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Guest Article: Throwing a ball through a plot hole

Discussion in 'Diablo 2 Community Forum' started by Flux, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    Guest Article: Throwing a ball through a plot hole

    http://diabloii.net/columnists/a-baal-plot.shtml

    This article by Ryan Queue analyzes the plot of d2, as revealed through the cinematics, and touches again on the whole "is tyrael evil" issue. But first, he points out that the actual game cinematic itself has a major timeline error, and discusses what that might mean.



    Not to steal his thunder, but I"m voting human error here. The cinematics are done (or at least the scripts are fixed, while final visual effects are completed) months and even years before the rest of the game, while other bliz programmers could have changed the wording in any NPC's speech, or Tyrael's final speech in the game, the day before the game goes gold. I'd guess that their initial plot made chronological sense, with act 5 beginning years after the events in act 4, yet in some later plot revision they tightened things up a lot without thinking about/bothering with errors this created in the cinematics.

    Not that this changes the points made in the article.
     
  2. Frenzied Bovine

    Frenzied Bovine IncGamers Member

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    He makes a good point.

    Tyrael asserts immediately after Diablo's death that Baal has invaded the Barbarian highlands. Baal has his soulstone when he attacks Ciceron.

    Yet Marius knows of Diablo's death when Baal comes to meet him in the asylum. Baal does NOT have his soulstone, yet Marius has heard of Diablo's death.

    The only plausible explanation is that Baal assembles an army and invades the Barbarian highlands, but then stops short of Ciceron and journeys in disguise southward to collect his last soulstone after Diablo is defeated. Once he collects his soulstone, he returns to the north and assaults the stronghold of Ciceron and lays seige to Harrogath.

    The conclusion we can draw from this is that Baal did not think his soulstone was in danger until after Diablo's defeat. He thought it was safe where it was (with Marius).

    Perhaps he believed Diablo and Hephasto would be able to defend both the Chaos Sanctuary and the Hellforge from the heroes, effectively making the risk of his soulstone's destruction zero.

    Clearly, the Prime Evils are a force to be reckoned with even when their soulstone is removed from their body. Remember, the soulstone was designed to trap a prime evil, but obviously it doesn't work - in fact, it never worked, it was a huge setup by Izual. Obviously the stones have some sort of "absolute" power over whether the Prime Evils can take physical form. But they're not the all-encompassing prison that Tyrael thought they would be.

    Besides, in the cinematic, Baal has the soulstone around his neck. He's wearing it like a flipping ornament.

    But it's a big leap to assume that Tyrael is involved (in any way other than being a duplicitous idiot).
     
  3. kmyth19

    kmyth19 IncGamers Member

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    allow me to explain this

    Allow me to speculate along a different route as to how Marius could know of Diablo's defeat. Let's remember what took place at the end of Diablo. The adventurer was forced to impale the soulstone of Diablo into his head for "safe keeping." We all know how "safe" that turned out to be. That being said, what would give the adventurer the idea that the soulstone was safest in his head before he had done any research as to how it could be destroyed? Why, the soulstone itself of course! So, now we have set the table for the soulstones having a sort of "sentience" through which they manipulate the bearer into doing its will.

    Fast forward in time to our friend Marius and the scene at the end of Act IV. Marius could easily know about the death of Diablo through the intrinsic link between the soulstones and from here it is a very short step to having the soulstone force Marius to plant the "rumors" of Diablo's demise himself. Thus, the time interval for information travel is rendered unnecessary. Now, as to how Baal could show up by Marius and still have time to raise his armies is a VERY simple explanation. Baal, like all good leaders, has generals. It can be assumed that these generals are powerful generals and that they went through the actual organization of the return of Baal's armies. Hell, these generals could be the same five "minions" that are defeated en route to killing the big boy himself. This posed, it becomes a very small thing for Baal to find Marius, scoop up the soulstone and return to his powerful army.
     
  4. Dreamsmith

    Dreamsmith IncGamers Member

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    The timing issue is not major. It doesn't require events to have occurred in any order other than they did. The only question is how long things take, and how quickly things get done. Baal obviously started building his army right after the end of Act 3 (Tyreal says so, saying Baal's been building an army while we've been in Hell). The only events that need to be squeezed into the time between Diablo's death and attack on the Barbarian Highlands is the retrieving of the soulstone.

