Thursday, August 4, 2011

Vechs' Super Hostile: Death Becomes You

Bored or jaded with Minecraft? Complaining that you've done everything, or that the game is too easy? Well, here's something for you to try. Recently I've been viewing some Minecraft Let's Plays that have had a different flavor than the usual fare. Players venture across survival/adventure maps in order to complete a “Victory Monument”, and the map maker is trying to kill you at every turn.

Welcome to Vechs' Super Hostile series of maps. As one of his forum banners states, “If you only see 'Game Over' every ten minutes, you're doing well”, and to be honest, you would be doing extremely well.

The Super Hostile series of maps has evolved into something the creator calls “Complete the Monument”, or CTM. Players are given instructions to place all the colors of wool, as well as iron, gold and diamond blocks on an elaborately constructed Victory Monument. Simply finding the Monument itself can present a huge challenge. Dying the wool to suit is considered cheating, and that is basically the only rule you will find in these maps. Otherwise, no constraints. Break blocks, build things or utterly destroy them, it's your choice – a refreshing difference from most adventure-type maps which limit your interaction with the environment. However, most adventure map makers are not trying to actively kill you, where Vechs certainly is. With cunningly hidden spawners, maze-like corridors, darkness and stunning architecture and scenery, Vechs has players paranoid from the start, mixed with the feeling of looking at a fabulous work of art at the same time, whipsawing players and LP viewers alike between states of horror and awe in seconds. To add insult to injury, Vechs trolls you, leaving signs that mock in heard to reach places, a sea of false pressure plates hiding a real one, nine spawners hidden in a wall, chests floating in air or seas of lava with booty of perhaps a single torch or pig saddle. Every step you take, every block you break, may mean instant death by a flood of mobs, TNT or gravity traps. Vechs delivers an edge-of-your-seat play experience.

The first Super Hostile map I encountered was “Canopy Carnage” LPed by the Yogscast in their unique way-not much of an LP, but a showcase for the map and the infectious humor of Simon and Lewis. Next, I found the short-lived “Sea of Flame” by JonathanWolfe038, which led me to PBat's vid of the same map. Then came BdoubleO and Guude, with their hilarious current “Legendary: Failures” LP, featuring a death counter. Finally, I came across Zisteau, and found someone who could troll Vechs right back while dying laughing.

Check out some of the above LPs, download some maps, and enjoy. Thanks to Vechs, you'll not have to complain about Minecraft being “boring” or “too easy” again.

TL;DR Play these maps. Die often. Have insane amounts of fun.

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