lightning. Instead, it shoots piercing lightning bolts at all enemies within range for massive damage against tightly packed enemies.
    • An ability of the Sorceress in Diablo 2.
    • "Proc-ing" items that give X chance to cast X level Chain Lightning upon Attack/Striking/When Struck.
    • Multi-Shot Lightning Enchanted Boss. Thankfully, that quirk of MSLE monsters have been addressed from v1.10 onwards.
  • Chaos Architecture: The labyrinthine catacombs to Hell with their dead ends and lava caves under the cathedral in Tristram in D1 weren't built that way. They were perfectly normal catacombs that just happened to imprison a Prime Evil, who took over. When you go back to Tristram in Diablo II, it's mostly the same, though the bridge is ruined so you can't get across the river. Even Wirt's body and Cain's cage are in roughly the same place the characters were in the original game. In Diablo 3, however, the locations of a number of structures change places from where they were in D1.
  • Character Class System
  • Charged Attack: In Diablo II, a separate tree of Assassin skills is devoted to this—charging with these skills, then releasing with a normal attack. Effects vary from life and mana leech to area-affecting Elemental Punches, and can be applied all at once.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Similarly, the Barbarian is described this way in a number of places. Most fitting is the natural resistance skill, which helps the barbarian resist several types of magic damage, and is said to come simply from surviving tough environments.
  • Cheap Gold Coins:
    • In Diablo II and III, a gold piece is the tiniest unit of currency in the game. Level 1 monsters routinely carry up to 10 gold pieces (which they drop on the ground when you kill them). Vendors are willing to pay you 2 gold pieces for a damaged club (basically a broken stick). By level 10, you'll be carrying around (and paying) thousands of gold pieces.
    • In the second game, between players, the gold piece was even more devalued than it was with vendors. While a vendor might pay 140 gold for a single low-quality gemstone, already a pretty silly exchange, you'd have a hard time convincing a player to part with a single chipped gem even for all the gold he could physically carry (several hundred thousand).
  • Cherry Tapping:
    • Using a wand or a staff or other melee weapons as a Necromancer or Sorceress.
    • The Telekinesis spell, particularly in Diablo I, is the ultimate way to cherry tap your enemies.
    • The Sorceress does have access to a spell that adds substantial fire damage to any ranged or melee weapon, potentially turning any weapon (or even her bare fists) into a harbinger of fiery doom. Likewise, the Necromancer, when equipped with any dagger, can perform a special stab that causes incredible poison damage over time.
    • A very obscure Barbarian build for PvP is based around using a poison damage buffing wand in each hand along with an AoE Whirlwind attack and an inventory completely full of powerful poison damage charms. The result is slaying other well-equipped players while holding what looks like two venomous forks.
    • One forum member at the inc.gamers Diablo 2 fan site tried to make a Boxer build with the Barbarian class, aka no weapon at all. Punching always does 1-2 damage in-game, so he had to rely on percentage-reduction damage bonuses. Needless to say it was very item-dependent and, as he admitted, very boring due to how repetitive it got.
    • In the spirit of the trope, though, one player tried to play through the game using nothing but the Sorceress' weakest, most basic spell.
    • The Amazon, in Diablo 2, is said to be able to beat Diablo with a broken short bow on Hell difficulty.
    • And the Druid can have his ravens peck the Big Bad to death. It only takes about 30 minutes of realtime for Normal difficulty...
  • The Chessmaster: In Diablo II, most of the plot and background involving apparently fluctuating fortunes for all sides in the conflict between the Burning Hells, the High Heavens, and the humans in between, including significant losses for the Three Prime Evils Diablo, Mephisto and Baal along the way, turns out to have been all part of the long-term plan of the Prime Evils themselves.
  • Chewing the Scenery: The voice actress Lani Minella is no stranger to huge portions of Large Ham. Listen to her voice acting as Adria.
    Adria: "The Butcher IS A SADISTIC CREATURE..."
  • Choice of Two Weapons:
    • It's a fairly good idea to have this set up, at least in the first game. Warriors occasionally find themselves needing to shoot at something (or, in the case of enemies trapped on the opposite sides of portcullises, want to pick enemies off at a distance.) A rogue often finds herself needing to resort to hand-to-hand if fast enemies are encroaching, so having a sword and shield and the strength to use both available helps. Straying out of Bow and Sword in Accord and into Magic Knight, magic is helpful to the rogue as well, though the warriors maximum magic is so low that its barely worth his while. The sorcerer is pretty damn awful with both bow and sword, but its worth giving him a bit of strength and a light sword and shield in case he runs out of mana (True, you might be screwed if this is the case, but it's better than nothing).
    • This became vastly simpler to manage in the sequel's Lord of Destruction expansion pack, which added two extra weapon/shield slots that could be toggled to and back with a single keypress (as well as providing more Inventory Tetris space, natch).
  • Chokepoint Geography: In Diablo II, the only way out of Khanduras (Act I) to the Desert of Aranoch (Act II) is through the Rogue's Pass, a narrow monastery pass through the mountains defended previously by the Sisters of the Sightless Eye and presently by the hordes of hell.
    • Instead of having to go all the way through the monastery, there is a set of portculli that wagon caravans like Warriv's presumably take. The REAL mystery is how they got through The Underground Passage, a network of narrow, twisting caves just before the monastery.
  • The Chosen Many: In all the games, all of the classes are canonically involved in the quest, regardless of which one the player chooses, though the player never meets the others in a single-player campaign.
  • Chupacabra: The first game has a Scavenger-type boss monster named El Chupacabras.
  • Church Militant: The Church of Zakarum has the paladins, who were founded to protect the monks who were meant to spread the religion. For some reason, the kind, generous, armed knights were more inspiring to the populace than the monks. They faded from view once Zakarum no longer put a lot of effort into converting people, only to make a comeback when the Prime Evils started attacking the mortal world, and Zakarum decided to start converting again. This time, anyone inconvertible was deemed evil and killed. A small band, including any paladin player characters from Diablo II, chose to go rogue, and directly confront the Prime Evils. They later discovered that the church they served was corrupt, and had to face several enemies that were themselves examples of this trope.
  • Circle of Standing Stones: Diablo II has one of five stones that must be hit in a certain order to open a portal to Tristram.
  • Class and Level System: In Diablo and its sequel, you select one of several different character classes, but how you develop the character is up to you. In the first game, leveling up gives you five stat points you can add to your strength, dexterity, life or magic however you see fit. In Diablo II, you also get one skill point with each level, and can add it to any accessible skill on one of your skill trees.
  • Clowncar Grave: The infinitely annoying mummy sarcophagi. The official website says that they were never designed as a resting place but instead as a way to guard the tombs and that the fake mummies are artificially created whenever an intruder is detected.
  • Cobweb Jungle: In Diablo II, parts of the Spider Forest in Act III.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The bad guys are quite fond of this. Act I of Diablo II has you going through the Rogue Monastery, which has been taken over by the evil forces of Andariel, the Maiden of Anguish. Those Rogues who didn't become demons can be seen dead on various torture devices throughout the monastery, and judging by the state of their bodies, what happened to them was not pleasant.
  • Color-Coded Stones: In II, you could find the six gems that are explained in their description, each with the colour that it's said in the description. What's more, adding them to Socketed Equipment gives it a glow of the colour of the gem, and some of them (to be precise, ruby, sapphire, topaz and emerald) are associated with elements, adding damage of that element in weapons and resistance to the element in shields (ruby is fire, sapphire is cold, topaz is lightning and emerald is poison). The other two (diamond and amethyst) aren't, though.
  • Combat and Support:
    • Diablo 1 's classes
      • Combat: Warrior
      • Balance: Rogue
      • Support: Sorcerer
    • Diablo 2 's classes
      • Combat: Barbarian and Assassin
      • Balance: Amazon, Paladin, and Druid
      • Support: Necromancer and Sorceress
  • Combat Medic: The Paladin is the closest thing to a 'healing' class in the game with his combat auras. And, ya know, Holy Bolt, which is actually a healing spell. Still, the game consciously avoided healbots.
  • Combat Tentacles:
  • Come for the X, Stay for the Y:
  • Compilation Re-release: The Diablo Battle Chest, which includes both the first two Diablo games and the second game's expansion pack Lord of Destruction.
  • Concept Art Gallery: The game manuals themselves for the two first games had pages of concept art and background stuck in between everything else.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: In Diablo 2, this works against the players. The more players are playing in the same game at the same time, the more powerful the monsters become — thereby making each player proportionately weaker than if he was playing on his own. With a good team setup, synergy means the players still come out ahead in that race.
  • Constructed World: Sanctuary.
  • Continuing Is Painful: Dying in the original Diablo results in you dropping all your items until you can get them back, provided someone else doesn't gank them in the meantime if you're playing multiplayer. In II, they're stored in a corpse that only you can loot, though getting to your stuff in either case can be a headache in itself, especially if you died to something really tough or a swarm of them.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Act IV's River of Flame.
  • Cooldown: Diablo 2 had the combination. Some spells were cooldown spells, some could be cast continuously. Unlike most games, if any cooldown spell was used, it would prevent all other cooldown skills from being used for the period, not just itself. Many skill setups in the game involved combining a cooldown skill with a fast casting skill.
  • Cool Sword: The angelic runeblade Azurewrath (which was mentioned in the first game's manual, introduced in Diablo II as a unique crystal sword, then later updated into a much more powerful phase blade) has been given an Awesome model for Diablo III.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer
  • Corrupt Church: The Zakarum in the second game, except for the PC Paladins. The Archbishop Lazarus was part of the Zakarum in the first game, although as an individual he qualifies as Evil Chancellor.
  • Cosmetic Award: Diablo II has several cosmetic awards. For completing the game a title will be put in front of your character's name, differing depending on the difficulty level and if you opted to played in the high risk "Hardcore" mode, as well as if you have the Lord of Destruction expansion pack. There is also a Bonus Quest where you get to fight beefed up versions of the three main bosses (the Ubers) all at the same time. Players who manage this feat are rewarded with powerful items, but also a "Standard of Heroes" item that serves no use other than a trophy. There is also a trophy ear you will get if you kill another player in PvP.
    • One of the expansion pack's later quests has the purely cosmetic reward of personalizing a single item by adding your name to it.
  • Cosmic Keystone: In Diablo II, the evil Baal tries to capture the Worldstone. He aims to corrupt it and turn the mortal world into a bastion of Hell. He pretty much succeeds. Tyrael is forced to destroy the Worldstone to keep Sanctuary from becoming part of Hell. Fortunately, destroying the Worldstone removes the seal on humanity's true potential as angel-demon hybrids (Sanctuary itself was created through an angel-demon union). Unfortunately, it also makes humanity a target for the fanatically anti-demon angels.
  • Council of Angels: The setting of Sanctuary in which the series takes place primarily concerns a war between demons from the Burning Hells and angels from the High Heavens. The demons are led by the three Prime Evils and the four Lesser Evils, and in the final book of "The Sin War" trilogy, a council of five angels referred to as the Angiris Council decide the fate of the world after the main conflict is over. The angels, by the way, are doing a really lousy job, but then they're kind of jerks anyway, the main exception being Tyrael, the archangel who cast the deciding vote for humanity to continue to exist.
  • Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: A magazine was trying to establish a link between the shootings at Columbine and video games. They used an interview with a survivor's family, while the survivor was playing the video game Diablo... which was described as "just shooting" and was punctuated by the survivor's character being blown up. The only shooting in Diablo is with a bow, and most of the time, your weapon is a sword or other melee weapon.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The main thread is a straight-up Crapsack World, but the tie-in novels show what it's like when it's not assaulted by Demonic Invaders. It's not actually any better, but it's better at hiding how screwed up it is.
  • Crapsack World: The world of Sanctuary. Well, technically the tie-in novels make it a Crapsaccharine World, but the games themselves focus on what happens when the veil's stripped away, followed three seconds later by the flesh off your skull.
    • The first game starts with the noble king of Khandruas going insane and being corrupted and his kingdom being destroyed. Then you have to kill the undead king, plus demons are killing people, the prince has been kidnapped and possessed. After 16 annoying levels you finally make it to the Big Bad, the title archdemon and beat him... except the prince is now dead and you just became Diablo's new, more powerful host. The second game lets you kill most of the Seven Great Evils... too bad it turns out they all end up getting revived, and the thing holding some semblance of stability over the world is destroyed. So horrible monsters are even more common. Did we mention there is no god and all the angels (except Tyrael...) are humongous jerkasses?
    • Humans get a vast power boost because of the destruction of the Worldstone. In the long run, there may be some hope. They're supposed to get stronger than demons or angels.
  • Crate Expectations: Wonderfully averted in Diablo II. There is (usually) one interactive crate in the entire game. One. Everything else is either a barrel, a jar, or some horrible hellish construction involving Nothing but Skulls.
  • Creepy Cathedral:
    • Tristram Cathedral, the site of the main action in Diablo. It's got 16 levels, each more horrific than the last, and they eventually take you to Hell itself to face the title archdemon.
    • The Chaos Sanctuary in Diablo II looks like a cathedral. The problem is, it's in Hell and it doubles as Diablo's lair. When all five seals are opened, the place glows red.
    • The Rogues' Monastery in the first act is this as well. It WAS a normal-looking cathedral, until Andariel and her demonic minions decided to take it over.
    • The Durance of Hate from the third act was a temple used to imprison one of the Prime Evils, Mephisto, who used the opportunity to corrupt nearly every Zakarum priest and turn them into demons.
  • Creepy Good: The second game allows the player to incarnate a Necromancer who uses bone-based spells, summons skeletons and golems made of blood, can use poison-based attacks, and has a liking for dark comments, but is otherwise a good guy.
  • Creepy Twins: Andariel the Maiden of Anguish and Duriel the Lord of Pain from Diablo II. Not only they're evil as FUCK, but they're also powerful demons. Andariel is the Disc One Final Boss, and Duriel is That One Boss.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: A few of the archetypes.
    • "Smiters" and "Kicksins" rely on combining high crushing blow (takes a large chuck of a foes HP) chances with high attack speed (to get crushing blow off a lot). They tend to be poor in non-boss non-PVP situations.
    • "Summonmancers" are considered by far the easiest class to solo the game with. They can not function at all in PVP unless you're able to perform a successful "tele-stomp" which involves teleporting yourself and all your minions onto someone and killing them with the combined might of their blows.
    • In Hell difficulty, every monster has total immunity to at least one form of attack. If you're playing a character specialized in that form of attack to the exclusion of all others, your life will be... difficult. Single-element sorceresses, and warrior-type characters who deal only physical damage, are the most common victims of this.
  • Critical Hit: Diablo II has both Critical and Deadly strikes. They serve the same "you do double damage" purpose, but come from difference sources- Critical Strike bonuses come from skills, while Deadly Strike bonuses come from items. However, success on one cancels the other (so there's no 4x damage). You can also get a chance of Crushing Blow from an item, which directly takes off a large percentage of the target's HP; gaining high crushing blow chances and a fast attack is how the Paladin "smiter" and Assassin's Kicksin archetypes function (they tend be a bit of Crippling Overspecialization, only worthwhile on bosses/duels).
  • Crosshair Aware: The Meteor skill in Diablo II places a flaming bullseye on the ground where the meteor will impact. While this applies both to the monsters' and players' meteors, monsters aren't bright enough to know they should avoid standing on a big flaming target.
  • Cross Player: The two first games have a specifically-sexed sprite for each character. Want to zing fireballs around? You've got to play as a female Sorceress. Want to summon the dead to do your bidding? All necromancers are male, sorry. Diablo III, however, has moved away from this trend by allowing players to choose their gender for all classes.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Though the tenets of the religion aren't gone into much (or at all), the architecture and appearance of the various figures makes the similarity rather obvious.
    • The novels expand on the tenants of Zakarum a little more, and it's typical Christian stuff such as forsaking evil in your heart, as well as preaching gentleness and forgiveness. More cynically, the church is also said to be very open to donations.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: Blizzard celebrated the release of a long awaited patch for Diablo 2, with a wallpaper featuring the Chaos Sanctuary frozen over, and Diablo himself leaning over a campfire to keep himself warm.
  • Cut and Paste Environments: The series prides itself for its randomly generated dungeons, and apart from a few carefully-constructed areas (boss levels, the last parts of final dungeons, towns etc.) it manages to avoid this trope completely.
  • Cutscene: The games are renowned for having, at the time of their release, very well-done pre-rendered animation.
  • Cutting Off The Branches: The series contains a minor example of this. The first game allows you to choose one of three characters to play, a male Warrior, a female Rogue, and a male Sorcerer. After defeating Diablo, this character embeds his soulstone into his or her forehead in an attempt to contain Diablo forever. It doesn't work, and in the sequel the hero is possessed by Diablo, becoming the game's villain. Although never explicitly stated, it is pretty clear that the Warrior is canonically the one who did so, as the character is male (unlike the rogue) and white (so not the sorcerer). If you look very carefully you can find hints about what happened to the Rogue and Sorcerer, but they clearly didn't do as well as their meat shield buddy, if "possessed by Satan" can be considering doing well. It is implied that the rogue and sorcerer go on to become minor bosses for earlier quests (Blood Raven and The Summoner respectively).
  • Cycle of Hurting: The original game has this in spades. Getting hit with enough damage will stun you (or an enemy) and you can get stunned repeatedly which leads to a stunlock. Avoiding stunlock is pretty much the basis of all warrior's strategies, and is important to ALL chars. If you do get stunlocked, all you can do is mash healing potions hoping for a chain of misses. Meanwhile, your equipment was taking damage along with you, could break completely in just a few seconds once the durability alarm appears, and once broken would vanish forever. But then this is the game where clicking the wrong shrine takes away mana permanently and some monsters cause permanent life damage, so it's fair.
    • On the bright side, this makes even the boss fight against Diablo a cinch. To elaborate: monsters can get stunned by spells they are not resistant to, usually dooming them because the cast speed of any character that wants to cast spells exceeds the hit recovery speed of the monster, but past the midgame just about everything is indeed resistant (or immune) to everything. Well, except Diablo himself, who for some reason is the only non-undead in the whole game that can be hit by the lowly Holy Bolt spell. And Holy Bolt deals pure damage that cannot be resisted...
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: Amplify Damage in II reduces the target's physical resistance, as do some other skills. Of course, enemies have similar abilities as well...
  • Damage Over Time: Lots of abilities and effects deal their damage slowly, poison being the most common.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Izual, first boss encountered in Hell, from Diablo II.
  • Dare to Be Badass: In Diablo II, Tyrael berates Marius for freeing Baal, telling him that he must find the courage to undo his mistake. He doesn't.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Necromancer in the 2nd game, who sees raising undead as a necessary evil for the greater good is, going by his commentary, at worst an Anti-Hero. The official website states that his own purposes are often aligned with those of the forces of Light. He may be on to something, as the years he's spent in the crypt studying the dark arts make him much more likely to resist being corrupted by Diablo's evil like the heroes of the first game. You even find his apprentice in a random event in Diablo III, carrying on his master's legacy of using necromancy for the greater good, and he comes across as being rather noble.
    • According to the manual his order are masters of keeping themselves level-headed and strive for perfect balance. He is on the side of good simply because evil is in danger of winning. In other words, the trope is played perfectly straight; Dark may not be good, but it sure as hell isn't evil. (Unless the angels somehow get the upper hand...)
    • The manual also states that the fact that they don't fear death and they seek only to maintain balance means that they're the only mage clan that has never been corrupted by demonic influence.
  • Daylight Horror: Diablo II mostly takes place under the sunlight (when it's not Beneath the Earth), including a desert territory brimming with undead buzzards and demonic locusts. Diablo I is always night (and the action is entirely Beneath the Earth).
  • Dead Character Walking: This game had one of these bugs; though it's long since been fixed (1.04), if your disc is old enough you can see it anyway by uninstalling and reinstalling your game.
  • Deader than Dead: ALL the Prime and Lesser Evils.
    • Subverted. They are simply trapped in the Black Soulstone and are now enslaved by Malthael. Arguably, this may be a Fate Worse than Death for them.
  • Deadly Lunge: Diablo 2 has some skeletons walking around slooowly with very long swords, and suddenly slashing at you. And they rise again after being defeated.
  • Death Activated Super Power: Various monsters in Diablo II have devastating "cast upon death" abilities. The player characters can acquire some of those, too, a great aid in retrieving your own body.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Diablo II — Ah, good old "You have died. Press 'ESC' to continue." Yes, you lose some experience points and money, but they are relatively easy to get back. Hell, when you are playing on normal difficulty level, you do not even get the experience penalty.
    • There was always the hardcore mode, which made the game a bit more similar to its roguelike ancestors and made death permanent.
  • Decapitated Army: Diablo II does this in Act 3. When you kill the high council the Zakarumites will no longer attack you and flee in fear.
  • Deceased and Diseased: There are mummified undead enemies in Diablo II which release a cloud of toxic corpse gas when defeated.
  • Deconstruction: The series as a whole is one to Heroic Fantasy. No matter how hard you fight, no matter how many hellspawn you slay, the Great Evils will always be one step ahead of you, your actions will, more often than not, help them with their goals, and they will always succeed in their plans and get what they want, even in death. Always.
  • Defensive Feint Trap: "Pulling".
  • Degraded Boss: In the first game.
    • The Butcher is an Overlord demon and a challenging boss early on, but later you can dispatch countless Overlords who are even stronger, albeit without the cleaver.
    • Zhar the Mad appears halfway through the game as a boss. Dark mage type enemies resembling him are later found in the final Hell levels.
  • Dem Bones: Diablo II, of course, with both enemy and summonable skeletons.
    • The original and sequel both have skellies as foes, but you couldn't summon any in the original.
    • The summonables are quite strange, in that you can assemble a (human) Skeleton from the corpse of any monster, up to and including giant spiders, pygmies, ghosts, small rat-like creatures, swarms of locusts and other skeletons. If you were wondering where the Ludicrous Gibs come from...
  • Demonic Possession: Why won't this game not have one if its title itself is a dead giveaway?
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: The Seven Great Evils, which you will be spending the entire trilogy either killing or foiling the plans of:
    • Andariel is the first of the Lesser Evils you kill in Diablo II. She is the Maiden of Anguish and specializes in mental torment.
    • Duriel is the second Lesser Evil you kill in Diablo II. He is the Lord of Pain, and specializes in physical torture.
    • Belial is the first of the remaining Lesser Evils you fight in Diablo III. He is the Lord of Lies and specializes in disguise, illusion and manipulation.
    • Azmodan is the last of the Lesser Evils, and Hell's premier military commander. He is the Lord of Sin, and commands a group of lieutenants who embody human vices.
    • Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred, is the first of the greater Prime Evils you take down in Diablo II.
    • Baal, the Lord of Destruction, is the second of the Prime Evils, and is actually fought in the expansion pack of Diablo II. He's the one responsible for what happens to the Worldstone.
    • And last but not least, Diablo himself, the Lord of Terror, the last of the Prime Evils and the Big Bad of the entire series. You kill him no fewer than three times in the series (four times if you count Uber Diablo in the Diablo II expansion), and in Diablo III, he becomes Tathamet, the original Prime Evil from which all the Great Evils originally sprung, reborn.
  • Demon Slaying: You will be doing this a lot in this series.
  • Devil but No God: Averted. There isn't a devil either. In Hell you have the Three Prime Evils and their four lieutenants, and in Heaven you have the Angelic Council. Sanctuary itself was created by a relationship between an angel and demon.
  • Diabolus ex Machina:
    • The first game ends with you killing Diablo and ramming his soulstone into your own head so you can contain him with your mind. It did not work so well. In fact, Diablo possessed the hero and used his power to strengthen himself so he could escape the dungeon and revive the other Prime Evils.
    • The second game ends with you killing the last of the three Prime Evils, Baal, just after he corrupted the Worldstone, the thing that keeps the demons out of the world. Archangel Tyrael goes for the lesser of two evils and destroys the corrupted Worldstone; the one you've fought so hard over to protect.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The whole point of the games. There's quite a contrast between the end of the first game, where it doesn't really turn out that well in the end, and the second game, where you mow your way through all three of the Great Evils, along with over 9000 of their minions, and pretty much anything else that inconveniences you.
    • Lampshaded in the third game. According to backstory, humans actually have potential to be even more powerful than angels and demons. That's also a reason why the demons are messing with human world in a first place.
      • Also there is in-game achievement "Punch Diablo".
  • Die, Chair! Die!: Also infamous for destructibles is Diablo II, where a broken crate could drop money, items, or even spawn an enemy.
  • Difficulty Spike: Diablo II:
    • The game has a dramatic change as you go from Nightmare to Hell difficulty. The effectiveness of just about everything is reduced to a quarter, your resistances plummet to a base of -100, and almost every single monster is not only resistant, but entirely immune to a particular element (often when the monster had zero resistance to anything in either of the previous difficulties) while gaining additional resistances to one or nearly all attributes. The immunities are a particular problem, as it's very possible for your character's skills to be focused on only one form of damage if you didn't know about the problem beforehand.
    • It deserves special mention that some monsters possess immunity to physical damage. I.E, melee attacks don't work. Speaking of bosses, there are three randomly generated per normal level in hell difficulty as opposed to one in normal plus their flock of minions is deadlier too.
    • Less dramatic is Act IV of the game, when you invade Hell, featuring a jump in monster difficulty - suddenly homing, mana draining missiles, etc. Then of course there's Diablo himself.
    • The battle with the Ancients is far harder than the the battle with Baal, the final boss.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: Diablo II uses this for many skill bonuses, such as Dodge giving you an 18% chance to dodge with the first point, but quickly tapering down to less than 1% bonus per point by level 20. This type of balance wound up turning many skills into "one point wonders." Just put a single point in the skill, and the "x all skills" bonuses on your equipment end up giving you just as much of a bonus as actually maxing the skill would have in the first place.
  • Disadvantageous Disintegration: In Diablo II, freezing your enemies and then shattering them is nice unless you are a necromancer, who needs intact corpses to fuel some of his spells.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Diablo II was divided in four acts. One final boss per act. In act 2 you're expected to kill Baal before he can escape his prison, but run into a giant bug called Duriel instead. Diablo is the final boss of act 4, but the expansion comes and Baal turns out to be the true final boss of the game instead.
  • Disc One Nuke: Diablo II:
    • The game allows you to trade between your characters online. One neat trick is to make Khalim's Will, which is usable by characters of any level (because it's a quest item) and provides obscene amounts of damage for most if not all characters below level 25 (when you acquire it, you're generally around level 21-24).
    • Enchant Skill, while normally a relatively useless sorceress skill that adds fire damage to a target's weapon, with incredible amounts of + skills, can get fire damage added up to somewhere between 3000 and 9000. It's still somewhat useless by the time you can get it there barring a very specific build. However, joining a normal game and giving that much damage to a character in normal mode essentially means anyone can go through the whole of normal one or two-shotting every monster with a regular short bow. To put it in perspective, Diablo only has 14,000 HP on Normal (though fire resistance does factor in) and Baal, the boss of the expansion only about twice that. The most a regular enemy has is about 3000. Makes early level grinding in Hardcore a breeze.
  • Discount Card: Diablo II, Act 2. After killing Radament in the sewers beneath Lut Gholein, Atma the tavernkeeper tells the player she's asked the other vendors in town to give you reduced prices on goods.
