"Belial, Lord of Lies, is the most elusive of the seven Evils and is a master of deceit. It is said that he manipulated Azmodan into revolt against the Prime Evils. This began the Burning Hells' civil war, which ended with the Dark Exile of the Prime Evils to our mortal realm."— Deckard Cain(src)
The Dark Exile
"How dare you question! How dare you deny yourselves victory! Long have the Primes lorded over us. Long have they thought themselves our betters. Diablo...Diablo will fall, as will the rest. Do not be swayed or led to fear by him. Do not, for each of you will reign. Each of you will share the power we will earn."— Belial addressing Duriel and Andariel(src)
The Lesser Evils came to be discontent with the Prime Evils' focus on humanity after the events of the Sin War, furious that the Great Conflict had been apparently abandoned. In the midst of this period, Belial and Azmodan saw a chance to overthrow the Prime Evils and take control of Hell for themselves. Belial manipulated Azmodan into making war against the Prime Evils.
The two Evils made pacts with their brethren, assuring them that humanity would not stand in their way in the course of the Great Conflict. Andariel and Duriel had their doubts at first, afraid that they would fall in the coming conflict. Belial however, kept them in the fold. The civil war that followed was bloody, but it concluded with the Prime Evils being banished to the mortal realm.
One account states that as the fires of battle died down, Belial and Azmodan began to argue over which of them held higher authority. The pact they had made dissolved and the two took up arms against each other, polarizing the factions of Hell along with them. Others say, however, that there was no falling out, and that the two began conspiring to subjugate all life to their will. In truth, Belial and Azmodan did wage war up until at least the Darkening of Tristram. At this point, Azmodan had held the advantage in the Hells' civil war for a while. Around this point in time, word reached Xazax of Diablo's awakening and the possible return of the Prime Evils to Hell. If they did so, Xazax knew Belial, his master, would fall, and consequently, he himself as well. He convinced Belial to authorize a plan to aid the mortals Augustus Malevolyn and Galeona in retrieving the armor of Bartuc. Belial agreed, even sacrificing his own minions in Malevolyn's attack on Lut Gholein, as a new Bartuc in his service could give him an edge against Azmodan, and would be a useful servant in the event of the Prime Evils' return to Hell. Unfortunately for Belial, Xazax failed in his task. Fortunately for the Lord of Lies, however, only Diablo made it into Hell, and the Lord of Terror was cast down by a group of mortal heroes before he could take back control of Hell.
"We prepare for the coming war. Garreth Rau has opened himself to me, and soon I will control his mortal form. First Caldeum will fall, and then the rest of Sanctuary's cities, and when the undead army has finished its work, we will unleash a new army of our own, using Sanctuary to storm the Crystal Arch, taking Silver City and the High Heavens themselves."— Belial to Deckard Cain(src)
After the destruction of the Worldstone, Sanctuary was left open to demonic invasion. Deckard Cain came to believe that Belial and Azmodan were preparing for such an invasion. In truth, by 1272, Belial was already working his machinations on Sanctuary. He vested his time and effort into Garreth Rau. An orphan with a spark of nephalem legacy in his blood, Rau was twisted by the Lord of Lies, becoming a powerful dark mage in servitude to Hell. Garreth Rau's personality and memories were overwritten with the persona of the Dark One, an insidious and jealous mage. The Dark One founded the second order of Horadrim, though twisted by Belial's deceit. Belial planned to use Rau and his followers to build an army on Sanctuary, and after conquering the mortal realm, use it to launch an invasion against Heaven itself.
Belial's plan was foiled by Cain and his allies. Despite possessing overwhelming power, the Dark One succumbed to Cain's resourcefulness. The persona of the original Garreth Rau briefly resurfaced and drove himself to suicide.
Belial was enraged at his loss, but he received pleasing news, that of the imminent birth of the boy emperor of Caldeum. Belial planned to possess the child, using him as a vassal to take over Kehjistan.
Belial influenced the playwright Marlowe to write a stage play depicting the accounts of the Dark Exile. Marlowe realized he was being influenced and tried to burn the manuscript. However, it was stolen by his rival, Samuel Drest. Drest finished the play, which served Belial well—his story would live forever in the hearts of men. Drest was regarded as a mad playwright and got hanged. According to Malchus, this would serve Belial just as well, as it would increase interest in the stage play.
"Who—who are you?!"— Samuel Drest and Malchus(src)
"Oh, a servant to my master, Belial, who wants all to know of his great victory. He desires all to know that he has cursed the world of men with his beloved family. Your play—or his—will last forever, passed from man to man. A story once heard can never be unheard. It is the ultimate mind worm, living eternal in its host..."
