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"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 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 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 part of the gameplay.

Enter Myst, a puzzle-heavy first-person adventure game which sparked off a new sub-genre. Developed by the brothers Rand and Robyn Miller in 1993 who took inspiration from Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius and The Mysterious Island. The game is famous for its mind-bending logic puzzles and lack of character interaction - most of the games feature only a handful of NPCs and very little dialogue.

The late Douglas Adams, upon playing Myst, cheerfully declared the game to be a 'Beautiful Void' due to the lack of other characters or life of any kind. (He also created Starship Titanic, which was a game with a very similar premise IN SPACE, with snarky robots.)

It is also worth noting that characterization of 'The Player' (sometimes called 'The Stranger') is achieved after an interesting fashion in that the few NPCs 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 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 (1993): 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 invokedWord of God, Myst is set in the early 19th century.

    Myst became the best-selling PC game in 1995, selling six million copies total, and would hold that title until 2002, when it was usurped by The Sims. Myst has also been remade several times:
    • Myst: Masterpiece Edition (1999) is a remastering of the original with unchanged gameplay.
    • Versions have been released for the Nintendo DS, PSP, Nintendo 3DS, and iPhone.
    • realMyst (2000) allows players to wander through a fully realized 3D version of the game.
    • For the 20th anniversary realMyst: Masterpiece Edition (2014) was released, which updates realMyst with even more graphical improvements.
    • A remake built on Unreal Engine was released for use with the Oculus Quest on December 10th, 2020. A version that supports other PCVR headsets and standard monitor play was made available on August 26, 2021, alongside releases for the Macintosh, Xbox consoles and iOS.
  • Riven: The Sequel to Myst (1997): 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. It was the best-selling game in its year of release, and has since sold over 4.5 million copies total. Unlike Myst, the game has never been remade officially, however:
    • A real-time 3D version of Riven titled Starry Expanse is currently in development. Originally a completely fan-driven project operating with Cyan's blessing, it was announced at the fan convention Mysterium in 2019 that the development team and Cyan were officially working together to complete the game. As of October of 2022, this has evolved into a full Riven remake headed by Cyan itself.
  • Myst III: Exile (2001): 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.
  • Uru: Ages Beyond Myst (2003): Set in the present day, Uru is a spin-off of the Myst series. In the 1980s, 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, for free but with no promises of future content updates, in the form of Myst Online: Uru Live. As of 2010 it's open source.
  • Myst IV: Revelation (2004): 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.
  • Myst V: End of Ages (2005): 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 invokedWord of God 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 themselvesnote . 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 Development Hell, though a preview chapter was released with the European Special Edition of Myst V. A fan-produced webcomic adaptation of The Book of Atrus was being made for a while and showed promise, but updates eventually stopped as the author got a job. And that was before host site Smack Jeeves went under, though backups of the published pages can still be found at the artist's DeviantArt and the Jeeves archive.

At one point, there were plans for an independently produced (but still approved by the Miller brothers) Film of the Book (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 apparently fell through. Instead, Cyan partnered with the TV branch of Legendary Pictures to create a TV series based on the franchise, with an accompanying game...both of which also seem to be trapped in Development Hell (albeit with a little more hope, given that the developers still occasionally reference the series, whereas the movie project has gone utterly silent for some time). As of 2019, the rights have gone to Village Roadshow.

The series has also inspired an annual convention called Mysterium.

For the Spiritual Successors, see Obduction and Firmament.

Oh, and there's now a licensed tabletop roleplaying game for the setting, Unwritten: Adventures in the Ages of Myst and Beyond as well.

On April 9th, 2018, Cyan Worlds announced that to honor the 25th anniversary of the game, they would be re-releasing all of the official games in formats compatible with modern systems; furthermore, they unveiled a Kickstarter campaign to fund a special limited-edition run of the multi-game collection. The campaign met its funding goal in less than 24 hours.

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    Tropes Appearing Across the Series 
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Book of Atrus webcomic goes into more detail about the D'ni, the history of the Myst universe, and how "The Art" of creating worlds through books works.
  • Aerith and Bob: Along Atrus' family tree we have names like Sirrus, Achenar, Gehn, Yeesha... and then Catherine and Anna. Subverted in that Catherine's name is actually an Anglicization of her Rivenese name, Katran, and Anna, who also went by a D'ni-ized version of her name (Ti'ana), was a human woman from earth.
  • After the End: For the D'ni. The Stranger can only explore the various places that are left over from what's left of the D'ni. As a result, running into other people in the Myst games is a decidedly rare occurence.
  • A God Am I:
    • In the second game, 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
    • A recurring theme throughout the series in general. Most Myst villains have shades of this due to the potentially corrupting nature of the Art in creating worlds.
  • Agri World: While not planets in sensu strictu, many Ages — tiny, self-contained worlds — served a single economic or social function, often quite narrow. For example, the Age of Teledahn was farmed for a type of fungal spore used in D'ni cuisine.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • 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.