  • Doesn't Trust Those Guys: Among drunkard Farnham's words of wisdom: "I've never seen [Adria the witch] eat or drink, and you can't trust somebody who doesn't drink at least a little." Well...
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Diablo is a case with both player and monsters suffering from this. But some special move are a combination of move and attack.
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: Diablo II. The Druid class has a few egregious examples, but the most offensive is the Hurricane skill, which is one of the Level 30 tree's-end techniques. Plainly, it summons a frickin hurricane that you then walk around in. Not only are you completely unharmed by it, neither are your allies. Enemies are not sucked in; instead, anything that comes into contact takes significant damage and dies. The lore says the druid is unharmed because he is in the eye of the cyclone. Also interesting are the actual Tornado and especially Twister spells: the latter produces three tornadoes that are so tiny as to miss targets two druid lengths in front of you, and getting hit only stuns you for a fraction of a second. The former correctly deals damage around it, where 'around it' is defined as the size of a large monster, and because it deals damage over time it cannot even interrupt monsters. This spell set goes nicely with the waist height volcano, but it is no surprise the sequel features Energy Twister, a tornado of whirling magic!.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Diablo II: Marius finds himself venturing into the tomb of Tal Rasha alongside the Dark Wanderer, eventually finding the shackled mage in the flesh. Before the Dark Wanderer can release him, Tyrael involves himself and the two duke it out. Marius approaches (under the belief Tal Rasha wants to be released from his miserable fate), only for Tyrael to call out to him not to do it. Marius doesn't listen.
    Tyrael: Fool! You have just ensured the doom of this world. You cannot begin to imagine what has been set in motion this day. Go to the Temple of Light in the city of Kurast. There you will find the gate to Hell opened before you. You must find the courage to step through that gate, Marius! Take the stone to the Hellforge where it will be destroyed. Now run... Take the stone and run!!
  • Doomed Home Town: Tristram.
  • Doomed Protagonist: The ending to the original game has your player character, after defeating the title archdemon, sticking his soulstone into his or her own head to attempt to contain his evil. Come Diablo II, this turns out to have been a very bad idea, and not only did the player character become the new host for the Lord of Terror, but the others were also corrupted by the other Evils and your new protagonist has to kill them.
  • Door of Doom: Diablo has this in spades. Lets you go to hell with horrors at the other end.
  • Door To Before:
    • Diablo 1 has these for each of the 3 latter areas, the Catacombs, the Caves, and Hell.
    • Diablo 2 has the Waypoints which act just like this, but are explicitly magic, justifying the trope some.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: In Diablo II, the Amazon and Assassin both have abilities like this. The Amazon can create an illusion of herself and summon a real spirit warrior to aid her; the Assassin can summon a shadow of herself with somewhat reduced skills, or a more powerful version at higher levels with greater skill levels.
    • Baal himself can do this in the expansion. Thankfully, he can only make one copy.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: Baal from the Diablo 2 expansion pack Lord of Destruction does this when you face him. His clone dies much faster than he does.
    • The only visual difference between the real him and the clone is the clone's type listing is slightly offset instead of centered, which allows players to know to target him first.
      • Or they can attack the copy, who is worth just as much XP as the real Baal.
  • Downer Ending: In the first game your character is corrupted by Diablo's soulstone and becomes one of the sequel's Big Bads. The sequel ends with Tyrael destroying the Worldstone, which is apparently the only thing holding Sanctuary apart from Heaven and Hell. Diablo III subverts that ending by revealing that it was a very good thing Tyrael destroyed the Worldstone.
  • The Dreaded: Diablo, the titular antagonist of the series. Appropriate, given that he's the Lord of Terror.
  • Drop-In-Drop-Out Multiplayer: Diablo is almost MMORPG-like, with players able to join and leave at will, form into parties, and the game even applying Dynamic Difficulty to compensate for the extra players.
  • Drop the Hammer: Diablo II. Mace-class weapons include Warhammers, Mauls, and Great Mauls, plus their Exceptional and Elite versions. 50% more damage to undead, too.
    • And there's also the Paladin's Blessed Hammer skill.
  • Druid: Lord of Destruction features the Druid character class.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • In Diablo II, the Barbarian class is able to dual-wield any single-handed weapons, and use any two-handed sword in one hand (and thus dual-wield two-handed swords).
    • In the Diablo II expansion, the Assassin class is able to dual-wield claw-class weapons, and has a passive skill to use them as a shield while doing so.
    • The Bard had a crude form of it; they reused the Rogue animations so she's only ever shown holding one sword, but gets double damage and the ability to hit multiple enemies simultaneously when equipped with two.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: In Lord Of Destruction, the expansion pack for Diablo II, this is how you are treated by the Barbarians (and especially by the corrupt Elder Nihlithak) in the fifth and final Act of the game. You have just defeated the Lord of Terror himself, Diablo, not to mention previously defeating his brother Mephisto, and what do you get? Qual-Kehk says, "You have the look of a warrior. An extra soldier would be useful, but don't expect anyone to mourn if you get yourself killed." Nihlithak is a lot nastier. "After so many have died, who are you to think you can accomplish what our warriors could not?" And, "Ending the siege [will] not earn immediate respect, outsider. Respect only comes with sacrifice — something I'm sure you know nothing of." The worst from Nihlithak? "What are you still doing here? I thought you were going off to die. Go...Be quick about it."
  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: In the ending of the first game, after the hero has fought through hundreds of monsters and finally defeated the Big Bad, what does he get? He shoves Diablo's Soulstone into his own forehead, which causes him to become Diablo in the second game. Justified in that it is a Crapsack World where No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.
  • Dummied Out:
    • Half of the new monsters introduced in Hellfire (the expansion to Diablo) are just things that were dummied out in the original game.
    • There are several items dummied out of Diablo II— some apparently complete, but with the flag that allows enemies to drop them disabled.
  • Dump Stat: Energy tends to be looked down upon. There's only one, maybe two, builds where a guide does not explicitly tell you to never, ever put a point into energy.
  • Dungeon Bypass: As a game with randomly generated dungeons, it will occasionally end up generating a floor's exit right next to its entrance. You can't bypass the entire dungeon this way, but you pretty much end up bypassing that floor. One speedrunner takes advantage of this feature to finish the first game in a matter of minutes, by reloading every time the next floor wasn't laid out this way.
  • Dungeon Crawling: The series, which began life as a Roguelike which had you killing demons and undead in a sixteen-level dungeon and ultimately became the Hack and Slash series we know and love today.
  • Durable Deathtrap:
    • Diablo doesn't have many traps of the classic variety, but a common baffling feature of dungeons is skeletons inside barrels. Who put the skeleton in there? Why hasn't the skeleton broken out? If the skeleton put himself in there so he could ambush you, why does he always wait to show himself until you've broken open the barrel and the skeleton is directly in the path of your weapon?
    • The manual in Diablo I states they were people who were sealed in barrels to die. As for why they hadn't broken out and wait until you destroy the barrels...
  • Dying Curse: Lachdanan and his knights are cursed to eternal damnation by King Leoric, who they were forced to slay to put an end to his madness.
    King Leoric: Traitors! Even in death, the armies of Khanduras will still obey their king! Even if you will not...
  • Dying Town: Tristram in the original Diablo and the Kurast Docks in Diablo II.
  • Dynamic Loading: Diablo 2 has so called "Black walls" in multiplayer, but they only appear if there is lag. Without lag, the loading happens fast enough that you will practically never notice it.
  • Early Bird Boss:
    • The Butcher in the first Diablo counts as this. Early level players will get, well, butchered the first time they fight the dude, although fortunately you don't actually have to kill him the first moment you see his lair and you can wait until you're some levels higher. He can even be literally impossible for some characters when they first meet him, as he regenerates health too fast to kill.
    • One of the first uniques is a shaman who not only can resurrect the Fallen Ones under his command, but can also resurrect the shamans who can resurrect the fallen ones. Upon being defeated, he, like Fire Enchanted monsters, explodes and damages anyone in melee range.
    • Diablo II's Blood Raven is this. Honestly, unless you intend to grind past the quest (since it's optional) or play a fully populated game (simulated or actual) from scratch, it's unlikely you'll reach levels high enough to make those level 1 or 6 skills effective enough for Blood Raven nor acquire equipment significantly contributing to survival without twinking, as soon as the quest becomes available. By the time you are able to hire mercenaries without killing Blood Raven, you're probably high enough a level to be on comparable, if not greater footing with her anyway.
      • Speaking of the first two dungeons, The Cave in the Cold Plains (not Blood Moor once the Den Of Evil is done) contains a Super Unique archer pack that's Cold Enchanted. Archers generally cause a lot of grief because of their ranged capabilities, but this monster pack multiplies the damage of an already damage-enhanced monster through the use of minions. The Cold Enchanted property further acts as some sort of a force multiplier by allowing all in the pack to deal additional cold damage AND slow their target's movements. This combination makes for an encounter that makes Blood Raven seem like a cakewalk.
      • The super unique monster is called Coldcrow. Upon death, she flips you the finger like all Cold Enchanted monsters do, by casting a frost nova that's VERY damaging to characters who haven't been investing significantly in their vitality attribute. Woe to the one who doesn't replenish their HP right before they deal her the death blow.
  • Early Game Hell: The hardest boss in the first game is the Butcher, encountered at level 2 and quite capable of surviving all your mana potions and staff charges and killing you in two hits.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first Diablo was markedly different from its sequel and Diablo III. Aside from the expected differences in scope, lore, balance and gameplay features, the first game was much more survival oriented and featured several instances of Nethack-style permanent character damage. Shrine effects were irreversible and not all were positive, and there was a monster that would permanently reduce your maximum life. When you died in multiplayer mode, all your gear would end up on the ground and would be lost forever if you were unable to recover it. This would be unthinkable in the sequels which revolve around Min-Maxing character builds and Item Farming.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Boss fights in the series are often a lot more difficult than the areas before or after them. The Butcher in I Duriel in II are two good examples.
  • Elaborate Equals Effective: Used with the armors.
  • Elemental Armor:
    • Diablo 2 had three Frozen Armor spells, which allowed to create an ice armor with several extra effects.
    • Similarly, Bone Armor and Cyclone Armor that absorb physical and elemental damage respectively.
  • Elemental Crafting:
    • Diablo has this in a slightly unusual form; they have a rather standard set of metals and gems, but mechanically they're treated like any other magical item power, so an "Iron Short Sword" or "Bronze Dagger" is considered a magic item by the game. In the original Diablo, the useful metals are Bronze < Iron < Steel < Silver < Gold < Platinum < Mithril < Meteoric; the negative ones are Tin and Brass. Gems provide elemental resistances; Topaz < Amber < Jade < Obsidian < Emerald give across-the-board resistance to everything. The specific resistances are colors (Red and Crimson for fire, White for magic, Blue for lightning, etc.) at the lower levels, but become gems when more powerful; Pearl < Ivory < Crystal < Diamond for resistance to general 'magic', Garnet < Ruby for fire, Lapis < Cobalt (OK, it's a metal, not a gem) < Sapphire for lightning.
    • Diablo 2 adds even more (and changes the meaning of some of them, the 'blue' series (Lapis, Sapphire etc) become cold resistance, as that element was added for Diablo 2; as generic "magic" resistance was removed, Amber becomes Lightning resistance, and Jade and Emerald become Poison resistance (poison as an elemental damage type is also a Diablo 2 addition).
  • Elemental Powers: The basis of the powers used by the Mage Clans. The "traditional" Clans, exemplified by the Sorcerer of I and Sorceress of II, use Fire, Ice and Lightning. The Necromancer, also from II, uses Death (combines Necromancy, Blood Magic and Black Magic) and Poison.
  • Elemental Weapon: A staple of the games. They can come with elemental powers themselves or can be given some through socketing.
  • Element Number Five: In the novels by Richard Knaak, the necromancers consider Time to be the fifth element.
  • Elite Mook: Quite literally. Elite mooks basically have a different colored name, more hit points, some new powers, and drop higher loot. Otherwise, they're the same as their type. They also tend to be surrounded by a cadre of their type, which are normal except for a single buff.
  • Empire with a Dark Secret: The tie-in novel "The Kingdom of Shadow" centers around this, coupled with Crapsaccharine World.
  • Enemy Civil War: Two lesser demon lords made a pact to overthrow the three greatest ones in one civil war, and afterward they started another civil war between them.
    • And then it's revealed in Diablo II that the three greater demons masterminded the whole thing in order to get themselves exiled to the the human world.
      • In Diablo III, this is cited as the main reason why Hell, despite all its overwhelming power and the bureaucratic mess of Heaven, kept on failing to win the Eternal War. Tyrael explains that once, Hell almost won, but then the demon lords started bickering and lost what was supposed to be a final push. So basically, the demon lords are their own worst enemies, second in threat only to the adventuring parties. So when Diablo's master plan is to sacrifice hordes of mooks and superpower the adventurers, just to merge all demon lords into his new body, it works and all Hell literally breaks loose in Heaven.
  • Enemy Summoner:
    • Sand maggots in Diablo II which spit poison and lay eggs.
    • The aforementioned "summonomancers" can have a small army of skeleton minions, plus a merc and a Golem.
  • Energy Bow: The Amazon's Magic Arrow skill in Diablo II fires a bolt of mana that replaces the need for arrow quivers and does extra damage. A few unique bows have the special property "Fires level X Magic Arrow", meaning they shoot Magic Arrows as the basic attack and can be used with Strafe or Multishot.
  • Enough to Go Around: In online play, quests will yield as many MacGuffins as there are players completing them, even when said MacGuffins are one-of-a-kind items. Exceptions: The scroll with the solution to the Cairn Stones, the Horadric Malus and the Hellforge Hammer only drop once. Played straight with anything you need to advance the plot, but unfortunately averted with the Infinity Plus One Charms dropped by the Bonus Bosses. Except the Standard of Heroes. Figures.
  • Epic Flail: Diablo 2 has Khalim's Flail. It is a quest item that you get to make into a relic/artifact by transmuting/fusing it with its previous owner's brain, eye and heart. The resulting weapon had three chains attached to its handle, with metallic spiked skulls for the hammers. All in a day's work.
  • Escape Rope: Both of the games feature the spell "Town Portal", which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin, but leaves the door open for a return trip to the combat zone.
    • In the first game, it takes you to a specific spot in Tristram (sensible as it's the only town) and is a fairly low level spell that has the same effect no matter what your stats are, so even non magic-focused character builds could learn it. Scrolls would also drop fairly regularly.
      • The third party expansion Hellfire added the Warp spell, which teleported you towards the nearest stairs. At best, it was a free escape from whatever battle you were in, at least unless the game was killing you the way it usually did or a free ride across half of the map. At worst, you were back where you started and had to walk across half of the map again.
    • In Diablo II, it's no longer available as a learnable skill since the skill trees are now strictly segregated by class, but the game does include a compact storage system for carrying a large number of spell scrolls for this purpose. It always leads to the town of the current act. If you used one in the final battle vs. Diablo, he'd cast bone prison on it while you were gone, and you'd teleport into a trap.
      • A common multiplayer strategy was to use the portals of a party member instead of yours, as the portal would only disappear after its creator took it; teammates could use it back and forth as many times as needed. Thus one could make a semi-permanent teleport to an area with just two party members and two scrolls - and since portals are labeled by player, its rather easy to perform.
  • Eternal Equinox: Present in Diablo II.
  • Ethnic Magician:
    • The original game has a black sorcerer and two white warrior types as player characters.
    • Diablo II mixes it up a bit — the two distinctly non-white heroes are the Sorceress (a Squishy Wizard type with a haughty intellectual personality) and the Paladin (a decidedly non-squishy fighting priest type, complete with lots of analogies to real-world monotheistic religions). The Barbarian class is the only one that doesn't use magic of any kind, as his culture forbids it, and he is white.
  • Everyone Has A Special Move: The three player characters in the original game had unique special abilities (item repair for Warrior, trap disarm for Rogue, and staff recharge for Sorcerer), while basically sharing the pool of abilities they could theoretically learn. In Diablo II, each character essentially has their own unique special move trees.
  • Everything Fades: Diablo II leaves bodies populating the floor until the character leaves the area in order for certain spells and abilities to be useable (raising the dead, searching corpses and, particularly effective, making bodies explode to the detriment of those nearby). There are searchable bodies of never-seen alive NPCs which stay there forever.
  • Everything's Better With Cows: The Secret Cow Level.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: At level 30, Barbarians in Diablo II gain access to the Whirlwind attack. The in-game description of "Whirling dance of death" is sufficient enough to describe what that move is and does.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Certain monsters can resurrect the undead. In Act V of the second game, Reanimated Horde-type monsters have a random probability of resurrecting themselves, and can do so up to three times.
  • Evil Chancellor: Archbishop Lazarus was this to King Leoric of Khanduras. He was corrupted by Diablo long ago, and not only influenced him for the worse when the archdemon in question tried to take him over, but was responsible for many of the knights of Khanduras being killed in a war with Westmarch, the luring of many adventurers into the Tristram Cathedral to be murdered by the demonic Butcher, and the kidnapping of Prince Albrecht, Leoric's youngest son, to be a vessel for Diablo.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Every single Prime Evil is this. Diablo, Baal and Mephisto really love to Chew The Scenery to dust. Just listen to them speak, and even Zoltun Kulle is also an offender.
  • Evil Laugh: Seems that Baal finds many things funny.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: In Diablo II, the protagonist from the first opus, after defeating the eponymous Demon Lord, has put his soulgem on his own body in an attempt to contain his evil. As the game progress, Diablo takes over his body, gradually making him more monstrous until he turns back into the hideous Demon form Diablo used to assume.
  • Evil Smells Bad: In the first game, upon entering the catacombs, the main character comments, "The smell of death surrounds me."
  • Evil Sorcerer: The Summoner.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: No matter what game he's in, Diablo rocks the evil demonic voice.
  • Evolving Weapon: Lord of Destruction introduced several magic item properties that scale by character level, including bonuses to armor value, damage, and accuracy. Unfortunately, they're rarely worth keeping for very long, as something better will usually drop.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: In Diablo 2 if you click on a shrine labeled "exploding shrine", it... explodes. Same with poison shrines are poisonous.
  • Expanded Universe: A number of novels penned in the world of Sanctuary, including the Word of God canonized Sin War Trilogy starring the Sanctuary equivalent of Heracles/Jesus set thousands and thousands of years before the games take place.
  • Expansion Pack:
    • The original Diablo had an official expansion pack called Hellfire, but it was made by a third party and was pretty sloppy in quality.
    • Diablo II had an expansion, Lord of Destruction, where you traveled to the Barbarians' homeland of Arreat and fought Diablo's older brother (It Makes Sense in Context).
  • Experience Booster: The Experience Shrines in Diablo II provide a temporary boost to your experience gain rate.
  • Experience Meter: Diablo II has one underneath the player's HP vial.
  • Exploding Barrels
  • Explosive Breeder: Diablo 2: Some of the maggots, particularly the ones in hell, however, they don't have fast maturing rates, and the kids act much differently then the parents in terms of attack plans, making it more of a Mook Maker.
  • Eye Motifs: The seal of the Horadrim order includes what could be a pair of very stylised eyes, dripping, within a triangle.
  • Eye Scream: In the original game's intro, you see a close up of a crow picking out the eye of a decaying body. While not looking too realistic by today's CGI standards, that was a pretty unpleasant scene at the time of release.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: In Diablo II the unnamed protagonist is met with failure at every turn due to arriving ever so slightly too late to have stopped the villain from doing what they were trying to do.
    • Act 1: The hero arrives too late to catch Diablo in his new body and Andariel is successful in delaying his venture to the east to go after Diablo.
    • Act 2: The hero arrives in what couldn't have been more than a few minutes after Diablo got there and freed his brother, which is precisely what you were trying to stop him from doing. They leave Duriel there to delay the character's pursuit.
    • Act 3: You make it to Mephisto mere moments after he activates the power of the soulstones on his brother Diablo and opens a portal to hell for them to escape to, staying behind himself to delay the player's pursuit.
    • Act 4: You actually make it to Diablo and kill him before he does anything too terrible, but that's only because he wasn't actually trying to do anything to Sanctuary at that point. While you were messing around with Diablo in Hell, Baal amassed an army of demons and is now assaulting the Worldstone Keep to merge Hell with Earth and destroy humanity.
    • Act 5: Halfway through, you arrive just too late to interrupt Baal from getting an object that will allow him to walk right through the front door of the Worldstone Keep. You then get to Baal and - surprise, surprise - he doesn't seem to have corrupted the Worldstone yet. You fight him and defeat him thinking that you arrived just in time to stop the world from being destroyed, but wait! Tyrael then tells you that the mere act of Baal touching the Worldstone corrupted it completely, meaning that after the fight you find out that yet again you arrived too late, once again by mere minutes at the very most.
    • The entire quest you set out on in the beginning of the game turns into failure after failure. Sure, you destroy 5 of the most powerful evil beings in existence, but not before they succeed in doing the very thing that they set out to do in the first place. And let's not forget Diablo is using the body of the Warrior from the first game.
  • Fainting Seer: In Lord of Destruction, the seer of Harrogath, the home base for the expansion back, has her hair turn white, goes shrieking mad, and dies when she sees what's coming.
  • Fake Difficulty: Loads of it once you get to the aptly-named Hell Difficulty. -100 to all of your resistances, life and mana stealing is drastically reduced, minions and mercenaries are Nerfed beyond recognition, every enemy is immune to something (except act bosses, some really special superuniques, quill rats and hell bovines), massive experience loss upon death... the list goes on.
    • Arguably not "fake" since excelling at the various skills that the game demands (item collection, character building, etc.) allows you to overcome these penalties and then some. Well-made characters can exist quite safely in almost all areas of Hell. Particularly optimized defensive builds can literally be parked and left unmonitored for extended periods of time in all but the most dangerous of areas.
    • Pre-1.10 MSLE, and to a lesser extent, post-1.10 LEFE, LECE, or LEFECE monsters probably still count, though, since dealing any damage to them can mean insta-death.note 
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: The Wendigos in Diablo II are hulking, monstrous beasts over twice the size of a human. They are regularly beaten to death by level 1 characters using the weapons they start the game with. Their snowy counterparts on the other hand...
  • Fallen Angel: Izual, Inarius, Imperius, and probably others. The apparent lack of any Ascended Demons bodes ill for the fate of the setting.
  • Fallen Hero: All three player-characters from the first game wound up this way by the time of the second. The warrior became possessed by Diablo's soulstone, becoming the Dark Wanderer and eventually Diablo himself; the rogue...well, Blood Raven's her; and the sorcerer became the Summoner who's causing Lut Gholein a small hell's worth of grief. And possibly every hero from the second game has gone Ax-Crazy or some other form of loopy. Yes, the Paladin included. Or maybe not, if Diablo III is any indication.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Angel Imperius displays this in the Expanded Universe. Even Tyrael shared his prejudice before Uldyssian's Heroic Sacrifice showed him that humanity was capable of nobility and virtue.
  • Fantasy World Map: Sanctuary's a constantly changing place, though, since none of the maps looked like the other. The map, which is supposed to be of the same continent over a span of about thirty years, changes rather drastically from one game to the next.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Both Tal Rasha and the warrior from the first Diablo make the unwise decision to insert a soulstone containing a demon into their bodies. The end results were not pretty for either of them. Tal Rasha knew exactly what he was getting into and why, and the PC had been corrupted by Diablo himself, but it still sucked in the end.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: The series has Goatmen, which are actually demons and not related to either goats or humans.
  • Feelies: The Diablo II Battle Chest came with a similar set of goodies, including Diablo I.
  • Female Angel, Male Demon: Diablo has a picture of an female angel and a male demon for the health and mana orbs respectively. This doesn't apply to the characters on the other hands, as both Angels and Demons are shown have both male and female, with mostly male characters being portrayed for both. The backstory, on the other hand, inverts it with Star-Crossed Lovers Inarius and Lilith, with the former being a male angel and the latter being a female demon.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Played completely straight in Diablo, with the Warrior, Sorcerer, and Rogue, respectively. In Diablo II, the archetypes get expanded on and diversified, with the Paladin and Barbarian descending from the Warrior, the Assassin and Amazon descending from the Rogue, and so on. Most classes can be played as two or even all three types, though.
  • Final Death: Diablo II, already quite similar to roguelikes, offers a "hardcore" setting to players who have beaten the game, in which their character file is locked after a single death, and can no longer be played. (It's still there, though, and you can see a record of all your Hardcore deaths if you feel like keeping them. And cheaters can edit the dead character's save to restore them to life, good as new. But that's cheating. Cheater.)
    • Quoth the game manual:
    Note: Blizzard Entertainment is in no way responsible for your hardcore character. If you choose to create and play a hardcore character, you do so at your own risk. Blizzard is not responsible for the death and loss of your hardcore characters for any reason including Internet lag, bugs, Acts of God, your little sister, or any other reason whatsoever. Consult the End User License Agreement for more details. Blizzard will not, and does not have the capability to restore any deceased Hardcore characters. Don't even ask. La-la-la-la-la, we can't hear you.
  • Final Death Mode: Hardcore Mode allows only one life to your character — if you die, your character needs to be deleted.
  • Finger Wag: Baal in the opening cinematic of Lord of Destruction. The incredibly nervous elder representing Sescheron has just delivered a quavering You Shall Not Pass. Baal pauses for a moment as though he's genuinely thinking of turning his Army of Doom back down the mountain to find some other place to pillage... then promptly vaporises the elder's innards. He issues this trope along with the words "It appears your terms are not acceptable", cackles and lays waste to the entire town. A good time was had by all!
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: In Diablo II, a part of Hell is the River of Flame, which is classical fire and brimstone. Other parts of Hell include great, dark, ashen plains. This in contrast to the first Diablo which envisioned Hell as a land of bones, blood and mutilated corpses.
  • Fireballs: It has fire magic in it after all so that's almost compulsory.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: A few variants of this, but played completely straight by the Sorceress. One of the Paladin's powers adds all three of these to his attacks.
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Most of the actual story in Diablo II is narrated by Marius, a random person whom the Dark Wanderer (Diablo) takes along to carry his stuff or something. He is eventually given the task to enter Hell itself to destroy Baal's soulstone, ie. to actually do something, but understandably chickens out. What's interesting is that if Marius is seen as First-Person Peripheral Narrator, then the main character is Diablo, not the Player Character. But since the latter only runs around killing monsters and misses all the real story, even Marius himself seems more like the protagonist at times.
  • First Town:
    • The First Town in Diablo, Tristram, was in fact the only town in the game.
    • Diablo II had a more conventional starting town in the Rogues' Encampment, with many other towns later after you Get on the Boat.
  • Fishing For Mooks: A strategy in some cases as you do not want to go wading into large melees, the barbarians taunt can be used to lure enemies away from other enemies. This can help in defeating fallen shamans but is generally regarded as a waste of skill points (well, waste of skill point), arguably, though the ability to get basically any monster that does anything complicated or dangerous to stop doing it and instead walk right up to you and get its ass kicked is handy sometimes.
  • Flamethrower Backfire: In Diablo 2 bosses enhanced with fire damage will explode violently upon death.
  • Flaming Sword: Diablo II featured the Archangel Tyrael, who used a sword that burned with holy flames, before Baal wrestles it away.
