Last weekend, in recognition of my son's 12th birthday, we bought him a copy of Spore, a game that is all the rage with his contemporaries at middle school. His two sisters, meanwhile, bought him an old-school crpg game, Diablo, in battle-chest form, which includes Diablo's I and II.
I've mentioned before that during my hiatus from D&D, Diablo was one of my favorite computer games. Released in 1997, I remember playing the heck out of this game, prior to my son's birth. If I remember correctly, we lent that game to one of my spouse's work colleagues, and it was never returned to us.
The arrival of another copy of Diablo into the house provided the opportunity to play Diablo once more. I suspect my spouse enjoyed more Diablo screen-time over the last week than I, but I did finally manage to wrestle the game from her, and fight through the first four levels and attain 12th level as the Warrior.
Even after all these years, Diablo does not disappoint. The graphics, though somewhat rough by today's standards, provide enough realism and interest to keep me engaged. Looking at the scenery makes me want to get out my Hirst Arts molds and cast and build some walls, stairs and floors, in homage to the look of Diablo.
As part of the birthday celebrations, I also ran a six-hour D&D session for my son and 6 other pre-teens. I played the music from the Diablo Dungeons levels while we played, and the kids were freaked out by it, even though they've never played Diablo, and there were no scary images accompanying the music.
Goes to show the power of that early Diablo soundtrack, that even without the images, the music can still evoke fear and discomfort.