  • Alternative Number System: The D'ni have a base-25 system, in keeping with the games' general tendency to use powers of five as Arc Numbers.
  • Anachronism Stew: 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.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Technically ancient world-hoppers and tunnelers, of course: despite long attempting to avoid contact with the surface-dwellers of Earth, there are myths that when D'ni was first founded nearly ten thousand years ago, a few of those working on its great ventilation fans disappeared and found their way to the surface, where they interbred with the natives. The explorers in Uru are suggested to be among their descendants.
  • Arc Number:
    • 5 in Riven and in the 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.
  • Arc Words: "The ending has not yet been written."
  • A Wizard Did It: Somewhat of a comedic in-joke among the community, whenever something doesn't make sense in the story canon, whether it is a plot hole, an otherwise non-intended anomaly in how a world is put together, or a retcon, members will usually attribute it to Yeesha, since in the interim period between the timeframes of Myst IV and Uru, she learned and developed the power to manipulate and separate instances of universes and timelines in her interpretation and use of The Art of Writing.
  • Beneath the Earth: The D'ni, in rare comfort, too (but not without class issues).
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Atrus father and two sons are genocidal maniacs and his daughter Yeesha has a bit of a messiah complex.
  • Bittersweet Ending: "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.
  • Call-Forward: A few of them are present in the novels.
    • In Book of Atrus, while experiencing major sanity slippage, Gehn declares to Atrus that his grandsons will one day be the rulers of a thousand ages. Well, he wasn't exactly wrong...
    • Atrus's failed homebrew battery to the massive generator used to gain access to the Selenitic Age in Myst. He finally made it work!
  • Closed Circle: Linking books are not two way travel portals, so wherever the Stranger is tossed (s)he does not have a way back.
  • Compilation Rerelease: 2002 saw the release of Myst Trilogy which had the first three games and the first game's Masterpiece Edition, and 2007 saw the release of Myst: The Collection, which had Trilogy and the remaining two games released later.
  • Cosmic Flaw: In the Myst series, different worlds, or "Ages", are basically written into existence by describing them in books, and they can be flawed, even fatally so. Riven had a "star fissure", a big crack in the ground that opens to space, and when ruptured, it sucked the whole Age into it.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Sirrus and Achenar are a metaphor for Caine and Abel, The D’ni as a society are a metaphor for the Jews, Yahvo/The Maker is a metaphor for god (Yahvo is presumably a reference to the Tetragrammaton YHVH), and Jakooth is a metaphor for Lucifer/Satan/The Devil, The Watcher is a metaphor for Moses, the D’ni religion has books called “the book of x” much like in the Bible, the Great King has a personal history similar to King David, and D'ni history contains many other references to biblical figures. Gehn could be interpreted as the anti-Christ, while his grand-daughter Yeesha, as a subversion of The Messiah, reflects Jesus.
  • Defector from Decadence: The entire D'ni civilization was founded with this intention, though it nevertheless became more corrupt over time.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: 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, 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.
  • Earth Drift: Inverted. Originally there was no connection to Earth, but later supplementary material would connect the D'ni to New Mexico.
  • Empty Room Psych: Subverted with Sirrus and Achenar's bedrooms. They both have several items that can be interacted with, but none of them are useful for solving any puzzles and generally seem to serve no purpose except adding a bit of background detail and insight into their characters... but they actually offer clues to the very last puzzle of all, and the Driving Question of the whole plot: Which of the sons of Atrus should you trust? Neither of them, as it turns out.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Despite Sirrus and Achenar being murderous psychopaths, instead of I Have No Son!, 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.
    • In Exile, Saavedro is convinced that Atrus killed his entire family. Part of his motivations in the final area of the game involve finding out that his family is still alive, and the player releasing Saavedro to be reunited with them. (Or not, if you're feeling particularly mean.)
  • Environmental Narrative Game: Myst is an Ur-Example with a first-person perspective and having the story emerge through exploration. Unlike modern "walking simulators", the player moves screen by screen instead of having complete freedom of movement in the original game although realMyst does have complete freedom of movement. It's not quite a full example of the genre as it does feature puzzles, whereas Environmental Narrative Games tend not to feature even what little gameplay Myst has.
  • Extradimensional Emergency Exit:
    • Throughout the franchise, the linking books that transport you to each Age require only a split-second to use and can easy be carried around in a pocket, so they've proved quite useful for escaping disasters. Unfortunately, the fact that a used linking book can't be transported along with you will mean that you'll be trapped in the Age unless there's another book on hand or somewhere in the immediate area. Plus, if you were fleeing from something disastrous, chances are the book will be destroyed in the process - or left behind for someone to exploit. Indeed, Atrus escaped from Gehn in the backstory by diving into the Star Fissure and Linking out as he fell, hoping the Myst book would be destroyed in the process; instead, it only continued falling until it finally ended up in your hands.
    • In Uru, they have developed a linking book that travels with you, placed on your belt. It is used as an Emergency Exit whenever your character falls off a cliff, as there is no death mechanic.