    • The sorceress can also enchant weapons with fire. Of course, this ability is almost completely useless in solo play, due to their Squishy Wizard status. But with the right gear and Minmaxing, they can dish out 100k+ damage per hit turning them somewhat into Glass Cannons dealing more damage than just about anything else in the game.
      • Not that a sorceress's weapon actually appears to flame; it just turns bright red. Incidentally, there's actually unused flaming sword animations for the Paladin in the game files. And it does look as cheesy as one would imagine.
  • Flash Step: Played straight in Lord of Destruction, with the Assassin's Dragon Flight, which teleports to a target and kicks it. The Paladin's Charge attack is close, allowing a means to dance from place to place at (nearly) untrackable speed, even leaving the trail of afterimages. There's also an armor which allows any class to use the Sorceresses' teleport, which while not technically a flash step, does end up looking quite the same in duels...
  • Flavor Text: The games are full of Flavor Text.
  • Flesh Golem: Diablo 2 has blood golems, vaguely human-like flesh creatures created by necromancers.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: Evilly subverted. Azmodan pulls this with himself and his forces, sealing himself away until the heroes who defeated his fellow Prime Evils would be unable to stop him.
  • Flunky Boss: Diablo II has got unique monsters (and a lot of superunique monsters) which have several minions fighting alongside it. Also, Act I and III boss rooms are filled with normal enemies which can attack with the boss.
  • Flying Weapon: In Diablo II there are haunted scimitars. These may drop a normal scimitar when defeated, or merely shatter.
  • Follow the Leader: The series created its own genre called "Diablo clones" (Torchlight, Dungeon Siege, Untold Legends, etc.), was itself a graphical spin on another fine tradition in Follow The Leader, Roguelike games, of which NetHack is the most popular. As Diablo is the model of many MMORPGs open-world game that followed inn of MMOs and Diablo clones often incites accusations of Diablo killing the western RPG genre from fans.
  • Forced Level Grinding: Diablo 2 can be beaten without any level grinding at all. On the first difficulty setting. But if you haven't been, then good luck with Hell.
  • Foreign Language Title
  • Forever War: The ongoing war between Heaven and Hell, which is even called the Eternal Conflict. The period where angels and demons fought in the mortal realm of Sanctuary was called the Sin War, and it only ended when Uldyssian, a nephalem (one of the offspring of renegade angels and demons who were the ancestors of humanity), sacrificed himself for the sake of humanity.
  • Fourth Wall Observer: Malah in Lord of Destruction.
    "You knew it would eventually come down to this. Kill Baal. Finish the game!"
  • Friend in the Black Market:
    • This arises as a gameplay mechanic in an awful lot of video games (especially RPGs) where the shopkeepers expect the heroes to cough up the dough even when the world is about to end. After all, Adam Smith Hates Your Guts. It fits this trope more than Honest John as at least they sell you legitimate items. Except that little snotrag Wirt.
    • Gheed in Diablo II could qualify as this and Honest John. Warriv states that, while Gheed is greedy, his wares are beyond reproach, suggesting that he realizes that selling low quality goods means that people would stop buying from him.
  • Friend or Foe: The original game had friendly fire enabled.
  • From Bad to Worse: The series is basically a long love letter to this trope:
    • The first Diablo features the title demon lord driving King Leoric of Khanduras insane, bringing him back as a powerful skeletal demon, and then possessing his youngest son Albrecht. He then Mind Controls the hero of the first game, who it turns out is the King's older son Aidan, into sticking the piece of Diablo's soulstone into his own head.
    • By the time Diablo II rolls around, Tristram, the town where the first game was largely set, has been destroyed by the demons, with most of its inhabitants either dead or corrupted, and its only survivor, Deckard Cain, being tortured in every way by the demons. To make things worse, all three of the player characters from the first game didn't make it out of things in one piece — the Rogue was corrupted by Andariel and became Blood Raven, the Mage was driven insane by Diablo himself and became the Summoner, and the Warrior? As a result of sticking that soulstone into his own head at the end of the first game, he's become Diablo's new host. The heroes of the second game go Ax-Crazy at the end of the game with the exception of the Barbarian. When Diablo is defeated again, his older brother Baal corrupts the Worldstone, forcing the archangel Tyrael to destroy it to prevent it from being used to control humanity, obliterating Mount Arreat and a good portion of the surrounding barbarian homeland with it.
    • And now Diablo III. As a result of a star falling from the heavens (which turns out to be Tyrael, who after twenty years of reforming in Pandemonium following the Worldstone's destruction returned to the High Heavens only to be put on trial by his jerkassed peers who don't give a shit about humanity and decided to renounce his angelic status to aid humanity directly), a Zombie Apocalypse is going down in New Tristram. Several beloved characters from Diablo II, including Deckard Cain, end up dying either before or during the game. The demon cult that killed Cain ends up wreaking havoc across the deserts of Kehjistan, including the village of Alcarnus, before being taken down along with their master Belial. But then Azmodan learns about the Black Soulstone, which Belial and every major Evil you've killed during Diablo II were drawn into courtesy of Adria, the Witch of Tristram from the very first game, and decides to invade the mortal realm in order to retrieve it. All of this, however, doesn't hold a candle to Adria's betrayal at the very end of Act III, which sees her using the Black Soulstone with all seven Evils inside to bring about Diablo's rebirth as the Prime Evil, the embodiment of all seven of the Great Evils in one being, by turning poor Leah, the daughter that she had with Aidan when he was Diablo's host, into Diablo's new host. Diablo then proceeds to unleash Hell upon the High Heavens themselves, running roughshod all over the angels who don't stand a chance against the Prime Evil and spreading his evil supernatural corruption everywhere — and not even angels are immune to it! Only your Nephalem badassery is enough to stop him from extinguishing the Crystal Arch, the very heart of the Heavens, and casting both the Heavens and Sanctuary into darkness forever, though only time will tell whether or not we've seen the last of Diablo.
  • Geographic Flexibility: In Diablo II 's multiplayer, the wilderness areas outside of towns change shape everytime one plays.
  • Get on the Boat: You need access to a ship to get from Lut Gholein to Kurast in II.
  • Giant Flyer: The Suckers from Diablo II are small compared to some of the entries on the trope page... but are still weird mosquito-things as big as a large man.
  • Giant Mook: Diablo has the horned demons appearing halfway through the game, and megademons on the later levels that are quite deadly and come in large numbers. Diablo 2 gives us sasquatches, Blunderbores (massive brutes that wield corpses like clubs), giant walking trees, and also brings the magademons back from the first game. The goatmen appearing in all three games, while roughly human sized, are still pretty large and imposing considering most opponents you encounter before meeting them for the first time.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Technically Duriel. He is an important lore character and has a detailed backstory, but unlike Andariel he received no build up or foreshadowing for his fight. Somewhat justified since he's essentially a Bait-and-Switch Boss there to end the act with a twist by making the player think they're about to face Baal.
  • Giant Spider: Several kinds of giant spiders figure prominently as enemies in Act 3 (Kurast) of Diablo II.
  • Giggling Villain: In the Diablo II expansion Lord of Destruction, Baal has a cutscene intro where he giggles just before casting a spell that blows Cessuron's guardian to bits. From there, it scales up into full-blown maniacal laughter.
  • Gimmick Level: Diablo II had the Secret Cow Level. It's a secret level, full of cows. They are armed with halberds, walk on two legs and there are lots of them. In the original Diablo, there were rumours of a secret cow level that did not actually exist. So they made one for Diablo 2 to shut the fans up.note 
  • Give My Regards in the Next World: The Necromancer in Diablo II, after defeating Mephisto for the first time:
    "Good journey, Mephisto. Give my regards to the abyss."
  • Global Currency Exception: In Diablo II, the value of gold coins quickly reached the Money for Nothing stage, so instead, players began using a very valuable ring, the Stone of Jordan (or SoJ) as a standard currency for player-to-player interactions; it could easily be farmed through gaming the ingame casino, at least until Blizzard caught on and whacked it with a nerfbat, but it was a useful and compact item for player trading.
  • God and Satan Are Both Jerks:
    • Angels are expressly forbidden from directly aiding mankind. The archangel Tyrael tries to give advice, but that's about all he can do aside from taking your cash to resurrect your minions (technically falling under indirect help).
    • And it's explained in some of the supplementary works that most of the angels actively despise humanity because they are partly descended from demons, and would be perfectly happy to see humanity wiped out.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: In Act IV of Diablo II, the player must journey through Hell and face down the titular Prime Evil, Diablo. The player is instructed in what to do and how to proceed by the Archangel Tyrael, who is forbidden to aid the player directly. Of course, given Tyrael's pitiful performance fighting Diablo and Baal two acts ago, the player is probably more powerful than him anyway. Which is a very worrying notion, if you think about it. Mere mortals are not supposed to be able to kick vastly more ass than a damn archangel. Tyrael is still a huge improvement compared to the other archangels that have no interest in saving humanity from the Prime Evils, especially the leader of the archangels Imperius who also thinks we need to die.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: There doesn't seem to be a God in the setting (with the Prime Evils dividing up the duties of Satan) but the angels of the High Heavens are more concerned with their law of non-interference than those of the mortals of Sanctuary. Although one angel, Tyrael, does eventually decide to take matters into his own hands (and gets his ass kicked.) Though this could just be Imperius. The demons from the Burning Hells, of course, aren't picky with their prey, so the world is just as crappy as you'd imagine as a result.
  • Golem: The necromancer of Diablo II can summon fighting golems made of clay, metal, blood, or fire. Clay Golems slow opponents and have HP, Metal Golems take on the properties of what they're created from, Blood Golems can steal life to heal itself and the Necromancer (prior to the final patch, this link functioned both ways, harming the Necromancer when the golem is hit), and Fire Golems are immune to fire and grow stronger when hit by fire attacks as well as having a damaging fire aura.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: The Angels all have bright tendrils of light, though we only ever see one in action in a cut scene, and he gets his ass kicked (granted, he was doing pretty well until the second Prime Evil started ganking him).
  • The Goomba: Every act of Diablo 2 had one set of these buggers: The Fallen in act 1, the Mummies in act 2, the Pygmies in act 3, Oblivion Knights in act 4 (not particularly weak, but they still fit the pattern, in the context of act 4), and the Minions (the short, hunchback pig-men with spikes on their backs) in act 5.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: In Diablo II:
    • The player may collect various armor sets; if you get all the pieces you usually get a special bonus.
    • In Act II, the hero must collect the pieces of the Horadric Staff, then combine them in the Horadric Cube.
    • In Act III, the hero must collect various relics, then combine them in the Horadric Cube to open the entrance to the Durance of Hate.
  • Go Wait Outside: In Diablo 2, Act 3, Alkor the alchemist tells you to busy yourself while he's experimenting with the ashes of Ku'yleh, but clicking on him again is more than enough.
  • Gradual Grinder: Necromancers, and oddly enough, Paladins.
    • A Paladin with a high-enough Defense aura could play Last Man Standing with large packs of monsters. A well-made Paladin has no business grinding away. Blessed Hammer, Smite, and Zeal are some of the highest DPS skills in the game, and none of their other active skills are at all grindy.
    • The Necromancer has a wide variety of options for keeping enemies crippled while gradually wearing them down, with no appreciable attrition. The other option was a Necromancer equipped with the spell Poison Dagger. Typically the higher the poison damage, the longer it would take to kill something. On the downside, since the Necromancer was something of a Squishy Wizard, it was entirely possible to get killed by a monster that didn't know it was dead yet. On the upside, it was also possible to run away just far enough that a poisoned monster would fall over just before it got the chance to hit you, in keeping with the Rule of Cool.
    • A summoning Druid could also let his minions do the heavy lifting while slowly poisoning all opponents.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: In a way - the name of the Unique crossbow "Buriza-Do Kyanon" is pretty much what you'll get if you spell out "blizzard cannon" in Katakana.
  • Green Hill Zone: Act I of Diablo II takes place in the forested areas between the Rogues' encampment and their Monastery.
  • Grid Inventory: Diablo virtually named this trope.
  • Grim Up North: Diablo II has the barbarian homeland way up in the snowy mountain peaks. It's the setting for the expansion pack act.
    • Subverted as their entire culture is dedicated to battling evil.
    • Also, the mountains may be snowy but they're apparently closer to the middle of the world than the north. And they exploded.
      • The mountains are cold simply because they're immensely tall (which is realistic). And... they exploded.
  • Ground Pound: Barbarians in Diablo II have Leap and Leap Attack skills. Both create circular shockwaves that knock enemies back.
  • Guide Dang It: Diablo II had this problem to an extreme degree with its game mechanics. Many game mechanics are not described in game or in the manual, and had to be determined outside the game by testing.
    • Attack speeds, for example, in Diablo II are different between characters, do not often correspond to the descriptions given for items, multiple attack moves like Zeal and Strafe increase the speed in unusual ways, and these and other properties are not described anywhere, they had to be found by outside players in outside guides.
    • There's a guide written up for the technical details how poison damage works, including how it gets overwritten and how to convert damage over time in-game as relates to time IRL, to help use it viably as a damage-over-time effect. Without knowing this, it's easy to overwrite/nerf your own damage and come to the conclusion that poison simply sucks.
    • This is compounded by the so-called "LCS" - or "Lying Character Screen". Literally the only number it can't get wrong is your level, and inaccurate stats can appear as early as level 3. The attack (and related chance to hit), defense (and related chance to be hit), and damage numbers are particularly meaningless, having absolutely no relation to the actual figures used once you have a few different sources of bonuses to these things.
    • The entire skill/stat placement system was one big Guide Dang It, as it was very easy to nerf a character by distributing points incorrectly. For most of the game's lifespan, the only way to be strong enough for higher difficulties was to save skill points until you had unlocked high-level skills, as low-level skills were too weak even with heavy investment, and allocate stat points based on what you would need for Hell mode. Fortunately, this was fixed in a later patch, with low-level skills providing damage boosts to higher-level ones and the ability to reset stat/skill distributions.
    • Blizzard couldn't be bothered to list all the interactions between skills:
      • When active, Concentration gives a damage boost to Blessed Hammer at 50% efficiency. It's never mentioned anywhere, and since these are the only aura to boost magic skills and the only magic skill to get the boost, there's no reason to expect it.
      • Energy Shield's synergy with Telekinesis is mentioned on the skill tree, but never explained: investing skill points in Telekinesis decreases the amount of mana lost per damage prevented.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: The first game has a similar arrangement, with a female Rogue who functions best as an archer, and a male warrior and wizard. In the sequel, the two close-quarters combat classes - the Barbarian and the Paladin - are male. The Sorceress is a ranged combatant, and the Amazon specializes in bows, javelins and spears - only the latter is close-quarters.
  • Had To Be Sharp: This is the background of the Barbarian class. Though they specifically reject technology and magic because they think it will make them weaker in the long run.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Goatmen and catmen. Also inverted, humans are in fact demon/angel hybrids.
  • Happy Ending Override: The second game is one of the few games that matches Chrono Cross in the sheer brutality of this—everything you did in the first game only made the problem worse. The third game, surprisingly, did not do the same to the second game.
  • Harder Than Hard: In addition to the highest difficulties, the games also have Hardcore mode, which is like Roguelikes in its difficulty in that you only get one life to play through the game with, and once you die, that's it for your character.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: For most decently well built characters, act bosses tend to be more of a punching bag than any challenge. The real killers in the game? Multiple packs of unique and minions, bosspack archers and other dangerous melee monsters like frenzytaurs, gloams and tomb vipers, and generally speaking powered up regular mooks.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Drops on Nightmare and Hell difficulties are much better.
  • Have You Seen My God?: The series includes a Crapsack World in which the legions of hell take over Earth while the inhabitatants of heaven don't want to interfere. This also allows an angel, Tyrael, to play an important part in the games' affairs.
  • Healing Spring:
    • Diablo II has wells. A character can drink about half the water contained in one to restore a decent chunk of health, mana, and stamina.
    • The first Diablo has blood fountains and purifying springs, which provide an endless supply of health or mana at a rate of ONE POINT PER CLICK. Keep in mind a high level character will have hundreds of points in either stat. It also has murky pools, which are single use and randomly change your attributes by moving a single point from one attribute to another, which is unlikely to either be beneficial or even help you all that much when it is, considering you will have tens of points into all of them by the time you start finding these.
  • Health/Damage Asymmetry: In Diablo II:
    • Monsters in hell difficulty usually have base attack damage that are around 1/100th of their HP.
      • Maw Fiend (a Stone Wall): 11128~19782 HP, 81~139 melee attack, 130~160 corpse spit damage
      • Burning Soul (a Glass Cannon / Demonic Spider): 2008~5059 HP, 42~108 attack damage, (42~108)+(188~282) lightning damage.
      • The Burning Soul is a poor example, simply because its damage is bugged. It is supposed to do 42~108 damage, but it actually does five times this figure because of a code bug, instantaneously making it the most dangerous monster in the game (pre-1.13, Iron-Maiden-using Oblivion Knights would have been competition; see below).
      • The Burning Soul is still extremely dangerous even with patch 1.13. The combination of fast, extremely long range, and high damage lightning that are rapidly spammed, which means a character without maxed lightning resistance in hell difficulty will die extremely quickly.
    • The Necromancer skill Iron Maiden bounces cause enemies to take 6.75x of damage they deal with their melee attacks. It's not an effective skill in Nightmare and Hell difficulties. On the other hand, Oblivion Knights using Iron Maiden was extremely deadly to players that rely on melee attacks, until patch 1.13 removed this skill from this monster.
    • Nihlathak's Corpse Explosion deals only 20% damage in Hell difficulty. And well-geared players still get owned by this badly.
    • Players deals 1/6 damage to other players.
    • As of patch 1.10 and later, monsters have +50% HP, +50% EXP and deals +6.25% damage for each additional player in the game beyond the first.
    • The game does not display flying damage numbers anywhere, just graphical health bars.
    • It's possible that poorly geared characters, that can deal more damage than their own HP, end up having trouble killing monsters in hell difficulty.
  • Heart Drive: The Soulstones have a nasty tendency to get used as these by the demons corrupting them, complete with taking over new hosts.
  • Heaven and Hell: The entire conflict of the story is a battle between the High Heavens led by the Angiris Council and the Burning Hells led by the Seven Great Evils.
  • Hell: The games use Hell and an attempt to stop a demonic invasion in their stories: the first game features the catacombs of Tristram's cathedral eventually warping into a Hellish landscape, while the sequel involves a journey straight into Hell itself, a landscape of burnt, smoldering plains of ash.
  • Hellgate:
    • In the original game, reality is warped the deeper you go, until you actually enter Hell.
    • Apparently, whatever horrors were committed in the temple of the Zakarum under Kurast in Diablo II weakened the fabric of reality enough that it was easier to create a portal into Hell from there. This may have been because Mephisto didn't want to reveal himself to the world yet, though.
      • In the Lord of Destruction expansion, the plateus are littered with portals to Hell. Those were likely forcibly created during Baal's ascent up the mountain, though, rather than being weak spots that always existed. Although maybe not — Harrogath was always a very important location, cosmogically speaking.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: In Diablo II, since all of the speeches are prerecorded, they simply refer to the player as "Hero" or variations thereof instead of mentioning you by name.
  • Heroic Albino: The Necromancer in Diablo II is at first glance one of those magical albinos, but TPTB suggest that he gained his pale skin and bleached hair from years of studying in tombs, crypts, and other dark and sickly places. Or maybe getting scared silly is an occupational hazard.
  • Heroic Fantasy: The game takes place in a world called Sanctuary that was created by rogue angels and demons.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Every protagonist. No exceptions. The manual of the first game foreshadows it with a prominent use of Nietzsche's quote.
    • Fittingly averted with the Necromancer, who is truly incorruptible because of his devotion to the great Cycle of Being. By the time of Diablo 3, he is still completely fine and totally sane, and has even mentored several other Necromancers, one of whom can be encountered during gameplay.
  • Hide Your Children: In Diablo, there is a peg-legged young boy in Tristram named Wirt with whom you can "gamble" to buy items. In Diablo II, you return to Tristram, which has been overrun by monsters, and you can find Wirt's remains (as well as his peg leg, which you can use as a weapon, and a stash of gold he likely conned off the player character in the last game). After defeating Diablo (and either starting a new game or moving on to the Lord of Destruction expansion) go back to the rogue camp from act 1 and combine it with a Tome of Town Portal and enter the infamous Cow Level!
    • Wirt is the exception to the rule, as no other children are seen in Tristram. However, this is justified, because the manual and NPC dialog indicate that all the other children have already been killed by the demons.
    • As a Mythology Gag in Warcraft III, you can acquire an artifact called "Wirt's Other Leg" that boosts your hero's attack power. In World of Warcraft, you can recover Wirt's Third Leg, a fairly rare and fairly powerful one-handed mace. As a Shout-Out, you can retrieve "Wart's Peg Leg" in Hellgate: London, though Wart is a much less obnoxious character and he doesn't have to die for you to get it.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Tonnes of opportunities to deploy this trope. Deploy this trope against any melee opponent who looks too scary.
    • This is the favourite tactic of the Rogue in Diablo 1. Its also favoured by any ranged enemies. (Damn snow witches!) The sorceror can also do it with spells, and the warrior can try it with a bow, though he's not nearly as good at it.
    • In Diablo 2, you could specialize in this strategy by using items and charms with FRW (faster run/walk) and self-guided missiles (the Amazon's Guided Arrow or the Necromancer's Bone Spirit.)
      • A Poison Bone Necromancer added a new level to this strategy by using Bone Wall, which created obstacles in your opponents' path and/or trapped them if they couldn't teleport (rather than speeding up themselves, they slowed down their opponent.)
      • In the .08 version of the expansion pack, this strategy was considered a game killer because of the skill Pierce. The guided arrow would pierce through the opponent, turn around, hit the opponent again, and again, and again. The Amazon could also release several Guided Arrows while the first one was still active, and thus 5-10 arrows would be automatically piercing through the opponent. People were killing game bosses offscreen in under a minute. Guided Arrow Amazons were routinely outlawed in player duels, and naked Amazons with only a weapon could defeat much stronger players.
      • A large number of area of effect (AoE) spells were used in this manner.
      • The Sorcerer's Blizzard, Firewall and Meteor spells were cast behind the sorcerer on enemies, then the sorcerer would run around in a circle around the spell's splash damage area so that the monsters would take the damage. With .09, the Druid and Assassin characters could also do this with their upgraded skills. The Sorceress' Blaze spell also worked very well for this at low levels, creating a line of fire wherever you walked. You didn't even have to turn around to hit them.
      • The Amazon's Lightning Fury would be used in a strategy called "herding." A large number of enemies were grouped together, and the Amazon would run in a circle casting Lightning Fury, avoiding damage. Sometimes, another player would help the Amazon by herding the monsters for them (usually they had skills or items to make them move faster.) As this strategy was first invented on the Cow Level, the helper became known as a "sheepdog."
      • The 1.10 patch brought in runewords, including Enigma which allows any class to use the Teleport skill, allowing for this tactic to be used far more effectively than running would among other things. Anyone can do this except the Amazon, as her slow casting speed means she'd be faster on foot.
  • Homing Projectile: Amazons in Diablo II can fire homing arrows. An early bug combined this with the Piercing skill to make the arrows home onto an enemy, hit them, pass through them, then turn around and do it again.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Gheed from Diablo II, one of the two merchants in Act I, is one of these. He offers you a lifetime guarantee and a two-day warranty on all items (presumably on the basis that he doesn't expect you to last any longer as a hero in a world swarming with monsters). He doesn't, of course, in gameplay terms, charge any more than any other merchants. He probably also qualifies as a Friend in the Black Market, as Warriv intimates that Gheed's goods are of high quality.
  • Horny Devils: Diablo has an army of succubi in the first game, and his brother Baal's personal harem is unleashed in Lord of Destruction, the expansion to the sequel. Albeit, they're not particularly sexual creatures, rather color-coded, fireball-flinging, batwinged, naked women.
  • Hospitality for Heroes: The reward for one of the quests in Diablo II is that shopkeepers give you a discount.
  • Hot Bar: There's a hotbar where you can assign your usable items (perhaps most importantly, healing potions) and spells.
  • Hub Level: The original game had the town of Tristram, where you were given quests and sold loot. Also, every four or five dungeon levels, a portal directly to that level would open, making backtracking easier. The sequel gave us a hub in each of the four (five with the expansion) Acts: Rogue's Camp, Lut Gholein, Kurast Docks, Pandemonium Fortress, and Harrogath. They served the same purpose as Tristram, though the portal mechanic has been enhanced with Waypoints, which allowed you to go anywhere you already visited.
  • Hybrid Power: The Nephalem are offspring of angels and demons, and have the potential to become far more powerful than either.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal:
    • The games have different inventory areas, each with a different amount of limited space, that represent easily-accessed belt pouches, holding space in a backpack, a treasure chest in town, etc. You still never see this backpack, and it can comfortably hold multiple suits of full plate armor.
    • In Diablo II, the player acquires literal (in-universe) hyperspace called the Horadric Cube. This item takes up four squares in the player's inventory, but opens up to reveal twelve squares of internal storage.
  • I Can't Use These Things Together:
    • Whenever the player tries to make his/her avatar do something that it can't, it'll explain why:
    There's no room!
    I gotta pawn some of this stuff!
    Not enough mana!
    • More humorously, if the player clicks on a cow over and over, the avatar will confidently state: "Yup, that's a cow, all right." "I'm not thirsty." "I am no milkmaid."
  • Ice Breaker: Using cold magic or cold-enchanted equipment can shatter an enemy to bits, leaving no corpse. This works best against skeletons in Act II. It's also a good backup plan when you try to Cut Off The Snakes Head in a pack of enemies where lieutenants revive mooks and a unique revive lieutenants but fail because it's too tightly packed to allow you access to the unique. Destroy enough mooks that cannot be resurrected and suddenly their rapid-fire reviving is worthless.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Both I and II have Normal, Nightmare, and Hell, and both games called them "difficulty levels", but in the second they're more like New Game+. The first game also tried to make them multiplayer-exclusive, though there's a Good Bad Bug to get around that.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Den of Evil. Halls of the Dead. Flayer Dungeon. In fact, it would be easier to list locations that aren't this trope.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Used rather cleverly in the first game: killing its human host doesn't affect Diablo at all, so the hero tries to imprison the Lord of Terror in his own body. It doesn't work, and by the end of the second game he literally becomes Diablo.
  • Ignoring By Singing: At the end of the disclaimer for hardcore mode, where death is permanent:
    Blizzard will not, and does not have the capability to restore any deceased Hardcore characters. Don't even ask. La-la-la-la-la, we can't hear you...
  • Impossible Item Drop: Watch in awe as a swarm of insects spits up a suit of plate mail!
  • Improbable Power Discrepancy
  • Improbable Weapon User: In Diablo 2, when you go to the village of Tristram, you can find the corpse of Wirt (the annoying kid from the first game who would sell you overpriced magical items every so often), and rob his body, getting a LOT of gold....and his peg leg, which you can use as a club with 3 sockets....although if you didn't socket it, at the end of the game you could combine it with a Tome of Town Portal in the Horadric Cube to go to the Secret Cow Level. Still, the image of using someone's peg leg as a weapon is quite strange.
