If you’ve ever felt bad about keeping all your old files in a mess, here’s something to make you feel better, as a much sought-after early version of Minecraft has finally been found – thanks to one player who made backups of her old laptop. Oh, and I guess this also means that tweeting everything is useful after all.
As spotted by Kotaku, Twitter user @lunasorcery explained in a thread that she’d helped a group of Minecraft historians find a long-lost early version of the game. Build Alpha 1.1.1 was apparently a “long-running meme” and “holy grail” for Minecraft archivist group Omniarchive, as the historians had never been able to track the elusive build down. It was an exceedingly rare version of the game that was released on 18th September 2010, and was only available for three hours and 25 minutes due to a bug that would turn the player’s screen grey.
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Luckily, someone spotted a 2010 tweet by Luna in which she discussed the Minecraft update, and messaged her to ask if she had a copy of the build. She initially ignored the message, thinking there was “no chance in hell” that she would still have a copy, but last Friday another person contacted her about the tweet – and this prompted her to take a closer look.
After some searching, she checked her old external USB hard drive and found the version that Omniarchive had been looking for. She then posted in the group’s Discord server, where there were (understandably) some very excited reactions:
“Just from the reactions, the reality of how big a find this is starts to set in,” Luna said. “I literally start shaking.”
Luna then sent the build to Omniarchive for verification, who confirmed it was the real deal. Luna also took a closer look at the rest of her files and managed to find another rare build in the process, and the two builds have now been uploaded to archive.org. The whole situation seemed to prompt others to check their old backups, as in a follow-up tweet, Luna said that the thread had led to the discovery of two further lost builds.
“Moral of the story: never delete anything,” Luna said. “Also support archivists, they’re doing important work!”