    • Also in the backstory to the first game, Atrus was forced to hastily Link away from the Selenitic Age when his visit was interrupted by a violent meteor storm that reduced the lush world to a barren, cratered wasteland. He eventually returned, though he was careful to bring a replacement Linking Book with him this time.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Veovis. While the Council of Five tried him, Anna pleaded for his life, and they spared his life. But this was their undoing as later Veovis escaped and brought the Fall of D'ni.
  • Fantastic Racism: The D'ni and related link-building civilizations tend to look down on the native people of the Ages they visit who don't have the same capability, much as we might tend to disdain cultures who never developed metallurgy. When they first encountered Ti'ana, most assumed she would be an inept and/or violent savage, despite knowing very little of the surface conditions. They also disfavor breeding between D'ni and other races, making Aitrus and Ti'ana's marriage somewhat turbulent.
    • The Terahnee were far worse, enslaving vast numbers of people without need because they thought it was the proper order of things, but even the D'ni practiced slavery from time to time, as evidenced by Teledahn and Noloben (albeit illegally; the Maintainers were investigating the Rebek slavery ring when D'ni fell).
  • Fantasy Counterpart Appliance: The firemarbles are used more or less like lightbulbs, but seem to work very differently.
  • Gigantic Moon: The moon in Myst understandably bears no resemblance to our moon, but the one in Channelwood is unbelievably huge.
    • Riven's moon, on account of its proximity to the planet, proximity that ultimately doomed the Age.
  • God Is Inept: Poorly written Age-books result in this.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Veovis, ro'Eh ro'Dan and Achenar.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Ymur in Book of D'ni is of the view that only the complete extermination of the Terahnee will satisfy justice.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: 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.
  • Human Aliens: 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 Human Aliens.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Especially in Urunote  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.
  • It's Up to You: Five times. This really begins to stretch credibility in later games. In Myst IV, Atrus can't participate because he's 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.
  • Last of His Kind: Atrus and his children appear to be the last of the D'ni race. This turns out not to be the case.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: 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  Sirrus and Achenar accidentally get trapped in the Prison Ages for over 20 years.
  • Late to the Tragedy: Most games in the series use this, though to differing degrees. Myst III and IV have the plot taking place at the same time the player is there. But even there, they retain the general feeling of the trope, since the Inciting Incident is simply an invitation to piece together what that plan is.
  • 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.
  • Live-Action Cutscene: All characters are portrayed by live actors in every game in the series, except for Myst V: End of Ages, which used real-time graphics to portray its characters. Live actors' faces were still scanned and used as character models, however.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: 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. This is lampshaded in Exile when Catharine complains that Atrus has a compulsion for putting locks on everything. The trait seems to run in the family.
  • Made of Indestructium: The D'ni civilization, despite their advanced technology, prefer to build things out of stone. When they really want something to be indestructible, they build it of nara, a super-dense artificial stone more durable than steel. For a few constructions they use deretheni, another stone almost as strong as nara but much lighter. This explains why the ruins of their structures are mostly intact.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Rewriting Reality follows internal rules, regulations, and styles. The Art of creating worlds is partially made of the quality of the paper and ink used to make it, but it's mostly down to the skill of the writer in question to make a world that logically holds together. As shown in Riven, if a world is written in such a way that it can't support itself, you can kiss that world goodbye. Riven also sees Atrus using the Art to stabilize a world long enough for the Player Character to go in and perform a rescue mission, but it's also clear that he can't keep this up forever — not only is the world fracturing and barely holding together as it is, but Atrus will invariably have to stop writing at some point, if only for the sake of basic human needs like eating or sleeping.
  • Meaningful Name: Gahreesehn (Garrison); in the books, Tehrahnee (Tyranny).
    • Atrus and Catherine's compound in Exile and Revelation is called Tomahna, meaning "home" in D'ni.
  • Methuselah Syndrome: The Ronay/D'ni can live more than three centuries; King Lanaren lived to be 396. As a hybrid with only one-quarter D'ni ancestry, Atrus was legitimately surprised to find himself with their extended lifespan.
  • Mobile Maze: From The Book of D'ni.
  • Mother Nature, Father Science: 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."
  • Multiple Endings: All of the games give you a choice. Choose wisely. Some of the times you do have a choice aren't entirely obvious.
  • The Multiverse: 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.
  • Mundane Utility: 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.
  • Nintendo Hard: 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.
  • Nostalgia Level: 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. 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.
  • Offing the Offspring: In story and Backstory alike, including villainous and Shoot the Dog versions.
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: Several book props within the series are real-life books that have been repainted/modified to resemble new books:
    • Myst:
      • The old 1993-2000 version of the Myst Book itself, as well as the Places-Of-Protection Books, the Red and Blue books, and the D'ni book is an old Harper's Monthly magazine volume, recolored several times, with the "MYST" text on the front of the Myst book.
    • Riven:
      • The Riven Descriptive book is a repurposed Webster's dictionary that has had its title painted over, and the D'ni numeral 5 painted on it.
