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When I'm going through fighting off enemies in Diablo 2, and I hear the little monsters utter a saying, does the saying "Rakanishu" have any meaning in the Diablo games? So far I have only heard it said in #2, is it said in any others?

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It's just the name of a unique Fallen monster I think.. – deutschZuid Jun 28 '12 at 21:34
+1 While playing Diablo, all the little critters used to say "Rakanishu". Thanks for asking this one. :-) – ヴァイシャリ Sep 29 '12 at 14:02
Note that they also say “Bishibosh!” and “Colenzo!” the names of two super-unique Fallen Shamans (well, Colenzo is technically a “Warped Shaman”). Interestingly, Colenzo appears only in the expansion, Lord of Destruction, but Fallen et al. were shouting his name as a war cry before LoD was released. – KRyan Dec 9 '13 at 6:50
up vote 12 down vote accepted

@deutschZuid is right on.

In Diablo II, Rakanishu is a unique Carver mob that always spawns next to the Cairn Stones in Stony Field.

Rakanishu is a Super Unique Carver found in the Stony Field next to the Cairn Stones that activate the portal to Tristram during the Search for Cain quest.

(Diablo Wiki)

It is also said by event mobs in Diablo III. An "Avatar of Rakanishu" makes a cameo in the Dahlgur Oasis and drops a unique named weapon.

There is a randomized event in the Dalghur Oasis that is tied to Rakanishu in Diablo III as well. Several Fallen members on top of a hill are seen performing a ritual at a stone surrounded by 5 other stones. Upon destruction of the 5 stones, an Avatar of Rakanishu arrives. Killing him prompts the optional objective to destroy the stone he arrived at, before the event is completed. The 5 stones surrounding the center are also a nod to the Cairn Stones from Act I of Diablo II. The title shown when targeting the Avatar of Rakanishu is 'Fallen Demigod'. This is most likely why the Fallen Ones sometimes utter his name as a war cry.

(Diablo Wiki)

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I can confirm that Rakanishu always appearns within the Cairn Stones. – KRyan Dec 9 '13 at 6:49

Insider scoop!

One of my friends was senior programmer for D2. I asked him the same question one day -- "where the hell did you guys get the name `rakanishu'?" He said that one day in the office another employee sneezed, and it came out sounding like "RAKANISHU!" They liked it, and made it part of the game. So it doesn't really mean anything, just a silly inside joke.

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Do you have any way we can validate this story? – Ash Sep 19 '15 at 19:47
Is there a source for this? – Texenox Sep 19 '15 at 20:10
Consider the context -- this was an informal conversation with a friend. Not a journalistic interview. – Rocking Issue Sep 19 '15 at 20:32
(Tried elaborating with an edit, but exceeded the 5 minute limit.) Anyway, yes, this wasn't a journalistic interview, & no recording or wiretaps were made. Ted Bisson worked on the D2 project and worked at Blizzard North (at that time Blizz had two headquarters, Blizz North in San Mateo, and Blizz South in Irvine), but left when Blizzard closed Blizzard North. Sheesh guys, my comment has a -3 rating after just an hour. Was just trying to be helpful. I understand it's anecdotal, and not encyclopaedic information, so disregard, downvote, doubt, ignore, take it as you will. – Rocking Issue Sep 19 '15 at 20:44
@RockingIssue It's not anything personal, we've just been burned by this kind of thing in the past and the community as a whole decided to go with "downvote claims that aren't proven in the answer". – GodEmperorDune Sep 19 '15 at 20:59

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