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The Missing Minecraft Game Has Been Found

Over the last decade, "Minecraft" has become a defining title for modern gaming. The popular game's wide-open freedoms and accessibility to modders have made it one of the most adaptable and customizable titles in history. However, these facts can make tracing the game's full development history a bit tricky. However, "Minecraft" fans recently managed to uncover a bit of that past when a rare version of the game's alpha build was discovered on an old backup drive.


As reported by Kotaku, "Minecraft" has a dedicated community of archivists who have set out to find and preserve versions of the game from throughout its lengthy history. Because the game has pretty much always received constant updates, and had a significant ownership change when it was acquired by Microsoft, putting together a complete record of the game's update history can be difficult.

While "Minecraft" enthusiasts have managed to find and preserve many of those updates, there have always been a few notable gaps in the timeline. One of the most critical missing pieces, which archivists have spent years trying to locate, was the famed 1.1.1 alpha build of the game, which was only available for a few hours and then considered lost.


However, thanks to one longtime fan's dedicated data backup habits, as well as the persistence of the "Minecraft" archival community, it appears the missing link has been located. Here is the chain of events that led to the lost "Minecraft" build reappearing.

The Holy Grail for Minecraft historians

As explained in a detailed thread by Twitter user @Lunasorcery, the rare version of the open-world game was rediscovered after members of the data archivist group Omniarchive noticed a tweet that dated back to September 18, 2010. In that message, Lunasorcery said simply, "oooooohhhhhhh MineCraft update!"


While that wasn't a ton to go on, the time matched up with the release window for the 1.1.1 build of the game, which was quickly taken down and replaced with the 1.1.2 because the former contained a game-ending graphical error. After a failed attempt to contact Luna through Twitter, a member of Omniarchive finally got in touch with her, and she started searching through her old files for a copy of the historic update. 

Soon enough, Luna had located a .jar file (essentially a type of .zip archive) containing a "Minecraft" install with the correct timestamps. After some preliminary checks into the file's version history, Luna shared the file with Omniarchive, who were able to verify that she had uncovered a copy of the missing 1.1.1 build.


As if that wasn't enough to send the "Minecraft" community into a frenzy, a more detailed look at the file's timestamps and the game's update history revealed that Luna had managed to get a copy of the alpha build just minutes before 1.1.2 was compiled and uploaded. 

The lesson from this incredible find? "Never Delete Anything," tweeted Luna. You never know when you're sitting on a piece of gaming treasure.