Diablo® III

Why is D1 so moody...?

I want you to write your thoughts on "the mood" in D1, and difference between it and the sequals.
Comparing D2 and D3 to D1, I always feel that the first game has a spookier feeling... more grim, uncomfortable, darker. And now after playing D3 I have been thinking on what makes D1 so dark in comparison:

First off, D1 is the original game, with the original story. When you played the game for the first time, you had no idea what was coming for you. There had been no expansion of the lore (no botchery!)

- D1 is set in a single, descending dungeon (Dante´s Inferno anyone). The scenery is DARK! It´s like walking in a creepy house with just a tiny candle in your hand. Dark cathedral (churches are scary at night), dark catacombs, dark caves. No sunny deserts or glittering palaces.

- The town of Tristram was in a state of fear. Despite the sturdiness of Griswold and Ogden, the fear of the people was ever present. And it was always nightfall. No jolly merchants.

- The narrator for the Lore Books in the dungeon had a really creepy voice! "All hail and praise to Diablo..." !!! If you had not read the manual you had no idea of the setting events, and this scary SOB-voice actor informed you with a voice that cut through your spine.

- Something that occured to me recently after enduring the story of D3: In D1 there were no plot devices. No mcguffins. No horadric staves or ancient-must-have-for-unlocking-Diablos-eight part-inner vault chamber etc... The quest was simple: Go down the dungeon and kill the Lord of Hell! Do some sidequests for XP, weapons and money on the way down. But you didn´t have to, you could walk straight down and kill the spaniard (^^) right away if you liked.

Well that´s some of my thoughts on Diablo. Please do share yours on what made the game so special :)
Edited by Solidpontus#2324 on 6/2/2012 1:20 PM PDT
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06/02/2012 01:16 PMPosted by Solidpontus
First off, D1 is the original game, with the original story. When you played the game for the first time, you had no idea what was coming for you. There had been no expansion of the lore (no botchery!)

Actually you could get a a nice thick book that went into great detail on the lore of the game. 80% of it has been retconned since though.

I agree with the rest.
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Which book was that? Or did you mean the game manual?
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Posts: 2,440
A different company made D1.

Blizzard bought them and changed their name.

Yes, D1 is still the best game in terms of mood. It's one of those games that can actually scare you. The dialogue is rich, and the voice acting is superb. D1 easily has the best voicing in the franchise, and maybe even the best of all Blizzard games, through Starcraft 1 comes pretty close.

Also, the NPCs don't have cartoonish animations (I'm looking at you, Leah).
Edited by ShardFenix#1262 on 6/3/2012 2:29 PM PDT
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90 Night Elf Rogue
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Posts: 13,320
06/03/2012 02:24 PMPosted by Shard
The dialogue is rich, and the voice acting is superb. D1 easily has the best voicing in the franchise,


... no. Actually go back and listen to some of the voice acting. Half, if not more, is spent being campy and chewing the scenery.
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06/03/2012 02:05 AMPosted by Solidpontus
Which book was that? Or did you mean the game manual?

It may have been the game manual. But I didn't read it for the instructions. It's only been 15 years since I've looked at it, so my memory is definitely fuzzy.
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That lore narrator you speak of is Paul Eiding.

Same guy who did Roy Campbell from metal gear solid.

Hes got an awesome voice.

Shame i didnt hear him in d3.
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D1 has a BM of desolate and horror when loading from one scene to another; realtime loading in D2 and D3 doesn't make that feeling.

And D1 has a grim difficulty to rookie players; town portal costs and narrow terrain makes battle harder, just like death surrounded when playing.
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Diablo was very... "quiet". I think that's what set the mood. Then it just got more and more elaborate in the sequels. They replaced the depressing atmosphere of Diablo 1 with more rich surroundings, which I think was an effort to keep things interesting. Diablo 3 seemed to try to keep up with the times and what other games seem to strive for, which is a more high-budget blockbuster feel. There's still evidence that they tried to keep that "quiet" mood from the earlier game though, especially in Act 3. I think the character interaction/gossip in Diablo 3 is actually better than Diablo 2, though there still feels like something is missing. What really threw me for a loop is D3 though were the obnoxious splash panels/shoutouts that would pop up like arcade achievements.
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A lot of the "grimdark" aspect has to do with lighting and due to the way games are made, D1 and D2 with their primitive "lighting" solutions could realize better atmosphere.