    Next question: how fast does time move in the various planes of Hell? I'm thinking here about how, in the book The Courts of Chaos (last book in the original Amber series, by Roger Zelazny), years pass in Amber during the relatively brief time that Corwin spends bringing the Jewel of Judgement to the Courts, and fighting in the final battle of the Patternfall War. If time in Chaos Sanctuary flows oddly, like it does in Zelazny's Courts of Chaos, there could easily have been enough time for years to have passed for Marius while only a few days pass for our adventurers...

    Just a thought...
     
  5. Indemaijinj

    Indemaijinj IncGamers Member

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    Heh, there were a similar problem in Diablo 1.


    When you get the King Leoric quest from Ogden, it sound likes it was something that only happened a fortnight ago.

    All later mentions, however, makes the events regarding King Leoric's fall happen many years ago and be part of established history.
     
  6. Lord Chaos

    Lord Chaos IncGamers Member

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    Tyrial is an angel, they live eternally...what he sees as "immediatly" might be month or years.

    He could have gained this news quite quickly...Diablos death could propably be felt all the way through the world...how else did the townsfolk IMMEDIATLY know about your exploits?

    Marious might even have been put on the asylum right after he couldn't go through the portal.

    Again, major assumption...for all we know, this could have happened in a relative short timespan.

    We have no idea how long it took Bhaal to assemble the army.

    Here's the first real flaw. Yes, indeed...this doesn't make any sense...*BUT*, here's the but...the intro from LOD could easily have been happening during or after the hero comes to Harrogath, we have no idea how time passes in Diablo 2 (for all we know the portal could have taken the hero month to pass through...well, ok we do know that there are days in Diablo...but they pass waayyyy too slowly.

    erhm, it stands to reason that Bhaal can teleport or heck, can even create doubles of himself.
     
  7. WarriorX

    WarriorX IncGamers Member

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    There has been a disparity between the the D2 and D2X cinematics for a long time. This explanation, though, does not completely cover all the facts. The problem with the storyline is, as this article aptly pointed out, time. However, there is an even longer time frame being left out of the D2X storyline than this article manages to explain (although it is acknowledged).

    Remember that in the opening cinematic, the cloaked figure says "I've been searching for you for a long time, Marius." And the Soulstone that Marius has been carrying has obviously had enough time to corrupt him, as can be seen by his white hair, wrinkled skin (compare him to the "flashback" Marius) and his relief at giving up the stone ("look...what this stone has done to me, Tyrael..."). The Dark Wanderer himself looked less worn down after keeping Diablo's Soulstone for a fair amount of time.

    On the other hand, it is impossible that any great amount of time has passed between Act IV and Act V, because Baal is already heading to the Barbarian Highlands at the end of Act III (this is the reason Natalya disappears after you kill Mephisto - she is following Baal north, but Blizzard didn't want to reveal any of the D2X plot, so removed her as an NPC after Mephisto died).

    My question is - is it entirely impossible that Baal's "Soulstone" that Marius is holding is not in fact the whole Soulstone, but only a shard? This would explain most of the discrepancies in the plot. Baal could have had one shard on him as he went north, while Marius could have kept another on him while in the asylum. Remember that Baal's Soulstone had shattered during the battle near Lut Gholein, and Tal Rasha used the largest shard of the shattered Soulstone to temporarily imprison Baal. We also know that, since the Soulstones were corrupted, even a piece of a Soulstone could be used by the Prime Evils. Mephisto's Soulstone, for example, was split into seven pieces and divided amongst the seven members of the Kurast High Council, with the largest piece being given to the Que-Hegen, Sankekur. And the shape of the Soulstone shard that Mephisto drops looks similar in shape to the ones Marius and Baal are seen with in the cinematics, while looking very different from the cut-jewel shape of Diablo's Soulstone in the final cinematic of D1 (although similar to Diablo's Soulstone when the hero destroys it at the Hellforge).

    Could this mean that Diablo's Soulstone was also split into several shards, and each one is possessing a different person? Will there eventually be an army of DiabloClones for you to fight once Diablo walks the earth again (in D3)? Only time will tell. :lol:
     
  8. BubbaHoTep

    BubbaHoTep IncGamers Member

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    OK clearly we are all forgetting that Tyreal is not the real evil here... IT'S THAT SOB CAIN! I demand that we hunt him down and kill him through a particularly nasty way(ex oral defication) then we take his slain corpse and smash it at the hellforge.
     