  • Improvised Golems: The necromancer in Diablo II is all over this. Aside from insta-summonable earth and blood golems, he can also make metal golems out of any equipment, which then takes on the enchantments and traits of their raw materials.
  • Incredibly Durable Enemies: Diablo II: Unless you have nice equipment, don't expect enemies to drop from a single cast of Meteor, Armageddon, or Fist of the Heavens.
  • I Need You Stronger: Whether it was Diablo's plan in Diablo I or not, it works. Failure Is the Only Option, and that's why he's 10 times stronger in Diablo II.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests. Even in hell. To be fair, the chests there are skeletal cages and corpses. Although most of them are called "Hidden Stash" or similar, which is really weird since they usually stand in the wide open and consist of neatly tiled skeletons and a flickering flame.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. Although you can't kill any children in-game, the story for the first game states that the titular Big Bad possessed a young prince's body. When Diablo is finally defeated in the end of the first game, his body turns back into that of the dead prince. Made even more tragic by Diablo III, which reveals that the Warrior who canonically defeated Diablo was the prince's older brother Aidan. The guilt Aidan felt from killing his little brother made it easier for Diablo to possess him.
  • Infinity–1 Sword: There are a lot more powerful swords available in the first game than Griswold's Edge - but those are all random drops, whereas Griswold's Edge is guaranteed if you get the right quest, and it does do decent damage and knock back enemies. In addition, its additional damage is fire damage, which is the only energy type that's of any use in the final level.
    • Regular magic weapons in the original Diablo carry over into new game +, while unique weapons do not.
  • Informed Equipment: In Diablo, there were very few models, though there were some different ones for different kinds of armor: specifically light leathery armor, medium chain-y armor, and heavy plate armor. Diablo II made a branch between early games with no or few extra models and later ones with piles of them, where each class had its own style of armor, and different types of armor each had a different look on each class. Items with abilities that associated with a particular - such as deep green for poison - reflected those colors on the character's model, as well.
    • Handled ingeniously by splitting the models into different sections and sprites to have more combinations of equipment.
      • Which ends up causing different parts of the character's body to be dyed in accordance with the item. Masks specifically end up dying your Necromancer's normally white hair various colors, and certain one-of-a-kind items will turn a Sorceresses hair into something that looks like a giant bleach-stained towel taped to her head.
  • The Insomniac: Marius, the narrator of Diablo II, is haunted by dreams of the demons in Tristram. He understandably tries to avoid them by fighting sleep for days at a time. He only sleeps once in the cinematics, noting that it was the first time he slept in weeks, and that was only so Diablo/the Wanderer could send him a vision of Tal Rasha sealing Baal in his own body.
  • Instant Armor: In Diablo II, 7 out of the 210 skills in the game are an example of this. Only the Druid, Necromancer, Assassin, and Sorceress can use any of them. All of them, except for the sorceress, who has access to 4 of the skills, can only use 1 of them.
  • Instant Death Radius: Diablo II is loaded with enemies like this, the most notable examples being Diablo and Duriel. Inverted in the case of Mephisto, who has deadly ranged attacks, but will only use wimpy melee attacks at close quarters.
    • Actually, standing up to Diablo is the best way to beat him with a weak character. His lightning hose has a gap right next to him so he'll literally shoot it past you, he won't cast bone prison when you're next to him, his cold melee and firestorm attacks can be dodged since they have big backswings and don't follow you, and his flaming circle attack always hits you anyway. Duriel's radius of death is about the same size as his room, so it doesn't really count. And Mephisto's best fought from across the chasm with a weak character - he doesn't exclusively melee when you're next to him, and his melee is a bit too much for a weak character anyway.
      • Duriel is also easier to survive if either a player or a minion is next to him since that prevents him from using his charge attack, which stuns its target.
    • Melee characters are widely regarded as not viable unless you have the best items in the game. For instance, there are a handful of bugged monsters that are virtually impossible to kill in melee before they annihilate you from extreme range. And one monster type used to cast a curse on you that caused you to pretty much kill yourself when you hit anything in melee. It could cast this while you were in the middle of a whirlwind or zeal hit sequence resulting in an unavoidable instant death.
      • The somewhat popular Diablo II: Lord of Destruction mod "Eastern Sun" nerfed the monster version of the spell in question (Iron Maiden, a Necromancer Curse), thus making it possible to actually complete Act IV with a melee character.
    • The "Median XL" mod has a literal instant death radius in the form of the "witch" monster: a motionless ghost that announces its presence with an eerie song. It does nothing, but when you get close enough she notices you and laughs; if you do not immediately get out of range, she teleports at you and kills you with an unresistable and unblockable attack that deals 50,000 damage per frame.
  • Insurmountable Waist High Fence: Tristram is delimited by these on all four sides in Diablo.
    • The sequel isn't nearly as bad as the first (Act II is a desert, with each region surrounded by cliffs; Act III is a jungle, and the trees are apparently solid walls; Act IV is Hell, at first on floating rocks in a field of darkness, and then islands on a river of fire; Act V is a mountain, and portals into Hell, and a big scary dungeon full of big red crystals), but Act I is a bunch of fields, surrounded by stone and wooden fences that a child could jump over.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: And the Assassin doesn't even need them...
  • In the Hood: Archangel Tyrael wears a hood, completely concealing his face. This eventually proves rather unfortunate — Marius hands the soul stone over to his hooded confessor, who then reveals he is not Tyrael, but Baal. Not that it would have gone better had he known.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: In Diablo II, a day/night cycle is present but it usually affects only visibility. Originally, there were magic affixes that only activated during certain times of the day, but they didn't make it to the final game.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: The series had a pretty small Grid Inventory with very few stackable items, and the sequel adding a small trunk and Hypercube, which meant lots of trekking back and forth to sell ur lewtz (use somebody else's town portal and save scrolls!). One trick to get around this in a solo or less jerky server is to just drop things on the ground back at base (although you need to stuff everything away before logging out,) which also defangs the only real bite that the game's Death Is a Slap on the Wrist had.
    • In the original Diablo, money took space in your inventory. Sure, it stacked, but the richer you were, the less room you had left in your inventory. Even worse, due to a glitch it became impossible to buy the best armor in the game because carrying enough gold to pay for it meant there wasn't enough room for the item itself!
    • The Lord of Destruction Expansion Pack for Diablo II turned inventory management into a legitimate part of the game with charms. Charms are magical objects of varying size that bestow their (totally cumulative) enchantments on you simply by being carried. This means that a player can choose between having more free inventory space, or having more enchantments from charms.
  • Invincible Villain: The series takes this trope and run with it Up to Eleven: for the first two games and most of the third game, all you character does by trying to defeat the Great Evils usually only ends up helping them in some way, to the point that the first game actually ends with Diablo winning anyway despite his death at the hands of the hero.
  • Invisible Monsters: The first game has the genuinely creepy The Unseen, which do come visible when they attack, but before that could fill the entire room without you knowing it.
    • Due to a bug in the level generation routine, they do not respect the safe zone around the entrance. So when you just arrived in the level and you are gathering your bearings, casting Mana Shield, checking item durability, etc., they could be right behind you, getting closer. And if this is multiplayer mode, your gear is now on the floor next to a sea of enemies right at the stairs.
  • Irrelevant Sidequest: Played straight in the two first games, when the player character, on his way to killing demons that threatened a small town or destroyed it and overran the world, also can collect medicinal herbs for people suffering from random diseases, recover heirlooms with purely sentimental value, seek out treasure troves completely unrelated to demons, and help a not immediately hostile demon because he offers you a reward. Mostly averted in Diablo III, which generally has a tighter plot.
  • Is Nothing Sacred?: Pepin of Diablo 1 says the page quote when you report to him that demons have stolen a sign from someone's home. He is disturbed by the idea that the demons from the labyrinth have become bold enough to have ventured through the village at night.
  • Isometric Projection
  • Item Crafting: The Horadric Cube in Diablo II to a limited extent (Plus Charsi's "Imbue" reward). Various mods like "Eastern Sun" expand on this, occasionally to an absurd level.
  • It Will Never Catch On: The Barbarians of Harrogath dismiss the inventions their blacksmith, Larzuk, dreams up to help their fight against Baal's army, including a flying machine made from many sheepskins sewn together and hung above his forge, so they trap the hot air and begin to float, and a weapon consisting of a tube full of exploding powder that fires pieces of metal at the enemy.
  • Javelin Thrower: In Diablo II the Amazon can specialize in javelins.
  • Joke Item: Diablo II has Wirt's Leg, though this is not necessarily worthless as it is used to gain access to the Secret Cow Level, and Cows provide very good drops for whatever difficulty level you're playing in at the time.
    • Not so in the original Diablo, where there is no cow level.
    • You can enchant The Wirt's leg, It can get some pretty strange and unusual enchantments, such as the very valuable +1/+2 to all skills enchantments or even sometimes an optional socket, so you can put a Perfect Skull to leech health.
  • Joke Level: The Secret Cow Level in Diablo II is a secret level with specific requirements to reach it, that clashes a bit with the moody setting of the game. While still dark and realistic looking (by graphical standards of the time), it consists of grasslands containing a massive army of bulls who speak by saying the word "moo" over and over again.
  • Jungle Japes: Diablo II has the Kurast Jungle.
  • Just You And Me And My Guards:
    • In single-player Diablo, the Archbishop Lazarus is accompanied by two named witches; while this alone might not count as this trope (seeing as it can be considered a trio of bosses), the pack of Hell Spawn and Advocates that emerge from a disappearing wall does most definitely count.
    • Also worthy of a mention: Diablo himself is in a room with lots of high-level mooks, though he can be triggered by way of ranged attacks that leave the mooks out of the fight.
    • Actually, most of the unique monsters tied to quests come with a cohort, notably including The Skeleton King and The Warlord of Blood. All of the regular uniques come as part of a group of regular monsters of their same type, though that's more of an inversion as the mooks come with a boss rather than the boss bringing along some mooks.
  • Kaizo Trap: Until a player gets familiar with which Diablo II enemies have death novas, they're Kaizo traps to melee fighters, and ranged attackers who think it's safe to pull off a point-blank coup-de-grace.
  • Keystone Army: In single player Diablo, all surviving monsters die when Diablo is killed.
  • Kill It with Ice: Diablo II introduces the Cold element to kill stuff and be killed with. Has a chance of successfully shattering stuff as well.
  • King Mook: The first game may pick several from a selection of palette-swapped versions of the normal mooks as incidental encounters in the randomly generated dungeons. The sequel has several fixed king mooks acting as bosses and fixed encounters, as well as randomly generated ones that spawn at random locations every time you load the game.
  • Knock Back: In Diablo II, knockback is a specific effect that can be either part of an attack, or a modifier on a weapon. Knockback is guaranteed to make an enemy flinch and interrupt their attack, but it may take longer to kill enemies in melee because you'll have to keep walking up to them.
  • Lady Land: Diablo II has an Amazon character, but their description in the manual averts this. The Amazons only allow women to be warriors, but it's because they live in a jungle environment, where the female body is better suited for combat. Men are allowed every right and privilege women are, and can fill all other social roles - they're even allowed into the priesthood, despite the central deity being female. The only difference between male and female social standing is that men aren't allowed in the military.
  • Lady Legionnaire Wear: The Amazon player class from Diablo II wears one.
  • The Lancer: Tyrael of the Angiris Council to Malthael. He clearly balances out what is right and wrong.
  • Large Ham:
    • The witch Adria from Diablo has no body language, but all her lines are chock full of portentous pseudo-wisdom, and delivered in a thunderous, over-dramatic voice.
    • Everybody in Diablo is that way. Diablo 2 toned it down significantly for the players and friendly NPCs, but the bosses are just as dramatic as ever.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: Diablo II has a Good Bad Bug in that when a character is killed while shapeshifted, he shifts back and stays at 1 Hit Point but doesn't die.
  • Last Ditch Move:
    • Many boss and miniboss monsters in the series have AoE elemental explosions that occur on death, which can be very nasty for Hard Core players.
    • Diablo 2 has the random monster attributes Fire Enchanted and Cold Enchanted not only giving their wielders elemental damage of the respective type but upon death they pull off this trope: Fire Enchanted monsters cast Corpse Explosion on their own corpse while Cold Enchanted monsters fire off a Frost Nova. For low-level characters, the latter is VERY nasty as cold damage slows and such monsters rarely go solo.
  • Last of His Kind: Deckard Cain is the last of the Horadrim.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: The spells "Volcano" and "Molten Boulder".
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority:
    • In Diablo 2, the weakest of the creatures known as "Fallen ones" are red, the stronger version known as "carver" are blue, the strongest (called "Dark ones") are black (not counting a very special purple version).
    • The Balrog-type demon also fits. From the weakest to strongest: Balrog (pale red), Pit Lord (Bluish Black), Venom Lord (Olive Green).
    • Diablo himself: Normal (red), Nightmare (yellow), Hell (black).
    • The Diablo series also introduced the colouring of items that has since become standard in many RPGs. In the first game, white was normal, blue magic and yellow unique. Diablo 2 added yellow for rare and green for set items, changing unique to gold. Diablo 3 uses red for legendary (replacing unique and set items in the previous game). While the details vary, the core white-blue-yellow progression can be seen in many games. Ironically, it's actually somewhat subverted in Diablo 2 since although rare items had more modifiers, regular magic items could have larger ones, so the weapon with the highest possible damage was actually blue.
  • Leaking Can of Evil: The Soulstones turned out to be this as a result of Izual filling the Prime Evils in on how to corrupt them. Mephisto's soulstone in particular resulted in the Zakarum high priesthood becoming corrupted and turning into demons.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: Three of the villains in Diablo II are actually the heroes from the first game. The Rogue has become an undead creature haunting the monastery graveyard, the Sorcerer is a mad summoner living in a pocket dimension, and the Warrior is the receptacle for Diablo's reincarnation.
  • The Legions of Hell: Numerous and diverse in this series. You will be fighting them a lot.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Diablo II expansion Lord of Destruction features the Assassin which has a skill called Blade Fury which is weak in comparism to other traps the Assassin can set and receives barely a better base damage to mana cost ratio if you spend more skill points into it. The catch of this skill is that it gets stronger the stronger you get yourself as it inflicts 75% weapon damage to enemies. This becomes even more impressive when you realize that it also causes the traits of your weapons like elemental damage as well as the traits you add to it by other means like armor or skills. So if your weapon possesses Mana Steal you have a ranged attack that refills your mana as long as it hits, if your weapon possesses Knockback it will push enemies away from you and if your weapon possesses the ability to randomly cast spells it will cast that spell with a similar ratio where it hits and it costs almost no mana at all. The downsides of it are that you can't move while you use it (you can't move while you cast most spells anyway), it only hits single enemies as long as it doesn't cast other spells and enemies are still able to avoid or block it (though as evasions and blocks are often tied to an animation they might be hit by the next blade as soon as they recover from defending). This is an example of a literal death of a thousand cuts for bosses outside of the screen caused by a spam attack.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The original game has a lethal joke spell called Flash. Not only is it a spell of ridiculously close range, it's also bugged — it does about 10% of its damage in three of the eight directions. It's also a spell of "magic" type, which is the most common immunity. However, the damage to CORRECT directions is unbelievable. Combine it with Teleport and you get TELEFLASH, one of the deadliest techniques against enemies not immune to magic. In the hands of a skilled player, of course.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Act IV of Diablo II is fought in Hell, which is probably as Lethal Lava Land as you can get. However, the lava actually behaves the same as walls and there is no way to step on it.
  • Level Drain: The original game had yellow zombies, which permanently reduced your max HP every time they landed a successful hit.
  • Level Grinding: The series revels in this. Diablo II online is basically made of powerleveling. 75% of characters start off like this: Get glitched by a high-level player to beat the game on the highest difficulty at level 1, join a game, go to the second-last room and wait for the other characters to kill things, exit game, go back to step 2. Maybe 0.1% of people actually play the game like you're intended to.
    • Even ignoring online play, this is pretty much a necessity. Try going through the game without level grinding, you probably won't access even a single rank of the highest level skill. Now try and go through the game on Nightmare with that character.
    • If you play on your own (single player), you will not even get enough experience to keep up with the monsters, forcing you to stop and grind. If you play only in full (eight player) online games, you very quickly outlevel the monsters and stop gaining more levels unless you skip ahead. In numerical terms, you gain over five times as much experience in a full game.
    • In single and multiplay, the better gear becomes more important to keeping up than character stats. Because everything Randomly Drops, level grinding is just a byproduct of farming.
  • Level-Locked Loot: In Diablo II, items do have level restrictions, and some items have strength requirements. These requirements can be slightly reduced in-game if the item has the special suffix 'of Freedom' or if it is socketed with a jewel that grants the same suffix.
  • Level-Map Display: Especially necessary given that the maps are randomized.
  • Level Up Fill Up: This occurs in Diablo and the sequels, where both your health and mana is restored on leveling.
  • Life Drain: One possible weapon special ability is healing your character when you damage opponents.
  • Life Meter: The Life Meter takes the form of a globe filled with red liquid, the same color as the life potions. The color changes to green if the character is poisoned. Also, in Diablo II, the globe is held up by a little demon statue, characters turn green when poisoned, and other things (gas, throwing potions, damage stats) are green when they relate to poison.
  • Lighter and Softer: Diablo II comes off as significantly lighter and softer than its predecessor. This mostly has to do with the outside levels and there being a day/night cycle. A jungle (and a desert in all it's sun-baked brightness, for that matter) during the day is just not as creepy as an underground crypt or a perpetually night time village. On the other hand, Act 4 is more creepy then the original game.
    • On the other hand, Diablo II is very casual about macabre, with mutilated bodies and chunks of human meat lying everywhere, and even used as loot generators (which turns them into more of a positive, utilitarian feature than an element of horror). In the first game, only the last levels featured actual gore (and how!), with the exception of Butcher's lair.
  • A Lighter Shade Of Gray: While the other angels are described as unfathomable in their motivations, Tyrael has humanity's best interests at heart.
  • Light Is Not Good: The angels initially wanted to destroy humanity due to being descended partially from demons. This changed when the Council voted to spare humans on seeing their possible nobility. Imperius is the only one on the Council to continue to call for humanity's destruction and attempts to prevent any angelic attempts at aiding humanity. Given his status as commander of heaven's armies and the angels' believe in order it greatly impedes the other angels from acting.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: In Diablo II, the "Lightning" skill tree is the "everything that isn't fire and ice" skill tree. Teleport, telekinesis, force field, etc. all go here.
  • Like a Badass out of Hell: The protagonist of the original game becomes the Dark Wanderer in the sequel after losing his battle of wills to contain the evil by embedding Diablo's soulstone in his forehead, eventually being entirely possessed and mutating into Diablo Himself. Something very similar happened with Tal-Rasha and the Lord of Destruction, Baal.
  • Limited Move Arsenal: The game presents a somewhat annoying case, in that one can only have two skills ready at any one time. For passive skills like Paladin auras, this makes sense, but for normal attacks and spells it's very limiting. The game also lets one assign skills to quick keys, but these only ready skills, actually activating them requires a press of the slot's button.
  • Limp and Livid: In Diablo 2, a certain type of skeletal enemy fits this trope to a T. They shamble around dragging enormous broadswords, but if a player gets too close they can swiftly attack.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards:
    • The original Diablo. Although spells could be learned by anyone with sufficient magic stat points, Warriors and Rogues often found themselves limited in learning capability without high magic-boosting equipment. A few of the game's most useful and powerful bread-and-butter spells often hit the required magic stat requirements way before maximum spell level, forcing non-sorcerers to rely on Enchanted Shrines that are difficult to come by. Additionally, spell damage were also frequently dependent on actual magic stat values. In a game that pretty much taught you to either kill overwhelming odds before they touched you or handle them one at a time (which required you to rely heavily on environment), spell-casting, and consequently the character with inherently superior spell-casting qualities, becomes the staple of endgame strategy.
    • As with nearly all branches of RPG's that host both Fighter and Mage types, Diablo II plays this pretty straight. In early levels your physical, combat class will sweep the floor with any Mooks standing in their way. Later levels see the caster become a borderline Game Breaker, especially those who went with Frost or Cold effects.
    • Not... really. Casters are easier since they depend less on items (most Fighters basically require quite good items to succeed, while some casters can get by with any old thing), and the Sorceress has free access to Teleport which makes a huge difference, but for the toughest bosses, a Fighter is always better. A "Smiter" can beat Uber Tristram with relatively mediocre items; for a Sorceress, it's almost impossible without preposterously rare items.
    • Averted in PvP: every single class has several builds to duel with at each PvP level cap. There are melee builds dubbed "caster killers" for how effectively they can trash Necromancers, casting Druids and Sorceresses. This is in part due to a piece of armor which gives any class the ability to teleport, a skill normally reserved for the Sorceress. Even low-level duels are well-matched between caster and melee. But only with Enigma.note 
    • Before the expansion, caster classes shot ahead of fighters early on and then hit a hard cap at about level 50 after their main offensive spell was maxed, at which point fighter classes only got started. The sheer amount of elemental resistances compared to physical resistances was not helping, notably the fact that pretty much the entire final Act in Hell difficulty was 75% fire resistant. The only viable endgame caster builds involved merciless exploitation of percentage based damage (Static Field, Corpse Explosion, Iron Maiden) or bugs (Blessed Hammer) while flat damage spells were only used to finish off enemies reduced to a sliver by Static Field or to kill a handful of enemies at the start of a run so you could get some revived minions up.
    • The expansion aimed to fix this by introducing large numbers of +skill level items, previously a very rare modifier that tended to come mostly on bad items. The game tilted in favour of casters, at first because it was easy enough to promote area of effect abilities, then because later patches made the game much harder to the point where melee builds without godly items stood no chance. Meanwhile new items solved the early game struggles of caster classes and provided ways around elemental immunities, enabling them to dominate pretty much the entire game from start to finish.
    • The necromancer before the expansion had spells with awful scaling effects. His poison spells did not gain damage per second when you spent skill points into them, only duration, meaning you could kill anything... over the course of 30 seconds. In an action RPG. The worst of the worst were poison skeletal mages which ended up doing literally 1 damage per second for 3 minutes.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: While shattering is not so much "freeze then crush with blunt instrument" as "freeze then kill normally", in Diablo II, it is one of the more effective way of dealing with things that are liable to be resurrected or used somehow by something nearby.
  • Living Legend: The hero of the first, not so much. But of the second? Travels the world, solving everyone's problems and actually kills all three lords of hell. Living Legend.
  • Living Shadow: In Diablo 2 the Assassin can summon a shadowy clone to fight on her side.
  • A Load of Bull:
    • Hell Bovines from the Secret Cow Level in Diablo II.
    • In Lord of Destruction, there are some enormous minotaur-like demons in Act V, called [Descriptor] Lords. For some reason, bull-demons are all named for the Clans of goatfolk from Act I and Act II—Moon Clan/Lord, Blood Clan/Lord, etc.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading:
    • Diablo II had a particularly unpleasant example at the end of Act 2 - in multiplayer games, while you're waiting for the final boss area to load, said boss has already started attacking you, frequently resulting in players being dead before they can do anything. In earlier versions of the expansion, the 5th wave of minions before the final boss caused a similar lag spike. Thankfully, these were fixed in later patches.
    • The original Diablo was known for this as well, with a particularly egregious example occurring when the player opens the door to the Butcher's room. This was presumably because the game had to access his infamous utterance "Ahh, fresh meat!" on the CD.
  • Locked Door: In Diablo II, while not necessary to the plot, locked chests required generic keys to be open. The hero, despite having the strength to vanquish the three prime evils, is incapable of opening these chests without a key. (Unless they're an Assassin.)
  • Long Range Fighter: The Rogue character class in the first game, and the Amazon character class from Diablo 2, along with the Rogues you can hire in Act I. Both specialize in bows, crossbows, and javelins.
  • Looks Like She Is Enjoying It:
    • In the original Diablo, if you are killed while playing a female character, she sounds like she just went Out with a Bang.
    • In Diablo II, it's those corrupted Sisters who do this. In all fairness though, they are moaned in relief out of being released from a bondage to evil.
  • Lord British Postulate: Median XL is a Diablo 2 mod that features invulnerable trap-like monsters that kill you instantly when you get near, but don't move. This being Diablo, you can imagine how well that went.
    • Not only that, but players figured out ways to kill monsters that are immune to all elements, monsters that cannot even be targeted (tip: damage reflection) and even monsters that cannot be targeted and are immune to all damage and do not have any attack that would trigger damage reflection. There are even four different ways to do so: resurrect monsters with "burn" damage which bypasses resistances and attacks hit points directly; find the item that summons instakill reanimates on your side when you kill enemies; find the item that summons a certain boss whose death animation is coded to autokill nearby monsters on your side and let it "expire"; or use a bugged passive in combination with Open Wounds to cause the monster to take physical damage despite being immune to it.
  • Low Level Run: In Diablo II, high-level characters could go to the last Waypoint of each act and send a Town Portal to be used by low-level players in their party. This allowed n00bs to gain access to certain areas without completing the prerequisite quests: for example, getting to the Canyon of the Magi without killing the Summoner, or to the Durance of Hate without ever assembling Khalim's Will. This was nerfed in the 1.10 patch.
    • An allegedly popular set of challenges in Diablo II are the 1@17, 2@20, 3@30 Diablo kills — basically, killing the final boss on a difficulty setting at the earliest possible level. To use the Hell entrance in Normal difficulty requires a character level of 17, to access Nightmare difficulty requires a level of 20, and Hell difficulty is accessible at 30. Each challenge is to be attempted solo, though you are not required to attempt or complete any of the earlier challenges to attempt the coveted 3@30.
    • There's also the literal lowest-level-possible challenge, which can be attempted only using outdated patches. And we have the Ironman challenges of various difficulty, the impossible no-items-no-skills-no-stats challenge, and of course any build or item choice less than optimal will be challenging at least to defend against hecklers.
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Diablo II, in respect of being a Fantasy RPG, features shields. Notably, the Paladin class has a few abilities that require their use.
  • Luck Stat: In Diablo 2, items can give the player an increased chance to find magic items and/or a boost to the amount of gold dropped.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: In Diablo II, any monster with the 'Fire Enchanted' trait promptly cover a decent amount of the ground with themselves upon death. This gets especially silly with the boss of the Flayer Dungeon, as you have to defeat him twice and has Fire Enchanted in both forms. Necromancers can do this to nearly any dead enemy with Raise Skeleton (Mage) or Corpse Explosion, as well.
    • Some monsters also break into gibs upon a normal sword-bashing death. It's funny to cast the resurrection spell with a necromancer on them and watch the death animation play backwards. Gibs fly into the air and connect with each other, forming a fully functional undead monster.
    • Interestingly, if one kills a swarm of locusts and attempts to raise a skeleton from the "corpse", the same bloody explosion will occur and produce a perfect human skeleton complete with weapon. Also, if you kill an enemy skeleton, you can cast the raise-skeleton spell on it, but first it too must explode in a shower of blood and gory effluence.
    • Aah, Corpse Explosion. Blow up a tiny Leaper or Fetish and get a blood fountain as glorious as if you'd blown up an entire Blood Maggot. A dry, fleshless Skeleton Warrior? Gibs aplenty. That one little animation, illogical as it may be, provides so much catharsis.
