Diablo’s Killer Cows Are All Our Fault

Diablo’s Killer Cows Are All Our Fault

Diablo III‘s anniversary update delivers some good, clean old-school fun, but one of its reward pets, the Royal Calf, suggests our trip to Old Tristram may have been the reason the series’ bovines have been so damn angry for the past two decades.

One of several secrets hidden within the Darkening of Tristram event in Diablo III, obtaining the Royal Calf pet takes a bit of doing. It all starts by picking up the Rotten Mushroom item on level nine of the anniversary dungeon.

That mushroom, when applied to the cauldron located in the retro version of Tristram, becomes a Witch’s Brew. Then it’s time to go back to the bottom of the map and hop from NPC corpse to NPC corpse, trading one item for an other, until eventually you get the plans for Wirt’s Leg.

It costs one million gold to craft Wirt’s Leg, which is pretty pricey for a thing you’re going to demolish immediately to obtain a Star Map. The map tells us the order in which to click the cow corpses in retro Tristram in order to open a portal to the Abandoned Farm House area.

This still taken from a YouTube video, as I did not have a million gold.

This still taken from a YouTube video, as I did not have a million gold.

In a chest in this normal cow-infested area, you’ll find the Royal Calf pet.

Image via the Diablo Wiki.

Image via the Diablo Wiki.

Cute, right? A little cow to follow you around. No harm in that.

Or is there?

Redditor Gyrfenix suggests our acquisition of the Royal Calf has much more sinister implications, and I tend to agree.

The legendary Wirt was the first victim of the Hell Bovines that rose to power in Diablo II‘s Hidden Cow level, but why were the cows so man at Wirt? It’s said the were driven mad by the constant prodding of adventurers, but as Gyrfenix puts forth:

During this event, you’ve essentially “gone back in time” to where Diablo first began. Thus, when you steal the Cow King’s baby in Wirt’s farmstead, which is filled to the brim with his cows, it implies that YOU are what causes the bovines to turn evil – because they’re searching for the royal calf you stole.

The idea is supported by the pet item flavour text, which reads, “This young creature has a regal air, as though he holds some special place within his herd. Who knows what they would do if he went missing…”

Oh god. What have we done?


  • I was kinda hoping they’d build some interaction into the pet. Like if you have it out when you go into the cow level something would happen. Maybe spawn a new rare, or just have some different dialog “My son! I’ve been searching for you all these years.”

    Sidenote: How do you not have a million gold? Have you only played for 2 hours? 0_o

    • Create a new character thats not seasonal since they all share the same gold/item stash. Should make running through the dungeon a lot easier since you’ll have some paragon points to put into it.

    • I think I’m at 111 billion on my non-seasonal. And about 20 million on my new Season 9 monk. With the right gear you can make 100 million gold in a single (cow) level run. Same with a good Vault (Greed) run.

      For people who are not aware, save bovine bardiches and cube them using Kanai’s Cube. Same with the Puzzle Ring, save them and use the cube to open a portal. Just build a decent gold find set and you’re good to go.

        • Not sure about console, but in the PC version you put a Puzzle Ring by itself in Kanai’s Cube and cube it. That opens a portal to the vault. Otherwise you basically need to get lucky killing goblins and have a portal open randomly.

          Should add to that comment above, I was getting about 100 mil gold at Torment 10 or 11 difficulty with a heap of gold find gear.

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