      • The infamous false D'ni prison book is actually a semi-fictional story about the Persian mathematician "Omar Khayyam" note , but with gold corners painted on, and the central embossed emblem on the cover painted in gold as well.
      • Gehn's military coat buttons are vintage Soviet cockade badges with the red star and anchor removed, along with dragon-and-shield-motif brass buttons that have both been turned upside down, and the gold leaves adorning his coat are gold-bullion "scrambled egg" military oak leaves.
    • Myst III: Exile:
      • The Releeshahn Descriptive Book is a large "Graphic Image"-brand journal (with gilded edges) that has had a metal/metallic frame crafted for it.
      • The J'nanin Book is a 6x9 Italian leather journal.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Veovis and A'Gaeris.
  • Portal Picture: A portal in a Linking book looks like wherever it's going to lead whoever used the portal. Quite often, these pictures will be moving.
  • Powered Armor: The Environment Verification suit, designed by the Guild of Maintainers to test Ages; a user would be given a small Linking Book that'd fit in one glove, with the other to Link back, the Link done in a 2-second timespan for the suit's on-board sensors to collect data on the Age for study. Being made of a special type of D'ni stone, the EV suit would be capable of protecting the wearer from hazards up to a supernova. The suit mostly came in a heavy, lumbering model that restricted movement to the point of requiring rollers to move on, but Uru features a skintight model that players could wear and run around in at will.
  • Pre-Rendered Graphics: Every frame of gameplay is pre-rendered in every game except for Myst V: End of Ages. Every interaction with an object triggers a pre-rendered cutscene, and characters are portrayed by live actors. Myst V uses real-time rendering for everything, including characters.
  • Punny Name/In My Language, That Sounds Like...: Many D'ni words are merely English words with a strong accent. Gahreesen, for instance, is a garrison.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: If you are just learning Spanish, and you know how regular its spelling is, the presence of J before a front vowel (as in "Tadjinar" and "Amanjira" from Book of Ti'ana) might be confusing. But look up "tajinaste". That's a loanword, like the aforementioned city and character names certainly are.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Veovis and ro'Eh ro'Dan.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Sirrus (Blue Oni) and Achenar (Red Oni), though the Books they're trapped in have the opposite colors. Interestingly, the worlds within the books once again have the opposite colors from their covers.
  • Rewriting Reality: The explanation for how the Art (of linking to other universes) works. With the proper ink, paper, and language, one can make entire worlds out of nothing. However, as shown by the likes of Riven, just because you can create a world doesn't mean it's going to stay held together if you don't have the writing chops to keep it consistent and logically stable.
  • Scenery Porn: 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 Scenery Porn Fanservice. (Amateria in particular makes no pretensions of being anything other than Ending Ride.)
  • Schizo Tech: See Anachronism Stew above.
  • Sealed Evil in Another World:
    • Many years after the D'ni civilization collapses, Gehn, a major half-D'ni character, tries to resurrect it, as he remembered at 8 years old, but he can only manage a shadow of its former glory. The D'ni had a skill in an Art of Writing, able to create "linking books" which could send its user to other universes. Unfortunately, Gehn is also very unskilled at this, meaning that his written worlds collapse into oblivion, taking its inhabitants with it. When Gehn marries and has a child, whose mother dies in birth, he leaves the baby, named Atrus, with his mother. Many years later, Gehn returns to retrieve the now-teenage Atrus, and teach him the ways of the D'ni. As Atrus studies with Gehn, he realizes how evil, corrupt, and unskilled Gehn actually is. After attempting to escape, Atrus is later forced to travel to a world called "Riven", where he meets a young woman named "Katran"note . As Gehn is a despot over Riven, and many other unstable worlds, the two formulate a plan to destroy all linking books leading out, to keep him from subjugating and leading other worlds to ruin. The famous intro to Myst highlights this, with Atrus throwing himself into an extradimensional fissure, taking the final linking book, to Myst, with him, leaving Gehn trapped in the world of Riven for 30 years, until the second game in the series, when Atrus, now with his own familial problems, sends you to Riven to capture Gehn, and rescue Catherine.
    • This would be retconned into a plot element in Myst IV: Revelation. Sirrus and Achenar, Atrus' sons, become as corrupt as Gehn, when they discover the vast possibilities of the power of the Art of Writing, accidentally trap themselves in books designed to act as bait for explorers who happen to discover the island of Myst and try to plunder it. 20 years after the events of Myst, this element was changed into the books leading to physical worlds from which there is no exit, similar to Gehn's situation in Riven. In Revelation, Atrus plans to release Sirrus and Achenar, hoping that they have reformed in their solitary confinement in these worlds. Unfortunately, on a visit to Atrus' home, to determine their innocence, the brothers have already escaped, and have seemingly abducted Atrus' now-10-year-old daughter, Yeesha.
  • Signature Sound Effect: The vooooooi-ch-ch-ch-ch of linking books is shared across the games. Riven is mostly an exception, because while trapped there Gehn cobbled his linking books out of local materials and cobbled-together writing style, and so they make a more distressing screech sound.
