Literally no one: *Record Scratch* Oh, come on! You gotta be kidding me! Hello, Internet. Welcome to Game Theory. Call it nostalgia. Call it a return to a more innocent time. Call it a desire to trend right off of PewDiePie’s success playing the game that just overthrew Fortnite.
Rest in Peace, Juergen. (IT’S JOERGEN!) But I have been digging through a lot of Minecraft lore lately. Oh, and you absolutely heard that right. According to Google Trends, Minecraft is now on top of Fortnite, both in terms of web search
and here on YouTube. It’s like the Grover Cleveland of video games. And by that, I mean a game that was king, gave up its crown to someone else, but then snatched it back. Just like old Grover C. did when he was elected president. History’s only double president,
for that matter. Honestly, it’s like the only thing Grover Cleveland’s known for. Heck, this 10 fascinating facts article on him couldn’t even come up with anything remotely interesting. Let alone fascinating. What was I talking about again? Oh, yeah! Minecraft on the other hand is endlessly fascinating because for a game that’s now 10 years old, Happy anniversary, by the way.
Its lore still hasn’t been cracked. Oh sure, there’s plenty of speculation
and lots of really good ideas. But my knowledge no one has truly been able to piece together a final, all encompassing, all mysteries of this world tied together lore solve. And so today I, don’t really plan on doing that. I’m not even gonna pretend. I’m starting to learn that people take it really seriously when I say stuff like “Today, we’re solving this.” So, let me instead, say this quite honestly to you. I’m gonna do my best to start us on a journey to solve this thing. I want to start a conversation with all of you where we can pool our knowledge and figure this out together. I want to put together my thoughts on
pieces of evidence that stood out as particularly interesting to me, propose to you what I interpret that to mean, and then leave further discussion in our
collective communal hands. It’s a theory. It’s always a theory, and like any theory, it’s meant to be discussed, analyzed, criticized, added to, tested.
And because it’s a theory about video games, It’s meant, most importantly of all, to be fun. And if along the way we solve some deep-seated
lore mysteries, great! More power to us. These games at the end of the day are puzzles to solve. And so I’m gonna do my best to lead that charge in solving those puzzles. But I want you to be there with me every step of the way. And so our first step when it comes to solving Minecraft, is tackling the Endermen. Originally programmed into the game as a joking reference to Slenderman, these tall, dark and handsome creatures… Well, just tall and dark, I guess. …have become The Cornerstone upon which all other lore in this game is built. Solving what the Endermen are is essential if we have any hope of truly coming to the definitive solution as to the hidden backstory of this game. And after exploring the design of survival mode,
the gameplay decisions, even ancillary canonical content and
books like the Mobestiary. Surprise, surprise. I have myself a theory as to what they actually are. Admittedly, it’s not a new theory, but what it lacks for in originality, it more than makes up for in
evidence and observation It is my proposal to you today that the Endermen aren’t aliens, they’re not ghosts, I almost thought that they were insects, but that one didn’t pan out. No, what they are is human. They’re brilliant humans. Humans who are in trouble. A literal fight for their lives and needed an escape. But in the process, they suffered a horrific fate, reducing them to the moaning shadows of a fallen civilization that they are now. So in the true spirit of Minecraft, let’s start building ourselves a theory, shall we? What do we know about these creatures? Well, first we know that they’re one of the game’s neutral mobs, meaning that they’re not gonna attack you, unless they’re actively provoked. This is already interesting because it means
that in many ways, they come in peace. I mean, look at the list of mobs and
all of their behavior patterns. Anything else that’s nice to you is either an animal,
a Villager, or a Zombie Pigman, which is weird, and honestly merits an episode of its own for another day. Everything, and I mean everything else, is hostile. Except for the Enderman.
So already, there’s a bit of an odd tenuously peaceful relationship between us and the Endermen, but it gets even weirder when you consider that they’re the only other creatures other than Steve or Alex able to move blocks. Sure, they’re kind of picky about what blocks they pick up but carrying blocks is an ability only shared between our character and the Endermen.
As the Mobestiary says, quote: “They will not just pick up any block but will choose only clay, dirt and sand, flowers and other plants,
and, rather oddly, TNT… …some claim the enderman is indulging in a form of play or attempting to communicate.” Speaking of communication, we also know that they can talk, or at least had the ability to talk. Listen to some of the sound clips from when Endermen are idling near you. *Endermen Sound Clips* Hear it? There’s clearly a language here. A real language that we, as humans, can understand. Listen again. You should be hearing: “Hey” *Enderman Sound Clip, Runs Twice* “Hello” *Enderman Sound Clip, Runs Twice* This next one is really clear. “What’s up?” *Enderman Sound Clip, Runs Twice* …And “Look for the eye” *Enderman Sound Clip* Which, presumably is referencing Eyes of Ender.
