Diabolic Clicking Frenzy

Zyngor | Saturday, August 02, 2014
In starting this month of blogging, I wasn't quite sure what direction I'd take, or the topics I'd cover. Thankfully, Belghast has provided the masses with several ice-breaking prompts to cover, if so desired. Let's take a look at one...

"What was the first game that made you “feel” something. I am talking about the first game that invoked a real human emotional response be it fear, love, outrage… we’ve all had it happen and I am curious about your first time."
 Way back in the ripe year of 2005 (give or take a year), a friend gifted me a copy of Diablo 2, by Blizzard. Until then, I don't think I've seriously played any Action RPG (ARPG) titles. The premise seemed simple enough - Hack. Slash. Loot. Repeat. At the time, I had not played the original Diablo (which I have played since), so I was not privy to the story or gameplay.

Rest in peace, restful nights.
I was not a very heavy gamer (probably due to a small library of titles), so anything new would no doubt be a good time. My excitement grew as I started to install the game, not knowing what was in store for me. I had seen a couple screenshots, and I figured I'd be vanquishing demons left and right in no time. I didn't realize I was right about that one.

I launched the game, and was met with swirling fire licking each letter in the title. Cool. A cinematic rolled by, and I fervently gazed upon the Wanderer (a central character in the game, as you may know) as it waltzed through a tavern and eventually ended with (more!) fire.

Then it was character creation time. Did I want a warrior class? Perhaps an agile archer? Maybe roll with a magic-casting hero? As it was my first time through, I couldn't really make up my mind, and decided a Barbarian would be a safe "newbie" decision.

(L-R): Amazon, Necromancer, Barbarian, Sorceress, Paladin
I "awoke" in Rogue Encampment, took up my flimsy hand axe, and headed out the gates. It was go time. My palms started to sweat as I came across my first zombie...this was it. Who could sleep at this time when there is so much evil to vanquish? My axe took one swing, creating an appropriate sound of cold steel meeting rotted flesh. Approximately one swing later, the creature fell, and a surge of gold coins erupted from its carcass. By the time I finished with the first area, I could tell I was going to love this game.

And so it went, slaying the denizens of the lands, collecting their precious loot, and slowly upgrading equipment. My skill allocating was pretty random, as this was my first experience, and I had not taken the time to check any recommended builds or guides. Nonetheless, I was able to make my way through the acts, occasional deaths assured.

The feeling of fighting each act boss was certainly heightened. While it was a mostly seamless transition (whack you, whack you, oh...Mephisto time), most of the boss lair landscapes and quests cues made it pretty obvious that I was about to do battle against a Prime or Lesser evil. The best I could do at the time was toss up a Town Portal (TP), make sure my belt was full of elixers, and charge on in. Fortunately, as this was the easiest of the difficulty settings, it allowed me to experience the feel of the battle without too many scrapes (although I recall the Duriel fight being particularly difficult, for some reason).

Then it was Act IV time. Final act for the original game. It was apparent that I had crossed plains, and was now in their territory. I rushed the Chaos Sanctuary, great sword held high (not the greatest strategy in an area with casters that cast melee reflecting spells willy-nilly), and was met with quite the resistance. Certainly they must be protecting something in this place...

A diabolically good time to be had here.
After opening each of the seals, the ground shook and a deep voice spoke... "NOT EVEN DEATH CAN SAVE YOU FROM ME." Yup, it was time to take on the title beast himself. Before I could even pop a TP, *fire whooshing* I'm dead. Apparently this evil had quite the tricks up his red sleeve. I prepped myself in town, and made my way back. After popping a safety TP, I carefully made my way back and commenced the battle, mano-a-beasto.

This was David vs. Goliath. This was cat & mouse. I did my best to dodge, dip, dive, duck, and dodge from Diablo's fire and bone cage spells, while dashing back in to give him a taste of my steel medicine. I can remember sitting there alone in my dark room, for a good 10-20 minutes or so during this battle. I had obviously not prepared a sharp enough sword, do my damage output was low, but Tyrael must have been watching over me, as I was able to whittle Diablo down to slivers. As I made the final thrust, Diablo had finally fallen. HOORAY! I had to pause my celebration, as there was loot to be attained, and a timer counting down until the game would end. I collected the spoils, and the screen switched to a splash page of my character beating normal mode, with an updated title.

Now it was time for the next difficulty...oh boy.

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