[[caption-width-right:350:[-[[TechnologyMarchesOn Imagine yourself back in 1993,]] [[SceneryPorn and seeing a game like this for the very first time]]... if you were even born then-] ]]

->''"I realized the moment I fell into the fissure that the book would not be destroyed as I had planned. It continued falling into that starry expanse, of which I had only a fleeting glimpse. I have tried to speculate where it might have landed, but I must admit such conjecture is futile; still, questions about [[PlayerCharacter whose hands might one day hold my Myst book]] are unsettling to me. I know my apprehensions might never be allayed, and so I close, realizing that [[ArcWords perhaps the ending has not yet been written]]."''
-->--'''Atrus''', writing in his journal at the end of ''Myst: The Book of Atrus''

Most games have a premise, dictating an objective which the player achieves through gameplay. Some games, however, have discovering the premise and the objective as [[LateToTheTragedy part of the gameplay]].

Myst is a puzzle-heavy first-person {{adventure game}} which [[FollowTheLeader sparked off a new sub-genre]]. Developed by the brothers Rand and Robyn Miller in 1993 who took inspiration from ''Literature/TlonUqbarOrbisTertius'' and ''Literature/TheMysteriousIsland'', the game became an unexpected hit, mainly due to its eerie, haunting atmosphere and, for the time, outstanding graphics.[[note]]The passage of time has masked this somewhat, but Myst's graphics were ''revolutionary''. Look at the page picture. Now consider that the rest of the computer game world was still doing 16-bit.[[/note]] It was swiftly followed by a host of imitators, most of which are decidedly inferior to the original.

''Myst'' is famous for its mind-bending logic puzzles and lack of character interaction - most of the games feature only a handful of {{NPC}}s and very little dialogue. Unsurprisingly, adventure fans are heavily divided over the merits of the game, with most players [[LoveItOrHateIt falling firmly into the 'love' or 'hate' camps]]. It has even been accused of [[GenreKiller helping to hasten the 'death' of adventure games]], even though many gamers were introduced to the genre by ''Myst'' and its sequels.

The late Creator/DouglasAdams, upon playing Myst, cheerfully declared the game to be a 'BeautifulVoid' due to the lack of other characters or life of any kind. (He also created ''StarshipTitanic'', which was a game with a very similar premise [-[[RecycledINSPACE IN SPACE]]-], with snarky robots.)

It is also worth noting that characterization of 'The Player' (Sometimes called [[FanNickname 'The Stranger']]) is achieved after an interesting fashion in that the few NPC's that play a primary role, Atrus and his family, treat the main character with familiarity that develops as the series progresses. This leads to the player's becoming something akin to their family friend, and subtly integrating the player themself as a character into the world of the game by avoiding dictating the nature of the protagonist.

The Myst games deal with the D'ni civilization, a race of people (not humans) that lived in a cavern under the Earth until their civilization fell a few centuries ago. The D'ni had the ability to write about locations they imagined in special books that could then physically transport a person to the places they described. Atrus, the main non-player character in the games, is one of the last survivors of the D'ni (though he's three-quarters human).

