The Minecraft Experiment, day 23: Water

Tom Francis at

Minecraft Diary - Lightstone Waterfall Climb

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. Now I'm trying to get to hell and back. The diary starts here, and we're up to the 23rd.

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World 10, deaths 9

I've come back from hell, with all my pickaxes exhausted, only to find myself in a cave. A sealed cave. I'm surrounded by solid rock with no tools.

Nice try, real world. But I just came back from hell. Solid stone isn't going to stop me, I'll punch it out with my bare hands. I'm getting out of here.

After about five minutes of manly stone-punching it occurs to me I have a full stack of wood in my inventory. I could have used that to make wooden picks, used the stone I mine to make stone picks, and I'd probably be on the surface by now.

Better late than never, I make picks and keep digging. Eventually I hit earth, which I punch just to feel manly again, and a while after that I hit water.

Water! I haven't seen it in days, and now I'm swimming in it. I'm happy to wade slowly against the current, dig along a little and tunnel up again.

Water! I haven't seen it in seconds. Some kind of underground river runs all along this area. So I turn right and dig along in a different direction, blocking up the flow to make progress easier.

Water! I dig up. Water! I swim down, find a tiny pocket of air to catch my breath, and dig up one more time. Water!

And this time, through it, I see stars.

The reason this underground river seems so big is that it isn't underground or a river - I'm under the sea. I'm not confident I can swim back to my air pocket this time, so I just swim up. It's impossible to tell how far it is to the surface, but I don't have much choice.

Three bubbles on my air-meter remaining, no sign of the surface.

Two.

One.

Aaaaand I'm drowning. But just as I do, I burst out gasping into the night air.

I'm alive, I'm out, and I have no idea where I am. It takes a second before I can even see land, and several minutes before I reach it.

When I do, I clamber up a grassy bank and find myself on a dark peninsula. I don't have a torch handy so I make light the way we do it in hell: slap down a block of hellstone and spark it up with flint and steel.

It catches first time, and I find myself in a forest. A forest that is now on fire.

This isn't good for the Nobel prize in conservationism I was rooting for, but I'm not in any immediate danger, so I spend most of the night just watching the flames spread across this new continent. Before long the sun starts to rise and, perfectly, Minecraft's gentle piano music kicks in for the first time in ten days.

I'm back in the right plane of existence, and all that's left now is the long, long walk home.

Next:The long, long walk home.