If you’ve been lucky (unlucky?) enough to have been graced by the presence of Diablo 4’s infamous The Butcher, you may have noticed he appeared larger than you expected. Or perhaps he grew in size as you fought, likely in vain, to survive.
It turns out there’s an explanation for this Giant Butcher, and it suggests all enemies are similarly susceptible to enlargement.
Our story starts with a Reddit post from a confused IronHeart_777, who ran into a Giant Butcher while killing demons in a Nightmare Dungeon. Alongside posting a screenshot of this larger than virtual life demon, IronHeart_777 asked: “So uh… anyone know why we found a Giant Butcher? He appeared this big…”
Strange! But there’s more. Icy-Veins subsequently reported on a video from streamer Vinsonte showing one Diablo 4 player surprised by a Butcher encounter, but this time the imposing beast grew bigger over the course of the fight, starting off default size before growing large enough to dominate the screen.
These player reports sparked some good old-fashioned theory-crafting from the Diablo 4 community. The current theory puts the blame on a dungeon modifier (affix) appropriately called Avenger.
The Avenger affix description text states killing a monster enrages monsters near it, making them deal more damage. This text fails to mention also making enemies bigger, and yet this is what appears to be happening. Perhaps Blizzard left this line out deliberately in order to surprise players and spark a bit of community fun. Perhaps it’s a bug. With Diablo 4, it’s hard to know.
It is difficult to see this effect in action on the vast majority of enemies, which start small and increase in size by a tiny amount with each nearby kill. But with the already big Butcher, the effect is more noticeable. At least, that’s what the theory suggests.
If the Avenger affix is the cause of the Giant Butcher, it also suggests something pretty amazing about how the enemy actually works. It may skulk around near enough to the player to trigger Avenger from defeated enemies but, and this is the important part, off-screen. As IronHeart_777 put it, the Giant Butcher “was there (but off the screen) slowly powering up into his final form".
What a terrifying thought! Perhaps the Butcher does not always spawn on top of the player and start fighting immediately, but sometimes appears off-screen, watching, waiting, biding his time, getting ever so slightly bigger with each nearby kill, before exploding into view to terrify, and probably kill, the player. The Butcher’s unsuspecting victim would never know they were feeding the demon all along. That does sound like the kind of thing the Butcher would do, after all.
Add this fun Giant Butcher theory to the pile. Since launch Diablo 4 players have done some pretty out-there stuff, including convincing themselves rats lead to better loot, hunting for a secret cow level Blizzard insists does not exist, and running through 1,270 cellars in just three days to “see what happens”.
Diablo 4 launched big, becoming Blizzard’s fastest-selling game ever. It is also a hit with critics, and, generally, has gone down well with fans. However, the cost of Diablo 4’s microtransactions has raised eyebrows, and, surprisingly, Whoopi Goldberg called on Blizzard to release Diablo 4 on Mac.
Check out our interactive Diablo 4 map to start tracking your progress as you play.