Blizzard planned to release Diablo on Game Boy Color

Diablo creator Blizzard has revealed that it planned to release a version of the RPG series for Game Boy Color. Titled Diablo Junior, the game would have been available in multiple editions so players could meet up and swap items, much like the trading mechanic of Pokémon.

Development of Diablo Junior began after the release of Diablo 2, and only a handful of Blizzard staff worked on the project. Intended as a singleplayer-only prequel to the original game, versions were considered for Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance.

The team [at Blizzard] wanted to release three cartridges, each packing a different hero in the warrior-
rogue-sorcerer vein as well as items that players would have to trade for in order to collect,” Blizzard biographer David Craddock told Shack News. ”Heroes started in a unique town before heading into dungeons and wilderness zones,” Craddock explained. “Diablo Junior was ultimately put out to pasture (absent of cow levels, I’m sure) because of the steep production costs associated with developing handheld games.”

Craddock is now researching Stay Awhile And Listen, an unofficial history of Blizzard based on the experiences of more than 80 ex-employees. Other Blizzard material that never saw the light of day included an expansion for Diablo 2 and an untitled follow-up to Lord of Destruction that would have provided guildhalls for multiplayer clan meetings. Two new character classes were also proposed, but never developed.