Maximum Family Games
|Designer(s)||Robyn Miller, Rand Miller|
|Release date(s)||September 24, 1993[show]|
|Genre(s)||Graphic adventure, puzzle|
ESRB: K/A E
Myst is a graphic adventure video game designed and directed by the brothers Robyn and Rand Miller. It was developed by Cyan (now Cyan Worlds), a Spokane, Washington––based studio, and publishedand distributed by Brøderbund. The Millers began working on Myst in 1991 and released it for the Mac OS computer on September 24, 1993; it was developer Cyan's largest project to date. Remakes andports of the game have been released for Sega Saturn, Microsoft Windows, Atari Jaguar CD, 3DO, CD-i, PlayStation, AmigaOS, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, and iOS by publishers Midway Games,Sunsoft, and Mean Hamster Software.
Myst puts the player in the role of the Stranger, who uses a special book to travel to the island of Myst. There, the player uses other special books written by an artisan and explorer named Atrus to travel to several worlds known as "Ages". Clues found in each of these Ages help to reveal the back-story of the game's characters. The game has several endings, depending on the course of action the player takes.
Upon release, Myst was a surprise hit, with critics lauding the ability of the game to immerse players in the fictional world. The game was the best-selling PC game, until The Sims exceeded its sales in2002. Myst helped drive adoption of the then-nascent CD-ROM format. Myst's success spawned four direct video game sequels as well as several spin-off games and novels.
The game's instruction manual explains that an unnamed person known as the Stranger stumbles across an unusual book titled "Myst". The Stranger reads the book and discovers a detailed description of an island world called Myst. Placing his hand on the last page, the Stranger is whisked away to the world described, and is left with no choice but to explore the island. Myst contains a library where two additional books can be found, colored red and blue. These books are traps that hold Sirrus and Achenar, the sons of Atrus, who once lived on Myst island with his wife Catherine. Atrus writes special "linking books" that transport people to the worlds, or "Ages", that the books describe. From the panels of their books, Sirrus and Achenar tell the Stranger that Atrus is dead, each claiming that the other brother murdered him, and plead for the Stranger to help them escape. However, the books are missing several pages, so the sons' messages are at first unclear, and riddled with static.
As the Stranger continues to explore the island, more books linking to more Ages are discovered hidden behind complex mechanisms and puzzles. The Stranger must visit each Age, find the red and blue pages hidden there, and return to Myst Island. These pages can then be placed in the corresponding books. As the Stranger adds more pages to these books, the brothers can speak more clearly. Each brother maintains that the other brother cannot be trusted. After collecting four pages, the brothers can talk clearly enough to tell the Stranger where the fifth page is hidden. If the Stranger gives either brother their fifth page, they will be free. The Stranger is left with a choice to help Sirrus, Achenar, or neither.
Both brothers beg the Stranger not to touch the green book that is stored in the same location as their last pages. They claim that it is a book like their own that will trap the Stranger. In truth, it leads to D'ni, where Atrus is imprisoned. When the book is opened, Atrus asks the Stranger to bring him a final page that is hidden on Myst Island; without it, he cannot bring his sons to justice. The game has several endings, depending on the player's actions. Giving either Sirrus or Achenar the final page of their book causes the Stranger to switch places with the son, leaving the player trapped inside the Prison book. Linking to D'ni without the page Atrus asks for leaves the Stranger and Atrus trapped on D'ni. Linking to D'ni with the page allows Atrus to complete his Myst book and return to the island. Upon returning to the library, the player finds the red and blue books gone, and burn marks on the shelves where they used to be.
showcases Richard Vander Wende's
concept of what players would
first see on the Age of Tay.
|Publisher(s)||Brøderbund (PC, Mac)
Mean Hamster Software(Pocket PC)
|Release date(s)||October 29, 1997[show]|
|Media/distribution||CD (5), DVD (1)|
Riven: The Sequel to MystEdit
Riven is a puzzle adventure game and the sequel to Myst. Developed by Cyan Worlds, it was initially published by Brøderbund. Riven was distributed on five compact discs and released on October 29, 1997, in North America; it was later released on a single DVD-ROM, with improved audio and a fourteen-minute "making-of" video. In addition to the PC versions, Riven has been ported to several other platforms, including the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and most recently iOS-based devices.
