Diablo by Blizzard Entertainment

Editor's Rating: 4.9/5
Wallpaper with red Diablo and a logo in burning flames
GD Star Rating
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Update: Download links were removed.

Overview

If you’ve played Diablo, reading my review will simply be a confirmation of something you already know: this game rocks. We here at GameGoldies try to avoid such phrases because they tend to get overused and fail to convey real specifics. But in this case, I can’t avoid saying it: Diablo truly rocks. If you know this, your time is probably better spent playing Diablo than reading this … if you want to see what all the fuss is about, I’ll do my best to clue you in.

Diablo, in my opinion, is the first completely successful combination of role-playing and real-time action to hit the PC. There have been successful RPGs and great action games, but never a combination that played so easily and offered so much as the first Diablo. Until 1997, RPGs were basically a niche market, mostly bought and played by diehard Dungeons and Dragons types. Similarly, action games have traditionally been focused on inducing an adrenaline rush, with only the occasional half-hearted attempts to incorporate role-playing or character-building elements.

Unfortunately Diablo is no longer supported by Blizzard, the only information I could find on their websites about this ol’ game is on the legacy page.

Download

As mentioned above, Blizzard is not supporting Diablo 1 any longer, and they are not selling it on the Blizzard Store eather. The only place where you could buy a copy of Diablo is Amazon. Beware of the Best Seller Series though, they are just shareware versions!

If you don’t mind being a pirate and probably breaking the laws in your country, you can download Diablo

  1. From ThePirateBay via the BitTorrent network:
    • Direct download – for beginers who don’t know how to download torrents.
    • .torrent file
    • ThePirateBay torrent description page.
  2. From the following RapidShare links:

    Links were removed.
  3. Or from the following HotFile.com links:
    Links were removed.

You may also want to install the latest patch released by Blizzard in 2001 (via PlanetDiablo)

If the download sources above don’t work, please leave a comment...

Interface

Figthing against the undead with chain lightning magicSo why did Diablo succeed where so many others have failed? There are several reasons. First, and maybe foremost, is the wonderful design and implementation of the game’s interface. The lower portion of your screen tells you what you need to know at a glance: most importantly, your health and mana levels. The upper portion of the screen is your window to the world of Diablo, where you perform all real-time actions in the game. Now, other games had at least accomplished this much (even Doom), but not the simplicity and ingenuity of your character’s pop-up screens.

Many types of information cannot be included on your main character screen, simply for lack of real estate. These include your inventory, spellbook, and character attributes. To solve this, other RPGs have usually made you visit a special room or (worse) taken you out of the action completely to enter an inventory or separate screen, do your business, then return to the game. Diablo ingeniously uses popup screens that cover only half of the action window at a time, which you can access by pressing the corresponding button on the lower portion of the main screen. Huh? Ok, picture this: you’re fighting a gang of skeletons, and you realize that you forgot to wear that new armor you just bought. It would help your cause considerably. What do you do, run away somewhere so you can get into your inventory? No. Just click the “Inv.” button to open the inventory on the right half of the action window, grab the armor, and drop it over the the chest of your inventory body. Bam. Now you’re protected, and the whole while you’ve been able to keep fighting on the other half of the screen!

Monsters attack when coming from a portalAlso wonderful is the map feature. You can turn the map on or off with the TAB key, and it will greatly improve your efficiency in searching and clearing levels. Unlike maps in other games, this one doesn’t replace your action window: it’s just a ghostly overlay that helps you get your bearings. You can quickly scan the map to see what areas of a level you have missed or to remember where the stairs were to the next level. Since map movement and character movement are independent, you can look quickly over the whole level while you are moving in a different direction.

But perhaps my favorite feature is the “belt,” a series of instant use slots on screen where you can keep scrolls and potions, then simply right-click on one to use it. This is a savior in tough battles, because it allows you to drink health potions without even a hitch in the action. You can also have a spell prepared for use and simply right-click in the action window to use it. There are so many different things you can do in Diablo, but doing them in combination or sequence is so easy and intuitive because of the outstanding interface design.

Replayability

One reason Diablo is such a great value is its replayability. Every time you start a new game, single- or multiplayer, the maps of the dungeons are drawn differently than they were in the last game. You’ll probably have different quests as well, because the 5-8 quests in a given game are pulled randomly from a set of around 40 different quests. Finally, the items and monsters found in each game will vary. Combine these variations with the choice of three character classes, and you can play single-player Diablo for quite a while.

Big devils with wings in the underground tunnelsBut single-player was a small training session for Blizzard’s free online service, Battle.net. You could play endlessly if you wanted to … playing in teams or hunting down other players. And talk about replayability! There were hundreds of games going on at once, so if the dungeon was picked clean on one, you could just hop to another game; if the Smith didn’t have any good weapons to sell in a given game, you’d try another and another: each online game had not only different players, but also different map layouts and different items to be found.

