On February 9, 2014, my Tumblr procrastination finally paid off when I got an invitation to Ridgedog’s Minecraft survival games … and almost won! I happened to be browsing my dashboard when I saw Ridgedog post about an Easter Egg in the recent YogLabs episode that no one seemed to have noticed:
I’ll admit, my boyfriend watched YogLabs more than I did, so I wasn’t sure what the Easter Egg was. However, I had seen dozens of the Yogscast survival games, and I loved watching those. I knew Ridgedog best as the person who oversaw the survival games, flying around the map and dealing with the Yogscast’s shenanigans.
In case you didn’t know, Ridgedog (Steven Goates) is a member of the Yogscast – a YouTube group of gamers that post various video game content to their channels. He has refereed numerous Yogscast survival games, and spends most of his time finding Minecraft mods, maps and indie games for members of the Yogscast to play. He also manages the Yogscast’s multiplayer servers, as you might have guessed.
One of my favorite Ridgedog moments was when Sips and Sjin unleashed Barry the Wormhole on the Voltz server by setting off a red matter explosive. Ridgedog has to come to the rescue because the wormhole is literally eating the world. “Voltz Special – Episode 12” is over half an hour long but worth the watch, even if you have never watched their Voltz series before.
“Duncan I need help. Antimatter explosives as fast as you please. This will eat the world.”
A special compilation of the Voltz Episode featuring Barry the Wormhole.
I figured it couldn’t hurt to try, and messaged Ridgedog my Minecraft username. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to get selected for the survival games – I thought I had stumbled upon the post too late. However, around 5 PM I received a message on Tumblr. I never get those! Inside I saw the IP address of a server, sent by Ridgedog. No. Frickin. Way. I sat at my computer, staring at my Minecraft launcher and refreshing until the server became available.
Ridgedog announced that he was running two servers at the same time, meaning one winner from each server would be told about the YogLabs secret. When I logged onto the server – palms already sweaty from nervous excitement – I saw several other Minecraft players. Some of them knew each other, some did not. I didn’t know any of them. I jumped around the room, which was covered in red wool and surrounded by walls of books.
We were starring in a hunger games map. I don’t know which one, because I was so nervous I forgot to take screenshots! Just being on the same server with Ridgedog had me starstruck. I couldn’t believe I had been selected to play! A new feeling settled in with the anxiety and excitement – the need to win. I didn’t expect to come in first place, but the determination to try was suddenly there, and that meant I had to survive.
We were teleported into pods in a dark starting room, and once they opened I ran as far and fast as I could. I dove into a large hole in the center of the room, which dropped into a pool of water in a small cavern. Down one of the many tunnels, I came face to face with another player and panicked. Due to server lag, our hits did not touch each other. I slunk around the deserted city outside the tunnel, searching chests and hiding in abandoned buildings while other players died.
As incentive to speed up the killing, Ridgedog announced that there were new goodies in the starting room – our cornucopia, so to speak. At this point there were only five or so players left and we were pretty spread out. I didn’t want to leave the safety of my latest hiding place, but my boyfriend said I needed gear. Since the game had begun, he sat behind my desk with me. While this made things more stressful, he was able to offer me advice from a calmer standpoint.
So I dashed toward the middle of the map, getting lost a little on the way. As I was climbing the side of a mountain to get closer to the starting room, another player pursued me (with more armor on than I would have liked). Jumping up and down while flailing my sword at them, I managed to survive the attack and kill my opponent. I gave a cry of triumph that only my boyfriend and I were privy to and grabbed all of their stuff.
One of my favorite examples of the Yogscast survival games Ridgedog has hosted!
Suddenly, Ridgedog made a comment that only one person had come to claim the gear at the cornucopia so far. I felt hopeful – maybe there was only one person up there to contend with, and my recent kill left me with more armor and survivability. The possibility of winning this game was growing. So when I reached the top and ran toward the entrance to the starting zone, I was not expecting to see two people waiting for me.
Lucky for me, they were already fighting each other, but one of them was sporting enchanted gear and weapons – probably the new gear Ridgedog was advertising. In a split second, the lesser-geared player was killed, their items exploding into the air. With my boyfriend whooping in my ear, I sprinted into the room, ran through the pile of items and dove into the hole that led to the cave system. I dashed down a random tunnel, crouched to hide my name plate, and waited.
By some stroke of luck I was not pursued, at least not down my particular tunnel. My heart was pounding in my chest. Somehow I had survived and was one of only a handful of players left on the server. I stayed in the cave tunnel for a couple of minutes, catching my breath and swapping out my gear and weapons in my hotbar. But the players had stopped dying, and the chat was eerily quiet.
Suddenly, Ridgedog himself appeared in front of me and I was terrified. I was terrified because I was fairly positive I was going to be killed for whatever reason. Maybe because I was hiding in a cramped tunnel and not actively seeking other players. After a long moment, he tossed me a cookie and teleported away. The relief I felt was immense. The starstruck feeling came back as well, and I began to feel overwhelmed.
Ridgedog ended the stalemate by teleporting the remaining players into the cornucopia for a final “deathmatch”. My gear, while not terrible, could not hold up to the enchanted armor and weapons other players had. That, and I was never the best when it came to player-versus-player combat. I was the second to last player to be killed, leaving me in third place on our hunger games server. The champion of our games was a player named Masterofsounds.
For someone who didn’t have the best gear and spent the enter time shaking like a leaf from nervous excitement, I feel I did exceedingly well. Better than that, I got the chance to play on a survival games server run by Ridgedog himself, just like the Yogscast videos I had watched so much of. It is a memory I will always treasure, right up there with meeting Charles Trippy and having Bill Pullman speak at my college graduation. Yes, it meant that much to me.