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Leeroy ST

27 years later, what's your opinion on the hit adventure game MYST?

27 years later, what's your opinion on the hit adventure game MYST?  

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  1. 1. 27 years later, what's your opinion on the hit adventure game MYST?

    • I think it still holds up and stands the test of time.
    • I think that it used to be great but aged badly overtime.
    • I always believed the game was over-hyped even for the time.
    • I'm not sure.


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Myst was a major computer release back in 1993, it was lauded over by newspapers and magazines for its breathtaking graphics, immersive gameplay and high fidelity audio. It helped increase CD-ROM drive sales and became the best selling computer game of all time for a number of years. Eventually new versions with improvements were released, including a realtime variation called realmyst.

 

MystCover.png

 

Even gaming consoles at the time had ports of Myst, PlayStation, 3DO, even the Jaguar CD.

 

I'm curious as to what users think of the game now in 2020. Would you go back and play it? Has it stood the test of time? Was it an example of "right place at the right time"? I used to hear people speak of the Myst and its sequels in the mid 2000's, but from the late 2000's until now, I rarely hear Myst enter into computer gaming discussion, instead replaced by other 90's hit and cult titles. This makes me wonder if the game still has any pull in current times.

 

 

Edited by Leeroy ST

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I think it depends on how you read the hype.

Did it live up to the hype of being the harbinger of a new media form, the CDROM based game?

Yep.   It did.  It helped start that and it did in very well.  It showed what you could do with a well designed game that needed more storage that floppies could provide.  

So in that sense, it lived up to the hype.

 

But, as a game?  If you take away all the "CDROM is the future" aspect of it and look at it as a game compared to other games of the time.

It was a very good game.  Right up there with some of the other very good games released at the time.

Not the best ever.  Not the best ever puzzle game.  Not the best ever point and click game.

But it was a very good game. 

And I think it holds up well today.

It was a very well designed game with some great artwork.

So, just as a game, it wasn't media changing/defining.  It was just very good.

 

As a portent of a new media; yeah, it met that hype.

 

 

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I never played it - I guess you could say I myst it - but I always liked the artwork. That's probably why it was such a big hyt.

 

I heard the Brytish Lybrary icon set was partly based on Myst.

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It never really appealed to me back in the day, but I did own it for the Sega Saturn. I brought my Saturn to the beach on vacation two years ago and my nephew loved the game and replayed the whole thing that week. It was pretty interesting to watch him play it but I don’t know if I would’ve had the patience.

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I remember it was played clandestinely on the macs at school.  However, I just considered it another point-click adventure game, but with less cleverness. (It relied too heavily on the FMV schtick, IMO.)

 

I honestly had more fun with other titles from that era. 

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I never could get very far in the game, but it did provide me with the incentive to upgrade to a CD drive in my aging AT clone, and changed my way of thinking of a game could be. In other words, game: C. Impact and legacy: A+

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"The 7th guest" was a PC title of about the same era; A DOS title, so it did not get smuggled into schools like Myst did.  However, it was vastly more challenging and engaging, with a somewhat more interesting (if significantly more dark) subject matter.

 

It too blended FMV with a pre-rendered CGI environment, and used the CDROM for that purpose. (Unlike the makers of Myst though, who heavily abused .mov quicktime format, the people who made The 7th Guest invented their own video compressor, Groovie. It does alpha blended transparency effects to blend it over the top of the rendered scenes.)

 

I would actually recommend The 7th Guest to people that like brain teasers and puzzles, looking for a fun and challenging retro title.  Myst? Glamorous, but not satisfying, IMO.

 

EDIT:

 

This is a longplay of the whole game; It will spoil it if you have not played it before. However, I can't think of a better way to showcase it.  Just watch a bit in the beginning, decide if you want to play or not.

 

 

Edited by wierd_w
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I never got into Myst.   To me it seemed like a game that appealed more to non-gamers.  

 

It came out at a time when I built my first PC with my first CD-ROM drive, and I was picking up whatever CD-ROM games and demos I could.   But it never grabbed me.  I got more into the LucasArts games at the time.

Edited by zzip

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My Dad had the demo of it on a CD from the magazine "CD-ROM Today".  At the time I had an 8088 and he had a 386 WANG that had a CD-ROM drive (using the CD cartridge-style cases no less).  It was a bit choppy on his system but it was still playable.  It just didn't click with me as the puzzles seem to take the more obtuse side of "point and click" adventures.  I will say this title did help herald the acceptance and desire of multimedia kits.

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On 9/6/2020 at 6:41 PM, wierd_w said:

"The 7th guest" was a PC title of about the same era; A DOS title, so it did not get smuggled into schools like Myst did.  However, it was vastly more challenging and engaging, with a somewhat more interesting (if significantly more dark) subject matter.

