Flux’s Decahedron #8: The Ten Best/Worst SuperUniques in D2X


Monsters!  Two previous columns (#1 and #2) ranked the best and worst types of monsters.  As in hell cows, death maulers, succubi, etc.  This column ranks the best individual monsters; i.e. Act Bosses and SuperUniques.  Just any random boss claw viper isn’t eligible for this listing, but FangSkin is, if you see the difference.

How does one rank this sort of thing?  Well, as with my other columns, the ranking is derived from a combination of factors. The monster’s coolness, potential for good drops, difficulty, and how they are fit into the game in general are all factored in, and as always, the places are largely determined by humor and their entertainment.  Disclaimer time!

This is (intended as) a humor column. This list is of the “Best/Worst” individual monsters in D2X, each ranked from 1 to 5. This is not meant to be a scientific ranking of the best monsters to MF, or gain exp from, or die at the feet of, or any other single rating criteria.

Clicking on the images will do nothing, in most cases. But not all.  I’ll start off with the bottom five, and then finish up with the top five.

The Five Worst Individual Monsters in D2X
#5: Duriel


Duriel’s best aspect is that he is nasty.  In D2C he was nastier, and would kill many characters dead with his initial charge before the level loading time even finished.  This was a very scary boss to take on Hardcore, with a low hit point character.  Begging your Barbarian friend to come loan you some BO and tank was a common pastime for Sorceresses and Amazons.  Come D2X his damage was lowered greatly, the loading time was fixed by having it pre-load while the Orifice light show went on, and of course hit points charms were added, making it so any character could add life insurance with ease. But as my first wife proved, nastiness isn’t enough.

Legend tells of players who have actually seen useful items fall from Duriel’s punctured corpse.  However these same people will tell you about co-op party play in a public game, someone doing all of the quests in Act Three, and that time Santa came in wide and took out their chimney. There are two reasons no one talks about Duriel runs, or gives a damn which TCs he can drop from: 1) he takes too long to find, 2) he doesn’t drop anything good anyway.  I won’t even mention how annoying his Holy Freeze is.

The maggots that wriggle forth when he dies though, they are cool.  Squishy too, for those with stomp fetishes.

#4: The Summoner

Okay, so he’s sort of powerful—I mean he’s about an Act ahead of where you’d expect to see the skills and damage he deals, but that’s not enough to make him cool.  First of all, what’s with the name?  He’s a wannabe sorcerer, with one random curse thrown in.  True, it’s the weakest of curses (literally), but still.  His other attacks are Frost Nova, Glacial Spike, and Firewall.  So where is the summoning in any of that?  The only thing he summons are invisible firewalls and cheesy laughter, and hell, I can do that.

“Mwhahahaha!  The firewall is over to your left.  Look! See it?”  I rest my case.

That and the fact that he has about 3 hit points, dresses like an Iranian pimp, and isn’t actually the real Summoner doesn’t help matters either. (Real Summoner? Yes, the NPCs talk about this when you finish the quest.  You’d have to click on the NPCs and actually listen to what they say to hear the story, though. Bizarre concept when there are cows waiting to be run, I know.)

#3: Izual

Okay, I’ll admit that his quest reward is about the best in the game. There, that’s out of the way. His origin story is pretty cool too, what with the corrupted angel and all that (read your Diablo manual), but as for the Izual you see in the game, he doesn’t have a lot to offer.  If you are a finesse battler with no minions, he can be a pain.  He chases you around, he keeps chilling you with Frost Nova, and he has a ridiculous amount of hit points.

For more powerful characters, he’s just a durability-eating punching bag. Taking on Izual in a big game is the first time most players try to fashion some sort of heavy device to hold down their mouse button, so they can go get a fresh Dr. Pepper and bag of BBQ Cheetos, hoping that when they return he won’t still have like 82% of his original hit points.  But he will. Feel free to beg any Sorceress in the game to come and pop a few Statics; any loss of pride you might suffer will be well worth the five minutes you save.

#2: Baal

Is his appearance the single most disappointing thing in the entire Expansion Pack?  Probably.

