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Why do demons in Diablo speak english (or the same language as humans)?

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by Azzure, Oct 20, 2013. | Replies: 29 | Views: 4698

  1. Azzure

    Azzure IncGamers Member

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    Wouldn't it be more immersive if demons, such as Diablo, azmodan, belial etc didn't speak english, but rather some made up demonic tongue, perhaps similar to latin or Aramaic, and put subtitles in english so the player knows what they are saying?

    Or better yet, if demons not only didn't speak english, but didn't understand the notion of sarcasm and insults, mock us in our own language with perfect grammar, in holographic appearances to the player?

    But seriously - I am all for Blizzard making demons actually scary and immersive, rather than making them childish school-yard bullies who are so overly personified that I could imagine them waking up early with an alarm clock and rushing to work in traffic.

    More mysterious, non-human etc. Angels too.
     
  2. ShadoutMapes

    ShadoutMapes IncGamers Member

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    That isn't really the type of setting Diablo 3 has though.
    Demons in Sanctuary aren't some foreign entity coming into the world - where no knowledge of language or human behaviour makes sense.
    After all humans and demons are supposed to be related. Both Angels and demons has shown great interest in humans for a long time etc.

    So, in the context of the story, it makes ok sense they speak "english", knows sarcasm etc.
    However it makes less sense how bad their dialogue is :D
     
  3. Dacar92

    Dacar92 Community, Amazon, DH Moderator; Clan Officer West

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    That question has come up in Doctor Who over the years. It is a gift of the Tardis which allows all of the Doctors companions to understand the language on the different planets they land on. Likewise in D3 the Angels allow men to understand the demons.

    But like SM says above the interpretation must be a bit off since the demons come across as silly monsters with temper tantrums rather than anything really scary.


    Azzure, the type of monster you're looking for though is diufficult to create in a computer game. The story and dialogue isn't really why you're playing the game. It is to kill critters and gain loot. Watch a movie instead, I think.
     
  4. ElementEight

    ElementEight IncGamers Member

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    If they didn't speak english, you couldn't know to close the demonic portals in act 4.
     
  5. yovargas

    yovargas IncGamers Member

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    More importantly, why is Leah pretty much the only person with an American accent in Tristram or Caldeum.
     
  6. hatred

    hatred IncGamers Member

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    demons talking in 'demonic' with subtitles would be pretty climatic but with even less sense (how does player undestand 'demonic'?)
    if without subtitles... then it would lose sense at all (diablo: habahaba ; player:k) - it works well in cinematics tho, like in this one:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3BxvHhz4XQ

    but as mentioned before, demons, humans and angels speak kind of the same language
     
  7. Ivan E

    Ivan E IncGamers Member

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    Because you don't mess with Jennifer Hale. She's pretty much a selling point in her own right. Or something. In the future, all female (and 50% of male) roles in videogames will be voiced by Jennifer Hale.
     
  8. yovargas

    yovargas IncGamers Member

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    *wikis Jennifer Hale*


    That's...weird.
     
  9. ShadoutMapes

    ShadoutMapes IncGamers Member

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    I... would be okay with this.
    The male Shephards voice could only have been improved by it.
     
  10. Azzure

    Azzure IncGamers Member

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    Haha, that cinematic was exactly my inspiration for this thread. Diablo 3 needs more of that kind of "demonic", rather than giant animal-like monsters who throw tantrums.
     
  11. DickScotchfist

    DickScotchfist <font color=#168A19>PoE Moderator</font>

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    In the Bible, Demons, once angels, are said to generally have a higher intellect than humans and know much and be very curious about... us. They speak english as well as all languages. Forgetting their high intellect, this still wouldn't be surprising since they live among us day-to-day, usually in a consciously imperceivable way... though not always.

    Edit: Why they would CHOOSE to I do not know, but the reason would not be hard to root in the story. It'd be so easy, it's unnecessary imho.

    TL;DR Demons speak English. It's that simple and not at all unbelievable.
     
  12. Winterfell

    Winterfell IncGamers Member

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    I can't disagree with you on how they were overly personified. I'd also be all for your character never going to Hell or Heaven since that takes away a lot of the mystery. What is Hell like? It's like the side of a mountain after it's erupted. Oh. The reason the demons and angels speak English (or the language of the player) is that they're communicating with the player. They're silly enough as they are without coming over like a lost American tourist shouting in English at an Italian. That doesn't hold up on the cutscenes when it's just angels and/or demons, but then you could say that's just "translated" for our benefit. I do prefer it when people have different languages and regional accents, though. That kind of thing has never been Diablo's strong suit, even from the start, with the demons still speaking in English there ("Fresh meat!") and Deckard Cain apparently being part-time Horadric sage, part-time Sean Connery impersonator.
     
  13. In the name of Zod

    In the name of Zod IncGamers Member

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    Diablo 1 had a lot of monsters (not gods or demigods) speaking clear english like Garbad the Weak and some others. As I understand Diablo lore it was Diablo that created/twisted/..transmogrified? the various animals of the plains of sanctuary. It would be by his hand then that they are capable at all of speaking. The demon from the exorcist (considered the best horror movie eva) can also speak very clear english.

    I don't think the real question is why but how do they do it. That would interest me a lot more (being a huge horror movie buff). To speak our language requires a human like tongue. If the animals and monsters don't have that then it can only be put down to being a form of magic that allows it.

