Does anyone know how was the cow level discovered? I don't think the instructions were in the game guide. Was it hinted through either the game or the lore of Diablo 2? How did people figure out that you had to use a Tome of Town Portal and Wirt's PegLeg in the Horadric cube?

  • looking at a few of your most recent questions, I advise you to read our help page (link in upper right corner of the website) to better understand which questions are on-topic and which are off-topic.
    – Ender
    Aug 26, 2013 at 20:37
  • It will be best to say if there is a problem in specific with this question. I might be able to amend it then.
    – givanse
    Aug 26, 2013 at 20:49
  • 2
    Sorry, givanse, but this falls under historical trivia, which is off-topic here.
    – Niro
    Aug 26, 2013 at 21:03

1 Answer 1


It was a rumor since the first Diablo. When Diablo II was released, Blizzard gave a screenshot of the Cow Level, hinting at its existence.

From there, people managed to figure out how to use The Horadric Cube to create the portal to the Cow Level simply by trial and error it would seem.

Diablo 2 was released June 30, 2000, and there is a post detailing the recipe for the Secret Cow Level created as early as July 4, 2000 here. That said, it doesn't look like it took players too long to discover it.

Straight from Blizzard:

The History of the Secret Cow Level

Many players of the original Diablo will remember the mysterious rumor that there was a Secret Cow Level. The story went that by clicking on a specific cow in Tristram a certain number of times, you could access a wondrous place known as the Secret Cow Level. There was, of course, no Cow Level in Diablo, but the legend was born. When StarCraft was released, it featured a cheat code, "There is no cow level". This was our way of officially confirming that there was, in fact, no Secret Cow Level. During the production of Diablo II, gamers often asked if there would be any cows to battle in the game. On April 1st, 1999, a Diablo II Screenshot of the Week featured cows fighting. People wondered if the screenshot was an April Fool's joke or if there really was a Secret Cow Level planned for Diablo II. When Diablo II was released, a quest item called The Horadric Cube allowed players to combine items to create new items. It wasn't long before players were experimenting with Cube combinations, hoping to find the keys to unlock new and powerful secrets. Eventually a recipe was discovered that revealed the most anticipated secret of them all -- the Secret Cow Level in Diablo II!

Source: http://classic.battle.net/diablo2exp/quests/cow.shtml

  • I wonder how long did it take to find the recipe; if there were any hints that pointed at Wirt's PegLeg.
    – givanse
    Aug 26, 2013 at 21:02
  • 1
    @givanse I updated the answer. It looks like players found it within a week. Finding out whether or not there were any hints tied directly to the peg leg, however, might be difficult. The peg leg was one of the few items tying Diablo II to the original game, though.
    – Lemmings19
    Aug 26, 2013 at 21:12
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    Most likely somebody just looked at the cube recipes in the mpq files. I assume there's a filler line in there for the cow level recipe.
    – CrazyCasta
    Dec 7, 2014 at 23:47
  • there was a mod community for Diablo II, the Phrozen Keep , where some of the folks making mods knew the people who got inside of the .mpq files early in Diablo II's life. You can probably pin down who and when in discussion there with folks who have intimate knowledge of the code. The first I saw of the Cow Level was a post by Jarulf, on the Lurker Lounge, but he may not have dug it out himself. Aug 22, 2015 at 3:27

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