Yeah, he’s sort of cool in the opening cinematic, in his haughty, gothic, Absinthe-sipping, Marilyn Manson wannabe way.  But when you get to Act Five, battle through the entire act, work your way down to the Throne Room… and there’s this bug-legged roach thing with a giant head on the throne.  “Could that be Baal?” you ask yourself, in disbelief.

Remember the baby-headed spider doll the evil neighbor kid made in Toy Story?  That’s Baal.  “What the hell is that, Duriel’s little brother?” you ask yourself at the first sighting in the Throne of Destruction, passionately hoping it’s just some sort of pre-Baal, and once you’re down into the dungeon he’ll look, you know, cool. Nope.

Baal is amazingly less than the sum of his parts.  Cool antlers, creepy Nosferatu personality, crab legs, annoying laugh… and somehow you put it all together and get a crap sandwich.

He also loses points for being dumb as a rock.  He can summon packs of nasty minions, and shoot out annoying Hentai-style tentacle things that make the Assassin really nervous.  He’s got a huge cold wedge attack, a painful short range drill bit of doom, and he can even cast Decrepify.  So what does he do?  Summons his Minions, but carefully, one batch at a time.  Duplicates himself, but not very often. Summons the tentacles, but not right on top of you… Baal buddy, the point is to win. You know, corrupt the Worldstone and all of that?  Summon up all your minions at once, duplicate yourself, and start launching cold waves chop chop.  He’s not exactly the sharpest quill on the thorn beast.  And when he dies, he pukes up this orange malt-o-meal goo. What the hell has he been eating?  More Cheesy Poofs than Cartman, by the looks of that puddle.

#1: Pindleskin

Pindle is listed not because he’s an exceptionally lame monster, or because he’s cheesy or cheats or takes forever and a day to kill. He is actually pretty cool, or at least his temple area is. It’s one of the best areas in the game, at least according to that Flux guy with the stupid columns on Diabloii.net.

True, the whole Rot Walker monster family is ridiculously easy, prone to dealing as much as 10 or 12 points of damage with their vicious charging attacks, but that’s not why Pindleskin is the worst monster in the game.

The problem with Pindle is how Blizzard assigned the Treasure Classes.

Follow along with me here.  In theory the game is hard.  In theory, Act Five is the hardest part, since it’s the last Act, and it’s the expansion Act. Right?  And to cap off the theory, the hardest monsters in the hardest Act should drop the highest level stuff.  Monsters you have to work to reach, and work to kill.  Not monsters you can reach from town in less than 5 seconds, and kill in about 10 more seconds.  Game after game after game after game after game.  Why not just have a button you click that would drop you two random items every game, after a thirty second delay?  It’s not surprising that people programmed Pindlebots. It’s surprising that they took so long to do it.

The fact that “pindle” is slang for “penis” in various foreign languages doesn’t help his score any.  Though it may make you giggle the next time some overly-enthusiastic k3wl d00d type starts yammering on about how he was doing solo Pindle runs all night.

Honorable Mention Worst
* The Cow King: There’s nothing really bad about him, but nothing really good either.  The stamina potions are sort of cute, but would a palette shift be too much to ask for?  He also loses points for fostering the eternal confusion about what exactly has to happen to cost a character the ability to open up the Secret Cow portal.
* Griswold: Cool concept to return him, but now that he’s here… he does nothing.  Shouldn’t he drop something blacksmith-related?  Or at least mumble, “What kin ah do fer ya?” And what’s with the 50 frame swing speed?  No wonder repairs took so long in D1.
* Radament: At first sight he’s cool and something new.  Then you see 5000 other Greater Mummies in every other area of the entire Act.  At least the Summoner doesn’t look like everyone else.
* Coldworm the Land Whale: First sighting, very cool.  Later sightings, giant motionless maggot.  She loses points for spawning with Extra Fast every other time I see her on hell.
* Mephisto: Just like Pindleskin, but with the added shame of being an Act Boss.  He was the original foundation for the D2X economy before people got sick of finding 5/6 of the IK set every ten games, and moved on to Pindleskin and Cowz.
* Nihlathak: He would get a “best” honorable mention if he weren’t so unfair.  Instant death Corpse Explosion that covers more than the visible screen is not cool.
* Blaze Ripper, Hell’s Bell, Magma Torquer, Axe Dweller: The four mystery SuperUniques that show up in item drop scripts as having identical uber l3wt odds to the four known TC 90 SuperUniques (Pindleskin, Thresh, Snapchip, Frozenstein), but are not to be found in the actual game.  Cruelly taunting us with their non-existence earns them a joint “worst” honorable mention.

