The Minecraft Experiment, day 29: The Forest

Tom Francis

Minecraft Diary 28 - Treeland 3

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 this is the latest entry.

I'm swimming my way to a new continent, but there's something sploshing behind me.

World 10, deaths 9

I've only been sploshing along for a few seconds when I start to hear another set of sploshes very, very close behind me. On foot, you have a sec to look behind you as you run away, but in water you're just too slow - I can't risk it. And soon there are three sets of sploshes. I'm sploshing as fast as I can splosh, but the sploshes are hot on my splosh and I'm honestly not sure I can outsplosh them.

I reach the other coast before they die down, and I spin around the moment I climb up the sandy bank. Nothing, just a dark expanse of water. Wary, I scamper up the hill and suddenly hear a growl.

The growl is not the zombie I see in the distance ahead of me. It's the three zombies eating my left arm, with a skeleton archer backing them up.

They gnaw through my battered armour incredibly quickly, and when I back away I start taking arrows to the face. Suddenly, I'm terrifyingly close to death. I've just about managed to get my bow out, so while wildly backpedalling back to the coast I just fled from, I twang out every arrow I own in a frantic torrent. Another arrow hits me as I let them loose, and I'm on a single heart with almost no armour.

This is it. If mine don't kill the archer when they land, I won't survive another hit. I'm spending about 20% of my brain thinking of other ways out of this situation and 80% pondering whether it makes a good end to this diary. This life has gone on for so long that I can't imagine starting again, and I think the experiment will have run its course when I meet my end.

My arrows don't kill the first zombie. My arrows don't kill the second zombie. My arrows kill the third zombie, and my arrows kill the archer. I'm safe. Jesus that was close.

Further up the coast, there are trees but they're crawling with monsters. I've chewed my way through five slabs of raw pork so I'm in peak physical condition, but I still don't want a fight until I have a fresh set of armour. In the words of Jack Bauer, I don't have time to smelt. Not at night.

The sun is coming up, but I want to clear this forest quickly. One spider is actually climbing through the treetops, so I sneak up the coast and just set light to a branch. I feel like a terrorist, diving back into the sea after setting the wheels in motion.

Once it's properly ablaze, I climb back up. A cow watches me, his big eyes seeming to ask, "Why, Tom?"

As the flames ravage the land and the sun rises, I see a speck of red in the leaves and realise there was never a spider there at all - it was a bright red flower, miraculously growing in the tree's canopy. Some rare, fragile epiphyte, now on fire. I'm probably not going to tell David Attenborough about this.

I'm half wondering if I'm even going to be able to ruin the landscape with deforestation after I've ruined it with fire, then I crest another cliff and see the area I'm about to enter.

I'm so setting fire to that.

Next: There might be something wrong with me.

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