  • Skybox: The Age of Anhonay is an Eldritch Location in part of clever use of this trope—you can't swim toward the cities on the horizon because they don't exist, they are just backdrops on a textured wall.
  • The Sociopath: The P'aarli, Terahnee stewards, appear to have been selected for this, as they use the most brutal methods to keep the slaves in line, and sometimes took slave children to do horrible things to For the Evulz.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: The justification comes in the form of paranoid characters throwing deliberately contrived obstacles in each other's paths.
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: Fits right in with the above.
  • Space Amish: 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, especially Riven. Atrus especially seemed able to crank out huge volumes of wacky machinery using nineteenth-century parts and a little Sufficiently Advanced Technology.
  • Stellar Name: Atrus' sons, Sirrus and Achenar. Although Achernar is a somewhat obscure star to northern hemisphere dwellers, so many people don't realize there's a theme.
  • Take a Third Option: Each of the games presents you with two obvious choices, when to get the best ending you have to find a third. However, in Revelation, the second choice is actually correct. See the trope page for more information.
  • Themed Cursor: Your hand.
  • Too Strange to Show: The Art of Writing for Descriptive and Linking books uses a special set of powerful characters, known as gahrohevtee, not the D'ni language. They've been described as Kanji-like and very complex, but their complexity not only lies in thir shape, but also that what they represent is not grounded in general physics, science, or even abstract ideas. Cyan themselves have never released any gahrohevtee, citing (in fiction) that anyone with access could abuse that power.
  • Unbroken First-Person Perspective: All five games use a consistent first-person perspective in order to maintain a Featureless Protagonist. URU is an exception, but it's more of a Gaiden Game in many ways.
  • Uneven Hybrid: Atrus is one-quarter D'ni and three-quarters human, with D'ni light sensitivity and an extended lifespan. His children are one-eighth D'ni, and lack their father's light sensitivity.
  • Unobtainium: Nara, deretheni, fire marbles, powermarbles, etc.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In pretty much every game (including Uru, though that one is more Fridge Horror than the others) you have the ability to devastatingly hurt someone and/or ruin their lives. This will usually result in rebuke from the characters and a bad ending.
  • Waterfall into the Abyss: The novel The Book of Atrus featured something like this in a small, gravity-defying Age that Catherine made. Supposedly the water falling off into the abyss turned to vapor almost instantly and rose to the top of the world, where it condensed and rained back down again, perpetuating the cycle. Atrus was having fun working out the physics behind it, Catherine just thought it was cool.
  • World of Chaos: Some of the worlds created in-universe, rather than the universe itself. One of the underlying principles of the Functional Magic 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 .
    • 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, 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 Mesklin (and must have an axial precession equal to its year).
    • A 62500-toran/360-degree waterfall large enough to completely surround a complex of massive structures.(Ahnonay, URU)
    • Freakishly tall and thin mesas (Todelmer, End Of Ages)
    • Taking this to its logical extent is Torus (Book of Atrus), 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.
  • World Tree: 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.
      • The visitable sections of Kadish Tolesa are flets in extremely tall trees.

    Tropes Found in Myst and its Updated Re-releases 
  • Actually Pretty Funny: The natives of the Channelwood age play a little prank on Atrus in one of his journals: they keep giving him free black ink, but some time after he writes with their black ink, it changes color to various shades of red or blue, leaving first-time players wondering why Atrus's notes are suddenly and randomly changing colors, at least until his notes explain the prank. The natives think this is hilarious, and Atrus himself has this reaction.
  • Adaptation Expansion: In realMyst, a new Age called Rime is added to the original game, and several areas of the island and previous Ages can be visited that weren't formerly accessible.
  • And I Must Scream: The Stranger suffers this fate in two of the "bad" endings. If you bring the last page to either brother, the Trap Books swap your position and theirs, freeing them and trapping you. However, the brother you freed then rewards your compassion by ripping the pages out of the book and leaving you stuck staring at static, presumably for all eternity.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • While you can't carry more than one page, the game does allow you to carry other items over the page you're holding (e.g. matches, a key) without resetting the page.
    • realMyst: Masterpiece Edition includes an (optional) hint system to make it easier for new players to make their way through the game. It also makes the important books in the library much more obvious, namely with printed words on the spine.
    • With the odd exception of the Stoneship Age, all progress (i.e. passwords and switch combinations) is saved in the Ages you've already completed. The game also plops you back into the Age you last saved in instead of throwing you back in the hub world.
    • The 2021 version finally allows the player to carry a red page and blue page simultaneously, making the levels much less of a slog. Also, the book of patterns now opens to the page containing the solution to the fireplace puzzle once one of the brothers reveals which pattern it is, so the player doesn't have to manually flip through the pages in VR. This version also has optional subtitles for audio sounds, allowing hearing impaired players (as well as those who have trouble recognizing different musical tones and similar but distinct misc sounds) to be able to complete the Selenitic Age puzzles.
  • Ax-Crazy: Achenar turns out to be like this, though you have to piece together that this is how he is from your explorations of the various Ages: he has numerous weapons and instruments of torture and execution in his rooms, plus when you speak to him in the Blue Book, he's Laughing Mad. Put it all together, and you get this trope!
