One of the reasons Minecraft is such a relaxing experience – ignoring the creepers – is its beautiful piano soundtrack. But what if piano music was part of the gameplay?
That’s the question seemingly asked by YouTuber Jachael123, who hooked up a real-life MIDI keyboard in order to play his way through the blocky world of Minecraft. As shown in the highlights reel video below, he managed to work his way up from hitting trees to hitting the ender dragon, using only the power of the black and white keys. I can’t say it’s the most tuneful piece to listen to, but it sure is entertaining. Must be a modern composition.
This isn’t the first time someone has played Minecraft using a piano keyboard – as explained in the full playthrough on Jachel123’s secondary channel, the inspiration for this endeavour came from YouTuber Dylan Tallchief, who managed to get one working back in August 2019. Jachael123 asked to use Tallchief’s key-binding preset (using the program Bome MIDI Translator Pro), and took it to another level by completing the entire game with the piano. From my brief search around the internet, Jachael123 appears to be the first person to have completed Minecraft with a piano.
The way this works is that some of the keys allow the player to move the cursor up and down, while others are bound to what would normally be used for movement on PC (WASD). Apparently it feels pretty slow to control, “like using the arrow keys on your keyboard”, or “just like using a controller, but the movement isn’t as smooth”.
“B4 made my mouse move five pixels per 200ms to the left while being held, C#5 did the same but upwards, D5 was down, and F5 was right”, Jachael123 explained on Reddit. “D#5 was scroll down so I could go through my hotbar easily, and C5 and E5 were left and right click respectively. That’s how I was able to move my mouse in-game and in my inventory.”
The playlist explains Jachael123’s struggles in full, and the final ender dragon battle is particularly impressive – particularly given the piano controls made it difficult to avoid looking at endermen. Jachael123 even managed to pull off some impressive moves using a water bucket to break his fall. The entire effort took seven and a half hours, while the final fight last one and a half hours – during which Jachael123 died “at least five times”. As my piano teacher would say, practice makes perfect.