16 January 2012

Minecraft Monday #5: The Fire in Remedy

Minecraft Monday is a fortnightly feature on Hyp/Arc that documents a playthrough of the hit indie game Minecraft, as well as discussing news and updates regarding the game and the cult phenomenon surrounding it.


Last time on Minecraft Monday, we dug deeper into the mystery of Father Scowell's disappearance and the strange villager named Virgil who seemed to know something about it - who was later imprisoned for questioning. This week, we try to get answers from Virgil, and witness unrest amongst other villagers in the Little Town of Remedy.

Virgil wasn't talking.

Desite being imprisoned for several days, he was giving no signs of knowing anything further about Father Scowell. I wasn't letting that stop me, though.

I threatened him with incineration.

I threatened him with drowning.

But nothing seemed to work.

I left, frustrated. And quickly realised that the jail was surrounded by villagers - as though they were aware one of their brethren was imprisoned within the wooden structure. I ran to the nearby Mason's Lodge, kept safe behind iron doors.

Wondering and Wandering in the Lodge

For the past few days, I'd been spending an awful lot of time in the Mason's Lodge in Remedy. I'm not sure why, to be honest; the place still made me feel uneasy, like I wasn't the only one in there. Like someone was in the stairwell, staring through the gaps in the door when I had my back turned.

I'd basically started to move in to one of the second floor "apartments". The Mason's Lodge had originally been an attempt at creating my own apartment block in Remedy, but the scale of the project made it unfeasible to create it to a reasonable degree of accuracy. Nonetheless, while the village below me was showing signs of some creeping madness, I'd take to watching out of the window of the modest room I had furnished for myself.

It wasn't always secure. On the ground floor - the floor with the main ceremony chamber - I'd often be going about my business, only to find a villager walking back and forth in front of the Lodge's windows, as though waiting for me to come out...

 ...or peering in, to show me they know where I'm hiding.

Strangest of all, though, was that I found myself wandering into the room on the first floor of the apartment block - the red room that held the Nether Portal.

Sometimes I'd just stand in front of the portal itself, my vision taken up by iridescent hues of purple and pink, heliotropes and violets for the dead, bursting and blossoming in the obsidian arch, the great door to another world of violent red; bloodied rocks and seething magma.

Sometimes I think Father Scowell is in Hell. I can't help connecting the two; before the church was destroyed, it had its own Nether Portal. But I destroyed them, and built the church anew. I'd even seen Father Scowell glaring out of the windows of his new place of worship, locked away behind the door to the chapel, secluded from the other villagers. It's irrational. But it doesn't stop me thinking it. Thinking that he somehow got dragged through, into the red.

The Amassing

When I left the Nether room, I noticed that the villagers were no longer surrounding the jail cell.

Instead, they seemed to be amassing on the hill above the jail - where Father Scowell's grave is situated.

It was happening again. The villagers were displaying some kind of rudimentary intelligence, a collective consciousness that made them congregate above the church, the jail and the grave. Did they sense Virgil's distress, perhaps? Did they all know something about Father Scowell's disappearance, and were plotting a way to break their brother out of prison? I sneaked through the town to get a better look.

The best vantage point was the recently-extended tower in the center of Remedy. I looked over from the raised platform, watching as they all skeetered around the priest's grave like insects.

What did they know?


I went back down the ladder, intending to do something - I didn't know what, but it would be drastic. I was going to get to the bottom of this, figure out how they seemed to organise themselves like this, how Father Scowell disappeared, where he was, what Virgil knew - I would find out everything, and then I would -

As soon as I hit the ground, a villager walked straight into the tower.

He pushed me back, and stared right at me. I didn't even get a chance to hide my interface.

And then he left. No words spoken - none were needed. He knew. They all knew. Every villager in Remedy knew. I ran back into the tiny apartment in the Mason's Lodge, and hid. I didn't sleep - I wasn't even sure the iron doors between us would keep them out.

The Fire in Remedy

That morning, I left the Lodge. I went to the jail.

 And I let them know not to mess with their architect. Their Mason.

He would burn. Virgil would burn. Remedy would burn.

But he survived. In the end, I couldn't do it. I saved him with water. I put out the fires.

And I wondered to myself, "what the hell was I thinking?" And then, "what do I do now?" So I did the only thing I could. I knocked it down, to start again...

 ...and found this, hidden behind the jail. I know I put it there. I must have put it there. But I don't remember doing it - why on earth did I carve a tunnel into this part of Remedy? The subterranean tunnels were begun close to the church - these ones weren't even planned!

 The tunnel led to a junction, and the final exits of each tunnel under the town just didn't make any sense.

Southwest of the City, just outside the city gates, near the recently-constructed mall.

West of the City, just outside the city gates, near the recently-constructed carvery.

And in the middle of the city - right next to the Remedy Chapel. I couldn't take it anymore. As soon as I got out the tunnel, I closed it off, built up the area around the jail - like it never even existed - and ran to the Eastern part of town.

The exit gates to the Eastern Trail.

I looked back once. Once was enough. And then I followed the path out of the city, to a place that I knew would be more safe - and more sane.

Welcome to the Little Town of Medicine.

NEXT - MINECRAFT MONDAY #6: The Remediation of Remedy »

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