The Five Best Individual Monsters in D2X
#5.5: Rakanishu


This little weasel lives in the mini-Stonehenge in the Field of Stones, and aside from nearly killing most new characters in normal, he doesn’t do a whole lot.  By the time you reach him in Nightmare and then Hell you can probably swat him aside like a bug.  But he’s a cute bug, fleet of foot, and screwy.  He always seems like comic relief, so happily racing around with his hyperactive little friends, more often running away and vanishing than actually trying to hit you, more dangerous emitting sparks than when on the attack. He’s lovable, and you can’t find it in yourself to hate him, even when you are doggedly seeking his death, praying you can manage one more hit than bolt taken, as your life diminishes almost as quickly as his does.

Is he one of the five best monsters in the game?  Probably not.  But he’s fun enough to earn a glorified honorable mention.

#5: Bremm Sparkfist
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If this were D2C he would get a higher ranking, since back then he was always LE and Conviction, which just by itself is enough to kill a lot of characters.  As the screenshot attests. Especially the low-resistance MF running types that flock to Durance 3.  As the screenshot attests.  And when you factored in his frighteningly-good odds of being MS as well, it was a scary scene.  As the screenshot attests.

Of course that was back in D2C, when there wasn’t any reason to do Meph runs.  Now that Meph is the basis for the entire sub-uber elite D2X economy, Bremm is CE instead of LE, cause god forbid there’s anything difficult in the way on an item run.  He should also put in for a D2X name change. “Bremm Chillfist”?

Still, nerfed or not, when you round the corner and see that green aura beneath a tangle of High Council guys, there’s a moment of thrill.

#4: Lister the Tormentor

Let the ass kicking commence!

Lister is original, (Well, original compared to the rest of the game.  He’s obviously rather “inspired” by Giger’s Aliens look.) and is the biggest melee brawler in the game.  Hand to hand characters soon learn to fear him and his pack of nasties, for they will stun lock and batter you like a pinball.  Listerland, where mercs go to die.  It’s interesting that Blizzard created a monster graphic and design just for this one place, but it’s nice that they took the trouble.

There is a negative aspect to Lister though, one that anyone playing the game on less than a supercomputer is well aware of.  Namely, that he takes longer to load than an entire act.  Countless HC deaths can be laid at the feet (and goring tusks) of Lister and company, greatly abetted by the several second lock up/loading time it has in its pockets.  The funny thing is that this was much worse originally.  In the beta you could download and install new video card drivers (not that this helped) in the time it took him to appear.  Fortunately Blizzard has “optimized” his loading time in several patches since then, cutting it from “damn near forever” to “are we there yet?”.  So the next time you’re not quick enough to get back out of sight before locking up for 10 seconds and dying without even seeing what killed you, remember that it could be worse.

The other nitpick is the name.  Lister is one of Baal’s Minions.  And his type of monster is called… Baal’s Minions.  I’ve always wondered if that was just a place holder that Blizzard forgot to replace.

#3: Hephasto the Armorer

Much like Bremm the no-longer Sparkfist, Hephasto was much diminished in D2X.  In D2C he reigned supreme over the River of Fire, striking fear into the hearts of nearly every character who dared enter his domain. Most every public game would end up with every square inch of Act 4 cleared out… every inch but the cul-de-sac of doom wherein the Hellforge could be found.  Few were the WW lancebabas who dared spin his way, what with those potentially 800+ damage hammer blows eager to pound you like a stubborn nail.  Extra Fast Haphesto was the single scariest thing in all of D2C, fully capable of outrunning you and killing you with one hit.  You could always tell when people were getting near his area when you knew they were in the River, and then suddenly two or three of them would leave the game without a word all at once.

