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The new and improved pr-demo/Alpha
Here is the result of a LOT of work into completely redoing what we originally intended with the Alpha4 project. I really can't take any credit for this as aside from some input, all the work was done by Michael aka FootBallHead.
The goal of the Alpha4 was to recreate the state of the game when the pre-release demo was made available by Blizzard, but over time, more and more features crept in, which resulted in something more playable and enjoyable, but ultimately not faithful to the original game that Blizzard was working on back then. With this new enhanced pr-demo, the goal was to keep everything as close to the original state of development as possible. Missing graphics and sounds were added and the game was made more compatible with modern Windows, as the pr-demo is soon going to be 25 years old and wasn't made with Windows 10 in mind.
Bugs will be kept intact as the pr-demo technically represents an in-development state of the game. So the only things that are going to be fixed are crashes. However, everything that is being modified in some way is optional! The enhanced demo uses a launcher where you can customize everything. One of the coolest features is the discovery of the old level generator in level 1-4, which can be seen in a lot of older pre-release screenshots. It uses layouts and even graphics that aren't generated/used anymore in retail. Pretty cool stuff!

If you want an authentic experience of Diablo during development, I highly suggest you check this out instead of the old Alpha4.

Beta version - extended
FootBallHead has developed and provided a patch for the beta version, that enables players to venture beyond the limitations of the original beta. Lower levels are now unlocked and further quests are available.
However, due to missing assets, one cannot enter the caves and other crashes occur as well. But there's a bunch of new content to explore and I hope this gets the recognition it deserves.

Here's the download link: Beta Extender. Should the link become unavailable, I'll mirror the patch here.

Good news everyone! You can finally play the Beta!
Seems like there's an early christmas for us here at Diablo Evolution. I've been sitting on the beta for over 10 years now and I've always believed it could be possible to unlock single player or local multiplayer. Several people have tried to unlock it, but without success.
Well, it seems "blankname" over at the fantastic, now defunct, Khanduras Network ( has stood up to the task and succeeded. You can check the forum thread about his progress here (
Without further ado, I suggest you go straight to the files section to download the patch for the beta version.
The beta section will be updated shortly with all the new information about the beta. Stay tuned!

The beta patch is still in progress, as there are some features that are not working and also multi player is still being worked on, but already functional.

We need your help!
This page is the result of years of research and hard work. But we're not done yet. There's still a lot to discover and we hope that this is just the beginning.
A project like this, lives from the community. We hope that there are more people interested in early Diablo versions that are willing to contribute to this project with new information, screenshots, analysis, facts and more.
There are a couple of things that are especially important to us:
  • Screenshots and other media

    If you've seen an old pre-release screenshot somewhere in a magazine or on the web that's NOT on this website, it would be great if you could send it to us
  • Other Information

    You know something about early Diablo versions that's not covered here? You were a Beta tester? Notice any mistakes? Feel free to contact us, we would like to hear what you have to say
  • Wyrm!

    The Wyrm is an old enemy class that got removed during development. Unlike other removed enemies that still have their graphics intact (and were later used in Hellfire) the Wyrm had its sprites removed. But nothing else (sounds etc.). They also had a quest associated with it, that got removed as well. We have NO screenshots of the wyrm, just a few old press shots of model renders from Blizzard. If you know more about the Wyrm, come across the Wyrm sprites, more screenshots or think you're able to recreate the model and animations from the renders, let us know!
  • ...other versions?

    Never say never...if there are any other early versions of the game out there, of course we'd love to get our hands on it

Of course you'll be credited on the website for your contributions.

Send an eMail to Mystery. We are pretty confident that there's more about early Diablo versions that we still haven't found out. Don't hesitate to contact us!

Reconstruction in progress
After several attempts to update the website over the last years, this is yet another one. Currently some sections are work-in-progress, but there is some progress.

In the news archive you can see the supposed goal for the update, as it was planned for 2011, but wasn't finished. This content will mostly be added over time.

The Diablo Evolution Youtube channel has been introduced, where you can watch Diablo 1 pre-release related material. Enjoy!

