The Minecraft Experiment, day 16: Hellbound

Tom Francis

Minecraft Diary - Beacon Dusk

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 sixteenth entry in the diary I kept of that experiment - the first is here .

Minecraft is about to go up in price, so today is your last chance to buy it for €10 . Obviously I recommend it. When it officially reaches beta today, the main niggles with the mutliplayer will be gone and the price will be €15.

World 10, deaths 9

I've found four blocks of diamond, and you only need three for a pickaxe. The only thing I know how to make with a single diamond is a diamond spade, so I make a diamond spade. It would have been sensible to hang on to it until I find more, for a second pick, but I just really like the functional opulence of a diamond spade.

Despite kicking myself yesterday, the mistake I made with the portal didn't cost me much. It meant I needed this diamond pick to correct it, but I would have needed it anyway: my plan is to go through a portal to hell, then dismantle that portal on the other side and rebuild it miles away to get back home.

After an eternity of chipping away at it, the erroneous block pops, and I can get on with the satisfying business of casting the rest of the portal frame. It's done before mid day - all I'd need to do is set it alight with some flint and steel, and the portal to hell would spark into life.

But I'm not ready.

I need ham. It's the best way to restore health, and I'm likely to lose a lot of it over there. I have to kill a dozen pigs, two dozen, and roast their delicious meat to maximise its restorative taste.

So I do. But I'm not ready.

Night has fallen, and the beacon is bothering me. I improved the tower that marks my home by pouring a few buckets of water off it, but it's not quite right. I'm going to arrive back in the real world miles and miles from home, I want to be able to see it when I make it back. I want a star-shaped wooden platform, with torches behind the waterfall.

So I do it. But I'm not ready.

I need redstone. I'll have to build a compass to find my way back here when I return to the real world, and I've heard it takes redstone. I've found some, but it's in my storage locker. I should grab that first.

So I do. But I'm still not ready.

Wood! What about wood? There's no wood in hell. I should stock up on wood.

I stock up on wood. I stock up on stone. I stock up on metal. I even take some sand. Then I fret that the sand and wood is taking too much potential ham-space, and ditch it. Then I stock up on water. Then I wonder if I should go looking for more diamond to make armour with. Then I wonder if my beacon is tall enough. Then I wonder if I have enough pickaxes.

Then I stop being such a dithering prick and set light to the portal.

It bwoops into life, swirling purple and glowing softly in the night air.

I'm almost ready. The only thing wrong with this scene is that it doesn't feel very dramatic. I'm going to hell , there should be some spectacle here.

I turn around and look at the closest tree for a while, then set fire to it. It starts a forest fire that rages across the hill behind me, enclosing the portal between a crescent of fire and the water of the bay.

OK, I'm ready.

On Wednesday:

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