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The Butcher

From Diablo 2 Wiki

The Butcher is a quest monster found within his special, blood-soaked, body-filled, "Butcher's Block" square on level 2 of the Cathedral.

This quest occurs in every multiplayer game of Diablo and Hellfire. It occurs 2/3 of the time in single player games. (Refer to the Diablo Quests page for a full listing of single player quests and scarcity.)

The Butcher

The Butcher
  • Quest Name: The Butcher
  • Frequency: Every game in MP, 2/3 of the time in SP.
  • Triggered By: Starting the game.
  • Given by: Wounded Townsman
  • Location: Dungeon Level 2
  • Reward: Random magical item in MP. The Butcher's Cleaver unique axe in SP.

The quest is triggered by clicking on the wounded townsman found lying near the entrance to the cathedral.

The quest can be completed without clicking on the townsman. If you return to town before you complete the quest, he will be lying dead. He vanishes once the quest is complete.

The Butcher is found in a small square room somewhere on level 2 of the dungeon. Even before you open his door, a gruesome selection of bloody corpses can be seen hanging within, and most players make a thorough, wincing inspection of his room after the battle.


The Butcher's Cleaver
Damage: 4-24
Durability: 10
Reqs: None
Properties: +10 Strength
Altered Durability
Unusual Item Damage

Strategy Tips

The Butcher is a terrifying enemy, arguably the most difficult, for the level, in the entire game. He greets you with the now legendary cry of, "Ahhh, fresh meat!" when the door is opened, and comes charging out immediately. The Butcher is the fastest monster in the game, moving at the same speed as your character, and he has relentless pathfinding AI, never hesitating when rounding corners or pausing to get his bearings. He has a very fast attack too, and does not pause between strikes, as almost every other monster in the game does.

His only weaknesses are low armor, relatively low damage, and an inability to open doors. Almost any attack will hit him, and warriors can usually get in several strikes before he moves into melee range, if they keep swinging as he advances. Once he's in close and starts swinging though, he is murder on any low level character. Warriors sometimes find it easier to beat him without a shield, (using many potions to survive) since the constant blocking interrupts their strikes.

The easiest way to defeat The Butcher is with a ranged attack, and that's best accomplished by using his single-minded pursuit AI against him. He can not open a door, so if you get far enough ahead to close one between you, you are safe. Do this next to one of the grated walls that arrows or spells can be fired through, and the battle is yours (eventually). The Butcher can also be trapped in any U-shaped area, whether it's formed by barrels or the stairs down to level 3. He'll then stand still while you pelt him with arrows or spells.

A common way to pull this off is to clear out the entire level before you take on the Butcher. Prepare for the battle by casting a portal in a side room with a grated wall, then release the Butcher and let him chase you to your portal. Close the door behind him once he's in the room with you (you'll get hit a few times doing this, but it's unavoidable) and then escape through your portal. You can then walk back down through the dungeon and find the Butcher trapped in a room with your town portal, and a handy grated wall to shoot him through.

Another technique involves the use of telekinesis and fire walls:

  1. Stand a little to the side of The Butcher's door, so as to be out of his line of sight when the door opens
  2. Use telekinesis to open the door
  3. Cast some fire walls just inside the door
  4. Close the door with telekinesis
  5. Walk up to the door
  6. Quickly open and shut the door by hand

The Butcher will charge forward, become stuck at the closed door and burn to death. This method is almost foolproof and could be considered rather un-sporting.

On Nightmare or Hell, a quick-fingered mage can open the door to the Butcher's shop, cast a firewall or two, then close it again once the Butcher is just on the other side. He'll stand motionless in the flames, roasting until well done.

The down stairway trap is shown in this video: <youtube>ICvV83ZkD_E</youtube>

The Butcher's Room.

Quest Dialogues


Wounded Townsman

Please, listen to me. The Archbishop Lazarus, he led us down here to find the lost prince. The bastard led us into a trap! Now everyone is dead...killed by a demon he called the Butcher. Avenge us! Find this Butcher and slay him so that our souls may finally rest...



The Butcher is a sadistic creature that delights in the torture and pain of others. You have seen his handiwork in the drunkard Farnham. His destruction will do much to ensure the safety of this village.


It seems that the Archbishop Lazarus goaded many of the townsmen into venturing into the Labyrinth to find the King's missing son. He played upon their fears and whipped them into a frenzied mob. None of them were prepared for what lay within the cold earth... Lazarus abandoned them down there - left in the clutches of unspeakable horrors - to die.


Big! Big cleaver killing all my friends. Couldn't stop him, had to run away, couldn't save them. Trapped in a room with so many bodies... so many friends... NOOOOOOOOOO!


When Farnham said something about a butcher killing people, I immediately discounted it. But since you brought it up, maybe it is true.


I saw what Farnham calls the Butcher as it swathed a path through the bodies of my friends. He swung a cleaver as large as an axe, hewing limbs and cutting down brave men where they stood. I was separated from the fray by a host of small screeching demons and somehow found the stairway leading out. I never saw that hideous beast again, but his blood-stained visage haunts me to this day.


Yes, Farnham has mumbled something about a hulking brute who wielded a fierce weapon. I believe he called him a butcher.


By the Light, I know of this vile demon. There were many that bore the scars of his wrath upon their bodies when the few survivors of the charge led by Lazarus crawled from the Cathedral. I don't know what he used to slice open his victims, but it could not have been of this world. It left wounds festering with disease and even I found them almost impossible to treat. Beware if you plan to battle this fiend...


I know more than you'd think about that grisly fiend. His little friends got a hold of me and managed to get my leg before Griswold pulled me out of that hole.
I'll put it bluntly - kill him before he kills you and adds your corpse to his collection.


Player (when interacting with the Slain Townsman)

Your death will be avenged.

The Butcher (after opening the door of his room)

Ahhh, fresh meat!



The spirits of the dead are now avenged.