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    Though the Blizzard CMs seem lately to have joined Jay Wilson in his no-Internet bunker, when Bashiok was still visible last week (and busy avoiding comment on any of the key topics) he found time to weigh in with his reaction to the whole Sheablo revelation.

    When I first found out years and years ago, I have to agree I was pretty shocked. The concepts were still very much in flux, and the artists took a lot of time to really explore who Diablo is. Being the Lord of Terror, the most terrifying thing to everything, everyone, for all time, maybe it doesn’t make a lot of sense that he’s always just a big red demon, but could take on any number of forms of “terror”. That kind of malleable image then seemed to make a lot of sense to me that it might include traits from its host, that there is no ‘pure’ form for the prime evils, and much like evil itself, is constantly shifting in appearance. But that’s just my take on it.
    Jump to 18:00 for Sheablo discussion.

    He wasn’t the only one shocked; according to Chris Metzen in the Behind the Scenes DVD, some guys on the team “walked out” of the development meeting when the story guys first revealed this twist. Though presumably they walked back in again, sooner or later.

    Reading that and watching the coverage in the Behind the Scenes DVD, I got to thinking… I’m pretty sure I don’t care, and that no one else does either. That Diablo’s a girl, I mean.

    We had fun speculating about “Sheablo” following the hints and clues which were first revealed in rough cinematic shots from Blizzcon 2009, and the mystery/controversy really kicked up in Blizzcon 2011 when we got “womanly hips” Diablo artwork, and the developers made their various non-denials (see the DiabloWikiSheablo wiki article for Blue quotes and context on all of this) during show interviews. But as best I remember from fan feedback, no one was really surprised or upset or offended.

    We’ve seen Diablo and Baal take over human bodies in the past and transform them into demonic forms, and given the might of the demons it seems pretty irrelevant if the body is male or female. It’s not like boobs slow down the casting speed of the Lightning Hose, and Leah’s vocal cords certainly didn’t restrain Diablo’s lectures from echoing out with the same gravely pitch and tone as all the other demon voices in the game.

    I don’t really remember my own reaction, but I’d read (and written) so much about “Sheablo” pre-release that I was expecting it in the game, and thus found the story unsurprising. I’m curious about how you guys reacted, though. (Check out the comments from two older posts for fun with wild theories.) Was anyone NOT following the game at all pre-release, and thus totally unaware of the Sheablo speculation, and thus totally surprised by events in the game plot as they unfolded? What did you think when you found out? I like the idea that Diablo sired his own daughter for repossession twenty years later, as part of his long term plot for heavenly domination. Pity it didn’t work out, and better luck next time.


    When did you first find out about "Sheablo?"

    • Pre-release speculation, and I liked the idea. (27%, 753 Votes)
    • Pre-release speculation, and I hated the idea. (25%, 676 Votes)
    • I was surprised by the ultimate in-game reveal. (21%, 577 Votes)
    • I figured it out mid-game. (16%, 430 Votes)
    • Wut? I Esc all the cinematics and dialogues. (11%, 303 Votes)

    Total Voters: 2,818

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    BTW, Sheablo and boobs and womanly hips were explained. But what about the mouths on Diablo’s shoulders? Was there ever any in-game discussion of that? As the Prime Evil he took in all the other demon lord essences from the Black Soulstone, but that should have added more than just two mouths to feed. Or were the mouths supposed to represent Belial and Azmodan, as the two most recent additions? If so, why? Weren’t they all just in the same DMV-esque holding cell of eternity along with Meph and Baal and the others, inside the Black Soulstone?

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