I’m making some progress with my Barbarian, Zeta. At the end of the last blog, Zeta was in Act III of Nightmare Mode, and was level 46. Here is what she encountered on her next adventure.

Zeta, and her Follower, Eirena the Enchantress, were in the process of battling through the quests that lead up to fighting Cydaea (the giant spider woman) in the Tower of the Damned.

Cydaea: Oh, you’ve met my daughters, I see.  Are you enjoying their company?

Fallen Firemage (Look! Zeta killed 7 with one blow!)

Ding! Level 47!

Gilgamesh of the Darkness

Fallen Hellhound

Checkpoint! Ready to head into Tower of the Damned Level 2.

Hulking Phasebeast – this didn’t go so well and took more than one try.

Malice Toothgrind

Here’s a good reason to bring the Enchantress with you through the Tower of the Damned. See that giant, icky looking, tortured demon off to the side of the path? The Enchantress tells you more about that. Actually, this could be a reason not to bring her with you, because the story she shares is rather disgusting. It’s kind of hard to see in the screenshot, so I’ll write it out for you. She says:

Enchantress: Do you see that massive daemon just off our path? It is one of the flayed – an unwilling servant of Azmodan. The others torture it by ripping its skin off in large sheets. They use it to build their terrible structures.

Back to searching for the Sin Heart. Cydaea returns to taunt the hero with a pun. She says: All the pain and suffering you’re enduring… You must be dying to meet me. If I remember correctly, Eirena responded with a comment like “Why must she be so disgusting!”


Gilgamesh the Gorgon

By this point, Eirena was getting tired of Cydaea and her comments. It’s hard to see in the screenshot.

Enchantress: This daemon seems to enjoy the sound of her own voice. She is starting to make my head ache.

At the start of the battle with Cydaea, she says: You are so eager…I suppose I should introduce myself.

Somewhere during the battle, Cydaea basically runs away, and suggests: Play with my daughters. I do not wish to tire you out.  She unleashes a pack of succubus.. or is it succubi?.. and Lasher Demons.

In the lore of the Diablo “universe”, Cydaea has been defined as both the Maiden of Lust and the Mistress of Pain. The two concepts have been rolled into one in the Cydaea that players encounter in the Diablo III game, which is pretty obvious from the comments she makes.

I can see where some people might interpret the sexualized banter that Cydaea directs at players as a sign that Diablo III is aimed at male (and heterosexual) players. It’s one thing to have an oversexed giant spider woman attempting to flirt with a male player (no matter if he has selected to play as a male or female character). It’s another to have those same comments directed at a female player (even if she has selected to play a male toon). Both situations are creepy, but in a different way.

My take on this topic is simple: Cydaea is an equal opportunity sexual harasseser. I don’t think the gender of the hero she is picking on matters. It’s obvious that a giant mutant spider woman is intended to make players feel icky (even without her skeezy comments). Also, the battle against her is a good fight, and really fun, and that’s good enough for me.

Next, Zeta and Eirena fought their way to the Sin Heart, and squished it. In this screenshot, they are battling a Soul Lasher, as Cydaea expresses her displeasure that the Sin Heart has been, ya know, squished like a grape. She says: I can feel the blood hemorrhaging from the Sin Heart… Oh, you will pay for this.

Kargara, Patron of the Mad

Stygian Crawler

Ding! Level 48!

Blood Clan Impaler – This didn’t go very well and took more than one try.

Another fun quote from Eirena. She says: There is bitter cold above us, and seething heat below…We have rather ill luck, do we not?

Another pack of Blood Clan Impalers

Blood Clan Occultist

Sin the Crone

Another view of The Flayed – This would make a nice Iron Maiden album cover

Another Blood Clan Occultist

Bloodbourne the Greedy

Here’s Zeta, working on killing Cydaea.

A Question of Lust (Nightmare): Kill Cydaea on Nightmare difficulty.

Time to squish this Sin Heart!

Another Hulking Phasebeast

More Succubi (if that’s the right way to pluralize the word)

Time to fight Azmodan (another giant spider-like demon).

Managed to kill Azmodan rather quickly.

The Lord of Sin (Nightmare): Kill Azmodan on Nightmare difficulty

Also managed to hit a Checkpoint

Next, is a cinematic, where Leah gets turned into Diablo, (well, kind of).

Diablo/Leah is free! Now, with added power of extra Prime Evils!

Diablo (and more) dismisses Adria, who runs off, (probably into the expansion).

From there, Diablo doesn’t waste any time opening a Portal to the High Heavens.

I didn’t immediately realize it, but this cinematic means that Zeta has finished Act III of Nightmare and is about to enter Act IV! She also went from level 46 to level 48. It felt like I’d made a lot of progress, and I decided to take a break and get some much needed sleep.

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