      • Many of the Druid's powers explode corpses too... carrion vines and solar creepers, for example, but also summoned Dire Wolves who always appreciate a quick snack and are apparently very messy eaters.
  • Lured Into a Trap: The original game had Archbishop Lazarus leading a group of people from Tristram into the Cathedral to rescue Prince Albrecht, the little boy who he himself made a vessel for the title archdemon. He lured them into the second level, where he left them to die at the hands of the demonic Butcher. Griswold and Farnham were the only survivors of the attack, which left Griswold with a crippled leg and Farnham with a shattered mind and a broken spirit.
  • MacGuffin: The series is loaded with this trope, almost every quest has you off finding a MacGuffin needed to complete a side-quest or to move the plot forward.
    • Optional sidequests in the first game has you go down into the church labyrinth to find a MacGuffin, (Ogden's Sign, Magic Rock, Anvil of Fury, Black Mushroom+Monster Brain), and then bring it back to the quest-giver NPC in Tristram. One that must always be brought back however, is Lazarus' Staff which is needed to access Lazarus' lair, and always happens to block the access to the final labyrinth level; Diablo's level.
    • Diablo II continues the trend.
      • Act 1, To rescue Cain, find the scroll needed to access the Cairne Stones to open a portal to Tristram. Later on, find the Horadric Malus that was left behind in the rogue monastary.
      • Act 2, To open the door to the final stage requires you to complete a long MacGuffin chain. Find a Horadric Scroll in the sewers, then find the Horadric Cube, then find the two pieces of an ancient staff that must then be put together to form a full staff (The Horadric Staff). Horazon's Journal you need to read in the arcane sanctuary also applies as one even though it's not an item your character can grab.
      • Act 3, similar to Act 2, to open the door to Mephisto's lair, find the 4 pieces of an ancient flail throughout the Act that must then be put together to form a full flail (Khalim's Will). Act ends with you receiving Mephisto's Soulstone. The optional quests also sends you out to find the Golden Bird, Gidbinn Blade, Lam Essen's Tome MacGuffins.
      • Act 4, destroy Mephisto's MacGuffin at the nearby Hellforge, but to do it, you need the nearby Hellforge Hammer. The cutscene after finishing Act 4 also shows the player destroying Diablo's MacGuffin.
      • Act 5, the Relic of the Ancients isn't a MacGuffin you can obtain, but it's plot relevant for Baal to reach the World Stone. Off-camera, Baal's MacGuffin is destroyed as well.
  • Made of Evil: All of the Prime Evils and the Lesser Evils. No exceptions! Hell, the Big Bad himself became the game's equivalent to Satan.
  • Made of Explodium: The first game had the occasional explosive barrel and fireball, but the second is particularly bad about this. Magic can make nearly anything explode - arrows, snowballs, the earth itself, and most notably, corpses in a variety of gruesome ways.
    • Any monsters with the Fire Enchanted property explode spontaneously when they die, no matter how it happens, leaving only copious quantities of blood and goo. You don't want to be too close when that happens.
  • Mage Killer: The Assassin from Diablo 2 is a member of the Viz-jaq'taar, an order formed by the Vizjerei mage clans and tasked with hunting down and eliminating rogue mages who traffic with demons.
  • Mage Marksman: The series each features one such character playable starting with the Rogue, an archer who was the middle ground of magic users between the Sorcerer and the Warrior, the Amazon who's archery was supplemented by support magic such as making enemies glow making them easier targets and summoning Valkyries.
  • Magic Is a Monster Magnet: Attracting demons is an Informed Flaw of using magic, but since you have a fair chance of being torn apart by them any time you set foot outside your house anyway, at least you'll be better able to defend yourself...
  • Magic is Evil: It's an explicit part of the setting that most forms of magic carry a high risk of corrupting the user and making them into a servant of the demons. The only definite exception is necromancy, as necromancers are too True Neutral and unconcerned with fleeting personal power to fall to the lure of demonic might. Most people in the setting are fine with magic despite this, oddly enough.
  • Magic Knight: Diablo 2 has a few classes of this type. The Paladin (who can use both defensive and offensive magical auras) and the Assassin (with her magical martial arts) are the closest fits. The Druid can specialize in either magic or physical combat (with his shapeshifting tree), but doesn't really count since it's hard for him to do both at once.
    • The Monk class from Hellfire, the unofficial expansion for the original Diablo. In the original game, the starting class mostly just affected the starting stats and character art, so it was possible to build any class into at least a partial spell caster by spending your level-ups right.
      • Not really, since every class had a limit on certain stats.
    • The Necromancer's skills allow for a 'Meleemancer' build, which relies on primarily on curses to allow the Necro to cherrytap monsters to death without much risk.
    • Do not forget the sorceress herself, being fully capable of holding two handed weapons and heavy armor given enough strength, and with the enchantment spell and some specialisation talentpoints can surpass any other class in single hit melee damage.
  • Magic Staff: The series loves these. The first game had elaborate staves with some of them even having blades on either end. Almost all of them had some powerful spells, and high melee damage. The second game, had simpler staves that provided bonuses to sorceress' skills. They also had high melee damage, but are not likely to be used in an actual fight.
  • Magic Wand: Necromancers in Diablo II use wands that provide bonuses to their spells, and Sorceresses used Staves. However, they're used as clubs in combat. Weak, easily breakable, expensive to repair clubs: but if you need to use it as a club, you're probably doing it wrong, though they often apply impressive elemental damage to their attackes.
    • One particular unique staff, the "Ribcracker", gives no bonuses to skills but instead has several +damage or +attack speed modifiers. It is surprisingly good for Spam Attack builds such as Zealot Paladins or Werewolf Druids.
  • Magnet Hands: Diablo II has cows wielding halberds. With their hooves.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The barbarian of Diablo II has a number of vocal capabilities (howl, taunt, shout, battle cry, battle orders, war cry and battle command) with a number of effects on enemies ranging from fear, stunning or status penalties all the way to immediate damage. And they can grant allies temporary buffs.
  • Mana
  • Mana Burn: Diablo II has the "Mana Burn" stat that can spawn on unique monsters, which takes some of your mana when they hit you. There are also regular monsters with mana draining attacks. Encountering a monster with both Mana Burn and lightning enchanted is fun.
  • Mana Meter: Diablo uses round glassy "vessels", whose level of fullness varies. In Diablo II, the mana orb is blue and held by a statue of an angel.
  • Mana Potion:
    • Mana Potions restored your character's mana.
    • Magical weapons could have a special ability that restored your mana when they hit an opponent.
  • Mana Shield:
    • The original game is the Trope Namer. The eponymous spell, which is the lifeblood of the middle-to-late-game Sorcerer, not only reduced all damage by a third but redirected all the rest of the damage to mana instead of health. In fact, due to a famous glitch, a high-level Sorcerer is well-advised to have as low of a health count as possible, enabling him to completely avoid stun from high damage attacks.
    • In Diablo 2, the Sorceress has an Energy shield that diverts a proportion of damage to Magic points.
  • The Man Behind The Monsters: Diablo subverts this trope with the Seven Great Evils: despite leading the Legions of Hell, the Prime Evils and Lesser Evils don't look humanoid in any way themselves; it says something that the only one who look vaguely humanoid, Andariel, is a giant woman with claws and Spider Limbs.
  • Man Bites Man: In the tie-in novel Legacy of Blood, the villain is bitten on the neck by a woman he's about to torture. He starts to panic, thinking she might be a vampire, then realises she's just acting out of desperation.
  • Marathon Boss: Diablo himself in Diablo II, who not only has a ton of HP, but most certainly is a threat. You'll spend a lot of time attacking and a lot of time dying.
  • Marathon Level:
    • Several levels in Diablo 2 qualify in the higher difficulties, but the most egregious is the Durance of Hate second floor. What makes this example especially annoying is that, besides its incredible length (its area is several times a regular level), there's a chance for it to be filled of Stygian Dolls. Good luck making through that incredibly long level while fighting them every three rooms.
    • Replace "difficulty" with "tedium" and you have the Maggot Lair in Act 2. You have a giant maze of hallways, each a single sprite wide. As in, no enemies or allies can cross another enemy or ally; everything blocks everything's pathnote . This means you are forced to fight anything in front of you. And there are lot of things in front of you. And only one melee fighter can attack one enemy at a time. Decided to bring one of the town's lancing mercenaries with you? Well expect them to be either bored or dead. And if you had the misfortune of going the wrong way, well then it looks like you're going to have to go through said process all over again. Needless to say, it's not one of the game's more attractive experiences.
  • Mascot Mook: Fallens and Goatmen are the better known enemies of the franchise, appearing in all 3 games.
  • Master of None: Diablo II: The Druid is sometimes accused of being a Master Of None. He uses elemental magic, nature summons, and has shapeshifting for melee. However, his magic is weaker than the sorceress', often with huge timers placed on them. His summons are limited to 1, 3, or 5 damaging minions, while the Necromancer can have somewhere around 40 skeletons total. His melee skills are up to the task, but since his were-forms have limited durations, he has to worry about turning back into a human mid-battle.
  • Master of Unlocking: In Lord of Destruction, we have the Assassin. She can unlock chests without a key. Some have complained that it's a pointless skill, since keys are so easy to come by in the game that you're usually selling the extras to make room in your inventory.
  • Matte Shot: They're not technically Matte Shots, but the same concept appears here. The game had what were essentially paintings for a background with characters and monsters moving on top of them. There were areas you could go (floors, steps, hills) and areas you couldn't (walls, cliffs, etc.). The action took place over top of a painting, like in a Matte Shot.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: In the first game, the Zombie variation Black Death could do this with their punches.
  • Mayincatec: Kehjistan in Diablo 2 combines Mayincatec building elements with South Asian jungles. It is also the seat of power of a monotheistic, very Christian influenced world religion, and most of it has a very Darkest Africa feel. They do practice blood sacrifice - to the prime evil Mephisto, probably without even knowing it.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: The original game has this in full force. Act One of the sequel takes place in the same medieval region, but quickly departs it in favor of Qurac, Mayincatec, Hell, and the a scary snowy place in that order.
  • Meta Power-Up: Diablo II had some very high level items that increased XP gain, and items ranging from low to high levels that increase gold drops or the chance that randomly dropped items will be magical (and the power of magical items that drop).
  • Mind over Matter: Telekinesis is a spell. It can be used to push back monsters, but is mostly useful for opening doors and chests that may be booby-trapped. The manual states that when taught this spell, trainees are placed in a prison cell and the key is left out of their reach. Those who aren't good at it will be there for a while...
  • Mini-Boss: Unique monsters may play this role.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: Diablo: Hellfire expansion pack.
  • Minimalist Run: In the original game, this was played to the extreme by Beyond Naked Mages. Players looking for extra challenge not only would ignore beneficial items, but would actively seek out cursed and damaged items which lowered the player's stats.
  • The Minion Master: Summon-focused necromancers. They can have more than 30 minions of various types on screen at a time, which is a Game Breaker in multiple senses.
  • Min-Maxing: Diablo 2 is pretty much an exercise in minmaxing. Every build has optimal stat and skill placement and item choices. Deviating from the build in any way, or heaven forbid trying to make something unique or using whatever equipment you pick up off the ground, ensures that you will have to use effort to get through hell difficulty. Furthermore, minmaxing extends to the items as well as characters. Getting items with stats that are perfect or near perfect cost many times more than the going rate, even if the difference is only a 1%.
  • Mirror Boss: Nihlathak and The Ancients use skills accessible to Necromancers and Barbarians. Nihlathak in particular is fitting, as using your abilities quick enough prevents him from using the same (very deadly) abilities against you (both use up corpses).
  • Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode: The first game. Friendly fire. It was still possible until the mage learned Chain Lightning, after which his allies were forced to take cover behind walls every time monsters showed up.
  • Money for Nothing: Money has three uses in Diablo II. Reviving your mercenary, repairing your gear, and gambling (in which you spend money on an item with unknown properties). It's still one of the best ways to get good equipment in single player.
    • Early on, it's a good idea to buy gear regularly. And every now and then, you can get some useful but expensive gear from the right merchant. Especially for the Paladin, the Sorceress and the Necromancer, because they need specific weapons that don't drop more often than others, and cannot be acquired through gambling.
  • Money Multiplier: Gold Find in Diablo 2.
  • Money Sink: In the 1.10 update to Diablo II, Blizzard added a special encounter with a "Diablo Clone" (who drops a very powerful item) if and only if enough Stones of Jordan are sold to vendors in the game. The SOJ was a powerful ring that was duped to such ridiculous levels that it served as the de facto currency in the game, and the Diablo Clone was Blizzard's way of getting rid of excess SoJs.
    • Gambling. Gambling allows one a relatively decent odds of getting a desired item, assuming one has sufficient money (it "only" takes a few thousand tries, if you're not unlucky). No-twink/single players will also practically require it in order to make sure all their gear is adequate at any given time.
  • Money Spider: Everything you slay drops gold, from giant bugs to yetis to demons. Usually they drop an item or two that can be sold off as well.
  • Monster Allies: In Diablo II, Necromancer class can create skeletons out of fallen enemies to fight alongside him. Until he learns the Revive spell, which is the pinnacle of necromancy because it animates a creature in a way that gives it access to all the intelligence it had in life but gives control to the Necromancer, they all turn into humanoid, human-sized skeletons—even if they were previously foot-tall imp demons. Or a cloud of flies. Or a ghost, or a bug. At least the imps might have bones.
    • This is apparently justified by Necromancers not actually using the bones of a defeated enemy for creating the skeleton, but rather just using the dead energy of it to animate other bones. Somehow.
  • Monsters Everywhere: Standard in Diablo 2, where anywhere other than the towns will be absolutely swarming with monsters, including the sewers under the town.
    • Justified, since literally all Hell is flooding into the mortal realm and the world is nearing it's destruction.
  • Monty Haul: The series and the majority of its clones tend to be like this in the end game. Bosses and major loot caches will often release a screen-filling fountain of gold and enchanted gear- from which players will pick the one or two very best pieces and leave the rest lying on the floor. At early levels, however, the player will want to keep anything that's better than the standard vendor gear. For a game where the whole point is to constantly upgrade your equipment, the progression is fairly even.
  • Mook Maker: Several enemies can revive dead enemies (such as the fallen shaman). Also, the player character, if he plays as the necromancer, as he has the ability to summon Helpful Mooks (such as skeletons and Golems).
  • Mook Medic: Diablo 2 has a few of these: Zakarum Priests, Council Members and Overlords, and Unravellers counted as well.
  • Mr. Exposition: Deckard Cain is the only character besides Diablo himself who will appear in all three games. His role is always the same: talk in a monotone voice about the backstory nobody's interested in.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Useful in the first game due to Breakable Weapons. Also, some enemies are weak against clubs, others against swords, and axes are useful against anything, but you can't block.
  • Multishot: Several of the Amazon powers.
  • Mummy: Diablo II features mummies, the lore says unlike zombies with their rotten flesh, mummies conserve their muscles and tissues intact which makes them physically stronger than other types of undead; Mummies can be produced in infinite numbers from sarcophagi and "die" in a burst of poisonous gases (from the chemicals used to preserve their ancient bodies escaping, of course), and greater mummies, the remains of Horadric mages who, to honor them, had animal parts grafted onto their bodies in death. They could raise other kinds of undead (but not each other) and threw black "Unholy Bolts".
  • Muzzle Flashlight: The official guide for Diablo II suggests using fire arrows or spells to scout ahead in dark areas.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: The series features a plan that requires two deaths, masterminded by the eponymous demon himself. It was first hinted at in Diablo II by the fallen angel Izual, who hints that the deaths of the Prime Evils are serving some greater purpose. In Diablo III, the purpose is to get all the defeated Evils, Prime and Lesser, into the same Black Soulstone, which is then jammed into the chest of the daughter Diablo fathered after being killed the first time. This allows Diablo to become the personality in charge of the full power of the Prime Evil.
  • Namedar: Diablo has an old man who actually works as the resident Namedar: his job is to identify any unknown item you pick up so you can sell it.
    • Under the hood, an object's name in Diablo is calculated as a function of its various attributes (for example, the suffix "of the Tiger" refers to a specific attack modifier), so in the model world of the game, Namedar is a real physical law, and names following the pattern will be automatically deduced for, say, novel items created using a game editor.
  • Named Weapons: In Diablo II, all magic weapons are named. Names in yellow are random Noun+Verber; names in green are part of a set (and usually named for the set); names in brown are unique epic-level weapons. As a quest reward, you can ask a person to inscribe one of your objects with your name.
  • Name of Cain: Subverted. Deckard Cain is a Last of His Kind scholarly good guy who will identify your magical items for you.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Black Death in Diablo, and their ability to permanently lower your health by one point causes even experienced players to avoid them like the plague. The fact that they can crash the game when dealing a finishing blow to the player in earlier versions, makes it worse.
  • Necromancer:
    • Diablo II has its Necromancer player character. He can raise skeletons, summon golems, revive the dead, dish out poison and element-less magic damage, debuff enemies with curses, and a favorite of many players: make enemy corpses explode. (Ironically, necromancers are described as the only non-divine magic-users whose abilities aren't inherently corruptive—they're devoted not to death, but to the cycle of life and death, and they oppose Hell because the demons have been trying to break the cycle.)
    • Averted in the novels.
      • Legacy of Blood has Kara Nightshadow as a heroine, and is genuinely one of the good guys. She often has to explain to other characters how her use of death magic doesn't conflict with her apparent alignment.
      • The Kingdom of Shadow and Moon of the Spider feature Zayl and his "companion" Humbart. Humbart is a spirit bound to a skull. Nothing else, just a skull. He can see, hear, and talk, but that is about it. Zayl makes it a point to keep Humbart hidden when he's around anyone else, lest they think he's evil.
      • The Sin War trilogy even briefly explains the origins of the Necromancers. There are 3 worlds in the Diablo multiverse, they are basically Heaven, Hell, and Sanctuary (Earth). Heaven is at war with Hell, and both sides think they could win by "recruiting" the mortals of Sanctuary. Necromancers want Sanctuary to stay neutral/not involved. They would like to kick ALL Angels and Demons out of Sanctuary, but, lacking the ability to do so, they wind up fighting against whichever side is winning. Usually Demons/evil has a stronger influence, so the Necromancers are on the side of the Angels/good.
      • Well, Angels aren't really good in this setting. Most of them despise humanity and want to wipe them out, and they probably would if they ever defeated the demons, so keeping the fight between Heaven and Hell going is in humanity's best interests.
  • New Game+: Both games offer the ability to play through the plot again after you've finished.
    • Diablo I has a sort of 'New Game Minus', which lets you restart the plot but keep your stats and inventory.
    • In Diablo II, the Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels are more like this. Early Nightmare/Hell is balanced for characters that just finished Normal/Nightmare.
  • Nice Hat: Diablo and Diablo II have the Harlequin Crest. The original has a drawback of -3 to your Armor class, but the +2 to all attributes is tempting. In the sequel it is one of the best hats in the game. Unfortunately, it stands out like a sore thumb in a fairly realistic and gritty Grimdark world because it is a neon green hood.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Every hero in the series has done something or another to screw things up. Including frigging Tyrael, your archangel ally. Marius, however, is the shining example. Not only does he violently bugger up by yanking Tal Rasha's Soulstone (and thus releasing Baal) while Diablo and Tyrael were occupied, but he breaks things worse by inaction due to not going through the Hell Gate and having the Soulstone fragment destroyed. This does little to make his death at the end of the main game any less tragic.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: In Diablo II the Necromancer goes squee over the Arcane Sanctuary:
    Necromancer: This is fantastic! I wish I had time to study this bizarre dimension.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: The underlings of a necromancer PC, hey, the bad guys can't have all the fun!
  • Nintendo Hard: Hell difficulty since patch 1.10 in Diablo II, where it was massively beefed up as a result of being It's Easy, so It Sucks in the prior patches. To stand a chance in this difficulty level you need to have a proper character build, to play through the game so many times over to level your stats, and the proper equipment dropable only on this difficulty at extremely low rates, to stand a chance against the later bosses.
    • In Hardcore mode, the difficulty of the game essentially forces you to play cooperatively; beating the game on your own requires a very specialized build and a great deal of skill and/or patience.
  • Nipple and Dimed: The first game had several female corpses that were completely stripped. The Succubi, who became increasingly frequent enemies towards the end were wearing little more besides thongs, and showed quite a few detail. This was mainly averted in the second game, where the corpses had Barbie doll anatomy, and all female enemies were wearing bikinis at least, with the one exception of Andariel, who while having her chest exposed, wore pasties with chains attached to them.
  • No Body Left Behind:
    • The first game averts the trope: not only do corpses stay behind, the bodies of acid/poison spitters can continue to damage you if you stand on them.
    • In the sequels, there are certain techniques that destroy bodies, which is important because some enemy summoners can resurrect them.
    • Some enemies (like the Maw Beasts in Diablo II) eat and spit corpses on you.
  • No Hero Discount: Demons about to overrun the countryside? Tragic. Want your armor repaired? Cash up front!
    • Even Tyrael and the two merchants in Act IV of Diablo II will charge money, though they at least have an excuse. Tyrael charges because he's an angel, and because of the pact, cannot directly intervene on behalf of humanity. There are similar rules for the two human merchants in the Pandemonium fortress with Tyrael.
    • Hilariously lampshaded in the official Diablo II online database; "In Act IV, Tyrael will resurrect your Hireling but he will charge you. What does he do with that gold? Angels got to pay the bills too."
    • Oddly subverted in that there are two quests, in act II and V, which will reduce prices.
  • No Man of Woman Born: In the Expanded Universe novel Demonsbane, the Big Bad has a glyph on itself that makes it invincible to all living creatures. The twist, then, is that the hero of the novel turns out to have been Dead All Along.
  • No Matter How Much I Beg: In the backstory, Tal Rasha gives his followers one of these orders after inserting Baal's soulstone into his own body. Unfortunately, no one told Marius.
  • Non-Elemental: Diablo 2 has non-elemental magic damage, which very few enemies have resistance to. All seven character classes except the Druid and Sorceress have at least one skill for dealing magic damage, and there are some unique items that add magic damage to your attacks.
  • Non-Human Humanoid Hybrid: Humans in this setting are the descendents of angels and demons.
  • Non-Human Undead: In Diablo 2 necromancers can get the ability to animate the corpses of their enemies as they were in life instead of somehow ending up with humanoid skeletons, as happens before this.
  • Non-Indicative Difficulty: In Diablo 2, in single player, if you use "player 8" mode, (or on battle.net, when soloing inside fairly full games) the monsters will get bonuses as if you where playing in a full multiplayer game, they also give extra XP and loot accordingly. While this does make the game harder in some ways, the level difference (between monster and player) and the loot are a big factor in difficulty, so this mode is only a bit harder early on, when the difficulty is very low anyway due to the very slow difficulty build up through the game. The experience and loot boost will proceed to push you so far ahead that the hard parts get a lot easier.
  • Non-Player Companion: The second installment introduced the henchmen system, which allows you to hire a companion in all but one towns, though only one can follow you at any time. The companion can Level Up and be equipped with better gear, but does not replace the Player Party, which consists of other players' characters online.
  • Noob Cave: Diablo II 's very first mission is the Den of Evil, which has you clearing out a cave of zombies because they might attack the Rogue Encampment. Emphasis on might because the cave is full of low-level zombies, fallen that can be one-shotted with ease and the weaksauce wannabe-giants that get killed with one hit once you reach level three, and then you meet up with a single rogue laying waste to twenty or so of them on top of evil amazon-chick reincarnated-and-then-re-killed-by-the-sentry corpses in the Cold Plains in the very next mission. Oh, and said sentry is just the guard to keep the difficult monsters from chasing you into the non-noob part of the first act. Yeah, way to spread your resources, Akara. Totally a Chessmaster when it comes to defending your peeps. *headdesk*
  • Nostalgia Level: Diablo II had one quest which ended with a return to the town of Tristram, where the first game took place. Except that, typically for the series, everyone had been turned into zombies. The developers even took the time to position corpses where each of the NPCs from the first game were standing.
  • Not Completely Useless: Diablo II features a Paladin ability called "Holy Bolt". Virtually useless unless you're focusing on healing teammates or damaging Undead. Of course, only a 1/4 of all the monsters in the game are Undead so you're helpless against everything else, but Holy Bolt does smash the daylights out of Undead.
    • If you spec out a Paladin to maximize Holy Bolt's healing properties, you won't be able to hit any monsters past Act 3 Normal. On the other hand, with the right gear (Faster Cast Rate rings for the win) you can heal 500+ HP a second. Not bad for a game that allegedly doesn't have a healing class.
    • Though the Sorceress's Blaze (which makes fire appear where you walk) is mostly useless, it makes an effective kiting tactic against Duriel. More than most classes, the Sorceress desperately needs to stay out of his Instant Death Radius; with Blaze, you can get him to chase you around in a circle in your trail of fire until he eventually dies.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: In the first game, the succubi were so sexy they actually caused some controversy; their bosoms and rear ends are clearly visible, and they aren't wearing anything except arm warmers and thigh-high boots. The player characters don't seem to notice. The players, on the other hand, that's another story.
  • Nothing but Skulls: Skullpiles as treasure chests, in addition to lying strewn about in Chaos Sanctuary. Made worse by the nature of the Random Drops game - How can you not find a skull in a pile of skulls? Justified in that the skulls you want are the skulls of arcane demons - apparently the rest are a more mundane variety.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: In Diablo, the dungeon levels are large and there can be quite a distance between the monsters, which only adds to the suspense and scariness of the game. Even more so because there are monsters that can turn invisible and sneak up on you, and others that charge you from far off-screen with a blood-curdling roar.
  • Notice This: Some games have the habit of showing the name of every single usable item on the ground. Players of the Diablo series will know how annoying this gets when you kill a particularly generous boss.
    • The first game didn't do this, and items on the floor were otherwise unremarkable and only highlighted when the mouse hovered over them. Now imagine rings and amulets, which have a "on-floor" graphic that's a blue ring a couple of pixels across. On a blue floor. In a dark dungeon. While the unofficial expansion added a spell which highlighted every lost item on the floor, and there was a built-in zoom function in the game, cooperative multiplay could (and often did) degenerate into the equivalent of searching for a dropped contact lens whenever that distinctive "ding!" was heard.
  • Number of the Beast: Diablo himself has 1,666 HP in the first game.
  • Obviously Evil: While Diablo plays this trope straight with most of the antagonists, who are almost all blood-thirsty, cannibalistic, Always Chaotic Evil demons, it includes some major avertions:
    • The first game include the Archbishop Lazarus from the Church of Light... who turns out to be The Dragon for Diablo, an Evil Chancellor and a Manipulative Bastard who tricked a gradually turning insane king into executing his own wife and people.
    • Diablo II gives us the Necromancer, who has white skin, dresses in black with skulls movites, uses spells based on corpses, blood and poison... but is at worst an Anti-Hero and one of the playable characters.
  • Older Is Better: In Diablo II (and clones) all of the items with more obscure ancient names are for some reason better.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: The Arcane Sanctuary of Diablo II, which is floating in space.
  • One Bullet at a Time:
    • In the first game, the sprite limit could be reached very easily with one Chain Lightning spell with many enemies in range or multiple Fire Wall spells. Sure, it's not a gun, but you still won't be able to cast any more until the effects finish up.
