A really rare version of the hit sandbox game Minecraft has been uncovered by gaming archivists. Alpha 1.1.1 was thought to be lost to the void because that version of the game was only the most up-to-date edition for three hours and 25 minutes, until it was updated after a serious bug was discovered.
Alpha 1.1.1, also known in the community as Seecret Saturday, was the update to add sneaking, new paintings, and fishing rods into Minecraft back in September of 2010. The name Seecret Saturday comes from the fact that it was the only update to have been released on a Saturday while all other Minecraft updates released on Fridays. And it was only available for download for three hours because of a game-breaking bug causing the game to grey-screen.
Minecraft's latest big update had a surprise visit from our favourite blue blur...
So how did the archivists find the coveted Alpha 1.1.1? Well, it was because of an innocent tweet from a Twitter user, Lunasorcery, dating back to 2010. She had expressed excitement all those years ago about there being a new Minecraft update within the specific hours Seecret Saturday had been released in. That tweet was just enough of a lead for archival group Omniarchive to get in touch.
Lunasorcery wrote an entire thread of the events leading up to the discovery of the rare update (and it was spotted by Kotaku) - but in short, someone sent her a message when she wasn't doing anything else and thought it wouldn't harm to go have a look and see if she still had the version on an old hard drive. Upon looking through some decade-old backups on an external USB, a .jar Minecraft file appears. It's within the timeframe of Alpha 1.1.1 and upon opening it and searching the script for a 1.1 mention, it was confirmed that this was, indeed, the holy grail.
Well folks, there it is. pic.twitter.com/fB9BWgYjx9- Luna :flag_white:️:rainbow: (@lunasorcery) June 26, 2021
Of course, Omniarchive was delighted. The group has been dedicated to finding every version of Minecraft ever released - and this was one of the most difficult, and possibly important, versions of the sandbox it was looking for. And now, just through a seemingly bland tweet saying, "oooooohhhhhhh MineCraft update!" a little bit of gaming's history has been preserved.
So what did we learn from this? Well, Luna says: "moral of the story: Never Delete Anything. (also support archivists, they're doing important work)" - and we completely agree.
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