Sadly he’s been stripped of his skills in D2X, and is just a big hammer-waving tool now, waddling along with his wimpy damage and Spectral Hit. Spectral Hit!  Sheesh.  Of all the mods to strike fear into the heart of no one…

The exact relationship between Hephasto , The Smith, and the Butcher of D1 fame is unclear, but there is a strong family resemblance.

#2: Diablo

Still the best of the Act Bosses.  Duriel is fun in his roach-worm form, Andariel has boobies and big hair, and Baal is cool in the cinematic, (ignore Mephisto, he’s a tool) but Diablo appears in the middle of a giant, lava-wreathed pentagram. He’s a skinny red Godzilla, and he will like totally kill you.  My first Hardcore Druid in D2X met his fate to a point blank Firestorm from Diablo.  Over 3300 hps, 60% fire resistance, and I was a dead doggy faster than I could hit a purple.  You don’t forget that sort of thing.

Diablo’s best animation is when he runs like a bunny, especially if you get him chilled or slowed just as he starts, and it takes him upwards of 10 seconds to cover 1/3 of the visible screen.  He also inspires great envy with the awesome graphics his bone prison possesses, compared to the crappy fireplug-looking thing Necromancers have to settle for.

#1: The Ancients

A joint entry for three “monsters”.  True, they aren’t really monsters, but since they’re quite eager and able to kill you, they might as well be. Well on second thought, perhaps that should rule them out as monsters?

Before the action these guys are all super cool, posing in their golden statue form, waiting five thousand years for some idiot to come along and click on that altar.  Given that much time, you’d think they could have gotten over their phobia of town portals.  The way they vanish when you cast one, you’d think they’d seen a flock of pigeons coming in.

Madawc is the axe chucker who casts Shout. Korlic is the Leap Attacker who specializes in one hit kills and wielding the biggest axe in all the land. Talic is the guy with the cool flaming sword and Whirlwind.  Early screenshots of D2C showed an Amazon wielding a flaming sword with actual flickering flames on it; not just a glowing red blade.  Apparently that sword was mailed to the Arreat Summit sometime pre-beta, along with the concept of higher difficulties being harder.  Odd that both should re-emerge in this one location.

And I’m not even mentioning the chobo quest bonus.

Honorable Mention Best

* Griswold: True, he doesn’t do much.  But he deserves some points just for showing up. Again.
* Andariel: I have to give her a mention just for the nipple chains.
* Mephisto: Mentioned above with Pindleskin, and way too easy/cheesy, but like everyone else, he was my first real MF target, and made me rich.  Here’s an honorable mention, thanks for the Harlequins, hope v1.10 nerfs your ass.
* Lord de Seis: The king of the Oblivion Knights, the terror of melee fighters.  He loses points for having the very cool Thief property, and then losing it when Blizzard was too lazy to debug it and just deleted it instead.

Feedback

The feedback for this column was mostly in the form of suggestions for other monsters to mention, or ones that I should have mentioned, or ones that I called “worst” that readers thought should have been “best”.  Or at least didn’t suck as bad as I said they did.

Corrections! Dan says.

As a million and one other people will doubtless point out, Bremm in D2C was not always conviction-enchanted – the aura he had was Blessed Aim. This actually ensured he never spawned with conviction (and thusly never conviction-MSLE), even in nightmare or hell – and it’s the conviction part that usually kills me, rather than the easily-avoidable multishot blobs.

Now he has conviction automatically (which is, probability-wise, the most difficult mod to roll out of lightning enchanted / multishot / conviction)… which means on hell he can be an evil git quite easily.

I don’t think there’s a decahedron whose content and feedback I haven’t enjoyed greatly, by the way. Keep Up The Good Work. 

Actually approximately 999,999 fewer people than Dan predicts said this. They may be right, but I (obviously) didn’t remember him being Blessed Aim back in D2C.

