A while back I saw a link to an “awesome” Minecraft world for download. The description said it was a multiplayer map, from a dedicated group of players. So, I downloaded it, set it up right, and it vanished. I searched for it, didn’t find it. I tried to install it again, didn’t work. Annoyed, I just loaded one of my own worlds and built for a few hours. It was when I went to make my daily backup that things got weird. I had six worlds. There are only five save slots, but I had six worlds listed. Curious, I loaded it up and opened Minecraft up again. There was no logo, no online check, and no menu. Where it would download an update, I saw a loading bar with no other information. When it finished, it dropped me onto a small stone platform on a lake. Welcome signs greeted me, behind me was a server logo worked with wool, glass, and water. In front of me was a tower leading to a skyway that branched off in all directions. Just from looking at the spawn zone, I could tell they ran mods, but it was still awe-inspiring. Some chests by the spawn zone were filled with full sets of tools, saying they were for new members, and I helped myself to a set of diamond gear. I lost myself for hours, just exploring. They had made a nice network of roads, leading from sight to sight, signs at every crossroads pointing in the direction of the next wonder. But it was eerie. I had sheep and pigs and squids to keep me company, but the world felt empty. Huge and empty. I had no intention of modifying anything, so the world had the air of ancient ruins, long since abandoned by the builders. I felt their skill, dedication, and imagination pressing down on me at every turn. The server was old. Probably from Alpha. They had set up “zoos” around mob spawners, such as a Skeleton Zoo and a Zombie Zoo. And that made the next “zoo” I found stranger. It was inside a plateau, the top of which had an observation tower projecting into the sky, up to the skybox. The floors were rings, the outer wall glass, the inside solid with a stair wrapped around it. The top was a glass dome with iron ribs, giving you the ultimate view of the surrounding area. It was spectacular at sunset. A compass had been worked into the floor, and several other towers and structures were visible from the top. It was a great place for a “tourist” like me to go. The entrance to the zoo was hidden in an alcove in the plateau, not easily visible from all but the correct angle. I saw it wandering around the exit of the tower, and dropped down to it. Stone walls gave way to mossy cobblestone, and I saw a “cage” of fenceposts like the other zoos. The similarities ended there. There was no mob spawner visible, and this zoo was extremely well lit, by lava pouring from source blocks in the ceiling, pouring over a 3x3x3 cube. I know now the dimensions were 3x3x4, but I couldn’t tell that at the time. I blocked up the lava, and the cube turned out to be made of glowstone. I said I wasn’t going to modify anything, but I couldn’t stop my curiosity at this point. I broke one of the sides, and found a 1x1x2 column of obsidian. I felt kind of insulted to be honest. All this build up for some obsidian, which I could tell the builders had modded into the game in bulk. I left the zoo quickly, and didn’t give the room much further thought. It was around thirty minutes later that something odd started happening. The creepy cave noises started to play at all hours. I heard the banshee at high noon. Day, night, cave, outdoors, didn’t matter. It was off putting, and I had the feeling that friendly mobs weren’t spawning as much as they should, but it wasn’t a very noticeable decrease, probably because I kept moving around. But, I didn’t have time to worry about glitches; I had to be up early in the morning. The game let me save and exit normally, closing down Minecraft automatically after it had finished saving. It was a few days before I could get back to Minecraft. I checked out an overview I had made of the server and planned out a route to a giant sheep statue that was to the west of me. The game seemed glitch-free, although I noticed that there were few friendly mobs again. It was like this until I got to the last hill between me and the sheep. I heard the banshee again, far too loud, loud enough to make my physically jump and have to pull my headphones off for a minute. After a moment I went over the top of the hill. I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t, but it’s too late to worry about that now. The sheep was on fire. It had started near the feet, and was quickly racing up the wool covering it, burning it down to a netherrack skin that wouldn’t stop burning. I hadn’t gone over a pressure plate on my way here, and the fire would have had to start just before I got to the sheep. Probably it was with the cave sound, those seemed to follow it around. As the wool of the sheep burned off, I saw it. That column of obsidian from the zoo. It was on the corner of the sheep’s head, closest to me as it could be on the statue. I backed up, over the hill, and started walking away, in a daze. I felt scared, guilty, and confused. How could it spontaneously catch fire? Why was that obsidian there? It didn’t make sense for it to be built into the sheep, the wool layer looked two blocks thick, I would have seen a black dot on the head from the overview map. I shut down Minecraft quickly, didn’t feel like playing anymore. A few days later, again, I had time for Minecraft. I launched the game, it took me directly to this world again, and I saw black. After a moment of confusion, I