In the Diablo games (I, II and III), the player controls a warrior of some kind (sorcerer, barbarian, etc.), which is basically human (except in III, where he is a Nephalem, but I am not exactly sure how that makes the differnce). Eventually, the player gets to defeat great demons, including Mephisto, Baal, Malthael, etc.

In the Diablo world, how do they explain this? How can a human ever be powerful enough to defeat a demon, especially the Prime Evils?

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    Because you level up a bunch of times and get leet loot, duh. But seriously, check out the wiki article on the Nephalem. All humans are offspring of angels and demons, so they're not as different as you might think. – DCShannon Feb 25 '16 at 23:22
  • @DCShannon I read that. It also says that power of the Nephalem has difused along the generations... It was believed by some that by the third century, there were no nephalem left in the world, though this turned out to be false. So maybe that explains the power of the hero in Diablo III, but what about Diablo I and II? – becko Feb 26 '16 at 7:57

This is a good thread to answer your question, but to sum up:

Mainly because until the events of Diablo 3, demons had difficulty entering Sanctuary, and their manifestations were not capable of drawing upon their full power, and because the protagonist of each game gains experience and equipment over the course of their story (so an even challenge at the beginning is "a few skeletons", and at the end, it's "Diablo himself").

Some specifics: in Diablo, the final boss is not Diablo himself, but Diablo possessing the son of King Leoric; the canonical hero, Aiden, is himself a well-trained warrior, with capabilities and prowess far beyond that of your average Tristram peasant. At the end, Aiden attempts to contain Diablo within himself by smashing Diablo's Soulstone into his head; this very ill-advised tactic results in him becoming the Dark Wanderer of Diablo II, so it's not like humans are across-the-board more powerful than demons.

In Diablo II, the Evils are still bound by their Soulstones, and Baal specifically possesses another human body (that of the nephalem Tal Rasha), again limiting his full power. You do fight Diablo at his full power in D2, but only after journeying far and wide and -- again -- gaining a great deal of experience, equipment, and abjurations.

Finally, the fact that the Diablo III protagonist is a nephalem is very significant. Unlike their predecessors, they theoretically have access to the untested powers and abilities of the original nephalem, the combined offspring of angels and demons. This is so because at the end of Diablo II, the Worldstone, originally created to limit humans' power by agreement between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells, is destroyed, enabling the nephalem to once more return to the world of Sanctuary. As for why, if this is the case, the nephalem hero can't simply mop the floor with the Act IV boss: at the end of Diablo III, Diablo is no longer one being but combines the powers of all his brethren with his own to form the Prime Evil, a being which would have easily overwhelmed the heroes of Diablo 1 and 2.

  • I thought that the protagonists in D1 and D2 were also Nephalem? – Ben Feb 25 '16 at 23:58
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    They were not; the nephalem were immortal beings (as they were borne of two immortal races, angels and demons), and the Worldstone was later attuned to force their powers to wane over time. When they lapsed into mortality, they became a different race -- humans -- and so until the Worldstone was destroyed, there could be no new nephalem. – Jeremy Avalon Feb 26 '16 at 0:07
  • But see the final cinematic of Diablo III Reaper Soulds, where Tyrael refers explicitly to the mortality of The Nephalem. – becko Feb 26 '16 at 8:02
  • @becko Tyrael was simply saying that the hearts of Nephalem, unlike Angels, are not bound to righteousness. Nephalem, being both parts angel and demon, can ultimately choose to be good or evil. It doesn't have anything to do with being powerful or anything. – FoxMcCloud Jul 23 '17 at 3:20
  • directly from the german diablo wiki they say that nephilim are simply stronger humans whose power was connected to the worldstone. @JeremyAvalon the link proves you wrong if its an acceptable source – XtremeBaumer Jul 25 '17 at 7:27

From the beginning of Diablo mythology, the Nephalems were strong and involved in the conflict. For that they developed the art of blacksmith and magical, for example creating legendaries, I like farm legendaries, but IF! I tired I buy Diablo Power leveling.

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    This doesn't really say a whole lot compared to the other, much deeper answer – Vemonus Jul 23 '17 at 2:35

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