  • Bamboo Technology: The Channelwood Age uses running water fed from a singular source, piped through various controlled routes, to supply kinetic power to various devices such as elevators and a raised bridge.
  • Beautiful Void: Trope Namer. The island itself is a setting that lacks a background and supporting characters, in a deliberately jarring fashion. You've arrived After the End, and the only people you can interact with are trapped in books. Nothing will jump out at you, nothing will attack you, and nothing is going to hurt you. But it still feels oddly tense walking around the empty areas, simply because you see what once was and wonder what may have caused it all to happen. The library books contain hints, but even then it isn't all spelled out as that's just the last time Atrus visited each of the locations without seeing actually what happened.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Both Sirrus and Achenar claim that their brother is wicked, and that the other is responsible for their father trapping them both in the red and blue books when he couldn't decide which one of them was more guilty. In actually, the brother who is truly wicked is both of them. As you can learn from each brother's speech and the things you find in the Ages you visit, Sirrus was greedy enough that he exploited the peoples in each Age, while Achenar was only interested in sating his bloodlust. Should you listen to either brother, you'll swap places with them and end up in the same And I Must Scream situation that they do once they tear out the pages from the red or blue book.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the Golden Ending. 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 an even greater foe awaits. Meanwhile there is no way for you to get back home, the only person you can talk to is constantly busy, and the only thing to do is walk around the same five places you've been wandering around for hours.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: The remakes are called Myst: Masterpiece Edition, realMyst, and realMyst: Masterpiece Edition.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • 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.
    • In 2018, the original realMyst was declared non-canon by Cyan, and was removed from within July of that year.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The marker switches you need to count to get Atrus' first message and really start off the plot serve as the key needed to get the final page needed to free Atrus and win the game.
  • Creator Cameo: There is a mosaic in D'ni that consists of a picture of Chuck Carter, one of the game's designers. Word of God states that In-Universe the mosaic is meant to depict Ri'neref, the founder of D'ni society.
  • Darker and Edgier: Go back and play Cyan's earliest games, then play this.
  • Door to Before: Most of the Ages you visit, once solved so that the link back to Myst is accessible, remain solved, making a return trip to gather the other page or just look around much quicker. Selenitic is the major exception, forcing a second expedition in the underground maze to leave.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: The only way to see the bad endings of the first game are to find every red or blue page, then take the last one to the respective book to have Sirrus or Achenar trap you in them. This requires the player to not only visit every world extremely carefully, but solve pretty much every puzzle and ignore all of the hints (subtle and blatant) about which of the brothers the player should trust.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In a series that aims for immersion as a first priority, the original version of this game has much simpler environments with a lot heavier usage on simple shapes in the scenery, such as cone-shaped trees and utilizing simple "wipe" effects for sliding doors. (A lot of this was due to technological limitations, which the various remakes have improved on to the best of Cyan's budget... while also continuing to experiment in ways that don't always work out.)
    • The original version of the game spelled D'ni as "Dunny", and simply referred to Atrus's home world rather than also doubling as the name of his race. It also wasn't clear that the various "Ages" are different worlds, rather than places in the past and future that the name suggests. (Ironically, D'ni is the only one that turned out to be on Earth.)
    • There are also game elements that seem to run on dream logic but were left behind as the setting became more defined. The paintings in the library are a good example of this, because of their similarity to the linking books - they can both be used to interact with their subjects by touching the images, but while the mechanics of linking books became a recurring plot point in the series, the paintings never reappear and were eventually retconned away with mundane technology. There are also things like the linking book in Stoneship which morphs out of a solid wooden table, and the Selenitic book which seems to be computerised or holographic, neither of which has an explanation in-universe. Holographic linking pages briefly return in Uru, but it's presented as one of Yeesha's borderline-supernatural accomplishments with the Art.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The brothers each consider each other's motives (Sirrus's greed and Achenar's bloodlust) to be beneath contempt, despite them working together.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: This is the situation in the Channelwood, Mechanical and Stoneship Ages since their entire populations were wiped out sometime before the game begins.
  • Evil All Along: Both of the brothers are revealed to be this. Freeing either of them gets you trapped instead. Instead, you have to do the one thing they told you not to do: look at the Green Book.
  • Fictional Constellations: The player must make use of constellations in the night sky of Myst Island to unlock the linking book to the Stoneship Age.
  • Foreshadowing
    • An unintentional example (which was fixed in rereleases); in the opening flyby of Myst Island; the giant gear is already open (which is closed upon landing), giving new players a potential hint that it'll lead to somewhere important and they have to figure out how to open it up.
    • The Channelwood journal reveals that Atrus is very uncomfortable with himself or others being revered as gods. Riven reveals why.
    • In Channelwood itself, you can find a recording of Sirrus rambling. At the end, he says "Take only one page, my dear brother." When you talk to Atrus at the end of the game, he reveals that his sons have taken a single page from his Myst linking book.
