We hit a bit of a slump on our Minecraft server in December. People have been busy or ill or have just run out of projects… ever an issue with the game… to the point that Aaron has been the primary resident and by far the most active of us over the month. I still have to do a post about all the things he’s done since Thanksgiving.
But even Aaron ran out of new things to build by the time Christmas had arrived. So after the holiday he asked if he could just run out and kill the Ender Dragon.
We had been talking about getting together to do that at one point. But with nobody about and nothing new to do, Aaron wanted to get at it, and all the more so since The End is going to change with Minecraft 1.9 and you will be able to fight the dragon multiple times.
I had already been getting ready for a possible Ender Dragon assault. I had a full suit of enchanted diamond armor ready, and enchanted bow, and a few stacks of arrows ready to go. (I never got the infinite arrow enchant for my bow.) So I said I wanted to go to, so we set a time.
While I had found an end portal previously, he had found one as well (right by Skronk and Enaldi’s Italian town), and had set it up to go for our venture.
There was a building with a nether portal, from which you get the above view, then a ladder down into the depths to a sea lantern lit path through the underground dungeon area to our point of departure.
Once we were set, we stepped through and into The End.
It was dark.
The End appears to be a floating island of a special type of stone, populated by Ender men with some towers… and, of course, a dragon.
Aaron set about immediately building up to the top of the towers to destroy the items at their peaks, which he said would heal the dragon during the fight. Meanwhile, I was having a hard time just seeing things in the dark.
Not only was it dark in The End, but my office at home has a southern facing window, which means that, in the northern hemisphere during this time of year, the sun is shining directly into it most of the day… and during the morning it shines right on my monitor even with the shades drawn as tightly as possible. So that screen shot, which is pretty hard to decipher as it stands, is still better than what I was experiencing.
It was so dark in The End that I can’t even tinker with brightness/contrast effectively. But using Paint.net’s Auto Level function, you can get something akin to a night vision scope’s view of The End.
You can see Aaron atop a stack of cobblestone getting to the top of a tower to break the healer, along with other towers, and the Ender men that inhabit The End.
While he was doing that I was having problems with the Ender men. They attack if you look straight at them for too long, and since I could barely see anything, I ended up getting attacked repeatedly, to the point I thought I might die before the dragon even showed up. I managed to survive, but only by facing into one of the towers so I could eat and heal up while not looking at anything.
Then the dragon was out and about. I flailed away with my bow trying for a hit as it flew past, but Aaron said that only head and neck shots would hurt it. Those were hard to make when the dragon was on the wing passing overhead.
However, the dragon comes down and flies straight at you now and again, which offers a prime opportunity for a hit. Also, when he comes down for a run, he sometimes hits the Ender men, who then turn on him and attack.
I got lucky and as he was down to his last bit of health, he dropped down and flew straight at me and I was able to get in the killing shot.
The dragon then went through a series of effects before finally dying.
And then he was dead. In his place was a portal with a lot of experience globes scattered about.
The experience I got walking into that boosted me from level 23 to 54. The wiki entry about the Ender Dragon says there is enough total to boost a player from level 0 to 78 if they get them all.
Then Aaron, equipped as always, went about the process of harvesting the Dragon Egg block, which is the black on black bit at the top of the little tower in the middle of the portal/fountain. This involved some building and the use of a piston block. He said that the egg would allow him to build an Ender man farm.
As we hung around I got in trouble with the local Ender men again. I had been harvesting some of the end stone when the Ender men started getting hostile. They seemed to be in a rage and eventually I had to jump into the exit portal…
And then the game started getting all philosophical on me. A scroll of text, starting with the Minecraft logo, began to roll slowly over the screen, speaking of me and the world and beliefs and perceptions and what is real and what is just ones and zeroes and so on. Here is a snippet.
This is apparently the End Poem. You can see if scroll by in real time because somebody recorded it and posted it on YouTube… because of course they did. It runs for about 10 minutes before it finally his the game credits. (You can save yourself 9 minutes by going here and looking under the spoiler flag, though it is a spoiler.) You can hit escape and end it early, but I let it roll.
Once I was done, I was back in my base at the bed where I last slept, the usual respawn point for the game. I had the achievement, The End was complete.
And that was that. Later I went back and collected some more end stone. I want to build something in the world with it. But now we just have to wait for Minecraft 1.9 and the expansion of The End.