From its’ development in late 2016, Blizzard has paid homage to the Diablo series’ origins, re-creating the first Diablo game within a free, annual event for Diablo 3. Ever since its’ launch in January 2017, Diablo 3’s Darkening of Tristram Event has reoccurred since.
Now that the game has released on the Switch, I’m obligated to create the most definitive guide on the event, including everything from the event’s challenges, down to the collectible lore books/journal entries within.
According to the game’s website, the precursor event starts on December 31st at 4PM PST, and the portal leading to the main event starts on January 3rd at the same time. Both portions of the event are set to end on January 31st, also at 4PM PST.
Returning players, if you have previously completed the event from prior years, there are no new rewards to unlock. Feel free to read on, if you wish!
As part of the Diablo series’ anniversary, every January, owners of the Reaper of Souls expansion or the Eternal Collection can revisit Tristram many years in the past, across all consoles, before it fell to ruin.
The event is played entirely in Adventure Mode, and consists of two parts: the precursor event, which provides backstory, and the main anniversary event, taking place in The Old Ruins of Act I.
Once the main event is ready, players can travel to Act I and check the map for a red pentagram. Afterwards, a retro adventure awaits in The Ruins of Tristram!
Throughout the event, there are a few limited-time rewards to claim, available only until the event closes. Most of the rewards are account-bound, and usable across all character states. (Seasonal, hardcore, etc…)
From the event, players can claim 2 pets, 2 portrait frames, three equipment transmogs, a Banner Accent, Banner Sigil, and an exclusive legendary gem, for a total of 10 rewards, and 140 challenge points.
Butcher – Getting the butcher pet is fairly straightforward, and is unlocked upon the completion of the “An Eerie Red Glow Blurs Your Vision” challenge.
To get this pet, take a level one character through the Labrinth, and complete the 16th level. The only catch here is that this must be done in a solo game, without other players present.
Upon defeating the Dark Lord, the pet should be unlocked.
Royal Calf – Originally a secret pet, the Royal Calf is arguably the hardest of the two event pets to find, and isn’t the most intuitive to discover, being locked behind a small fetch quest. The entire process can be done in 13 quick steps, however.
- First, travel to Tristam, through the event portal in the Old Tristam Ruins, and traverse the Cathedral’s Labyrinth until reaching Level 9 of the dungeon.
- Then, once players reach Level 9 of the Labyrinth, they will have to search the entire area to find the Black Mushrooms, and interact with them.
These do not stay in a fixed location, so players will have to actively search for them.
- Once touched, the Black Mushrooms will drop a Rotten Mushroom. Take the Rotten Mushroom back to Adria’s hut, and put it in the Cauldron. You’ll receive a Witch’s Brew in return.
- Remember the dead bodies of Tristram’s slain townsfolk? It’s time to help the deceased find peace.
Walk back to the main entrance of Tristram, and interact with Farnham’s Corspe behind the bottom right house.
Craving a strong drink, the Witch’s Brew gives Farmham peace, and his ghost gives you the Drunkard’s Debt in kind.
- Having the Drunkard’s Debt in hand, walk to the topmost house, and give Farmham’s debt to Ogden.
Ogden collects what he is owed, and gives you Garda’s Letter, to pass onto the town’s cleric.
- With your hero now officially a courier for the dead, walk down just a few steps to Pepin’s Corpse, whose spirit yearns to help the afflicted.
Upon receipt of Garda’s Letter, he leaves a Healer’s Prescription, for delivery to the town’s blacksmith.
- Finally, a few more steps to the northeast lies Griswold’s Corpse. Giving him the Healer’s Prescription allows to him create the plans for Wirt’s Leg, which your hero can then learn, for your blacksmith to later produce.
You’re almost done at this point!
- Now that the plans for Wirt’s Leg have been acquired, learn them, if you haven’t already, and speak to your blacksmith, Headrig, about the leg.
