Killing innocent animals in Minecraft Dungeons is filling me with guilt

(Image credit: Mojang)

I'm really enjoying Minecraft Dungeons, but I can't escape a nagging sadness as I hack and slash my way through Mojang's blocky dungeon crawler. I'm not finding it too difficult or complex, and it shouldn't take long for most to get lost in its simple flow. Swiping your sword with LMB and unleashing arrows with RMB is nice and easy to grasp, and before long you'll be crafting builds to most efficiently sweep aside the evil forces of the game's big bad, the Arch-Illager.

Where to next?

Grand Theft Auto 5

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

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The thing is, it's not just the hostile skeletons, spiders, and creepers that fall foul of my diamond sword, as my flow evolves into undivided focus: The irrepressibly cute, innocent fauna get caught in my explosive crossfire, too. Sometimes it's by accident as a poor sheep wanders into the receiving end of a firework arrow barrage I had aimed at pesky Vindicator, but most of the time I do it on purpose, and I'm feeling bad about it.

That said, Chris includes killing cows and sheep—and especially treasure pigs—in his list of Minecraft Dungeons tips for the handy loot they drop. Pork is a quick way of restoring health in a pinch and it's not like they have any use for emeralds; it's not like there's a special shop just for sheep, and I've got new threads to buy. 

Nevertheless, it's their death rattles I can't get out of my head. I certainly wouldn't be able to cope in the secret cow level. It's probably because, as I've already said, the game isn't especially tough, at least on Default difficulty—the only one you can play until you've beaten the game at least once. So, since health often isn't an issue and the few extra green pieces I get from them may not realistically be the difference between my saving the world and leaving it to the Arch-Illager for all eternity,  I could just leave these harmless beings alone.

But still I wipe them out as they indolently graze, oink, and moo. I can't bring myself to use arrows on them, though—the way the arrows stay there, stuck in their corpses like a deeply upsetting acupuncture patient, is just too much—so you'll be heartened to know that I have some boundaries. 

Since I'm clearly not beyond blaming my sins on other things, I think it might be to do with how videogames have trained my mind. If it's giving me any kind of boon, however small, I have to take it. Every level must be picked clean, and that means every chest, supply box, and in this case, unsuspecting mammal. 

Either way, I hope, whether the small resource boost from each looted corpse ultimately made a difference in my quest to vanquish evil Archie or not, that these dearly departed souls forgive me for, and find some way to accept, their involuntary sacrifice.

Harry Shepherd

UK — After collecting and devouring piles of print gaming guides in his younger days, Harry has been creating 21st century versions for the past five years as Guides Writer at PCGamesN and Guides Editor at PC Gamer. He has also produced features, reviews, and even more guides for Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and Top Ten Reviews. He's been playing and picking apart PC games for over two decades, from hazy memories of what was probably a Snake knock-off on his first rig when he was seven to producing informative guides on football simulators, open-world role-playing games, and shooters today. So many by now he steadfastly refuses to convey information unless it’s in clickable online form.