Replaying the original Diablo recently reminding me of a little (or should I say, big) aspect that was never duplicated with as much success in the sequels.
I’m talking of course about the boobs.
Players who managed to reach the deepest levels of Diablo were given a break from the sight of skeletons and goatmen, and were rewarded with the welcoming view of the Succubi and their massive, swinging breasts.
In order to achieve this level of breast fidelity Blizzard North had to use the third party proprietary software known as TittyTech™.
In 1994, Blizzard and several other game developers were invited to a closed-door, live demonstration of TittyTech™. Before that demonstration, Blizzard’s vision of sensuous, sexually enticing demon boobs was considered just a pipe dream.
“Back then we hadn’t seen breasts that vivid. We didn’t think it was possible in a video game.” said a Blizzard art lead. “At the time, we were in a creative slump and it looked like development on Diablo might come to an end. But, when we saw what TittyTech™ could do we suddenly felt like we had a purpose again.”
The moment has largely been forgotten over time, having been overshadowed by many other, larger breasts, but back then the sighting of nude Succubus boobs created quite a stir among boob enthusiasts.
Sergio Gascoigne, PCGamer’s resident breast critic, said in the magazine’s January issue, “I’m talking about multiple pairs of breasts being rendered on screen all at once. I can only dream of what lies in store for breasts in the future of the Diablo series.”
Sadly, Sergio’s dreams would never quite be fulfilled.
The video game industry simply couldn’t keep up with the advances of TittyTech™. Breast rendering lagged behind other innovations in game design as processors simply couldn’t handle the curvature.
When Diablo 2 was released it became abundantly clear that its breast rendering wasn’t up to par with the original game’s depiction of demonic pleasure pillows. Spear Cats and Corrupted Rogues (two types of female enemies) had visible breasts but the lack of TittyTech™ simply left them boring and unengaging. The processing requirements for TittyTech™ were so high that Blizzard was only able to use it for Andariel, a one-off boss battle.
Blizzard postponed the inclusion of Succubi in Diablo 2 until the expansion, hoping that the extra time would give them a chance to implement TittyTech™ and bring back the glorious globes of the original game. Fans were not holding their breaths. And rightly so.
Blizzard’s Succubus design in Diablo 2 was a colossal failure.
“We just couldn’t handle it,” said a Blizzard production manager. “We had to start cutting corners. It was too much for us.”
Not only did Diablo 2’s Succubi have their breasts covered, it was also clear that the demonesses were suddenly flat chested.
The usually loyal breast loving community revolted against Blizzard’s decision. Some demanded to know the story explanation for the smaller breasts while others demanded that Blizzard provide patches to fix the problem. There were threats to never buy a Blizzard game again.
Unfortunately, Blizzard did nothing to fix the situation nor to mend the rift that had formed between them and their most devoted fanbase.
[The disappointment is still so deep that I couldn’t find a single decent in-game picture of D2’s Succubus through google image search.]
Years later, Blizzard announced the development of Diablo 3, and with it, the announcement that “titty tech” would be making a full scale comeback. Fans who had abandoned Blizzard after Diablo 2’s breast debacle suddenly came back with fervent enthusiasm. Technology had changed a lot, computers were more powerful than ever before, and everyone hoped for the best.
The demon boobs in Diablo 3 weren’t a failure. But they weren’t the rousing success that everyone was hoping for. Perhaps it was because Blizzard was no longer using actual TittyTech™, and instead used internally developed Breast RenDer technology, which was originally created for rendering asses, not breasts.
Whatever the case, even though the Succubi in Diablo 3 clearly had exposed, perky titties, they just weren’t able to capture the magic of the bulging, ponderous bosoms of the original game that started it all.