- For 10 Reusable Parts and a whopping million gold, Headrig can create the leg as a usable weapon.
From the weapons tab, go to the right slot of the weapon wheel, and go down to the bottom of the list of maces. Craft Wirt’s Leg.
- With Headrig now a rich man, inspecting your new weapon reveals that it’s, well, … junk at best.
Take Wirt’s Leg, and salvage it back for parts. At the very least, you get a weapon transmog for your trouble.
- Instead of crafting materials, salvaging Wirt’s Leg yields a special item, the Map of the Stars. Head back to Tristam, and to the Dead Cows near Adria’s hut.
If the cows have already been clicked on or touched, restart the game, continuing to the next step.
- With the Map of the Stars in your character’s inventory, interact with the cows starting with the middle, then the left cow, and lastly the right cow.
When done correctly, the cows will moo musically, and the entrance to the Abandoned Farmstead will be revealed.
- Finally, go to the middle of the farmstead, where Wirt’s Stash is tucked away.
Opening it will drop a small amount of gold and the Royal Calf pet, resulting in dire circumstances to the storyline. You now have a gold-seeking calf as a pet!
Butcher’s Cleaver (1H Weapon) – The Butcher’s Cleaver is earned by killing the Butcher in the Labyrinth’s 2nd Level.
Despite its stringy blood and basic shape on the weapon’s item card, the equipped version has a deep blood stain and a more realistic appearance.
Wirt’s Leg (Mace) – No, it’s not as grotesque as it sounds. Wirt’s Leg is simply a wooden peg leg, held at the narrow end of the leg, and bashing enemies at the broader end.
This leg is a craftable only weapon, and the plans required for it are locked behind a somewhat obscure quest line involving a Rotten Mushroom found in the Labyrinth.
Red Soulstone (Head) – the last item transmog is the Red Soulstone, and is received when socketing the Red Soul Shard legendary gem into a head equipment slot.
As a transmog, the Red Soul Shard can be equipped on any character class to make them a Dark Wanderer of their own right, complete with hazy eyes and a large, protruding rock in their head.
Killing all of the event bosses in the Labyrinth will award players with both Ogden’s Sign, (a banner sigil) and Ogden’s Brew, (a banner accent.)
Visually, Ogden’s Sign appears similar to a stylized sun, and adds bar mugs to the banner’s top corners when the sigil accent is toggled.
Ogden’s Brew, on the other hand, depicts various bottles, with crossed keys in the middle.
Completing the anniversary event and slaying the Dark Lord will net players the Red Soul Shard legendary gem, equippable only when socketed into head armor.
As for its ability, it is offense-based, but puts the player at risk. It causes a ring of fire to appear around the player, dealing 12,500% weapon damage to every enemy it hits, however, this occurs only when the player’s hero is periodically struggling for control of their body, resisting Diablo.
At level 25, the gem removes the resource costs of skills for 30 seconds after leveling up, and skill cooldowns are reduced by 75% for the same 30 seconds. Successfully raising the gem’s level boosts the damage it does by 50% per gem level gained.
The gem, like all other legendary gems, is farmable, but only when no copies of it exist in the players inventory, as well as there not being any in the stash. Dropping all copies of the gem on the ground before clearing the Labyrinth will also result in the gem dropping as loot.
Thank Goodness You’ve Returned! – Kill all 4 bosses in the Darkening of Tristram event. (20pts.) Rewards: Sigil and Accent for banners.
Note: This is a fairly straightforward challenge. Skip to the Event Bosses section for details about where to find each boss.
Adventuring Hero – Kill one unique monster from the Labyrinth. (10 pts.)
Note: This challenge is part 1 of the Protector of Tristram challenge, and can be completed as soon as reaching the Labyrinth’s 2nd level. Skip to the unique monsters section to see where all of the uniques are located.
Champion of the Townsfolk – Kill 20 unique monsters from the Labyrinth. (10 pts.)
