Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Part 32: Still terrifying.

Morning dawned, and the wolf was still there, along with a host of other alarming sounds.  Chief among them was the hair-raising sound of a human voice.  "Hey, stop it, cut it out, you're hurting me!" In a sort of quick nasal whine.  What was that?  The antics of the wolf were suddenly the least of my worries.

Hello, wolf.

And then I saw him, a distinctly human figure with long reddish hair and ragged clothes.  Wandering around just outside my door.  This was... alarming.


And then he turned and - Gah!  That's his face?  Vacant grin, red marks on the cheeks that might have been some sort of odd impression of rosy cheeks.  He was probably not going to be anything good - he had appeared in the night, creeper-style.  The wolf seemed to smile with satisfaction at my totally-freaked-out reaction.

Or are those diagonal sideburns or... what?

If I was going to deal with all this, I was going to need full health.  That meant a full stomach, since in this world apparently you only regenerate lost health if you're not hungry.  I roasted up last night's rats, and ate them.  Crunchy, but not very filling.  I was already almost out of food.  And that meant I would have to leave my shelter sooner or later, and continue on my quest northward.  While looking for a horse to replace the one I'd left behind in the last world.  I was sort of glad I didn't have a horse to worry about, just at the moment.

I put in a well-placed block of gravel, and broke the top pane of glass so I had a window through which to bat at the wolf.  It seemed to work - the wolf couldn't reach me through the window, but I could get to him.

Even dying, the wolf looks pretty satisfied.

With the wolf gone, I waited for the green scorpion, or the freaky man, or whatever the heck else was lurking outside my door.  Nothing showed up, so I cautiously cleared the last block of gravel away and left the house, looking wildly around, hoping that nothing was waiting to jump on me.  There wasn't a lot of distance in which to run screaming out of the way.

I heard the freaky green man again - I assume the nasal whine was his voice.  "Cut it out!  Hey!  You're hurting me!  Stop it!"  I edged forward to see what was going on.

He appeared to be talking to a cactus.  Against which he was bashing himself repeatedly.

The cactus won.

Well, at least this guy, whoever he was, hadn't been too bright.  And probably hadn't been capable of breaking glass or opening doors.  I hoped.

Killing the wolf had left me no meat, but there were a couple of furs left behind.  Furs?  I didn't know what to do with them, but I put them in my pockets.  Then I headed northward again, edging around the water-girt sandy cliffs of the coastline.

This would be tricky territory to drive a horse on as well.

I stopped to investigate more snakes - one raised a cobra head and hissed at me, but didn't seem to head in my direction.  Emboldened, I later right-clicked on one to see what would happen.  Nothing.  I edged away again, vaguely disappointed.

I don't know what I was hoping for... snake hat?  Or the ability to whip it around by the tail and fling it at things?

I spotted a cave-dwelling explorer snake at the bottom of a deep sandy shaft, which was definitely an excellent formula for just letting it be.

And how it's going to get out of the cave is its own business.

There were a lot of snakes around, even when the landscape turned grassy again.  I approached a red snake, and this time it lunged at me, biting me sharply.  I killed it, and was rewarded with two round eggs.  My inventory labeled them as "red snake eggs".  Maybe they would be good to eat, or something.

Never mind that the diameter of each egg is easily several times the diameter of the snake.

The landscape turned cliffy and snowy, and I spotted a rabbit, this one snow-colored, apparently an arctic hare.  Since I wasn't on horseback, and was feeling a bit right-clicky, I right-clicked on the rabbit.


As had happened, incomprehensibly, with the rabbits of the old world, this one ended up on my head.  I wandered around a little with its toes twitching over my eyes before I let it go again.

Bunny hat!

It ricocheted around the woods for awhile, apparently in some confusion, before leaving hurriedly.

Bunny skedaddling

Upon seeing the next rabbit, I remembered that I should be replenishing my food supply.  So, this rabbit I killed with my sword.  But apparently rabbits aren't good to eat, or this was an empty rabbit fur hopping around with no actual rabbit inside.  It yielded no food, only a couple of green experience orbs that I felt sort of lousy for taking.

Black bunny with adorable grey fluffy tail

And soon I came to a northern coastline.  As I had done before upon encountering coasts, I stood at the water's edge for a moment, waiting for the opposite shore to render and give me a hint as to where they connected.  Nothing appeared - nothing at all.

This would take a long time to construct a bridge across.

I followed the coast to the east and west, but in both directions the shore veered sharply away from north, and revealed no land on the other side of the water.

