LET’S PLAY: WAY OF THE NETHER
Have you tried the free Nether Update map yet?
Bees. Lemonade. Haircuts. For a long time, I was worried this list of my greatest fears was about to get a new addition: The Nether. I’ll confess that I’ve always been something of a handsome coward when it comes to Minecraft’s most devious dimension, and haven’t ever had the courage to visit it. So imagine my horror when I learned the developers had recently released a huge Nether Update and there was nothing I could do to persuade them to delete it. Well, I suppose I could have tried being nice to them, but that felt too drastic.
Then I learnt about Way of the Nether by Razzleberries - a free adventure available in the Minecraft Marketplace designed to show off some of the new updates' best bits. This sounded perfect for a Nether novice like myself!
But did I survive my debut trip to The Nether? You’ll have to read on to find out! (oh, but if you’re too busy to read the article - no, I’m still trapped down there now, please send help).
The map begins deceptively peacefully, in a nice Minecraft house in a quiet village. But suddenly, I hear a loud noise from outside! The editor of Minecraft.net screaming at me about the deadline for this article? Sword in hand, I go check.
A villager tells me a ruined Nether Portal has appeared from nowhere and that I should inform the mayor. I suggest they inform the mayor, while I heroically go back to bed. They just stare at me blankly. Fine. I’ll go tell the mayor...
The mayor is nowhere to be found in his home, and soon the villagers are pleading with me to see if he’s in the Nether. Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. I finish building and light the Nether Portal, which sparks into purply life, and jump in. Such courage!
Rumours that I wandered in by mistake because I thought I saw a chocolate bar in the portal are completely unsubstantiated and very mean.
I arrive at the new-and-improved Nether. It’s a real treat for the eyes! That’s why I’m crying. Tears of awe, not tears of awww-is-Tom-scared. I want that on the record.
I ask around and it seems the mayor has been kidnapped. Gasp! This is why they should have made me mayor instead. After all, not being kidnapped was the only policy I ran on:
Actually, that time I was the mayor of Minecraft didn’t exactly go so well, so I decided to help find the real one. For my usual 10,000 emerald fee, of course.
Apparently some nefarious Nether-dweller with incredible powers was responsible for all this mayor-pinching mayhem. Oh, come on, I’m sure they’re not that bad...
If I was to save the mayor, I’d need an ally. My BFF Jens Bergensten would probably visit the Nether IRL before helping me at this point, and all my other friends are currently, er, in the shop.
If only there was some sort of swiney scientist who could assist me?
This delightful porker has a snout and a mohawk? I’ve never respected science more. I dubbed my new scientist ally Professor Porkington, and then followed him into dangerous new biomes... for science!
The prof explained we’d need to craft me some powerful armor, which meant gathering materials from the Soul Sand Valley. Professor Porkington asks me to mine and collect eight pieces of ancient debris. I return giggling with eight wool blocks. The Professor reminds me that the mayor is in mortal danger. I hang my head in shame and apologise for my inappropriate wool-based humour.
The debris collected, we hurry through the Nether, and suddenly hear a most unsettling sound. The Professor suggests I go on ahead alone. Hey, you’re the science genius! I’m just the pretty face.
So I continue into the Nether and guess what - there’s nothing to worry about! Why, I even bump into some friendly ghosts:
Egad! Those are actually Ghasts and they’re about as friendly as an Enderman you’ve just challenged to a staring contest. Have they always been this gigantic? Have I always been this teeny-tiny? I run screaming through their domain. Hey development team, here’s a thought – how about next time, you make the Comfortable Pillows update?
Singed, scared, but still somehow with us, I escape the Ghasts and reunite with Professor Porkington. He asks why I didn’t just use the secret passageway? Y’know, the Professor never told me about. I start singing a little song about how much I enjoy bacon sandwiches. The Professor takes the hint and leads on...
...to a bubbling lake of lava. Well, great. Last time I checked, I’m not lavaproof. Don’t ask me how I checked. Or where my legs are.
Luckily, there is a way across the lava lake, courtesy of new mob/taxi service, The Strider.
Safely across the lava, I use my resources to forge some Netherite Armour. I’ve never felt more invincible! I celebrate by eating some more warped fungus. OK, now I feel very vincible but the Professor is confident I’m ready to save the mayor!
The Professor then gets kidnapped themselves, and my confidence depletes somewhat. Soon I’m fighting Piglins and Hoglins! It’s hard to judge who’s squealing like a terrified pig more (OK, fine, it’s me).
I barely survive this fight, one of many tough battles this map throws at you (be prepared to be handy with a crossbow and a sword). I’d recommend keeping a keen eye out for treasure chests too. The items you find in them might just make the difference between you being a victorious mayor-saving hero and a weeping wimp who never did manage to escape the Nether (hypothetical example). Soon, I’m told I’m ready to fight the final boss and save the mayor. A tough fight that throws waves of hostile mobs at me, old and new. The classics and the newbies do have one thing in common though! A love of attacking me. Oh super.
How does this adventure end? I think it’s best that you discover that for yourself, and not just because I can’t do it. Download Way of the Nether from the Minecraft Marketplace for free! While you’re down there saving the mayor, don’t suppose you’d mind rescuing me too?