Note: This challenge is the 2nd part of the Protector of Tristram challenge, and may require multiple playthroughs to unlock. Skip to the unique monsters section for a chart of all of the unique monsters.
Protector of Tristram – Kill all unique monsters from the Labyrinth. (10 pts.) Reward: Portrait Frame – Classic Demon.
Note: This challenge is by far the most tedious of the event challenges, and will require multiple event playthroughs. Skip to the unique monster locations section for a table showing where each unique in the Labyrinth is.
I Sense a Soul in Search of Answers – Collect all the Cultist Pages from the precursor event. (10pts.) Reward: Portrait Frame – Classic Angel (Portrait)
Note: This challenge does not require players to have all of the pages collected at once, but instead keeps track of what pages have been found. Skip to the Precursor Event section, or simply have another player drop the pages for you to pick up.
Psst… Over Here… – Aquire Wirt’s Leg in The Darkening of Tristram event. (10 pts.)
Note: Getting Wirt’s Leg involves a small amount of fetch-questing, which is described in the quest items section.
The Dark Passage – Visit the Dark Passage. (10 pts.)
Note: See the optional locations section for more details.
The Chamber of Bone – Visit the Chamber of Bone. (10 pts.)
Note: See the optional locations section for more details.
The Halls of the Blind – Visit the Halls of the Blind. (10 pts.)
Note: See the optional locations section for more details.
An Eerie Red Glow Blurs Your Vision – Kill the Dark Lord in a solo game starting with a level 1 character in The Darkening of Tristram event. (40 pts.) Reward: Pet – Butcher.
Note: This challenge is not the hardest to do, but there are a few myths regarding unlocking it. The most important things to keep in mind is that the character has to start at level 1, and this MUST be done in a single player game.
Precursor Event: Temporal Priests and the Cultist’s Pages
Following the aftermath of the main events of the story’s campaign, a cultist is determined to recover Adria’s possessions and delve into their past, using their knowledge to further progress the cult’s ambitions.
Due to this, Temporal Cultists will scour the lands of Sanctuary, looking for the answers they seek, and preparing a special ritual in the ruins of Old Tristram.
Starting on December 31st, (The first Diablo game’s release date,) these cultists — donned in grayscale colors, can be found in Adventure Mode in certain areas. Finding and killing the Temporal Priests will drop one of the 7 Cultist’s Pages detailing the event’s backstory. Collecting all seven will award the Classic Angel portrait frame.
Luckily, the event cultists can be found in the main areas of the game, easily accessible from each act’s waypoints.
The following locations have been personally verified to spawn a group of temporal cultists.
Fittingly, Act I has ten places in which the temporal cultists and their pages can be found.
- The Cathedral, Level 1
- The Cathedral, Level 2
- The Cathedral, Level 4
- The Festering Woods
- The Weeping Hollow
- The Fields of Misery
- The Halls of Agony, Level 1
- The Halls of Agony, Level 2
- The Halls of Agony, Level 3
- The Caverns of Araneae
Recommended Locations: In Act I, the best location to search for temporal cultists is the Festering Woods, due to its smaller size and circular area. The Cathedral and Halls of Agony are also great places to search, as they are fairly linear and straightforward.
The Weeping Hollow and Fields of Misery aren’t entirely recommendable, as they are long, open expanses, and the Caverns of Araneae are not recommended, due to dead-ends and possible backtracking.
Act II only has two places housing temporal cultists.
- The Dahlgur Oasis
- The Desolate Sands
Recommended Location: Of these locations, neither is recommended for farming pages, as the locations are large and open, and can take several minutes to locate the temporal cultists. The Dahlgur Oasis is somewhat more tolerable to search, however.
Similarly to the first act, Act III has ten locations in which the Temporal Cultists gather.