!!!The Myst series has six games:
* ''Myst'': The player is transported to a strange, deserted island by reading a magical book. Once there, he/she discovers two brothers trapped inside similar books, each of whom blames the other for the murder of their father Atrus and the destruction of his library. With the help of various notes, journals and recorded messages left by Atrus and his sons, the player must piece together what happened and decide who to free. According to [[invoked]]WordOfGod, Myst is set in the early 19th century.\\
''Myst'' has also been [[VideoGameRemake remade]] several times:
** ''Myst: Masterpiece Edition'' is a {{remaster}}ing of the original with unchanged gameplay.
** Versions have been released for the NintendoDS, {{PSP}}, Nintendo3DS, and iPhone.
** ''realMyst'' allows players to wander through a fully realized 3D version of the game.
** And for the 20th anniversary, we have ''realMyst: Masterpiece Edition'', which updates ''realMyst'' with even more graphical improvements.
* ''VideoGame/RivenTheSequelToMyst'': Atrus, after being freed by the player in the previous game, sends the player to Riven (an Age reached by linking book), where Atrus's father Gehn is holding Atrus's wife Catherine captive. The player must free Catherine, trap Gehn, and find a way to signal Atrus. In the end, the player is returned home (which is presumably on Earth). Considered by many Myst fans to be the best game in the franchise, and also the most difficult.
* ''VideoGame/MystIIIExile'': Several years after the events of Riven, the player visits Atrus in the latter's new home Tomahna (which is in the desert of New Mexico). While there, a man called Saavedro steals a book linking to the Age of Releeshahn (which Atrus was writing as a new home for the D'ni survivors) to get revenge for the evil acts perpetrated against Saavedro by Atrus's sons Sirrus and Achenar. The player must follow Saavedro and get the book back, while finding out about what drives Saavedro.
* ''VideoGame/MystIVRevelation'': Around ten years after Exile, Sirrus and Achenar return to kidnap Atrus's daughter Yeesha (around 10 years old in this game). The player visits the prison Ages in which Sirrus and Achenar were trapped, as well as a third Age called Serenia, to discover their plans and to try to free Yeesha.
* ''VideoGame/UruAgesBeyondMyst'': Set in the present day (2003, the game's release date), Uru is a spin-off of the Myst series. In the 1980's, a group of people discovered the D'ni cavern, and formed the D'ni Restoration Council. The player (who is obviously not the same character as the previous games, since it's 200 years later) is drawn to go to the desert and follows a journey set out by Yeesha that leads the player to find out much about the history and downfall of the D'ni, and about creatures called the Bahro that were enslaved by the D'ni. Uru also includes a massively multiplayer online component, which has been launched, canceled, relaunched, canceled again, and relaunched ''again'' throughout its history. After Uru Live was canceled (for the first time), two expansion packs were released with the planned future content for Uru Live. The first, ''To D'ni'', allows the player to explore the D'ni cavern and deals with the fate of the DRC. The second, ''Path of the Shell'', is about a prophecy concerning someone called the Grower (who would bring D'ni back to life) and a D'ni guild master named Kadish who claimed to be the Grower. It currently exists, [[FreewareGames for free]] but with no promises of future content updates, in the form of ''[[http://mystonline.com/en/ Myst Online: Uru Live]]''. As of 2010 it's [[http://www.openuru.org/ open source.]]
* ''VideoGame/MystVEndOfAges'': The final Myst game is also set in the present day and is more a sequel to Uru than Myst. The game doesn't state who the player is, but according to [[invoked]]WordOfGod it's Dr. Watson from the DRC (from Uru). The player is set a quest to release a Tablet, that controls/enslaves the Bahro. Both Yeesha and a D'ni survivor called Esher have attempted this quest but failed, and both will aid the player in their own way.

There are also several tie-in novels, authored by the Miller brothers themselves[[note]]Well... it should be noted that while the by lines say Rand (and Robyn, for the first one) Miller ''with'' David Winegrove, it would be more accurate to say that the novels were written by David Winegrove under the Millers' supervision. The fact that by the third book Cyan was too busy with Riven to really reign Winegrove in is something of a sore spot among the fans[[/note]]. ''Myst: The Book of Atrus'' tells the story of Atrus's early life with his grandmother Anna and his father Gehn. ''Myst: The Book of Ti'ana'' tells the story of the downfall of the D'ni (so this takes place before the Book of Atrus). ''Myst: The Book of D'ni'' tells of Atrus's attempts to find D'ni survivors and rebuild the D'ni civilization. And finally, ''Myst: The Book of Marrim'', which seems to be permanently mired in DevelopmentHell, though a preview chapter was released with the European Special Edition of Myst V. A fan-produced webcomic adaptation of ''The Book of Atrus'' is in progress [[http://mystcomic.smackjeeves.com/comics/ here]].

At one point, there were plans for an independently produced (but still approved by the Miller brothers) FilmOfTheBook (the ''Book of Ti'ana'' to be precise). The scriptwriters kept a daily-updated blog about their progress, with some rather odd digressions about their personal lives in connection with the project. However, those plans [[DevelopmentHell apparently fell through]]. Instead, Cyan partnered with the TV branch of ''Creator/LegendaryPictures'' to create a TV series based on the franchise, with an accompanying game.

The creators of ''Myst'' are also currently making a SpiritualSuccessor called ''{{VideoGame/Obduction}}''.


