Minecraft rd-132211 the Oldest Alpha Available & How to Play It

Published by Jared Kunz on

In this tutorial we will go through how to install and play the oldest available version of Minecraft when it was known as “old_alpha rd-132211”. It was also referred to at one time as “Cave Game” and RubyDung (RD), therefore this file is named “rd”. Here are the steps to download and play MC rd-132211, with pictures.

Step One: You will need to download and install Minecraft Java Edition from minecraft.net. Once you’ve installed it you will see the Minecraft Launcher icon. Launch Minecraft and log in using your Microsoft account or Mojang account:

Step Two: After the launcher opens, navigate to the settings menu via the settings button in the lower left corner then find this “Show historical versions…” checkbox and click it:

Now navigate to the “Installations” tab within the launcher:

Step Three: Within the “Installations” menu, click on the checkbox next the the “Releases” option. It is found to the top far right of this screen.

Step Four: Click on the button “New Installations” button. This will bring up the screen where you can input data to create a new installation.

Step Five: 5A) – Click on the drop down on the “VERSION” field to select the version of minecraft you want to install.

5B) In this case, you want the oldest alpha version available, i.e. “old_alpha rd-132211”.

5C) – In the NAME field you can give your new installation an arbitrary name like “MC Cave Game alpha rd-132211 RubyDung” or whatever you like.


Step Six: 6A) Once you’ve completed all sub-steps in Step 5, before you click the “Create” button, you should click the “BROWSE” button in the “GAME DIRECTORY” field, otherwise this new installation will use your default minecraft directory.

6B) Once you click the “BROWSE” button, a “Browser for Folder” Windows dialog will pop-up where you can create a new folder. If all goes correctly, you should be able to scroll down in this “Browse For Folder” window and you will notice that Mojang/Microsoft have done you a favor here in conveniently locating you in the default location of the .minecraft folder, i.e.: C:\Users\<yourusername>\AppData\Roaming\.minecraft

6B) continued I highly recommend, based upon my experience messing around with Minecraft installations for the past few years, that you create a new minecraft folder for this installation in this same Roaming directory, yet you can really create it anywhere you please, that is convenient for you to find it later. For example you could name it .minecraft-old-alpha-rd-132211. In my case, I don’t like having periods in front of my folder names and I like to group series of things into a single folder, so I created a folder with the follow directory structure and name:


6C) – Make the new folder, name it as you please, locate it where you please

6D) – Verify your folder was made and that you have selected it as your game directory

6E) – Hit OK. The image below should give a visual summary of all the base sub-steps, in case you lost track. 🙂

Step Seven: 7A) Now you have created your new installation, you should see something like the following (don’t be alarmed about the orange triangle with the exclamation mark):

That’s just warning you that you’re playing a “version of Minecraft that doesn’t support the latest safety features, etc”. Well, I guess you can be alarmed about that if you want to.

7B) – Now it’s time to hit the “Play” button and check out this old version of the game!!

But wait….there’s one more darn thing…

Step Eight: You have to read this disclaimer and you can check a box so you don’t have to be warned again.

Press the play button.

Finally you’re in to the old version of the game!!

There is no dirt in this version, only grass cubes and stone cubes and a sky/air blue background. You don’t see any arms or tools, just this highlighting selector square.

There are no mobs, only you and this wide open landscape, but you can fall off the edge of it:

If you fall off the edge, just push the R button on your keyboard and you will magically fly back and cycle around to different locations on the map.

You can also dig a hole through the bottom of the map, just like in Creative mode Minecraft. There is no bedrock in this version:

You might see some nice views on your way down the hole

The game is fairly stable, why not build some stuff and have fun?

If you made it all the way to the end of this tutorial, thank you for reading!! I really appreciate it. Here are some more “gems”, such as, when you extract the rd-132211.jar file, you find that subfolders and class files are actually called “RubyDung.class” etc. Is this early version of Minecraft actually the remnants of the original RubyDung??

One of the files in the .jar is the terrain.png. In later versions you can see the pixelated terrain designs begin to increase, although some terrain isn’t used. In this version, the only terrain we can find is the grass and the stone. This version is very bare bones. It appears to be as close to a working copy of the absolute very “beginning” of the world of minecraft as we can get.

What does RubyDung even mean??? Probably just a joke name made up by a software dev… Here is what I built in about a half hour messing around with MC rd-132211. If you builid something, please drop a link to some screen grabs in my comments.

Not very much is known about RD other than it was influenced by the game Dwarf Fortress. RD was cancelled in early dev, before being released. Notch, the creator of Minecraft aka Markus Persson reused RD’s codebase for this early version of what would become Minecraft (aka Cave Game, aka RD).


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