Diablo: Hellfire

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This is the article about the game Diablo I: Hellfire. Were you looking for game information or guides about Hellfire?

Diablo: Hellfire is the only authorized expansion pack of the ARPG Diablo I by Blizzard North. It's an expansion pack that Sierra On-Line produced. It was developed by Synergistic Software (a Sierra division), and released on 24 November, 1997.

The original game was later re-released alongside Hellfire in 1998 in a bundle called Diablo + Hellfire, but not in the official Blizzard-created "Battle chest" packages.

Game [e]
Diablo Hellgate boxart.jpg
Diablo I
Developer(s): Synergistic Software
Publisher(s): Sierra On-Line
Designer(s): Unknown
Composer(s): Unknown
Series: Diablo series
Genre(s): ARPG
Release date(s): 1997-11-24 (NA)
1998 (PAL)
Platform(s): PC only
Engine: 2D, inhouse
System requirements: Windows PC
Windows 95, 60 MHz Pentium, 8 MB RAM (16 MB for multiplayer), SVGA-compatible graphics card, 2X CD-ROM drive
Controls: Mouse, Keyboard
Rating(s): 15+ to 16+
Score: Unknown

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

To get access to the hidden contents of Diablo: Hellfire, see the Hellfire Undocumented Features in the Diablo 1 Wiki.

Diablo: Hellfire adds several new features to Diablo, including some that Synergistic Software developed themselves, as well as features that Blizzard North had almost completed before Diablo I was released.

For example many enemies, which graphics can still be found in the Diablo retail MPQ. Hellfire makes these monsters and other things available to the player. Oils for example were a feature of early Diablo versions, but didn't appear in the final game. Besides that, Hellfire doubles the available Classes with three unique characters that all play very interesting. We've got 50% more dungeons, more quests and a nice storyline for one of the dungeons.

The only official class with the expansion is the Monk, but two more can be found as "test classes" hidden in the game, and fully playable:

Hellfire integrates into Diablo, and because of its design, its dungeons can be avoided entirely. In order to gain access to the dungeons, the player must speak with Lester the Farmer, who is north of Tristram, near the herd of cows. However, if the player speaks to Lester before reaching a certain point of the main Diablo quest, he will be hesitant to ask them to enter the new dungeons (ie. if the player is too weak to deal with the new dungeons, which are quite tough).

The rest of the expansion integrates more fully into the main adventure. Objects like oils, new weapons, rings and armor, and runes drop amid other more common kinds of items, and the new spellbooks, including books for two previously existing spells that did not have books, and scrolls are found in the same kinds of places. New shrines are found where shrines would normally be found.

It should be noted, however, that there are almost no unique monsters found within Hellfire's exclusive dungeons. The Hellfire dungeons are populated with new enemies that do not appear in the main Diablo quest, however. The difficulty of Hellfire dungeon floors 1-8 mirror those of levels 9-16 of the main Diablo quest, requiring experienced characters to explore.

Some of the newer convenience features include the option to move more quickly around town using the "jog" toggle found in the options menu, a spell that highlights objects lying on the floor as though the cursor was placed over them, and a spell that teleports the player to the nearest staircase found on that level of the dungeon.

Hellfire installs into its own directory independent of Diablo. Players are required to have the retail Diablo CD in order for the game to run.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

The full story can be read in the Diablo I: Hellfire Manual.

Hellfire's storyline occurs as an aside to the main story arc of the original game. A sorcerer, while performing a ritual, unknowingly releases the demon Na-Krul unto the town of Tristram, but before it can completely escape, the sorcerer magically seals the doors. The player is later tasked with venturing into Na-Krul's lair and vanquishing it.

Continuity[edit | edit source]

Even though Hellfire is an authorized expansion pack, it's not part of the rest of the story line. Any information in the Diablo I: Hellfire Manual or in the game has been retconned and is not considered canon.

However, in Diablo II, Blizzard North later implemented insect caves and crypts that bear similarities to those in Diablo: Hellfire. A few of the convenience features introduced in Diablo: Hellfire were also added in Diablo II as fully-fledged functions, such as being able to run to cover ground more quickly, and being able to highlight items lying on the floor by button press, instead of by spells.

Hidden characters and quests[edit | edit source]

Two additional characters, the Bard and Barbarian, and two additional quests can be enabled with a special text-file edit in the Diablo: Hellfire installation directory.

As test characters, these warriors have new skills and attributes. The Bard can use two one-handed weapons, one in each hand. The Barbarian can hold certain two-handed weapons in one hand, and carry a shield in the other. They do not have unique character graphics developed for them, appearing in-game as the rogue and the warrior, respectively.

The hidden quests are the Theo quest and the cow quest. The cow quest appears first by turning Lester the Farmer, who allows the player to unlock the hive, into the "Complete Nut", who wears a cow suit. After giving the player a rune bomb to open the hive level, he will send the player off to recover his suit. Once the player returns the brown suit to him, he rewards them with the Bovine Plate. The cow quest was based on an internet joke that directed players to complete a series of silly objectives to unlock a secret cow quest.

The Theo quest is given by a little girl standing by a tree near Adria's shack. The player must kill the Hork Demon to retrieve Theo and acquire the reward. If this quest is not activated, the Hork Demon drops the amulet himself with no storyline.

Multiplayer[edit | edit source]

Hellfire does not officially have multplayer mode, even though Diablo I did.

Development[edit | edit source]

There are some features that were planned for Hellfire that didn't make it into the final game. The developers only had a couple of months to create this expansion and so they couldn't finish everything they wanted to. There are two quests, check out the quests section, that didn't make it into the final version of the game. A developer at Synergistic confirmed one of the quests that were missing.

Hellfire originally had one additional character class, the monk. With a trick you could unlock another class, the barbarian, which was a modified version of the warrior and with the 1.01 patch, the bard was introduced, being a modified version of the rogue. Almost everybody thought of these classes as "Test" characters, just added to the final game as a bonus for the players. But Synergistic had bigger plans for the bard and the barbarian.

There are two background story texts available on the net for the bard and the barbarian. It is unknown where they come from, but it might be a hint, that these two classes were originally planned to be implemented like the monk, with a full set of graphics and speech files. The second, and probably most interesting, hint came with the 1.01 patch. Here the EXE is referring to two MPQ files referring to the bard and barbarian, just like the monk.mpq! This is almost a proof that they wanted to give these characters a unique look, but didn't do so in the end, because they ran out of time.

A couple of unused item graphics exist that are even shown on the box of the game, but don't appear on any of the items in the game.

Imagine Hellfire with two more quests, two additional unique looking characters and multiplayer support out of the box (instead of the hacked hellfrui.dll).

Despite a lot of unjust criticism, considering the amount of time they had, Synergistic did a terrific job. They implemented long lost features of the original Diablo and added new features to the game, increasing the replay value.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Reference[edit | edit source]