"I cast off these petty illusions! Behold, the true vision of the Lord of Hell!""— Belial(src)
Belial came to Sanctuary and infiltrated the court of Emperor Hakan I of Caldeum. When Hakan I died of illness his son and heir was crowned Emperor Hakan II of Kehjistan. The younger Hakan was much easier to manipulate and Belial held him essentially hostage and eventually possessed him. With control of the emperor, he used his new power to cripple and weaken the nation, using the Coven, the remnants of the Triune, to enforce his will and extend his influence. They managed to reach as far as Westmarch. At some point, Belial has severely weakened the grip of Iron Wolves (who were guarding Hakan I before that), by allowing his Deceivers to replace most, if not all of the Imperial Guardsmen.
Here, the Coven would come into conflict with a group of heroes in a hunt for the shards of the Sword of Justice. During the course of these events their leader, Maghda, killed Deckard Cain and almost killed Tyrael before he was restored by reclaiming his sword.
Following this event, Tyrael would lead Leah and the heroes to Caldeum where they sought to end the Coven and Belial. Here, the heroes would avenge Cain's death by killing Magdha, and then they would resurrect Zoltun Kulle, so that he could lead them to, and finish the Black Soulstone (upon which Kulle was killed once again).
After this event, Belial became desperate, raining meteors down upon Caldeum and forcing an evacuation of the city. When the assault ended, the nephalem confronted Emperor Hakan II where they revealed that they knew he was Belial. The demon lord commended them for their cleverness and proceeded with a threefold attack, first with his minions, then personally fighting and finally transforming into an illusion of a giant, monstrous version of himself. Despite his vicious attack, he was slain and imprisoned within the Black Soulstone, ending his reign of tyranny over Kehjistan.
Belial's essence remained in the Black Soulstone, briefly merging with Diablo's to become a singular Prime Evil during the Lord of Terror's assault on the High Heavens. With Diablo's defeat, the essences of the Great Evils were returned to the Black Soulstone, their souls screaming for release. The artifact was destroyed by Malthael and Diablo set free, still retaining the essence of Belial and the other Evils. Eventually however, Belial's spirit was able to break free from Diablo, just as all the other Evils.
Belial appears in Diablo III during the final quest on the 2nd Act. It is divided into three phases. The battle starts immediately after entering the Imperial Palace, after a short cutscene. Fighting arena is moon crest-shaped.
Phase 1: Even if you defeat me...
Belial does not take part in phase 1, opting instead to call in the troops. He'll summon a large, yet, a limited amount of Veiled Sentinels and Veiled Evokers to challenge the player. Both types retain the snakeman ability to vanish and then re-appear. Snakemen spawn timely, not upon the death of their comrades.
Phase 2: I will not be undone!
After the snakemen prove to be fairly ineffectual, Belial himself drops down into the throne room to battle the player. In this phase, he has relatively little health (for a boss), and Snakemen are still spawned during this phase (but not for the first 30 seconds, so it is possible to finish Phase 2 without them even appearing), dropping a good amount of health globes. Belial himself has a few abilities in phase 2:
- Fly Swarms: Belial launches three fast-moving swarms of insects along the ground at medium range, which pierce through enemies and deal average damage.
- Melee Attack: He has a basic melee attack in this phase that hits for low Physical damage.
- Reinforcements: As the battle rages on, Belial will call in more snakemen to aid in defeating the hero(es), but at much slower rate than he did in Phase 1. They drop health globes. Any remaining snakemen will all die when Phase 3 is initiated, so it is advised to focus on Belial himself.
Phase 3: The true vision of the Lord of Hell
When Belial is whittled down to below 25% of his total HP in Phase 2, the final phase begins after a brief delay. In this phase, Belial gains full (and greatly increased) life, becoming immobile, incredibly large (the entire inner edge of the platform counts as part of his body for targeting purposes), and will drop Health Globes every time he suffers 10% damage, not every 25%. He replaces his normal abilities with new ones:
- Fist Slam: A green ring appears on the ground where Belial is about to strike, giving glass cannon heroes a brief moment to run out of the area (be careful as the exact area being hit is slightly larger than its visual). There are some variations of this; he can slam once with either limb or three times in a row, with each subsequent hit having a larger area of effect. After the 3-strike combo, he drops a Health Globe.
- Meteor Strike: If Belial survives in a battle against the Nephalem for 50 seconds, he will gnash both of his limbs into the ground of the throne room for roughly 15 seconds. During this, small green rings will show up chaotically all over the arena. After two seconds, each ring explodes for high Lightning damage. This is by far the most dangerous of his attacks, as two consecutive hits can easily kill an average hero on adequate difficulty. Quick movement and/or high Lightning Resistance coupled with high Vitality is the key to surviving this attack, so one should focus on survival rather than on damage while this attack lasts. Only a fully equipped tank could hope to survive a full onslaught.
- Breath: Belial will breathe lightning from one end of the arena to the other, hitting for average damage. It can be avoided by standing very close to either the left or right end of the platform.
In this phase, the Lord of Lies is immune to nearly all forms of control impairment. As such, only directly damaging him will suffice. This hampers the capabilities of heroes who make use of items such as the Haunt of Vaxo. As such, it is recommended to build characters with this in mind.