    • Completing a colored gems puzzle in Rime gives you a view of Catherine's dream Age; fans of the series will recognize it as a beach of Riven.
  • Film of the Book: Most likely relegated to Development Hell.
  • Game-Breaking Bug
    • 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 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.
  • Gameplay Randomization: The 2020 release of the game includes an option to randomize the solutions of various puzzles.
  • Ghost Butler: Doors will never stay open; whether the player passes through them or passes them up, they close immediately. While this behavior is justified in some cases, like the airlocks in Stoneship, the real reason is that it prevented the developers having to render multiple versions of any scene that featured a door that might be open. This isn't an issue in the fully 3D realMyst, but the doors in that version still close of their own accord.
  • Go Back to the Source: Myst Island, specifically the dock Marker Switch again.
  • God Guise: Although it's not stated explicitly, one can infer from Achenar's use of the hologram projector in Channelwood that he encouraged the natives to think of him as a mighty- and vengeful- deity.
  • Guide Dang It!: 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.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Regardless of which brother you rescue, it allows the villains to win since both of them are evil. Fortunately, the game allows you to Take a Third Option with the Green Book.
  • Identical Grandson: Both Atrus and his son Achenar were played by creator Rand Miller (his real-life brother Robyn played Sirrus).
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: For whatever reason, you aren't able to carry two pages at once. If you want to bring back both pages, you're forced to go to every age twice as a result. The Unreal versions fix this and allow you to carry both pages.
  • Ironic Hell: Mostly All There in the Manual, but basically what both of the brothers' linking books boil down to. Sirrus was given ultimate luxury but nothing to exploit to upkeep it which first made it hollow then deteriorate until it was only the most basic functions. Achenar was given stuff to destroy but it quickly ran out and thus leaves his bloodlust unsatisfied as he walks around an endless empty waste. Instead of learning from it, however, it just drove them both crazier.
  • Irony: D'ni, the age where Atrus was trapped in the first game, is actually Earth, the very place the player is trying to return to, though there's no way to know that in the game itself.
  • Island of Mystery: It's not called 'Myst' for nothing.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Go to D'ni without the white page (a type of Unwinnable situation), or bring the last page to either brother, so you get trapped in the book yourself.
  • Lighthouse Point: The Stoneship Age has one, and the player has to activate it to provide power to the nearby caves. Notably, when Atrus built it, it started sinking due to being on a loose rock, and by the time the player arrives, it's been half-sunken and the only way in is through a smashed window near the top.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle:
    • One 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. 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.
    • The fireplace plate has 2^48 (over 280 trillion) possible combinations. Even if you find, by happenstance, the book with the patterns in it, there are still hundreds of patterns to search through.
  • Lost in Transmission: The red and blue books which contain Sirrus and Achenar respectfully are full of color-coded static interference. As a result, communication with the two of them is difficult, since their speech is frequently cut off by the static blocking them. If you open the books without inserting any of the pages, you just get this static and nothing else. The more pages you return to the books, the clearer the picture becomes. By the time you've got every page but the last one, their transmissions are much clearer, allowing them to give much more detail about what's going on. The green book which contains Atrus has no such interference at all, and he communicates with you through the book perfectly clearly.
  • Minecart Madness: The Mazerunner in the Selenitic Age.
  • Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: Sirrus and Achenar. Especially Achenar.
  • Multiple Endings: All but one possible ending involve the player trapped in a linking book with no means of escape, or trapped in a room with no way home.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Because you can't die, the only way to "lose" at the game is to either quit the game or give either of Atrus' sons all of their respective pages or enter the Green Book without bringing the White Page to give to Atrus. And the former two just send you to a black screen after the cutscene and lets you reload your last save from there.
  • Novelization: The official Prima Games Strategy Guide doubles as a novelization, with the answers to the puzzles being presented as the protagonist's notes about his adventures in Myst.
  • Perpetual Storm: In realMyst, the Stoneship Age is experiencing a constant rainstorm.
  • The Place: The title of the game is named after the starting Hub Level, Myst Island.
  • Playable Epilogue: After the good ending, you can return to Myst Island and continue exploring the Ages. The original game doesn't have anything new to do after completing it, but realMyst adds the Rime Age and realMyst: Masterpiece Edition unlocks some Easter eggs.
  • Plot Coupon: Six red pages, and six blue ones, which you have to find to learn more about the island and its history from Sirrus and/or Achenar. There's also one white page, which you need to unlock the Golden Ending.
  • Poor Communication Kills: 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. Though Myst IV: Revelation reveals that at that time, they were planning to magic Atrus' knowledge from him, so it's just as well.
  • Portal Endpoint Resemblance: The Ages are accessed through books found in areas that evoke the Ages themselves. The Stoneship Age book is on a ship that you need to raise from the water, the Mechanical Age book is inside a giant gear, the Channelwood Age book is found in a room accessed through a big hollowed-out tree, and so on.
  • Retro Rocket: The island has a 1950s-style rocketship located in close proximity to the library. It takes you directly to the Selenitic Age once you solve the puzzle inside it, but its a one-way trip.