The story of Riven is set immediately after the events of Myst. Having been rescued from the efforts of his sons, the main non-player protagonist Atrus enlists the help of the player character to free his wife from his power-hungry father Gehn. Unlike Myst, which took place on several worlds known as Ages, linked together by special books, Riven takes place almost entirely on the Age of Riven, a world slowly falling apart due to Gehn's destructive rule.
Development of Riven began soon after Myst became a success, and spanned more than three years. In an effort to create a visual style distinct from that of Myst, director Robyn Miller and his brother, producer Rand Miller recruited former Aladdin production designer Richard Vander Wende as a co-director. Brøderbund employed a US$10 million advertising campaign to publicize the game's release.
Riven was praised by professional reviewers, with the magazine Salon proclaiming that the game approaches the level of art. Critics positively noted the puzzles and immersive experience of the gameplay, though publications such as Edge felt that the nature of point-and-click gameplay limited the title heavily. The best-selling game of 1997, Riven sold 1.5 million copies in one year. After the game's release, Robyn Miller left Cyan to form his own development studio, ending the professional partnership of the two brothers. Rand stayed at Cyan and continued to work on Myst-related products,including the novel Myst: The Book of D'ni and the real-time rendered game Uru: Ages Beyond Myst. The next entry in the Myst series, Myst III: Exile, was developed by Presto Studios, and published byUbisoft.
Riven's story continues where Myst and its companion novel, Myst: The Book of Atrus, left off. The player assumes the role of the Stranger, the protagonist of the first game and friend of Atrus (Rand Miller). Atrus knows the ancient art of creating "linking books", specially written books that serve as portals to other worlds, known as "Ages". Atrus needs the Stranger's help to free his wife, Catherine (Sheila Goold; voice by Rengin Altay), who is held hostage on the slowly collapsing Age of Riven. Her captor is Gehn (John Keston), Atrus' manipulative father and self-appointed ruler of Riven. Gehn is himself trapped on Riven, as Atrus and Catherine had previously removed all linking books from the Age; the very last book to be removed, linking to the Age of Myst, was the one they held to escape Riven. In the misbelief that it would be destroyed, they let the book fall into the Star Fissure, a rift leading out of the damaged Age of Riven into a mysterious, spacelike void. Catherine was later tricked into returning to Riven by her sons, whereupon she was taken hostage by Gehn. Eventually, the Stranger discovered the unharmed Myst book, sparking the events of Myst and, some time later, Riven.
At the beginning of Riven, Atrus equips the Stranger with a trap book—a snare that functions as a one-man prison, yet looks identical to a linking book—and his personal diary. This diary summarizes the history of events leading to the Stranger's present situation; Atrus cannot explain in depth, as he is engaged in rewriting the descriptive book of Riven, in an attempt to slow its deterioration. The Stranger must enter the Age with no way of leaving, as they cannot risk sending a real linking book to Riven until Gehn is safely imprisoned, in case he should seize the book and use it to escape his confinement. Instructing the Stranger to capture Gehn in the trap book, find Catherine, and then signal him, Atrus holds out the link book that will transport the Stranger to Riven.
Once there, the Stranger explores the islands of Riven, eventually finding Catherine's prison. The Stranger also travels to the Age of the Moiety, rebellious inhabitants of Riven who, under the leadership of Catherine, are attempting to overthrow Gehn's rule. Because of the decay of Riven's structure, the only way to clearly signal Atrus is to bring about a massive disturbance in the Age's stability—accomplished by reopening the Star Fissure, which Gehn had closed. When it opens, Atrus immediately links to Riven to investigate, and meets the Stranger at the brink of the Fissure. Depending on the player's actions, the ending to Riven varies. In the winning ending, the Stranger tricks Gehn into the prison book and releases Catherine. Atrus and Catherine thank the Stranger, before linking back to the Age of Myst. The Stranger then falls into the Star Fissure, to be taken on the path back to his world. Different player actions can result in the Stranger's entrapment in the prison book, or even his death.
|Myst III: Exile|
|Designer(s)||Mary DeMarle, Phil Saunders|
|Release date(s)||May 7, 2001[show]|
|Genre(s)||Graphic adventure game|
|Media/distribution||CD-ROM (4), DVD-ROM (1)|
Myst III: ExileEdit
Myst III: Exile is the third title in the Myst series of first person adventure video games. While the preceding games in the series, Myst and Riven, were produced by Cyan and published by Brøderbund, Exilewas developed by Presto Studios and published by Ubisoft. The game was released on four compact discs for both Macintosh and Windows PCs on May 7, 2001; versions for the Xbox and PlayStation 2were released in late 2002.