- The Keep Depths, Level 1
- The Keep Depths, Level 2
- The Keep Depths, Level 3
- Rakkis Crossing
- Arreat Crater, Level 1
- Arreat Crater, Level 2
- The Core of Arreat
- Tower of the Damned, Level 1
- The Ruins of Sescheron
Recommended Locations: For all of the long, sprawling dungeons in Act III, there are some locations that are quicker and simpler to search. The best of these are the Core of Arreat, and The Tower of the Damned, as they are smaller areas that can searched within minutes. Coming in as a close second are both of the Arreat Crater levels.
Rakkis Crossing is an iffy recommendation, as the cultists there can appear at the start of the bridge, or be found all the way near the Siegebreaker Assault Beast.
The fourth act has five locations in which the Cultist’s Pages can be found.
- Gardens of Hope, 1st Tier
- The Silver Spire, Level 1
- The Silver Spire, Level 2
- Gardens of Hope, 2nd Tier
- Gardens of Hope, 3rd Tier
Recommended Locations: In Act IV, The quickest zone to search is The Silver Spire: Level 2, otherwise, The Gardens of Hope’s 1st Tier is a relatively straightforward zone to search, and its 2nd Tier is also fairly decent to search as well, but both may require some backtracking.
The final act in Diablo 3 has five locations for temporal cultists as well.
- Westmarch Commons
- Westmarch Heights
- Paths of the Drowned
- Battlefields of Eternity
- Greyhollow Island
Recommended Location: Picking a recommendation for Act V is no easy task, as all of the locations here are lengthy, and can involve some back-tracking. If one had to be made, it would be the Westmarch Commons, as it is fairly linear.
Anniversary Event: The Darkening of Tristram
Starting January 3rd, a portal can be found in The Old Ruins of Act I. Entering it will take the player to the main part of the anniversary event, in which 16 Levels of the Cathedral’s Labyrinth, as well various monsters, bosses, and secrets, await.
Adding to the nostalgia and charm, The game will apply a grainy, nostalgia filter throughout the event, (dubbed retro vision,) players will move in 8-directional fashion, the original game’s music will play, and text font will be changed while in Tristram. Legendary equipment discovery sounds are also different, as are the interface sounds when pausing the game.
Completing this portion of the event can reward players with pets, a legendary gem, banner customizations, transmogs, and a portait frame.
The Butcher: In a sealed room near the entrance to Labyrinth Level 3 on Labyrinth Level 2. Denoted by a path of blood leading to a door. Optional.
Skeleton King: In King Leoric’s Tomb, found in Labyrinth Level 3. Optional.
Arch-Bishop Lazarus: Unholy Altar – In the second kill room, after interacting with the two Books of Lazarus. Mandatory, and cannot be missed.
The Dark Lord: Level 16, after interacting with the third Door Switch. Mandatory for event completion.
Dark Passage: Labryrinth Level 2. (Does not always appear). Contains a Resplendent Chest with the Ring of Truth.
King Leoric’s Tomb: Labryinth Level 3. Does not have a set location, but is either on a branching path going southwest, or on a path going northeast.
Chamber of Bone: Typically to the Northeast of Labyrinth Level 6, after obtaining the Mythical Book, or interacting with it if already claimed. (Level 6).
Halls of the Blind: Eastern Path on Level 7. Accessible inmediately after interacting with the Book of the Blind. Contains a Respledent Chest with an Optic Amulet.
Unique Monster Locations
Dwelling withing the Labyrinth are 40 unique monsters. These monsters each drop anniversary-themed magic items, and slaying them all will result in a new portrait frame.
The uniques and their locations are listed below. Multiple uniques can spawn on a single level of the labryinth, and those marked with an asterisk (*) are guaranteed to appear in every playthrough.
|Rotfeast the Hungry
|Madeye the Dead
|Gharbad the Weak
|Backlash the Burning
|Bilefroth the Pit Master
|Nightwing the Cold
|Firewound the Grim
|*Zhar the Mad
|Goldblight of the Flame
|*Warlord of Blood
|Graywar the Slayer
|Steelskull the Hunter
|Stareye the Witch
Snotspill – Appears in random sections of Level 4, but will always drop the Harlequin Crest.