A hero with a Xephirian Amulet may have quite the laugh watching as Belial tries to harm them; with that equipped, Belial is little more than a hardy obstacle, perhaps more so than even Ghom, even after the enrage. The only real damage that remains is his Fist Slam, which will only prove to be enough to kill a hero who has, to put it bluntly, pathetic degrees of Toughness and healing compared to the difficulty.
On Torment Difficulty, Belial has a hard enrage timer of 3 minutes, at which point he will continuously use his Meteor Strike, covering the entire platform at once (impossible to dodge) until combat ends. It is still possible to kill him past this enrage timer (especially with Xephirian Amulet), however, it is very difficult.
- "My exemplary servants, Keep the witch alive until she talks. Pain will loose her tongue, but only to a point. Remember what happened to the vizier's assistant? It was a pleasurable time, I admit, but the man had only incoherent babble and bloody strands of pus spilling from his lips by the end."
- "Overwhelm the enemy and seize his/her companions. There's a witch among and.. another - a girl. Bring them to me along with the Black Soulstone. They'll be searching for the head of Zoltun Kulle. Scour the oasis for it. Some old sorcery lingers on the skull, and it must be mine!"
- "Miserable wretches, I have no time for your excuses. Caldeum is on the brink of rebellion, and the enemy is closing in on the archives of Zoltun Kulle. Slaughter him/her and bring me the mad wizard's head and the Black Soulstone, or I shall inflict incomprehensible agony upon the lot of you!"
- "Maghda, This "hero" means to attack you in Alcarnus. If I were you, I'd set a trap at the Khasim Outpost... but I'm not you. For all I know, you wish to fail me again and force me to kill you. That would grieve me, but somehow.. I think I could manage it."
- "Maghda, Such sad, sad tales have reached me of your truly abysmal failure at the Khasim Outpost.. but at least the enemy's spy has been found. Once we eliminate her and her allies, this obnoxious little world will fall to me and... perhaps you - if you survive."
- "Clever. But know this, nephalem: Azmodan knows of the stone and the power it contains. Even if you defeat me, he will exterminate you and every last one of your misbegotten kind."
- "I will not be undone! This world is mine!"
- "I cast off these petty illusions! Behold, the true vision of the Lord of Hell!"
Belial is represented in Diablo Chess. He takes the position of the rook.
Personality and Traits
"A creature so huge and terrible, it is difficult to describe...it had armored claws and three horns, and yellow eyes like lamps."— Mikulov describing Belial(src)
Belial advocated the notion that perception is reality, and it was his sole purpose to dominate reality. He did not lie simply for the sake of lying, but rather to deceive with the intent of controlling others' perception of what is real. He relished the moment his victim realized they'd been deceived, that moment of nakedness and betrayal. If Belial had a weakness however, it was that he was often trapped within the intricate webs of his own machinations.
Tyrael described Belial as desiring power above all other things and that his thousand schemes are designed toward his ends.
Belial was never content with his place in Hell, and always desired more power.
- Although Belial's corruption physically manifests in form of botflies, as shown by his both his own and Maghda's appearance and attacks (Belial's physical form is swarming with insects, and both use swarms of flies as a weapon), and there is an achievement called Lord of Flies (a pun towards the 'Lord of Lies' title), actually in Christian and Jewish mythologies (as well as several others) the title of Lord of Flies belongs to Beelzebub, which is another name of Ba'al.
- It is possible that Belial's combat abilities are entirely illusional: i.e. his enlarged form is not his real self, but is rather a vision, using the "your mind makes it real" principle to hurt the Nephalem. Probably, this is why all the destruction he wreaks disappears and is no longer in place once Belial dies.
- In console versions of Diablo III, the camera angle during Belial's fight, Phase 3, changes and follows the character differently, showing Belial from upfront instead of from above (arcade platformer style instead of the classic Diablo series style). This is the only place in the game that is not using isometric view of the battlefield.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Book of Cain
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Diablo Manual
- ↑ Diablo III, Belial, Lord of Lies
- ↑ Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls, Theater Macabre: The Dark Exile
- ↑ Legacy of Blood
- ↑ The Order
- ↑ Theater Macabre: The Dark Exile
- ↑ Diablo III, Act I
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Diablo III, Act II
- ↑ Diablo III, Act IV
- ↑ Reaper of Souls, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2013-09-09
- ↑ Diablo III, Act V
- ↑ 2014-05-19, More Info From The Anniversary Dev Stream. Diablo Fans.com, accessed on 2014-05-20
- ↑ 2019-11-11, BlizzCon 2019 Diablo IV: World and Lore Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2020-05-12
- ↑ 2018-11-17, BlizzCon 2018 Diablo Immortal World and Q&A Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2018-11-20
- ↑ Book of Adria: A Diablo Bestiary