Minecraft’s Endermen Are Creepy, Blinky

By Jim Rossignol on July 29th, 2011 at 12:11 pm.


One of the most disappointing things to realise in life is that there are no original ideas. Just the other day I was blathering about how games should have teleporting enemies and wouldn’t it be cool if more stuff blinked about to get into melee combat with you… And lo, just a few days later, Notch announces a new teleporting baddy for Minecraft. That said, Notch’s idea gets better: The Endermen are tall, spindly beasts that slowly move blocks around the landscape. Rest your reticule on them and they turn to look at you. Then, when you look away again, they come charging and teleporting across the landscape to attack you. Freaky bastards. Notch explains in a recent blog post: “I made it passive until you looked straight at it. And that was scary. Suddenly you could walk up to these looking beasts (they’re three meters tall) and watch them as they moved their blocks around, but as soon as you happened to look straight at them, they’d attack.”

The Endermen are part of the forthcoming adventure update. I can’t wait.

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92 Comments »

  1. CMaster says:

    Don’t even blink. Blink and you’re dead. They are fast, faster than you could believe. Don’t turn your back, don’t look away, and don’t blink.

    • Icarus says:

      Yes. This.

      Oh god.

      Peaceful mode, forever.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Oh thanks, Notch. Bloody Weeping Angels in Minecraft. Now I can’t ever turn off Peaceful mode…

    • Nesetalis says:

      I love it XD

    • McDan says:

      Don’t blink, by always keeping your eyes shut. It’s a well known fact that if you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. Science!

    • formivore says:

      Is there some Dr. Who game that features the genuine article? I’ve always thought angels would make an excellent game enemy.

    • WPUN says:

      That Notch is damn clever guy.

    • HardDominator says:

      Would be cool if they moved faster in the shadows then in the sunlight. Would add that extra but of epicness.

    • llfoso says:

      YAY DOCTOR WHO!

      Too bad they’re not quite as scary as the real thing….but if they were I wouldn’t be able to play the game because I would be constantly peeing myself. At least these don’t attack until you trigger them!

    • Groove says:

      “Oh thanks, Notch. Bloody Weeping Angels in Minecraft”

      Notch! You wonderful bastard, you.

    • Vinraith says:

      They’re sort of the inverse of weeping angels, really, if you think about it. Angels you have to keep watching, these guys you have to keep avoiding watching.

    • macwarrior says:

      I think that this little-heard-of Sherlock Holmes video game actually has the best (albeit unintentional) implementation of Weeping Angel AI:

    • Wulf says:

      @Vinraith

      Not so! The original angels were dormant until they were looked at by Sally Sparrow. After that, they had to be looked at to keep them static, otherwise they moved quickly and teleported to their intended prey. In the latter instance of weeping angels, they actually killed them upon reaching them.

      So… they’re actually just weeping angels, strike for strike. The only thing that separates them from being identical to Moffat’s angels is appearance.

    • The Sentinel says:

      @Wulf: Sorry, mate, I’m going to disagree.

      Weeping angels don’t teleport. They simply move – very quickly – when you’re not looking at them. Think about it: if they could teleport they could simply teleport behind or above somebody and kill them/eat them/fling them through time.

      Notch’s Endermen are slightly different. Vinraith is right. It’s the reticule falling on them that triggers their attack, although they’ll wait until the reticule falls off them again to do so, so you have to avoid placing it over them although you can keep them on screen in your field of vision.

    • Enderman says:

      @MadTinkerman

      No were not as bad as them They still kill you if u look at them becasue every image you see leaves an imprint on your retina almost like a temp library of images in your brain the weeping angles can kill you from the inside :S

  2. Pamplemousse says:

    Night just became a more scary prospect.

  3. Aedrill says:

    I remember some RPS user talking about creepy scarecrows that teleport towards you, when you’re not looking. I also remember that I loved the idea to bits. Well done, mate!

  4. godgoo says:

    Is it just me who scares more easily in games than in real life?

  5. Grinnbarr says:

    This could be incredibly frustrating if they can move player-placed blocks around – that said, if they can’t then this is a great idea

    • DarkFenix says:

      That was my first thought too. My careful landscaping is going to be a mess come morning.

  6. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    how straight exactly is “looking straight at them”? just the cursor? didn’t really think Minecraft needed more death around every corner :s

    • The Kins says:

      It’s if your crosshair passes over them. If you keep your crosshair away you can watch them as long as you want.

    • Malk_Content says:

      @ Tusque: Really? The reason I stopped playing minecraft was that after ten minutes of building you were in a position where no enemy could touch you. You didn’t need to be creative about your defences or be particularly careful about exploring. Without danger the need to upgrade wasn’t really there. Now with an enemy who might even be able to let other guys at you (moving the blocks away from your precious wall) you might actually need cacti defences, lava moats and death pits!

