Yours to keep if you can guess his name! Oh, we gave it away in the title :(
Somebody once told me that any art can be perfected after 10,000 hours of practice. The world could be filled with geniuses, prodigies, virtuosos - but instead, we choose to spend those 10,000 hours doing boring things like sleeping and shopping. Was it worth it? Are you rolling around in bed like you’re an expert in sleeping? Me neither. I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but I know that 10,000 hours doesn’t make you perfect at everything.
Now, I don’t know how many hours Mutereu has spent in Minecraft, but it must be pretty near 10,000 by now, because his colossal build, Rumpelstiltskin’s Castle, is perfect.
Mutereu based his palace on the excellent, underrated fourth instalment of the Shrek movie series, Shrek Forever After, in which - spoilers - Rumpelstiltskin tricks Shrek into giving up everything he has, for a small taste of life before he had a wife, children, and responsibilities. It’s basically a big green ogre version of It’s A Wonderful Life (ask your parents).
Rumpelstiltskin ends up with a bunch of money, but money doesn’t necessarily mean good taste, and so the tiny red-haired dingus builds himself a castle that looks like a Russian church got married to a pineapple.
Having said that the castle is ugly, Mutereu somehow manages to make this monstrosity of architecture look beautiful again: green hedges cut into intricate patterns in the landscaped gardens, a surprisingly tasteful blue-and-gold pattern on the roof that looks a little bit like a picnic blanket for royalty, and atop it all, that pineappley crown, with a big, totally tasteful monogrammed “R” for Rumpelstiltskin.
“I am a person who really pays attention to movies,” says Mutereu, a tear sparkling in his eye (probably). “I pay attention to all the details related to the surroundings - I admire the beautiful landscapes, sigh over the views of the facades of town houses, and shed a tear of admiration, watching the shiny marble floors of the royal palaces.”
“It was the same when I saw Rumpelstiltskin’s’ castle, watching Shrek Forever After,” Mutereu says. “I fell in love with the white walls, blue roofs, golden towers and this large dome, like a Christmas tree decoration. Even then I knew that the day would come when I would bring this beauty to the world of Minecraft with my own hands.”
And that day, at last, is here! Mutereu poured 200 hours of work, sweat and (hopefully not actual) blood into the castle you see before you, which stands at an impressive 256 blocks tall - that’s actually the build limit of Minecraft. This castle literally couldn’t be any taller.
It’s built to a scale of 1.5:1, which means it’s actually 1.5 times BIGGER than the original. “Why? Because I love details, and when I have a larger scale, then I can make more of them,” says Mutereu.
Perhaps you’re wondering what decadent materials Mutereu built the castle out of? “Sandstone, gold, acacia and tropical planks,” he declares. “You can’t see it, right? Of course. For the purpose of this project I created a special, modified texture package. And so sandstone gained a white shade, acacia boards became blue tiles, and tropical boards – gold blocks, stairs and slabs."
“It wasn’t so easy... I had to create perfectly matching graphics so that they fit together in the game.” I’m starting to get an idea of how this took 200 hours.
“The most ambitious and most difficult element of the whole project was a huge dome, towering above the castle,” Mutereu says, describing the pineapple-thing. “The first approach didn’t look very good. The dome looked more like a deflated ball. Maybe if I prepared some plans, I could do it the first time. However, I am not a person who plans anything.” Bold words from our expert.
Now, usually, here is where I’d leave you with some wise words from our builder - something like “stay in school, kids!” or maybe “the real Minecraft was the friends we made along the way.” But Mutereu doesn’t have any wisdom to impart upon you - other than admitting that “‘ancient spirits’ did not reveal to me ‘secret arcana of knowledge’,” which is disappointing - but he does say this, about the gardens:
“I have heard many times that the gardens are the best for me. My special sympathy was the inconspicuous figures of the geese. I do not know why, but I'm very glad with how it looks. Her golden beak and legs perfectly harmonize with white, maroon coloration. Poetry. Written with a quill pen.”
- Kate Gray