Plenty of you are likely familiar with the regard in which I hold certain games and developers. Thereâ€™s Criterion with the Burnout series and, of course, Naughty Dog and Uncharted. Thereâ€™s a few others in there, but not many. The list grows very slowly if at all.
However, the first studio and games that I ever fell in love with started on the PC and they started with adventure/puzzle games. I vividly remember playing The 7th Guest on my fatherâ€™s 486DX40…I think. I donâ€™t even know if thatâ€™s how you write it out anymore and no clue on ANYTHING about the specs it had, but Dad said it was good and it ran the game, so I was happy.
While Trilobyte made me take notice of what kind of a world I could find on a PC and the puzzles waiting for me, it was another company that would fuel the obsession and forever remain my standard for adventure/puzzle gaming.
Iâ€™m not exactly sure what first drew me to pick up Myst from Cyan Worlds. I wasnâ€™t following gaming news. About the closest thing I had was Nintendo Power at the time. It had to have been the box that made me buy itâ€¦.or ask for it. Again, the details of how I came to own the game are fuzzy. I can only think that I walked into Electronics Boutique in the mall with my mother or father and looked at the PC section, noticed the box, the little banner on it claiming â€œWINNER OF 12 MAJOR AWARDS including 1994 GOLD MEDAL & 1994 WORLD-CLASS AWARDâ€ and then either asked my Dad if his computer could play it or remembered what heâ€™d told me enough to know it would and bought it.
However way I came to own Myst didnâ€™t matter, once I played it I was hooked. I canâ€™t remember how long it took me to finish the game, but I had notes upon notes during my journey through Myst island and the different ages. It was the hardest game Iâ€™d ever played at the time and for some time to come following. In fact, I likely didnâ€™t get another challenge like that until the sequel, Riven, was released. I have that box, too, by the way. In fact, I have every boxed copy of a Myst game I have ever bought – double dips and all. I own the soundtracks lacking only Myst IV and Myst V. In fact, hereâ€™s pretty much everything of Myst that I own in some kind of physical form at the moment:
The bug had bitten me and I forever tried to reach back to that first feeling of visiting Myst island. Although, it only actually seemed to work when I played a Myst game. A few titles here and there came close. Syberia was one of those games, but as I played it, the game became its own thing and not something I ended up comparing to what Myst was for me. Myst has stayed with me since I played the very first game nearly 20 years ago. And I had long since given up on seeing anything new in the universe. Myst V: End Of Ages was the finale, and I had my doubts early on in the release of that game that we wouldnâ€™t see a Myst VI or some kind of side venture, but the more I read about End Of Ages, the more I began to accept that the adventure was over.
Then, just a week ago (the day before my birthday, in fact), a project on Kickstarter sprung up from Cyan Worlds called Obduction. The first thing I did was look at the backer rewards for the boxed copy of the game (itâ€™s at the $75 level). Done. Backed. Now, whereâ€™s the level that gets my name in the credits? Could they possibly have a level that gets me to provide input for the development of the game or maybe a visit to the studio? They have all of those and more and while some of the levels are out of my reach, Iâ€™m still getting a boxed copy of their game whenever itâ€™s released. Thatâ€™s, of course, assuming their project gets funded, but I really have no doubt in my mind it wonâ€™t pass its goal and become a reality.
Itâ€™s been a long time since Iâ€™ve had a game from Cyan to look forward to, and it doesnâ€™t really matter that it isnâ€™t part of the Mystâ€¦.mythos. Itâ€™s a new beginning from them. And maybe it doesnâ€™t take a Myst game to bring me back to that first feeling of being on Myst island, maybe all it takes is Cyan to keep doing what they do best. Thatâ€™s a project Iâ€™ll support every time they offer it. As was said to me 20 years ago in Myst by one of the founders of Cyan…perhaps the ending has not yet been written.