The Aether is a very large, very MinecraftGame Mod, being considered the biggest and best before more mods of a similar variety took its place. It takes the un-included sky dimension and expands it into something worthy of its own game, and acts as an opposite to the Nether. Whereas the Nether is pockets of sky surrounded entirely by rock, the Aether is just the opposite — pieces of landsurrounded entirely by sky, with no water ocean. The mod was created by a collaboration of Kingbdogz, Flan, Kodaichi, Shockah and 303.What makes the Aether a huge mod is not just its added terrain generator (there are plenty of terrain generator mods out there). It's also an entirely different geology, with its own unique rocks, its own unique soils, etc. And it has a different ecosystem as well, with original mobs (animal creatures) that spawn only in the Aether. And there are three tiers of dungeon, each with a boss battle.The Aether is currently in version 1.04_01, and works on Minecraft version 1.0.0. However, the download link is down, and must be found elsewhereThe Aether development team is currently working on a radically improved version of the mod that will be functional with SMP. An Alpha version is available here. You can see their progress on the Aether Facebook page.The tropes on this page are specific to the Aether. For tropes that pertain to Minecraft in general, see that page.
All There in the Manual: The Aether mod includes three new items — three books comprising three volumes of the Book of Lore. These are in-game guidebooks that tell you the purpose of items you find. Volume 1 pertains to the Minecraft Overworld and items that already exist there. Volume 2 pertains to the Nether. And volume 3 pertains to items original to the Aether. These books need not be found — depending on which dimension you are currently in, pressing B on the keyboard will automatically add the relevant Book of Lore volume to your inventory.
Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Sheepuffs, unlike surface sheep, come in a lovely variety of pastel colors. Besides the normal white and normal grey, there's also pink, lime green, cyan, light blue and purple.
Blood Knight: The Valkyries, who seem to be happy to fight you.
Chest Monster: Much of the time if you find a mysterious treasure chest in a Dungeon, it will be this. It gets up and walks toward you. You can beat it off with your sword until it dies, sometimes dropping empty chests as a reward.
Darkness Equals Death: Inverted. Unlike on the surface world where the greatest danger is in the dark and the night, the Aether's regular dangers are out and about in broad daylight. There are actually fewer monsters in the dark, and none spawn inside man-made caves. (Far fewer natural caves exist in the Aether.) It's usually a good assumption that if you're completely underground, you're safe from monsters. The Bronze, Silver and Gold Dungeons have dangers of their own, but their light levels have nothing to do with this.
Played straight in the upcoming Aether 2. Zephyrs that spawn at night are basically miniature Ghasts, and more is coming, so who knows what else is in store...
Double Jump: Tame saddled moas can be ridden, but their flight capabilities are limited to triple jumps (for blue moas), quadruple jumps (for white moas) or octuple jumps (for black moas) before they must land.
Expy: Giant moa can be saddled and ridden around the sky, like chocobo. Also, like chocobo, they come in different colors indicative of their abilities. The rarest color (and by far the most capable) isblack.
Feathered Fiend: Cockatrices look like a different color of moa, but are hostile and fire poison darts at you.
Glowing Eyes of Doom: So many examples. The Slider, every Labyrinth mob with eyes, the Tempests, the Sun Spirit...
Green Hill Zone: It's very green and beautiful, and very dangerous if you are poorly prepared.
Implacable Man: Make no mistake, should you manage to break a Slider out of his chamber, he will hunt you the hell down until one of you is dead. He can not be run from as standard Minecraft monsters can.
Jerkass: While the Valkyrie General is fairly sophisticated, her minions are not so much. They will taunt you outright and get mad at you if you win.
Level Grinding: While the Aether's current incarnation does not implement experience levels, the Aether shares an element Minecraft has in general, where an accumulation of rare and precious equipment gives you an advantage that helps you succeed. But you have to go through a lot of grinding-like work to get there — you usually need to clear more than one Bronze Dungeon to be able to clear a Silver Dungeon, and you usually need to clear more than one Silver Dungeon to be able to clear a Gold Dungeon. Bronze Dungeons are thankfully more abundant than the other two, but often hidden inside the earthy interior of the floating landmasses.
Nature Spirit: The Sun Spirit, a neutral mob, is the boss of the Gold Dungeon. He's the reason the Aether's sun's position is frozen eternally at high noon.
