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Real Myst

by Ubisoft
Windows 98 / Me / 95
Everyone
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews) 3 answered questions 66 / 100


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Product Details

  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B00004ZC7H
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: November 16, 2000
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,374 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Product Description

Amazon.com

Revisit the world of Myst like you've never seen it before. For the first time, the surreal world of Myst can be experienced in full 3-D. Swaying trees and independently roaming animals add life to the formerly static Myst worlds. The realMYST game includes the complete original Myst game, along with an all-new fifth age, called the Rime Age, which provides a complete ending to the original mystery.

For those unfamiliar with Myst, it is one of the primary reasons your computer has a CD-ROM drive. CD-ROM drives didn't really catch on as must-have components until Myst debuted in 1993. Since then, the game has sold more than 9 million copies and still appears on bestseller charts.

The realMYST game takes place in a beautiful, interactive virtual world. The player must solve puzzles and roam magical realms filled with archaic technology in order to solve an ancient mystery.

Review

The game realMYST is a noble attempt by Cyan to update its popular adventure game Myst. The title is meant to imply that this is the "real" version of Myst, the version the Rand brothers would have originally created had the technology been available. The major change is the game's 3D engine: It lets you walk around the island and the different ages in real time. The game also includes a new epilogue that links it to its sequel, Riven. Unfortunately, the 3D engine serves only to make Myst a much more frustrating game.

The Myst phenomenon is well known. The Rand brothers, after creating the moderately successful games Cosmo Osmo and The Manhole, released an artistically ornate yet technically simple adventure game that put you on a mysterious deserted island. Through the writings of the former inhabitant, a man named Atrus, and some brief interactions with his two sons, you pieced together the history of the island.

Myst became a huge bestseller and reportedly sold around 10 million copies. It was available for any and every platform, and it rode the top of the best-selling-games lists for years. Most of the initial sales were through word of mouth, and the game even became a hit among people who normally wouldn't play computer games. Myst inspired dozens of similar games, including Sierra's Lighthouse and Rocket Science's underappreciated Obsidian. But as a result of its popularity, there was the inevitable backlash. The name "Myst" became synonymous with nonserious gaming, and it was considered by many to be the "pet rock" of computer games - a fad that had no real intrinsic value.

There's one significant fact that's often overlooked amid all the fervor surrounding Myst: It was a really good game when it was released. Its series of static images may have been simple, but the story and setting were great. Reading Atrus' lengthy and detailed writings gave the worlds the life that the technical shortcomings were unable to. And the puzzles were generally logical and fun, unlike those in so many of the games Myst inspired.

For the most part, realMYST is exactly the same game as Myst. The puzzles are the same, and the books are the same. The major difference is the new 3D engine, which not only lets you move through the environments but also allows for the inclusion of animation in the otherwise static surroundings. Windmills turn, birds and butterflies dot the landscape, and the water flows realistically. Visually, the engine is superb. Everything looks great, and the water effects are especially noteworthy. Ripples form around pillars, and boats bob over waves.

Unfortunately, the benefits of the new engine are limited to the visuals. The control interface borrows from first-person shooters - you use either the arrow keys or the mouse to move. But there are two real problems with this: Trying to manipulate objects in the world using your mouse often makes you move instead, and there's no way to change the options so that control is limited to just the arrow keys. And turning is a nightmare - you just hurtle around with little precision.

The other problem with the engine, and probably the biggest problem with realMYST in general, is that the engine runs slowly. You'll find the game constantly dragging as the engine shudders under the weight of everything it's attempting to render. The problems exist even with the visuals set to the lowest quality. And playing the game at high resolutions is almost impossible, even on a relatively fast system.

The puzzles suffer as a result. Some timed puzzles that were originally just mind benders have now become sadistic battles between you and your keyboard. Even simple point-and-click puzzles are now tedious, as they force you to try to get the mouse pointer in exactly the right position as it slowly lurches around the screen. And you might get sent hurtling through a door when you were just trying to close it.

