Five years ago, one YouTuber began a Minecraft Let’s Play unlike any other, one that spanned all the different versions of the game and examined how it changed over time. After a nearly three-year hiatus, it’s coming back, with a nifty trailer.
YouTuber Zisteau said in his very first episode of his Minecraft Let’s Play that it was a little weird how much Minecraft he plays on his channel, given that he’s never done a Let’s Play of the game in single-player mode. He’s played community-made challenge maps and plays on the server Mindcrack, but at the time he’d been making Minecraft videos for over three and a half years without playing the game single player.
“I wanted to do something a little different, because I’ve been playing for that long and I’ve never had a single-player series,” he said in the video, which came out in August 2014. “I wanted to go back to where it began, as close as I could anyway, to the patch I started playing on.”
This Minecraft Let’s Play begins in the game’s Alpha 1.1 version, which originally released in September 2010. It’s a very different game than the Minecraft that people play today. As Zisteau grabs resources, he goes over everything the game doesn’t have yet: cakes, biomes, beds. All of these are things that I now take for granted on the rare occasion I play Minecraft.
But Zistaeu wasn’t planning on staying in Alpha 1.1 forever. By the time he finishes exploring what each update adds to the game, he transitions into the next update, usually with some kind of narrative flourish. The world has exploded, forcing his character into the Nether, he’s gotten shipwrecked, and he’s created magical contraptions to transport his character back home. As fascinating as it is to watch Zisteau show how Minecraft has changed over the years, it’s his goofy sense of humor that kept me watching for 87 episodes. Zisteau made it all the way to Beta 1.7 before he took a years-long, unannounced break from the series. There hasn’t been a new episode since November 2016.
On Friday, he released a trailer for episode 88.
The voiceovers heard in the trailer are compiled from pre-existing film trailers. Zisteau even released a “source version” of the trailer, which shows all the trailers he compiled the audio from, like Lawnmower Man and Rocky IV. Most amusingly for me, he creates the name “Zisteau” by combining a clip from the trailer for To Wong Foo and the last name of actress Madeleine Stowe as said in the trailer for China Moon. It’s as accurate a representation of his goofiness as all the times he’s shot a cow with an arrow for looking at him funny.
When he paused his series in 2016, Zisteau still had a lot of ground to cover if he was going to get up to Minecraft’s current release. After almost three years of further updates, now he has even more of a trek in front of him. Hopefully he came back from his hiatus with a game plan, and a couple wacky hijinks to get in the way.