Vol. 08: The Secret History of MYST
Co-creator Robyn Miller reveals why it became the best-selling adventure game of all time.
By Robyn Miller
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- Myst and Riven are broken
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I LOVE these games. I played Myst at school on my teacher's Mac Quadra 700 with an external cartridge loading single speed CD drive. I even convinced the teacher to let me take the CD drive home over the weekend to play the game. (Hicklan, you rock.) When Riven came out, I filled whole pads of green engineering paper with drawings and symbols. I learned how to write numbers in the D'ni language and used it to solve puzzles in these vivid and compelling worlds. I want to say all these positive things before I rant about the absolutely terrible support these games have on modern systems.
After reading the article I got all excited. I grabbed my Riven disks thinking I could share this fantastic experience with my 9 y/o daughter. I thought a 40" HD LCD, 7-ch surround sound, and a Mac Mini running 10.4 would be the perfect way to introduce this experience to my daughter, so I set down to install it.
ALERT! This application must be run in classic mode.
So, I RTFM. The instructions say you need to boot into OS 9, run the installer, then bring up OS X (maybe install a patch) and then you can play the game. Has anyone noticed that OS 9 doesn't exist anymore? Ok, maybe my disks are old and they've made better installers since then. No patches are available via the Ubi Soft website to fix my problem. Wait, didn't these come out in an Anniversary Edition in '03? That'll fix it, right? NO! The An. Ed. is just a repackaged, broken game.
The requirements specify QuickTime 6.3. Since no one runs this anymore (and in many cases actually can't) the game is lost. But, being a loyal Riven seeker I charged on.
Wine. The Windows Emulation project ran the installer on my FC5 laptop. I was getting close! It even enabled me to copy all the disks to my hard drive and load them up as drives d: through h: so I wouldn't have to switch disks. NO! This doesn't work either. The games rely on an Autorun that launches some Setup/Blank.exe app presumeably to verify that you actually have the CDs and didn't just copy them from a friend. There had been a no-cd crack somewhere in the net but I can't find it. Seeing as the posts about this crack are more than 4 years old it's unlikely it's still available anywhere. (unless some kick ass Maker wants to point me to it?)
Posts all over the net confirm my findings. Even under versions of Windows XP there are compatibility issues with some video cards and related software.
I haven't decided if my journey is over, but the evidence is in. If anyone has to hack this hard to play your game, they wil eventually give up. Riven, for all it's beauty, is lost to the masses.
If anyone has any clues as to how I could get this working (without dual booting a box to win98), please contact me.
P.S. The function of these games is simple for a modern web browser to replicate. If Cyan and Ubi Soft could find it in the hearts to release the IP, you could easily find a group of people to preserve this game and rewrite it in an online format. I'll even help.
Posted by atrapose on November 26, 2006 at 00:10:25 Pacific Time
Showing messages 1 through 1 of 1.
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