Well, perhaps it was fortunate that I didn't have a horse with me, just at the moment.  It seemed like I would have to build a boat to get across this bit.

No sooner had I built the boat than, seemingly in reaction, I looked up to find the water teeming with creatures.  Many of them looked shark-shaped.

Well, maybe I would just move down the coast a little before I put my boat in.  I edged my way along the coastline, and then launched.

I think I see some manta rays over at the left! Either that or underwater paragliders.

Boats aren't too easy to steer, but they're no harder than horses on ice, and at least there weren't any obstacles to hit.  I accelerated for the horizon.


And kept going.


And going.

I looked back behind me to find that the shore I had come from was merely a distant mote on the horizon.  And there was still nothing ahead of me but open water.  I passed the occasional pod of what looked and sounded like dolphins, and some groups of what were definitely sharks.

....yes, this would take a very long time to build a bridge across.

The sun began to set, and still I sailed.  Or rowed.  Or something... I'm not quite sure how this boat is propelled.

Must have been something tasty over there.

The seas were thick with millions of creatures.  Still no opposite coastline.

Still lots of creatures.  I think I saw a little striped fish out there too.

And now I was sailing in the dark.  This wasn't going to be too bad - I'd traveled by boat in the dark before, and it's safe as long as you don't get too close to any coastlines, from which skeletons can take shots at you, or creepers swim out to greet you.

Hmm, a fin next to my boat.  What could this mean?

Then something started attacking me.  I couldn't see anything, of course, but it was packing a wallop.  I struck with my sword and then somehow I was outside the boat and in the water.  Had something knocked me out of the boat?  Had I taken too enthusiastic a swipe with my sword?  Were swords and boats somehow incompatible, and upon using the one, the other disappeared?  Pirates wouldn't have done well in Minecraft.

Splashing in the water, trying to swim while at the same time see what direction I was getting hit from, I struck out madly with the sword.

I lost all track of the boat.

It was then that the night started to get bad.


I couldn't tell what direction to swim to safety, or what was even attacking me.  I tried to swim fixedly in one direction, but the attacks kept coming - was whatever it was swimming faster than me, or was there more than one of them?  I turned and began swiping with my sword again.  This time I managed to hit the creature that was attacking me - it lit up red, in the shape of a shark.  But then I lost track of it again, or there was another one.  Finally I adopted a strategy that was a frantic combination of the run-blindly-away and the randomly-flail strategies... I began to swim backward through the water, aiming downward with my sword and swiping it behind me like some sort of crazy propeller.  Eventually the attacks stopped, but I had no idea why.  My health meter began to slowly recover.

All of my screenshots from the rest of the night are shots of dark water, where the only visible action was my health meter going up and down.  Something would attack me, and then maybe I would get a few swipes at it, or maybe I would never find it, or maybe I would manage to escape or maybe the friendly dolphins were fighting off the sharks, or maybe the dolphins were the ones eating me.  I don't know.  I became terrified of the sound of my own swimming, since I couldn't tell the difference between my own splashing and that of something coming to get me.

Catching my breath

Aaaaa!  Aaaa!  splish splash

Eventually my hunger meter dipped to the level below which regeneration stops.  From this point forward, my health meter would go only down.  Unless I could manage to eat a bowl of mushroom soup while swimming.  I know you can't even eat while walking, and eating takes a few seconds now.  So it seemed unlikely.

Somewhere in the night, I spotted land for the first time, a small blip of an island.  I had drawn my shovel, prepared to dig an emergency shelter, when I noticed that the island already had two creepers on it.  While I debated whether I could shoot them from the water with a bow, one of them jumped in the water and started swimming for me.

One well-placed creeper hit might do me in - I decided instead to keep swimming, because nothing was attacking me this very moment.

Creeper island.

Goodbye, Creeper Island

The sun began finally to rise, revealing the eerie sight of many jellyfish rising into the sky as well.  In my state at the time, I couldn't quite remember the details of jellyfish biology, but I was pretty sure they didn't usually do this sort of thing.  It probably wasn't good news.

It wasn't.  Something invisible began to hurt me, and my health meter turned yellow and started going down of its own accord, a sure sign that I'd been poisoned.  Had I been stung?  Had a jellyfish landed on my head?  Had I accidentally swallowed one?

This is probably bad.

Very perilously low on health now, I spotted land again and made desperately for the shore.  I was ready to not be in the ocean anymore.

Never have I mashed the "swim" button and the "forward" button harder.

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