I think it was just that without charms (for resistance and/or hit points) even a normal LE was dangerous back in D2C.  So Bremm seems nasty in our memories, and we forget that he didn’t always have Conviction.  That’s my excuse, anyway.

The correction that was made by approximately one million and one people was to my description of the pre-battle Ancient’s statues. Ssergit makes the case.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s going to write in and say the Ancients are in their crusty, five-thousand-years’-worth-of-pidgeon-droppings statue form before you wake them up, not the lovely bronze/gold upstanding citizens they turn into once you’ve given them more than their pound of flesh.

One other minor correction from Danisman.

I believe that Baal’s minions are actually called “Minions of Destruction” rather than just “Baal’s Minions.” But I’ll go make another Baal run tonight to make sure.

True, but I think this only strengthens my original point. *cough*

The most popular suggestion by far was Ancient Kaa the Soulless.  He is a greater mummy in one of the tombs of Tal Rasha, and I did consider him, but since he’s by far the hardest SuperUnique to find, and doesn’t have anything to do with a quest or drop anything special, I didn’t think he was worth a mention.  He probably was, just for the ridiculous five mods he gets on Hell.  Here’s a typical mail, this one from Demandred.

I thought perhaps one monster you could have mentioned in your best monsters was Ancient Kaa the Soulless. This guy spawns as Extra Strong Lightning Enchanted and Mana Burn – and that’s just in normal mode! He used to spawn in the proper tomb of Tal Rasha but got moved in a patch – because hey – we can’t have this game getting difficult now can we?

My friend Son-ofRah and myself have tried to spread the awareness of this great monster by doing ancient Kaa runs in Hell Hardcore – with LE as a base mod we have loads of chances for him to spawn with Multishot as well and believe me he certainly does. MSLE is bad enough but he often gets cold or fire as well which just adds to the fun. We haven’t got a conviction MSLE version yet but we’re still trying. So please remember poor old Kaa – he doesn’t get many visitors these days but still remains one of the toughest monsters in the game.

Another one from Oscar.

You said that Haphesto “was the single scariest thing in all of D2C” and I have to disagree. The scariest monster is without ANY doubt Ancient Kaa the soulless.

Ancient Kaa resides in the false large tomb of tal rasha (there are 2 large tombs and one of them houses Duriel). Ancient Kaa has the nice property of always being LE and quite often being multiple shot. That itself makes for a deadly opponent, however there is one last property of Ancient Kaa that is totally unique to this monster: namely the fact that the charged bolts don?t spread in a circular pattern but instead as a small concentrated wave that always targets YOU as a player. That is instead of being it by one MSLE bolt you are likely to be hit by at least 3 and they are really, really hard to avoid. 

I can’t comment on this aiming LE thing, since I’ve not killed Kaa in like two years, other than a few times in Normal while trying to level up a new character, and he went too quickly for me to notice anything unusual about his sparks.  Anyway, I stick to Haphesto being the scariest.  Would Kaa run you down and one-hit kill you?  Could some dick waypoint trap with him?  I think not.

Kaa is popular though, since there were at least a dozen mails advocating Kaa’s case, far more than any other monster got.  So he’s not real well known, but he does have a cult following.

No one commented on Radament, but there is one other SuperUnique Greater Mummy who earned a mention.  By Dwhite.

Once again a great list, too bad your running out of things to rank. I look forward to your column every week. One monster you should have mentioned , and lord help me I’ve forgotten his name though I awake screaming it some nights, is the 2nd unique in the Baal’s minions. His poison damage has raped many of my characters regardless of there 50-75 + poison resists in hell, no matter what my life bulb is down to 1 faster than i can hotkey a portal to get my ass out of there to heal. Keep up the great columns I look forward to more

This is a good point, since I find Achmel to often be the most annoying of the minions on a hell run. Not because he’s so deadly, but because his poison will kill your merc (or force a quick town trip) every time, unless you have an antidote potion.

A number of players mentioned how nasty Teleport used to be, as a boss mod.  Which is true, but I’m not entirely sure how that relates to this column.  Here’s D Eediot.