 

It too blended FMV with a pre-rendered CGI environment, and used the CDROM for that purpose. (Unlike the makers of Myst though, who heavily abused .mov quicktime format, the people who made The 7th Guest invented their own video compressor, Groovie. It does alpha blended transparency effects to blend it over the top of the rendered scenes.)

 

I would actually recommend The 7th Guest to people that like brain teasers and puzzles, looking for a fun and challenging retro title.  Myst? Glamorous, but not satisfying, IMO.

 

EDIT:

 

This is a longplay of the whole game; It will spoil it if you have not played it before. However, I can't think of a better way to showcase it.  Just watch a bit in the beginning, decide if you want to play or not.

 

 

I am aware of the 7th Guest, was also a popular game at the time I have it on my Sony PlayStation CD-i. Good game.

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On 9/8/2020 at 9:55 AM, Gamemoose said:

My Dad had the demo of it on a CD from the magazine "CD-ROM Today"

Wow, I had no idea there was a magazine dedicated to exclusively to CD-Roms

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I was never a fan and always believed it to be overhyped. Part of that bias on my part of course is due to the fact that it's just not a game type I "get". I don't feel immersed in what's mostly a static game world and I'm not a fan of those types of puzzles. I remember I had a hard time selling my 386 SX-20 with CD-ROM because it couldn't play Myst. It really was a big deal at the time.

 

I did recently reacquire it for the 3DO (I was debating between that and the CD-i version), so I'll definitely give it a try again, but this time with one of my daughters who likes mysteries. I'm hoping that through her eyes I can gain a deeper personal appreciation for the game/experience.

As for The 7th Guest, I was well aware of it but don't recall getting around to playing it much, but I do plan on tracking down the CD-i version at some point. I remember back in the day when I worked at Electronics Boutique and there was a CD-i demo day that they were pushing the capabilities of the MPEG cartridge (which also added 1MB extra RAM) and how The 7th Guest port was as good as or better than what the best 486 PCs could do at the time. It certainly was impressive then.

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It definitely presented a radically different type of PC game to the prevailing FPS of the era. It might have been more comparable to a text adventure, but with worse graphics. (I'm partially kidding and partially not, because of course with prose the "graphics" are your imagination.) I can understand those who say it mainly appealed to "non-gamers" but isn't that just sort of a defensive, tribal outlook on something that massively expanded the audience for PC games? I would say it has aged poorly in the sense that most 3D CG from the 90s has. I think it's a shame that the drive for 3D in the West really pulled the rug out from under the commercial viability of 2D art, which was at a level of masterpiece virtuosity in that era. Over time, it's become more apparent that stylized art direction ages better than whatever the current standard of "realistic" is... but for the time, the graphics certainly got attention. Personally I'm ambivalent about it but generally speaking, I think anything that expands the audience for games is a good thing.

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8 minutes ago, Zoyous said:

It definitely presented a radically different type of PC game to the prevailing FPS of the era. It might have been more comparable to a text adventure, but with worse graphics.

I'd say what LucasArts and Sierra were doing was a better successor to the text adventure genre.

 

11 minutes ago, Zoyous said:

I think it's a shame that the drive for 3D in the West really pulled the rug out from under the commercial viability of 2D art, which was at a level of masterpiece virtuosity in that era. Over time, it's become more apparent that stylized art direction ages better than whatever the current standard of "realistic" is... but for the time, the graphics certainly got attention. Personally I'm ambivalent about it but generally speaking, I think anything that expands the audience for games is a good thing.

Agreed,  especially when they pushed 3D into games that really didn't need it.   Suddenly your PC is struggling to play a 3D version of a game that looks worse than the 2D version that preceeded it.    I like 3D now that it looks good,  but hated it back then.  You are right though that 3D tends to age poorly

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I mean, I like these puzzle adventure-ish games. Maybe it was somewhat overrated. But my point is, I like it. I don't think it's particularly bad.

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The problem, is that people used to not be so hmm.. what's a good word...  They used to be more patient with their content.

 

 

Lucas Arts's point click adventure games come immediately to mind; While very polished and interactive, they can be extremely frustrating without a walkthrough handy. You could spend WEEKS trying to figure out a single action, and timing sequence.  People these days... Lack the attention span to do that.  They would fling the game controller/keyboard across the room, angry german kid style.

 

Similar with the harder puzzles in things like 7th guest.  If you don't already know about the Bishops and Queens puzzles, you are gonna spend a LOOOOOOOOOONG time solving them, for instance. Others, like the "canned goods" puzzle, use words in the english language that are cryptic/obscure, and not in many people's vocabulary these days.

 

 

I remember people had similar complaints about some of Myst's puzzles, BITD.  Remember, this is the era of "Giant blazing quest markers" to guide people to a quest destination. No such "Blatantly obvious" guidance was given BITD.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, wierd_w said:

The problem, is that people used to not be so hmm.. what's a good word...  They used to be more patient with their content.

