D'ni and Rivenese Prepping for Riven

Calling all Myst fans.
Since this is an ongoing thing and I will keep adding to it, I created a new topic.


For context, for those who didn’t know anything about this (like me), this is related to the game Myst.


Thanks @MacForADay . I have been a Myst fan for so long, I forget everyone else is not. :laughing:


My brain goes: “Praise Gehn? I don’wanna praise Gehn. Can I praise Brad Durif instead? Oh wait that was part three.” :wink:

PS: Thanks for including the international pronunciation!


Are there no details about whether the remake supports VR? I assume it won’t be.


Cannot find anything but it will be a real-time 3D environment…


Riven was how I first learned about Myst. I think it got a ps1 release (90’s console kid that had big PC gaming dreams) and the box loudly proclaimed under its title “The Sequel To Myst!”

To have a video game box tell me theres a video game I hadn’t heard about ,good enough to get a sequel, was a knock to that little kids ego. So I did what had to be done, I will play this game and then reverse engineer it to figure out the story in the first game too.

I don’t think I made it past that first area before I had to return it to the rental store . Game kicked my 10 year old ass.

I’d played Sierra FMV games on WIN 95 (about all my dads pc could run) so I was familiar with the gameplay concept, but going from Shivers to Riven? “Ah I see you figured out simple addition, now heres trigonometry, with no guidance!”

The games name and visuals always stuck with me, a few times now when I’ve had an untitled music or video project I’ll just call it Riven. Which occasionally flips to Revan (kos KOTOR).

I never played Myst, but my brief brush with Riven and its box art gave me enough pop culture knowledge to know that if someone brings up Myst, they automatically pass the vibe check and my social anxiety evaporates :smiley:


Welcome to the all-consuming madness. I have kept my notes from all those years ago. NMS is the only other game to ever come close to rivaling the Myst games in drawing me so completely in.

I was so proud of myself for figuring out the number system. In those days, there was no online support or source to turn to. Internet was not really even a word yet.
I am so excited for a Riven remake. :partying_face:


That is also a memory for me! :slight_smile: Myst was the first real game that came as a bonus with our first Mac that had a CD drive, and my brother and I solved the puzzles together, for mid-teenagers, they were just so solvable.

With the original Myst, we missed some things, such as the hint text on the inside of the top of the rotating tower, and we failed one clock puzzle because we couldn’t distinguish dragging and clicking the mouse.

We were big HyperCard fans and opened the game in HyperCard and looked at the scripts and how it was created: HyperCard looks like a black&white slideshow with clickable regions that navigate to the appropriate next slide. But the 3D rendered colour graphics were loaded separately, so in the editor, each slide appeared empty, and it was hard for us to guess which empty slide corresponded to which game scene. We edited the clock puzzle to make it solvable by clicking only, and thought we were at least at the level of game devs or hackers. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Then for Riven, I spent a lot of time drawing maps and recording letters and numbers, it lent itself very well to that. :smiling_face: I recall that the sleeping dinosaurs at the beach stayed when I played, and swam away when my brother played (meaning, the game reacted differently depending on how hurriedly you clicked, which was new).


I believe Myst was my first real game on my first PC since my old Commodore 64. I do not even remember how I discovered the game. Likely picked up the disc someplace like WalMart. I did not know anyone else using a PC. I think Myst had already been out for a little while.
Later I discovered one of the books in a book store. Then realized there was another and another game in the works due to the forward or something in the book. From then on I kept an eye out for the next one.
At one point I bent my brain enough to wrap it around the idea of sharing pics with other Myst fans on a forum/chat room run by Cyan.
Life was different in those days. Seems like a lifetime ago…I guess it was.


Not the solution the developers intended but infinitely better than any they could have conceived themselves.

I wonder now… has there ever been a game that intended the player to close and edit the program they were using in order to proceed? I’ve played games with meta moments where the game menu breaks and you alter it etc by “hacking” but its usually within the game or your OS…

There was a lot of fun andy kaufman style tom foolery with games and consoles in the 90s, most memorable being anything Hideo Kojima did. Codec Numbers you can only find on a screenshot on the back of the box (we had to call the rental store in a panic XD) or a psychic taking control of your TV and games console.

It was in my friends house when I discovered his model of tv would display “hideo” in the AV font during the psycho mantis scenes and mine would be a yellow “Kojima”, depending on TV model. I heard many years later it would also do something different if your tv did not have stereo sound.


Myst was one of my greatest ever disappointments. Having just invested (for that time) a huge amount of money on a colour VGA PC - with twin 3 1/2 inch floppy drives, a 40 megabyte hard disc, and a CD ROM drive, I then spent even more money on pretty much the only CD games available. They were the 7th Guest, and Myst.

The 7th Guest turned out to be a buggy mess - illogical, badly thought out, and bits of it would just stop working.

Myst, on the other hand, was beautiful. The concept of another world was enticing and imaginative. The story drew you in and intrigued you. The graphics were, for their day, stunning.

But the gameplay was terrible. The puzzles were illogical, ridiculous, obscure and bizarre. I doubt that any player got beyond chapter three without a cheat guide. The reasoning behind the game structure made no intellectual sense at all - it was impossible to work out what you were supposed to do. I chalked it up to a really nice idea, thoroughly spoiled by developers either trying to be too clever, or (my favoured option) not knowing what they were doing.


I loved the concept of Myst but some puzzles were too complex for me. I ended up using solution tips to progress.

I liked the game, but wished I didn’t need to rely on tips.


Cyan themselves eventually admitted that fewer than 50% of players ever made it off the starting island.


That’s why I stopped playing Grim Fandango, I couldn’t even get past the first act without looking up a guide


Huh, I remember Grim Fandango being fairly easy in the puzzle department… Don’t remember any specific puzzles, though.


Well I think it does create a negative feedback loop: as soon as I start using a guide, I stop thinking very hard and never try any of the future puzzles for very long before giving up and checking the guide again. I remember the first act has a puzzle where you had to get a deck of cards and punch them with specific holes to fool a punch card machine; that one was so obscure I had to use a guide, after that, I stopped trying. Made it to the third act before getting bored and quitting.


I remember a relatively basic but quite pretty (for the time) investgative game called Alone In The Dark or something like that.
(Was probably a PS1 game, I’m ancient remember).
Anyway, I thought it looked fun, played it but got stumped somewhere on something stupid & so I got a playthrough guide to find out what I’d missed.
Downside was, once I had the manual, each puzzle was now just a page glance away & effectively I’d ruined the fun of working things out.
Blasted through it after that & now I cannot even recall the ending.


Despite all the hate…
Here is an early look at the ‘roller coaster’ ride that takes you to the different islands in Riven