Meet the Polar Bear

Beware these cuddly killers from snowbound lands

Bears: adorable at a distance. This is true in Minecraft, just as it is in real life. They may look huggable and furry, but they are full of teeth, and not too fussy about what, or who, constitutes a meal. Not that polar bears will necessarily attack you on sight in Minecraft. One of the rules the developers have set for the game is that the only kinds of things that will try to hurt you without provocation are monsters. (This is one of the reasons Jens chose to axe the Killer Bunny!)

Polar bears are neutral mobs, but that didn’t feel sufficiently dangerous for Jens, so he made a special case: if they have a cub following them, they will become aggressive if you get within a short distance of them, mimicking the protectiveness of a parent over a child. In this case, a massive parent with massive claws. Don’t mess with them.

Of course, this has led to some fun community-created exploits to make bears which are super-aggressive. To make one, summon a polar bear with a polar bear cub riding on it and voila: a permanently provoked polar bear jockey! Xzibit would be proud - and rightly terrified.

But where did the desire to add polar bears come from? It turns out Jens’ wife, Jenny, is a bit of a fan.

We have a room in our house where all polar bear-related items end up. It’s essentially the library, or a hallway, really, with all our books in it, and there are two chairs so you can sit and read if you want - but we have a polar bear tapestry on the wall, and lots of polar bear plushies. So it feels like a Polar Bear room.

Jenny had been nagging me for a long time to add a bear to Minecraft. And so I told her - well, if we ever have a bear of our own, I’ll add a bear in Minecraft. And then it turned true, because our son was born and we called him Björn - which means bear in Swedish! So I had to add a bear in the game. Jens Bergensten