Update Progress:
08.08.2015: Basic layout updated and fixed
09.08.2015: Layout of intro,news,links,files and info updated and links&files fixed
10.08.2015: Alpha2 screenshots updated and added, Alpha4 back online
11.08.2015: Alpha3 section started and removed a LOT of typos in the texts (revisions still to come)
12.08.2015: No changes online, but I went through the majority of my local Diablo archive and resorted about 70.000 files to get a fresh overview and be prepared for the upcoming screenshot analysis
16.08.2015: Played through Diablo, after a long break, to get back into the game. Reorganization of my archive is finished and work on Alpha3 continues.
17.08.2015: Alpha3 Press version has been completely reworked with tons of new shots and information we previously didn't have. Next up: E3/Gold Alpha3
18.08.2015: Alpha3 E3/Gold version finished. Alpha1 is next!
19.08.2015: Alpha1 finished with a lot of new shots and findings
20.08.2015: Alpha1 got a new/updated screenshot. The Alpha4 section has also been overhauled slightly
21.08.2015: Pre-Release Section finished and updated with new findings as well as a few more downloads in the files section
22.08.2015: Started working on the Beta section. Should be done by this weekend and contain a couple of new screenshots and information
23.08.2015: Beta page is updated with new screenshots and information. For now only the most important things, but we will expand the page
24.08.2015: Hellfire page has been remade and finally pre-release screenshots have also been included. There are still a couple of screenshots coming
25.08.2015: Miscellaneous screenshot page updated. Continuing to work on this is especially important, because we need help to identify the versions of these shots.
12.09.2015: Beta patch available!
Mystery 08.08.2015

About this project
Diablo! The game that took the gaming community by storm. Superb graphics, dark atmosphere, endless hours of gameplay, a great multiplayer experience...Diablo had it all. The item+dungeon randomization, paired up with the intense atmosphere, made it an instant classic.
So, what's this page about?
With this website we're trying to shed some light on a different aspect of the game. Diablo is an excellent game, many people still play and love it, but Diablo was supposed to be bigger and better. It's no secret, there are footprints everywhere, even in the retail version of the game. Just grab an MPQ tool and see for yourself. But these are just the remains of the development process. There are some articles on the web that cover some information about the early Diablo versions, but the information is scattered throughout the web. Some not available for years, some outdated or simply wrong. With the internet constantly changing, and Diablo being released before the internet was as widespread as it is today, there wasn't a lot of pre-release coverage online and what little there was, is slowly disappearing as time goes on.

Since this is such an interesting topic, we've decided to gather all information available, analyze it and put it online in a more structured, accurate and up-to-date way than any website before.
It's been almost ten years since work on this website started and we've discovered much more than we could ever dream of. You'll most likely find a lot of new information here, and if you're as much into the "early Diablo" as we are, you'll enjoy your visit here.

Be sure to check back regularly, we've still got updates coming, and with your help, this website can grow even bigger!

What awaits you
This is just a short list about some of the features that didn't make it into the final versions of Diablo and Hellfire.

  • 50+ unused item graphics
  • 11 quests removed
  • 8 additional quest levels removed
  • 5 unique items removed
  • 16+1 base items removed
  • 22 affixes removed
  • 8 enemies removed
  • 12 enemy subclasses removed
  • 26 unique enemies removed
  • 6 quest related unique enemies removed
  • 12 spells removed
  • 1 npc removed,"Tremain the Priest"
  • 1 tileset removed
  • almost no quests converted to multi-player
  • more variants of traps in the dungeon removed
  • repeatable quests, so called tasks, removed
  • 1 special level for the tasks
  • 6 special enemies for the tasks
  • custom dungeon randomizer (enter own seed) removed
  • simplified dungeon-randomization algorithm
  • ...and much more
  • 25+ unused item graphics
  • 2 quests unfinished
  • 2 npcs removed, "the Trader" and "the Dark Mage"
  • own graphics for bard+barbarian unfinished
  • 1 character class unfinished (Blood Mage, planned for unreleased 1.02 Patch)
  • ...and much more

Read old news updates here