Documenting Myst

Fan Culture

Myst was a phenomenal game that inspired dedicated fans to create their own works of media to honor, build upon, and even satirize Myst. Below are a selection of these fan games and other media which give some additional context and flavor to help understand the cultural phenomenon.


By the year 1996, Myst had sold around 4 million copies and was well-established in cultural canon. Pyst, developed by comedian Peter Bergman, and published by Parroty Interactives as an unofficial parody game of Myst, was created to explore what Myst Island might look like after 4 million people had visited and left their mark on it. 

Actor John Goodman makes an appearance in this short game. It has about 15 minutes worth of gameplay and is not as interactive as the original. When the player first arrives on Myst Island, they see that the entire island has been trashed after being visited by 4 million players. Many parts of the island are inaccessible, and the player quickly learns that they are not actually exploring the island but instead viewing a slideshow of postcards that can be flipped over to listen to audio messages left by previous visitors.
The characters Sirrus and Achenar from Myst are replaced by parody counterparts, named Syrup and Mattress. After finishing the game, the player can listen to John Goodman ranting about other celebrities not looking like him in the title screen. The end credits of Pyst show there was a larger team working on this game than the original. The team had plans to create a parody to Myst's sequel Riven to be called Driven, but it never came to fruition.



Quern is a fanmade game that enjoys immense praise among Myst fans. The player arrives on a mysterious island called Quern, passing through a large gateway that destructs upon entering. The player is tasked with solving dozens of puzzles, and in order to escape the island, every puzzle must be solved.

Fan-Made Games/Mods

Talented and ambitious fans inspired by Myst produced games independently as well. One of many of these is titled Sehv T’devokan. Created in 2005 and later overhauled in 2019, the game plays similarly to Myst. The 2019 overhaul includes optimization for newer Windows systems and real-time rendered 3D graphics, as well as additional puzzles and areas. 

As with many popular games with accessible or open-source files, Myst has many fanmade mods available. A majority of these mods are graphic altering mods meant to make the game look more realistic. Most popular are mods for Myst Online: Uru Live, a massive-multiplayer online (MMO) game set in the world of Myst.

Fan Discussions

Myst inspired the creation of environments where fans can come together and share their personal experiences, finds, and game recommendations for those looking for something similar to Myst.  


Fan club: 

In 2000, a group of Myst fans decided to organize a meetup in Spokane, Washington, home of Cyan Worlds, Inc. The convention, titled Mysterium, was a weekend-long event attended by over 200 people, complete with official shirts, a catered lunch, and a tour of Cyan Worlds’ headquarters. Since then, Mysterium has been traveling across the country and visited almost a dozen cities. Similar to Mysterium, Mystralia is a gathering for fans living in Australia and New Zealand and has been held since 2005.



There are currently three official novels set in the Myst universe; Myst: The Book of Atrus, Myst: The Book of Ti’ana, and Myst: The Book of D’ni. These books were written by the Miller brothers, the original creators of Myst. The books give fans a deeper dive into the lore of the Myst universe, exploring characters such as Atrus and his grandmother Anna, and important events like that which befell the civilization of D'ni. Two more books are in production, one of which is to be titled Myst: The Book of Marrium. Overall, the books are received positively by fans; the first in the series has ratings averaging a bit over 4 Stars.


Myst  Merchandise

Cyan Inc. has an official online storefront that sells various paraphernalia related to the world of Myst. In addition, some fanmade creations can be purchased from online retailers such as Etsy or Fangamer. Examples of products available for purchase in these stores include hats, sweaters, pins, and posters. 

Cyan Store:



Fan Works was created by Matthew Hornbostel and is an online space dedicated to fan art for Myst. Hornbostel himself is a fan of the series and was inspired to create this site to provide a place for the fanbase he loves in order to showcase the art they create to honor Myst. Also found on the site, Hornbostel links to information about the game and its legacy, as well as the ongoing activities of Cyan, the developer.