planted a torch at my foot and saw that I had been griefed, trapped in obsidian. I’d had this happen to me in multiplayer before when I had to step away from the keyboard, and so annoyance overruled fear and I started to slowly chip my way out through four layers of obsidian. After the fourth layer, I saw lava, heard the banshee. I was in no mood to put up with anything more at this point, blocked up the lava, nearly walked out through the hole I made. That would have been suicide. Probably would have made it happy. I stopped because I saw more blackness beyond, even with the lava. It took me a minute to realize that it was nighttime, and I was in the air. When I closed down Minecraft it was day. The time had been changed, and I had been physically moved from where I was, while I was offline. These things don’t happen. But, I had a bucket of water, and could ride the waterfall down and wait until morning, using the time to check my overview map again. I know where I had to go now. The walk back to the observation tower was a long and lonely one. No friendly mobs spawned. They should have, and I even stopped at times to give them a chance to, but saw nothing. An already empty-feeling world was emptier. I circled around the bottom floor of the tower, and realized that the center might not be solid, that there could be a respectably sized chamber in the center. Underneath the smoothstone was obsidian, which confirmed my suspicions. I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t, but it’s too late to worry about that now. It was all obsidian, a stair going up the outside edge of the room, let by redstone torches, which didn’t provide near enough light to fully illuminate the room, but it did enough. I realized what had happened to all the mobs these past few play sessions. They were in here. Dead. Cows, sheep, squids, all of them, layered, piled on top of each other, covering every flat surface in the small chamber. Bodies are supposed to vanish, but these didn’t. There must have been activated redstone dust on the floor, because red, blood-like sparkles drifted up from the ground, through the bodies. What I heard next worried me more, though. A cave sound would have been normal. Expected. Appropriate. But what I heard was the sound of a breaking dirt block. Standing just inside the door was the obsidian column. It was blocking me in. I watched it, it didn’t move. I could have tried to run past it, the door was two spaces wide, but every instinct said that was a bad idea. Going back into the body chamber seemed suicidal. So the only way I could go was up. As I reached the second floor, I heard that dirt-breaking noise behind me again, just a few steps behind me. Going up further would have been stupid, so I went out. I switched to my sword, broke a hole in the glass, jumped out of the tower. It wasn’t a fatal fall, but it was close, bringing me down to one heart. Even though I was on Peaceful, it wasn’t regenerating, and as I turned to look back, I saw it just standing in the hole, watching me. I ran as far as I could, and as I ran, things off the road started to catch fire in front of me. The sun went down, as the moon rose, the skybox suddenly glitched out into a mass of black and white pixels. Everything but the road was on fire. Cave noises started to play constantly, the sounds buggy almost unrecognizable. Then Minecraft almost crashed. My fps went down to single digits, if that many, and it was a long time before they went up again. I looked around, and saw that had happened behind me. Obsidian, a solid cube of obsidian. The entire chunk, obsidian. I kept running, every few seconds stopping as another chunk turned into obsidian, the monolithic black blocks moving closer and closer until finally the chunk I was in became solid obsidian. With one heart, it didn’t take long to suffocate and die. When I saw the game over screen, Minecraft did freeze. My computer made horrible sounds, like it bit off more than it could chew, and as it froze I heard the pain noises of the friendly mobs, distorted, playing so quickly and looping so fast that it sounded nightmarish. Slowly, the seemed to fit into a laugh made up of these pained sounds, ringing in my ears, echoing in my head. I can hear it again now as I’m typing this. My computer saved me though, going into a restart. It ran fine. I opened up my Minecraft file manager and World Six was gone. It didn’t glitch out when I opened up Minecraft. I took my computer to a shop and had them check it, and they said it was clean from any virus or problem. I can’t say for sure what happened. What it was. I know what it acted like: A griefer. Someone who just wants to torment other players and destroy what they’ve built. It couldn’t have been an enemy added in by a mod, I wasn’t running any and even if the server did use them, it wouldn’t carry over. Thinking back to the zoo, the builders of the server wanted it trapped in there. Inside of glowstone and under lava. And what happened when I let it free? It started to destroy the world bit by bit. I couldn’t find the download for that world again, but it’s probably still out there. The person who put it up might not know what is in that world, what’s waiting for another chance to be set loose by some fool who didn’t know what it is. So if you find that world, don’t go to that zoo and don’t let it free. It will just try to destroy the world again. They managed to trap it, to keep working on the world. The server has probably shut down, and the only thing left of their work is that download. Don’t let it win.