Game Theory: The LOST History of Minecraft's Enderman

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00:00   |   Jul 23, 2019


Game Theory: The LOST History of Minecraft's Enderman
Game Theory: The LOST History of Minecraft's Enderman thumb Game Theory: The LOST History of Minecraft's Enderman thumb Game Theory: The LOST History of Minecraft's Enderman thumb


  • No one: 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...

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Minecraft is a GIANT game full of many mysteries. So many that I could do a CRAZY amount of theories on it. Today we're going to focus on one of my favorites - the Minecraft Enderman. What are they? I want to get into the nitty gritty of these Slenderman-like creatures, so get your scalpels ready Theorists! We're cutting into the secrets of the Endermen!

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