New dungeon crawler Minecraft Dungeon paid homage to Diablo—the godfather of modern-day hack and slash RPGs—through a familiar bovine-themed level.
Minecraft-themed action RPG Minecraft Dungeons debuted a few days ago and, although its graphics are pretty adorable, the game immediately drew comparisons to perhaps the most famous action RPG franchise of all time—Diablo.
It seems the minds behind the new hack and slash title saw this coming since developers Double Eleven and Mojang Studios left a little Easter egg in the game as a tribute to the legendary series.
As it turns out, after accomplishing a lengthy sequence of events, players can unlock a secret level called “Moo?”, which is an obvious nod to the secret cow levels from Diablo 2 and 3.
— PC Gamer (@pcgamer) May 27, 2020
The secret “Moo?” level in Minecraft Dungeons
While the prospect of a hidden level of this magnitude would get anyone excited, unlocking the level is no easy feat.
The long-drawn-out process involves beating the game, examining a painting in a church, revisiting various levels to gather ten runes, returning to the aforementioned church, then pushing a satisfyingly shiny button.
Sound tedious? Well, Diablo never made unlocking the cow levels easy, so why would Minecraft Dungeons?
The secret cow level from Diablo 2
The tale of the secret cow levels started with a rumor of a hidden level in the original Diablo title. In reality, there was no truth to the rumor, but it gained so much traction that developer Blizzard actually decided to add the level in the game’s sequel, sort-of as a joke.
Also called the “Moo Moo Farm,” the secret stage can only be accessed through a special portal that has to be crafted by the player. They would need to combine a unique item called “Wirt’s Leg” with a “Tome of Town Portal” by using the “Hordaric Cube.”
Once done, a red portal would suddenly show up in Diablo 2’s starting area. The secret cow level is a relatively small space filled with enemies called “Hell Bovines.”
Wait… #CowAppreciationDay?! Did you know Diablo II had a secret cow level?
— IGN (@IGN) July 12, 2016
There’s one special enemy called “The Cow King,” and killing him bars the player from opening another portal to the area on the same difficultly with the same character.
Fans seemed to love the cow level so much that Blizzard decided to keep the gag going by adding another secret level in Diablo 3 called “Not the Cow Level” which, contrary to its name, was also filled with cows.
Minecraft Dungeon’s “Moo?” level is a great nod to a fantastic piece of video game history. Perhaps the developers have a few more surprises in store for us in the coming patches.
Image courtesy of Minecraft Dungeon/Minecraft