 

 

Lucas Arts's point click adventure games come immediately to mind; While very polished and interactive, they can be extremely frustrating without a walkthrough handy. You could spend WEEKS trying to figure out a single action, and timing sequence.  People these days... Lack the attention span to do that.  They would fling the game controller/keyboard across the room, angry german kid style.

 

Similar with the harder puzzles in things like 7th guest.  If you don't already know about the Bishops and Queens puzzles, you are gonna spend a LOOOOOOOOOONG time solving them, for instance. Others, like the "canned goods" puzzle, use words in the english language that are cryptic/obscure, and not in many people's vocabulary these days.

 

 

I remember people had similar complaints about some of Myst's puzzles, BITD.  Remember, this is the era of "Giant blazing quest markers" to guide people to a quest destination. No such "Blatantly obvious" guidance was given BITD.

 

 

In a way it's very similar to Zork. It's polished, detailed, interactive, yet near impossible to play without a walkthrough. I like zork, I like its attention to detail, and I find it fun to play from time to time. Same goes for Myst.

 

Fine, maybe it's not the game for modern gamers, so it technically could be classified as "not aged well".

 

However, I think that myst is a game that is fun to explore around and mess with stuff, not to actually beat.

Edited by bluejay

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On 9/10/2020 at 11:51 AM, Bill Loguidice said:

I was never a fan and always believed it to be overhyped. Part of that bias on my part of course is due to the fact that it's just not a game type I "get". I don't feel immersed in what's mostly a static game world and I'm not a fan of those types of puzzles. I remember I had a hard time selling my 386 SX-20 with CD-ROM because it couldn't play Myst. It really was a big deal at the time.

 

I did recently reacquire it for the 3DO (I was debating between that and the CD-i version), so I'll definitely give it a try again, but this time with one of my daughters who likes mysteries. I'm hoping that through her eyes I can gain a deeper personal appreciation for the game/experience.

The static rooms are what killed it for me, I only ever managed to complete a version of myst because of the later release of a realtime version. 

 

On 9/10/2020 at 11:51 AM, Bill Loguidice said:

As for The 7th Guest, I was well aware of it but don't recall getting around to playing it much, but I do plan on tracking down the CD-i version at some point. I remember back in the day when I worked at Electronics Boutique and there was a CD-i demo day that they were pushing the capabilities of the MPEG cartridge (which also added 1MB extra RAM) and how The 7th Guest port was as good as or better than what the best 486 PCs could do at the time. It certainly was impressive then.

It's still good on CD-i, some parts have aged of course. 

 

On 9/10/2020 at 2:03 PM, wierd_w said:

The problem, is that people used to not be so hmm.. what's a good word...  They used to be more patient with their content.

 

 

Lucas Arts's point click adventure games come immediately to mind; While very polished and interactive, they can be extremely frustrating without a walkthrough handy. You could spend WEEKS trying to figure out a single action, and timing sequence.  People these days... Lack the attention span to do that.  They would fling the game controller/keyboard across the room, angry german kid style.

 

Similar with the harder puzzles in things like 7th guest.  If you don't already know about the Bishops and Queens puzzles, you are gonna spend a LOOOOOOOOOONG time solving them, for instance. Others, like the "canned goods" puzzle, use words in the english language that are cryptic/obscure, and not in many people's vocabulary these days.

 

 

I remember people had similar complaints about some of Myst's puzzles, BITD.  Remember, this is the era of "Giant blazing quest markers" to guide people to a quest destination. No such "Blatantly obvious" guidance was given BITD.

 

 

 

But sometimes this was on purpose and developers would intentionally make insane puzzles that were meant to make you take a hammer to your TV. Even Kings Quest did that with V and VI. Including a decision that you wouldn't realize makes the game impossible to beat until hours later.

 

On 9/10/2020 at 2:16 PM, bluejay said:

In a way it's very similar to Zork. It's polished, detailed, interactive, yet near impossible to play without a walkthrough. I like zork,

 

 

 

I forgot Zork existed for years until I saw this post, that was an Activision series wasn't it? 

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52 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

I forgot Zork existed for years until I saw this post, that was an Activision series wasn't it? 

Infocom.

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43 minutes ago, bluejay said:

Infocom.

Well it seems Activision owned them since 1986 so that may be why I remember seeing their name on Zork titles.

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1 minute ago, Leeroy ST said:

Well it seems Activision owned them since 1986 so that may be why I remember seeing their name on Zork titles.

I suppose. Zork was released sometime in the late 70s, if memory serves. I dunno, it might have been early 80s.

I did some quick wikipedia research and apparently Return to Zork(1993) and onwards were released by Activision.

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