Diablo 3 Story, the Lord of Deceit and Lies (and his influence on a place apparently Middle East)


First off, if this is wrong place for this thread, feel free to move it.

I have a quick and simple question. Anyone who played the game and slightly interested in the story of *Diablo *must have realized that Belial - The Lord of Lies, Master of Deceit has great impact on Kehjistan. And, He remotely controls Emperor Hakan I. Hakan is surely Turkish forename. And, Kehj-istan has the suffix “-istan” which in Persian means “place of”. There it makes “Place of Kehj”. These makes the place where Belial have influence on look like Middle East.

So, what are the story writers getting at? What are they trying to imply, in an indirect manner? There are 3 primes evils and 4 lesser evils. I mean, they could choose one of the other six. But they game writers chose Belial to be in a place that looks like Middle East. Why? Why? Why? What is your interpretation of that? What is your opinion?

Many thanks!

Starting with Diablo II, they have been placing the acts in as diverse environments as they can: jungles vs. deserts vs. green & pleasant lands vs. mountain fastnesses. Partly, this is so that it doesn’t all look like the same place (which is how Diablo I turned out), and partly it’s to show how the different cultures are affected in different ways by the plotting of the Prime Evils.

I don’t feel they were intending any greater message behind putting the lord of lies in a middle-eastern setting any more than putting Azrael in a cathedral in Diablo II, or (whoever it was) in a jungle setting (act II of D2), or Ba’al in the mountains at the end of Lord of Destruction.

Highly likely you are right. However, I feel what they are getting at. But, I cannot translate my feel into words.

Is it your concern that, by choosing Belial specifically to be the boss for the middle eastern flavored level, the game designers were trying to make some sort of a comment on the Middle East as a whole?

My concern? :confused:

Yes, I am interested in the game’s story and appreciate any interpretation of this fact. Plus, I believe they put a hidden and deep message under that.

Given the quality of games that Blizzard has been putting on the market, I find it highly unlikely that they wanted to bury a deep message in their plot, perhaps on the order of “middle easterners shouldn’t be trusted because they’re all gullible enough to fall under the sway of the god of lies.”

I’m going down swinging in favor of the idea: “it’s a game.”

The story in Diablo 3 is a continuation of stories from Diablo 1 & 2, which were written, respectively, 15-20 years ago. The setting and the characters, along with the various lands and cities, were developed ages ago. The only point of it all is to provide back stories for the weird character classes and a variety of settings for the player to explore.

It had to be Belial, because the other two prime evils are dead (well, “dead-ish”.) The settings in D3 all revisit the settings from the previous games (Tristram, The Desert, The Snow Mountains). The only one they didn’t re-do was the jungle city, and (how much you want to bet we go there in an expansion.)

In short, the decision to have Belial besieging a Baghdad-esque cisty is no more a comment on current events than the decision to have Diablo taking up residence in New Tristram was a comment on UK events.

Any place seen in any Diablo game is inevitably going to be beset by some sort of evil or another, else there would be no point taking the game there. And any place seen in any game is also inevitably going to invite comparison to places in our world, because the writers are all from our world, and that’s where they get their inspiration. Put those two facts together, and no matter what choices the design team made, you’d still be able to say “They’re trying to draw a connection between <place X in our world> and <Y form of evil>”. If, for instance, one of the locales were modeled on medieval France, and the boss there were the Lord of Theft, then one could complain “They’re trying to say that the French are all thieves!”.

I, for one, posit that in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Blizzard was hinting that China was the house of all negative emotions because Pandaria (AKA Not-China) has Sha. Just like they think all desert dwellers are gullible/liars.

For the supremely humor impaired, don’t bother correcting me or presenting evidence to refute this, because I probably agree with you.

Whereas I believe that in Mists of Pandaria, they developed the Pandaren as a race purely to capitalize on the popularity of Kung-Fu Panda, and are only avoiding a lawsuit from Disney because of the minor technicality that the Pandarens existed as NPCs in Warcraft games for years before KFP was released.

Did you miss the Fallen One who runs at you and explodes, yelling “Rakanishu Akbar” as he runs? :dubious:

Nitpick: Belial is a Lesser Evil, not Prime. IRL, he has been associated with lies for a long time. And who was associated with the Arab deserty land in DII? Duriel?

I think Ethilrist knows this, but Pandarens were invented in 2005 as an April Fools’ Joke. Kung Fu Panda dates to 2008. So their creation is not linked. The panda theme is almost certainly the influence of artist Samwise Didier, who likes to draw them. Also they were slowly made more prominent, e.g. the Brewmaster in WC3. The WoW race was the joke brought to life, and is capitalizing on money most of all, but do the KFP viewer demographics have a huge overlap with WoW players? Interesting though.

I’m not sure if this is a whoosh. The Fallen shout Rakanishu (and sometimes Bishbosh and Colenzo) because those names belong to Fallen Bosses. Akbar just means “Great”. Like “Catherine the Great”. Rakanishu is an NPC from Diablo 2. The was a minor boss who summoned other Fallen. They used his name as a warcry in the second game and so the devs copied it into the third game, also.

That said, I’m pretty sure they don’t actually say, “Rakanishu Akbar” but I’m not going to reinstall D3 just to go check. But I think the Fallen just repeat his name.

Well, technically - the three Prime Evils were the brothers Mephisto, Baal & Diablo, but they were part of a larger group called the Great Evils. Belial (and Azmodan) are both Lesser Evils, in that they’re not Prime Evils, but they’re still part of the Great Evil group. See here -

I shouldn’t have called Belial a Prime Evil, but my overall point, that Belial, Lord of Lies, and Azmodan, Lord of Sin, were chosen because they were the only ones currently “alive” - not as a comment on the Mid Easterness of the place is still sound.

Yeah, it was Durial in Lut Gholein, in D2.

No, Pandaren are even older than that. They were present as hostile mobs in Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos, which was released in 2002. Then they appeared neutral heroes in the expansion, Frozen Throne, which was released in 2003. What Blizzard should have done is make the Pandas the alliance class and then add Nagas as the Horde class.

WC3 Pandaren page:

Actually, I think the OP might be right. OP, are you familiar with the English word “byzantine”? It refers to extraordinarily convoluted situations, especially political situations full of intrigue and deception, and references the Byzantine Empire of what’s now Turkey. It’s definitely true that there’s a Western stereotype of Turkish and Middle-Eastern politics as being especially duplicitous, and that would feed well into the Lord of Lies thing.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

The significance of that quote is that it refers to the exception, not the rule :). In this case, it seems pretty likely that there’s a confluence between the byzantine politics of that section and its Byzantine setting.

I think the OP is just reading too much into it. No matter what evil they had put there, someone could have read something out of it. If it had been Azmodan, “oh they’re all a bunch of sinners” or, worse, Diablo “oh, they’re all terrorists”, and that’s just with the ones that are still alive. I mean, seriously, we’re dealing with the incarnations of evil, how can any of them be associated with any culture in a way that won’t be perceived negatively?

I think you should real Left Hand of Dorkness’s post and take a look at this National Geographic Documentary: Scam City - Istanbul :slight_smile:

Having lived in Istanbul for more than 6 years, I can confirm all things in the documentary.

Exactly. To add what you’ve said, Islamic and Arabic culture prize bluster over substance, IMO.

There are all sorts of “cool” gods in various mythologies around the world. I’m sure the Diablo creators just borrowed that one to make a cool enemy to fight, it’s not political commentary.