  • Schmuck Bait: The Trap Books. Not counting the Linking Book you touched to start the whole adventure, of course…
  • Sdrawkcab Speech: When played backwards, one of Achenar's messages in Channelwood states, "Rush Limbaugh understands".
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Both of the brothers trapped in the books are revealed to be this.
  • Sequel Hook: The good ending contains several blatant ones for Riven, with Atrus mentioning to the player that "an even greater foe" awaits them in the future.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • 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 Speed Run of this game — that is, from starting the game to doing the last thing you need to do in order to have considered achieved the Golden Ending — is less than sixty seconds.
    • You can also do this to get the bad endings, particularly the two that free Sirrus or Achenar. Turns out their books only ever needed the final page behind the fireplace in order for them to be freed.
    • The 2020 remake has an option to randomize the solutions to puzzles, so if you wanted to speedrun the game as such, you'd still have to figure out what time to set the clock tower to, find the marker switch with the white page, then find the code for the fireplace and enter it.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The never-seen Osmoian Age, mentioned in the Channelwood journal, is a nod to Cyan's earlier game Cosmic Osmo, which was set in the Osmoian solar system.
    • There's an Easter Egg reference to MythBusters hidden away in the docked ship's crow's nest in realMyst: Masterpiece Edition, reachable only in free-roam mode.
    • Another unseen age, Everdunes, is likely a shout out to Frank Herbert's Dune.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: The Mazerunner in the Selenitic Age uses sounds to guide you along the correct path.
  • Strategy Guide: A notable one because the major strategy guide done by Prima Games actually had two different versions in the same guide. The first part of the guide reads like a journal with an almost literary quality, never telling you directly what the answer to the puzzles are but providing hints as to what to do. The second part is the actual guide, notably shorter in length, but tells you the exact answers to all the puzzles. Note that even the guide itself recommends sticking to the first part to keep the experience intact and only use the second if you absolutely cannot figure out the solution.
  • Take a Third Option: Both of the brothers trapped in the books are evil, just in different ways. The correct answer, when given the option of who to trust, is to trust neither of them. Instead, doing the one thing they tell you not to do is what's required to get the Golden Ending.
  • Taxidermy Terror: Achenar's throne room in the Mechanical Age has a strange monkey-like head mounted on one wall. You can see where it came from in a secret room nearby, coupled with an altar in Channelwood that eats its sacrifices.
  • Tree Top Town: The Channelwood Age. Originally it was just how the tree people lived, but later the treehouses became necessary when the island sank into the water.
  • Truer to the Text: Zigzagged. The 2021 release cuts out the bonus Rime Age, but it also left in Ti'ana's gravestone.
  • Twist Ending: Regardless of which one you rescue, both of the brothers are revealed to be evil.
  • Updated Re-release: Three times. First, there is Myst: Masterpiece Edition which updated the graphics to 24-bit color (as opposed to 8-bit color in the original), made some improvements to sound quality and UI, 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 updated the original realMyst's relatively crude late 90's-era 3D graphics with more modern visualsnote . And in 2021, the 2020 Unreal Engine VR remake was re-released as a non-VR game for consoles and PC.
  • Uncertain Doom: The game doesn't make a point clear during the Golden Ending, but it seems as if the chances of survival are not very high. Upon freeing Atrus and returning to the library, the player sees scorch marks where the trap books for Sirrus and Achenar used to be. But it isn't made clear whether burning those books killed the brothers, or merely made them suffer a Fate Worse than Death. A future game in the series would later retcon it to be the latter, as the two were trapped in Ages in which they were all alone, and destroying the red/blue books made their chances of escape go from slim to none.
  • Video Game Remake: realMyst, a fully free-roaming 3D update to the original with a new age (made in 2000, the 3D graphics are actually a bit cruder and simpler than the 2D environments of the point-and-click original, which is the trade-off to translate the 2D screens into a full 3D environment). This was actually made by Cyan to test the game engine that would be used for Uru. In 2020 another free-roaming 3D remake, this time with fully modern graphics and made on Unreal Engine 4, was developed for VR. A non-VR version of this remake was released on 2021 for consoles and PC.
  • Wham Shot: Going back to the library and seeing the burn marks where Sirrus' and Achenar's trap books used to be.
  • A Winner Is You: Lampshaded in the good ending by Atrus, who apologizes for being unable to offer a reward better than a "good job" and the ability to do what you've been doing for the past few hours.
  • Wintry Auroral Sky: Available in realMyst's new Rime Age, where Atrus and his family learned how to create auroras via special machines, even coloring them to their whims.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Atrus' reaction if you enter D'ni without the page he requests. Now not only is he stuck there, but so are you.
  • Zip Mode: Trope Namer. A handy way to get from one end of an Age to another is to use Zip Mode, which replaces your cursor with a lightning bolt. Doing so skips most of the screens you'd walk through in favor of getting you right where you need to go with only one click.


Video Example(s):



Sirrus calls you a stupid fool after you release him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / YouFool

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