The Butcher is Back…?

As several readers remarked on in comments about the new DiabloWikiDiablo 3 Merchandise revealed during the panel from the SDCC last week… the Butcher seems to be back. Ahh… fresh meat!

He’s featured on an upcoming Diablo III t-shirt, and as was noted in the comments, the t-shirt artwork looks very much like an axe-wielding, long-horned demon seen on page 5 of DiabloWikiDeckard Cain’s Journal.

Moreover, this isn’t the first sign of the Butcher in Diablo III. He was featured on , but that just seemed like nostalgia. That year’s demo was set in the sunny Act 2 desert, and the image on the shirt was kind of a retro-style update of the D1 Butcher.

a t-shirt sold at Blizzcon 2009

This new shirt, poor though the image quality is, clearly shows a very new Butcher, with a massive battle axe and huge, fluted, -style horns. And that, plus the matching concept art in Cain’s Journal, seems a pretty good indication that we’ll see the Butcher again.

gazelleI’d imagine this will prove a popular return. Judging from the forum threads I’ve read on this issue, the Butcher is definitely the most popular boss monster from Diablo I, and his opening verbal and physical attack, plus his gruesome “Butcher’s Block” room is still cited by numerous Diablo players as one of the most memorable and scary things they’ve ever seen in a video game.

I don’t know if the new Butcher’s lair and battle cry can match the D1 version, especially as large as that’s grown in our memories, but it will be fascinating to see how the developers handle this classic demon’s return. After all, most people playing Diablo III will not have played a game as old as Diablo I, so he’ll be new to most of them. If he’s new to you, check out , his his monster page, and even quest page strategy guide. That’ll get you up to speed.

Update: Spurred by this news, readers are filling a forum thread with their Diablo I Butcher reminiscences.

Tagged As: | Categories: Bosses, Diablo 1, Merchandise, Monsters


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  1. I wonder where it is socially acceptable to wear a shirt with a big fat ugly demon wielding a large axe and with pieces of flesh dispersed around the image.. perhaps a gwar concert

  2. I bet he will be an end boss in act 1! 😀

  3. I hope he’s hard as hell, and has an even bigger playroom!

    • What I envision is, through a door you enter a long corridor as you do the door closes and locks behind you. (Que the creepy music, and dim the lights) The walls are lined with meat hooks most have a skinned and disemboweled human body on them. As you get near the end of the hallway you hear a young girl crying. The corridor ends to reveal a large room. The Floor is covered in a mix of dry and fresh blood. There are naked bodies with gaping wounds stacked in piles on the floor. In the center of the room lays a massive thick wooden table, its stained red.  Each corner of the room has a barred cage. In one of them a young village girl weeps. As you approach her you hear “Mmmm Fresh Meat”

      • On the other hand, part of what made the Butcher so impactful in D1 is that you didn’t get a lot of build up. He was mentioned by some of the NPCs in dreadful terms, but who listens to them? Note that the butcher cinematic was removed from the final game, possibly since he worked better just charging out his door with that iconic battle cry.

        No cinematic warning, no long build up of bodies on hooks, etc. Just that creepy butcher’s block room that you could kind of see into from the outside, and then the engine of destruction himself, so much larger and more dangerous than anything your char had yet faced.

        • I still remember walking into the area where his chamber was and thinking “Oh that place looks bad.” opening the door “Ahhh, fresh meat!”  and getting my butt kicked.

  4. I hope you don’t have anywhere to hide from him. I remember in D1 often there some cells with iron bars and a door near his lair, that the poor mindless Butcher didn’t know how to unlock it.

    • What would be better IMO is if they gave you plenty of those types of rooms in the area that you face him in.  Get you thinking, “This will work out just like in D1!  I know exactly what to do now!”
      Pull butcher.  Run to room, close door.  Butcher opens door. You :[ .  You dead.

  5. i remember he was one fast mother lol

    • lol he certainly was, I remember running marathon laps with him around his lair. Stone Curse scrolls and a good composite bow was what got me through. definitely my favorite all-time boss. would love to see him back.

  6. I don’t want to fight all of the same bosses from D1 and D2… beside the Prime Evils and the confirmed Leoric. We should leave Lazarus, the Butcher, Zhar, Blood Raven etc. all to rest, because bringing them back to presumably stir some nostalgic emotions could very well lead to a bitter disappointment instead. Of course a reasonable explanation backing their return could soften this, but I would very much like them to be just referenced and reintroduced in a more indirect way. 

    Exactly because the Butcher was so memorable he shouldn’t return in D3, because he can’t get more awesome. They might very well make a monster with a similar concept, but that Butcher who scared the crap out of us should “take his place…amongst the legends of the past”.

    • By the way concerning the Blizzard Mech Presentaion, what intrigued me actually was the comment about the Mistress of Pain socks. “They are boss-ish…” sorrounded by a lot of uhm-ing etc. Basically he was soaring around saying she’s a boss, whether he was not allowed to or the guy was just having a hard time choosing his words properly. Either way, there was some concern if she is still in the game and I guess that confirms that she is (if the old official artworks didn’t manage to persuade you in the first place).

    • We don’t know if all the Prime evils are back, just Diablo.

      Besides I think its fine to have a few returning baddes in Act 1 because its Tristram.

      I think if done right they could make it just as awesome.

      • well they actually haven’t even confirmed diablo being in the game, we just assume it because a big firey diablo looking thing was in the first game trailer, and the game is called diablo.

        hes most likley in the game, but remember how legend of zelda majora’s mask didn’t have zelda in it? (aside from a 30 second flashback)

        red triangle away!

