How I Beat Myst

Not to brag, but my brother and I beat Myst back sometime in 1995 without cheats, without hints, and without any help whatsoever. Well, that's a lie, because we did look up one cheat to get us out of that damn Selentic Age puzzle in the Flounder-shaped submarine, but other than that, we did everything else just by walking around and clicking on stuff. And that's really the only way to play Myst, because as anyone who's played it and then gone and looked at the cheats knows, the game is "winnable" in under a minute. To really get the whole experience, you just got to take the long sightseeing tour and get your senses blown apart. That's basically all it was anyways, one big slideshow that you clicked through while fighting with your brother, and every now and then little movies played.

Oh! The little ship is the big ship!
But to anyone who was a PC nerd in the 90s like I was, Myst continues to be the coolest PC game ever made, back in a time when you actually went to a computer store to buy games on "CD-ROM!" in the big boxes. Myst was a point and click adventure involving puzzles to solve and environments to explore, but how do I really describe it? The mystery starts the second you, the player, gets thrown down onto this very bizarre island, completely devoid of people, and yet curiously built up as if people were once there. The mystery continues as you meander (aimlessly at first), trying to get your bearings and tamping down that eerie feeling of being all alone in such a strange place. Could it be a dream? Who built all this stuff? Where did they all go? Where does that tunnel lead? Questions, and absolutely no answers, yet. It's like Lost, except the creators actually had a plan for it.

Finally made it up here! Now where to go?
After you've experienced everything on the island, you begin to experiment with things, perhaps in desperation to find some order in the chaos, and the more you uncover, the more things start falling into place. You learn that the island is like the "age hub" and that you can visit other "ages" by absorbing yourself into the moving pictures in the books scattered around the island. You find yourself collecting pink and blue pages from each age in the ruse for these mysterious weirdos calling to you from beyond the grave or in some prison. You visit the high treetop hut village of the Channelwood Age, with its twisting bridges and swamp walkway pumps, also devoid of people and yet all arranged as if they just disappeared. You visit the Stoneship Age, with its lighthouse (my favorite), and telescope peering into the clouded void. Then there's the Mechanical Age, with its turning house and rooms full of stately furniture and spooky torture devices, and finally, that damn Selentic Age that you travel to via rocket ship piano with the random clocks and the near-impossible without cheats submarine puzzle!

Awesome lighthouse!
Add to this a killer of a moody soundtrack, and glorious visuals, and you got more than just a game, but an experience, if you played it right. It's definitely the kind of game that once you started, you totally got sucked in and might play for 5 or 6 hours just trying to figure out how to work the pump system in the Channelwood Age, or how to spin the house in the Mechanical Age, or how to light that furnace on Myst Island to get that giant ass tree to lower itself! I remember we figured that one out completely by accident, just clicking on the match and "moving it" around on the screen until it "struck itself" on the wall! Presto! There were a thousand "happy accidents" in the game like that, and that's what made it fun.

There just weren't any "cheats to Myst" online, or any walkthroughs, because both Myst and the internet were brand new. If you wanted cheats, you had to call an expensive 1-800 number on the box! I often wonder now if anyone has called that in recent decades. Eventually I got so into Myst that I went out and read the prequel books, which really explain the whole backstory to this world, but the game is still an experience first and foremost.

But as for the sequel, Riven...  hell, we walkthrough'ed and cheated the hell out of that one!


  1. Herm... I just bought an HD version of Myst on Steam a while back. And I have it on my DS. I'm gonna have to actually get cracking on it!

    If you liked Myst, btw, you'd love to try out the game "Treasure Quest". I own it from when I was a kid in the early 2000s. I bought it at a dollar store and discovered there was a real contest in which the person who solved the game first would get 1 million dollars. It wound up having this weird mystery where some mystery guy won.. yada yada..

    Anyways- it had some odd and VERY tough questions. The only one I ever solved was when I was in 5th grade. It was: "What do the Statue of Liberty's Rays stand for?" It was a bitch but I solved it and then it led me to a dead end room! :(

    1. Yeah I like point-and-click adventure games, probably because I'm easily entertained. I remember playing games like Freddi Fish and this Titanic game which was so hard to solve we never beat it.

    2. I know exactly what game you're talking about! I had that Titanic game, too! It was so difficult! I just ran around the Titanic and spent a lot of time in the exercise bike til the Titanic crashed and I died. =P