    • In Diablo II, you can cast as many missiles as you like ... but then you might not see them. Hilarity Ensues when fighting against a multi-shot lightning-enchanted boss while you have slow missiles active, where moving in the wrong direction (or not at all) will get you kill by hot air.
  • One-Handed Zweihänder: Barbarians in Diablo II can wield two-handed weapons like this, allowing for either a shield or another weapon (even another two-handed weapon) to be used in the other hand, though they take a damage penalty for one-handed use. For barbarians using a Frenzy build, however, nothing tops it.
  • One-Hit Kill: Some builds are focused around doing so much damage in a single strike that they can kill any monster or opponent in PvP. Notably, the twinked Blizzard Sorceress and the Charging Paladin. It is also technically possible, with perfectly set-up gear and skills, to kill the final boss on the hardest difficulty over the course of several minutes with a single stab from a Necromancer's Poison Dagger skill.
    • Due to a bug in how damage is dealt when Fire-Enchanted monsters explode upon death, they can easily OHK an unprepared player. The mini-boss Nihlathak is infamous for both his potential to drop desirable items and his potential to kill even prepared players in an instant by using the corpses of his dead minions as area-of-effect bombs.
  • One-Hit Polykill: In Diablo II, the Amazon has a Bow skill called Pierce, which causes arrows to pass through multiple enemies. When combined with Strafe, which splits an arrow to hit multiple targets... carnage ensues.
    • In older versions, this produced amusing results when used with the "guided arrow" skill - the arrow would hit the target, fly out the other side, and immediately turn around to have another go (and possibly repeat up to 5 times).
    • Some projectile weapons also have the Piercing Attack trait, rated 1 to 100% chance to pierce a target. The Buriza-Do Kyanon unique crossbow was the preferred weapon of many Amazons, called "Burizons", who specialized in Strafe and (when it worked) Guided Arrow.
      • As well as this works with bows, it works much better when the Amazon uses a Javelin. Her Lightning Fury skill makes a number of lightning bolts fly out towards the enemies and at high levels you get a very high number of bolts. Combine it with piercing and the javelin will go on to hit another target... and release the entire volley of lightning bolts again. And again. And again. The more enemies you have together the faster all of them will drop dead, making this perhaps the ultimate example.
  • One-Man Army: Every playable character in the Diablo games can, and will, kill hundreds (if not thousands) of demons and other creatures over the course of the adventure. In the first game, you venture into the depths of hell killing every demon, critter, and monster in your path including Diablo himself. In the second game, not only do you plow through Hell and kill Diablo, you also kill his brothers Mephisto, Baal, and legions upon legions of their evil minions, all by yourself. It's a virtual one man demonic genocide.
  • One Size Fits All: A frail and shaky Witch Doctor can wear the same armor as a massive Barbarian, provided the stat requirements are met.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: In most cases, non-Vitality point assignment is only recommended for meeting equipment requirements. What happened to avoiding getting hit, and so being able to add to strength and agility? Well, all right, so far it's only Amazons who get to enjoy Slow Missiles... Nearly every single character build follows this stat format:
    • Strength: as little as possible to meet equipment requirements
    • Dexterity: as above, or exactly enough for maximum block.
    • Vitality: PUT EVERYTHING YOU HAVE HERE!
    • Energy: never put anything into this. (Even when playing a sorceress!)
    • Strength is outdone by skill- and equipment-based damage boosts. The attack rating (accuracy) from Dexterity can easily be found elsewhere or is simply irrelevant. The same can be said for the mana gained from Energy. Thus, with enemies having high damage, Vitality is the only thing really worth investing in.
    • This is why Diablo III has automatic stat point assignment. Many fans ironically consider this to reduce the importance of player skill because in Diablo II if you are a newbie you will put your stat points in wrong and end up with a useless character.
      • They're probably fixing some Unstable Equilibrium with this. One of Diablo II's newest patches, 1.13c, added in the ability to "respec" and reset attribute and skill points once per difficulty level to encourage non-Min-Maxing.
  • One Time Dungeon: The Cow Level is intended as such — you can't open the portal anymore if you kill the Cow King, or if you're there when someone else does. But you can still enter the level through someone else's portal.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • In Diablo, the Dark Wanderer character (Diablo in the Diablo 1 Warrior's body) slowly transforms into Diablo starting from the beginning, up until just before Act 3 is completed. Similarly, Baal, having taken over Tal Rasha's body in a similar way, slowly transforms him beginning with his release prior to the completion of Act 2, until the final form seen in the opening movie (and final battle) of the Lord of Destruction expansion pack. King Leoric, the Skeleton King, also underwent a similar transformation, though he was able to resist full possession by Diablo. The Warrior's use of the soulstone may have made him more vulnerable to this though. Prince Albrecht succumbed immediately though, similar to how Griswold instantly became a zombie.
    • King Leoric was able to resist because at the time Diablo had just reawakened in the Soulstone. Prince Albrecht could not resist because as an infant he had little if any willpower to resist. The Warrior fell relatively easy because most the deeds Diablo caused Tristan were perpetrated to strengthen Diablo as well as perpetuate an Evil Plan to attract a hero powerful enough to kill him in Prince Albrecht's altered form and who would think that they were able to imprison Diablo in there mind, body and soul. Diablo by this time became powerful enough to gradually takeover the Warrior's body gaining a much more powerful host.
  • Only Idiots May Pass: Diablo II has a quest where you must touch five cairn stones in a certain order. The correct order is given on a particular scroll. You don't need to read the scroll; brute-force guessing works fine, as long as you have the scroll. Without it, the cairns do nothing no matter how much you click them.
  • Only One Name: Deckard Cain is the only NPC in the two first games with a first and last name.
  • Organ Drops: A quest in Diablo II involves collecting an eye, brain and heart, each of which is in an Inexplicable Treasure Chest. Moreover, Deckard Cain always has a little narmy speech about how that particular bodypart will symbolically aid you in the fight against the Prime Evils.
    "This is most fortunate! Khalim’s Brain knows Mephisto’s weakness."
    "You have found Khalim’s Heart, and it still bears the courage to face Mephisto!"
    "Ahhh, Khalim's Spleen...!"
  • Otherworldly And Sexually Ambiguous: Accoring to Word of God, demons are genderless.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Light tentacles instead of wings, tend to wear armor and face-concealing cloaks. As far as alignment goes, they are ostensibly on your side, but don't expect any help from anyone other than Tyrael. Strict followers of a law of non-interference again with the exception of Tyrael and a few other angels.
  • Our Demons Are Different: In the setting, demons are psychotic hordes sometimes created or altered by their leaders, the Prime Evils and the Lesser Evils. Even though they seem to have free will, they still do the bidding of their particular masters without question. They come in a huge variety of forms — from almost-human to green porcupines to the Blob to totally alien. In the second game, many enemies are not true demons, but creatures mutated by the forces of Hell. Killing demons primarily sends them back to Hell, which is the reason that the Soulstones were created — the angels needed a way to keep the Prime Evils from returning.
    • In the first game as well - the undead are not demons but corpses animated by the power of the Prime Evils, and the weaker creatures like Scavengers are mutated once-natural animals.
  • Our Gargoyles Rock: The first game had gargoyles, which were statues until you got too close, and turned back to stone if they took enough damage, making them a lot easier to hit (and surprisingly not much harder to kill).
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: The Druid of Diablo II can turn into a Werebear or Werewolf.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Lord of Destruction has the Druid, with an entire skill tree dedicated to transforming into a werewolf or a were-bear, and special attacks that can be used in those forms.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Even though it's more of a demon invasion, the first game had a unique view of where zombies come from. From the manual: "Zombies are formed from the corpses of men executed for the most depraved and degenerate crimes against the innocent. They are driven by both the hatred that consumed them in life and the undead hunger for mortal flesh." Though this was the only game in the series where this gets mentioned.
  • Out of the Inferno: Baal does a variant at the end of Diablo II, where everything behind him is catching on fire after he passes it. Well, he is the Lord of Destruction...
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: And not just monsters. The Paladin in Diablo II has a skill called Sacrifice, which grants him bonus damage in exchange for losing some health. Every time he uses the skill, about a gallon of blood spills out of him.
  • Overly Long Fighting Animation: While it doesn't sound like much compared to other examples on this page, the Amazon's "Impale" attack in Diablo II can take as much as 6 seconds to complete. Problem is, this is a game in which most other melee characters are attacking at speeds of 2-5 attacks per second, and the game is balanced accordingly. Any Impale-based build requires a mercenary or summon to tank so her attacks don't get interrupted before she can land a hit.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: Projectiles only really become dangerous when there are loads of them, or they home. The Amazons in Diablo 2 also have a spell that slows down any missile. The partial exception to this is the red lightning Diablo itself fires, which is very difficult to avoid completely. Unfortunately, the Amazon's arrows also qualify which is why she gets fancy multi-shot and machine gunning skills to compensate.
  • Painful Transformation: In Diablo II, the Dark Wanderer assumes Diablo's true form in the cinematic between Acts 3 and 4. Lumps move under his skin, horns sprout from his brow, and his face stretches and twists as he howls in pain. Thankfully, he collapses and the rest of the transformation occurs hidden under his cloak.
  • The Paladin: Diablo II has the Paladin as one of the selectable classes. He left the Corrupt Church of Zakarum and seeks to destroy the demons responsible for its corruption.
  • Palette Swap: The different monster varieties, from 3 to 6 variants, as well as champion/unique monsters.
  • Pamphlet Shelf: Bookshelves in the series usually yield a single spell tome at best.
  • Patchwork Map: Averted in Diablo II, where there's a specific 'travel gap' between the different Acts - an (unseen and assumed) caravan takes you from the temperate Rogues camp to the desert of Lut Gholein, then an unseen boat takes you from the desert to the jungle of Kurast, then the end of that Act opens a magical portal directly to Hell. If you have the LoD expansion, a helpful angel teleports you directly from Hell to the fifth Act in the snowy mountains.
  • Path of Inspiration: The lore, expounded in tie-in novels, has two significant cases: the Triune, an apparently benevolent church that was actually a front for the machinations of the three Prime Evils. Much later, the Black Road did much the same thing, but it was a more obvious deal-with-the-devil situation.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: In Diablo 2, the first area of the 5th act in the expansion pack used to be a great place to level grind thanks to relatively easy monsters who gave exp like candy. Pretty sure it got fixed in a patch later on though.
    • The general peninsulas for Diablo 2 are something along the lines of:
      • Tristram for 1-15
      • Tomb runs for 15-20
      • Cow level for 20-25
      • Baal Runs on varying difficulty modes for 25 on.
    • Getting a Bug Rush to Act 4 in Hell Mode at level 24+ can get you to level 65+ in mere minutes.
    • There's also an Ascended Glitch that lets you equip items to gain stats, which lets you equip even better items. Given the proper (extremely hard to find, due to Rare Item drop rates/combinations, forging, and the other ways of getting gear in the game) you can equip just about any item in the game by using this feature.
  • Percent Damage Attack: The Sorceress in Diablo II has the Static Field skill, which does 25% damage to any enemy, even a boss, though some targets cannot be dropped below a certain level this way.
  • Perpetual Beta: Both games have suffered from this. Diablo had a long history of Good Bad Bugs and Game Breaking Bugs, most notably item-duplicating, in its day. The second game is more notable for being in this state even after a decade of semi-annual support. Most skills are bugged and many are outright broken even after ten years of patches. A few particularly offensive examples of bugs that still plague it:
    • The "Lying Character Screen". Due to the character screen not being updated in patches, while fundamental game mechanics have been, the character screen is notorious for displaying incorrect numbers for every gameplay value except the player's name, level, experience, and health.
    • Melee spear skills for the Amazon class are so broken that players will call you crazy for considering them. One skill has such a slow animation that a monster can walk away before it lands. There's also a multi-strike skill that, as soon as any hit misses in the sequence or is interrupted (including by any of the Amazon's passive damage avoidance skills), all subsequent hits will miss while the animation plays out and you are beaten to death.
    • Both skills that use a certain attack animation, which looks like a continuous blast of flame or ice, can only hit one target. Furthermore, these skills do less than 1/3rd the damage they should. This is because the missile used disappears once it hits a target, rather than continuing to exist to deal damage in spite of the ongoing animation giving the illusion it's working.
    • There is the Gloam enemy that has two attacks: a powerful touch-based attack and a ranged lightning blast. The damage from the first attack is inexplicably added to the damage from the second attack making it one of the most infamous monsters in the game.
    • Due to faulty coding a Viper enemy, on Hell difficulty, fires poison blasts from its mouth that leave behind invisible hitboxes that do massive physical as well as poison damage and hit up to 12.5 times per second. This can and will kill any character not specifically built to fully negate the damage within seconds if they meet the conditions to trigger the bug. The conditions? Walking, or having an ally stand near you. They're also notorious for murdering your NPC ally without a moment's notice. Veteran players will usually just Save & Quit rather than deal with them.
    • If a boss monster gets a certain kind of randomly generated Mana Drain power, it drains 512x as much mana as intended. This makes it go from an annoying perk to an instantly debilitating one that can result in (nearly) instant death for sorceresses who used the Energy Shield skill (which allows the player to lose mana instead of health when attacked).
  • Physical God: In the first game, you have the Lord of Terror. The sequel has three of these, aptly named the Prime Evils.
    • In Spanish, the word "diablo" actually means the Devil.
  • Physical Heaven: Diablo II has you sent to Hell to kill Diablo. Turns out the forces of heaven have set up a fortress there and in fact have a few angels patrolling the place trying to keep things under control. Care to guess how that turned out?
  • Physical Hell: Of course, there wouldn't be a game otherwise. Not there originally, Diablo makes it literally out of terror incarnate.
  • Piñata Enemy: To some extent, the Countess in Diablo II may qualify for this. The first time you kill her, her spirit (in gaseous form) floats into a chest in the middle of the room, which pops open and dumps out several dozen piles of gold.
    • With the most recent patch, even in subsequent battles, on higher difficulties she has a better chance of dropping runes than most enemies, and probably the best chance proportional to the amount of effort needed to find and kill her. In addition to being useful in their own right, runes have also become the standard trade commodity of the Battle.net community.
    • Pindleskin was not intended to be this, if being patched is any indication, but before then it could drop the most powerful items in the game.
  • Pixel Hunt: In the first game, you could hear the sound of a ring drop from a monster, and spend the next 10 minutes carefully searching the ground around you.
    • Thankfully, in the sequel you can hold Alt-key to show all items on the ground.
    • And Hellfire added the Search skill/spell. Also, since you could pick up something as soon as the cursor was in the same square, you had to search much less than you'd think at first.
  • Plaguemaster: The Necromancer in Diablo 2 has a whole skilltree devoted to poisons.
  • Planet Heck
  • Player Generated Economy: For a while in Diablo II, multiplayer servers were frequent to item duplication, making in-game gold worthless and duplicated rare items (especially the Stone of Jordan) forming the main unit of currency. In closed servers, item duplication is illegal, so trade is better-regulated, though open servers are not.
  • Player Mooks: Diablo 2 allows you to hire expendable mercenaries in town to aid you.
  • Plot Coupon: Used repeatedly in Diablo II:
    • In Act II, you must collect the Viper Amulet, the Staff of Kings, and the Horadric Cube to assemble the Horadric Staff, which acts as a key to open the tomb of Tal Rasha.
    • In Act III, you must collect Khalim's Relics; combined, they act as a key to open the Durance of Hate.
  • Plot Coupon That Does Something: The Horadric Cube in Diablo II is needed to transmute several pieces of useless crap into a larger piece of useless crap just so you can get to the bosses of Acts II and III. However, you can continue to use it to transmute Vendor Trash into better items that are both more useful and more valuable. It also doubles as a mini-Bag of Holding, taking up 2x2 space in inventory while having a 3x4 space for items.
  • Point Build System: There's a class/level system, but each class has skills that can be purchased like a point build.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Diablo 2 allows low-level Necromancers to enchant daggers with poison. Poison enchantments on weapons was also quite common, even though these enchantments were generally far from lethal in any way.
  • Poison Mushroom: The original game had cursed armor, adding a bit of a gamble when you identified magical items. Cursed armor reduced attributes and didn't sell for much money.
  • Poisonous Captive: At the end of Diablo, the titular Big Bad is imprisoned in a crystal which is fused with the hero's body and mind, as Diablo simply cannot be killed. Cue the second game, where the hero is completely overtaken by Diablo who wears his body like a cloak. While this counts as Demonic Possession, it is implied that the process was gradual and did not rely solely on magic, but also at least partially on the personal influence and inherent malice of the demon. The same story also happened in the past with Tal Rasha and Baal.
  • Pokémon Speak: In Diablo 2, various fallen repeatedly call the names of some of their greatest heroes (boss critters). Especially said bosses themselves, Rakanishu, Bishibosh, and Colenzo. Notably when the PC approaches the Fallen to attack, they usually scream something like "Back off!"
  • Poor, Predictable Rock: Diablo 2 characters also do this, for much the same reasons as World of Warcraft. Namely, specializing is the only way to get a character doing enough damage at the higher difficulties. As might be expected this is bad news for, for example, a sorceress who uses only fire spells who meets an enemy that is immune to fire.
  • Portmanteau: Diablo II.
    • The strategy guides and developer comments refer to the Amazon character as a "spearazon" or a "bowazon", depending on which skill tree the player specializes in.
    • Paladin builds do much the same thing, from the Hammerdin (Paladin who uses Blessed Hammer), Auradin (Paladin who uses auras) and the Vengadin or Avenger (Paladin who uses Vengeance). There's also a build using Holy Freeze and Zeal which is called (appropriately) the Freezealot.
    • Assassins are primarily grouped into Kicksins (those who use kung fu) and Trapsins (those who use traps).
  • Power Gives You Wings: Angels have wings made of energy tentacles.
  • Power Limiter: The first humans of Sanctuary (and Sanctuary itself) were Angel-Demon hybrids called the Nephalem. They possessed power beyond any angel or demon and more significantly were Immune to Fate. The Angels feared their power and created the Worldstone to limit their power. Then Tyrael was forced to destroy the Worldstone after Baal corrupted it in Throne of Destruction. Cue the sequel, and the first of the new Nephalem become powerful enough to slay the reincarnated God of Evil.
  • The Power of Hate: Mephisto, who is called the Lord of Hatred for a reason. He is so absolutely evil that even the dead rise in rage to kill the living.
  • Power-Up Letdown:
    • In the first Diablo, Mana Shield absorbed less damage at higher levels due to a bug. Also, levelling up Chain Lightning would cause you to run into the sprite limit in one shot, causing disappearing lightning sprites and making it unreliable.
    • In Diablo 2, regular Lightning is vastly better than Chain Lightning in all aspects, pretty much all of the necromancer spells except the direct damage line get worse as you go down the tree, putting too many points into Energy Shield causes you to run out of mana, and Cleanse gets worse at higher levels due to a bug again. Putting too many points into Evade causes you to stunlock yourself. For a while Zeal used to add more hits as you put more points into it, until it locked your character in place for about five seconds while flailing away at nearby monsters - and if the first attack misses, all of them miss. No lifesteal, no way to cancel out of it, you're dead. GG.
  • Practical Currency: The Diablo 2 community used certain well-known "rare" items (well, they drop rarely, but given the size of the playerbase there are still tens of thousands of them) such as the traditional Stone of Jordan ring as currencies. Though each trade was effectively a barter, valuable items would have an agreed-upon market value in, say, Stones of Jordan or Zod Runes.
  • Practical Taunt: In Diablo II, the Barbarian has the taunt ability, which lowers an enemy's defenses, and more importantly, provokes ranged attackers into fighting up close.
  • Pre Explosion Buildup: When Tyrael blows up the World Stone in the epilogue of Lord of Destruction, a warping sound can be heard before the stone goes boom.
    • In fact, this effect is tripled:
      • There is a moment of silence after Tyreal charges up the sword (and a slowmotion effect when he throws it) that reaches its pinnacle when the sword enters the stone. Then the dimensions around the stone start to ripple.
      • The stone slowly disintegrates, and as it reaches its ends, it builds up to a final explosion, this explosion is preluded by the now familiar pre-explosion warping sound.
      • But then it turns out that there is a second, even louder explosion, that comes after a softer explosion, the softer explosion thus itself becomes the pre-explosion warp.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Diablo II:
    • The champion from the last game was possessed by Diablo and is always a few steps ahead of you. He mostly shows up in the cutscenes, but you do encounter him once ingame.
    • Not to mention Blood Raven and The Summoner, the two other possible player characters from the first game.
  • Primal Fear: The second half of the first act of Diablo II takes place in the dungeons under the Rogue's Monastery, which has now become the stronghold of the demon queen Andariel. Here the player gets to see what exactly happened to all the Rogues who didn't get corrupted into Andariel's minions, as there are plenty of various torture devices with the corpses of naked, dismembered women all over the dungeons and blood smeared accross the walls. The culmination is Andariel's lair, where the first room has a giant pit in the center which is full of blood and corpses, followed by her throne room with the naked bodies of Rogues impaled on spiked pillars as decorations.
  • Quest Giver: Floating exclamation marks over a character's head are found in Diablo II. The exclamation marks are in speech bubbles and the character will will try to come towards you.
  • Random Drops: A given, taking into account the genre of the game.
    • Rare Random Drop: At extremely slim odds for some items. For example, the chance of anything in the game dropping a Zod (the rarest rune) ranges from zero (cannot drop) to 1:some six digit number.
      • Mercifully, the latest patch has made the rarest runes drop more frequently - still incredibly rare, but it is now reasonably likely for a high-level player to see a few in a Season. Before it was possible for a player to never see some runes in their entire career - unless you traded for dupes.
    • Randomly Generated Loot: More or less the Trope Codifier for this sort of loot dropping. It featured individual pieces of equipment with random variations in stats, but special effects were mostly fixed to specific item types.
  • Randomly Generated Levels:
    • The first game features randomized dungeon layouts which include a handful of required rooms.
    • Diablo II does the same, though single-player maps do not change unless the original is deleted, or if the player plays online. These levels were more random before the first few patch; later on, they changed the random generator to be less annoying.
  • Random Teleportation: In the first game, there's a spell called Phasing that teleports you randomly to an area within view. There's also a shrine that does the same thing, with the appropriate flavor text: "Wherever you go, there you are."
  • Ranged Emergency Weapon: The bow is hardly the warrior's most useful weapon, but it can be handy if an enemy is behind a grate or if you need to exchange fire with something that won't let you close enough to engage in melee for a meaningful length of time.
  • Rare Candy: The original game had elixirs for the four primary stats (Strength, Dexterity, Magic, and Vitality) which were occasional drops in the dungeon and even rarely purchasable in the stores from level 26. With enough cash, one could patiently reach the maximum values for three of the four stats (Vitality potions aren't on sale) by repeatedly joining multiplayer games and seeing if Adria sold any elixirs. Diablo 2 also had some similar items, but typically as one-shot quest rewards.
  • Rare Random Drop: The games feature items that aren't just randomly dropped, but randomly generated from thousands of potential combinations of attributes, special abilities and base weapon types. Runes (items you can place into other items to make them better) are particularly glaring, with some high-level runes having such tiny chances to drop (1 in millions, and even that requires finding enemies even capable of dropping the runes in the first place) that most hard-core players have never seen a legitimate one (ones created by hacks, of course, are another matter entirely). In fact, one person apparently estimated that one has a better chance of getting hit by a falling plane that was struck by lightning than one does of finding the rarest rune. Nobody knows if that estimation is true, but you get the idea.
    • The rune example is fairly straightforward, but it can get much more complex: A base sword, for example, might have an inherent range of say 5 +/- damage and 10 +/- quality. So, just getting a "max" sword would take at least 15 rolls of that sword, of which, the top swords are also rare. Then, the top prefix is "Cruel," which varies between 200-300% added damage. The top suffix is "of Eviscration" which also varies by 20 points. It is estimated that maybe 1 sword has ever existed that was truly "perfect." You would need 10's of thousands of rolls to get a perfect roll, but you would probably need somewhere around 100 million of that sword to get 10k with that roll to even have a chance at the perfect stats. And then, there's the "Etheral" version, which is 1/3 as common as the regular version. Only 1 300% Cruel, Etheral, Elite class, 2 Socket sword has ever been found.
    • Diablo II includes many items that, when equipped, increase the odds of an item drop, notably socketing an item with perfect topaz gems. Some players traded for as much of this equipment as they could cram onto themselves, and went hunting; the Barbarian had an edge over any other character in this respect, because the optimum item-finding equipment package requires dual-wielding a pair of enchanted broadswords, which only the barbarian can do, and the barbarian had a skill that basically amounted to "trigger the random drop again".
  • Ravens and Crows: In Lord of Destruction, the Druid can summon a murder of ravens to "peck his enemy's eyes out".
  • Rays from Heaven: When you clear the Den Of Evil in Diablo II, the place gets illuminated with rays of light apparently breaking through the stone roof of the place as a heavenly-sounding choir can be heard above the music. If you're playing a Paladin, the quote he gives at this point is quite fitting: "My duty here is done."
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Diablo II: The Paladins of The Church of Light. At least until the entire church was corrupted by evil, anyway.
  • Real Time Weapon Change: It was added to Diablo II with the Expansion Pack. It also resulted in the addition of eight cells of wielded item Hammer Space which could be used to lug around items too.
  • Red Filter of Doom: This happens when you die in the first game.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: This was mocked by players of the original game way back when it came out: some nameless NPC, sole survivor of the traitorous Archbishop Lazarus's doomed expedition into the dungeon beneath Tristram, sputters out his dying words and sets you a quest leading to the first major boss of the game, the Butcher. You may be a new, inexperienced adventurer without much magical talent to speak of (depending on your class), but you're carrying healing potions.
  • Regenerating Mana: In the second game.
  • Respawning Enemies: In Diablo II, enemies respawn when leaving the game and coming back. In online games, the map will also change. Both online and offline, what enemies appear in which area can change. Also of note is that bosses also reappear like normal enemies.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Part of the reason the Eternal Conflict between Heaven and Hell has been eternal is that both the Angiris Council and the Prime Evils have this. Even if their bodies are completely destroyed, they will eventually return.
  • Reverse Grip: In Diablo II, all dagger-class weapons are wielded in Reverse Grip, thus distinguishing them from swords.
  • Reverse Shrapnel: Diablo II has two examples. The Assassin has the skill Blade Barrier, which creates a cloud of blades spinning around her and damaging all monsters that get close. The Necromancer has the skill Bone Armor, which encircles him in swirling bones that protect him from damage.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: The Holy Bolt spell does two things: damage undead mobs, and heal friendlies.
  • Reviving Enemy: The Reanimated Horde for the Diablo II expansion pack had a chance of rising again after you'd killed them (although this could only happen a finite number of times and wouldn't always happen). The only way to be sure was to Kill It with Ice, which would cause the body to shatter and evaporate.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: The games are loaded with destructible crates and barrels. In the third game, they removed it after it proved to be not just barrels of fun, but also very profitable.
  • Ring of Power: Diablo II has an ring with an unintended side use: The Stone of Jordan, in addition to being a powerful unique item, also functioned as currency in online play due to the general worthlessness of gold beyond a certain point.
