When I Was A Teenager, I Kept This Myst "Journal"

Illustration for article titled When I Was A Teenager, I Kept This emMyst/em Journal

I'm coming back to PC gaming, so I'm thinking a lot these days about the PC games I used to play. Back in the day, I played Myst, of course. I think everyone in the early '90s tried it.

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A month or so ago I was rummaging through my childhood bedroom and found the official Journal of Myst that came with the game. It's a stapled, blank notebook with a cardboard cover and pages yellowed to look old on day one. The fine print on the back dates the notebook's printing as some time in 1993. I would have been 16 or 17 then, a high school kid.

What follows is what I wrote in the notebook. At the time, these were solutions I was sketching in order to solve the game's puzzles. They were the answers. Today, I don't remember what any of the puzzles were, so now it's these answers, scrawled in my handwriting, that are the puzzles in need of some solutions. What did they solve? I don't remember. I could check a Myst walkthrough, but, as always, that would be cheating.

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Illustration for article titled When I Was A Teenager, I Kept This emMyst/em Journal
Illustration for article titled When I Was A Teenager, I Kept This emMyst/em Journal
Illustration for article titled When I Was A Teenager, I Kept This emMyst/em Journal
Illustration for article titled When I Was A Teenager, I Kept This emMyst/em Journal
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Illustration for article titled When I Was A Teenager, I Kept This emMyst/em Journal
Illustration for article titled When I Was A Teenager, I Kept This emMyst/em Journal
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Illustration for article titled When I Was A Teenager, I Kept This emMyst/em Journal
Illustration for article titled When I Was A Teenager, I Kept This emMyst/em Journal
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Illustration for article titled When I Was A Teenager, I Kept This emMyst/em Journal
Illustration for article titled When I Was A Teenager, I Kept This emMyst/em Journal
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Illustration for article titled When I Was A Teenager, I Kept This emMyst/em Journal
Illustration for article titled When I Was A Teenager, I Kept This emMyst/em Journal
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Illustration for article titled When I Was A Teenager, I Kept This emMyst/em Journal

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DISCUSSION

I know I'm setting myself to be flamed... but Myst was not a good game. The puzzles were simplistic and completely unrelated to anything. The story was lame, gameplay nonexistent. The sound design was ridiculous (one of the sounds was made with a toilet bowl? They were so proud of it but it was horrible). It was basically an interactive photo CD (remember those?).

The reason why it was so successful was that it was the CD ROM killer app. Computers were shipped with these drives and there was no other reason to own one than to play Myst. Also, nobody had seen graphics like that.

All this would be fine except that everyone started seeing Myst's success and then ALL games became Myst-clones. They cancelled budgets for traditional point and click adventure games (like Full Throttle 2) and everyone started making these horrible first person adventure games. NONE of which succeeded. This led to the end of point and click adventure games and why people keep saying that the genre is dead.

Thank god it's starting to make a resurgence with Tell Tale (The Walking Dead game is awesome). But I can't help but think where the genre would be if Myst had never existed. The world would be better off with more games like The Longest Journey, Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango.

/endrant