[[folder:Tropes Appearing Across the Series]]
* AdaptationExpansion: The Book of Atrus webcomic.
* AdultFear: Knowing your sweet innocent children grew up to become corrupted, criminal psychopaths. This is Atrus's excuse as to why he really really hates (And procrastinates) going back to Myst Island. Too many painful memories.
* AffablyEvil: [[spoiler:The Terahnee in general]].
* AfterTheEnd: For the D'ni.
* AGodAmI: [[spoiler: This was Gehn's intention, creating worlds solely to be worshipped as a God, as well as writing in disasters (If not destroying the world completely) if the people act against his wishes]]
* AllThereInTheManual:
** Unless you had read ''The Book of D'ni'', you might be surprised at how there is suddenly a new D'ni civilization.
** ''The Book of Atrus'' ends with a scene that recaps the page quote, explaining the context of the first game's voice-over and accompanying visuals.
* AlternativeNumberSystem: The D'ni have a base 25 system, in keeping with the games' general tendency to use powers of five as {{Arc Number}}s.
* AnachronismStew: D'ni designed Ages in general. The D'ni have technology which can transport them to other worlds and record messages with holographic video. They had built surveillance cameras, circuit boards, maglev cars, and giant, rotating buildings and structures centuries before Earth would conceive such technology. Yet they still used candles for light and relied on books.
* AndManGrewProud: The D'ni as a whole seemed to have a problem with this. The process of Age Writing does not actually create worlds (see the RewritingReality entry), but many of its practitioners seemed to forget this after a while. It seems you can't swing a stick in D'ni history without hitting a King or other important figure who became drunk on his own skill and committed horrid atrocities to the inhabitants of one or more Ages. Gehn is a great example, thinking himself a god, and Sirrus and Achenar both seem to have fallen into this trap as well. Even Yeesha admits there was a time she felt the same.
--> '''Yeesha:''' It was the same with the D'ni. The same cycle. Light opens the darkness. It takes, it uses, and it keeps. The D'ni found power in these books. These books you use to travel. They were a gift from the Maker. These Ages that you travel, too, were their Ages. Remarkable places giving life and taking life. This shadow came over them, this shadow of light. For it was in their enlightenment that they considered themselves better, better than the least. And we were sad for them.
* ArcNumber:
** 5 in ''Riven'' and in the [[AllThereInTheManual backstory]]. 5 is an important number to the D'ni culture. Because Gehn was a D'ni with delusions of grandeur (and sadistic tendencies), he brought the 5 motif to Riven with him. Five plays a major developmental part, in numbers and linguistics. Each number from 0 to 24 involves five symbols (0 is blank). To get numbers after 4, one rotates the first symbol 90 degrees ('1' rotated is '5', '2' rotated is '10', et cetera), then adds it to the unrotated symbol from 0 to 4 to get the full digit. After that, the '25s' place is one to the left. The phonemes work practically the same way... The original release also came on five discs.
** It turns out 25 is actually the number holding the most cultural significance to the D'ni, as their number system is in Base 25 as opposed to our Base 10. Additionally, 25^2 is 625, the number connected to the Grower. The reason Gehn used the number 5 so powerfully around the islands of Riven is because Gehn misremembered this culturally significant number as 5 and not 25 (he was fairly young when the D'ni civilization collapsed), so he wrote everything in the link to Riven around the number 5.
* ArcWords: "The ending has not yet been written."
* BeneathTheEarth: The D'ni, in rare comfort, too (but not without class issues).
* BigScrewedUpFamily: Atrus father and two sons are genocidal maniacs and his daughter Yeesha has a bit of a messiah complex.
* BittersweetEnding: "The Book of Atrus" may seem sweet and innocent, but only if you never played the games, Atrus's family settling on Myst Island, while watching "Cute and Innocent" Sirrus and Achenar running around playing.
* ClosedCircle: Linking books are not two way travel portals, so wherever the Stranger is tossed (s)he does not have a way back.
* CrapsaccharineWorld: Terahnee
* DefectorFromDecadence: The entire D'ni civilization was founded with this intention.
* DisproportionateRetribution: In "The Book Of Atrus" Gehn introduced a young Atrus to another age, simply titled "The Thirty-Seventh Age". Atrus encouraged the people to break one of Gehn's rules for the sake of exploration. Gehn, furious that they disobeyed him, [[EstablishingCharacterMoment sadistically rewrote the Descriptive Book so that the age would gradually destroy itself over the course of a week, and burned the book in front of Atrus on their return to D'ni]].
* DramaticLandfallShot: The opening shot of the first game is an early example. Also Mechanical, Stoneship, J'nanin, Edanna, Haven, Teledahn... A good number of the Ages are islands, so they get to use this a ''lot''. Justified by the fact that an age's descriptive book is already an enormous volume of several thousand pages, so describing an entire planet's features would make a book far too large to handle.
* DrJerk: Jarl of the Guild of Healers in ''The Book of Ti'ana''.
* EarthDrift: Inverted. Originally there was no connection to Earth, but later supplementary material would connect the D'ni to New Mexico.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Despite Sirrus and Achenar were murderous psychopaths, instead of IHaveNoSon, Atrus and Catherine outright mourn the fact they turned evil and always hoped there was a chance for redemption. Still keeping their portraits on display in their home.
