Extra Punctuation

Extra Punctuation
How to Be a Nethernaut in Minecraft's Hardcore Mode

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw | 25 Sep 2012 16:00
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Mr. Navigator!

The objective of a Mr. Navigator run is to create a map and then fill the entire map by travelling to everywhere it covers. This isn't as easy as it sounds, because to make a map you need to combine paper and a compass, and to make a compass you need redstone, which you need to mine pretty damn deeply to find. This playstyle therefore will have you build your supplies with a lightning-fast initial deep mining operation before packing up your pots and pans and going on an odyssey around the surface world. Unfortunately the appeal of Mr. Navigator is limited on console versions of Minecraft because they give you a map at the start, which is further evidence if it were needed that comparing Minecraft PC to Minecraft console is like comparing Switzerland to the Switzerland section of the It's A Small Small World ride at Disneyland.

Top Tip: When mapping oceans, always carry a spare boat. The Minecraft man apparently learned how to make boats from a blind cornflake artisan with Parkinson's disease and I've had boats disintegrate if I so much as sail into a lily pad too hard.

Nethernaut!

The Nether is a cavernous hell-like territory that can only be accessed by making a magic portal out of obsidian, so we start with another fairly massive operation to acquire enough diamond to make a pickaxe that can mine obsidian. Often my Mr. Navigator runs turn into Nethernaut runs if I survive long enough, because it's easier to find the diamonds you need from temples or villagers than from mining it. Once I have the portal, I explore the Nether as far as I dare, often bringing piles of Nether minerals back into the normal world for construction purposes. Nether rock burns forever, for example, so it can make your house look really fucking metal. And Glowstone from the Nether is a source of light that isn't affected by water, making it ideal for illuminating the construction of underwater biodome complexes.

Once I wanted to do a Gorillas In The Mist-style Nethernaut run by gathering enough supplies that I could disappear into the Nether forever and carve out a new life among the zombie pigmen. I spent days filling my pack with food and useful tools before finally stepping into my Nether portal, only to find that it had spawned me about a mile in the air above an ocean of molten lava.

I'll say this for Minecraft's hardcore mode: it really helps you learn to be philosophical about life's ups and downs. I think Kipling said it best: "If you can make one heap of all your winnings, and lose it because a Creeper found the entrance to your underwater biodome complex, then yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, except not really."

Yahtzee is a British-born, currently Australian-based writer and gamer with a sweet hat and a chip on his shoulder. When he isn't talking very fast into a headset mic he also designs freeware adventure games. His personal site is www.fullyramblomatic.com.

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