Is Diablo in Diablo 4?

Does the titular villain of the Diablo franchise return in Diablo 4?

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Diablo games have been about killing the titular character, Diablo, for longer than some (or many) members of its player base have been alive. He’s also played a crucial role in the story of each game for the series’ runtime, whether acting as the instigator of events, a reason for the primary antagonists’ actions, as a final boss fight, or some combination of all three. But does Diablo appear in Diablo 4, with Lilith taking center stage? We’ll answer that question in this guide.

Will You See Diablo in Diablo 4

Screenshot by Gamepur

No, Diablo does not appear in the story of Diablo 4. He’s not even an Easter Egg boss. His brother Mephisto appears, and there is plenty of talk about the Prime Evils (of which Diablo is a member), but the big man is notably absent.

In Diablo’s place, Lilith, the Mother of Hatred, is the driving demonic force behind Diablo 4’s narrative. As mentioned in our Diablo 4 review, we wanted to see more of her, as her presence carries every scene she’s in. For several reasons, Blizzard likely made this heretic change (pardon the pun). First, they probably wanted to tell a story about a new cast of characters to round out a saga covering centuries of in-game time and to separate D4 from some of the narrative shackles of its predecessors.

Second, and more importantly, Blizzard wanted to leave room for DLC. Mephisto’s presence as a significant plot point is no accident, and one of the characters in Diablo 4 mentions both he and his brothers in a way that implies their return. Unpalatable as it might be, one of the best ways I can think of to get lapsed Diablo players back into the franchise is to give them content with Diablo in it. That’s even after they might have been disappointed by his lack of a presence in the main story of the latest title in the franchise.

And expansions tend to tell the best stories and be filled with the best content in a game’s lifecycle, and that’s true inside and outside the Diablo franchise. If Diablo 4, already a fantastic title, can be made leaps and bounds better with the addition of DLC, then I’m all for it. Sad as I am that the titular villain of a decades-long franchise is absent from its main installment, if everything that follows is good, I, and the community, can wait.