You forgot to mention when Hephasto had Teleport. Uniques used to heal themselves substantially when they teleported. Not only did he become a pain to kill because he would teleport multiple times to heal, he would then teleport next to you and 1-hit your sorry ass :]

Oh by the way, necromancers excelled in killing him. IM + BG all the way baby! (Look at that, you can say necros ‘used to be’ good for something).

And he has a point, teleporting anything was annoyingly hard to kill.  But Haphesto was a terror.  I used to enjoy killing him in hell with my Hardcore bowazon, which wasn’t too hard with a hefty Valk to tank, but if I saw him with Teleport, that was that, I wouldn’t even consider shooting him, just in case he did a rare quick teleport and came out right next to me.  Back in those 40 shot Strafe days, you were meat if anything unexpected happened mid machinegun burst.

The other common mail about Hephasto was to complain about the spelling of his name. Look, I know it seems wrong, and you really want it to be “Haphesto” or possibly “Hephaesto” but what can I tell you. I’m just going by how it is in the game.  At least the English version, it might possibly vary in other language versions, but I don’t know for sure.

Anyway, I am only responsible for the spelling of one four-letter merc name, so don’t blame me for the monsters. As LeKir did.

You spelled Haphesto wrong. It’s Haephasto. Hae-phas-to.

Everybody spells Haephasto wrong. I hate it when they spell it wrong.

I mean would you like it if I spelled Pindleskin ‘Peniskin’?

There was general agreement that Baal is lame.  One who disagreed at some length was Wassie.

He is the last and hardest boss there is.. his skills are awesome.. both effective and a nice visual apperance. Even in melee he hit quite hard compared to others monsters. But its the fire flame and the cold wave skill that makes him raise. Ever tried to kill him with a bouch of lvl 6X friends? its quite amusing when all are broke and yell “TP!!!”.

The only thing bad about baal is perhaps his weird look.. and his size .. if he where 30% bigger he would be nice in those aspects too. But thats is a small matter.. u know he would be a freak from watching the cinematics… the cinematics dont make you go “I bet he look awesome and hasmuscles bigger then diablo”.. like expected… you see this slime freak puke all over the place with legs that would make the hero pee in his pants in reality.

This letter got far longer then I thought:) but when i read Baal in the list I went “Wtf!”. Compare Bloodraven with baal… and tell me one thing that makes bloodraven less “worse”.

I like how he starts off defending Baal, and by the second paragraph is agreeing with pretty much all of my points. Looks dumb. Too small. Much lamer than in the cinematic. As for the Bloodraven comparison; you don’t have any expectations for Bloodraven. She’s just a minor quest boss, and personally, I think she’s pretty cool. Certainly she’s a pain in he ass to chase down and kill when you first reach her, but what do you expect?  Her to stand still and die?  Yes, 99.9% of the rest of the monsters do, but she’s just a bit more cleverer. Plus she’s got a cool Mardi Gras mask on, apparently to disguise her, so you’ll go after all those other super fast corrupted rogues, and leave her alone to hang around the graveyard indefinitely.

As expected, Nihlathak got some comments.  Here’s one from ExiledWarrior.

As for Nihlathak, he’s Harrogaths equivilent to Wormtongue which should earn him bonus points right there. He’s on of the few deadly monsters remaining in the game which deserves our proper respect and caution. Besides, he’s getting to do what PvP Necros only dream of…blowing up other players. Let them live vicariously through Nihlathak.

I’d probably have ranked him higher if I didn’t play HC exclusively.  My first big D2X character was a converted lvl 82 Bowazon.  And about the 3rd day the expansion was out she was creeping along in Hell, killing slowly in a solo game with her big rare gothic bow (well, big in D2C… crap in D2X) and got through all three levels of the Halls, and finally reached Nihlathak’s corner.  Cleverly staying outside, I sent Guided Arrows by the score around the corner, sure I’d be well out of the range of his Corpse Explosion, since neither he nor any of his monsters were even visible on my screen and I only knew I was hitting by the leech swirl.

