Minecraft devotees were likely celebrating more than Labor Day on Monday. September 1st, 2014 marks the fifth birthday of a beloved creature that started out as a mistake. The Creeper was first introduced in Minecraft five years ago as a failed attempt to make a pig. The developers made a mistake on the higher and length values and made one of the most beloved and recognizable “villains” of any video game.
Despite the mistake, Markus “Notch” Persson the creator of the game liked the model that resulted and tweaked it until it became the infamous creeper we see these days. This video below marks the first time the little exploding guys who make a hiss as they approach were seen inside the massive buildable world.
One of the changes over the last five years is how killing a Creeper now allows you to actually avoid the explosion. Should you not kill them quickly enough, they will still take you with them when they detonate and you’ve wandered too close. Killing the Creepers is about more than simply self-preservation these days. If you are able to get them before they get you, by doing things like manipulating a skeleton into doing your dirty work, the Creepers will drop gunpowder or music discs. Those two items are plenty valuable in the Minecraft world.
It’s been a long strange trip for Notch’s little pet project - which is entirely out of his hands nowadays - and the game is seemingly getting bigger all the time although updates have slowed down significantly in recent months as 4J Studios works on the console ports and make additional funds off monetizing downloadable skins, including characters from Mass Effect and Doctor Who. (which by the way are free and customizable on the original PC version).
What once was the mainstreaming of early access PC games has since made the jump to Android and iOS and then to the consoles. Any day now the title will also be making the leap to next generation consoles the Xbox One and the PS4.
While the game is expanding and gaining new fans all the time, it’s nice to stop and look back at the last five years and get to know some of the original characters such as the Creepers once again. These are not just peripheral characters who pop up and then fade into the background just as quickly. Creepers have their own little personalities as well as strengths and weaknesses. Easily one of the more interesting tidbits about these green, plant like dudes is the fact they are actually quite scared of ocelots and other in-game cats.
Creepers are a part of pop culture, from LEGO toy sets plushies to apparel and loads of other merchandist, Creepers are everywhere just as Minecraft is. Creepers gotta creep.
Here’s to celebrating the Creepers’ 10th birthday inside Minecraft come September 1, 2019.