He said that it started when he beat the dragon. There was something about the ending that just unsettled him. I don't get it, myself. I've never managed to beat the game myself, but I've seen videos of the little story at the end of the game. It's really pretentious, and meta, with this, "Everything is real. The universe loves you." message that just makes me roll my eyes. This isn't my story, though, it's his, and he said that the ending creeped him out from beginning to end. He couldn't stand it. Said he deleted the map and started a new world, because it bothered him so much. After that, he avoided going to the end, avoided strongholds.
For a while, he said, that seemed to work. He could fight mobs, build TNT cannons, and all the stuff he loved about Minecraft. The game was good again. After a while, though, he started to feel like something was watching him, and sometimes he'd find things that he hadn't placed. Sometimes it was something that could be natural, like a Netherrack staircase up to a fortress. Sometimes it was a chest with Ender Pearls or a Bow, or something else to make things easier. Of course, I teased him about it. I said he was haunted by Herobrine. He told me it wasn't Herobrine. He said it was like the game wanted him to fight the dragon, and he refused.
The longer he played, the more he was being watched. He could feel the eyes on him. They followed him everywhere...but it wasn't Herobrine. The way he told it, it was everything. A group of mobs would just stand there, staring at him. They wouldn't move at all, except to turn to each-other, and then back to him. They wouldn't even make a sound when they were doing it. His own animals started doing it too. Then it was villagers. He said it wasn't like their normal socializing. They would turn toward him in unison, then back to each-other. They followed him around. When it got to be too much, he started blowing up and burning down their buildings. It stopped for a while after that. At least, he thought it did.
It was only a day or two, he told me, before he started to realize they'd just gotten less obvious. He started noticing it out of the corner of his eye. He said that the NPCs still stared at him, but they'd look away when he was facing them. If he turned fast enough, he could catch them moving. Sometimes, he'd just be walking along and find an item on the ground, too. It might be a mob drop, especially Ender Pearls, or Gold Nuggets, but he said he found roses the most. Sometimes there'd be a blank sign nearby. Honestly, I think he just took the ending too seriously, and was starting to snap...but this is his story, not mine. He swore it wasn't Herobrine.
One day, though, he got the ending again. He wasn't even anywhere near the End. In fact, he wasn't even near a stronghold. He told me that he'd gone out of his way to make sure he wasn't. He'd made a new world again. It took forever, but he located all the strongholds. Then he got far, far away from them. He travelled as far as he could through the Nether. The fortresses seemed to be everywhere, he said. He never went in them...wouldn't even go near them. When he ran out of food and hunger, he came back out, and started clearing the land where he was. He told me that he made the site completely barren, just gravel and stone. No mobs, no trees, and most of all no villagers. With all the materials he'd gathered, he started to build a castle, no...a fortress, he told me. I could hardly believe it - Him? Building? - but the way he described the cobble paths, the slabs and smooth stone to make tiled floors, I really could picture it. Plus, I know that he didn't come out of his house much for that month. So, I believe him. That's not the point, though. What he told me was that, during the night after he finished it, it was surrounded by Endermen. They just stood there, staring at his walls, with no other mobs in sight. Then, the sun rose over his creation, and when it did, the credits started to play, congratulating him for his accomplishment.
That's when he threw his laptop out the window. I've seen the damage. He must have thrown it pretty damn hard. Still, there's only one thing I can say for sure. That was the last time he ever played Minecraft. I don't believe him, but I do wonder sometimes why the ending hit him so hard. Was there really something so terrible about being told the world loves him? Sure, he's never been the most social guy, but he's good to his friends. As for me, I don't play Minecraft much either anymore. It's just hard to play a game when you know that your best friend snapped over it, and can't stand the thought of it now. Sometimes, though, when I do play, I'll find an Enderman with a rose, and catch myself wondering just what it means. All I can tell you is...it wasn't Herobrine.