I remember very well the Player Killers — dastardly souls who will killed you for sport or to get half your gold and an ear for a trophy! Most players on the Battle.net service were helpful to new players, including most of the higher-level characters. But in any such environment, there were and will always be a few loose cannons. Whatever the case, back in the day if you didn’t have an unlimited-access account with your ISP when starting a game on Battle.net, hours drifted on by and you had to extend the mortgage credit.

Graphics

the raven from cinematics Diablo is played from an isometric perpective, like Origin’s Crusader: No Remorse. One of Blizzard’s nice touches is the partial transparency of walls downscreen from your character. This allows you to easily scan for objects or doors, and you never “lose” your character behind a wall as in some games (Total Mayhem, for instance). This means that no matter what nook or cranny you crawl into, you’ll always be able to see where you are. In a game where you fight by clicking the mouse on your opponents, this is vital. The graphics themselves are gorgeously rendered in SVGA, and you have the option to zoom in on the action if you like or stay back for a wider view of your surroundings. Many, many different types of monsters will be found, most being offshoots of a basic type (e.g., there are skeletons with axes, some with swords, some with bows, some that glow red, some that glow yellow, etc.) These are all technically different monster types, each with its own damage and vulnerability levels.

There are too many nice graphic touches in the game for me to mention them all, but they include: when you use a spell and a swirling cloud of magic momentarily envelops you; when you break open a barrel and a skeleton doesn’t just appear, but actually rises up out of the barrel as if he were crouching in it; when you get better armor and your on-screen character actually appears different because of it. (This allows you to tell which characters in a multiplayer game might be the most helpful — the most dangerous.) The list goes on and on. Suffice it to say that the development team and the artists involved not only knew what they were doing technically, but had some inspiration and imagination to go along with it.

Audio

Zombies make a funny soundThe music in Diablo is enchanting, and complements the graphics and gameplay perfectly. It was composed by Matt Uelmen. Real acoustic guitars are featured, along with other stringed instruments and flutes, combining to provide a mostly soft, mysterious, and fairly authentic medieval feel. In times of combat, the pace often quickens and drums or horn sounds may be introduced.

You’ll also find different music depending on where you are physically in the game. In the town, for instance, you’ll hear mostly the guitar and flute playing a soft, open theme called -guess- Tristram – Download the MP3; while in the catacombs, you’ll often hear more drums and silence, mixed with wonderful creaking, crackling and groaning effects.

The sound effects were every bit as impressive and customized as the music, many monsters died with their own “song,” and some of them are quite gruesome — ah, the sound of liquefied brain matter sloshing on the dungeon floor. Gross, yes, but usually in an almost comic way, and nevertheless consistently realistic.

Documentation

Screenshot

Blizzard’s docs are always a pleasure. They never simply give you the system requirements, game options, and troubleshooting guide. Instead, they go beyond the call of duty by adding in all sorts of wonderful illustrations of game characters and thorough storylines. The only sadness is that most players briefly glance at the book and then toss it in a drawer because the games are so good and so intuitive that people just start playing them.

System Requirements

The Diablo download (CD image) takes about 600 MegaBytes but when installed it requires only about ten MegaBytes on your HDD!

(From the manual) Windows: P-60, 8 MB RAM, Win 95, SVGA capable video card, Microsoft compatible mouse, 2X CD-ROM drive. Note: you may need to buy extra copies of the game to play over a LAN.
Reviewed on: My high-end :) Pentium I @120Mhz, 16 MB of RAM, Diamond Stealth 64 video-card.

Bottom Line

Diablo is, hands-down, the best RPG I’ve played in my life. Blizzard’s formula of fantastic design, intuitive gameplay, spectacular graphics, inspired music and sound effects, sheer number of monsters and unique items, and the multiplayer put Diablo and StarCraft (which by the way you can download for free too) at a high level of excellence that future releases never reached – well maybe they did but I’m a nostalgic retro gamer…

Continued on page 2 with Diablo screenshots…

Diablo by Blizzard Entertainment, reviewed by Stilgar on 2010-02-03T12:57:19+00:00 rating 4.9 out of 5

This entry was posted in Roleplaying

36 Comments

  1. Sam
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I admire your enthusiasm for Diablo – its a truly great series by a good company. I can’t tell you how many countless hours of fond memories I’ve made with friends over the years playing, and replaying, these great games.

  2. steve
    Posted August 23, 2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    when diablo had finished downloading it turned in to a read only file what program do i need to open it with?

    • Stilgar
      Posted October 10, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Mount with Daemon Tools or Power ISO.
      OR
      Write to a CD with Power ISO or CD Burner XP or Nero.

      • Daniel
        Posted October 21, 2010 at 5:21 am | Permalink

        i downloaded it but it is in a vlc file .(cue)
        and it doesnt allow me to mount …

        helpp please!