As in previous games, the player assumes the role of the Stranger, a friend of Atrus. A member of the D'ni race, Atrus can create links to other worlds called Ages by writing descriptive books. In Exile, Atrus has written an Age for the D'ni to live on while rebuilding their civilization; it is stolen, however, by a mysterious figure. The Stranger pursues the thief in an attempt to reclaim Atrus' book.
The creators of the Myst franchise gave the task of creating the third Myst game to Presto Studios, known for its adventure game series The Journeyman Project. Presto sought to develop a diverse and logical approach to puzzles and Ages, and worked to make the villain sympathetically multifaceted. The developers hired Jack Wall to develop a musical style different from earlier composer Robyn Miller but still recognizable as a Myst game. The project required millions of US dollars and more than two years to complete.
Exile was received well by critics; British newspaper The Daily Telegraph called it the best game in the Myst series. Conversely, long-time critics of the series complained that Exile continued to prove thatMyst's slower gameplay did not belong in the fast-paced modern game market; GameSpot editor Greg Kasavin described the Myst series as having lost its relevance. Despite selling more than one million units within the first year of release, Exile fared poorer commercially than Myst and Riven, which had sold more than 10 million units combined. Myst IV: Revelation, the fourth game in the series, was developed and published solely by Ubisoft.
Exile begins 10 years after the events of Riven, when the Stranger arrives at the home of Atrus and his wife Catherine. Atrus is a scientist and explorer who has mastered an ancient practice known as the Art: he can create links to different worlds, calledAges, by writing special books. This ability is by an ancient civilization known as the D'ni, whose society crumbles after the D'ni city is devastated by a plague. Atrus calls the Stranger to his home to display his newest Age, Releeshahn, which Atrus has designed as a new home for the D'ni survivors.
As Atrus is preparing to leave for Releeshahn, a mysterious man appears in Atrus' study, steals the Releeshahn book and leaves behind another. Following the thief, the Stranger arrives at J'nanin, an Age that Atrus had written long before as a way to teach the Art to his sons. Because the thief has caused considerable damage to the J'nanin book, Atrus cannot accompany the Stranger.
The mysterious man is named Saavedro (played by Brad Dourif). Twenty years earlier, Atrus' wayward sons Sirrus and Achenar destroyed Saavedro's home Age of Narayan and trapped him on J'nanin. Saavedro believes his family is dead and swears vengeance on Atrus, unaware that Atrus has already imprisoned his sons for their crimes and that Saavedro's family is still alive. The game can end several ways depending on the player's actions. In the most ideal scenario, Saavedro returns to Narayan peacefully after giving back the book of Releeshahn. Other endings result in Saavedro destroying Releeshahn or killing the player; another option allows the player to leave Saavedro trapped forever.
|Myst IV: Revelation|
Patrick Fortier (creative director,
Mary DeMarle (writer, designer)
Geneviève Lord (producer)
|Release date(s)||September 28, 2004[show]|
Myst IV: RevelationEdit
Myst IV: Revelation is the fourth installment in the Myst computer game series, developed and published by Ubisoft. Revelation was the first game in the series released exclusively on a DVD-ROM format; a multiple CD-ROM version was not produced as it would have taken twelve compact discs to fit all the data. Like Myst III: Exile, Revelation combines pre-rendered graphics with digital video, but also features real-time 3D effects for added realism.
The plot of Revelation ties up loose ends from the original Myst. The player is summoned by Atrus, a man who creates links to other worlds known as Ages by writing special linking books. Almost twenty years earlier, Atrus' two sons nearly destroyed all of his linking books and were imprisoned; Atrus now wishes to see if his sons' imprisonment has reformed them. The player ends up traveling to each brother's prison, in an effort to recover Atrus' daughter Yeesha from the brothers' plot.
Development of Revelation lasted more than three years; Ubisoft had as many as eighty employees working on the game. Musician Peter Gabriel lent his voice and a song to the game's audio; the original score was written by Exile's composer Jack Wall. Overall, reception to the game was positive; reviewers lauded the impressive visuals, sound, and puzzles. Publications such as Computer Gaming Worldtook issue with the control scheme of the game. Revelation is the last game in the Myst series to use both prerendered backgrounds and full-motion video; the final game in the series, End of Ages, is rendered in real-time throughout.
Atrus calls the Stranger to his home to request his friend's assistance. Atrus is the writer of special books, which serve as links to worlds known as Ages. Years earlier, his two sons, Sirrus and Achenar, destroyed Atrus' linking books and imprisoned their parents in order to plunder the wealth of Atrus' Ages. The Stranger's intervention saved Atrus, who had imprisoned his sons via traps intended for thieves. As it has been twenty years since their imprisonment, Atrus' wife Catherine hopes they have finally repented for their crimes. Atrus is not as sure his sons have reformed, and so wishes the Stranger to act as an impartial judge. After an explosion knocks the Stranger unconscious, the player realizes that Yeesha, Atrus' daughter, has disappeared.
The Stranger sets out to find Yeesha. Traveling to the brothers' prison Ages of Spire and Haven, the Stranger discovers both have escaped their confinement. When the Stranger finds Yeesha again, Achenar appears and tells the Stranger not to free his sister. Achenar explains that his brother kidnapped Yeesha with the intent of switching minds with her, tricking Atrus and Catherine into teaching Sirrus the Art of writing Ages. Achenar insists that he has reformed and that he only escaped so that he could protect his sister. The ending to the game depends on the player's actions; in some endings, Sirrus succeeds in transferring his mind to Yeesha's body and dispenses with both the Stranger and Achenar. In the only good ending, the Stranger trusts Achenar and helps save Yeesha. Sirrus dies from the failed mind transfer, while Achenar is fatally poisoned by toxic fumes in order to save his sister. The Stranger returns Yeesha to her parents. Though pained by his sons' deaths, Atrus resolves to continue on and rectify his past mistakes by properly raising Yeesha.
|Myst V: End of Ages|
Robyn C. Miller (creator)
Myst V: End of AgesEdit
Myst V: End of Ages is a 2005 adventure video game, and the fifth and final installment in the Myst series. The game was developed by Cyan Worlds, published by Ubisoft, and released for Macintosh and Windows PC platforms on September 20, 2005. As in previous games in the series, End of Ages's gameplay consists of navigating worlds known as "Ages" via the use of special books and items which act as portals. On each Age, the player solves puzzles and discovers story clues hidden in the Ages or written down in diaries and journals. The player's actions in the game decide the fate of the ancient D'ni civilization.
In a departure from previous titles in the Myst series, End of Ages replaces pre-rendered environments with worlds rendered in real-time 3D graphics, allowing players to freely navigate the Ages. The faces of actors were digitally mapped onto three-dimensional character models to preserve realism. Cyan paid attention to making the game more accessible to new players by the addition of multiple methods of navigation and an in-game camera. Myst creator Rand Miller decided to give players the ability to decide the fates of the game's characters as a gift to Myst fans.
End of Ages was positively received upon release. Despite complaints such as lessened interactivity compared to previous games and poorer graphics, publications including Macworld, Computer Gaming World, and The Washington Post judged the game a fitting end to the series. After End of Agess release, Cyan abruptly announced the end of software development and the layoff of most of its staff, but was able to rehire much of the development team a few weeks later. Including End of Agess sales, the Myst franchise had sold more than 12 million copies by November 2007.
The game begins as the player responds to a letter from a despondent Atrus. Atrus is a writer of special volumes called linking books, which serve as portals or links to worlds known as Ages. A linking book to the Age of Myst, the setting of the original game, lies sealed in the ruins of the ancient D'ni civilization. The D'ni had the ability to craft linking books, but their society crumbled from within; Atrus and his family have been trying to restore the D'ni people and created an Age for the survivors to live on, known as Releeshan.
The player encounters a strange tablet in the old D'ni caverns. Yeesha, the daughter of Atrus, appears and explains that legends state that in order to fully restore D'ni, someone known as the Grower must utilize the tablet. The artifact has the ability to fully control a mysterious enslaved race known as the Bahro. As Yeesha made the wrong decision upon unlocking the tablet, she can no longer use it; Yeesha instead charges the player with uncovering the tablet's power. After leaving Yeesha, the player meets a D'ni named Esher, who tells the player that Yeesha cannot be trusted and not to give her the Tablet.
