Gather round, everyone, and press F to pay respects to streamer Philza. The Twitch man’s world record breaking five year run on Minecraft’s permadeath mode has finally come to an end, thanks to a flaming baby zombie.
Permadeath, as the name implies, is a style of play or mode incorporated into certain games that means when your current character dies, that’s it. You don’t simply respawn at an earlier point with your character, you lose everything and have to start from the very beginning.
While Minecraft can be quite a sedate game, anyone who’s played the popular building/survival sim will know that not dying regularly is actually quite challenging. The game is, after all, chock full of hazards and enemies that are out for your blood.
I’ve personally lost count of the amount of times I’ve accidentally up into an underground lake and drowned myself, or been unceremoniously blown up by a creeper.
Maybe I’m just rubbish at Minecraft (I mean, I definitely am to be fair), but staying alive in one game without dying for five years is a genuinely impressive feat, and I’m heartbroken for Philza. I can only imagine how much it would hurt to lose a character I’d been playing as and invested in for five years.
In an ideal world, we’d all like to go out in a blaze of glory, maybe sacrificing ourselves for the good of the universe, or a bus full of nuns, or something noble like that. To be fair, I don’t think Minecraft deaths can ever really be truly noble, and Philza unfortunately met his end alone in a cave, surrounded by flaming zombies while a spider jumped out of the shadows to finish him off.
His reaction was priceless – and understandable:
NOOO! Really? That’s how I die?! Oh my God, I’m f***ing stupid, I’m f***ing stupid. Ohhh… a baby zombie.
Philza’s final mistake seemed to be attacking the zombies with his magic sword, which resulted in setting both monsters and himself ablaze. As the flames slowly dragged his health down, t’was the spider who emerged to give him that final push to the great beyond.
Those watching the stream noted that there were multiple items in Philza’s inventory that could have either restored his health or fought the blaze, but the streamer later admitted that he simply panicked.
Obviously, in a hardcore permadeath mode there’s no time to panic. You either get yourself together or you get dead. I’ve no doubt Philza knew this, but sometime the fear takes us all.
If there’s any lesson we can (and should) take away from this, it’s that you should never mess around with fire. Especially if that fire comes from an enchanted blade. RIP Philza.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.