    • skinlo says:

      I never play on normal or hard, peaceful only for me, so it seems like I won’t be seeing these at all.

  7. CaspianRoach says:

    Now we just need some wood and blue dye…

  8. soldant says:

    Somebody likes Marble Hornets/Slenderman.

  9. Baka says:

    SCP-173 and the Doctor Who Angels come to mind.

    • timmyvos says:

      As does Slenderman/The Operator

    • Alexander Norris says:

      “Enderman” is pretty obviously just Slenderman. :P

    • PodX140 says:

      Kudos to the 173 knowledge, this looks about the same, and just as messed up (minus the human feces/blood on the floor thing)

  10. Shazbut says:

    This sounds bloody cool to me but I’m not a real Minecraft player.

  11. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    That’s fucking terrifying. Thanks Notch.

  12. Legionary says:

    A very creative enemy. These will join creepers as original and scary critters. Now if only we could lose skellingtons, spiders and zombies and replace them with other less standard but more nightmarish foes.

  13. poop says:

    glad to see notch is implementing adventure properly instead of wasting time adding in enemies based on ancient somethingawful memes that will crash servers for weeks

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Ah, so you’re saying he shouldn’t have the right to decide what to do in developing his own game?

      Guess what, if you paid for minecraft you should have realised it was in development. And sure, you pay money for a complete product at the end, but what that product exactly is or how/when it happens is not up to you.

      And you know, it’s not like the adventure update will be tossed aside. Sheesh.

    • poop says:

      yes, i am saying he shouldn’t have the right to decide what to do in developing his own game. he makes dumb thing instead of interesting things ;)

    • Durkonkell says:

      Gods, whine, whine, whine “I can make better design decisions than Notch”…

      Why aren’t you rolling in squidillions of megapounds from your successful indie title then?

    • poop says:

      im not saying that i can make better decisions than him as much as saying that he should do the cool things he promises instead of getting distracted by dumb shit all the time
      I thought rps could tollerate people disliking things better but im getting teh impression that notch is the dude you gotta love

      also “I’d like to see you do better mr smartypants” its some serious year 3 shit dude

    • The Sentinel says:

      Notch stated quite clearly that there would be a new scary mob coming. Whether he does that as part of the adventure update or not is besides the point – I’d much rather they take time to get things exactly right than shove a bunch of half-baked crap at us a la the mod scene. Your comment, rude though it is, also completely disrespects the amount of time and effort that must go into testing and evaluating what they’re building.

    • Daoler says:

      Well, I’d like having more enemies in Adventure Mode, so it’s cool with me.

    • poop says:

      new scary enemy= gimmick based on oldass creepypasta. got it.

    • Gnoupi says:

      From the blog post :

      Last weekend, I started working on a new mob because I was frustrated with the slow progress on some town code I was writing, and for some reason I decided to make yet another creepy one.

      Because sometimes, when you work over something big and frustrating for weeks and are not getting something “visible” from it yet, it is nice to take a few days to do something simple which actually adds something to your product, some visible change. Then you can come back to the big frustrating algorithm.

  14. RagingLion says:

    That’s a little slice of game design genius right there.

    • LTK says:

      Game design genius you say? Let’s see if Notch agrees.

      “Game design 101! 1: Post screenshot of new mob. 2: Read speculation. 3: Implement the cool stuff, pretend it was the plan all along. #lost”

    • PFlute says:

      While I understand what you’re saying here, I’d like to point out that listening to community input and properly separating the wheat from the chaff is still more than I can say for a lot of games I’ve played.

  15. Ondrej says:

    Reminds me of that scary Amnesia creature, which I found to be hair-raising scary. And that’s a good thing. Anyone else feel the same about it?

  16. LTK says:

    So, in theory, once you look straight at one, you could walk backwards while maintaining eye contact until you’re either out of range or in a safe place. That’ll be interesting.

    It’ll be hellish for newbies to deal with them though. How do you figure out that they only attack when you look at them?

    • Diziet Sma says:

      By looking at one and getting ganked.
      Player: “Oooh that’s a strange new beast.”
      *player walks closer*
      Player: “Oh my what funny eye’s you ha… aghh ugghhhhhh.”

    • matnym says:

      You’ll be walking backwards of cliffs and into pools of lava or worse, into a creeper :O

  17. Diziet Sma says:

    I’ve always found teleporting enemies to be a huge cop out to artificially increase difficulty. Can anyone suggest a previous game/design that has done this, in your opinion, correctly? I’m not condemning the change, let’s see how/where it goes.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I don’t know.. the way it’s described (they’ll teleport if they can’t reach you), them teleporting is likely to invalidate any wall or gate players might build. Windows? Better not have windows.

      Cactuses might work, but then again, probably not. Drowning won’t work, but fire or lava might.

      We’ll have to see, but I don’t think I like the teleporting as it’s described.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      I loved the Wraith in Doom 3. (and in doom 1/2 with the scoredoom extra monsters pack).