  • Road Runner PC: In Diablo II, the player is essentially the fastest thing on the map. He has a Sprint Meter, but at higher levels it's too big to make a difference. Except in very enclosed spaces, running is nearly always an option. This is why the most dangerous enemies in the game are those that do ice damage (causing you to slow down,) Spam Attack quickly enough to stunlock you, or mob you tightly enough to obscure the Town Portal you're frantically trying to click on.
  • Robbing the Dead: The games allow you to loot crypts, coffins, urns, graves, piles of bones, and corpses both fresh and old.
  • Roguelike: The randomly-generated dungeon maps and loot, and the Save Game Limits designed to prevent Save Scumming, essentially make it a real-time Roguelike with isometric graphics and multiplayer. Hardcore mode in Diablo II features the Roguelike tradition of the permanency of death, and the option of having your corpse lootable is similar to the bones file feature of NetHack.
    • Word of God says that it was a more traditional turn-based Roguelike (albeit one with isometric graphics) during early development, until someone turned off the pause between turns to see what would happen and was pleasantly surprised...
  • Rogue Protagonist: You learn of a possessed and evil character in Diablo II, called the Dark Wanderer. As it turns out, he's the player character of the first gamenote .
  • Role Reprisal: Michael Gough would return in Diablo 2 and Diablo III, reprising his role of Deckard Cain in both games.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Fanfiction often focuses on the mysterious order known as the Rouge Archers.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: The first series of dungeons in the first game are supposed to be located under a tiny village church, and are a randomly-generated maze of passageways, tombs, and other rooms that go on for several sub-levels with no overall plan. One wonders what madman designed their church's undercroft, or how the people ever held services there. This was handwaved in the manual. The catacombs were built explicitly to be a maze that would safeguard the Sealed Evil in a Can... that has broken loose and made the deeper levels even more convoluted and filled the place with monsters and death traps.
  • Rule of Three: To craft the weapon that will open the path to Mephisto's lair, You must use the Eye, Heart, and Brain of Khalim.
  • Running Gag: Mentions of Wirt's wooden leg have spread to the other Blizzard game Warcraft (and all sequels/spinoffs that follow).
  • Rush Boss: Most of the key bosses in Diablo II are marathon bosses (including all the Act Bosses except possibly Andariel, who's a bit of a half-way house), but the mid-act boss in Act 2, The Summoner, is a classic Rush Boss. He's extremely fragile, going down in two or three hits, but depending on your build he can easily One-Hit Kill you, at least on Normal difficulty. He also has fantastic range (well over your character's sight range), meaning new players often die to him before they even see him.
  • Sand Worm: Diablo II has the burrowing Sand Maggots, which the official backstory points out are actually arthropods and not worms at all. A gigantic boss variant named Coldworm the Burrower was so bloated it resembled a worm more than the normal Sand Maggots.
  • Save Game Limits: Diablo II does not allow you to save in any way except by quitting the game. Doing so respawns all monsters and teleports you to the town of the act you're in.
  • Save Scumming:
    • Offline players in Diablo II can save scum by manually copying the save files to other locations or just flagging them "read-only" and removing the attribute once the desired results have been achieved. Particularly useful for the otherwise expensive and unrewarding gambling.
    • In the first Diablo game, you could save scum the normal way.
  • Saving the World: What you are supposed to do.
  • Scenery Gorn: The Butcher's room in Diablo, red with blood and full of human bodies mutilated, impaled and/or hung up on hooks.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: In-game, at least. Everyone who was present in the canonical games and expansions has a part in the canon. As a boss.

    Not counting Multiplayer, this happens in Diablo 1 and 2. In Diablo's Multiplayer, the NPCs keep the same speech, talking to you like if you were the sole one present. This is a complicated example due to the difference between what's seen in-game and what happened according to canon.

    In the games' canon, all of the heroes were indeed present. The Rogue, Sorcerer and Warrior from the first game show up as Blood Raven, the Summoner, and the Wanderer (possessed by Diablo himself because he is made the one who canonically "defeated" him) in the second. This goes with the completely different onscreen and backstory versions of the setting of the first game; Tristram is supposed to be the capital of the realm, whereas in-game it's a minuscule village, and several adventurers are supposed to be coming to explore the nearby dungeon, when in the game the only possible signs of anyone such other than the Player Character are some remains inside.

    To complicate things even more, though it's probably a Retcon or continuity error, while the Wanderer was the one who defeated Diablo, his background in the second game contradicts that of the Player Character in the first (who used to live in Tristram, whereas the Wanderer was not known to anyone there), which would imply... well, nothing that makes coherent sense, but it makes the relationship to this trope even more complicated.

    Further, each of the three "characters" described in the manual is actually a type of adventurer (a character class in game terms); it's not that there was just one Warrior, Rogue and Sorcerer, the backstory made it clear there were at least potentially several of each coming to Tristram, and indeed the Rogues in the next game speak of others of their number besides Blood Raven having been there. So basically, the game does the trope almost on two levels, but the canon averts it.

    Diablo III largely avoids anything hard and fast about the heroes of Diablo II, and lampshades the fact that Tristram is so small and run-down for a capital with one of Leoric's journals commenting on that and wondering why Lazarus directed him to make such a place his capital. However, it further confuses the issue of the Wanderer, by making him Aidan, Leoric's eldest son, whereas in earlier lore, Leoric only had the one son — paving over the continuity error with regards to the Wanderer in Tristram by making him someone no-one would actually admit to recognizing after seeing how he'd deteriorated, but also making him a character who previously didn't exist in any capacity.
  • Screaming Warrior: Diablo 2 's Barbarian has an entire tree of skills which involve roaring to either buff himself and his allies, or de-buff enemies. One of the highest-level war cries, simply called War Cry, deals direct physical damage.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: When the Prime Evils were unleashed upon Sanctuary, the Archangel Tyrael selected a group of mortals known as the Horadrim and charged them with imprisoning their essences into the Soulstones so that they would not be reborn into the Hells upon death. But thanks to the betrayal of Tyrael's lieutenant Izual, who filled the Prime Evils in on the Soulstones and how to corrupt them, it turns out that this played directly into their hands.
  • Sealed Evil in a Duel: In Diablo II, Tal Rasha uses his own body as an extension of a soulstone to imprison Baal. He is possessed, and has to be tied up and magically bound in a tomb, his spirit fighting Baal's for eternity. Or until Marius came along and tugged on the ringpull. Ooops.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: In the lore, it is customary for the Prime Evils to spend time inside human hosts — either as a safety measure, or chained there against their will. When the Wanderer was tricked into using Diablo's soulstone on himself, he became the unwitting host of the Lord of Terror, and at some unknown point in time lost his will for good. In the distant past, a monk by the name of Tal Rasha decided to bind himself to Baal to imprison the Lord of Destruction forever and ever. It didn't go so well.
  • Secret Character: The Hellfire Expansion Pack for the original game came with two secret, "unlockable" characters: the Bard and Barbarian. The Barbarian has since reappeared in the sequels.
  • Secret Level: The secret Cow Level in Diablo 2, which was made after various rumours about one in the original Diablo.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Naked runs (that is, runs with no equipment) are popular for classes that can handle them. The first game, however, takes it one step beyond with the Beyond Naked Mage, which uses any and all cursed gear it finds, and only cursed gear. (When there's a choice of gear for the same slot, one must use the item with the greater penalties). In addition to providing an extra level of challenge, this also provided a type of Ironic Hell for griefers who lured players into being killed by monsters in order to steal their equipment. Have fun with some life-decreasing jewelry, jackass!
  • Sequel Hook: Diablo II: The original (pre-expansion) plot ended with one of these. The whole story has been set in flashbacks told by a crazy man in a madhouse named Marius who tells the Archangel Tyrael about how he travelled the world with Diablo himself and saw the three Prime Evils rise to power. Eventually he gives up the soulstone of Baal, Diablo's younger brother, to his visitor so all of it can finally end... TWIST! It wasn't Tyrael at all, but Baal in disguise. He kills Marius and takes his soulstone back and leaves to pursue unknown plans.
  • Sequence Breaking: When playing online in Diablo II it is rare to spend more than 20 minutes in act three, as everyone simply fights the council and Mephisto right away due to rushing and waypoint abuse.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook:
    • The Necromancer's Confusion curse in Diablo 2 causes enemies to attack randomly, and of course can be used on a crowd to turn them against each other. There is also the Attract curse which causes all enemies to attack the cursed target. Necromancers can also raise defeated enemies from the dead as their minions.
    • Paladins have an attack that temporarily makes an enemy switch sides. If Defeat Means Friendship, a good punch to the face means a brief alliance?
  • Set Bonus: Item (particularly, armor) sets in Diablo II give you set bonuses if you wear some or all of them at once.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Diablo 1 did this. The protagonist finally defeated the Big Bad, only to become corrupted by its Soulstone and become the new Diablo himself. And this is because the protagonist believes that they are strong enough to fight the spirit of Diablo.
  • Shaped Like Itself: The randomly-generated items and monsters sometimes have matching affixes, leading to things such as "Flaming Longsword of Flame" and "Ghostly Ghost".
  • Shield Bash:
    • Diablo II has some shield-bash skills for Paladin.
    • In Diablo, it deals same damage as a punch or kick, but it gives you the chance to block enemy melee strikes.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Diablo II, Act II is set in the desert surrounding the city of Lut Gholein in the region of Aranoch. Prince Jerhyn, ruler of the land, is dressed in white robes and a turban, and has (or had, rather) a harem living in his palace, which has a giant onion-shaped dome typical of Mughal architecture.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Shamans have the ability to resurrect fallen enemies of their type that you've killed, so killing them quickly is very much recommended.
  • Shoot the Messenger: In the opening cinematic of Lord of Destruction, Baal and his army approach the gates of Sesscheron. A lone herald is sent out to address him. The herald eventually musters up his courage and defiantly refuses Baal entry to the city and declares that he will never reach Mount Arreat and the Worldstone. Baal's response is to calmly tell him he will take his proposal "into consideration". He then summons tendrils of demonic energy that go inside the herald and make him pop like a grape. Baal then mockingly says "it seems your terms...are not acceptable." And laughs and laughs as his army storms the city.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog:
    • The plot of Diablo revolves around a protagonist who seeks to stop the titular demon from destroying the town of Tristram, setting himself free from the cathedral, and leading his demonic hordes to destroy the world. In the end, he kills the demon (actually, his human host) and plunges the stone containing his soul into himself, with hopes that he will be able to contain the demon's power. All in all, a reasonable ending. Now, cut to the second game. It is revealed that he couldn't resist it. He became Diablo, destroyed Tristram, set himself free, and is now leading his demonic hordes to destroy the world. Well, crap. It was actually revealed that by the time you face Diablo in the first Diablo game, you're already under his control. The entire point of Diablo's plotting in the first game was for him to find a stronger host body. He reckoned, correctly, that any being strong enough to fight his/her way down to him, and then "slay" him was exactly what he needed. The manual to Diablo II: Lord of Destruction even points out how every time people thought it was over, the brothers just kept reemerging.
    • The expansion of the sequel isn't much better. You manage to smash Mephisto and Diablo's soulstones! Except that Baal is still left unchecked, and he's figured out the location of the source of the soulstones, the Worldstone. Oh, and he manages to convince one of the NPCs to give him a Plot Coupon, meaning free access to the Worldstone for him. By the time you catch up to and kill Baal, Tyrael comes down and notifies you that Baal's corruption of the Worldstone means that the only way to prevent the entire Realm from becoming an outpost of Hell is to destroy the Worldstone. Not even Tyrael himself knows what will happen afterwards. All you can do is enter the portal he opens for you.
  • Shoulders of Doom: The necromancer from Diablo II has a rather iconic pauldron in the shape of a horned demon skull on one shoulder. In D3 there are three necromancers who wear an updated version of the same costume, including the pauldron.
  • Shout-Out: In Diablo II, it's possible to hire a mercenary named "Jarulf," a reference to Pedro Faria, the author of the greatest Diablo resource, Jarulf's Guide.
    • It's also possible to hire a mercenary called "Klaatu"
    • A bunch of the Rogue mercenaries are named after staff on the old "official unofficial" diabloii.net site.
    • One of the rare dirk-class weapons is called "The Diggler," a reference to the movie Boogie Nights.
    • The Blessed Hammer skill channels the energy of the Hammer of Ghrab Thaar.
    • In the first Diablo, there was a staff called the "Rod of Onan," which could never ever be a reference to the Biblical story of Onan. It summoned golems from the earth.
    • There's also the mini-boss The Summoner, who bears a distinct resemblance to Rita Repulsa.
    • The Fetish demons.
    • If you speak to Gheed after completing Act I of the second game, he gleefully announces that he's gonna party like it's 999.
  • Shrunken Head: The Necromancer from Diablo 2 can use shrunken heads as a shield, boosting his powers at the same time.
  • Sidetrack Bonus: Because of its randomised dungeons, moving forward in the series is largely a matter of luck, with the player as likely to find an empty dead end as anything else, but exploring a whole area before going on will naturally yield some treasure and some unique monsters.
  • Sinister Minister: The Archbishop Lazarus.
  • Sinister Scythe:
    • Lots of demons in Diablo II use scythes as primary weapons and scythes are available as equippable weapons, powerful but not that effective.
    • Also, some of the Uniques aimed for the Necromancer were Scythes adorned with skulls. And the lack of effectiveness from the scythes come more from the fact that slow weapons with heavy damage being largely useless in Diablo, due to the fact it means you take a long time to recover and thus being incapable of effectively dodging insta-kill attacks (like some creatures' ability to cast an uber powered version of the Sorceress inferno, and some bosses' attacks). Still, it is said a Concentration specced Barbarian would be able to pull it off...
    • Scythes (particularly War Scythes) are effective weapons for Druids since they get a Fast (or Very Fast) attack speed. They work especially well with the Shapeshifting skill tree.
    • Median XL's Necromancers are quite fond of using scythes as their Weapon of Choice, and have some nice attacks such as Angel of Death that do nasty damage.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Diablo 2 features bone helms, bone shields, and bone wands which all classes can use. There are also the shrunken heads which are unique shields for necromancers.
  • Skill Point Reset: Diablo II is infamous for its unforgiving skill tree system which forced many players to start the game all over again when it turned out their skill build wasn't any good later on. Fortunately a one-time reset was added in a patch, and a certain late game item also allows this, making it slightly less jarring.
  • Skill Scores And Perks: Diablo II features a hybrid skill score/perk system, wherein each class has three unique skill trees consisting of several tiers of perks. Individual tiers are unlocked one by one at certain character levels, after which any number of skill points (gained at each level and from some quests) can be invested into any unlocked perk, increasing its efficiency and often giving bonuses to more advanced perks derived from it. On a side note, Diablo II has one of the earliest implementations of the aura-type perks (with its Paladin class).
  • Skippable Boss: Subverted in Lord of Destruction: The guardians of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon can be bypassed with a Plot Coupon. The problem? The Big Bad bribes one of the NPCs into handing him the Plot Coupon, which means he gets the free pass instead. Enjoy your boss fight!
  • Skull for a Head: Mephisto has this. My goodness! So horrible!
  • Skyward Scream: The first game's ending.
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: The games are gritty in the extreme, depicting a world invaded by demons who decorate with blood, limbs, impaled corpses and tortured souls.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Diablo II expansion Lord of Destruction takes place in the snowy, barbarian-inhabited wastes of Harrogath.
  • Slow Transformation: The Wanderer over several cutscenes in Diablo 2 gradually looks more and more evil, until in a final cutscene morphing fully into a Diablo form.
  • Smash Mook: Blunderbores, Wendigo and Thorned Hulks from Diablo II.
  • The Smurfette Principle:
    • In Diablo I, only one of the three (the Rogue) classes was female. Diablo II evened the gender balance a bit with three female classes and four male ones. Diablo III removes the problem entirely by allowing the player to be either gender for all classes.
    • Diablo I was either more or less balanced with the inclusion of the Hellfire expansion depending on how you approach it. It added the male monk class by default, plus mildly altered remakes of the Warrior and Rogue that could only be unlocked by futzing with a system file.
  • Socketed Equipment: The Trope Namer. Diablo II allowed the upgrading of gems, either through the Horadric Cube or touching a gem shrine which would drop one of your gems on the ground as a higher level one (For example, touching a shrine while you have, for example, a chipped ruby would turn it into a flawed ruby). If you didn't have a gem, it would drop a random, chipped gem when activated.
  • So Last Season: The player is expected to invest as little as possible in Diablo 2 's starter skills and switch to using higher-tier skills as soon as possible. Unless the intention is to make a Lethal Joke Character, that is.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: If you hire a new mercenary while you have an old one, the old one disappears with whatever equipment you gave him/her.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness:
    • In Diablo I and II, the item spread is carefully controlled by which area of the game you're in; the starting levels will give you nothing but light armor, weak weapons of all kinds, and marginally magical items. As you continue through the game, the range of droppable items increases, so that Dagger of Poking you picked up in Act I will eventually be replaced by the Pointy Short Sword of Sharpness in Act II, the Serrated Flamberge of Wounding in Act III, and the Butt-kicking BFS of Evisceration on the highest difficulty setting.
    • Played straight in Diablo II for all plot-related zones, but avoided in hell difficulty mode, where all acts (except act IV) had several optional zones (level 85 zones) where pretty much any item (except for the rarest runes) may drop.
  • Soul Jar: In Diablo II, the only way to ensure that the Prime Evils never return to the mortal world is to destroy their Soulstones. Of course, the only reason the Soulstones exist to begin with is because the Evils somehow convinced the world that using them would do this. Bad Evils! Or, if Izual is to be believed, it's actually a gambit on the part of good manipulating evil, not evil manipulating good. The original plan was to imprison the Evils in the Soulstones so that they would not return to Hell upon death. But Izual betrayed Heaven by filling in the Evils on how to corrupt the Soulstones and helped the Prime Evils mastermind their own exile into Sanctuary, setting up the events of the series proper.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: In Diablo II, most of the monsters make some periodic noise. Fallen chatter, insect-types chitter, zombies moan, skeletons shuffle, etc.
    • Further, every type of item that Randomly Drops has its own sound effect. They're pretty easy to distinguish even among similar types (i.e. a ring sounds quite different than an amulet, a spear or polearm sounds different than a javelin, etc.)
    • Also, chests, stashes and barrels make a very distinct noise when the player springs a Booby Trap. It is one of the most memorable sounds in the game and a good reason not to play muted.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The Cain Rap.
  • Spam Attack: The earlier series, with skills like Strafe, Jab, Fend, Frenzy, and most especially Zeal.
  • Speedrun: Diablo manages to hold two speedruns that are astounding for entirely opposite reasons: The original Diablo was crushed in 0:03:12(!) through obscene luck manipulation and glitching, while Diablo II has a much longer run of 4:22:xx beating the game 100%... on Normal, Nightmare, and Hell, all from a fresh file.
  • Spell Book:
    • The original game has one of the less abstract uses of the spell book trope in video games. A spell book, when read, simply adds that spell to your repertoire so that you can use it as much as you want in future (as long as you have enough mana). If you find another book of the same spell at a higher level, reading it will let you cast a more advanced version of the same spell.
    • Diablo II bypasses the use of spell books. There are single-use scrolls for certain universal spells (Identify and Town Portal), and if the scrolls take up too much room in your inventory you can store up to twenty of them in a book.
  • Spider Limbs: Andariel, the first boss from Diablo II features four spider legs growing from her back, but they're only used for attacking.
  • Spider People: Baal is this.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Diablo 2 has Antiheroic examples; Necromancer and Assassin can get armors festooned with Spikes. Though not the villains, neither of them explicitly deny evil motives and revel in evil methods.
  • Spin Attack
  • Spread Shot: The Amazon in Diablo II has Multishot, which fires a spread of arrows, and the Strafe skill, which fires a rapid stream of arrows.
  • Sprint Meter: In Diablo 2, competely depleting the Sprint Meter means having to wait for it to fill up completely before sprinting again. Potions exist to temporarily nullify it. (Also, the game is kind enough to freeze the meter in the non-combat areas, allowing you to sprint all you like.)
  • Sprint Shoes: Diablo II has quite a few things that qualify as this. The assassin has Burst of Speed. The barbarian has the Increased Speed passive as well as Frenzy. The druid gets a minor boost when in werewolf form. The paladin can use Charge for quick movement, or he can just switch to the Vigor aura and basically give his whole party the Bunny Hood effect. Characters lacking these, and many who DO, usually have some equipment that gives a speed boost.
  • Squishy Wizard: The Necromancer and Sorceress are the 'squishy' classes. The Druid can be as well, but certain builds (especially those that focus on shapeshifting) are more durable.
    • Despite being squishy by his stats, a Necromancer who focuses on summons is easily among the safest of heroes, having several tons of undead flesh and bone between him and anything nasty. Highly recommended for fresh solo characters, who must go it without hand-me-downs. Sorceresses focusing on Energy Shield can accomplish exceptional feats of durability as well, but it's much harder and much less common.
    • For enemies, there's the Summoner, who can deal lot of damage to you from a long distance but goes down pretty easily, if you can manage to get through the multitude of weaker enemies surrounding him to actually hit him.
  • Standard Status Effects: In Diablo II.
    • Poison: The game has a poisoned status that continuously drains health and may prevent or counteract attempts at healing. It doesn't drop a player's health below 1 HP, though mobs and NPCs are not so lucky.
    • Frozen: The Frozen status severely slows down those afflicted. When killed, there's a good chance the target will explode, destroying the corpse.
    • Weird Transformation: You can socket a helm with some runes and wear it, giving you a 1% Chance To Cast Level 50 Delirium When Struck (morph). When this happens, you temporarily transform into a tiny weak demonling carrying a spear.
  • Starter Equipment: Poor Diablo II characters, they don't get any armor, just a class-appropriate weapon: the Barbarian, a hand axe; the Paladin, a short sword, the Amazon, a stack of javelins, the Sorceress, a staff of +1 Fire Bolt, the Necromancer, a wand of +1 Summon Skeleton, the Assassin, a katar, and the Druid, a club. Some of them also get a buckler. It should be noted, however, that these items are flagged as being Starter items, which means they always cost exactly 1 gold to repair. Not that it helps.
  • Status Buff: Paladins in Diablo II were a lackluster fighter class at high levels, but were valued for their auras and healing abilities.
  • Stock Sound Effect: Blizzard abuses this often. Minotaurs' death in Diablo II is one of the examples.
  • Stop Poking Me: In the first game, clicking the town's cow would cause it to moo. Clicking it repeatedly would make your character start commenting on it. "Yup, that's a cow all right..."
  • Story Breadcrumbs: The first game had a setup like this. Books placed on pedestals throughout the catacombs under Tristram would tell you the story how Diablo came to be buried under Tristram, along with other events that precede the game. That said, the game's manual contained all the same story elements in more detail.
  • Story-Driven Invulnerability:
    • In Diablo II, when you go to defeat Baal, he just sits there and summons a few rounds of minions at you, while being completely invincible until the "real" battle with him begins in the next room.
    • Similarly, in the first game, when you finally meet the Archbishop, he stands there and speechifies at you for a good while. Neither side can attack while he's talking, but you can run out of the room, which is recommended as he's accompanied by a number of minions and it's easier to kill him if you've lured them out piecemeal first.
  • Story to Gameplay Ratio: The series is a little odd in this regard. There's lots of story in terms of dialog from NPCs and other characters, but all of it can be (and often is by most players) ignored by those who just want to jump into the quests. The universe has a really good story-lines but it is safe to say that the game's immense popularity is not because of its story. The game would likely still be as popular as it is even if it had virtually no story.
  • Strength Equals Worthiness: The Barbarian Elders on Mount Arreat in Lord of Destruction.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: Good job sticking a soulstone into your head, warrior from the first game. Wrestling against the lord of Terror, yeah right. Take the damn soulstone to the Horadric mage, who can send you back down to destroy the thing. Admittedly, he was kinda messed up by this point and it's pointed out that this was a very very bad idea. Still, why would you think your willpower can stand up to the devil, who also happens to be immortal so he'll win anyway?

    It is now known that the random warrior is actually the other son of the skeleton king and the older brother of the prince that Diablo took over for a body. Basically, the entire game Diablo was whispering to the warrior to make him think that was the only way to seal him and prevent him from ever being released into the world again, but in contrast to the deranged hero, the audience—and, indeed, the Horadric mage in question—knows better.
  • Sturgeon's Law: 90% of any drops you get is worthless junk.
  • Subliminal Seduction: The game contains the satanic message (at least in the game files): Eat your vegetables, and brush after every meal. (backwards, of course)
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome:
    • In Diablo II, the helpful townsfolk from the first game are skeletal scenery when you return to Tristram... except for Deckard Cain, of course, and poor Griswold, who is now the zombie Level Boss. On the plus side, Peg-Leg Wirt's body yields a buttload of coin and a surprising magic item.
    • Even better example? The Rogue is corrupted by Andariel and becomes Blood Raven, the Sorcerer goes insane and becomes the Summoner, the imposter sub-boss of Act 2; and the Warrior becomes the Dark Wanderer — the new host of Diablo himself.
  • Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: The hero from the first game is the Big Bad of the second.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: According to the Diablo I manual, the minions of Baal, the Lord of Destruction, seek the undoing of the universe.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Averted in Diablo II, when you defeat the evil council in Kurast, their Zealots only run away from you at that point onward.
  • Summon Magic: In Diablo II, the Necromancer and Druid characters have a whole list of spells devoted to summoning multiple allies, who are always loyal and fight until killed. The Amazon and Assassin can summon a single powerful ally.
  • Super Weight:
    • Type 0: Most humans.
    • Type 1: Mercenaries, lesser monsters.
    • Type 2: Most NPC magic-users, most monsters.
    • Type 3: Most player characters, The Summoner, Blood Raven, Lesser Evils, lesser angels, Human Tyrael.
    • Type 4: The Prime Evils and Angiris Council.
    • Type 5: Anu and Tathamet, Diablo as the Prime Evil.
  • The Swarm: Diablo II has swarms of insects as a certain enemy type. You can stab them to death with swords and they drop suits of armor.
  • Sword Drag:
  • Sword of Plot Advancement:
    • The first game has Lazarus's Staff. It's not a weapon you can equip, but you need to give the staff to Cain so the portal to Lazarus' lair opens afterwards.
    • Diablo II; One's an epic staff (Horadric Staff); the other is an epic mace (Khalim's Will). Your forced to give up both to foward the plot. The staff opens the true Tomb of Tal Rasha in Act 2 and Khalim's Will opens the stairwell to Mephisto's Durace of Hate in Act 3.
  • Tactical Door Use: Very effective version in Diablo I: closing doors will stop certain demons in their tracks. Combine this with a grate nearby that allows you to shoot through to the other side of the door, and soon you've got a pile of dead demons lying on the other side of said door.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: Baal was imprisoned in a soulstone along with his two brothers. His, however, cracked and in order to contain him it was driven into the mind of the mage Tal Rasha, who would engage in an eternal Battle of Wills with the Prime Evil. On top of that, Tal Rasha was chained both literally and magically inside a very tightly sealed tomb in the middle of a killer desert. It didn't end well. On the other hand, it was apparently the only prison of the three that wasn't subverted from within by the Prime Evils- sucks to be Tal Rasha, but it did keep Baal trapped until Diablo showed up to break him out.