You can probably guess what happened next.

So yes, Nihlathak is very dangerous, but he’s dangerous in a cheesy way, with one hit kills from entirely off the screen.  Other than the CE, he’s basically the Summoner with uglier clothing.

My comment about the relationship between Hephasto, The Smith, and the Butcher was meant to be rhetorical, but a few players actually answered it.  The improbably-named Two Smoking Muffets, for example.

The relationship between hephaesto, the butcher, and the blacksmith.

In the D1 manual there’s something about them… unfortunately I don’t think I have it here. But in any case. Those monsters (which appeared in great numbers further down in the catacombs and caves) are supposedly angels who were super vain, or retarded, or wielded monkeys to make ice sculpture—in any case something clearly unacceptable. As a result, they were taken to the fiery pits of some place and had their skin stretched and fiddled with by large hooks. After they were suitably flabby and gross looking, they were tossed back into circulation naked with a heavy object (in the case of the uniques) or a coat of spraypaint (in the case of the mobs lower in D1).

This is one of those bits of trivia you can find in the D1 manual along with the mysteriously forgotten fact that there are 5 prime evils, and diablo, mephisto, and baal are actually the weakest 3. Whenever someone asks ‘what could you possibly do with a sequel’ I’m compelled to detonate my head to avoid revealing this info, and consequently, my ridiculous geek ranking of ‘8’. 

He is basically correct about the Overlord class of monsters, which of course looked just like the Butcher without the cleaver and blood-stained apron.  Then again, it was the cleaver and blood-stained apron that made him so cool, so that’s a pretty big “without”. The fall of Inarius, the overly-vain angel, and the torture that turned him and his followers into ugly brutish beasts is described in the Beastiary section of the D1 manual.

The bit about the Prime Evils isn’t correct though.  There are 3 prime evils, and they are Diablo, Baal, and Mephisto, the most powerful of all the demons in Hell.  There are also 4 lesser evils.  Andariel and Duriel are two of them, with Azmodan and Belial the other, more powerful two. And I knew that even without reading the manual, so do I get a ridiculous geek ranking of 9?

The story of how Azmodan and Belial teamed up to exile the three prime evil brothers is in the D1 manual, along with a lot of other really cool stories and artwork, including a truly scrumptious concept sketch of the rogue.  Go read it now, it puts the best stuff in the D2 and D2X manuals to shame.

A number of players mailed to ask what was up with the Baal picture, since it shows him dead in the Throneroom.  Richard, for one.

The Baal in this picture seems to have died in the Throne of Destruction instead of the normal Worldstone Chamber, how that happen? Cool though, but odd. 

This is nothing too tricky, it’s just a shot from the Beta.  Back then the Baal in the Throne was not really Baal.  I forget the actual hover name, but he was like “Baal’s Imposter” or something like that, and he sat there just the same as now, casting Decrepify on occasion, and laughing like Dr. Evil.  Once you killed or ditched Lister, he would laugh a bit more and then roll over dead, just like Baal does now.  Once the fake Baal was dead, the portal down to the real Baal would become active.  At some point, for some reason, Blizzard changed it so it’s now the real (dumb) Baal the whole time, and he turns around and clatters through the portal once he gets tired of his inappropriate chuckling.

And now you know.

Something no one noticed, or at least no one commented on, was the picture of Duriel, which shows him up on the bridge by where Tyrael appears.  He used to be able to chase you up there any time you went down to kill him after you already had done the quest.  Plus there was this one buggy tile you could leap or teleport to, up to the right of the bridge, where you would appear to be standing in mid air.  It was fun to lead Duriel up there, and then shoot or cast spells at him from total safety, while he stood on the bridge and snarled.

Several players mailed to suggest adding The Countess to the bad list, for her rune drop bait and switch tactics. CanisMortifer gets posted for being the rudest of them all.

As for the worst bossees, anythign in act 1, specially blood raven, deserve a dishonoroble mention for being dumb, gay, and never dropping anything good. i can’t believe those newbs do “rune runs” on the black tower, OMG I FOUND A DOL!! 