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:Veovis.]]
* FantasyCounterpartAppliance: The firemarbles are used more or less like lightbulbs, but seem to work very differently.
* {{Gadgeteer Genius}}es: The D'ni. Aside from the Art, they're also notable for their remarkable engineering skills.
* GodIsInept: Poorly written Age-books result in this.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: Veovis, and ro'Eh ro'Dan.]]
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: Ymur in ''Book of D'ni''.
* HomeworldEvacuation: Another non-Earth example: The D'ni originated on a world called Garternay, which became uninhabitable when its sun began growing dim. Their ancestors fled into a succession of other worlds via their linking books, and have since lost all contact with their abandoned homeworld.
* HumanAliens: Well, the D'ni aren't space aliens, but they don't originate from this universe. Several of the D'ni-written worlds include effectively human--or rather, D'ni-- inhabitants, though the D'ni largely didn't consider them equals to themselves. (And yes, Earth ''is'' an Age, with its own descriptive book and everything.) If the civilizations on Riven (though its people now reside on Tay), Narayan, and Serenia have taught us anything, it's that ''most'' civilizations in this series are HumanAliens.
* InsurmountableWaistHeightFence: Especially in Uru[[note]]Dilandau3000's LetsPlay of the game [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQfHkX_8gVI comments on this]] and in fact refers to us[[/note]] to block off unfinished areas, but examples of places that seem like they should be accessible but are not abound throughout the entire series. A notable exception is in Riven, where you can simply crawl under a locked gate.
* ItsUpToYou: ''Five'' times. This really begins to stretch credibility in later games. In ''Myst IV'', Atrus can't participate because he's [[ContrivedCoincidence conveniently stranded]] in some kind of electrical storm. You only find this out if you repair his imager, which is not necessary for beating the game.
* LastOfHisKind: Atrus and his children appear to be the last of the D'ni race. [[spoiler:This turns out not to be the case.]]
* LaserGuidedKarma: After callously trapping Saavedro on J'nanin where he would remain trapped for over 20 years, in their greed to loot the "''supposed''" treasures of Spire and Haven, [[note]](There actually IS treasure in Haven, but Achenar, who was trapped in that Age, doesn't have the same interest in it that Sirrus does.)[[/note]] Sirrus and Achenar accidentally get trapped in the Prison Ages for over 20 years.
* LateToTheTragedy: Every single game in the entire series runs on this trope.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Almost every game in the series gives individual themes to certain characters. Probably the best known are the two distinct pizzicato-strings-and-dulcimer riffs in the original game that mark the various residences of Sirrus and Achenar (which recur briefly in ''Revelation''), the use of the oboe in ''Riven'' to represent Gehn, and Saavedro's theme from ''Exile''.
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis: Used to explain not only the existence of the ''Uru'' series, but to account for all the {{Ret Con}}s in the Myst games. One might even say that ''Uru'' is all one big RetCon.
* LockAndKeyPuzzle: Most major puzzles, and a few minor ones, essentially boil down to an elaborate combination lock. The puzzle has so many possible states that guessing is simply out of the question. The only way to solve it is to wander around solving minor puzzles that will eventually reveal what the right combination is.
* MagicAIsMagicA: See the RewritingReality discussion below. [[spoiler: Holds true for everyone except Yeesha.]]
* MeaningfulName: Gahreesan (Garrison); in the books, [[spoiler: Tehrahnee (Tyranny)]].
** Atrus and Catherine's compound in ''Exile'' and ''Revelation'' is called Tomahna, meaning "home" in D'ni.
* MethuselahSyndrome: The Ronay[=/=]D'ni can live more than three centuries; King Lanaren lived to be 396.
* MobileMaze: From ''The Book of D'ni''.
* MotherNatureFatherScience: Atrus and Catherine to a degree. Their daughter Yeesha says so herself in her journal in End Of Ages: "Together they came, father knowing and mother feeling."
* MultipleEndings: All of the games give you a choice. Choose wisely. Some of the times you do have a choice aren't entirely obvious.
* TheMultiverse: Every Age, no matter how marginal the difference, is in fact a complete different universe. The D'ni represent it as a massive tree, with every Age a leaf.
* MundaneUtility: The D'ni have some incredibly advanced technology, the cornerstone of which is their ability to connect to other universes, specifying any type of universe they want with any contents they want, and travel to them at will. They use this ability as a ''municipal mass transit system'', among other things.
* NintendoHard: With all due respect, anyone who was actually able to beat that 'baubles that make animal noises/standing stones in the secret chamber' puzzle from ''Riven'' without turning to a walkthrough deserves a medal.
* NostalgiaLevel: Atrus' study in ''Myst IV: Revelation'', the Myst library, and K'veer in ''Path of the Shell''. The Cleft might count, although it had only ever appeared in novels before. [[spoiler: Also, the ruins of the original Myst in the bad ending of Myst V. It's worth getting the bad ending just to see it.]]