      They also work quite well in rogue-likes.

  18. Shadrach says:

    Ha, Duke Nukem 3D (and DNF) had teleporting enemies. So there, Minecraft!

  19. JuJuCam says:

    Interesting what people thought the inspiration for this was. I recall notch recently tweeting that he was playing a Zelda game (A Link to the Past, I believe), and while they don’t appear in that particular title, this reminds me most of the ReDeads from Ocarina of Time, those bastards that paralyze you with a scream and then leap on your back and chomp your neck for brutal damage. Maybe they’re not necessarily a whole lot alike but the concept of eye contact being dangerous just rang a bell for me.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Man those things from OoT scare the hell out of me.

      *hums the song of sun*

    • Urthman says:

      Yeah, if they are completely silent, freeze when you look at them, and then pounce with a terrible screech the instant you look away…

  20. Khann says:

    Definitely seems to be a bit (a lot) of Slenderman/The Operator influence here.

  21. Moth Bones says:

    An excellent conceit. What an absolute bargain Minecraft was.

  22. quism says:

    Reminds me somewhat of The Sentinel. Now there was a creepy, ultra-tense game, even on the Spectrum.

  23. adonf says:

    Giant enemies moving blocks and turning to look at you… Did this remind anyone else of The Sentinel ?

    edit: Well, anyone else but quism and me ;)

    • Inigo says:

      Now all we need to do is persuade John Carpenter to make a soundtrack for it.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      It is kind-of Sentinel-ish, but in the case of the Sentinel, it was more what it was looking at rather than where you are looking that provided the amagadimmagunnadie factor.

    • The Sentinel says:

      They’re kind of reverse sentinels? In that game (which I clearly love to absolute pieces) it was it’s gaze falling upon you that triggered the danger of complete absorbtion. Here, it’s you/your reticle falling in the Enderman that sets them off at you. Don’t look directly at them!

      And while I love any version of the game, the ZX Spectrum version is the one that has my heart and, for my money, the best music/sound design. The glacial pace, the tinny sound chip…both worked best here. :)

  24. JasPurewal says:

    What happens if you find two of them…?

    • Tei says:

      I safe to walk around then, but you sould never look at then directly.

      Somewhat like shy students and hot chicks, really. “DON’T MAKE EYE CONTACT!”.

  25. sinister agent says:

    Rest your reticule on them and they turn to look at you.

    Well, to be fair, if someone put their handbag on your head, you’d probably give them a funny look, too.

  26. Coins says:

    They remind me of those things in that game I forgot the name of. In the deserts, with the cloaks. From that game that’s not for the PC.

    Also, I like this idea. Yay, Notch.

  27. Stranglove says:

    So, they move blocks around, eh? What are the chances that they are building a temple to the 20 metre tall giant Enderman?

    • JackShandy says:

      I say they’re building their own, better minecraft beneath the bedrock.

    • sinister agent says:

      I say they’re the restless spirits of former visitors to minecraftland, endlessly shuffling blocks back and forth, yet never remembering why.

  28. Tams80 says:

    Ummm, RuneScape has teleporting enemies and I’m sure there are many other games that do. Nothing is therefore still not original.

    Not that I wouldn’t want teleporting enemies in in Minecraft… actually, I really fear what they will do now. =(

  29. sinister agent says:

    What happens when one of them looks in a mirror?

    • Stranglove says:

      It’d look away and find itself careening towards the mirror.

  30. Eukatheude says:

    Sounds a lot like the librarian from Metro 2033.

  31. Davie says:

    And just like that, Minecraft becomes the perfect Slender Man simulator. Is there anything it can’t do?

    In other news, I won’t be sleeping the night 1.8 comes out.

  32. Carra says:

    Don’t startle the witch, euh endermen.

  33. Heinrich says:

    I just realized, though: these will be pretty easy to deal with if you do look at one. Just get close enough for the bow to hit where you’re looking, and start shooting.

  34. Synesthesia says:

    it sounds amazing, im just worried the reticle thing wont work. Maybe a quick pass over them wont bother them, and that would be cool.

    But if just hovering over them for a moment triggers them, then we would have to wobble the mouse over the screen just to have a white cross not touching it, which would be pretty uncomfortable.

    Still love them. its behavior will probably be bukkit’d to.

  35. Araxiel says:

    Now where’s that link to the “friendly, jolly and gay (as in happy, not homosexual), endermen”-mod?
    Suddenly appearing Skeletons and Creepers already scare the blocks out of me, now we have this.
    Also, I’m really afraid of what some of the texturepacks can turn them in.
    I remember that a few times I lit every light in the house just to make sure no monsters can spawn…in real-life!

    Oh, Minecraft literaly turns into nightmare fuel

  36. Apollyon13 says:

    “ yet another creepy one.”

    Does that mean he added more then 1 new creepy mob?(not including elndermen)