The Minecraft Experiment, day 8: Alive

Tom Francis at

Minecraft Diary - Saddle Pig

When I first started playing Minecraft a few months ago, I played with a rule: if I die, I have to delete the entire world. This is the eighth entry in the diary I kept of that experiment - the first is here.

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World 3, Deaths 2

I’m alive. I bound up the steps to my cove home and splash around in the bay. I’m alive! I punch a pig in the face until it explodes in a shower of pork chops, and scarf them raw. I’m alive! I look up, mid-chew, to find another pig staring at me. I’m alive, pig! Don’t judge me!

Someone told me to try using the leather thing on a pig, so I do. It’s a saddle! I use the pig. I’m riding a pig! I’m aliiiive!

My plan to explore the world by pig-back is cut short when I realise he’s already going in circles, three metres from where we started. I climb down and decide to do some exploring by foot.

Almost immediately, I am lost. My sense of direction isn’t brilliant in real life, and in-game it’s even worse. I can’t see the ocean any more - which way was it? What colour was it? Where is saddlepig now?

I’m backtracking, but without knowing which way I was tracking, the back could be front or side and I might be side or front-tracking. It’s getting dark. And that’s when I see a light.

Civilisation! Friends! Hope!

No, this is a torch I put on a tree in a torch-placing frenzy the day I discovered fire. It also happens to mark the entrance to a tunnel that leads under the mountain to my cove house. I’m home!

There’s a low growl.

God damn it, guys. I catch a creeper trying to follow me inside, and block him off with a clump of earth. In my main cave, I find a zombie peering out of a dark hole in the corner. And then THWUCK! Arrows start shooting in from the entrance.

I brick up the entrance. I have armour, weapons and health, but I’m not risking a fight with something that out-ranges me. I heroically poke the zombie a few times with my sword, since he’s stuck helplessly behind some rock, and my home is basically clear, so I hole up for the night.

Clearly, if I’m going to do any more exploring, I need a way to find my way back. Losing my cove in a world eight times the size of Earth would be as bad as losing the world itself.

So that night, I hatch the most ingenious and original idea any Minecraft player has ever had: I will build a tower! As tall as the clouds! A beacon to guide me home! No-one has ever had this idea before!

I do it in about forty seconds the next morning: looking downwards, jumping, and laying a cube of rock beneath my feet with each hop. Then, I’m at the top of an impossibly high and impossibly ugly tower that I’ll be able to see from almost anywhere. So I jump off.

On Sunday:falling.