Posted by Sean on May 27th, 2011
Project: Nether Base Delta
In my ongoing attempt to construct a third fortress in Minecraft’s Nether Realm, I have completed the subway tunnel into the magma lake directly under the planned structure’s location. So far, I have worked in relative safety by staying away from the open spaces where Ghasts roam. In order to complete Phase 2, however, I will have to expose myself to significantly more danger.
Phase 2: The Foundation
Much like the previous construction work on Nether Delta, this next stage requires large amounts of glass and gravel coupled with a profound lack of common sense. Thankfully, my stocks of glass have been filled and my expectations for success remain entirely unrealistic.
My task consists of building a foundation for my metaphorical Tower of Babel, and to begin I need to build a bridge to the center of the magma lake. Bridge building is not normally a challenge for an engineer of my capabilities, but doing so in the middle of a giant plane of fiery death while being shot at by flying demons adds complications. There is no stealth in Minecraft, so my only option is to build as quickly as possible and dodge all of the fireballs that get thown my way. I ducked out of my rabbit hole at the side of the lake and only saw a few Ghasts, so I hoped that the incoming fire would be relatively light.
I completed approximately 20% of the bridge before I heard the first Ghast open fire. I’ve spent enough time in the Nether to become quite good at evading death at the hands of Ghasts, so this was not a problem. Fireballs were dodged with a grace and speed that would shame any quadriplegic and at least half of all lepers. Ghast #2, however, managed a surprisingly competent dive-bomber impression that I failed to anticipate. I had just enough warning to see the fireball fly directly past my face and annihilate the floor below me. Unmentionable things were shouted, gravity kicked in, and I was treated to an extremely exfoliating lava bath.
After making the long trip back from my spawn point to Nether Delta’s construction site, I leapt directly out of my foxhole and onto the bridge. Perhaps I could intimidate the demons with my extreme and unwarranted confidence. Both Ghasts opened fire simultaneously and because I am an idiot, I tried to impress them to death by leaping directly over one of the fireballs thrown my direction. I actually cleared the fireball perfectly, which gave me just enough time to feel smug before realizing that I had also jumped directly into the hole that caused my last death. The smirk melted off my face as quickly as my face melted off my skull.
My self-worth still reeling from my attempt at showing off to flying, projectile-burping demons, I decided to bring along a bow this time. With a supply of 20 arrows, I triumphantly killed a single Ghast with my stormtrooper-like accuracy after an extended firefight. Clenching my fist in victory over the hell-spawn and with only one source of fireballs to evade, I resumed construction. The bridge was nearly complete when the netherrack once again vanished from beneath me. As I fell to another fiery grave a third Ghast revealed itself, rising directly out of the magma lake like a Russian nuclear sub. They can do that? Apparently yes, they can do that.
At this point, I was very tired of being murdered by the combination of explosive force and molten rock. This time, I armed myself with a full suit of leather armor, two full stacks of arrows, bacon, and enough cobblestone to build myself a Ghast-proof bunker. Running back to Nether Delta, I burst forth from my foxhole in the same way that The Punisher bursts forth from explosions. My reaction time heightened by righteous anger, fireballs were deflected or dodged with ease as I built a durable cobblestone hut from which to unleash my flint-tipped retribution. The combination of cover, armor, and life-giving pig fat turned the tide to my advantage! Several dozen arrows later, the death of my previous incarnations was avenged with a stoic fury that would impress Rambo. With only a lone Ghast remaining (whose fireballs I could safely avoid), I was able to complete the bridge.
It cost a significant amount of time and three violent deaths to build this mighty engineering marvel, but I managed to build it regardless. Now that it had been completed, however, I realized that I could have just built the damn bridge out of cobblestone and the ghasts would have been incapable of blowing it up. I’ll have to keep that in mind for next time.