Diablo is a dark fantasy-themed action role-playing game developed by Blizzard North and released by Blizzard Entertainment on November 30, 1996.
Set in the fictional Kingdom of Khanduras, located in the world of Sanctuary, Diablo has the player take control of a lone hero battling to rid the world of Diablo, the Lord of Terror. Beneath the town of Tristram, the player journeys through sixteen dungeon levels, ultimately entering Hell itself in order to face Diablo.
An expansion pack, entitled Diablo: Hellfire, was released in 1997, although it was not created by Blizzard Entertainment. This was followed by a sequel, Diablo II, in 2000, and a third game, Diablo III, was announced on June 28, 2008, at Blizzard's World Wide Invitational in Paris, France.
Diablo is one of the best-known examples of the action-RPG sub-genre. Although players level up, choose character classes, and manage a variety of spells and equipment as in a typical RPG, all actions are done in real time, as in an action game. Diablo in some ways resembles roguelike games, though major differences include the commercial quality of the game's graphics, the fact that it plays in real time rather than as turn-based, that games can be restored after the player dies where most roguelikes feature permadeath, and Diablo's relatively short learning curve. Diablo was influenced by Moria and Angband. The majority of commands in Diablo, such as moving and attacking, are executed by mouse clicks; however, learned spells can be assigned hot keys.
Gameplay is structured around a monster-filled dungeon located near the town of Tristram. In town, players may rest, buy items, and repair equipment. There are sixteen levels of the dungeon, divided into four areas. Each area has a different appearance, architecture, light level, monster mix, and musical soundtrack. The first level of each of these areas has an additional exit leading back up to the town of Tristram. In single player, these entrances are blocked until the character opens them from the dungeon side, and the entrance is available for two-way travel from then on. In multiplayer, the entrances to town all start in their "open" position, but with a level requirement to access them from town.
Diablo is highly re-playable due to its randomly generated level layouts, monsters, and items. In addition, in single-player mode there are only three core quests as the rest of them are drawn from several pools, making it impossible to complete every quest in one playthrough of the game. Either way, only the last two quests are compulsory. Given this arrangement, no two playthroughs of the game are ever exactly alike.
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