MYST the book of Atrus
by Rand and Robyn Miller
This had a profound impact on my life in the early 90’s as it did on millions of others, especially women. It was the first computer adventure game that opened the doors for all computer games that came after. It was a phenomenon that had players spellbound, attached to their computers while living in a different world. The prologue to the game is this book. I am savoring the last two chapters as I slowly read each word, picturing it in my mind, reading and rereading each paragraph.
Young people today don’t understand what life was like before Microsoft, Windows 95 and the computer mouse. The first time it was demonstrated I sat there in awe. All I could before this was type letters and numbers for data collecting. No pictures. No internet.
But this wonderful game captured people’s minds. We could control where we went in the game. We could walk around. There was music. It was the beginning of computer graphics. Water moved. Birds filled the sky. I lived in the ages of MYST and Riven in a series of 5 games. Many people spent hours every day wandering through beautiful scenery solving puzzles.
In the past 20 years technology moved very fast and computer games became more human~like and even more addicting.
But why am I writing about this 20 year old computer game today? Recently, on eBay, I was searching for used sci-fi books. My husband and I are both lovers of all things sci-fi. Not the ones with made up aliens, but those with plausible science that allows you to momentarily suspend your beliefs and imagine it to be true even though it is full of contradictions and you know it can’t be true. I look at the Bible in this way.
I found one and the middle picture was MYST. I was thrilled. I sent a message to make sure her collection of 6 books would indeed come with this book. It did, and she even offered to sell me that book alone for 50 cents. I took them all. Sometimes you got lucky and got good books.
I began Myst before I met my husband in 2000. He had a computer repair shop inside a computer software store. I wandered in one day looking for a new game – and the rest is history. We did the remaining games in the story. Each one rocked the gaming world as it came out.
For the last three days I have been buried in the book. Reliving life in “the crack”, Atrus and his father journeying through the earth to the desolate ruins of world of the D’ni, learning how to write an age, a world and traveling to it through a linking book. This book is a prequel to the first game.
I would love to reinstall it but computers today may be too advanced for it to play, but I want to try. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Our Squee still sits on a shelf in our computer room. The squee is a tiny (it sits in the palm of your hand) pewter figurine of a rodent. It looks part squirrel /part rat. He was part of the story line in one of the games and became a treasured keepsake.
I have been going through serious health problems and have been stressed over the outcome. Reading this book allowed me to escape to a different world.
Is there anyone out there who also traveled the ages in this game?