    Some movies like Demons or Night of the Demons make it so the possessed sometimes express difficulty in speaking. I like these sorts of details, adds a LOT to the suspension of disbelief for me. Although in some of those instances I'm guessing that the reason might be that the demons are struggling with the host.

    I would never expect this sort of detail in a game where they can't even add a basic block animation. Although they do like there aesthetics. :nod:
     
  14. fmulder

    fmulder Site Contributor

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    Not all demons speak English. only demon lords like Daiblo or Rakanoth speak perfectly. Unique monsters in D1 like Gharbad and Snotspill spoke only "broken" English. Sub-titles once in a while would indeed be cool though, I was thinking of something like Star Wars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la7uuFsCIrg
     
  15. fmulder

    fmulder Site Contributor

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    Not all demons speak English. only demon lords like Daiblo or Rakanoth speak perfectly. Unique monsters in D1 like Gharbad and Snotspill spoke only "broken" English.

    Sub-titles once in a while would indeed be cool though, I was thinking of something like Star Wars:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la7uuFsCIrg
     
  16. hatred

    hatred IncGamers Member

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    then it wasnt just a coincidence that the cutscene fits description so well;p
    i think they wanted to copy wrath of the lich king 'villain' model and make tchem more interactive so player would feel some kind of connection (lol) with them - how it came out is well summarized by this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcJ_XT3oWtY (a3 mostly)
    efforts appreciated but final effect failed for sure - they would be better leaving the demons speaking sparsely or not at all
     
  17. Enkeria

    Enkeria IncGamers Member

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    Nephalem, which we are, are from both Angels and Demons. It's in our blood to hear what they say.

    The Fallens do have a weird language since they have dark magic from Azmodan as a curse..
     
  18. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    There are a lot of competing issues in this topic, which could be unpacked for endless debate.

    Convenience: It's just easier for the game to put them all into one language. And it's only English since the developers are in the US. If Diablo was made in Russia they'd all speak Russian. And obviously there are translated versions of the game.

    In reality, of course the angels, demons, most of the human cultures, etc, would speak different languages. Look at the real world; every group of any significant size and especially if it's in an isolated area, has a unique language, which can generally be traced back to some other language it evolved from. This is acutally *less* true today than at any time in human history, due to globalization and the Internet promoting a few major languages for easier communication, which means lots of local dialects and tongues are going extinct.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_diversity#Language_endangerment


    Vocalizations: Could demons even speak the same language as humans and angels? I mean would their physiogomy allow it? They've got overbites, fangs, snake tongues, tiny savage brains, etc. There's a bunch of coverage on the Black Soulstone cinematic making of where they talked about how hard it was to give Azmodan anything approximating lip synch, since he doesn't have lips and since his mouth basically opens sideways, like your mom's vagina.

    Also, Angels don't even have faces or bodies, exactly. They're not flesh and blood. They are immortal, do not need to eat or drink, etc.They're more like spirit/flesh things that take humanoid form and add armor and such as embellishments. (e.g. when Tyrael tore off his armor as he left the Angiris council and became human, his shoulder pads just sort of dissolved into the floor.) So they don't technically have mouths or lungs or respiratory systems to even produce speech, which means they are projecting their words in some magical way, presumably a sort of telekinesis or telepathy.

    Thus they can speak every language -- or would it be more accurate to say that they don't speak any language and everyone who hears them understands the words in their own language?


    Lore: I read and took notes on the Book of Cain over the weekend for wiki updates and to refresh my memory before the Book of Tyrael, and there's reasons to believe for and against common language for demons/angels. The magical origin myths give them something of a common ancestry and their long time warring and entanglements would give them some commonality and transference of communication. And since Humans were created of a mixing between angel and demon, you could argue for some continuing connection that allows humans to understand their "parents" the angels and demons.


    Magical Translation: Since the game world is full of magic and supernatural, including telepathy, received visions, etc, it wouldn't be hard to argue that when the major demons (like Azmodan, etc) speak the humans/Nephalem/Angels hear them mentally. Maybe Azmodan's actual words are the clicks and whistles and growls his mouth looks capable of producing, and that's how he speaks to lesser demons in their own language. But the humans "hear" his words as he speaks them or thinks them or projects them. Even via hologram. Same as the Angels, who don't even have mouths and presumably can't even produce speech in our mortal sense of the word.
     
  19. themeros

    themeros IncGamers Member

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    This was never a problem in Diablo 1 or 2 because the voices, accents and personalities were top notch!

    Tyrael, Mephisto, Diablo and Baal were just excellent! The one that read the lore books in Diablo 1 was brilliant too. I'd switch all books in Diablo 3 for just that one dude's voice in Diablo 1!

    Also, as many mentioned, in the context of Diablo it makes sense for them to speak English because they are actively involved with Sanctuary.
     
  20. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    I agree they were well done, but let's not get carried away. No one sat there and listened to the whole intro from Warriv or Cain or Asheara each time through the game. We skipped them just as quickly as we do in D3, and I can remember hating Cain since every time you went back to him for an ID after you dropped the cube (which was often, since that was the fastest way to unload it), you had to skip a speech.

    "That's quite a treasure you have there in that Horadric Cube..." I remember those words clearly despite not playing that part of D2 in years.

    Thus it was sometimes an annoyance in D1/D2, but much less so since they didn't have ****ing holograms lecturing you every quest you finished, and there weren't any cutscenes to skip. The error in D3 isn't the quality of the voices or the writing, it's that you're forced to confront it and skip it so often.
     

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