      • We know there will be a few expansions in store and I don’t think they will make us fight some nobodies as Act bosses.

  7. Hmm this almost feels like it should have had a spoiler alert.  I’m now expecting to inevitably hear “fresh meat” at some point when i finally play D3.
    In any case, i gotta say please god yes (assuming they do it right), the butcher is by far my most vivid memory from D1.

  8. I don’t want to see the Butcher in D3. I hope Im wrong but I doubt its going to be a good remake.
    He was so popular in D1 because of the gameplay mechanics of the game that made him scary. It was a (very) darker game, the butcher moved fast (as fast as a player so it was hard to escape), and he could easily perma bash you.
    If they can’t remake the scary fight I just hope they make a nice cinematic video of him before we fight him.
    PS: I cant post as a guest anymore. The site keep telling me that I wrote a wrong email but theres no problem with it. Im too lazy to log in just to comment.

    • You know all this reminds me how Hephasto at the Hellforge quest in D2 felt a lot like the Butcher, especially when Hephasto had the extra fast mod.

      edit: the Act 1 Smith too actually, come to think of it. Similar look. Only the first encounter tho, as later he’s a piece of cake, so nowhere near the level of Butcher/Hephasto.

      • IIRC, the Smith, Hephaesto and the Butcher were all of the Overlord demon class.  So, perhaps the Overlord is a mini-boss demon type in the game?  I too hope they lay the original Butcher to rest without trying to re-do the exact same thing.
        Although, if you are descending into New Tristram, perhaps it also contains a random room with New Butcher – only now with no pots and no TPs.  And he can open doors, and has better pathfinding.  Extra strong, extra fast.  O_o

  9. I doubt he will be able to match the intense sensation of fear from back in D1. That’s probably one of the scariest moments in gaming history. Then again, I was only 12 years old back then.

  10. The only thing that they need to add is a Mortal Kombat style fatality move when he kills you. :bloody:

  11. Since they have a random adventure system the butcher’s room could be a rare occurrence in the dungeon under the Tristram cathedral. 1 out of 20 times he would spawn and murder your fresh hardcore character. Oh, the fun… 🙂

    They should also bring back the Oblivion Knights (the D1 version, they sucked in D2), Magma Lords, Horned Demons and the Hidden.

  12. I cant really decide on this…In one hand, I think that bringing back the Butcher will saturate the game with old nostalgia, and that quote is actually filled with the back of ol´mad king Leoric. 

    In the other hand….the butcher? again? With modern badass graphics, animations and voice acting ready to make yourself wimp and shiver to a corner in fear? YES PLEASE

  13. I just thought… Maybe they are doing sth like “Diablo wanted to be killed to get to the Black Abyss that spawns demons to revive all monsters that have been killed” stuff…
    As for the Butcher – it’d be nice to have him back, but I doubt that he would be as scary as in D1. We are all a lot older than we were when D1 was released, so Butcher would be… fun to kill, exciting challenge, not a scary bad-ass monster.

  14. As for other monsters, I’d sure enjoy something like they did in D1 with one goatman:) You talk to a monster, he gives you something and you talk again and he gives you something, an when you come to talk with him again he attacks you:) I remember my first D1 playthrough – hell, was I suprised:) It’d be cool, but with other monster.
    From D1 – I think that Leoric and Butcher would be fine, but Lazarus… NO! Maybe his tortured spirit thirsting for blood, but not the revived version of him. That’s about all. I would like to see too many returns in D3 when it comes to unique monsters. Few would be quite nice, but more would be boring. I’d rather have fresh monster meat to throw around the room:)

  15. I would rather they not bring any enemies back from D1 or D2, and only locations, or references. Leroic was already a let down because of how much they changed him, why would they get rid of his awsome sword and replace it with an over the top mace? Blizzard’s appeal to gaudy art style really diminishes the eerie feel, and the concept art of the butcher is no where near as cool as D1 model, in D1 he didn’t need fancy unique weapons, with piercings and everything else to be scary, he just was.
    I am not sure if Leroic will even be in the game, or if he was just for the demo and game play vid. If they are going to bring stuff back, then bring them back in their original form, and not revamp them to some 2.0v like they did with Leroic, the Church and now butcher. Its a tough concept Blizzard I know, but some stuff can still be simple and cool! *gasp*

  16. I found that the blacksmith was a similar encounter to the butcher. Not as hard or surprising of course but it takes you back abit.

  17. There was an unused D1 quest given by Wirt after killing the Butcher. He told you to cast Town Portal in the Butcher Block. Exactly what happened when you did remains a mystery but presumably it opened a portal to somewhere else, where there were monsters to be killed and items to be taken no doubt.
    I highly doubt there’s any connection, but it would be cool if they did integrate that idea.

  18. butcher level would be interesting

  19. Well..but..I mean. I.. killed him…now did I? :((

    One of the best monsters ever created. Loved that quest – I remember having a CD with the demo for D1 when it first came out and did that quest over and over again > there is nothing compared with the atmosphere in D1…quests that built up tension in a manner that is not easily achieved nowdays.

    The adrenaline and fear I felt when having to open that horrible chamber’s door…o man :love:

    • We also killed Diablo two(million) times but he is coming back.  If diablo can come back what’s to stop him from bringing back one of his minnions.

  20. oh actually the demon sketch with the huge axe is in page 5 of Cain’s journal, not 6.

  21. Why do I get the feeling Diablo 3 is going to be like Lost or SC2. Much awesomeness without underlying rationale?

  22. the butcher was cool, glad he’s making a comeback

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