The internet has an odd fascination with video game speedruns. There's something mesmerizing about watching a person pick apart a game to its most essential elements in order to master the Herculean task of speeding through an experience that is specifically designed to slow players down.
This latest speedrunning feat is an incredibly brisk tango with the Lord of Destruction; Twitch streamer DrCliche has completed an impressive Diablo 2 pacifist speedrun in under eight hours, not attacking a single enemy.
He completed the speedrun in just under eight hours on Twitch.tv, and has uploaded the entire run on YouTube. Considering #Diablo2 is one of the most hack-and-slashiest hack-and-slash games, this is a pretty incredible feat.
Here's How He Did It
You can watch the whole speedrun in this video. Skip to 7:41:33 for the final boss.
DrCliche has outlined huge 1600+ word guide on Reddit about exactly how he went about skipping the violence in one of the early '00s most violent games.
- First, the secret sauce: damage on hit.
He might not be attacking anyone, but he does use chipped skulls and Chilling Armor, which both damage enemies when they hit the character
- Second, there's a lot of running in circles.
The whole strategy, essentially, is to run enemies around in circles so that you control their movement and carefully mitigate damage in a way that helps you efficiently deal damage back via items that do damage when you're hit.
- Third, there is some spec'ing necessary to deal with the final Act 4 boss.
In Act 4, before finally advancing to fight the final boss, Baal, DrCliche ran into Lord de Seis. An unskippable nightmare for the Diablo 2 pacifist run: half of deSeis's attacks don't activate the damage-rebounding skulls or Chilled Armor, and de Seis also has a self-heal ability. Ugh.
But, with a particular build, extra points in Chilling Armor, Cold Mastery, and a decent staff, he finally made it work after some dicey attempts.
Read DrCliche's account of dealing with this:
Lord de Seis is the first of two unskippable enemies that doesn’t have a melee attack. To make matters worse, his ranged and elemental attacks don’t proc Nova Shield, unlike every other damage source in the game. (Even environmental fires proc it!) And the cherry on top? Lord de Seis is the only (non-Uber) Superunique that can heal, as he has healing spell called Bestow.
I've tried a dizzying array of insanity to get a pacifist Paladin past De Seis, including luring him out to the River of Flame to take damage from fires while casting Cloak of Shadows from an inventory of Nadirs, but nothing works. Though you never see him cast Bestow, and Cloak supposedly stops enemies from using skills, somehow Bestow always manages to get cast, and he starts healing at a frightening rate, permanently. (And I'm not sure a true pacifist would be willing to debuff someone, anyway, even if it doesn't deal damage.)
But De Seis's elemental attacks do proc Chilling Armor, and at level 30, with Cold Mastery, 6 points in Chilling Armor, and a +2 staff, you do damage quickly and consistently enough to keep Lord de Seis from ever casting Bestow. Diablo is almost a joke in comparison, but do watch out for his Lightning Snake.
If you're not super interested in watching through the entire eight hour playthrough, you can read DrCliche's much-abbreviated written account of the speedrun in about eight minutes.
Of course, this is still pretty speedy, all things considered. Website How Long to Beat puts Diablo 2 at a play time of between 23-59 hours.
Learn more about speedruns: