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Game Information

An image of the original Myst Packaging.
Original Release Date Publishers Designers Composers Platforms Storage Method Game In Series
September 24, 1993 Broderbund, Midway games (Re-release), Mean Hamster Software(re-release), Sunsoft (Re-release) Rand and Robyn Miller Robyn Miller Mac, Windows, Saturn, PlayStation, Jaguar CD, Amiga OS, CD-i, 3DO, PSP (Re-release), Nintendo DS (Re-release) CD-ROM First

Original Technical Specifications for Windows Processor Operating System Hard Drive Space RAM CD-ROM Graphics Sound
386@33 MHz Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 4 MB 4 MB 2x 640x480, 256 Colors Windows Compatible





Original Technical Specifications for Macintosh Processor Operating System Hard Drive Space RAM CD-ROM Graphics
68020@16 MHz Mac OS 7.0.1 or greater (OS 9.x or higher not supported) 3 MB 4 MB 1x 256 Colors





The most well-known of the Myst games as well as the game that started the craze, Myst changed the face of computer software forever. Besides drawing more adults into video gaming and setting standards that later games aspired to follow, Myst also helped usher in the use of the CD-ROM drive, a then-new and relatively unused format that is now used as the preferred medium of storing files, pictures, music, games, and documents. Myst was a huge success, selling millions of copies and becoming the best-selling game for years until The Sims exceeded its sales in 2002.


The iconic image of the Stranger falling  is an emblem of the Myst Series.Myst places you, the player (or as Myst fans would dub you, The Stranger), on a strange and seemingly deserted island. The story goes that you somehow come into the possession of an odd book, which you later learn is a special gateway to another world called a linking book. The way you discover this is by accidentally using it and linking to Myst Island! Unfortunately, the book’s only a one-way trip, leaving you stranded. As you explore the island, you eventually discover that something has gone wrong on Myst Island; a family quarrel between a man named Atrus and his sons, Sirrus and Achenar, gone bad. The task is now up to you to discover what exactly happened on Myst Island and figure out whom you can trust – if you can trust anyone there at all.



Rand Miller as Atrus.There are only three characters in Myst barring you. The first, Atrus, is a descendent of the ancient D’ni and knows how to write linking books through a special art he learned from his father. Atrus is quiet, generally kindly, and very scientific, but unfortunately a bit scatter-brained, preferring to shelve a problem rather than face it. This last trait gets him into a lot of trouble throughout the series and is generally the entire reason for the plots of the games. Atrus was played by Rand Miller, who reprised the role in the following four games.
Robyn Miller as Sirrus.
The second character, Sirrus, is the younger of the two brothers by about three years. Sirrus is arrogant, high-strung, and greedy, but seems to be the better-adjusted one of the two brothers. Sirrus greatly enjoys the finer things in life, as his lavish rooms around the various worlds of Myst can attest to, and is also a drug addict. He is a skilled liar and manipulator, but he’s also a brilliant scientist, as we later see when he returns in Myst IV: Revelation. In Myst, Sirrus was portrayed by Robyn Miller.
Rand Miller as Achenar.
Achenar, the elder brother, is crazy. Or at least, that’s the first impression you get of him. Achenar is psychotic and extremely dangerous, and it’s very hard to really believe anything Achenar says because of this, leading the player to naturally want to trust Sirrus more. He is a skilled hunter and even an artist, as we later learn in Myst IV: Revelation. His rooms don’t help his case in the least, being full of trophies from the hunt, poisons, weapons, and various other disturbing items. There is some speculation that his brother goaded him into being a sort of torture technician for him, but most fans believe that Achenar was in it on his own. In Myst, Achenar was played by Rand Miller.

The Worlds of Myst

The original Myst has five worlds, called ages, in the game. There is also another age, Rime, which was created for and released with realMyst, a remake. The ages may be played in any order.

A map of Myst island from above.

• Myst Island: The home age and starting point for the game. Myst Island is a strange world - a single island with all sorts of seemingly random buildings, such as marble pillars, a library, two enormous gears, a sunken ship, and a rocket ship, to name a few. The most prominent feature is a large mountain that holds a hidden tower, used to find the clues that will unlock the other four ages.
• Channelwood: A swampy forest age with three levels. The bottom level is much like a marsh walk with wooden platforms leading to a windmill. The second level is some sort of abandoned treetop village. The third level is Sirrus and Achenar’s private area, with bedrooms and what appears to be a small temple. The age is powered by water; to get around, you simply adjust a few of the controls on the lower level.
• Selenitic: This was once a very lush age, but decades of geological upset and a run-in with some meteors have turned it into a wasteland. The puzzles here are all based on sound, to the bane of some Myst fans.
• Stoneship: This age consists of a marooned ship stuck on a large rock. The most defining feature, aside from the rather large ship, is a lighthouse. The lower tunnels are flooded and lead to Sirrus and Achenar’s bedrooms. A lonely telescope sets at the top of the mountain-like rock the ship is stuck onto.
• Rime: Found only in a few re-releases of Myst, Rime is a bonus age and Easter Egg that the player can find and explore after beating the game. Rime is a bitterly cold age that is always snowing. There’s not a lot to see here save for Atrus and Catherine’s home-away-from-home and Atrus’ study.



DevelopmentA view of Stoneship from the Lighthouse.