Nintendo Hard: In the original Aether, you could beat the Slider with Zanite armor and tools(even then it was tough, but doable nonetheless). In the Aether 2, this is no longer true. The Slider can now combo you, stacking up damage before launching you away, and without Gravitite armor, you take lots of fall damage. That and he summons explosive cubes to distract you. Oh yeah, and he still requires a pickaxe to beat, and is now VERY unpredictable in his movements, making it hard to tell where he'll go next. And that's just the first dungeon; as of this writing, the Silver and Gold dungeons have not been revealed, but are expected to be much worse.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: After you defeat the Sun Spirit, it brings an end to the Aether's eternal daylight, and ushers in normal day/night cycles. While this does not mean new dangerous mobs at night, there is a significantly greater danger of falling off land's edge because you couldn't see well enough in the dark.
Obvious Alpha: As Aether 1.02 was only released for Minecraft Beta 1.7.3 and development of the Aether was put on hiatus until a Minecraft 1.0.0 release, Aether 1.03 only resumed development after Minecraft 1.0.0 was released and the other mods that the Aether depended on were updated to support Minecraft 1.0.0 as well. Aether 1.03 had to fundamentally rewrite large areas of long derelict Aether code to support the many differences between Minecraft Beta 1.7.3 and Minecraft 1.0.0. The project was aiming for a Christmas 2011 release, but there was too little time, and it was released as Christmas Day was already well underway in most of the world. The result was extremely buggy and crash-prone. And some of the bugs were Game Breaking Bugs, such as skyroot trees not dropping saplings and therefore being unfarmable in survival mode. Aether 1.04 was primarily a bugfix of the bugs introduced into Aether 1.03.
Ominous Floating Castle: Both the Silver Dungeons and the Gold Dungeons fit into this trope. The Silver Dungeon is basically a giant Parthenon-like building floating in the sky shrouded by white aerclouds. The Gold Dungeon is a roughly orb-shaped piece of land crowned with golden oaks, with the fiery Sun Spirit visible inside through the entranceway. This trope is subverted in that neither of these dungeons or their bosses are necessarily evil (or good, for that matter), but they are dangerous places, and if you challenge them, there's a very real possibility you will meet a violent death.
Pegasus: Though there are no actual horses (flying or otherwise), the Aether has flying cows and phygs (flying pigs), both of which have wings. There are also sheepuffs and aerbunnies which float around light as a feather, but do not actually have wings. Aerwhales and zephyrs also do not have wings, but do genuinely fly.
Poison Mushroom: Since 1.03, much of the Aether land is covered with scattered Christmas presents. (A reference to the update being released on Christmas Day, December 25, 2011.) Some of these presents can be broken to yield experience orbs, or things like gingerbread men. But sometimes they yield lit TNT, which soon explodes and blasts a crater in the ground. If there are other presents close by, and any of them are disguised TNT, they will also light, triggering an irritating land-scarring chain reaction.
Punny Name: The name of the Aether is a play on words of the Nether, spelt the same except for one letter. But they do describe concepts of opposite quality — the Nether is what is underneath the land, and the Aether is (in Greek Mythology) the air breathed by the Olympian gods above. But this observed play on words leads to...
No Pronunciation Guide: No one can yet quite agree on how to pronounce "Aether". Some pronounce it to rhyme with "Nether" (and "feather", "heather", "leather", "tether", "weather", "whether", etc.), which has since been Jossed as an incorrect pronunciation. Some pronounce it identically to the existing English word "ether" (which derives from the mythological "aether"). And some pronounce it "ay-ther". Even online people close to the Aether Collaboration seem to inconsistently pronounce it either "ee-ther" or "ay-ther".
Scenery Porn: Minecraft is already known for its Scenery Porn. But special mention needs to be made of how good the Aether's textures and terrain generator have made it look.
Scratch Damage: Valkyrie Pickaxes in the Aether 2 are by far the worst type possible for fighting the Slider with.
Snowball Fight: While zephyrs are a hostile mob, their only weapon are snowballs. Snowballs themselves are harmless, but considering this is a World in the Sky, there's a very real danger their impact will knock you off land's edge.
Worthy Opponent: The Valkyrie General will decline to even fight you until you have defeated at least ten of her valkyries and shown her their medals as proof. She also compliments you on your fighting skills should you succeed.
You Can't Go Home Again: If you're riding a flying animal mount and fall off the world down to the normal world surface, you may not be killed, but your animal mount will never be able to return to their Aether home again, because you won't be able to take them back through the Aether portal with you.