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Diablo 3's Anniversary patch adds a Diablo 1-style mode called 'The Darkening of Tristram'

Explore 16 levels and fight all the original bosses.


Blizzard's celebrating Diablo's 20th anniversary by looking back at its past: in addition to bringing the Necromancer to Diablo 3, an upcoming "Anniversary" patch will add a Diablo 1-style mode called "The Darkening of Tristram."

The Darkening of Tristram is structured after Blizzard North's original Diablo: 16 levels starting in Tristram's cathedral, the game's four main bosses, a special filter to make the levels look grainy, and the original soundtrack composed by Blizzard North musical sage Matt Uelmen.

Movement will be locked to eight directions, too, just like the original game. Although Blizzard did not clarify bosses, I presume they mean The Butcher (originally found on Level 2), King Leoric (Level 3), Archbishop Lazarus (a secret lair adjacent to Level 15), and Diablo, known in-game as The Lord of Terror, and found on Level 16.

Killing Diablo wasn't as simple as reaching his lair. Dozens of the game's toughest enemies guard switches you have to throw to release him from a pen in the southeast corner of the level, and still more enemies are unleashed alongside him.

(Author's note: Sorry to gush. I'm more than a little excited to play this.)

Diablo 3's Anniversary patch will go live on public test realms next week. A full rollout will follow shortly after.

Poke around Wikipedia, Diablo fansites, and even Blizzard's official records, and you'll notice confusion surrounding Diablo's launch date. That's because the game went gold around midnight on December 27, 1996. Blizzard rushed it to manufacturing and it began appearing on shelves around the 31st, but some stores didn't receive it until early January 1997.

Make sure to check out our BlizzCon 2016 keynote recap article to catch up on announcement you might have missed.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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