Zhar the Mad – Found in Level 8 usually in the top left area of the map. He will give gold upon entering the room, but will also attack if players interact with the Musty Tome.
Warlord of Blood – Level 13. Mandatory. Fought immediately after interacting with/claiming the Steel Tome.
The Vizier – Appears in a random location in Level 15.
Red Vex – Unholy Altar, after interacting with the (left) Book of Lazarus.
Blackjade – Unholy Altar, after interacting with the (right) Book of Lazarus.
Sir Gorath – Level 16, In the southwest locked room; appears when The Dark Lord is released.
Within the event are other exclusive items that do not provide any significant rewards or boosts to players, but still add to the event experience. These are the Wirt’s Leg quest items, lore books, and magic equipment from the Labyrinth.
These items are used to acquire Wirt’s Leg and the Royal Calf pet, sorted by order of appearance.
Rotten Mushroom: Labyrinth Level 9 – Interact with the Black Mushroom. Farmable once per playthrough.
Witch’s Brew: Interact with the Cauldron in Tristram with the Rotten Mushroom in the bag.
Drunkard’s Debt: Interact with Farnham’s Corpse while the Witch’s Brew is in the bag.
Garda’s Letter: Interact with Ogden’s Corpse while the Drunkard’s Debt is in the bag.
Healer’s Prescription: Interact with Pepin’s Corpse while Garda’s Letter is in the bag.
(Plan) Wirt’s Leg: Interact with Griswold’s Corpse while the Healer’s Prescription is in the bag. Farmable only when the plan hasn’t been learned.
Map of the Stars: Salvage Wirt’s Leg, after learning the plan and crafting Wirt’s Leg. Use on the dead cows in Tristram to unlock the Abandoned Farmstead. Consumed once the Abandoned Farmstead appears. Farmable when salvaging multiple copies of Wirt’s Leg.
Lore Books/Journal Entries
The event contains the following journal entries, reviewable from the Quests tab of the character pause menu, in the World section:
Book of Blood: On a pedestal in Level 5, near the Bloodstones and Pedestal of Blood.
Mythical Book: On a Pedestal in the top area of Level 6. Allows entry into the Chamber of Bone.
Book of the Blind: On a pedestal in the eastern path of Level 7. Grants immediate access to the Halls of the Blind.
Steel Tome: On a pedestal in the main path of Level 13. Cannot be missed.
Magic Rarity Event Equipment
Within the Labyrinth are 12 magic-rarity equipment items. These offer little combat value, but can be kept as “souvenirs” from the event. They are as follows:
Godly Plate of the Whale – One of the three magic items to drop when killing a Unique enemy.
The Undead Crown – Defeat the Skeleton King.
The Butcher’s Cleaver – Kill the Butcher on Level 2. (Transmog Weapon)
King’s Sword of Haste – One of the three magic items to drop when killing a Unique enemy.
Harlequin Crest – Kill Snotspill on Level 4.
Archangel’s Staff of the Apocalypse – One of the three magic items to drop when killing a Unique enemy.
Arkaine’s Valor – On the Armor Rack behind the sealed door of the gateway of blood, immediately after placing the third bloodstone on the pedestal of blood from Labryinth Level 5.
Ring of Truth – Resplendent Chest in the Dark Passage.
Empyrean Band – Destroy the Magic Rock in the Labyrinth Level 5.
Optic Amulet – Open the Respledent Chest in the Halls of the Blind.
Griswold’s Edge – Interact with the Anvil of Fury in Level 10.
Veil of Steel – Interact with Lachdanan’s corpse in Labryrinth Level 14.
Note: These items can be salvaged at the blacksmith, however, mass salvaging a hero’s inventory will not salvage these items. They must be salvaged as junk, or individually at the salvage screen.