One of the recurring gags in the Diablo series is the secret cow level. This refers to a secret area that is filled with weapon-toting cows who attack the player should they be unfortunate enough to stumble upon it. It first debuted in Diablo II, then made an appearance in Diablo III. This gag is such a prominent fixture in the series that there’s even a Wikipedia page for it. However, it doesn’t sound like Diablo IV is keeping up with this long-held tradition, but that hasn’t stopped players from trying to find it.
In an interview with Kinda Funny Games (thanks, IGN), producer Rod Fergusson said the cow level was omitted from Diablo IV in an effort to keep the world grounded.
“We wanted to make sure it felt authentic to the kind of gothic, dark themes we have. We’ve been really focused on trying to keep it as grounded as possible,” Fergusson said. “And because of that, there’s no secret level in Diablo IV that people might be looking for as per previous games. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be in the future.”
Fergusson says one thing, but parts of the Diablo community don’t believe him. There’s a lengthy thread on the game’s subreddit of fans coordinating searches throughout the game’s world. One user is convinced a “Mysterious Portal” could be opened to a cow level, and has been trying to figure out if an altar near Hell’s entrance might be key finding where the violent cows might be hiding, as well as checking on a fountain surrounded by four oxen pointing north, south, east, and west. Some of the reasons for doubt come from some pretty deep-reaching references to Diablo’s past. There’s a Bloody Wooden Shard item that has the letter “W” carved on the side that fans believe might be a reference to Wirt’s wooden leg, and a Musty Tome that could be a Tome of Town Portal, both of which were required to reach the original hidden level in Diablo II.
Another user has been testing cows throughout Diablo IV’s world to see if they have any connection to the hypothetical secret level, such as killing them or using certain emotes around them. But as of this writing, no one has found the secret cow level in Diablo IV. Perhaps Fergusson is telling the truth, and there is no cow level in the new game. But he could also be lying. And that uncertainty keeps curious players searching.
While we can’t help you find the army of cows intent on claiming your life, check out Kotaku’s extensive tips on being a better player.