The items that allow you to find strongholds,
where they’re used to activate a portal to the End. Home of the Endermen,
and the game’s final boss; the Ender Dragon. So we have ourselves neutral creatures who are able to move blocks, just like us, and have language abilities far beyond what we hear elsewhere in the game from characters like villagers. It’s certainly a lot of odd similarities to be sure, but far from airtight evidence that the Endermen are somehow related to men, men. But now let’s take a minute to actually look at their home, The End. The End is a weird final dimension for Minecraft. It honestly feels to me like where the game started to run out of money. (Not that it could ever run out of money) With the whole thing just being a bunch of end stone and purpur blocks, ugly purples and yellows everywhere.
(Royal Colors) Huge chunks of landscape missing, and giant cities that you can visit far off in the distance.
All of which are eerily empty. This is the home of the Endermen, sure. Even the Mobestiary says it but look closer and you see that while the Endermen may call this dimension home, and they certainly wander around in the empty open landscapes, these giant, looming, Thanos purple buildings aren’t for them. What do I mean by that? Well, let’s take a look inside the end cities. There’s tons of great loot hidden all over the place. Inside the chests, you can find everything from enchanted swords to saddles and armor for your horse. The Minecraft Gamepedia breaks down everything that we can find here, but something’s wrong with that list. None of these items are actually useful to the Endermen. They don’t wear armor, they don’t attack with swords, and they certainly don’t ride animals. Heck, there are no animals in the end to ride. Even the fact that the items are kept in chests should be a huge red flag here. Remember Endermen are only picking up certain blocks and none of those blocks entail chests. They can’t use these things or the thing that stores those things. All of this points to the idea that The End’s cities weren’t built by the Endermen. They were built by and for someone else. Some other ancient people who managed to get to The End. But who? When you start up a new survival mode game you enter a blank world. Immediately you notice that you’re the only one of your kind. Oh sure, as you adventure, you’ll come across NPCs like the villagers. But they’re not like you. They don’t look like you. They can’t build like you. You and the villagers are fundamentally different. It’s almost as if you’re a different species. This fact is even supported by zombie attacks. When bit, a villager doesn’t transform into a normal zombie. It turns specifically into a zombie villager. Regular zombies and zombie villagers are different. In fact, the only times that you ever really see anything that looks even remotely like you, it’s always in the form of undead enemies. Zombies, Drowned, Husks. It implies that once upon a time there were other humans here. But they all died en masse. It’s a strange detail that you probably noticed, but you shrug it off and you continue on your journey.
Then you start discovering pre-existing structures Mineshafts. Temples in the desert.
Monuments underwater. All abandoned. All of them lost to time. Again, you’re the only person who can build things in this world, and you certainly didn’t build any of these things. So where did they come from? Making things even more suspicious is the fact that ruins like desert temples are protected by cleverly designed booby traps,
elaborate fake floors complete with pressure plates & grids of TNT. It all points to one thing: An advanced society of builders once lived in The Overworld. But have since disappeared, so that begs the question. Where did they go? Maybe they all died which in turn led to
the armies of the undead mobs that we
have to guard against every night. And while I certainly think that that’s part of it, it’s not the whole story. Because we know that they went somewhere. Teleported somewhere. And while they could have gone any number of places, we know for a fact, that one of the places they ended up was The End. How can we be so sure? Strongholds. Strongholds are the hidden ancient ruins that contain massive portals to The End. Whatever this ancient society was, they were so advanced that they could figure out how to build these things. Which in turn makes them more
advanced than even you the player. In Survival Mode, you can’t craft the end frames necessary to construct this thing.
