Observe this video from the classic (aren’t they all?) Goodies episode Lighthouse Keeping Loonies…
Why am I showing you this? Because I’ve been struck down by the Curse of The Jolly Rock! In Minecraft!
The other day in my main Minecraft map I decided to build a lighthouse. I located a convenient rock in the middle of the ocean, constructed a tall tower, and put a pile of glowstone on top. Voila! Then I decided to christen it The Jolly Rock Lighthouse, for no other reason than the thought amused me. I put a sign next to the door, and then lined the internal staircase with more signs, writing out the entire lyrics of the song.
My lighthouse was missing one thing however. A roof. Just because I thought it would look good I decided to make a nice pointy one out of obsidian. After all, I was wearing enchanted diamond armour and had an enchanted diamond pickaxe – obtaining enough of the rare black stone would be child’s play!
So into a recently discovered cavern I descended, loaded up with buckets to fill up with lava. Deeper and deeper I ventured, loading up on iron-ore, coal, gold-ore and lapis along the way.
Eventually I found myself in a cavern not just full of lava, but loaded down with heaps of naturally occurring obsidian. I filled my buckets and got to work, and before long had the 30 blocks I needed to put a decent cap on the lighthouse.
At this point a skeleton appeared out of the darkness and pushed me into a lava pool.
I respawned kilometres away from both my base, and the caves, having neglected to sleep recently. I ran all the way back to base, and re-equipped myself with some backup, non-enchanted armour and crafted a new diamond pickaxe. Back into the caverns I descended, swearing vengeance on the undead fiend who’d ended my previous venture!
But the cavern was empty. So I started mining more of the obsidian, which was tricky because I’d already dug out the most easily accessible deposits. But after some work I collected enough to make heading back up to the surface a sensible idea. I jumped up onto the ledge that lead back towards the surface, and a skeleton appeared out of the darkness and pushed me into a lava pool.
Happily, this time I was able to get out of the lava pool and fight back. As my health burnt away I frantically fought the skeleton, swinging wildly at him with my sword. I hit him multiple times, sending him stumbling back, and leapt into the air, ready to deliver the killing blow, at which point he shot me with an arrow at point blank range, taking away my single, remaining half heart.
I again respawned kilometres away, being so obsessed with vengeance that I’d forgotten to take a nap. I again, ran all the way back to base and hastily re-equipped, burning through more of my iron reserve to make more armour. I then raced back to the cavern and tore through the caves, reaching the scattered piles of my equipment (most of which hadn’t fallen into lava, thankfully). I raced around, picking it all up, and was just about to grab my precious diamond pickaxe when it despawned, right in front of my face.
I was then attacked by more skeletons, who almost pushed me into a lava pool while I was re-arranging my inventory. I survived, but managed to throw my sword into the lava in a panic, meaning I had to fight them off with a stone pickaxe.
Then the creepers came at me…
I eventually did made it back to the surface, but without any obsidian, and with very little of my equipment left intact. And all because of that bloody lighthouse!