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By now, I've killed Diablo countless times, but one questions always pops in my head. Who did I exactly kill? Diablo or seven Lords of Hell?

In cinematic after act 3, when Imperius sees Diablo, he calls him - "My old enemy". Also, when he sees Diablo as Leah, he shouts at him to show his true form - as Diablo. Actually quote is - "My old enemy, you can't hide from me... no matter what form you choose to wear. Let your true form be revealed... Diablo!"

However, when we fight Diablo, he talks about himself not as one being, but as legion.

So, question is, at the end of the game, who did we kill - Diablo or seven Lords of Hell (Diablo, Belial, Azmadon, Baal, Mephisto, Andariel and Duriel)?

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19  
Knowing Blizzard, we didn't kill any of them; they'll be back! –  Frank Jun 27 '12 at 20:47
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The Silver Spire was merely a setback! –  Ben Jun 27 '12 at 20:54
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Blizzard's Rules of Villain Design: 1) Corrupt a former good guy. 2) Bring back a former bad guy. –  Wikwocket Jun 27 '12 at 22:02
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@fbueckert we were not prepared. –  kalina Jun 28 '12 at 1:20

3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

The closing cutscene shows Diablo's body fizzing away (Eviltrons colliding with Holitrons in the atmosphere emitting a burst of gamma rays, I guess), but the black soulstone (which we already know is imperfect/unstable) survives and plummets down to... who knows where.

So... we didn't kill anyone. Diablo had become the Evil Overmind of the Team Evil Collective, and we just destroyed his physical body... because sequels.

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We didn't kill any of them - in the ending cutscene after you defeat Diablo and the corpse of Diablo falls from Heaven, his body begins to disintegrate and you can clearly see the black soulstone drop to Sancutary.

The soulstone is still intact, along with the souls of the seven evils inside of it. We killed the physical manifestation of Diablo, but his soul and the souls of the six other evils along with potentially the soul of Leah are still contained within the soulstone, which is somewhere in Sanctuary.

Chris Metzen has hinted that Leah's spirit may be "floating around somewhere" after the events of Diablo III. Covetous Shen also tells the player not to underestimate Leah's spirit and implies he had seen something similar before.

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Any reference for Leah's soul being in there too? –  Alok Jun 27 '12 at 22:15
    
    
@Alok added a more official quote from Chris Metzen to my answer –  kalina Jun 27 '12 at 22:34
    
Don't see anything in those links to indicate she's inside BS - 'floating around' seems more like we need to go mark her soul like Adria did for the evils. –  Alok Jun 27 '12 at 22:41
    
The soulstone is the only place her soul could have gone - the soulstone was absorbed into Diablo as he manifested himself within her. Somebody quotes somewhere that Diablo states he has seven souls within him before being killed, but I am looking for an official source for this. –  kalina Jun 27 '12 at 22:52

Diablo has the souls of the seven Lords of Hell within him. As implied by Leah's control over the Black Soulstone, the souls in the soulstone are still somewhat conscious as they were able to fight back and attempt to wrest control. However, Leah alone was able to prevent it, which implies that the souls aren't particularly powerful in their present state.

Based on this alone, the souls within Diablo are under his control and their power is his. However, as Diablo dies, there is no longer anything to maintain control over the souls within him.

Based on evidence from the Black Soulstone, it is hard to say whether destroying the stone would have released the souls within or destroyed them. Adria leads you to believe that destroying it would destroy the souls, but there's not much proof beyond her testimony.

My theory is that Diablo, as well as all of the other Evils, are as dead as Diablo was in the first game. It's just a matter of finding another host.

To answer your question, who did we kill? Leah.

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Leah was already dead after the possession occurred. That is why the Nephilim could see her ghost, and why s/he didn't even consider trying to exorcise her. Diablo isn't the type to keep her alive, now that she has no use to him. –  Lawton Jun 27 '12 at 21:45
    
Leah's body would be what we killed, as you say. –  dlanod Jun 27 '12 at 21:49
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@Lawton: The ghosts are not the real people, just illusions to trick/delay you. –  Alok Jun 27 '12 at 22:13
    
In Diablo 2, you see that Aidan still exists within his body while Diablo occupies it. I'm not sure if the host dies when Diablo is slain or when Diablo transforms to his "true form," but Leah's lack of resistance is either due to Diablo having more power than when he possessed Aidan, or due to Leah having less fortitude than Aidan. –  Koviko Jun 27 '12 at 22:36
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@Lawton Why is it weird for the Lord of Terror to pit you against a "ghost" of someone that didn't actually die? Keep in mind that, after speaking to these "ghosts," they reveal their true form as a demon. –  Koviko Jun 28 '12 at 1:37

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