Minecraft Wiki
This article is about the 2012 Halloween update. For the 2010 Halloween update, see Halloween Update.
For a guide about all the additions and changes in this update, see Java Edition guides/Pretty Scary Update.

The Pretty Scary Update is the name for Java Edition version 1.4.2, a major update officially released on Thursday, October 25, 2012.[1] Among the main changes were a number of new mobs and variants (witches, bats, zombie villagers, wither skeletons), wearable and placeable heads, a new boss (the wither), the command block, the anvil, the beacon, new food (potatoes, carrots and pumpkin pies), carrots on sticks for controlling pigs, the Nether Star, and new decoration items (such as item frames, flower pots and cobblestone walls).

The official name of the update was revealed at PAX Prime 2012 during the Minecraft panel, then later with snapshot 12w36a.[2] Dinnerbone first revealed the 1.4 release date with snapshot 12w40a, where he stated that he was fully into the "Prepare for release" mode.[3]

Development on the Pretty Scary Update began the week after 1.3.1, which was released on August 1, 2012. 15 development snapshots for 1.4 from 12w32a to 12w42b were released. During the development period, 1.3.2 was released. The 1.4 Pre-release was unveiled on October 19, 2012, so that modders could start preparing their mods before the launch on October 24, 2012.[4]

Mojang found a mob suffocation bug after this was released, and was forced to delay the launch by a day. The 1.4.1 Prerelease was unveiled on October 23, 2012,[5] and the release was pushed back a day.

Mojang then found yet another bug, and fixed "a severe memory leak in the server". This, as well as correct rendering of fences and cobblestone stairs, came in the 1.4.2 Prerelease, released on October 24, 2012.[6] 1.4.2 was the first official release of 1.4, available through the launcher on October 25, 2012.

A bug was introduced whereby a player could not achieve the The end? achievement.

The Pretty Scary Update was originally intended to include the Modding API, however this had been pushed to a later version.[7]

Lighting bugs present in 1.3.2 were only partially fixed. Dinnerbone first introduced changes in snapshots 12w39a/b. Dinnerbone tweeted to revert and push this to 1.5.[8][9]
Other changes postponed to 1.5 include redstone changes[10] and a rendering overhaul.[11][12]

Notable features[]

Main article: Java Edition 1.4.2
Notable additions
Notable changes
  • New debug features.
  • Superflat world is now customizable.
  • Changed portal mechanics.
  • New NBT tags to spawn mobs.
  • Boss mobs now show their name above their health bar.
  • New map mechanics.
  • Villagers are now more self aware.
  • Zombies and skeletons can now spawn with armor, and zombies now have a chance of turning a villager into a zombie villager, instead of the villager dying.
  • Zombie pigmen now have a chance to be able to pick up items.


A trailer documenting some of the Pretty Scary Update's major features was released on Mojang's official YouTube channel on October 26, 2012. The trailer was made by Hat Films, who have made update trailers for Mojang in the past.

Further revisions[]



  1. "We found the animal suffocation bug!!!11oneone Unfortunately that means a 1.4.1, and aim for Thursday morning instead of Wednesday afternoon"@jeb_ (Jens Bergensten) on Twitter, October 23, 2012
  2. https://web.archive.org/web/0/http://www.mojang.com/2012/09/minecraft-snapshot-12w36a/
  3. https://web.archive.org/web/0/http://www.mojang.com/2012/10/minecraft-snapshot-12w40a/
  4. https://web.archive.org/web/0/http://www.mojang.com/2012/10/minecraft-snapshot-12w42b-preprerelease/
  5. https://web.archive.org/web/0/http://www.mojang.com/2012/10/minecraft-1-4-1-pre-release/
  6. https://web.archive.org/web/0/http://www.mojang.com/2012/10/minecraft-1-4-2-pre-release/
  7. "Yes, eventually"@jeb_ (Jens Bergensten) on Twitter, September 13, 2012
  8. "I think I'm going to revert the new lighting stuff and come back to it for 1.5. I'd rather get other (actually working) bugfixes in 1.4."@Dinnerbone (Nathan Adams) on Twitter, September 28, 2012
  9. "Lighting is really annoying me now. Reverting everything I've done to it, will come back to it in 1.5 : ("@Dinnerbone (Nathan Adams) on Twitter, October 4, 2012
  10. "The redstone changes we did yesterday will not be in 1.4. We fixed incorrect behaviours, but those behaviours are used in many contraptions"@jeb_ (Jens Bergensten) on Twitter, October 4, 2012
  11. "Looks like we can keep the lighting code; Managed to selectively revert the worldgen portion. Nether is good, but blackspots are back."@Dinnerbone (Nathan Adams) on Twitter, October 1, 2012
  12. https://web.archive.org/web/0/http://www.mojang.com/2012/08/weekly-chunk-paxmineconsnapshot/
  13. https://web.archive.org/web/0/http://mojang.com/2012/10/minecraft-pretty-scary-update