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Minecraft Dungeons pays tribute to Diablo with a secret cow level

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(via Lords of Gaming (opens in new tab)) (Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft Dungeons (opens in new tab) is a action-RPG dungeon crawler in the style of Minecraft—thus the title. We said in our recent look at the game (opens in new tab) that it feels closer to games like Castle Crashers, or even Overcooked, but the most obvious comparison is to the king of the genre: Diablo. It came out today, and it turns out that the Diablo connection is more than skin deep: Minecraft Dungeons has a secret cow level.

Lords of Gaming (opens in new tab) has a good breakdown of how to get to it, but the short version is that after you've finished Minecraft Dungeons once, you'll need to find your way into a giant church near your camp. Once inside, you'll interact with a painting of a dog, which will reveal locations in other levels of the game that you'll need to revisit in order to discover hidden runes. Get them all, come back, push the big shiny button, and the gateway to the secret level, called Moo?, will be opened.

If you're not familiar with the story of Diablo's secret cow levels, it began with a rumor about the first game, which was in fact false—there is no secret cow level in Diablo. But it was persistent and silly enough that Blizzard put one into Diablo 2: It's an open field filled with Hell Bovines—literally bipedal cows packing polearms—surrounding the Cow King, who you really should not kill. If you haven't yet had the pleasure, you can see it in all its ridiculous glory here (opens in new tab)

Diablo 3 also has a secret cow level, filled with Infernal Bovines and ruled by the Cow Queen, although for some reason it's called Not the Cow Level (opens in new tab).

Minecraft Dungeons' cow level sounds like a lot of work to access, although I suppose that's true of the original too, but it's a fun (and perfectly appropriate) tribute to the games that inspired it. If you're just getting started with Minecraft Dungeons, be sure to catch our rundown of tips and tricks (opens in new tab) to help you crawl and brawl your way through it.

Andy Chalk
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.