The concept for Myst was originally based upon an unpublished story written by one of the Miller brothers called Dunny Hut. The story involved the adventures of a young boy who discovers an underground kingdom called, unsurprisingly, Dunny. He soon discovers that he is a long-lost inhabitant of this underground world. This story was eventually recycled into part of the plot of Myst, and the young boy became Atrus, whom the player winds up helping out of several sticky spots throughout the series. The two brothers in the game, Sirrus and Achenar, were originally supposed to be a bit of a yin and yang duo – Achenar being the dark, evil brother, and Sirrus being the good brother – and Atrus was really supposed to be dead. But with the development of the plot, the Millers decided that Atrus should be alive and that both the brothers should be the bad guys. This decision made the player’s choice between the brothers much more difficult and much more of a choice between the lesser of two evils.

The terrain proved to be the toughest aspect to create. The brothers had trouble figuring out exactly how to map and render the various ages and their terrain at first, but solved this issue by creating grayscale height maps and extruding them to create elevation. The terrain, once finished, was later colored, textured, and had buildings and trees added to it to finish the look. Because of the limited capabilities of computers at the time, the brothers used texture to finish the graphics, rendering even the smallest things, such as a screw in a metal plate, by hand. This helped further enhance the realism that the game strove to portray. The images were also compressed with Quicktime and stored in 8-bit color with custom color palettes, so that the images loaded quickly and looked like true color even though they had low color depth. Overall, Myst contains 2,500 pre-rendered images, all modeled and created in StrataVision 3D for the Apple Macintosh and polished in Photoshop 1.0 for the Apple Macintosh.

Myst was created on the Macintosh Quadra and was constructed in HyperCard, a popular Macintosh-based programming tool at the time. Each age was a different HyperCard ‘stack’, or set of data. The navigation for the game was handled by HyperCard’s HyperTalk programming language. Because CD-ROM drives were very slow at the time of Myst’s creation, Cyan really had to work at making everything load quickly. All the movies were compressed with Quicktime to make them run faster. In total, there is 66 minutes of film in Myst.

The gear tower that makes up the Mechanical Age. The audio for the game was another difficult task. The worlds of Myst were obviously not real places, but each age had to sound real or else the player wouldn’t be drawn into the game. The Miller brothers, along with Chris Brandekamp, a friend of theirs, began their search for sounds, and found them in some very unlikely places. Because some real-life things didn’t sound real, the team had to find different options – for example, the sound of fire in a boiler was created by driving over the gravel in the Miller brothers’ driveway. The sound of a large clock chime was made by striking a wrench and transposing the resulting ring to a lower pitch. Even the sound of bubbling water wasn’t left out – it was made by sticking a large tube into a toilet and blowing into it!

At first, the Millers wanted no sound or music in the game at all, fearing that it would detract from the atmosphere, but after some extensive testing, they discovered that the music didn’t interfere at all. In fact, it actually seemed to help enhance the mood! The music was created by Robyn Miller, a then-aspiring composer. Using a plug-in synthesizer and his Macintosh Quadra, Robyn composed 40 minutes of some of the most easily-recognized music in video gaming history. Some tracks, like “Selenitic MystGate”, “Original Unfinale”, and “Fireplace Theme”, weren’t used, mostly because they didn’t fit with what the brothers wanted the game to be, were too dramatic, or weren’t moody enough. These tracks, however, can still be found on the Official Myst Soundtrack.

Other Versions of MystThe box for Myst Masterpiece Edition.

Myst was originally created for Macintosh, but the Millers soon included versions for Windows, Sega Saturn, and PlayStation, to name a few. The game was so successful upon its release, however, that it's still being rereleased for today's computers and consoles! In May 2000, Cyan, now Cyan Worlds, rereleased Myst as Myst Masterpiece Edition. This updated version of Myst had rerendered all of the images in 24-bit true color, as opposed to the original Myst’s 8-bit color, remastered the musical score and sound effects, and redid some of the movies and animation. It also added a built-in walkthrough and map system, in case a newer player got lost. Myst fans enjoyed it at first, but soon found flaws – the music was shortened at points, for one, and the game sometimes had problems on older computers.

At this point, Cyan Worlds was experimenting with real time, and one of the first things they tested it with was Myst. In November 2000, Cyan Worlds rereleased Myst again, this time as realMyst: Interactive 3D Edition. The game featured 3D graphics and a A screenshot from world to explore instead of the pre-rendered stills of Myst and Myst Masterpiece Edition. Effects such as changing weather, moving clouds, and day and night changes were also added. The various ages also had minor tweaks added to them, to keep up-to-date with the other sequels. As another bonus for the fans, realMyst added another age, called Rime, as an extended ending. Even though the fans loved the game and reviewers praised the new level of exploration the game provided, realMyst ran very slowly on computers of the time, and often refuses to run on Windows Vista.

In November 2005, Midway Games brought Myst back again, this time for the PlayStation Portable. This remake would include Rime from realMyst plus new, unseen content. The game was released in Japan and Europe in 2006 and only recently released in the US. A version for the Nintendo DS was also released recently. The sound and video was re-mastered using a programming language specific to the DS and Rime was also featured as a playable age. Myst for the Nintendo DS was released May 2008. Currently, Cyan Worlds is also working on a version of Myst for the Apple iPhone, dubbed iMyst, in keeping with the legacy of the Apple computer that put Myst on the map.

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Need help with Myst? Try these walkthroughs!

If you’re absolutely stuck and you need help with Myst, these walkthroughs can help you. I’ve provided two. The first is a low-spoiler walkthrough from Universal Hint System, useful to gradually help yourself through the game and the preferable way to go. The second is a full solution walkthrough. I do not recommend this one on your first time through – it just spoils the game for you, and if you love a good surprise as much as I do, then you’ll want to stay away from this one. Whichever you choose, I hope you find what you’re looking for and have fun playing Myst!

Low-Spoiler Walkthrough ~ Full Solution Walkthrough