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According to the Cain's Book, Diablo is the most dangerous and creative one.
What I wonder is, why scenario writer(s) considered "terror" to be the most effective one? Why didn't game writer(s) call Diablo as the Lord of Anguish or Hatred? There are 2 other prime evil, and 4 other lesser evils.
the Lord of Lies (Deceit)
the Lord of Sin
the Lord of Pain
the Lord of Anguish
the Lord of Hatred
the Lord of Destruction
Look, game writers could choose 6 other "bad" or "unpleasant" thing. Why do you think did they specifically chose Terror? I think Anguish or Hatred could be more suitable for the most powerful Demon Lord since while terror is instantaneous, anguish and terror lasts longer and torment people more severely. Would you prefer being heavily depressed (by the Lord of Anguish) or terrorized (by the Lord of Terror)? Or Would you prefer being full of hatred (by the Lord of Hatred, which negatively impacts your reason) or being terrorized (by the Lord of Terror)? I think people are more like to prefer being terrorized because it's instantaneous.
I tried to give some silly and overly simplistic examples for the reason that terror is less pleasant. So, if you think alike me, why would be your examples and reasons for the fact that terror is less pleasant?
In my opinion, terror is perfect for the role.
Because everyone fears something, and that makes Diablo more powerful. If something scares you, be it an idea or a past event or monster in the closet, you're going to remember it, and fear it. A man can boast he fears nothing, but we all know he lies. There is something in the world that can strike a primal chord in his brain that makes him wet himself and curl up in a ball to try and hide.
Take Deckard Cain for example. In that book and in some of the journal bits in Diablo III he refers to when he was held captive at Tristram during the events of the second game, and he has nightmares about it to this day. Deckard Cain is terrified of what happened during those events, and fears that it could happen again, to himself or people he cares about. He also mentions that he was too afraid to go with the heroes when they faced Diablo in Act 4 of Diablo II.
And terror is not instantaneous. What caused it could be (say, something as simple as a guy in a mask jumping out and yelling "Boo!") but it sticks with you, a memory locked in your head.
Out of the seven, I think terror or lies would be the most powerful. Like Komenja said fear can easily and deeply scar a person's mind. More often than not being scared prevents one from doing the right thing. Throughout history dictators have weaponized fear and it worked well. In the right hands fear can cripple entire nations.
However, I do think deceit is a bit stronger. A talented liar can wield fear and hope to manipulate people. A rational, intelligent person can be sucked into an extremist, violent cult and transformed into a fanatic through brainwashing. While fears and phobias can be conquered, it can be even harder to discern the truth when you've been groomed or told to think a certain way; overcoming ignorance may not be enough after this point. Like in the book 1984, yes, the government weaponized fear, but the lies was what really allowed them to bend the citizens to their will.
Since "diablo" is Spanish for "devil", the aspect of terror would be much more suited for a Prime Evil and this is a "horror" game after all. So Diablo being the Lord of Lies would feel kind of off. :P
I agree with the above. I'm not going to pretend to know the order that the lore was written or when each part was written, but I'm pretty sure they wanted an eerie creepy game for Diablo 1 and Lord of Terror being the bad guy was perfect. Plus I think it fits the D1 lore better in that I think terror is the best attribute for people going insane, like Leoric. Also, the sorcerer and rogue went crazy after D1. Maybe pain and anguish could do the same but I think terror is the most effective tool to attack sanity.
And since it is the Diablo franchise, I think it's only appropriate that Diablo is the dangerous one. Goes with the games better.
Just my 2 cents
it fits into the real world as well, fear of gay people, of commitment fear of another nation, of terrorists, of failing at life, of losing your job, of getting deployed overseas etc etc.
but I think Hatred is also a powerful force, thats probly why Mephisto is seen as the "king" of hell and leader of the three main evils in the lore
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