“Fetching Player”

I had an interesting conversation with an explorer earlier today, and it made me think that maybe I should write this up so I can actually tell people “Who I am!”


My Name is Calum Traveler, atleast- that’s what I go by these days, and I’ve been a MYST Fan for my entire life. We have the old, Original PC version of MYST, and it’s still got my dad’s old notes scribbled away on some sheet of yellow paper inside. Ironically, I can remember my actual first time playing a MYST Game being the sequel, RIVEN.

Yes. We still have the old-fashioned Five-Disk Set, and I say to anyone who HAS bought the five disk set in recent days to keep it as five disks and not copy the files into one folder and play it straight through. The swapping is part of the experience. I can remember me and dad borrowing my uncle’s computer so we could install Riven on it at one point, although I don’t recall much ever coming from that. What I do remember though is the thrill of finding the Tay Linking book and getting the message “Please Insert Disk 5.”

Up until that point, I remember excitement building as I theorized what could possibly BE on that fifth and final disk. My young and tiny heart was practically racing at that point.  Dad got Exile on Christmas 2001. It was really HIS game, and he solved most of it on his own. Yet I still remember the night he installed it on our computer.

For me, though, URU was always MY thing. We didn’t have internet at the time, and while Dad most probably knew about it before hand thanks to work, when I saw that rare and practically obscure TV trailer with that ominous and yet oh-so-familiar Linking sound, combined with Burn You Up playing in the background, I KNEW I had to have it.

Either my memory is faulty or I’m mis-remembering, but I believe that it was that same day that dad came home with URU: AGES BEYOND MYST in hand. And I had been so excited to tell him about the TV commercial I’d seen too!

I remember the excruciatingly long wait as the game installed. …And I remembered longingly staring at the ads for URU LIVE. Oh to be young again…. I wished to join in so badly, but we lacked the internet oh so required for it.

Our Graphics card was a “piece of crap” (TM), though. The introduction video for the game refused to play and all we saw was a black window floating over the spinning cave walls. The ground in the Cleft was black most of the time, and lots of things didn’t render properly.

But we persevered through it. I opened the door to Teledahn first, not knowing what as inside, and dreaming about it fearfully as I had to go to bed as soon as we got the door open.

Uru Live was canceled without my knowing, and one day dad came home with the To D’ni files, saved onto a CD.  I remember finally stepping into Bevin, and spying the abandoned imagers, flickering so sadly. The Broken heek table too, made me miss the things I’d missed even more.

Things seemed abandoned, and I felt like I was missing part of the story. Besides what I had occasionally gleamed from searching “URU” on the internet at the Library, I actually was missing quite a lot, It seemed. (When it came to researching Prologue, it turns out I missed less than I’d thought, but even so it still seems like a lot.)

The Great Zero activated, and I got a sense that someone else was around, though, behind the scenes.  Of course, Sharper was supposed to be there too, but there were other explorers there too. Hidden, Behind the scenes. Always JUST out of reach.

The Path of the Shell came along, and we snapped it up. Ahnonay gave me and my dad the worst headache figuring it out. But when we did? Ohhhh man did we congratulate ourselves over it.

Gahreesen always took the longest to load. Heh.

Myst IV came out and I got it for Christmas in 2004. We installed it and ran it and… It froze up all glitchy looking at the start of Yeesha’s little joyride.

We needed a new graphics card.

When we finally got Myst IV working, and finished, I think I returned to URU at the point where dad brought home the FlyMode patch.

When the game started up with Cyan’s little jingle, I came running, having never even HEARD that tune in combination with URU before.  I thought he was playing Myst IV again or something.

When we finally got internet somewhere during this time, we decided to try Until Uru.

It was lonely.

The shard I had chosen was practically empty, and, when I finally met someone, I was elated. “FINALLY! SOMEONE ELSE!” …I’d chosen a name from Bionicle, the fan I was at the time. I seemed like a goofy kid when I finally joined a massive meeting of people in the City. “:P” someone would say. “?” I would ask, not seeing the “:” part. Oh god, I hate my past self so much some times. The things I could have saved myself the trouble of bearing if I could just reach back a few years and…

Years passed, Myst V came around, and we finally had stable internet that wasn’t AOL/DSL/PHONELINE. I swear to you, when I re-installed Until URU on our laptop, Uru loaded so FAST. I remade a new avatar, “Calumon” as I was in a Digimon fad at the time and was actually roll-playing-playing URU for this little stuffed Calumon I’d had sewn together (why did I just say that???), forcing my dad to use my old Bionicle named avvie on one particular shard.

Finally, though, we learned that URU LIVE was coming back.

Dad got Gametap a TAD early for it, and we got hooked into Sam & Max (But that’s another show!) while we waited.

Finally, the primary GT account, Dad’s, got access to MOUL while mine, the secondary “Calumon”, didn’t. We practically traded accounts at that point, since I’d put “Calumon” on dad’s account and Dad put his avvies on mine.

I joined Uru Obsession’s Bevin at the time, and, for me, it was home. Even though my only forum account was on the MOUL forums at the time (Again, Calumon), UO was always home to me, and I frequented UO for my news and silly forum games and the IC chatter.

The months passed, and I grew fond of Uru Live, eventually ditching the whole “Roll-playing-playing” shtick in favor of just… being me? I still had (home)school to do though, yes, and I managed to convince my mom to let me have my laptop running URU during the Episodes that didn’t happen during summer, just so I could keep tabs on anything that would happen.

I still remember feeling hopeless as I read the relayed chatlogs from the city during Scars.

URU is my home. The announcement that MOUL was closing was a time for me to shed all that I had done before, all of the silly and all of the mistakes.

I planned a new Identity for when URU would one day come back, and began registering things in that name, Skype and an Uru Obsession forum account (FINALLY). I told everyone I cared to keep in contact with that I would be “Dimension Traveler”

Of course, as I was fond of still being called “Cal” everywhere, I started fusing the UO and MOUL forum account names together on practically everything else soon after that, and I became “Dimension Traveler Calumon.”

Uru returned again, and when I signed up, I ditched the last two letters, finally making me “DimensionTravelerCalum” when I made my avatar.

People began calling me Calum after that too. And I thought, well, there’s an interesting mutation. “Calum Traveler” Something I could use as a reasonably normal sounding name.

You all know the rest of this. I helped out where I could, I got recruited by Carl Palmner into making Heritage Night, and, then, finally got sole responsibility in running it. I’ve made decisions, and I’ve become a voice in the community.

D’ni is my home. URU is where I belong.

All those years ago when I saw that commercial? I heard the call.

I still hear it to this day, even when people question me, and declare me having no “Hope” just because I tell them to look to the past. :/

I have hope that URU will thrive. I’ve seen it all, and I’ve had to re-tell the history that I’ve missed and lived through so many times now that it’s become second nature.

Who am I?

You’re asking me?

Isn’t it obvious?

I’m a historian.

Simple as that.

_Calum Traveler


One response to ““Fetching Player”

  1. Hi Cal,

    That was a great story! It is nice to hear about the background of the other players. My favorite has always been Riven and I still have the five disc set too. I still haven’t finished Myst V yet…been too busy. Plus URU seemed to take over my free time. Anyway, I look forward to the future and the resumption of HN and Prologue!!


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