With some serious updates to the engine, realMYST would serve as a modern reminder that the original was an impressive game that was equally defined by both its fascinating detail and its original story. In its current form, realMYST is suitable only as a novelty for fans of the original, who will want to see the new epilogue. You still have to listen to Atrus' speech at the end, but afterward you're given a new age to visit and some new puzzles. The epilogue serves as a more comprehensive link to Riven, though it's still somewhat open-ended and lacks the conclusiveness you want when a game is finished. It may be a novelty, but it's still a mostly worthwhile one for those who fondly remember Myst.--Ron Dulin--Copyright © 2000 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. -- GameSpot Review


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars realMyst - A Dream Come True December 13, 2000
Back when the original Myst came out the two gripes I had were that 1) It was just a slide show and 2) It was stuck at 640 X 480. I realized that the systems at the time could not handle a full motion 3D version and it would look like crap if they could. What you have here is basically the same game in full 3D with user-definable resolution/bit depths up to 1920 x 1440, 32 bit color. You should see this game at 1920 x 1440 with 32 bit, uncompressed textures and full-screen anti-aliasing. Every frame is like a high-res calendar print! I have a PIII 533 EB with 256 MB of RAM and the ATI Radeon 64MB DDR video card. Please understand that the makers of this game were not concerned about performance issues; they just wanted to make it look as good as possible - hence there probably is not a machine in existence today that can run it at 1920 x 1440 32bit and get 60 frames per second. My machine gets about 5 fps in outdoor scenes and upwards of 30 indoors. This is with all the settings maxed out. Lower resolutions don't seem to help. I think it's because of the animated textures. Both the sky and water are full motion animated textures. When you just sit and look at them they go at at least 30fps. When I first got it I just sat on the beach and watched the clouds go by and the waves lap against the sand. I was then shocked to eventually see the sun go down with a gorgeous sunset and stars starting to peep out, and eventually night fell with a sky full of winking stars which were periodically obfuscated by the passing clouds. As far as 3D graphics are concerned, Unreal Tournament is no comparison. These are flat out the best 3D graphics of any game ever. The mouse movement was not a problem. I don't know what some of the other reviewers are talking about. I have played many 3D games extensively and had no problems whatsoever adapting to the interface. If anything it's easier than the original version. Buy this game now!!!
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Realistic ! November 19, 2000
By Nick
Myst, the game that sold over 5 million copies worldwide and is still considered one of the most popular games around. Imagine yourself stranded on a deserted island and in order to get out of the island, you have no choice but to explore the island. In the process of doing that, you discover the dark secret of the island...
In the original Myst game, in order to get around the beautiful surrealistic landscape, it was just a simple mouse click on the static 2D image. To move left, you click on the left of the screen, to move right, you click to the right of the screen and so on. It was like watching a slideshow. In RealMyst, the new version of Myst, all this has changed.
Myst was just like real life. You will never die and you have to solve many cleverly designed puzzles that are scattered all over the island. The puzzles are fun, but can be frustrating at times. And the fact that you can never die is actually a plus point, it takes out the frustration of solving the puzzles.
In RealMyst, the storyline is the same however, there is a new ending, which is actually a bonus stage that was not included in the original Myst. Everything in RealMyst is in 3D and real time. Unlike most 3D games, the textures of RealMyst are strikingly realistic. RealMyst also features real time, that means that night will turn into day and there will be weather changes. All these new features and the freedom to move around and look in any direction that you wish,will fully immerse you into the rich and surrealistic world of Myst.
RealMyst could have been better if not for the steep system requiremnts. Even on the the fastest computers, it runs slow.
Overall, RealMyst is a game worth playing but if you are looking for something fast and exciting, this is not the game for you.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect... November 27, 2000
By N. Daum