From Lothrai

Rakky made the list! I’m a happy camper! Also, I think you did it, you made a list that nobody can possibly contest! You nailed every one exactly and I couldn’t agree more. I’d expect much more positive feed back than negative for this one. Keep it up, although I like when ya write stuff that will piss most people off, it makes me chuckle. 

Every column thus far (even #3) has had far more positive feedback than negative.  I just mostly post the negative or correcting or whatever in the feedback, since it’s more interesting to read/comment on.  You’d be bored reading a bunch of mails about how funny someone thought the column was, wouldn’t you? Not to mention being rather immodest.  I do appreciate the positive feedback, make no mistake about it, but I don’t have smart remarks to make in reply to it, so I don’t quote much of it.

Here’s an example, from Chamber532s.

I would like to thank you for all the laughs that I have received from your columns over the last however many weeks. Your style of humor is very original and has tears rolling down my cheeks at some points. Thank you. Keep it up.

Thanks.  See my point?  What do I say now?

I just read it and then quote these on my site, or to girls online, trying to impress them.  No luck yet.

Other nice comments are from people who say the columns got them back into the mood to play the game again.  Several people per column have mailed with comments much like these, from Alex.

Hey flux,

I would just like to thank you for inspiring me to return to Diablo 2 LOD. I quit for a good 3 months after I was trade hacked out of a good 60 sojs worth of stuff. After continually being bored in my computer class I began reading your articles and they brought back the the good memories of d2. Well thanx again and your a hell of a writer!

Phillip had a comment, or possibly an idea for a future list.

You forgot to mentions deaths of most of those bosses!!
The Summoner shatters 4/10
Izual Transmigrates 6/10
Baal has the * death I’ve every seen 1/10
Pindleskin Pops 4/10
Rakinishu Pops 4/10
Bremm sparkfist explodes cool like 6/10
Lister the tormentors just dies… 3/10
Diablo Dies dramatically 10/10
Anchients turns to golden statues 9/10

There was one flame.  Well sort of. It’s a little too incoherent for me to be sure if he’s angry or a comedian. Thanks to Billa Chicken in any event:

hey, you know what, im sick and tired of your trash, you are no better than anyone else who plays diablo and for that matter why am i even getting mad, WHY does it seem like everyone who plays diablo doesn’t even have fun anymore. It not only takes over your life but it makes you irritable, dilusional, and downright hungry. WELL im sick of it all, dueling is stupid, the ladder is stupid, and if everyone would play single player and realize that this is a GAME I think the world would be a better place.

Lastly, here’s part of an email from Sean, one that expresses a sentiment I hear at least two or three times every column, so might as well address.

For my free reading pleasure (I don’t have two cents; just married) please don’t stop your list with Decahedron #12. Go on to make more lists and change the name of your article to something like Flux’s Icosahedron or Flux’s Hexecontahedron or however long you can keep it up.

Have a great day and thanks again!
Sean

First of all, a decahedron has 10 sides.  Several other people have thought it had 12 as well, so don’t feel bad if you did. Or at least know there is company in your feeling.  If there is a word for a 12-sided object, I don’t know it.  But I’ll bet some AD&D player will.

Secondly, it’s a name that means nothing, other than having some vague relation to the fact that my columns are (supposedly) top 10 lists. It’s not an indication that I’m only going to do 10 (or 12) columns.  I’m planning on doing these indefinitely, and have ideas for at least 10 more from now, and I’ll no doubt get a lot of ideas for them based on the v1.10 changes, plus readers send in ideas all the time.  So you won’t be rid of me that easily. (Famous last words?)


Flux?s Decahedron was written by Flux during 2002-2004, and hosted by Diabloii.net. These irreverent, often rude “Top 10” columns tweaked every aspect of the game and community, pioneered the humorous “Top 10” listing of game features during the eternal v1.09 patch era, were excessively long, and incorporated extensive reader feedback. They may or may not return for Diablo III.

The opinions expressed in these columns are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Diii.net.

Tagged As: | Categories: Retired Columns

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