  9. Mr Evil

    Mr Evil IncGamers Member

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    I suppose when you smash his body, instead of runes and gems you could get items like from the act3 quests: Cain's heart, Cain's Brain, Cain's eye and Cain's staff. You transmute these in the cube and get:

    Cain's Inane Rambling
    Long Staff

    Two-Hand Damage 2 To 8
    Durability 20 Of 20
    Staff Class - Fast Attack Rate
    Ignores Target's Defense
    -1 To All Skills
    10% Chance To Cast Level 1 You Have Quite A Treasure In That Horadric Cube At Random Intervals
    100% Chance To Send Monster To Sleep On Striking
    Recede Hairline +5
    Level 32 Identify (100/100 Charges)
     
  10. Anidem

    Anidem Banned

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    Cain's Inane Rambling
    Long Staff

    Two-Hand Damage 2 To 8
    Durability 20 Of 20
    Staff Class - Fast Attack Rate
    Ignores Target's Defense
    -1 To All Skills
    10% Chance To Cast Level 1 You Have Quite A Treasure In That Horadric Cube At Random Intervals
    100% Chance To Send Monster To Sleep On Striking
    Recede Hairline +5
    Level 32 Identify (100/100 Charges)
    [/QUOTE]

    CLASSIC!
     
  11. Anidem

    Anidem Banned

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    To be honest, I'm not sure y everyone is wondering about this timeline. It seems that it is assumed that the heroes defeat diablo then instantly sprint to harrogth in a matter of minutes. nowhere does it say that Marius goes through the portal to hell or continues the journey in any manner at all.

    Think about this, Mephisto is freed, Diablo restored and goes to hell to raise cain (srry, couldn't resist). Marius, realizing what he has done, Retreats from the durance back to Kurast and tells his tale. A single scared man takes a while to walk back to town.

    It's only then that the heroes realize what has happened and have to journey Basically from Lut to kurast by ship (easily a month) then traverce to the Durance, through the portal through hell. Back from hell to the Sanctuary to TP to harrogth then scale basically the Highest moutain in the world then decend to its core.

    Does ne1 really see a problem with this with the journey fron Lut to Worldstone taking several months. Not the menion the fact that it never says baal was completly ready for war. He was basically in the beginning of a siege on Harrogth.
     
  12. Starseed

    Starseed IncGamers Member

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    According to the book _Letters From Earth_ by Mark Twain, 1 celestial day = 1,000 mortal years. If it applies to heaven, it should (or so I would think) also apply to Hell. Of course, this is obviously not drawing on any kind of fact but going by that ideaology even if they only spent several hours trecking to, confronting and defeating Diablo, it would have happened over the course of at LEAST several mortal years, which would have given Baal enough time to do what it was he needed to do up to and including reaching the Worldstone.
     
  13. Nysys

    Nysys IncGamers Member

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    Mabye Tyreal is Evil

    The pillar that Baal/Tal Rasha was bound to when he had the stone in his chest was meant to keep him there. We all know that, but it seems that if this was its usage, then why was Tal Rasha's body released when Marius pulled the soulstone out of his chest?

    In essence he was a prime evil because he had the spirit of Baal in him from the soulstone, but this doesn't make sense.

    The soulstone was evil and still seemed to hold some special power or part of Baal when it was pulled from Tal Rasha's chest but Tal Rasha also holds most of Baal's power it seems. So why was he released?

    When he had the soulstone in him and thus the complete evil of Baal he was bound there to the pillar but he was released when he wasn't as powerful as when he had the soulstone. SO it should have been easier to contain that part of Baal, but no! In the next scene (the one after the soulstone is pulled) we clearly see Tal Rasha throwing or flinging his bonds at Tyreal. He and Big D make a quick exit with Tyreal trapped there. Now if the Pillar and bonds are only meant to keep something very evil there then why was Tyreal trapped?

    He says, "I thank you mortal, for my freedom." which makes it look like you freed him from the pillar because he himself couldn't (I'm assuming he was evil, here.)

    I'm going to admit where I might have gone wrong. I may be wrong and what he might mean by the "thanks for the freedom" remark is that he couldn't get past Duriel but that just doesnt seem too likely but possible. And Diablo could have freed Baal while Tyreal was talking to you (very likely) but it just seems like he freed himself on his own once the soulstone was pulled.

    Any comments? (Sorry if you can't follow what I'm saying. I had to get it all down before I forgot.)
     
