“I don’t know how to tell you this lewis, but there is an awful lot of shit…”
The Shadow of Israphel series was perhaps one of the most ambitious Minecraft gameplay series ever attempted. It began December 2nd 2010 and holds a special place in many people’s hearts. It detailed the adventures of Lewis and Simon, beginning as any other playthrough, but slowly evolving into an elaborate story with an expansive universe, unbeknownst to Simon and Lewis.
Looking back on the first episode, many, including myself, are filled with nostalgia. The crackle of cheap microphones and the warm tones of Lewis and Simon embarking on their great adventure fills me with memories. A happier and simpler time, one where we could settle down on an evening and engross ourselves into the world the Yogscast spun. Nowadays, they might brush this off as a video series they once did, but it made them who they are. SOI cemented them as one of the great Minecraft channels, and at the time, this meant a lot. Nowadays, Minecraft content is worn out and stale, but these videos are still the best I’ve ever seen.
One can return to the series and still find new things to enjoy, all whilst reveling in the classic moments. It is timeless, and I feel sorry for the young youtube audience that will never see these videos. They are a frozen moment in time, a carbonite image of Minecraft and Youtube’s past, one they will never truly appreciate or understand. With today’s oversaturation of generic content, this story will go un-appreciated and eventually fade into the memories of those who hold it close to them. This is no small thing, I challenge you to find a series loved by so many and as innovative as SOI, I guarantee you will be hard pressed.
SOI is Yogscast past, future and present. It is an unattainable ideal that can never be replicated. It would be impossible for the Yogs to meet the high standards that nostalgia brings, and a monumental task to recapture the feel of SOI. These days, the Yogs strive for polish and finesse whereas SOI was rough and ready. They did what they could with the engine and pushed their limited resources and machines to the test. What they produced was a charming heroe’s journey, something hard if not impossible to produce again. If the Yogs ever returned to SOI it would not be received as well as you might think.
The fans would unpick their hard work, wishing for the ‘old Yogscast’. They would be confused as to why the Yogs can’t perfectly replicate what they once created on a weekly basis. Therefore, it may not be worth the effort it would require to make SOI again, I for one, am glad. I am glad they are not going to return to SOI, it is a legacy best-left untouched, and although the story was never concluded, I believe it needs no addition. Left with an open ending, our nostalgia will never end, the story will never be closed to us, and I am forever to re-watch the series with the knowledge that I will never reach the end.