The Minecraft Experiment, day 12: The Shaft

Tom Francis at

Minecraft Diary - Waterfall Climbing

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. Then, I decided to go to hell and back. This is the twelfth entry in the diary I kept of that experiment - the first is here.

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World 10, deaths 9

To get to hell I need an obsidian portal, and I've finally found obsidian. But it's immediately next to a lake of lava. Anything that falls into lava is instantly destroyed, so the second I mine this block, the obsidian it produces will fizzle away into nothing.

Luckily, that isn't the only obsidian in the room. I'm in a flooded cave, and I can see more of it beneath the shallower water. If I can stop the water flooding into this chamber, I can mine the rest of the obsidian underneath.

I consider just bricking it off, my de facto solution to all life's problems, but right now I also have to wade against the current to get out of this place. I'd rather just block this water off at its source, if I can.

So I swim upstream, and find it all flows from a huge waterfall in a dark shaft above the tunnels I've dug. Through some wonderfully nonsensical physics, I'm able to swim very slowly up the waterfall, keeping my head and hands out of the flow so that I can breathe, and even place torches on the cave wall as I ascend.

I am musing, as I swim upwards through freefalling water, about how I'm going to get back down. I think I have an idea. I scramble up onto the rocks at the top, wade a little further up, and finally find the tiny hole where all this water is coming from. I brick it up. And then, immediately, turn round and jump in the water.

It doesn't vanish right away, it flows its natural course one last time. So I'm able to ride this final wave to the shaft, fall down it on a soft cushion of water, and tumble all the way back down the rapids to the chamber I came from.

A few seconds after I splash onto the flooded cave floor, the last of the water tumbles after me, then trickles out of the chamber and leaves the cave floor dry.

Oh my God.

OK. That should be enough.

Next:turns out it's not enough.

Note: Minecraft is about to go into beta on the 20th of December. That means the price will go up from €10 to €15. If you've been tempted by this diary, grab it now to save some change. You also gain +25 hipster points for being able to say you played it when it was still in alpha.