At Yeesha and Esher's urging, the player travels across four Ages, collecting four slates that unlock the tablet's power. The player is then faced with the choice of what to do once the tablet is unlocked. Depending on the player's decisions regarding the tablet, there are several possible endings to the game. Traveling to the island of Myst without the tablet will cause Esher to angrily abandon the player on the Age with no way out. If Esher is given the tablet, he will explain he wishes to use the tablet for domination, and will also leave the player trapped. If the player gives the tablet to Yeesha, the tablet simply slips through her hands and disappears into the ground; she walks away, disappointed, leaving the player trapped in D'ni. The only good ending involves giving the Bahro the tablet, ending their enslavement. Arriving at Releeshan, the new home Age of the D'ni, Yeesha and an old Atrus thank the player and speak of a new chapter for the D'ni people; Esher is handed over to the Bahro. The game ends on a vista of Releeshan.
|Uru: Ages Beyond Myst|
player's personal Age, Relto.
|Engine||Plasma Engine 2.0 ; Havok|
|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer (cancelled)|
Uru: Ages Beyond MystEdit
Uru: Ages Beyond Myst is an adventure video game developed by Cyan Worlds and published by Ubisoft. Released in 2003, the title is the fourth game in the Myst canon. Departing from previous games of the franchise, Uru takes place in the modern era and allows players to customize their onscreen avatars. Players use their avatars to explore the abandoned city of an ancient race known as the D'ni, uncover story clues and solve puzzles.
Cyan began developing Uru shortly after completing Riven in 1997, leaving future Myst sequels to be produced by third party developers. Uru required five years and $12 million to complete. Uru was initially conceived as a multiplayer game; the single-player portion was released, but the multiplayer component, Uru Live, was delayed and eventually canceled. The online video game service GameTap released the multiplayer portion of Uru as Myst Online: Uru Live in February 2007, but the service was canceled again the following year due to a lack of subscribers. GameTap passed the rights to Uru Live back to Cyan, who announced their intention to resurrect the game.
Uru was not as well received as previous Myst titles. Critics admired the visuals and new features of the game but criticized the lack of multiplayer in the retail version and clunky controls. Uru sold poorly, while the first three games had sold millions of copies each. The game was a critical and commercial disappointment for Cyan, causing the company financial troubles; nevertheless, it has attracted a cult following.
Unlike previous games in the series, Urus story mixes fictional plot elements with real-world events. According to the game's fictional history, archeologists found an entrance to a vast underground cavern in the 1980s near a volcano in New Mexico. The caves led to an ancient abandoned city built by the enigmatic D'ni civilization. The D'ni practiced an ancient ability known as the Art. By writing a description of another world, the D'ni created "linking books" which served as portals to the worlds described, known as Ages. Soon after making contact with a single human, the entire civilization suddenly disappeared two hundred years ago. In Urus story, the video game Myst was created when the archeological leaders approached a development studio, Cyan, and asked them to create a game to educate the public about the D'ni. Myst sold millions of copies, and Cyan continued to produce games based on D'ni findings. In the present day, a group known as the D'ni Restoration Council or DRC reopens the passages to the D'ni caverns and begins to rebuild the abandoned cities.
Players begin Uru's story in New Mexico near the Cleft, a deep fissure in the ground that leads to the D'ni caverns. A man who introduces himself as Zandi sits in front of his trailer by the Cleft, encouraging the player to discover the environment and join the exploration. The player stumbles across a hologram of a woman, Yeesha, who tells him or her the story of the D'ni and requests for help to rebuild the civilization. The player must solve puzzles in and around the Cleft to find seven journey cloths, which enable a path to the Age of Relto. The plot is unresolved at the end of the single-player game; later expansions and online content continue the game's story.
Myst Series Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myst_(series)
Myst Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myst
Riven - The Sequel to Myst Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riven
Myst III - Exile Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myst_III:_Exile
Myst IV - Revelation Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myst_IV:_Revelation
Myst V - End of Ages Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myst_V:_End_of_Ages
Uru: Ages Beyond Myst: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uru:_Ages_Beyond_Myst
Mystlore Wiki: http://en.mystlore.com/wiki/Main_Page
D'ni (Duh-nee) Wikia: http://dni.wikia.com/wiki/D%27ni_Wiki
All information, citation, and reference can be found on these Wiki's.