* OffingTheOffspring: In story and {{backstory}} alike, including villainous and ShootTheDog versions.
* OmnicidalManiac: [[spoiler:Veovis and A'Gaeris.]]
* PortalPicture: What a portal in a Linking book looks like.
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: ''Everything'' in Terahnee.
* PunnyName: Say "Terahnee" out loud a couple times... Many D'ni words are merely English words with a strong accent. Gahreesen, for instance, is a garrison.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Veovis and ro'Eh ro'Dan.]]
* RedOniBlueOni: Sirrus (Blue Oni) and Achenar (Red Oni), though the Books they're trapped in have the opposite colors. Interestingly, [[spoiler:the worlds within the books]] once again have the opposite colors from their covers.
* RewritingReality: The explanation for how the Art (of linking to other universes) works. With the proper ink, paper, and language, of course. What do you think this is, magic or something?
* SceneryPorn: Sufficient, said many critics at the time, to solely justify the first game's record-smashing sales. You can probably buy the first three sequels with that excuse, too. Taken to the extent that your reward for completing a stage of particular games -- individual islands in ''Riven'', complete Ages in ''Exile'' and ''Revelation'' -- is a ride around the area you just finished in what might easily be called SceneryPorn FanService. (Amateria in particular makes no pretensions of being anything ''other'' than [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyQxuk5Jkqc Ending Ride]].)
* SchizoTech: See AnachronismStew above.
* SolveTheSoupCans: The [[JustifiedTrope justification]] comes in the form of paranoid characters throwing deliberately contrived obstacles in each other's paths.
* SongsInTheKeyOfLock: Fits right in with the above.
* SpaceAmish: The D'ni, at least compared with the Terahnee.
* SteamPunk: Big machines rife with pipes, gears, and valves often serve as primary puzzle elements in ages, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xclfcdMQvu0 especially Riven]]. Atrus especially seemed able to crank out huge volumes of wacky machinery using nineteenth-century parts and a little SufficientlyAdvancedTechnology.
* TakeAThirdOption: Each of the games presents you with two obvious choices, when to get the best ending you have to find a third. [[spoiler: However, in ''Revelation'', the second choice is actually correct]]. See the trope page for more information.
* ThemedCursor: Your hand.
* TownWithADarkSecret: [[spoiler:Terahnee]] is a ''country'' with a dark secret. [[spoiler:Atrus and company find this out almost too late.]]
* {{Unobtainium}}: Nara, deretheni, fire marbles, powermarbles, etc.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: [[spoiler:Terahnee]] in ''Book of D'ni''.
* VideogameCaringPotential
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: In pretty much every game (including Uru, though that one is more FridgeHorror than the others) you have the ability to devastatingly hurt someone and/or ruin their lives. This will usually result in [[WhatTheHellHero rebuke]] from the characters and a bad ending.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatPerks[=/=]ComesGreatResponsibility: The Terahnee and D'ni ways, respectively.
* WorldOfChaos: Some of the worlds created in-universe, rather than the universe itself. One of the underlying principles of the FunctionalMagic is that perfectly habitable worlds can be very, very different from each other; it's just that some of them have:
** Wooden ships that are sticking out of the side of an island (Stoneship, ''Myst'')[[note]]Atrus's journal regarding the Age specifically notes this as a ''mistake'' in his Writing; he had attempted to Write a ship into the Age, [[LiteralGenie but the ship ended up in the rock]].[[/note]].
** Aquatic microbes that avoid heat and take the water with them (Riven)
** Trees that grow inside-out (Edanna, ''Exile'')
** A magical spirit world (Serenia, ''Revelation'')
** An underground world, [[spoiler:with the surface of a ''sun'' below the clouds]] (Spire, ''Revelation'')
** Giant mushrooms large enough to house comfortable apartments (Teledahn, ''URU'')
*** And Teledahn also rotates even faster than [[Creator/HalClement Mesklin]] (and must have an axial precession equal to its year).
** Freakishly tall and thin mesas (Todelmer, ''End Of Ages'')
** Taking this to its logical extent is Torus (Book of D'ni), which is perfectly habitable although everything Atrus knows about the Art says it shouldn't be -- a two-sided disc, one light and one dark, the latter of which contains kitten-like flowers, air-swimming fish, and dividing snakes; rain falls on the light side into a giant lake centered on a whirlpool through which pours through to the dark side, where it arcs up in an enormous fountain and evaporates before circling the perimeter and precipitating again. Katran seems to have a special talent for "breaking the rules", as it were.
* WorldTree: The Great Tree of Possibility is a motif revered by the D'ni, and appears in many places where the mystic circles of that society held sway. The World Tree also appears in several games:
** In ''Riven'', that Age was once dominated by a great tree, which the people worshipped, but Gehn's faulty writing caused it to die and he cut it down. When Catherine wrote a new Age for the Moiety, it was dominated by a similar tree.
** In ''Exile'', Edanna is a giant tree in which an entire ecosystem thrives, written such by Atrus to demonstrate the interconnectedness of all life.
** In ''URU'', there's the Great Tree Pub which is built around a very ancient tree in the city of D'ni.