  • Take Your Time: Present in all games, although some exceptions do exist. If you don't rescue Cain from his cage in II before moving on, the Rogues will do it for you and he'll ask for a fee when identifying items.
  • Taking You with Me: The unique monsters in Diablo II that are Cold and/or Fire Enchanted. Nasty cold nova and fire+physical damage effect upon monster death.
    • Undead Fetishes. One of the game's more infamous Demonic Spiders that reward you with a face full of shrapnel if they die in close proximity to you.
    • Enforced with the Suicide Minions of Act 5.
    • Also, some Uniques have a trait that makes them explode upon dying, and some undead emit a cloud of poison when downed.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Diablo II: In the cinematic between Act II and Act III, Tyrael somehow finds the time to deliver a ten-second monologue to Marius while ostensibly in battle with two Prime Evils.
    • The background clearly shows that time has stopped while he does this. Also, he's an angel. And furthermore, the moment his time-stop ends, Baal catches him off-guard and disarms him. Triple justified.
  • Teaser Equipment: The enterprising young boy Wirt randomly sells a high-level item, but you're unlikely to be able to purchase it until later. Even though that item is generated at random, it's generally of a higher level than what the normal item shops are selling, though not always relevant to your class. By the time you'll generally be able to purchase it, the gear in other shops has largely caught up.
  • Technicolor Fire: When the necromancer is chosen on the character selection screen in Diablo II, he will create an illusion of blue fire around himself.
  • Tech Tree: This can also be seen in Diablo 2. Sometimes this makes sense, like how a Sorceress has to learn the basic Ice Bolt spell before learning the more advanced Blizzard. Other times, like how the Barbarian has to learn Leap (what it sounds like) before Whirlwind (a spinning blade attack), it's obvious they're just prerequisites for prerequisites' sake.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Diablo II has waypoints, huge tiles on the ground that allow you to travel instantly between levels once you've activated them.
  • Teleporting Keycard Squad:: Diablo II pulls this when activating the seals to reach Diablo. Twice they have the courtesy to run in from off-screen; once they just pop up out of thin air. Of course, you're breaking Soul Jars in Hell, so this is pretty darn justified.
    • Earlier in the game is the quest for the Gidbinn. When you light up the fire in the village in the forest, a small groupe of enemies will come rushing at you, including the one that drops the aforementioned dagger.
  • Teleport Spam: Diablo II. In the most extreme cases, a player controlled Sorceress may be teleporting about 3.5 times per second in combat (3.1 being the norm).
    • Don't forget the Act V imps. Sure, they were easy meat for your Hammerdin, but god forbid you tried to go through as a melee spec.
    • And with the addition of the Enigma runeword, ANYONE, not just Sorceresses, can use Teleport. Yes, even Hammerdins.
    • Diablo 1 has those wacky teleporting mages.
  • Temple of Doom: Diablo II has lots of them, naturally. There's the various Tombs of Tal Rasha; the temples under the Flayer Jungle, large parts of Kurast...
    • The original Diablo was a series of Basements of Doom.
  • The Tetris Effect: After playing Diablo II (especially with friends who quickly grab everything), you will start to hear the "ding" noise that happens whenever a jewel/rune drops.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Diablo II plays this one straight when Marius witnesses Diablo's transformation. He even says it "was not meant for mortal eyes."
  • Thieves' Guild: The rogues aren't just members of a thieves' guild, they're apparently members of a thieves' religious monastic order. They're also not thieves...
  • Third-Person Person: Ormus's dialogue.
  • This Is the Final Battle: Spoken by Malah in the Diablo II expansion: "Everything you have done has been to prepare for this. Kill Baal! Finish the game!"
  • This Was His True Form:
    • In the first game, when you slay Diablo and pull the soulstone from his forehead, his body reverts to that of Prince Albrecht, whom Diablo had possessed. (It is unclear whether Albrecht is alive or dead at this point.)
    • Oddly enough, in Diablo II, there's no sign of this when the player removes Mephisto's soulstone from the body that used to be Sankekur. Possibly due to Diablo's "death" in the first game being planned while Mephisto's death wasn't
  • Thong of Shielding: A curious case are the succubi, because they seem to wear only a "low-cut" thong when you look at them from the front, but are clearly butt-naked when you look at them when they turn around.
  • The Three Trials: Diablo II Act 2 and 3 require you to track down three magical artifacts to combine into a weapon that'd open the way to the endboss. Technically there were four items in the third act, but the last one was obtained right next to where you needed to use them.
  • Threshold Guardians: The Ancients in Diablo II, Act 5.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: In the ending of Diablo II, Tyrael throws his sword to destroy the corrupted worldstone. At least his target is frigging huge. Tyrael is also an angel. When a being of pure energy and magic throws something, it will probably "strike true".
  • Thunder Equals Downpour: The Thunderstorm spell in Diablo II plays a satisfying thunder sound the first time it drops a lightning bolt on an enemy, then only sporadically.
  • Tiny-Headed Behemoth: Blunderbores from II. Alchemical enhancements increased the physical muscle mass of those warriors far beyond normal proportions. Apparently they didn't bother to make their head proportional to the rest of their body.
  • To Hell and Back: The first two games in the series have the player character fighting through Hell to kill Diablo in the last Act. The third inverts this, you have to storm the gate of heaven after the Legions of Hell take most of it over.
    • It's more killing his host in the first game.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Jewels and runes in II are just rare enough, and can only be used once.
  • Too Important to Walk: In the opening scene of Lord of Destruction, Baal is carried on a massive litter by his soldiers when he parleys with a herald.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: In Diablo II, a sudden unexplained eclipse turns out to have been caused by evil magic, and the heroes undertake a quest to destroy the spell at its source. Once this is done, daylight returns instantly.
  • Transformation Of The Possessed: In Diablo 2, this happens to the first game's protagonist when he fails to contain Diablo's soul.
  • Transformation Sequence: Diablo 2: In the cutscene before Act IV narrated by Marius, he has the misfortune to witness The Wanderer's horrific transformation into Diablo. Spikes burst out from his back, his face distorts horribly, and it ends with Diablo casting aside what's left of his human shell like a dirty rag.
  • Trick Arrow: The Amazon of Diablo II has an entire skill-tab dedicated to these, including arrows that explode, arrows that freeze everything, arrows that split into multiple smaller arrows, and of course the Guided Arrow.
  • Turn Undead: In Diablo and its sequel, there are three types of enemy: animal, demon, and undead. For each of the latter two, there are possible item enchantments that do extra damage. The first game also features the Holy Bolt spell, which specifically harms only undead. In the sequel, this is one of several anti-undead attacks available to the Paladin, who also has an Aura called Sanctuary which pushes Undead away from the character and hurts them a bit. Its main use is to keep the Pally from getting dogpiled. It also greatly increases your melee damage on undeads.
  • The Turret Master: The Assassin from Diablo II is one of the earlier forms of this, having a line of Trap abilities that worked to summon turrets. A similar idea existed in a spell, called Guardian in the first game, and Hydra in the next two, which would summon a three-headed beast that would shoot firebolts.
  • Two-Faced: The corrupted council in Diablo 2 are half human and half demon, split vertically.
  • Unbreakable Weapons:
    • The original game had a durability exploit in which, through the use of Hidden Shrines, the player can raise the durability of an item to the specific value of 255, which the game recognizes as indestructible.
    • The sequel provides intentional examples, such as mods and socketables making an item indestructible.
  • Underboobs: The Sorceress of Diablo II has such an outfit while she is not wearing any armor.
  • Underground Monkey: The games were full of this. Every single enemy in the games, apart from quest specific bosses, came in various levels of strength denoted by colour and had otherwise identical sprites as others of its type. It's mentioned in the first game manual that this is because the Prime Evils, the leaders of the demons, would alter their servants forms to better deal with whatever threat they were facing at the time.
  • The Unfought: When Diablo II and its expansion end, Belial and Azmodan are the only two Evils, Prime or Lesser, remaining, and you don't get to fight them until Diablo III.
  • Unidentified Items: In the first game, you can take your unknown items into town and have Cain identify them, or buy a scroll to do it (for the same price of 100 gold). In the sequel, Cain will do the service for free as thanks for freeing him from a gibbet in Tristram (if you choose to be a dick and leave him there, the Rogues will eventually free him and he'll charge the standard price).
  • Universal Poison: And universal antidote. It's elemental poison, after all.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Diablo 2 has the Barbarian's "frenzy" attack, causing the character to attack and run faster and faster as they attack enemies.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: No one in town make a big fuss that you travel with undead, golems, wild animals, plants, spirits, a shadow or a bright glowing valkyrie.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake:
    • The original Diablo disables the "SAVE" option when you die. However, it does so a few frames late, and during these few frames it's difficult, but possible to save already dead and watch your character die instantly each time you reload. There's only one save slot. While you can start the game over with your character's current stats (much like a New Game+, except accessible from the very beginning), you'll lose anything you had left lying around in town (which is likely to be a lot, due to Grid Inventory and Nothing Fades). But hey, it's your own damn fault for saving when you knew you were dead.
      • You can just plain save while surrounded by monsters and one hit from death. This is obviously user error. Another variant is to save immediately before getting dealt a final blow such as by a projectile, which is more of an accident.
      • This can screw up first-time Diablo players who come from Diablo II. In Diablo 2, you CAN save and exit when you die and get away with it. In that game, you will be brought back to town carrying whatever was in your inventory when you died. Anything on the ground or that you dropped(potions, usually), were gone... If you're used to that, the change in save-after-death in the original can burn.
      • Multiplayer characters can screw up in a different way: there is no regular save function and dying in multiplayer mode causes your items to fall to the ground. If you die in a place where you can't get them back (there is one notable enemy type that ignores the safe radius around level entrances and is also invisible, so you can die very quickly after entering a level, only to see a mass of hidden ones manifest around the stairs) and have no choice but to leave the game, you lost all of your items permanently. Good luck completing the game after that.
      • Diablo has strong roguelike influences and can screw you over in numerous other ways. Black Death in particular take away 1 hit point permanently on striking (with no indication that this is the case) and can render the game unwinnable if you are playing very badly and get hit hundreds of times, leaving you with a tiny amount of health. You have to try really hard to make this happen, though.
    • In Diablo II, if you lose everything, then you can still go back to where you died and pick up your body. Since it's a pain without your best weapons, you may decide to just quit the game and reload it instead. Doing this too many times causes the game to say "Bad Dead Bodies". There is no indication anywhere that this will happen.
      • Why people run into the "Bad Dead Bodies" problem: if you die multiple times, pick up your first corpse with all of your items on it, but don't have enough inventory space to equip them all, the remainder stays on your corpse. If you then die again, then your items are now split among two corpses. The game only saves the corpse with the most valuable items on it. Some useless items have a grossly inflated sales price. This may not literally make the game unwinnable, but losing almost all of your items in Hell difficulty can end your quest right there. This is considered a feature and it is the reason why most people simply quit and reload when they die once, and pick up their corpse in town.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • The protagonist of Diablo. Even the Archangel Tyrael falls into this category a bit. Or a lot, if you believe Izual. Arguably everyone in the series was a Unwitting Pawn to the Prime Evils. Especially in the first game. Nobody ever figures out the true agendas of the Prime Evils until it's too late.
    • Poor, poor Marius.
  • Urban Segregation: Kurast.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Averted for the most part. While at first sight anything that has to do with freezing, stunning, knocking back, fleeing, or converting won't work on anyone important, they DO work well on those "anyone important"'s minions, and a well built character (and their merc) can take on even the scariest uniques one on one if the minions are not joining the fight.
    • The synergy system succeeded in averting this trope, although certain skills such as Psychic Hammer and Blade Sentry are still viewed as useless beyond the first few character levels. Classic Diablo II played this straight. Minion-based Necromancer builds had to rely on golems because of how weak skeletons were and most Sorceresses had to wait until they were level 18-24 to have a single skill worth putting more than a single prerequisite point into.
  • The Usual Adversaries: The series, as one can probably guess, primarily has the demons of the Burning Hells in this role, though undead are also a big threat early on.
  • Valkyries: The Amazon in Diablo II can summon a Valkyrie.
  • Vendor Trash: Played straight with the copious amounts of low-quality weapons and armor to pawn for gold.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon:
    • The final battle with the title archdemon of the original game takes place on the lowest level of Tristram Cathedral.
    • Diablo II 's final showdown takes place in the Chaos Sanctuary, a gigantic hellish pentangle in an infernal cathedral at the end of a river of lava. The expansion, Lord of Destruction, ends in the Worldstone Chamber, in the deepest level of a holy cavern, at the top of a very tall mountain.
  • Very High Velocity Rounds: Not the full Bullet Time, but the Amazon of Diablo 2 had this trope as a Skill. She could slow the speed of all projectiles within a radius around her, except her own.
  • Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: Diablo 2 has the Inferno spell which is a flamethrower, complete with short range at low spell levels, low area coverage at all spell levels, no persistent damage, slow-moving flames and it takes a long time to cast and roots you to the spot while you channel and stops when you get hit. Between its weak damage and the danger factor of planting yourself in front of the onrushing enemies that will proceed to stunlock you, this is the worst sorceress spell in the game. The expansion provided the new druid class with an Ice thrower which was useful for no other reason than the very long chill length, providing some much-needed crowd control until players figured out that there's a passive area effect chill spell in the druid's arsenal and most enemies you want to chill are immune to it anyway.
    • There is a very cheap runeword that averted this by giving a massive bonus to all fire spells, and to the Inferno spell in particular; like most spells, it could become much more effective as you pumped its effective level up beyond 20, making it a cheap and effective tool that could be acquired by the end of Act 1 and remained useful until everything becomes immune to fire.
    • The first Diablo also contained Inferno and it was even worse. At least you didn't have to channel it, but it was a very slow moving flame that crept along the ground, had a very short range, almost always missed if cast at an angle due to the game being grid-based and its only benefit was that it could hit multiple targets if they were right in your grill. You would probably get a book of this spell at about the point where the first Lightning Bolt staves started to show up, which had the same line damage effect, unlimited range, a much wider area of effect and did about five times as much damage.
  • Video Game Stealing: While not stealing, the "Find Potion" and "Find Item" barbarian skills in Diablo II allow you to find additional items on corpses that are not there when you simply loot the killed enemy. Both of these were explained in the manual. The potions aren't really bottles of potion, but the enemy's internal organs with the same properties as healing or mana potions, concocted into a drinkable form. Ewwww. The Find Item skill was explained as barbarians used to living a hardscrabble life and willing to look a little harder through the carnage to find the good stuff. Considering that, at higher skill levels and on stronger monsters, this can get you hundreds of gold or rare magic items, they must be looking really hard.
  • Villain-Based Franchise: The game's title is the name of the main antagonist. Do we really need to say more?
  • Villain by Default: Averted with Necromancers. Necromancers there are innately Neutral, and, in Diablo II, are on the side of the heroes and a PC option because the demons have no respect for the Balance of Life and Death, indiscriminately killing people and animating the dead. It's also implied that all magic except necromancy is innately corruptive and risks turning its user evil if they aren't cautious.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In the backstory of Diablo, King Leoric is possessed by Diablo and effectively starts having a Villainous Breakdown while he's still a good guy. He doesn't remain good for long when that happens. He starts getting increasingly paranoid and less sane, until finally when Diablo leaves him, unable to take over completely, he's a raving madman who has to be killed by his own most loyal knights.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: Diablo, full stop.
  • Villain Teleportation: In Diablo II, boss monsters with the random Teleportation modifier also heal on each teleport, and it is completely random and independent of their AI or animations. In other words, either you deal enough damage to kill them outright or you will never kill them. The teleporting Council doomed many underpowered variant builds until Blizzard removed the heal in the expansion pack patch.
  • Voice of the Legion: Many characters in Diablo (I and II), including all Prime Evils and Lesser Evils, Archbishop Lazarus, the Nephalem (Barbarian Ancients)... hell, virtually every talking monster. Tyrael, in Diablo II, also. A rare example of an angel getting this ability.
  • Voodoo Zombie: The various undead are often of this kind, with powerful undead such as the Skeleton King being a result of Diablo's direct influence. The Zombie Apocalypse that goes down in the first act of Diablo III, however, is a result of Tyrael renouncing his angelic title and Justice leaving the High Heavens, resulting in all those who died unjustly being brought back from their graves.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Diablo features The Butcher, who is an extremely tough opponent for the part of the game he appears in, being very fast and capable of dealing huge amounts of damage in close combat. He quickly becomes That One Boss to lower level characters because the only way to beat him safely depends on the randomly-generated terrain spawning in such a fashion to let you plink him to death at range. Thankfully, he only has a 50% chance of appearing, and drops a nifty unique axe when he finally goes down.
    • Diablo II, had this at several points in the game, many of which were lethal on the Hardcore difficulty, and were designed to screw over those with poor gear or bad skill distribution.
      • Good luck taking down Blood Raven if you're a melee fighter. In fact, given her speed, powerful ranged attacks ,and the minions she calls up periodically to harass you, good luck period.
      • Duriel. So you're a ranged class and you've been running away shooting over your shoulder all the time, eh? You think you can kite or outrange every single monster in the game, eh? You think that hit points are useless because nothing comes close to you, eh? You think if you ever come close to dying, you can always run away, eh? And the game would never put you in an inescapable sardine can with a boss that will charge you for an instant kill if you get too far away and has an unresistable slow aura? Ha! As of v1.13 at least, Duriel no longer uses the charge, but his (un)Holy Freeze aura pretty much makes you hardly able to retaliate effectively as he dices up your character in short order.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: The Warrior from Diablo, and the Barbarian from its successor. (And probably the Barbarian from Diablo III, in keeping with the pattern.)
  • Walking Wasteland: Baal in Diablo II cutscenes appears to do this, spreading a dark, smoky aura, blackening and cracking the ground, and even the skies darken at his approach. Whether the blighting aura is innate or intentional, it is suppressed while he's disguised as Tyrael.
  • Wallet of Holding: The first game allowed up to 5000 gold per available inventory slot, which led to a glitch where you can't buy the best armor in the game because you can't hold enough money. An item added in the Hellfire expansion to the game doubled your gold capacity to 10,000 per slot. The sequel has a separate storage for gold in the inventory, although Diablo 2 still caps the amount you can carry.
  • Wall of Weapons: Diablo II has a wall of weapons - in Hell! They're arranged nicely over the fireplace in the Heaven-owned Pandemonium Fortress. Why your character can't pluck one of them off the wall is never asked, of course... Because you'd be stealing from the forces of Heaven, maybe?
  • The Wandering You: Diablo 2, very much so. To get anywhere requires very, very long stretches of doing nothing more than walking and chopping your way through hundreds of demons.
  • Warp Whistle:
    • Diablo II has a "waypoint" in nearly every zone (including towns and enemy lairs), which can instantly teleport the player to any other waypoint in the game. However, as the zones are sorted according to the Sorting Algorithm of Evil, only two waypoints are typically used: one in the town, the other in the most advanced zone so far. Diablo III continues this, except you can no longer travel by waypoint back to previous acts.
    • In addition, the games also made use of Town Portal, though as the name implied, the scrolls primarily sent you back to town (which you would need to do often in order to sell off your old or excess gear, repair the gear you were using, and resupply on essentials such as potions, ammunition and Scrolls of Identify or Town Portal.
  • Warrior Poet: The Druid in Diablo II is supposed to be this. According to the official sources anyway.
  • Was Once a Man: Humans possessed and altered to fit their shape by the Prime Evils, through Demonic Possession. Diablo's body turns back into that of the young prince in the first game when he's killed, and in the second, all the Three Evils are in the bodies of possessed humans, which turn more and more monstrous in irregular stages.
  • Water Source Tampering: One of the potential side quests in the first game involves Tristram's water supply being poisoned. When you go into the catacombs and find the spring, killing the monsters around it will turn it back to normal.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: In Diablo II, a Paladin using the skill Blessed Hammer (commonly known as Hammerdins) are capable of throwing dozens of high-damage hammers at a time, even into the highest difficulties. Their weakness? Walls. Since the hammers arc in a circular pattern, it can be extremely difficult to defeat certain monsters who are positioned in a difficult spot. There's a reason why the most effective equipment for a Hammerdin has an item that provides the Teleport spell: because there's quite a few mandatory sections of the game that are best served teleporting around, avoiding enemies, grabbing the one item you need, and getting out of there.
  • Weaponized Offspring: The giant grubs in Diablo II lay eggs while a player is nearby, which quickly spawn into aggressive larvae.
  • Weapon of X Slaying: Diablo gives all blunt weapons this effect against undead monsters, and Diablo II also has weapons with specific anti-undead or anti-demon enchantments.
  • We Buy Anything:
    • Shopkeepers love to buy items from you. In the first game, only related items can be sold to the relevant shopkeeper. The sequel relaxes the rule and plays this trope straight.
    • In Diablo II, there is an upper limit on the amount of money a particular vendor will pay, depending on the player's location. In the First Town, items cannot be sold for more than 5000 gold, but this limit scales upwards in subsequent towns. In addition, since trade screens are limited in size in this game, vendors will accumulate items sold to them by the player as long as there is enough space for them on the screen, and subsequent items will disappear. They'll still buy ANYTHING mind you, and they still have infinite cash reserves. The limit only applies per item.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: Should the PC in Diablo 2 die, his hireling and any summons also spontaneously fall over dead.
  • Welcome to Corneria:
    • In Diablo II, the guards in the city of Lut Gholein only say "welcome to the palace" and "stay out of trouble".
    • Flavie: "Take care! The Corrupted Rogues in the wilderness ahead are not to be trifled with."
  • Wendigo: This is the official name of the line of monsters that starts with Gargantuan Beast and ends with Yeti in Diablo II.
  • Wham Line: "I am not the archangel Tyrael."
  • What a Senseless Waste of Human Life: Inverted/parodied in Diablo II, when the Necromancer defeats Radamant and his undead forces: "What a waste of undead flesh..."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: When you kill Mephisto, Natalya disappears. There's still no word as to where she went. She described herself as a "Hunter of Evil" whose job was to hunt down rogue mages, and Tal Rasha was a rogue mage (to put it lightly), so it could be inferred that she went after Baal... but you never see her in Lord of Destruction either.
  • Whip It Good: Several of the larger demon enemies in Diablo 2 use whips, in particular the Overlords from the Lord of Destruction expansion.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: In Diablo II, the mage Ormus gives a short speech that's similar to the one from Vampire Hunter D during a quest related to the lost treasure of a sage who sought immortality:
    "What he [Ku Y'leh] did not realize is that there is no life beyond death. There is only life. Once it is prolonged unnaturally, it can become a living hell."
    • As a result of the same quest, Meshif muses:
      "Can you imagine having to get up to piss every night for the rest of eternity?"
  • Winged Humanoid: The (arch)angels in the series are agents of Heaven with a rather unusual appearance. E.g. Tyrael's wings are actually tentacles made of light.
  • With This Herring: Played with. In both games, you don't start out with much, but your initial equipment isn't terrible. It'll do for a bit until you can get better stuff. Justified in both games because A) you're not really all that special of an adventurer and B) the areas you're in are typically going through hard times.
  • Wolfpack Boss: The Ancients in Diablo II. As a bonus, you have to defeat them all without teleporting back to camp. If you do, they reset and heal up, and the fight has to be done all over again.
  • Wolverine Claws: Claw-class weapons from Diablo II, though this also included katars and other punching weapons.
  • Words Can Break My Bones: The scrolls in the series work this way, with the written words becoming the spell as they're spoken (and consequently, disappearing). The magic books from the first installment may be similar, as they too disappear when used.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: A very interesting case showed up in the player market of Diablo 2. Due to the in-game currency of gold being ridiculously easy to obtain, it didn't take long for any item worth buying from another player to quickly become worth more gold than it was physically possible to carry. Players started using a rare drop as a de facto currency instead.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Butcher's cleaver has Gameplay and Story Segregation in Diablo - while it is said that the wounds inflicted by it can't be healed because of infection, you can heal them as much as you like.
  • The X of Y: Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: Killed by standing in fire in Diablo. Another would be people killed by repeatedly attacking bosses with a damage reflecting shield up, because any time you have to hit yourself to death you deserve to die.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: The entire human race is the result of interbreeding between angels and demons.
  • You All Look Familiar: Averted, but only for NPCs. PCs of the same class all look quite similar.
  • You Are Too Late: Since Diablo II features the player trying to chase down Baal and the Dark Wanderer, respectively, Acts II and III both end on this note. Duriel, the Act II boss, taunts you saying:
    "Looking for Baal?"
    • Mephisto points this out as well when you confront him at the end of Act III:
      "You're too late! Ahahahahaha!"
    • It happens again in the Lord of Destruction Expansion. You have to stop Baal from getting to the Worldstone or all is lost. But when you defeat him it turns out he has already corrupted the Worldstone, forcing Tyrael to destroy it to keep humanity from being enslaved by Hell (although given the worldstone's true purpose, this inadvertently sets up the happiest ending in the series).
    • Don't forget about the first game, either.
      Archbishop Lazarus: Abandon your foolish quest. All that awaits you is the wrath of my Master! You Are Too Late to save the child. Now you will join him...in Hell!
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Or Stage 2: both games end badly for team Human.
  • You Fool!: In Diablo 2, Tyrael uses this when Marius takes Baal's soulstone. 'You... FOOL! You have just ensured the doom of this world!'
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Everything including rings and necklaces have stat and level requirements to wear them. Also, your characters are apparently so paranoid about magical items that they refuse to wield anything until it's been identified. And while in Diablo I, you could wear Unidentified items, but bear the risk of it being cursed, in the sequel you can not wear Unidentified items and there are no Cursed items.
    "Alas, poor adventurer - he accidentally put on the Necklace of Self-Decapitation."
    • Also in Diablo II, your druid may know how to summon a cluster of three tornadoes, but summoning one tornado is beyond his grasp until six levels later.
    • Your mage in Diablo starts out with a level two Firebolt and is incapable of casting Holy Bolt, which according to the lore was explicitly created to be easy to cast for anyone with no particular magical talent. It gets worse in the sequel, where the sorceress and necromancer start the game with zero magical or necromantic abilities whatsoever and rely on their staff or wand to cast anything at all.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: This happened to the hero in the first game. After killing Diablo and removing the soulstone from its forehead and freeing his former host, the hero rams the thing into his own forehead, becoming Diablo and taking his place, which brings us full circle to where we started.
  • You No Take Candle: In the first game: "We strong! We kill all with big magic!" The poor little demon had obtained a tavern sign depicting a sun and naturally expected it to be magical.
  • Zerg Rush: This is the favorite strategy of the enemies in Diablo 2 (even for the bigger guys). Think about it: You and up to 7 other guys, up against hundreds of demons. It especially gets nuts when you're up against those bug things, that spawn smaller bug things, from Act 2. There are some structures that spawn enemies, which look like something out of the Zerg Faction. I guess Blizzard LOVES this trope.
  • Zip Mode: In the unofficial expansion Hellfire, your walk speed was doubled in town. In II, you could run in towns without depleting your Sprint Meter.
  • Zombie Gait: Both games feature varying classes of zombies that fit the trope perfectly. In Diablo II, some of them will poison the player with each hit and/or release a cloud of poison gas upon death, though this poison will not turn the player or his/her minions into zombies.
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alternative title(s): Diablo II; Diablo2; Diablo; Diablo II; Diablo 2
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