So, the Minecraft Nether update was pretty awesome. What was once an otherwise really boring hell hole is now a flourishing hellscape. We got a bunch of new biomes, new mobs and all sorts! In fact, the modern Nether is so cool that you can very nearly survive completely in it. There are now places to obtain cobble and wood-like items, allowing one to survive nearly indefinitely in the Nether. On top of that, we got some absolutely gorgeous building blocks and light sources, which Medicinal Warlock talked about last August.
But there’s something about the Nether that still feels out of date and, well, horrible.
No, seriously, what the fuck is a Ghast? Go find a picture of a Ghast and have a look at it. It’s some sort of ghost, right? But it’s just a weird, white cuboid. And it has weird wobbling leg tendril things underneath it. Compared to much more modern mobs, the Ghast looks outright horrific and oddly cartoony. But, unlike the Creeper, the Ghast has a lot more space on its pixel body. Which means more room for a hideous facial expression. I want to say that they look sad, but they also kinda look bored these days. Especially since they got a new texture that lightened the wrinkles on their bodies.
These floaty bastards are all over the Nether, making eerie screeching sounds and shooting flaming fire balls at you. The damage from a Ghast’s fire ball is actually among the highest in the game. Such a death ball can easily set you on fire and leave massive craters in the already treacherous Nether landscape, while doing damage slightly less than a charged Creeper explosion.
Ghasts are also a bit of a pain to fight. Sure, you can shoot them with arrows, but any missed arrows are irretrievable, and you might hit an irritable zombie piglin by accident. The best way to kill a Ghast is to reflect its own fireball at it. But good fucking luck doing that on an even remotely laggy multiplayer server. Originally though, they were even worse, because only the bottom half of their body had a hitbox!
The noises it makes are terrifying.
Ghasts themselves wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the noises they make. For some ungodly reason, the sounds of a Ghast can be heard from really far away, echoing around the Nether. You can hear a Ghast from about 80 blocks away. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but in the Nether, where everything can kill you, it certainly is. It’s a horrible reminder that there’s a massive floating screaming ghost baby floating around.
Unfortunately though, most of the noises that Ghasts make are of cats. Or rather, a single cat. According to an AMA on Reddit, C418 (the amazing person who did most of Minecraft’s early sounds) explained how he made the noises. Apparently his pet cat makes some disturbingly human noises when woken from his sleep. Unrelated, cats actually evolved over time to make human baby-like sounds to make themselves more palatable and adoptable to humans. Wild cats actually make very few noises.
Ghasts have mostly been unchanged since Alpha.
Sure, there’s been a few little changes over the years, but Ghasts have remained pretty much the same. In fact, their fireball texture has probably received more changes than the Ghasts themselves. The few changes Ghasts have seen have been bug fixes. For example, they used to aim at the player’s camera rather than the player themselves, which made them miss a lot. Ghasts are more accurate now and track you better.
Apart from these minor changes, the Ghasts we see floating around the Nether are nearly the same as the Ghasts we saw in October and November 2010!
Funnily enough, when Notch teased the existence of Ghasts, back in the Minecraft Alpha Halloween update in 2010, he said that we’d “hate the Ghast”. Well, 10 years later and you’re right. I still hate Ghasts.
Stupid creepy crying ghost bastards.