Heritage Night: Game Backstory

Hello, and welcome to Heritage Night. For those of you newish to the game, welcome. My name is Jamie Marchant and I run this series of events called Heritage Night. At Heritage Night, I talk about the game’s history and this month I will give an overview of the game’s back-story.

Here is the story: in the late eighties, archaeologists uncovered a new civilization in New Mexico. It would soon be known as the D’ni. The game company Cyan took interest in the project and managed to obtain some historical documents, including a few interesting journals from the late 1800s. After translating them, it was discovered that they talked about Atrus and his family. It is rumoured that Cyan is ‘hiding’ these original books in the basement of their current headquarters. There was also a man or woman (never fully described) who helped the family out. Cyan thought this was interesting and made the game ‘Myst’ based on this story. Later, they made several other games based on these stories.

Now, onto the story of ‘URU Ages Beyond Myst’. In the story, the person you play as has been ‘called’ (felt he should come) to New Mexico. Specifically, to a place known as ‘the Cleft’. This is where the game ‘ begins’. Now in the URU and Myst Online universe, all the other games are fictions by Cyan. This was so Cyan could rewrite parts of the cannon (story) without worrying about continuity problems.

Back to the story: The Cleft happens to be the place where Atrus and his family lived at one point. Through the Cleft, it was possible to get a book to take you to an age called Relto (the first age you see in Myst Online). People explored the cavern and most were alone while some were together. In ‘real life,’ those who played together were playing the closed Beta for the on-line portion of ‘Ages Beyond Myst’. The beta was cancelled by UbiSoft (who published ‘hard’ copies of URU at the time). I believe UbiSoft felt the on-line game did not have enough potential for them to run it longer than the beta. If I recall correctly, the story for this part was that there was a horrifying shriek and creatures called the Bahro attacked. Everyone was magically sent to their Relto and told it was too dangerous to return.

Exclusive ages were created for the on-line game and these were made into expansions for the game. Later a version of the game was sold with the expansion known as ‘URU: Complete Chronicles’.

Cyan never gives up on an online URU. In 2007, they found someone willing to try it, in spite of its failure. The company was Turner Broadcasting System and they were willing to run an online URU game on their GameTap service. The game was known as ‘Myst Online URU Live’ and has the same code-base as the game we are playing now. Sadly, it only lasted a year before it, too, was cancelled. This was due to lack of subscribers.

The story for this time was that the organization in charge (the DRC) was running out of money. People left since there would be nobody around to fix problems they might encounter. There was also a slight threat of danger. The group of intelligent creatures called the Bahro used to be slaves to D’ni. They were enslaved by a tablet and only recently freed. Some of these creatures wished to attack us(since we reminded them of their ‘masters’. We were told that we needed to find a way to fight them off right before the DRC ran out of money.

For years not much happened, but people did visit the cavern in secret. In reality, they were playing the offline game which can be illegally modded to play fan ages and to play online.

Finally, in 2010 Cyan, released ‘Myst Online URU Live again’ which was a free, and eventually open source, version of the game. It lasted till last year when there was a server hiccup and all progress was lost. Leading us to what fans call ‘Myst Online URU Live again again’ which is the current ‘incarnation’ of the game that we are playing.

The story is as follows: we have returned to the cavern after being away. The DRC will allow us to be here but we may not see them often. The DRC (Cyan) is now taking donations to keep things going. The story is the same as it was at the end of 2007.

Thanks for listening to my summary of the games history. To read more on specific events, check out the Heritage Night archives. They can be found here: https://heritagenight.wordpress.com/archive/

Due to a bug in the current code of the game, the intro video can not be played. If you’d like to see it, it can be viewed on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M1vD8JhJxM.

I will take questions at this time but a warning, before I do, anything you say will end up in a chatlog that I will post to the Heritage Night site.

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