I like the Myst Universe. While it is arguably more visual flourish than a deep story, the Myst universe has the abiltiy to pull you in. This suspension of disbelief is intensified by removing the jarring still frames of a slide show and opening up to full 4-D freedom. Graphically, RealMyst is gorgeous: real-time lighting effects, atmospheric shifts from night to day, birds and frogs moving about. While the geometry is slightly simplified from the original, the retexturing with more realistic materials more than makes up for it. Sound is more well done than the graphics. In the Channelwood Age, there are three distinct levels of ambient sound. On the ground, water gurgles and frogs croak. As you ascend to the trees, wind begins to blow, leaves rustle, and birds chirp. Music fades in at appropriate moments to accentuate discoveries and set the mood. Graphics and sound almost are the gameplay, but those two aspects are supplemented by intuitive puzzles. If you have never played Myst, this is a definite buy. If you have played Myst before, even years ago, you may find yourself finishing too quickly. By today's standards, RealMyst is a short game. If you are quick-witted or have some recollection of the original game, you can finish this is a few hours. Once the game has been played through, there is nothing left to brig you back.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real Myst: Still fun but hard on the stomach December 7, 2000
While RealMyst offers fans a lot of what they have always wanted, it does have it's limits. The good parts are that you do get to move around in a more realistic world, and the birds, fish, rolling waves, animals and addition of night to day are really quite beautiful. There are the added benefits of what brought Myst fans to near cultlike adoration: it is a relaxing, soothing game that has wonderful music and allows the player to really feel that he/she is entering another land. It still has that appeal and that's what makes it fun.
The bad part is that anyone with any sensitivies (like myself) to motion are going to have to be very careful. Within 10 minutes of starting the game, the movement got the better of me and motion sickness set in. The movement is "real" in the computer sense but in computer movement, there is no such thing as a "steady cam". So any movement of the mouse produces a lot of "yaw" and "pitch". The playing screen fills the monitor field and there is no way to adjust it and put a border around it to allow your brain to orient itself. Careful, slow clicking and movement will allow you to play the game with the drawback of making it a VERY slow process. But for those who would like to experience amore realistic Myst, it is worth the money and time and with exposure, anyone who is sensitive can build up a tolerance.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. Great improvement...... formal product review is very...
First, the product review by Ron Dulin of GameSpot Inc. says "turning is a nightmare - you just hurtle around with little precision". That is absolutely wrong. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Soundman
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic game
I loved this game...I remember when it first came out. The weather/day/night time was a good idea. It's fun to replay too.
Published 23 months ago by Rachel Gardiner
3.0 out of 5 stars First time for everything - even motion sickness
So I love Myst. It is my great addiction, even with the old choppy graphics. If went long enough between sessions, I usually forgot the answers to the puzzles so it never lost its... Read more
Published on October 1, 2011 by S. Tibbetts
5.0 out of 5 stars realMyst Prices Too High
I bought my copy of realMyst here on Amazon long ago at an outrageous price because it's a great, must-have game from Cyan Worlds. But realMyst is now available at gog. Read more
Published on January 13, 2010 by Jonathan W. Platt
4.0 out of 5 stars works on Vista but required lots of experimentation and Googling
Just bought this game used (thanks goodwillbooks!). I eventually got it working under Vista 32-bit, but I had to use windows NT compatibility mode (win 95, 98, 2000, and XP... Read more
Published on June 4, 2008 by James Dearing
5.0 out of 5 stars Good luck finding a cheap copy!
Being an avid Myst fan, I stuck to my original Windows 95 version because I liked the original and didn't need fancy graphics. Read more
Published on January 2, 2008 by Michael Ramey
5.0 out of 5 stars A Blast
This is one of the best games I have ever played! It is so much better than the Myst Masterpiece Edition. Read more
Published on April 18, 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars See MYST the way it should be
MYST was a pioneer game that was ahead of its time in many ways, and which has never really been duplicated in anything outside of its sequels. Read more
Published on June 8, 2005 by Lisa Michaud
4.0 out of 5 stars BUYING TIP!!!
This game was a lot of fun but a little short compared to the other Myst games. Riven is perhaps the best of the Myst series but I have yet to play Revelation. Read more
Published on December 6, 2004 by Christina Hakes
5.0 out of 5 stars Very cool game!
I think this version of Myst was awesome! The graphics rock!
Published on June 18, 2004
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