A burning, very demonic version of Diablo has been spotted in one of Starcraft 2’s single player missions. You can see a thumbnail of him here; click the image for the full screenshot. (Or click to view a running compilation of SC2 Easter Eggs.)
As you would expect, Diablo is hostile and will attack your units when encountered. Tragically, he doesn’t seem to be especially powerful and capable of ending your entire game unless you treat him with reverence and offer appropriate approbations. The shot comes courtesy of Mitzah who added a few more details about the encounter.
The mission is called “The Devil’s Playground” (lol) and there wasn’t any other Diablo-related stuff, as far as I could tell. The mission took place on a volcanic planet, and lava covered lower areas every few minutes or so. There were some critters, trying to get away from it. I didn’t notice anything else, except that he might have attacked my SCVs, but I’m not entirely sure. I’ll replay the mission to get an achievement and I’ll post other details if I’ve missed anything.
It’s certainly possible to read too much into this, but could this be a preview of the Diablo 3 version of Diablo? He changed quite a bit between Diablo 1 and Diablo 2, after all, becoming more like a quadrupedal animal than a big human with spikes, and it’s fairly certain that Big Red will be quite evolved in D3 as well.
The only glimpses we’ve had yet in D3 came in the introductory cinematic and a wireframe of the model, and they seem to show a much larger, skull-like head, with two smaller side-heads/mouths. (Baal and Mephisto?) The resolution of this Starcraft 2 version isn’t high enough to see him that clearly, but he looks basically like a squatter version of the D2 Diablo to my eye. Probably the model is meant as an archetypal, generic Diablo that anyone can recognize, rather than some exact recreation of the version found in any of the games?
Update: Kotaku has posted video of the encounter. The visual is tiny, but the NPC describing Diablo as a “a large biomorph” is cute.