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The Butcher (Diablo I)

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For other meanings of the term, see The Butcher.
"Ah... Fresh meat!"

- The Butcher(src)

The Butcher
Gender Male
Race Demon
Affiliation Burning Hells
Class Overlord/Butcher Demon
Occupation Servant of Diablo (formerly?)
Servant of Andariel
Status Deceased
Appearances Diablo
Diablo III (mentioned only)
Dungeons and Dragons: Diablo II Edition
The Awakening
Deckard Cain's Journal
Writings of Abd al-Hazir (mentioned only)
Book of Cain

The Butcher was a demon encountered in the Tristram Cathedral during the Darkening of Tristram.

A bloated and grotesque creature,[1] The Butcher was a sadistic being that relished in the torture and pain of others.[2] It was also masochistic, and its own hands were damaged as the result of its torture.[3]


"Big! Big cleaver killing all my friends. Couldn't stop him, had to run away, couldn't save them. Trapped in a room with so many bodies... So many friends... Noooooooooo!"

- Farnham, reliving his ordeal with The Butcher(src)


The Butcher

While the Butcher Demons were once servants of Diablo,[4] this particular Butcher was a servant of Andariel by the Darkening of Tristram,[5] though at the least, acted in a manner that served the Lord of Terror's ends. The creature first made itself known to the people of Tristram when Lazarus led them into the depths of the Cathedral as part of a trap. A horde of demons set upon the townsfolk,[6] The Butcher among them. Wielding a cleaver as large as an axe, the creature cut down any who stood against it. Some townsfolk made it back to the surface, but the wounds that The Butcher inflicted left them festering with disease, that even the town's healer found almost impossible to treat.[2]

The Butcher made his lair in a chamber in the lower levels of the Cathedral. Prior to the return of Prince Aidan, at least one group of adventurers stumbled across the beast. They had entered the cathedral for loot, but found themselves beset by Imps, before finally The Butcher himself descended on them. All but one of them were killed, as the only survivor left his friends to die. However, The Butcher managed to inflict a wound on his arm that nearly took it off, leaving Tristram's healer with no choice but to remove the limb.[7]

The Butcher met his end at the hands of Aidan, as well as two companions.[1] As they approached his chamber, they heard the screams of his victims, and blood pouring out from the door. Opening it, they beheld The Butcher, who grinned at the promise of fresh meat before setting on them with his cleaver.[3] However, they were able to dispatch the beast.[1][2]


The Butcher

The Butcher is a Unique Overlord with a large Cleaver from Diablo I, and is the chief subject of The Butcher Quest. He resides in a room strewn full of mutilated corpses, the remains of Tristram's townsfolk whom the Archbishop Lazarus intentionally led to their doom. If the quest is generated in a game, a dying townsman outside the Church will ask the player character to avenge him and the others by slaying The Butcher.

For players possessing very low character levels, The Butcher is an extremely difficult creature and adversary to kill. He will relentlessly pursue a player and attempt to force him/her into close-quarter hand-to-hand combat, savagely hacking away with his cleaver - which usually ends with the player's sudden Death.



The Butcher outside his chamber

The Butcher's Strength does not allow an adequately leveled character to face him in fair combat. It is advisable to gain some levels before taking The Butcher on. However, if the player wants to engage him from the outset, there are a number of tactics one can use.

A common way to defeat The Butcher is to lead him to the set of stairs to level 3 of the Cathedral, get him trapped in between the stairway, and shoot at him with a ranged weapon, like a Bow, from the other side of the stairway. Know that it will take a lot of shots to finish him off, depending on the character's damage that is.

Another way is to lead him to a wall with bars. Find one in advance, then quickly walk through that door (if there is one), close it and get along the wall away from it to keep The Butcher in sight on the other side of the bars. He will just wander aimlessly left and right as The Butcher cannot open doors and his AI will not let him reach the opening either. Shoot with a bow or cast spells at him through the bars.

Finally, a player can open The Butcher's door and cast Firewall, then promptly close it again. The Butcher will walk into the fire and remain there. If you are lucky, he will die from the flames, or at least be severely damaged.

If a player seeks to fight The Butcher in melee, one would require 55 Dexterity to land consistent blows on him while only occasionally taking hits from him.

His melee attack is extremely fast and will most likely stun a player before they can attack. With a damage range of 2-20 (on Normal) and a melee speed of almost 1 hit per second, even a Warrior will find melee to be largely ineffective, unless that Warrior is better geared (possibly with a 1 handed weapon and a shield) and at a higher level (5 or higher).

Sorcerers and Rogues will definitely want to make use of Stone Curse (assuming the spell is available) if they intend on fighting him in an open environment with no protective barriers. If Stone Curse is not available, engaging The Butcher in this environment is highly lethal, unless the player has a very high level differential compared to The Butcher.


Resistances: Fire, Lightning
Immunities: None
Life: 110
Dungeon Level: 2
Damage: 2-20


  • "Ahh... Fresh meat!"


Tome This page contains obsolete content
This article contains information that is no longer relevant to gameplay, but is kept here for informational purposes.

The Butcher's room and The Butcher himself came about late in the development of that in Diablo I. One of the artists had created a very bloody room as the tiles were being laid out for the stage design. Upon seeing the room, the designers started joking about it, and turned it into a butcher's shop. A joke then developed that they had to create a monster called "The Butcher." As such, the developers followed through.[8]

The demo version for Diablo I included a single level with The Butcher in it.

Upon entering the lair of The Butcher in the Cathedral, a cinematic was to be shown of him hacking the body of a dead villager and hooking it onto the wall. Accounts differ as to whether this was present in early releases of the game, or simply never included.


This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article.
  • Pudge the Butcher, a character from Defense of the Ancients, draws heavy inspiration from The Butcher. His ultimate, Dismember, makes him call out "Ahh... Fresh Meat!" when used, which can be heard anywhere on the map. He also uses a large cleaver as his main weapon.
  • A Butcher monster can also be found in Warcraft III. In addition, the Warcraft-butcher will yell "Fresh meat!" in a similar way as the Diablo I Butcher. Behind The Butcher is an item chest containing Wirt's Other Leg, a parody of Wirt's Leg.
  • In the game Borderlands 2 there is a shotgun called the Hyperion Butcher with the description "Ahh... Fresh Meat!"
  • In the RPG game Fallout 2 there is a slaver's guild, when you first enter you are greeted with the words "Ah, fresh meat....". The guild's leader is called Metzger, which is German for Butcher.
  • The 2011 game Dead Island references The Butcher's famous greeting; one of the Achievements is called "Ah! Spoiled meat!" It involves killing a special zombie also called a "Butcher" using an axe.
  • Sources have made reference to The Butcher returning from Diablo I in its Diablo III form.[9] This is likely an error however, as the game itself establishes that the two Butcher Demons are separate individuals.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Book of Cain
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Diablo, The Butcher
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Awakening
  4. Diablo III, Butcher Lore
  5. Dungeons and Dragons: Diablo II Edition
  6. Diablo Manual
  7. Writings of Abd al-Hazir: Tristram Cathedral
  8. 2015-06-13, David Brevik Answers a few Diablo Questions. Diablo IncGamers, accessed on 2015-06-18
  9. Diablo III Fresh Meat Women's Tee. J!NX, accessed on 2014-07-26

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