  14. Stealth77

    Stealth77 IncGamers Member

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    well think of it this way: so u go ahead and kill diablo and get back to the pandemonium fortress, but then, in an effort to make this whole storyline make any chronological sense, you have to wait at least a month (real time) b4 you can even talk to tyrael and have him tell you baal is at the mountain. bnet would do this by having a timer for each char that beats diablo, and only allows interaction with tyrael a month after defeating diablo....

    does this make sense? no, and it also doesnt make sense that in some cases, a person can travel hundreds of miles in the span of a few hours (without a plane), which is the case when people can beat the game from the rogue encampment to the worldstone in only a few hours. personally, i think your trying to make too much sense out of a game that is supposed to make sense to some1 of early teens at least.

    u want a real puzzler, tell me this: How can a soulstone, of seemingly uniform nature, break down (mephs stone in this case) into a jumble of gems and a rune? Where does the rune come out of this huh? yea, thats what i thought, doesnt make sense does it? I would think that if only helphastos hammer could destroy the stones, Diablo, Meph, and Baal wuld try and put a bit more effort into protecting it and their lives....
     
  15. Lord Chaos

    Lord Chaos IncGamers Member

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    <deleted post>
     
  16. Dreamsmith

    Dreamsmith IncGamers Member

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    Hmm. From Horazon's Uri...err...Journal, we know that after imprisoning Baal, the mages began fighting with one another. Now, with mages killing one another off... this gives a rather sinister implication to the fact that Cain is the last of the Horadrim... "So, Deckard, whatever did happen to the second to the last of the Horadrim, hmmm?" Somebody's got some skeletons in his closet, and not because he's a necromancer...

    The only real question is, what kind of lethal arcane magicks does our "scholarly shut-in" know?

    Ahh, who am I kidding, he probably bored the guy to death...
     
  17. CookiesnCream

    CookiesnCream IncGamers Member

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    CLASSIC![/QUOTE]

    Hilarious! :lol: :lol: :lol: .

    Anyways, I do agree with what I've read so far. No one knows for sure about how time passes in Diablo 2.
     
  18. jerk-o

    jerk-o IncGamers Member

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    According to Cain, the Horadrim created the staffs so that you could get back into Tal Rasha's Tomb. If they really wanted him to be imprisoned forever, why did they create a way for somebody to get back in?

    After you kill Duriel, you go talk to Tyreal, but is that really Tyreal? If you watch the opening cinematic, Marius sees Baal as Tyreal for a few seconds. How do we know that the Tyreal in the tomb isn't Baal pretending to be Tyreal?
     
  19. weirdbeard

    weirdbeard IncGamers Member

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    This is silliness. As for the staff, perhaps, the staff was not created to let you in, but was what created the seal keeping meph in and everyone else out. it would then follow that only that which created the seal could destroy it, hence using the horadric staff to open the tomb. and I think Cain did not say that the staffs were created to let you in, but something along the lines of "only a horadric staff can unlock the seal..."


    the author of the article made a big deal about the time discrepencies between the cinematics and the actual game play. :rolleyes:
    What, exactly was blizzard to do, create individual cinematics for each character class, a montage of three or four years of their lives, before dumping you in harragoth? what if the red portal tyrael opens up is merely metaphoric? unlike the red portals to tristram, canyon of magi, nilathak's temple, there is no corresponding portal on the harrogath side, you simply appear in town. what if thats just a short hand for the journey from Hell, up to the land of the living, over hill and dale and up the mountains to harrogath? if we're gonna make unfounded assumptions to explain discrepencies that, as flux pointed out, more than likely result from two different departments working on two different aspects of the game, at different points in time, why dont we make unfounded assumptions that are rational?
     
  20. Dreamsmith

    Dreamsmith IncGamers Member

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    That's a good point. Tyreal's red portal may just be a portal back to the mortal realm. Heck, it may be the other end is the red portal in the Durance of Hate, after all, that's the red portal that brought to there. From there, you have to journey half-way around the world to get to the Barbarian Highlands (back across the Great Sea, perhaps with Meshif again, then across the desert again, yada yada)... they don't show this, but they *never* show your long journey between acts -- closest we get is we get to see Marius trekking across the desert. Too bad, our own journey with Warriv or especially Meshif might make for some picturesque cinematics. But oh well...

    In any case, that may be the best solution: just like all the other act transitions save III-IV, a great deal of time actually passes between acts.
     

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