[[folder:Tropes Found in ''Myst'' and its {{Updated Rerelease}}s]]
* AdaptationExpansion: In ''realMyst'', a new Age is added to the original game, and several areas of the island and previous Ages can be visited that weren't formerly accessible.
* AffectionateParody: PYST, by the late Peter Bergman of the FiresignTheatre. (Bergman sadly passed away in 2012.)
* AndIMustScream: The protagonist suffers this fate in two of the "bad" endings if you bring the last page to [[spoiler: either brother.]]
* BeautifulVoid: TropeNamer.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: Atrus is freed in the end, albeit in the knowledge that most of his books have been destroyed and his sons have turned to evil. He mentions that [[SequelHook an even greater foe awaits]]. Meanwhile there is no way for you to get back home, the only person you can talk to is busy, and the only thing to do is walk around the same five places you've been wondering around for hours.]]
* BreadEggsBreadedEggs: The remakes are called ''Myst: Masterpiece Edition'', ''realMyst'', and ''realMyst: Masterpiece Edition''.
* CanonDiscontinuity: The comic book, ''Myst: The Book of Black Ships''. Cyan's main gripe was that ''Dark Horse'' mixed up Sirrus's and Achenar's names. When the publisher refused to correct this in the remaining issues, Cyan had the series cancelled.
* ChekhovsGun: The marker switches you need to count to get Atrus' first message and really start off the plot [[spoiler: serve as the key needed to get the final page needed to free Atrus and win the game]].
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The Channelwood journal reveals that Atrus is very uncomfortable with himself or others being revered as gods. Riven reveals why.
* FilmOfTheBook: Most likely relegated to DevelopmentHell.
* FollowTheLeader: Kicked off a slew of first person adventure puzzle games or varying quality.
* GameBreakingBug
** There is a bug found in the Masterpiece Edition of the original game in the Mechanical Age that can prevent you from rotating the fortress, requiring [[GuideDangIt the use of a game guide]] to find the solution to the age's last puzzle.
** The brightness of the images in Myst is set for the Mac screen gamma of 1.8. On the PC, with a gamma of 2.2 (and with monitors of the time often being even darker), a key switch in the Channelwood age is invisible in the shadows. You can deduce that there's something special about that location from the in-game maps, but you won't be able to see it. The Stoneship age has a similar problem with the doors to the compass room being too dark to see, but this time, there's no map.
* GoBackToTheSource: Myst Island, specifically [[spoiler:the dock Marker Switch again]].
* GuideDangIt:
** Thanks to an error in transferring the text over from the original, ''Myst: Masterpiece Edition'' has in-game text that lists a wrong solution for the game's final puzzle. You either have to deduce the correct solution yourself (which might take a while, depending on how quickly you realise that the text has an error) or use a guide.
** The problem listed under SoundCodedForYourConvenience.
** Getting into the Selenitic Age requires memorizing specific musical notes and finding them amid a bunch of other notes. Really difficult if you do not have a ear for music.
* IdenticalGrandson: Both Atrus and his son Achenar were played by creator Rand Miller (his [[RealLifeRelative real-life]] brother Robyn played Sirrus).
* {{Irony}}: D'ni, the age where Atrus was trapped in the first game, is actually [[spoiler:Earth, the very place the player is trying to return to, though there's no way to know that in the game itself.]]