  3. Posted August 23, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Hi i would jus like to say that diablo is one of the best games i eva played along with dungon keeper they will b stuck with me always altho i dnt have the money an canot download i still remember playing them from abot 10 years ago thanks BLIZARD u guy r the best:)

  4. tawatawa
    Posted August 23, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    thnx guys… i kind a missed playing this game…. so i wished to download it again, its really nice…. ciao ^_^

  5. Mike
    Posted August 26, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I downloaded and installed it, but it keeps asking for a CD. I tried burning it to a CD and it is still asking for the CD. Can you help?

    • Stilgar
      Posted October 10, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Don’t write the diablo.iso file to a CD, but burn the contents of the iso image.

  6. yod
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    very good

  7. Colton Myers
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I installed it and it said i need a disc to play

    • Stilgar
      Posted October 10, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Well duuh! The installed files take only about 5MB on your hard drive. You need to write the game to your disk, or mount the iso image with Daemon tools or Power ISO, or any other disk image mounting application. Good luck.

  8. Jerry Korb
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Please.. I need help. Ive got a old Toshiba satellite A30 notebook. New games aren’t compatible with my notebook,so it doesn’t even help to purchase them. Are these full version games to be downloaded for free? That will be compatible with my notebook? Please I need conformation. I love strategy games like Warcraft etc. Thank you for listening

    • Stilgar
      Posted October 10, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      The games can be downloaded for free, but know that they are unlicensed abandonware and, in some cases, pirated. Software piracy is illegal in most countries. I advise you read the copyright laws in your region before downloading stuff from this site.
      We provide links to websites that host or provide the means to transfer the game files to your computer. Because of this, we do not and cannot control what’s beyond gamegoldies.org, so the download locations may work today, trick you tomorrow, and disappear without us knowing they’re gone. That’s when you give us feedback and help others play the “oldies but goldies”.
      I hope this answers some of your questions. Thanks for your comment. Good luck!

  9. Saron
    Posted September 13, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Could you link a full version download from another website ? since i live in china, i cant enter thepiratebay. yotuube etc etc. really annoying. so a website i can use would be great ! thank you

  10. Me
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the link I haven’t played in a few years.

  11. Rodolfo
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Mal posso esperar a hora de terminar o download… esse jogo é simplesmente o melhor rpg que eu ja joguei em minha vida…
    recomendo a todos que baxem pois não vão se arrepender

  12. dont remember
    Posted October 5, 2010 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    i never get tired of playing old games

  13. tester ;)
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    hey i just wanted to know if this is just without any virus or malware

    • Stilgar
      Posted October 15, 2010 at 4:19 am | Permalink

      Yes it is. I have scanned the files with Nod32. But don’t take my word for it, please! Scan it yourself, Gamegoldies is not responsible for the files you download, the files are hosted on other servers upon which we have no control and we cannot guarantee that they will stay the same. Please report if you find any problems, feedback helps us help others like you.

  14. Alonso
    Posted November 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Diablo is the best game i’ve ever played and will ever play. I will never forget the hours i spent as a scared child in my brother in law’s computer with my hand on the volume knob just in case something scary appeared lol. great times :’)

  15. Johnson Smithson
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    I doubt I’ll get an answer, but… here’s hoping.

    How the heck do I patch the game? The game runs fine, but whenever I got battle.net, it won’t let me connect. I read this happens when the game needs to be patched. When I played the game off of it’s disc(I own the Diablo 2 battlechest), the game would auto patch whenever I’d connect to battle.net. Not now though.

    So, I tried using the patch file included in the iso… and it kept telling me I had to insert the disc in order to patch. I couldn’t figure out how to make it work, so I grabbed a blank cd-r and used daemon lites astroburn thing to burn the iso to the disc. It burned, but… it won’t run off the disc. It says it’s corrupt or something.

    Help, please. I really don’t want to have to dig through the tons of boxes in my garage in order to find the damn disc.

  16. Rodolfo [English]
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    “I can not wait to finish downloading … this game is simply the best rpg I have ever played in my life …
    I recommend everyone to baxem will not regret it.”
    -Rodolfo (I translated it with google translater so i may have made a mistake. ;D)

  17. totoykuneho
    Posted March 24, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I played this back whn I was highschool, and now i have a wife and kids and still missing playing this great game , its the mother of all rpg online games
    diablo truly rocks!!!

  18. randall
    Posted December 17, 2012 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    hi i need help installing diablo 1 can someone please help me?

  19. tkrrohan
    Posted January 4, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    this is avery good game.

  20. Patrick
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Thank you very much.
    Ive bin searching for the game for a while, and i can finaly sit down for a full weekend, and just play Diablo I and get high. Big love..

    The game works 100%, no errors so far.

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