Content of the article: "Just finished Diablo and Hellfire for the first time."
This is the game I cut my teeth on for ARPGs (technically, it's considered by many to be the birth of true ARGs), but when I played it in the mid-90s, I was 10 years old and barely knew what I was doing (never got deeper than level 9-10 or so).
I remember playing Diablo with my buddy Drew by dialing his house phone and plugging it into the modem on the computer. (We didn't have internet in our house at the time.) I had to hide playing this game from my parents because they were super conservative Christians and would not have approved of a devil themed game (my Dad, bless his heart, once banned me from playing Zelda on my NES, because he thought it was the same as Xena and didn't want me seeing hyper-sexualized media).
When I was older, I played a ton of Diablo II and LOD, but also didn't know what I was doing then either and mostly dinked around on single player (I'm not sure I actually ever beat it.)
The last 7 years I've been playing a ton of Path of Exile, but the recent expansion was pretty droll, so I dropped out mid-league and needed something to play. I bought Diablo and Hellfire on GoG and decided to finally beat it.
I was surprised at how unforgiving early levels are. At first I tried a melee character (Bard), but was getting owned at dlvl5'ish, so I decided to roll a rogue. Unlike my 10yo self, I knew to focus my point distribution into vitality and dex and use a bow (when I was younger I remember putting a lot of points int magic to learn spells, but still playing a bow character).
I got a Warrior's Bow (hit and dex) and dumped a lot of Hellfire oils on it increasing the damage and hit chance and basically one shot my way to the bottom floors, kiting mobs, channeling them into doorways, and abusing the crap out of a 38 charge Staff of Healing to run away, heal, and jump back in.
Even knowing how to choose proper items, distribute points, and using terrain for advantage, I found the game really challenging compared to what I'm used to with POE and the speed clear meta. Mobs were actually scary throughout and was scared many many times when I thought I was going to be surrounded or overwhelmed. It was too easy to cheese levels with save/reload spam, so if I play again, I might play a multiplayer character so I can't abuse saves and have to retrieve my gear when I die.
I was disappointed to find out that Diablo didn't have any special loot and the game ends immediately when you kill him. I breezed through Hellfire because I was level 25 by the time I played it and the final boss died in 3-5 hits, but at least had decent loot.
I'm wondering now if it's worth playing through the game on higher difficulties. It might be fun to try to max out my stats, get better gear since most of my magic items are 1 affix or if I should try out Beezlebub mod, or move on to Diablo II and LOD.
All in all, I definitely recommend trying it out if you've never played them (I imagine most of you have). It seems like it could have a lot of replay value if you want to try to beat it with multiple characters or classes, but it's annoying that gear is character bound (other than being able to transfer 1 item at a time via the room in Hellfire, but by then in your leveling you might not need any twink gear).
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