Let me preface this by saying that I love Diablo and I'm not belittling it. I was just curious about how Diablo is similar to Castle of the Winds. It seems like Blizzard copied a lot of things off of that game, and i'm not saying that's a bad thing. It's just interesting to me. I don't know how many people are already familiar with the similarities, but i'd like to share.
Castle of the Winds 1989, Diablo 1996
Things in common with Diablo:
character inventory http://lkbm.ecritters.biz/cotw/8006003.png
"sage" identifies things for 100 coins
Bastard Sword is the highest damage 1-handed sword
two ring slots and amulet slot
books teach spells and skills
scrolls, books, staves
Teleport, Identify, Fire Bolt, Detect Monsters (infravision)
Rune of Return= Town Portal
Draught of Gain Strength = Elixirs of Strength, etc
15 dungeon levels in CotW1, 16 in Diablo; 25 total with Hellfire, CotW2 has 25
King Lifthransir and King Leoric are similar in some ways:
Lifthransir was invaded by Surtur, who was seeking the Helm of Storms. Lifthransir tried to banish Surtur, but was defeated and cursed to live as a shade in the castle. Leoric tried to banish Diablo but became possessed. Eventually Leoric went mad and became the Skeleton King and had the "Undead Crown".
Surtur is a Fire Giant God, vaguely like Diablo: http://i.imgur.com/M8ktC.jpg
He's the final boss
"Surtur is the one so named who stands on Múspell's border, guarding the land. His sword is flaming and as the world ends he will go out, make war against and triumph over the gods. And he will burn the whole world with fire"
Not to strange considering that it is almost impossible to be unique. Pick 10 old 2D platformers for example When you can't come up with new things, then the second best thing is to steal a bunch of old stuff and improve them. I have for example played a few flash RPGs that also resembles D1 a lot, through both layout and functions.
Interesting.. I have not played CotW though.. I did always think that Diablo was the original in their series.. But i am not disappointed at all.. As Ophion said, it's very hard to be completely unique.
Ex. there have been countless FPS games in the past but a few have defined the genres as they have done. Like CS and Quake and such..