Diablo 3 Darkening of Tristram secret guide

The latest Diablo 3 update adds a pixellated rendition of Diablo 1's 16-tier dungeon, accessible via a new waypoint on the world map. If you've entered the pixellated portal and teleported to the past, you may have noticed some odd things lying around on the road up to the dungeon's entrance.

Firstly there are some named corpses with spiritual needs such as money or, understandably, booze. When you click on these corpses your character will probably say something disturbing like "I cannot open that yet."

If you take the short detour on the road up to the church you will find a cauldron and, to the right, some dead cows. DO NOT TOUCH THE COWS. Yet.

The dead humans and cows are part of a puzzle that unlocks some amusing callbacks to Diablo's past. Here's what you need to do.

Find the Rotten Mushroom

Head into the dungeon and fight through as normal. When you hit the first layer or two of caves—at level 9 for me—scour every corner in search of a bright white cluster of mushrooms oddly labelled "black mushrooms." Click on these to acquire the Rotten Mushroom.

Note that only the Rotten Mushroom from ye olde Tristram will work for this. The Black Mushrooms you can acquire in normal Diablo 3 won't. They're not gross enough.

Put the Rotten Mushroom in the cauldron

When you teleport into pixelly olde Tristram, start heading upwards on the path toward the dungeon. Take the first right into the curved detour and you'll find the cauldron in an old shack. Click on it and you'll automatically use the Rotten Mushroom to create the Witch's Brew.

There are some dead cows to the right here. Do. Not. Touch. The. Cows.

Revive Farnham

The Witch's Brew can lay to rest the spirit of one dead dude. Head back to the cluster of burnt out buildings where all the named corpses are and head to the southern-most corner. There is a man called Farnham lying in a pool of his own blood lying next to a tree and a smoudering building. Give him the brew and his ghost will give you the Drunkard's Debt. Thanks, Farnham.

Revive the rest of the villagers

Take the Drunkard's Debt to Ogden. He'll give you Garda's Letter. Take Garda's Letter to Pepin. He'll give you a Healer's Prescription containing "schematics for a child's wooden leg"—could it be?

Take the Healer's Prescription to the corpse of the blacksmith and—voila—a plan for Wirt's Leg.

Craft Wirt's Leg and Acquire the Star Map

Teleport back to town and enjoy the return to normal framerate and resolution. Give the blacksmith the plan and then craft Wirt's Leg. It only takes some basic scrap but the blacksmith will charge you ONE MILLION GOLD to put it together.

You have Wirt's Leg! It's rubbish! It does give you an amusing mace transmog however, and contains a secret. Get the blacksmith to salvage it to acquire the Map To The Stars. The description says that it has a hoof print on it and the numbers 2, 1, 3.

Yes it's weird the blacksmith didn't tell us about the secret map he just built into the thing he just crafted for a million bucks. Clearly a scam. That million is in a tax haven now and the cow that left the hoof print is on a yacht.

Revive the cows

Remember the cows near the cauldron? I have not been able to test this part, because I foolishly prodded all the cows when I first explored the area, bringing their spirits back in the wrong order. Luckily I warned you against doing this like ten times, so you're hopefully good to go.

Head back to the cauldron and prod the cows. 2, 1, 3 should correspond to middle, left, then right. If you click on the dead cows in that order then, according to players who followed this process in the PTR build of the update, you'll gain access to a farm area that contains a chest, which in turn contains a bovine pet.

Here's the whole process in bullet point cheat sheet form:

  • Fight to level 9 of the old dungeon, find the black mushroom cluster and acquire the Rotten Mushroom.
  • Use the Rotten Mushroom on the cauldron back in Old Tristram to get the Witch's Brew.
  • Use the Witch's brew on Farnham. Then use the item dropped by each corpse to awaken the next.
  • Revive Ogden.
  • Revive Pepin.
  • Revive the blacksmith and gain the plan to Wirt's Leg.
  • Teleport back to town and have the blacksmith craft Wirt's Leg.
  • Salvage Wirt's Leg for the Map To The Stars.
  • Revive the cows in the order described on the map.

It's possible that reviving the cows in the correct order immediately will give you access to the farm, but where's the fun in that? I, for one, may never know. I will never touch dead cows again without reason.

As for a modern take on the famed cow level, you'll have to log in to World of Warcraft for that.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.