* IslandOfMystery: It's not called 'Myst' for nothing.
* ItsAWonderfulFailure: Go to D'ni without the white page (a type of {{Unwinnable}} situation), or bring all of the pages [[spoiler:to either brother so you get trapped in the book yourself.]]
* LighthousePoint: In the Stoneship Age.
* LockAndKeyPuzzle: The fireplace plate has 2^48 (over 280 '''trillion''') possible combinations. [[spoiler: Even if you find, by happenstance, the book with the patterns in it, there are still hundreds of patterns to search through.]]
** A more literal lock-and-key puzzle takes place in the Stoneship Age, where the lighthouse tower features a key chained to the floor and a lock securing an access hatch in the ceiling. [[spoiler:The chained key is not for the ceiling lock; instead, the key is used to open a chest which has to be brought up from below (a puzzle in itself). The chest contains a second key, which is used to unlock the hatch.]]
* MinecartMadness: The Mazerunner in the Selenitic Age.
* MissionControlIsOffItsMeds: Sirrus and Achenar. ''Especially'' Achenar.
* MultipleEndings: All but one possible ending involve the player [[AndIMustScream trapped in a linking book with no means of escape]].
* [[PoorCommunicationKills Poor Communication Gets You Stuck In A Trap Book]]: Atrus wouldn't allow his sons to go anywhere near the red and blue books, and never bothered to explain why. Unable to resist the possibility of new worlds to plunder and destroy, they did it anyway, only to realize too late that the reason he wouldn't let them use them was because they were trap books.
* SchmuckBait: The Trap Books. Not counting the Linking Book you touched to start the whole adventure, of course...
* SequelHook: The good ending contains several blatant ones for ''Riven''.
* SequenceBreaking: Unlike later games in the series, there's no random code blocking your way to the ending -- once you know what to do you can bypass all the ages and jump straight to victory. The record for a SpeedRun of this game is less than two minutes.
* ShoutOut: The never-seen Osmoian Age, mentioned in the Channelwood journal, is a nod to Cyan's earlier game ''VideoGame/CosmicOsmo'', which was set in the Osmoian solar system.
* SoundCodedForYourConvenience: The Mazerunner in the Selenitic Age uses sounds to guide you along the correct path. Unfortunately, unless you've already been to [[spoiler:the Mechanical Age]], you'll have to figure out for yourself what the sounds actually mean. [[spoiler:In the Mechanical age, the same sounds are used to indicate which direction the fortress is rotated, and stand for the same cardinal directions.]]
* TakeAThirdOption: [[spoiler:Do you trust the brother without the more obviously 'mad' and 'evil' attributes, or assume it's some sort of misleading trick and trust that one? The answer is to trust neither.]]
* TreeTopTown: The Channelwood Age. Originally it was just a how the tree people lived, but later the treehouses became necessary when the island sank into the water.
* UpdatedRerelease: Twice. First, there is ''Myst: Masterpiece Edition'' which updated the graphics to 24-bit color (as opposed to 8-bit color in the original) and added a hint system. Then there's an update of the remake, ''[=realMyst=]: Masterpiece Edition'', which added a few more bells and whistles to ''[=realMyst=]'' and provided more modern graphics.
* VideoGameRemake: ''[=realMyst=]'', a fully free-roaming 3D update to the original with a new age.
* WeirdMoon: The moon in Myst understandably bears no resemblance to our moon, but the one in Channelwood is unbelieveably ''huge''.
* ZipMode: TropeNamer and a handy way to get from one end of an Age to another.