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An Analysis of The Nether: Finding Beauty in Chaos

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Okay, I guess it may be weird posting something like this to the True Gaming subreddit of all places, but this is really where I felt it would fit most. Keep in mind, this isn't a shitpost, and this isn't Reddit Gold Bait, or whatever the term is. I just have an opinion, and I wanna share it, so let's just go.

The Nether is easily the most dangerous part of Minecraft, and that goes double for Hardcore. I can already hear people shouting, "NO SHIT SHERLOCK!" and going to downvote it, but honestly, I needed some way to segway into what I'm about to say, because, unlike most sane people, who just want to leave the Nether as soon as they get the Blaze Rods, and maybe some Ender Pearls as well, something about the Nether keeps drawing me in, and I find myself going back constantly. So let's talk about it.


PART 1: Finding Serenity Through Chaos

Now, one reason I've seen people hate the Nether so much is because of how chaotic and dangerous it is, or how you aren't given any warning about what dangers lie ahead upon first entering. The thing is, what a lot of people don't realize, at least from what I've seen, is that you are given a warning, just not directly.

What I'm going to say may sound stupid as fuck, but just hear me out for a moment. So, upon first entering the Nether, 9 times out of 10, there will be hostile mobs not far from the player. This does two things;

  1. It helps to keep the player on their toes at all times
  2. It establishes that the Nether is highly dangerous, and that the player is going to be on their own.

This, in my opinion, is a great way of indirectly letting the player know that The Nether is going to be quite dangerous compared to the Overworld. What little hand-holding the player had in the Overworld completely disappears as soon as you enter The Nether, and you're left to fend for yourself as you try to find what you came for. By having the player most likely be forced into combat, they will then know that they need to play it safe, or risk death.


PART 2: WORLD-BUILDING WITHOUT EVER SAYING A WORD

In my opinion, Minecraft, in some ways, does a great job with world-building, even without the use of diary entries or audio logs, a method that other games use to establish world-building. Minecraft, on the other hand, takes advantage of the environment to build the world around the player, no pun intended. The Overworld did this pretty well, and The Nether continues this trend.

Here are just some examples of what I'm talking about here;

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  • The skeletal remains in certain areas suggests that large beasts once roamed the Nether, before going extinct for some reason.
  • The Nether Fortresses suggest that people did once live here, before disappearing for some strange reason
  • The Piglins trading with the player could suggest that they somehow learned from the people that once resided in the Nether.
  • Or even the existence of the Bastion Remnants, suggesting that Piglins were either taught how to build, or learned by watching the former inhabitants of the Nether.

It's just the little things such as what I just mentioned that helps the world of Minecraft feel alive. Now sure, those things could easily just be removed, and while not a lot would be lost, I feel without those small details, I wouldn't be as invested in the world of the game, and that strange, twisted sense of beauty that The Nether has, would probably just be lost.


PART 3: LOST IN A VIVID DREAM AND I DON'T WANNA WAKE UP

This is the final part of my little analysis thing, but this is the one I'm the most passionate about. So let's just cut the bullshit and get into it.

With the new Nether, it always has now felt less like Hell, and more like a weird vivid, and twisted dream, thanks in part to the soundtrack, composed by Lena Raine. But even if the soundtrack wasn't there, I would still see the strange and demented beauty of The Nether. This is because The Nether feels surreal and alive.

Whereas The Nether in the older versions felt like literal hell, now, The Nether truly feels like a more twisted and dream-like version of the Overworld. From the strange, twisted trees of the Crimson Forest and Twisted Forest, which mirrors the forests of the Overworld, to the towering Blackstone Stalagmites/Stalagcites and the snow-like ash of the Basalt Delta, seeming to mirror the Ice Spikes or Caverns of the Overworld, to the Skeletal Remains and Soul Fires of the Soul Sand Valley, which is mirroring the Deserts and Mesas of the Overworld, these not only help The Nether feel alive, but also help to accentuate that vivid and twisted feel that The Nether inherits. Even if we aren't comparing it to the Overworld, The Nether, with all of its weird structures, its bizarre and twisted biomes, its strange wildlife, and all of the minor details in between, feels surreally beautiful between all the chaos, and even then, in a way, the chaos adds to the beauty of it.


CONCLUSION

I might as well end it here, since this is getting super long and that's all I really had to say. I want to do an analysis like this once Cliffs & Caves finally releases, but for now, this is all I really had to say, so thanks for reading, and have a good day/night/whatever time of day it is for you.

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