During the 2010 Halloween update, Notch momentarily had an alternate download link available from the development blog. I decided to update from the blog, rather than let Minecraft update on its own. I simply extracted all of the files from the Winzip file to the game. I was about to leave for an out-of-country trip, so I (unwillingly) had to extract the files, shut down, and leave for Europe without trying the new features.
I returned two weeks later and forgot about Minecraft for a while. I needed to do a project for my Mass Communications class, though, so I wanted some somber melodies to accompany it. Instantly, I thought of Minecraft's bleak tunes and went digging into the Minecraft .ogg files. I chose calm2.ogg for the presentation, but I stuck around to listen to the other songs. In the 'resources' file, there was a folder, all on its own, entitled simply, "New Folder."
I opened the folder to find "ashes1ashes.ogg" and played it in Audacity. There was nothing really heard, just silence and faint clicking noises. I sent the song to a fellow Minecrafter who works professionally with sound editing, but they didn't find anything. I eventually started to play Minecraft again, for the first time in a month. The game updated and I played all night, making portals to the Nether and messing around.
I wanted to listen to 'ashes1ashes.ogg' again, but the folder had been removed upon Minecraft updating. I found the file in my e-mails and downloaded the attachment back onto my computer, this time throwing the song with the other music files. That's when everything went downhill.
I opened up my world to find everything on fire, including myself. My hearts would run out, refill, then run out again. Everything was on fire: the grass, the water, even the pigs and chickens. I tried reloading the world several times, but everything still burned. I deleted the world and created a new one, but that world was on fire as well. I decided to explore a bit and tried playing through a day. It was upon sunrise, the time music generally starts to play, that I heard it.
It was a man, humming a melody, clear as day. I listened to it, through the cracks and pops of the fire. It wasn't any recognizable tune, just something a father would hum to a sleepy child. Halfway through the song, the humming started to break up into a bit of a sob. Finally, the song cut off abruptly and the game shut down. There were no pop-up warnings or title screens. The world was deleted, too.
I searched for 'ashes1ashes.ogg' on the forums, to no avail. I checked the blog and noticed that the alternate download link I used on Halloween had been removed. Then I googled it, producing an angelfire page with two links: 'ashes1ashes.ogg' and 'ashes2ashes.ogg.' The first song produced the same sounds as the ones I had - silence and clicks. Hesitantly, I listened to ashes2ashes.ogg. It seemed to pick up where 'ashes1ashes' had left off. The humming turned almost directly to complete sobbing. The sobbing turned to silence, and and at the end the man spoke something in what seemed to be another language.
I transferred 'ashes2ashes.ogg' to the music folder in Minecraft, and all hell broke loose. Never again.
(Click here to go to the AngelFire site mentioned in the story. You're welcome.)