Jump to content

Australian Myst-based epic multi idea


Recommended Posts

Greetings, Groundspeak. This is my first post here, and it is therefore customary for greetings to take place at this juncture; I will keep mine brief so as to not detract from what I am envisaging.


Firstly, some background is in order. I am a long-time fan of the world-renowned MYST series of video games by Cyan Worlds. I am also, unfortunately in this case, Australian - while the series has a well-established, organized fanbase in the US, even having its own convention (MYSTerium), nothing of the sort exists here. At least so I thought, until some errant Googling led me to the forums of MYSTralia, essentially our very own mini-MYSTerium. Unfortunately, their forums had remained untouched for a good three years (the original domain, which redirected to an IPB site, had long since expired) and I was not able to reach the administrators by email.


Several options presented themselves. I had already suspected MYSTralia was long since defunct, and had a mind to contact the administrators with a view to seek permission to restart it on my own. However, it occurred to me that any attempt I made to restart the old convention would likely wind up the same way as the first; rapid commercial unsustainability. But later, some idle searching brought GC1RD48 to my attention, and its structure gave me an idea - why not a geocache, or a series of geocaches? They could all be Myst-themed and I could even use them to help organize a future convention if ever the possibility arose. Geocaches are, after all, far easier to maintain than annual conventions.


And then ambition got the better of me. Why not, in a massive string of multi-caches, recreate every puzzle, every location, the whole flow of the original game? MYST had, from its original Mac OS version, been ported to Windows, PSX, Atari Jaguar, PSP, [3]DS, iOS et al.; why not unofficially add a geocache to that list? Of course it would be different to the original; it is a fundamentally different experience to play through the Miller brothers' masterpiece than it is to walk through similarly beautiful if less fantastical countryside with a GPSr (not least because there are no muggles on Myst Island except you), but that need not detract - it would be a tribute to the Miller brothers' genius, as well as the beauty of whatever locales I could task with standing in for the Ages.


So I've started thinking about how I would implement this enormous labour, and have come up with some general points so far. Be warned, spoilers for Myst games (though if you haven't already played them by now you likely aren't looking to):


- As there are six Ages in MYST (including the island itself) I would want to choose six relatively distant locations across Melbourne, with the Island itself somewhere relatively central (but not CBD; caching around there is a nightmare).


- Red and Blue pages would be done using simple key-based ciphers. I'd be assuming most people have access to smartphones nowadays, and I mean, this is MYST; no answer comes for free.


- Puzzles that cannot simply be implemented as exercises in orienteering (e.g. Mazerunner) would be constructed as small, battery-powered devices based on simple analog logic. I am an electronics hobbyist and most of these should be within my skill to construct. Puzzles that would require the interaction of two distant components (e.g. Stoneship's lighthouse generator and the compass rose puzzle) might need to be done over radio somehow (perhaps a compact 433MHz Tx/Rx pair).


- Myst Island would require a minimum of six caches to work effectively - this works under the assumption that I combine every book location with the puzzle that unlocks it (i.e. clock tower with gears, bunker with rocket, planetarium and garden with dock, hut with tree). The remaining two are the Library (with Tower) and the Fireplace (which is important enough to warrant separating from the Library). The tower can be done with paper (with ciphers to bring in Marker switches), and the other puzzles can be electronic.


- Mechanical's core puzzle (fortress rotation) is probably best implemented with orienteering. Mechanical's only real rewards for later in the game are pages and learning compass directions anyway.


- Stoneship is best done somewhere near a lighthouse, as I can make use of it in the telescope/compass rose puzzle. The water pump can't really be used in a geocache, and I don't really have a way of doing the lighthouse physics puzzle.


- For Selenetic, I had a mind to use actual radio transmitters with microphones recording actual ambient sounds (each one would Tx for around fifteen minutes before shutting off to save power). The reciever station would essentially be a five-tuner radio that sweeps through each of the frequencies and plays the sounds in sequence, yielding the sound lock puzzle solution. The Mazerunner can be considered as nothing other than a spectacular exercise in orienteering.


- Channelwood is difficult, largely because it depends entirely on restricting player movement (which is impossible in geocaching beyond withholding coordinates) and because its puzzles explicitly depend on the interaction of distant components. Radio is one option, since long-distance wiring isn't.


- D'ni (and the other endgames) can be placed anywhere, though ideally not far from Myst Island. To modify the endgame based on whether one has the Myst Linking Book page or not, I would have a physical page in the Dock marker switch that advises a correction to the final co-ordinates.


- I do not believe there is enough on Rime to justify its inclusion, nor a suitable location in Melbourne, nor the prestige of the other Ages that have stood the test of time before it.


Let me know what you guys think. Open to any and all criticism.

Link to comment

I was also a fan of Myst.


In WA a cacher has implemented a Myst based cache puzzles. http://coord.info/GC1YGN4 is one to look at and there are other puzzle type caches from the same cacher.


Because they are intricate puzzles as you are proposing he has put them on private property. There has been a bit of trialand error in impelmenting some of the puzzles and if you contact him I am sure he can share some of the design flaws he has encountered.


These puzzles have been very well recieved by all and sundry it seems so the idea has merit.


Good luck.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...