It was 1995. I was finishing elementary and headed for high school and I had a major need to fill myself with epic fantasy. I remember going on yet another shopping spree through Coles and I came across a book. It looked like a battered brown notebook with a strange crest in its centre. For me, Myst: The Book of Atrus contained all the elements of a brilliant world: a universe with Descriptive Books that led to alternate worlds — called Ages — linked to by the imagination and skill of a writer through the lost art of D’Ni writing. Just the idea of a civilization that could create worlds through writing books was enough to get me hooked: that and the character of Atrus as he deals with the intrigue behind his family and the reconstruction of an entire way of life.
I was hooked. As I read The Book of Ti’ana and discovered just why D’Ni fell and then The Book of D’Ni in which we get to see an adult Atrus attempt to rebuild D’Ni and uncover more than he bargained for, I was left with many more mysteries. Then I played Myst. Oh yes. I played Myst and Riven and kept writing in the notebooks thoughtfully provided by Cyan as I found alternate amounts of wonder and frustration in navigating my way through both games. I got to discover what happened to Atrus, his father Gehn, his grandmother Anna, his wife Catherine, their children, and the fate of D’Ni. I had a very different experience playing the games after reading the books and it made me both sad and curious to know more: to interact with the world that Cyan created.
I didn’t play the other games due to technological constraints, but I followed what happened in them. I was on a forum about Riven and I always wanted a Book of Gehn: to know about the years between the fall of D’Ni and his own travels and his fateful meeting with his wife Keta. I even created a fanfic idea: a lost Age and enemy as it were.
Myst is a world of possibility. I was lucky in that just last year I backed the Unwritten: Adventures in the Ages of Myst and Beyond Kickstarter and got to write a scenario for that table-top version of the universe I love. Just once, for a moment in time, I got to be part of the D’Ni Guild of Writers that I dreamed so much of joining when I was young. I got to make the Age I dreamed of making so many years ago.
I also wanted to see more of Myst. I’m one of those people still waiting for The Book of Marrim to come out: however long it takes. And I’ve heard about the Mandalay Television Pictures program, the Delve Films DVD movie adaptation of The Book of Ti’ana, and even the Dark Horse comics prequels to Myst that never materialized or simply didn’t work out.
But they are trying again.
Legendary TV & Digital Media has made a deal with Cyan Worlds to create a Myst television series and make a companion video game: perhaps to make the show more than just a viewing experience, but an interactive one as well. I’m not entirely sure, but I’m guessing that they are making the game a mobile app to interface with during, before, or after the airing of the program. Or hopefully something that can be on a computer as well. It is definitely an interesting idea and something that I would very much like to see happen.
When you think about it, we live in a world of linking now. The Internet is all about hyperlinks and mobile apps only increase the experience. In Myst, traveling into other Ages through Descriptive Book is called linking. Hopefully, if all goes well, we will all soon be able to link to another world of Myst.