The Minecraft Experiment, day 27: Postcards from the Journey

Tom Francis at

Minecraft Diary 27 - Twin Peaks

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. I eventually managed to get to hell and back on one life, and now I'm trying to find my way back home. The diary starts here, and we're up to the 27th.

I've just half choked to death on an avalanche of sand, so today I'm just trying to stay out of trouble.

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World 10, deaths 9

My long walk home has taken me through a lot of different regions in this world. I surfaced from the subterranean hell portal on the edge of a huge arctic tundra, with frozen seas, snowy mountains and intriguing caves.

I found a black sheep there, something I'd never seen before, and had to check he wasn't just dirty.

That region eventually gave way to a weird land of sandy caverns: I kept finding the stuff stuck to ceilings in fragile formations that collapsed when I touched them.

Then it was block world, a land of oddly cuboid mountains with pretty waterfalls and lonely trees.

I tried to survive a night outdoors on one of its cuboid mountains, by just covering the peak with torches and setting light to all the trees - monsters can't appear in the light. It half worked, but there was a tragic pig casuality.

That was last night. It's morning now, and I have the precarious job of getting back down.

As I hop from tiny ledge to tiny ledge, digging down when I can see it's safe, I realise what I really need for situations like this: a bucket. Thanks to the wonders of what we'll call Notchphysics, water flows slowly when poured, and can be swum in as it does so. So I could lower myself gently down a cliff face in a shaft of water, poking my head out occasionally for air.

I have a bucket, but for some reason it's empty. I'm sure I remember filling it before going to hell, just in case I ever set myself alight. I honestly wasn't sure what I'd done with the water until I came to write this post - there it is at the top, washing a clean black sheep. Idiot.

So I had to add a little to the cliff face on my way down - the cobblestone blocks you see here were my stepping stones.

Seconds after reaching the ground I find an interesting cave, and once again waste a whole day's worth of sunlight exploring the pitch-black depths. It's a huge complex, rarely branching but always continuing in the same direction - luckily the direction I'm headed anyway. And while it's full of monsters, I feel like I've got the hang of them now. I even kill a pair of Creepers calmly, at range, without setting fire to myself or flooding the cave or accidentally carving a bowl. This bow has changed me.

When I finally emerge, it's still dark and I'm in another new land. The sun rises as I sneak through a forest, setting fire to trees for light, until I reach a cliff.

Oh, ace.

I'm calling this region Twin Peaks, on account of my rich literary imagination. I found some water in the cave, so I'm able to just sort of pour myself off this cliff, and float safely down to the coast below.

I'm about to move on to the desert beyond, determined to ignore any intriguing caves that might tempt me to waste another day in the dark, when I spot something odd in the left peak. Through a tiny window in the rock, three skeletons are watching me. Here's a screenshot in which you can't see it at all.

OK, this I do need to investigate. But it's not until I get closer that I realise they're not entirely blocked in.

Thursday: MOVING SWIFTLY ON.