In order to travel to the end, you must find these portals hidden within the stronghold. And let’s stop there for a minute. I mean, have you ever thought to question that name? Stronghold? It’s a pretty odd choice. Personally, I would think it to be like the portal room or the Gateway room or the altar or something, anything like that. But instead the designers of Minecraft named it “stronghold.” A term that refers to a highly secure structure built for defending against attacks. And there’s that idea again. An ancient civilization of advanced builders that was quickly dying. A group of builders just like our player who were being threatened in the Overworld, and needed an escape. And what they created was a portal to another dimension. The End, where wouldn’t you know it, they built cities to store the items and armor from their previous world. But there was one thing that they didn’t expect: That this would be a one-way trip. That the portal would close up behind them, leaving them stranded in a strange and barren wasteland. Sure, they were safe from whatever was killing them in the Overworld, But now they were trapped in a wasteland. A wasteland guarded by an unstoppable dragon. And they came unprepared. Based on what we see in the chests, they came in with
swords and armor and horses. Effective weapons to be sure, but not against an otherworldly foe. A giant foe that flies around and attacks with towering beacons that restore its health. They couldn’t defeat this thing. Hence why it’s still living when we arrived, and as we know from the game, the only way out of The End is through defeating the Ender Dragon. And since they couldn’t, they were stuck. Trapped there for generations. They learned to live in harmony with the dragon. They make a new life with whatever limited resources they have. They’re building homes using the strange end stones and purpur blocks. They run out of food and soon have nothing to eat, so they turn to the strange chorus fruits found there. Chorus fruits, which funny enough, have teleportation properties. And over time, they begin to change.
They adapt to their new surroundings. Oh sure, they retain some human features. According to the diagrams in the Mobestiary, their brains are very human-like, and they have the flat faces and wide eyes, indicative of humans. They still do vaguely look like our player character, but they evolved to grow taller, which makes picking the tall stalks of chorus fruit easier, similar to how [the] giraffes’ necks got longer to more easily reach higher up leaves. The fruits teleportation abilities starts to rub off on them, so instead of having to rely on Ender Pearls to teleport around, they instead naturally gain the ability from their diet. Over time, they slowly forget their ability to build. I mean, why build when there’s no escape?
When there’s not even many resources
with which to craft? But they still retain the ability to pick up blocks. Though their skill for speech gets forgotten, they do retain a rudimentary language still speaking in those distorted words. This once great, builder society slowly, generation after generation, transforms into the Endermen. Even some of their memories may still remain. One odd detail of the Enderman, is that wearing a pumpkin on your head prevents them from becoming aggressive. Maybe it reminds them somewhere deep down, of a simpler time or of the friendly golems that they would construct back on the Overworld. Regardless, the civilization is stuck there. Oh sure, some are able to teleport out into the Overworld or into the Nether, but most are forced to live there under the rule of the dragon. And we know this isn’t by choice, because when you finally arrive in The End, when you finally defeat their oppressor, The achievement we receive is Free The End. The Endermen at this point are so far gone from the people they once were that they’re no longer able to appreciate what’s happened. But in defeating the dragon, you as the player have brought closure to this oppressed civilization. One that was forced to flee to a new dimension in order to survive, only to wind up trapped yet again. And that my friends, is the story of Minecraft. You’re a builder and you follow in the path of the great builders who came before you, discovering their work, learning of their enemies, unlocking their technology, and ultimately freeing them from their greatest oppressor. Now admittedly, there are some difficult things to explain here, like how this ancient civilization got access to the ender pearls necessary to craft the eyes of ender, required to build a portal to the end, if they themselves become the Endermen. It would require some sort of time loop, which honestly there isn’t a whole lot of evidence for. Instead, my thought here is that the ender pearls are items that they learn to create before becoming Endermen. Before going to The End. I mean, think about this. We know that this ancient civilization was able to access the Nether. End Rods and Eyes of Ender both require
Blaze related materials to craft. So this civilization had definitely visited that dimension, and thus knew how to access the powers of teleportation. So maybe they learned how to harness that in a smaller portable form.
i.e. the ender pearl, before ever making it to The End. I’m not 100% sure. It’s honestly just speculation to try and solve for this Theory’s biggest problem. Anyway, I want to know: What do you think? Did you like it? Did you not? Let’s build it out from there. Why do they hate endermites?
Where’d the villagers come from? And seriously, what is the deal with the Zombie Pigman civilization? Like I said the Endermen are just the start to the puzzle that is Minecraft, but there are still plenty more here for us to discover. So until then, Remember, that’s just a Theory. A Game Theory!
Thanks for watching. Hey, If you enjoyed that, start picking away at the box on the left to check out my video on what Minecraft Creepers really are. It’s an older video and it’s more scientific, But it’s one of my favorites. Or heck, chip away at the box on the right to watch as I prove that Minecraft’s block world is actually round. I’ll see you all next weekend for that FNaF episode you requested. joy…