Nostalgia: a Minecraft Story

June 2019 ยท 4 minute read

A good friend and I spent more than a year practically living in our own Minecraft server. Building a world which slowly evolved and expanded with the new content brought by frequent patches. The big bang was somewhere in beta and we kept going to early 1.X. From classic cobblestone towers reaching the height limit to complex structures where days were spent on getting all the details just right.

This was back in 2011-2012 and - unlike now - we had A Lot of free time to spend on whatever game we felt like, Minecraft being one of them. Things tend to grow old however, and we did at some point move on to Tekkit, one of the massive modpacks. The server was shut down and our world archived, frozen in time on version 1.2.5.

It has been years since then, my love for Minecraft seems to be for life though. Not only for the mega modpacks out there, but for the vanilla version as well. So there was no major surprise when that itch to mine some blocks returned a week ago or so.

Now, I did of course want to play on ye olde mc server, which I was pretty sure was still around somewhere, in its archived form that is. In game I enjoy keeping things in order, making sure that there’s a well though out sorting system in place before dumping items or blocks anywhere. The need to keep things in order does not translate to my non-gaming life… Taking the role of an electronic archaeologist (Lara, not Indy) I tried to locate it, patiently sifting trough old HDDs from computers long since retired. I finally dug it up in one of the numerous subfolders inside a ridiculous catalogue structure.

Not wanting any patches to affect the game in any way I decided to run the same version of mc where we left off. Downloading the correct version of both the client and the server was a surprisingly smooth experience. The ancient binaries I needed were just a few clicks away in the official launcher. No need to look around on or furiously DDG for anything at all. I had to mess around with them old java versions though, but that’s almost to be expected, isn’t it?

A few minutes later I made a trip back in time. From the start it was really interesting, as I of course possessed my character exactly where I left off all those years ago. Honestly, that’s some HG-Wellsian stuff right there. Rediscovering our blocky world was like walking around in a museum (especially when visiting the two museum’s!) where I know the ins and outs of all exhibitions.

There’s a central train station to get around and it’s really nice. You choose a destination with the push of a button and carts arrive automagically when you want to depart. To this day I have no idea how it works.

Traversing further and further away from where I spawned I eventually reached the unfinished outskirts. Ambitious, overwhelming and abandoned projects left in a state of limbo. My fingers were really itching for some actually gameplay at this point. Lacking enough stone to actually engage in any building held me back… I located one if the quarries and just went at it. After all my character was fairly well equipped with diamond gear, albeit almost 7 years old at this point.

I find it really fascinating how relaxing mindless mining can be. You do need to pay minimal attention to your surroundings and can let your mind wander, or talk absolute shit if you’re not alone.

The plan now is to keep the server online for the foreseeable future, should one us feel like winding down with some minecrafting. Who knows, one day we might even update to version 1.3, that ender chest does look pretty cool.