Linking Book Replica

A fan named Mike Ando created a replica of one of the linking books that allows the player in game to travel across the worlds of Myst. Ando gathered the materials needed in order to build a mini-computer capable of playing all of the games in the Myst series that could fit inside a physical book. The book Ando used for the shell was the same type the Miller Brothers used as a reference for the game. The parts within Ando's functioning replica were a combination of store-bought and custom built just for his project; some parts Ando could only get from niche markets. Once completed, Ando’s linking book was able to play Myst: Masterpiece Edition, realMyst, Riven DVD edition, Riven Elementary, all the way through to Myst V. Ando’s linking book also contains an e-book version of The Book of Atrus

Cyan Inc. & Fan Commitment

Although Myst and its developers Cyan Inc. made a splash in 1990s gaming with the release of Myst and its sequel Riven, Cyan Inc. has been relatively quiet since. After their massive multiplayer online (MMO) game, Myst Online, didn't enjoy the same success as their previous works,  Cyan Inc. chose to go back to their roots and pitch a game more like their old successes Myst and Riven on Kickstarter, an online platform for crowdsourcing projects. Fans liked what they saw, and their Kickstarter surpassed its goal, reaching $1.3 million, and allowing Cyan Inc. to release its most recent game, Obduction, in 2016 to positive reception. Cyan Inc. returned to Kickstarter in 2019 with a new pitch, a game titled Firmament, which was also fully funded but has not yet been scheduled for release.

Work Cited

Ando, Mike. "Mike Ando's Myst Book." Wired, 24 Nov. 2012,

"About – Mysterium." Mysterium, Accessed March 2020. 

Ando, Mike. "The Myst Book Interior." Wired, 24 Nov. 2012,

"The Book of Atrus (Myst, Book 1)." Amazon, Accessed 23 March 2020. 

brutalmoose. PystYouTube, uploaded by brutalmoose, 5 Aug. 2015,

"Creators of Myst Hope For Comeback With New Fan-Funded Game." OPB, 15 Nov. 2013,

"Cyan Store." Cyan, Accessed 23 March 2020. 

Cyan, Inc. Obduction. Kickstarter, updated 4 June 2019,

Hoelscher, Kevin. "Quern: Undying Thoughts." Adventure Gamers, 3 Feb. 2017,

Hoelscher, Kevin. "Quern: Undying Thoughts – Screenshot #15." Adventure Gamers, 3 Feb. 2017,

Hornbostel, Matthew. "Sehv T'devokan – A Myst Fan Game, Remade In Unity." Myst Fan Art, Accessed March 2020. 

Hornbostel, Matthew. "Myst Fan Art." Myst Fan Art, Accessed March 2020. 

Hornbostel, Matthew. "Myst Fan Art." Myst Fan Art, Accessed March 2020. 

Hornbostel, Matthew. "Myst Fan Projects." Myst Fan Art, Accessed March 2020. 

Kuchar, Tony. "Myst––Opening Book Pin." Fangamer, Accessed 14 March 2020. 

Maly, Tim. "How One Myst Fan Made Himself a Real-Life Linking Book." Wired, 24 Nov. 2012,

"Myst." Fangamer, Accessed 14 March 2020. 

"Myst: The Book of Atrus." Myst Journey, Accessed 14 March 2020. 

"Myst-fan-club." DeviantArt, Accessed 14 March 2020. 

"Myst game." Etsy, Accessed 23 March 2020. 

"Original Myst Novels." Myst Journey, Accessed 14 March 2020. 

Pearce, Celia. "Identity-as-place: The construction of game refugees and fictive ethnicities." Gamers: The Social and Cultural Significance of Online Games, vol. 56, no. Unknown, 2013, pp. 161-165. 

peramene. "Pyst screenshot." somethingawful, 13 Sept. 2017, 00:08 a.m.,

"PYST: a terrifying social game." somethingawful, Accessed March 2020. 

"r/myst." Reddit, 11 March 2008,

"Sehv T'devokan Remake." Myst Fan Art, Accessed March 2020. 

Yali. "DIRT: Uru Live." The Nexus Forums, 23 April 2014,

u/Piratiko. "Quern––Undying Thoughts is worth your time and money." Reddit, 2 July 2018,

Wilding, Ian. "Myst––Falling Poster." Fangamer, Accessed 14 March 2020. 

ConstructionMyst Playthroughs

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