Monday, September 10, 2012

Part 18: Spinning, spinning, spinning

Day umpteen of my journey northward, and still no sign of the elusive pegasus.  I have dully begun to accept the mindnumbing stupidity of the entire quest, starting with the ridiculous notion that somehow pegasus are found in greater numbers to the north.  Given that the potential size of a Minecraft map is something like four times the surface area of the earth, does that mean that if I travel far enough, I'll eventually reach a point where pegasus are thicker on the ground than trees, and their square black eyes watch you unblinkingly from all directions, followed by a point where you must struggle to bat them aside as you make your way forward, followed finally by a point where the very ground is a moving, heaving carpet of white wings?  I put the mathematical question to Boxter, and focus on trying to exit from the cave.

Easy enough.  Just followed the old Minecraft standby of whacking things.  In this case, glass shatters. 

And I run screaming madly from the entrance, waving my sword, also in the grand Minecraft tradition.

Luckily, nothing too hazardous lurked outside this morning.  Boxter hopped happily out into a clear hillside.

It didn't stay clear for long, and thus began a morning of very much Not Fun.

Have I mentioned how hard it is to navigate through forests?  Maybe once or twice?  How a ridden horse has the approximate size and maneuverability of an elephant on a unicycle?  I spent the morning merrily crashing into and off of trees, and taking falling damage.

And then there was lag.  I think we spent a good two hours in game time in this clearing, trying to figure out how to stop from spinning and spinning in a circle.  Each time I thought the motion had maybe, possibly, calmed down, my mouse would twitch slightly, and we would embark on another series of grand pirouettes.  "Boxter!  Will you cut that out?  We're not trying out for the Moscow Ballet here."

Spinspinspinspin wheeee

"Boxter!  This is not the time or the place."

Spinspinspin neigh spinspin

"Boxter!  Are you even listening?"

"Sorry.  I like to spin when I'm thinking hard.  Would you say that the pegasus population increases linearly, exponentially, or logarithmically as we travel northward?"

"Boxter!  Are you making my computer lag?"

"Linearly, exponentially, or logarithmically?"

"... Linearly.  Let's assume linearly.  But this is not the time to - "  

"Ok."  Spin spin spin


Spin spin spinnitty spin

Sighing, and panicking not a little, I did what I should have done from the outset, and reduced the render distance from "far" to "normal" so more memory would be freed for Boxter's calculations.  The spinning stopped.

So... dizzy....
And we headed on our way through the accursed forest.  We came to a bit of a puddle and, as I always have to do now, I checked the tiny puddle for sharks before splashing across.

Next came - oh, joy - more tree-infested mountains.

Finally we arrived at a larger gap of water.  I had also arrived at the end of my tolerance for sheer folly, the stupidity of attempting an epic journey by horseback having been thoroughly emphasized by the infuriatingly long time it took to get through that forest.  There was no way we were going to try to cross that likely deep, likely shark-infested channel.  We would go north, but perhaps we would allow the possibility of small amounts of west and east.

The landscape opened up, well enough to get a good view of the harrowing spectacle of a lion-perpetrated pig massacre.  I remembered about lions.  We gave them a wide berth.

And Boxter remembered about bears.  We also gave this one plenty of space.  Bonking into a few cacti in the process.

"Boxter!  Can you try not to step on the cacti?"

"Sorry.  Busy thinking again.  What's the plural of pegasus?  I think I'm going to need to know this."

"Pega- ... I don't know, Boxter."

"Perhaps I'll spin while I contemplate - "

"Pegasus.  Let's say the plural of pegasus is pegasus.  Nice and simple."

Another spinfest thus averted, we continued approximately northward.

We came upon an area reminiscent of Horse Heaven, but with more cliffs.   Treeless and spectacular, girt by impressive cliffs and sweeping coastline, this seemed like horse country.  Sure enough, we came across a horse party.  It was an upscale horse party, with two unicorns.

But no pegasus.  We left them to their raucous games of Standing on a Hilltop and Neighing a Lot, with occasional bouts of Mindless Bouncing, and pressed on.

Just past noon, from the top of a terrifyingly steep cliff, I spotted a shallow cave in a cliffside, and decided that here we would stay.  This being my first day journeying in a while, I didn't want to push my luck.  If there was one thing I did remember, it was how resoundingly incompetent I am at building nightly shelters.

It was a nice cliffside cave, with the advantages of being deep enough to park a horse in, but not so deep that it held Scary Things.  It did have the disadvantage of being next to a tiny pond which would probably manage at some point during the night to become shark-infested.

Notice how my health keeps going steadily down.  You can blame falling damage.  I am not good at navigating mountains on horseback.
The usual scuffle ensued, in which I would try to convince Boxter to stay put while I built safety walls around us, and in which Boxter would bolt for the open spaces every time I jumped off his back.  He had in the past been sensible about this sort of thing, but today he either wasn't ready to stop for the night, or was using 98% of his brain capacity for pegasus calculations.

In the cave.  For a split second.

It helped to box us both in together.

Except for the part where I kept inadvertently jumping on his back and bonking my head against the ceiling.

I think at this point my head was partially encased in stone.

I put in some nice glass windows.

But had trouble putting the last window square in, because Boxter steadfastly insisted on standing in front of it.  Every time I tried to click on the square to add glass, I would end on an inadvertent joyride through solid rock.

Mrrrrgh.... Can't reach
I decided to hope for now that there weren't any sharpshooter skeletons capable of zapping me through that hole.  I fell to the task of mining/hollowing out our cave into a mighty hall.  Might as well not call it mining, since I didn't find so much as a lump of coal.

But Boxter kept getting in the way.  Directly in the way of my pickaxe.

Oops, sorry about that, Boxter.

Here, let me give you a healing sugar cube.

Yikes, sorry about that, Boxter.

Here, have another sugar cube.

After around the fourth sugar cube, it became apparent that every time I lifted my pickaxe, Boxter would leap under it. And then collect the sugar cube.  I began to suspect that the tastiness of the sugar cubes outweighed the ouchiness of the pickaxe.

In desperation, I resorted to mining directly overhead, where Boxter couldn't possibly get in the way, before suddenly coming to my senses that this was a colossally stupid idea - in Minecraft, you soon learn not to mine directly overhead, after the first few gravel blocks and lava blocks fall on your head.

Near dawn, I quit mining to watch the moon set peacefully over shark-infested waters.


  1. Amazing! I'm so glad you decided to continue the series. This is the best blog I've ever read!
    Thank you so much for continuing!

    1. Thanks! I was going to upgrade to the latest version of Mo'Creatures, and got as far as installing the mod. But it looks like my world was created under a previous save file format, and it doesn't appear as one of the save games to open. Have you tried to open the save file I posted? Have you gotten it to work in the latest version of Mo'Creatures?