In d3 light is more realistic ergo can't bend to the way of the designers so it's darker somewhere and brighter somewhere else. They put a light source and attach some characteristics and let it fall on the level design.

I remember before the launch when they released some screens of D3 and some people made them look awesome grimdark with just a touch of photoshop. Blizzard actually answered this saying lights are not that smart and photoshopping a screenshot is easier than making a 3d game and putting realistic lights in there.
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06/03/2012 02:34 PMPosted by Melyria
The dialogue is rich, and the voice acting is superb. D1 easily has the best voicing in the franchise,


... no. Actually go back and listen to some of the voice acting. Half, if not more, is spent being campy and chewing the scenery.


No! You're wrong as usual.
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One thing's for sure ... no blu or any Blizzard worker would be able to answer the OP's question.

D3 is proof.
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I just love it when you descent to level 5 of the dungeon and it's all way darker and your hero says "The smell of death surrounds me."

I swear you can feel the cold breeze down on those hallways.

Oh, and the game manual was seriously badass. The name of the monsters AND the names in Latin? Now you're rocking my world.
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Posts: 224
06/03/2012 02:34 PMPosted by Melyria
The dialogue is rich, and the voice acting is superb. D1 easily has the best voicing in the franchise,


... no. Actually go back and listen to some of the voice acting. Half, if not more, is spent being campy and chewing the scenery.


I am so very glad that this fool is no longer posting here.
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I'm playing through D3 again with no voice sounds and so far I think it creates a different mood. To me now, Leah seems younger and more innocent. I think the voice acting is what took away the grim desperateness of what the scene really is.
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Atmosphere was my only deep critique of D3. It was even more of a critique with D2. I've loved the cinematics in all 3 though. That's one thing they've always done well.

D1 can never be reached again as far as grimdark. As much as I wish that wasn't true. The game was so simple then. I've played since 97 and never even touched D2 until 2009. So I have had a lot of D1 time and I honestly don't think it's possible to integrate the same feel with the way the current video game market is today.

D1 was a game I struggled playing in the dark. D2 and D3 aren't like that in the least bit. Music was eerie, the voices were eerie, the quests were eerie, the dungeons were straight unnerving, finding you're way to Diablo for the first time is an experience that left the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. I wish so much I could have that feeling during another Diablo game but I just don't see it happening. That feeling will never be new, instead it will be accompanied by nostalgia.
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90 Orc Warlock
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Posts: 498
Don't forget stories such as to where the overlords came from.
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06/02/2012 01:16 PMPosted by Solidpontus
First off, D1 is the original game, with the original story. When you played the game for the first time, you had no idea what was coming for you. There had been no expansion of the lore


Well the lore was in the book, e.g. the manuel. Unless you did not like reading you were bound to read the manuel and find out all about those things.

06/02/2012 01:16 PMPosted by Solidpontus
D1 is set in a single, descending dungeon (Dante´s Inferno anyone). The scenery is DARK! It´s like walking in a creepy house with just a tiny candle in your hand


Disagree on the caves, you go all the way down to the catacombs, crypt etc then BAM blinded by the lava that was about as bright as a neon lamp. Glad it is only one level set and the lava is not everywhere.

06/02/2012 01:16 PMPosted by Solidpontus
Something that occured to me recently after enduring the story of D3: In D1 there were no plot devices. No mcguffins. No horadric staves or ancient-must-have-for-unlocking-Diablos-eight part-inner vault chamber etc


Not true, there was the staff of lazarus and depending on the game seed, the sign for the tavern to give to snotspill. These were mcguffins as well. Its not as large scale as the other two games on mcguffins but so what? Not sure a mcguffin ruins plots.
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Diablo1 Butcher puts D3 one to shame. Cant believe they screwed Butcher up so bad. It went from a horrible terror to a cartoony joke.
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