No, there isn’t a game coming out based on the popular show that I have decided to name this series as. Sorry to disappoint.
That, however, would be a good rumor to start, right? Ok, so instead of this being based on a game or a show, this article series is going to be based on rumors, easter eggs, news, fun facts and all around (hopefully) interesting stories of games that we may or may not have played in the past, as well as rumors of upcoming games and games that we currently play. Be sure to check in often and see what’s been featured!
Episode 1… Right? Right! So what better to talk about in the shadow of Diablo 3 than its much older predecessor, Diablo 2. Personally I spent years playing this game. Yeah, I really do mean years. Imagine that huh, playing the same game for 3 or 4 year…. how about 8 or 9? Its seems those day are now gone, as developers and publishers are feeding us games like McDonald’s feeds us mashed up chicken parts. What I mean by that is that games now days are usually poorly constructed and mass produced with speed and quantity in mind, rather than quality games that the makers put pride, sweat, and possibly blood into.
Diablo 2 was one of those games that you could tell was made to please the masses, instead of primarily filling the pockets of the Blizzard higher ups. It helped to set the standard of the hack and slash category. The loot was endless, so the palates of plunderers were easily sated. The monsters posed a threat when necessary but the player could still feel like a champion when they rolled over countless hoards of monsters, cutting a bloody swath into the well designed landscape. Yes, Diablo 2 was one of those games I could play for hours, granted my parents could stand the yelling when my brother realized I wouldn’t stop playing… even though my hour of game time had long since passed. I can’t tell you how many fights that game caused between my brothers and I.
My own tale is one that would have brought any true gamer to their knees in agony. In my younger days, my family was too impoverished to afford a steady internet connection. Instead, we would have internet for a month, then the next month, it would be out. We lived in this vicious cycle for a few years, making early PC gaming a very frustrating thing. Most of my game time in D2 was spent playing the campaign alone. My character? The druid. I loved to decimate the enemies with giant molten boulders, volcanoes, and huge twisters (not to mention the Werebear… truly a creature spawned out of fear and nightmare). I cut, burned and transformed my way though normal mode with ease. I loved those rare moment when you got to see an amazing cut scene, especially the ones with Tyrael (not going to lie, he made Angels become cool to me). After beating normal I worked hard to smash through all five acts of nightmare mode. That was no easy task, and potions became more valuable than gems and each victory was won with sweat and frustration.. lots and lots of frustration.
Those days were good days, and my juvenile mind was obsessed with beating D2. I started the back breaking task of beating Hell mode, a mode that was aptly named. My brother was both jealous and in awe of my demon destroying abilities. Eventually, he would come to me for advice, mind you he was the one who bought the game and the one who beat normal first. I didn’t always want to give him advice, because he was the kind of person that was ALWAYS asking for help, which basically meant that I was beating the game for him. He saw as I worked hard to push my druid to level 64, act 4 of Hell mode. I vaguely remember him asking me for advice, and me (as always) saying no. One evening, after returning home from a friends house, I jumped onto D2 to continue my quest to completely beat the game. I booted it up and went into the character selection screen. However, my character wasn’t there. I became very anxious, and in disbelief. I thought that rebooting the game would help, that maybe my character hadn’t loaded right. To my horror, the truth was very different. My brother walked casually into the computer room with a twisted smile on his face. He said it, those cutting words, with such confidence and ease that they struck me like a train. “Oh, I deleted your druid… Maybe next time you’ll help me”. I was furious (HUGE understatement), and my middle school brain handle what I had heard. I immediately began to weep (yes WEEP… crying doesn’t begin to cover it). A whole summers work was gone because of the jerk I called my brother. To make it worse, my parents didn’t even sate my thirst for justice (I think revenge covers the emotion better). In reality, the game was my brothers, so what he did with it was his business. I was shattered. So close to my goal, only to see it ripped away. I never did beat the game, and still feel a tinge of hurt when I attempt to play it again.
Tales aside, Diablo 2 was a very fun game (for those that could handle it). The secret cow level, however, was without a doubt the most amusing place in the game. You created a portal via Wirt’s Leg and a Tome of Town Portal. Wirt was a vendor found in the original Diablo. He was Wirt the Peg-Legged Boy, and he would only show you his special item after a heft fee of 50 gold. His single item inventory was, however, the best in the game. He had the potential to sell items that couldn’t be found anywhere else in the game. His hefty price, however, aggravated more than a few fans of Diablo, so his insertion as a lifeless corpse in D2 was another thing meant for the pleasure of the fans (as sick as that may be). After getting Wirts leg and the Tome, you would put them into the Horadric Cube (You’ve got quite a treasure there in that Horadric cube!). The interesting ingredients would summon a portal into a land filled with Hell Bovines, basically giant cows standing on two feet and wielding poleaxes. One of the more interesting parts of this area was the voice over for the cows. Every noise they made was made in some form of “Moo”. It really made slaying them fun, as they would often let out a dying moo. These moo’s were recorded by the Blizzard staff and were not made to sound like the mooing of real cows.
So apart from the hilarious bovines, the massive amount of loot and the sheer pleasure of wiping crazy amounts of enemies off your screen, what made this secret cow level so awesome? The Secret Cow Level was based off of the rumor that it existed in the original Diablo. This rumor, however, was not true. There was never a secret cow level in the original. Blizzard joked with its community about this for some time, and the small rumor became a running joke. Starcraft, another Blizzard game, has a cheat code to skip a level. Whats that cheat code? “There Is No Cow Level”. Funny right? Blizzard and its community kept that joke going for a while, and even after the release of Diablo 2 the belief that there was no cow level remained true… at least to the community. Blizzard did slip this secret level into the game, as an easter egg and tribute to their dedicated community.
So there you have it! Tales from the Crypt. Thanks for reading, and if you have a tale of your own that you would like me to share in the next issue of the series join the forms (if you already haven’t) and send me a PM of your tale!