Drinking Games to go with Myst and Riven

Alright, it’s late, I’m getting over a cold, and I’m bored.  This is going to depart from my normal subject matter on this blog. It is, after all, my blog, and some things just aren’t cut out for a long Facebook post. If you like neither puzzle adventure games nor drinking, then you may want to skip this. Otherwise, I love you because you’re an amazing person.

It’s not surprise to people that, if I have one primary fandom, it’s Myst. I am, have always been, and will always be a lifelong Myst fanboy. Alas, I’ve never yet made it to a Mysterium con, but I will one day before they die out. For those who don’t know, the Myst franchise, started by the always-trusty Cyan, Inc.,spans five single-player games, one MMO, and three novels, as well as a poorly-received (so I’ve heard) comic book series that didn’t last past the first issue. It’s a beautiful series, and it’s definitely had a significant effect on my beliefs and practice of the occult. In my opinion, Riven was the best game of the series, followed by Myst in quality; Exile (III) was good but felt too much like a game and not enough like an adventure, Revelation (IV) went far too much against the history and setting set up by Myst and Riven, and End of Ages (V) was just…sad for so many reasons. Then there’s Uru, the MMO, which is beautiful and amazing to play though, only parts of which require other people to help out; alas, it was far too detached from its time, and the caverns of D’ni feel way more desolated than the designers of the game intended it to be. Ah well, the games live on on their own.

Well, the problem is that these games don’t always have the best replay value. I mean, Myst has a shortcut that circumvents nearly the entire game, so long as you remember a specific time and a specific page number, for crying out loud; the other games actually require you to play through the game and unlock individual puzzles without any chance of a shortcut. Still, it’s good to play through the games once in a while, if only to relive those beautiful scenes and music and the familial drama of the house of Atrus. If you haven’t played the games or read the books, and I seriously question your existence as a human if you haven’t yet, I recommend the following sequence:

  1. Myst
  2. Myst: The Book of Atrus (novel #1)
  3. Riven
  4. Myst: The Book of Ti’ana (novel #2)
  5. Myst: The Book of D’ni (novel #3)
  6. (Optional) Myst III: Exile
  7. (Optional) Myst IV: Revelation
  8. Uru, specifically the free-to-play Myst Online: Uru Live (donate to keep the servers up!)
  9. (Optional) Myst V: End of Ages

Anyway, let’s focus on Myst and Riven, because obviously. You can get either for like US$5 off of Steam or GOG, maybe both plus several of the other Myst games for as much if you happen to get in on a sale. Seriously, there’s a reason that Myst and Riven are among the best-selling games of all times, and it’s not just because Myst was the game that popularized CD-ROMs for gaming. I strongly recommend you play through them at some point this winter, especially if you haven’t yet.  If you dislike the original HyperCard format of Myst, I might also recommend playing realMYST, which is the 3D version that Cyan originally wanted to use but didn’t have the technology for in 1993.  A corresponding realRIVEN was supposedly in the works, but is now being handled by fans at the Starry Expanse Project; donate there if you want to see this come to life one day!

Now, even if you haven’t played these games, let’s make them a little more infuriating.  (Sure, they say that Myst and Riven don’t encourage violent gaming? I’d like to see you play through them and not want to chuck things at the wall.)  So, how do we go about making them more infuriating and fun?  By adding alcohol, of course! I’m pro-drinking game, as many of my friends know, and it’s always fun to open up a bottle (or twelve) of beer or wine, maybe make a stiff cocktail (or seven) and drink with a purpose. To that end, get your friends together with the lure of free booze and play the Myst and Riven Drinking Game.  Now, the easy way to go about this drinking game would be “drink every time you get stuck”, but I don’t want to have to go ahead and schedule your funeral a week from now, so let’s make things a little easier on your liver and a little more fun.  Honestly, I don’t know why such a drinking game hasn’t been written before now (if there was, I wasn’t able to find it), but hopefully this will close a crucial gap in the Myst fandom.

MYST DRINKING GAME

Drink every time:

  • You have to unflip a switch, lever, or button because you flipped it earlier and had no idea what it was doing then but you do now.
  • You have to redo any puzzle to get out of an age.
  • You miss aligning the Tower Rotation on the right place.
  • You have to reset the Gears puzzle in the Clocktower.
  • You utter an expletive while trying to figure out the Gears puzzle in the clocktower.
  • You mess up the Constellation Pillar puzzle to raise the Ship.
  • You trip the breakers in powering up the Spaceship.
  • You have to go back to the Spaceship panel to listen to the proper notes because you’re tone-deaf.  (I would die from alcohol poisoning from this, personally.)
  • You miss the elevator of the Great Tree.
  • You have to reset the water flow in Channelwood Age to keep going.
  • You run out of light in the tunnels of Stoneship Age.
  • You press the wrong directional button on the Compass Rose.
  • You mess up the satellite dishes in the Selenitic Age.
  • You make a wrong turn in the Selenitic Age’s Cave Maze.
  • You enter in the wrong combination to the fireplace panel.
  • You see evidence of Sirrus’ megalomania or substance use.
  • You see evidence of Achenar’s megalomania or sadism.
  • You add in a new page to a book.

Finish your drink and start a new one:

  • Every time you have to resort to a walkthrough for advice on progressing through the game.
  • When you exit any of the four ages (not Myst or D’ni) for the first time.
  • If you figure out how to get the white page.  Immediately drink again if you go “Really?!”.
  • If you get the good ending.
  • If you get any bad ending.

RIVEN: THE SEQUEL TO MYST DRINKING GAME

Drink every time:

  • You see an explicit reference to the number 5. (Yes, this will keep you drunk most of the time.)
  • You have to unflip a switch, lever, or button because you flipped it earlier and had no idea what it was doing then but you do now.
  • You have to redo the fire marble puzzle input.
  • You miss the proper eye symbol on a fire dome.  (Good luck with Plateau Island!)
  • You read/hear Gehn make a D’ni-centered racial supremacist comment.
  • You open a door that was previously locked or barred.
  • You see at least one Moiety dagger.
  • You see an actual person in the age of Riven.
  • You mess up the animal pillar puzzle to get to the age of Tay.
  • You have to consult one of the journals in your inventory for a puzzle clue.
  • You summon Gehn with the button.
  • You feel persuaded at any point of what Gehn tells you.
  • You see Catherine ruefully walk in front of you.
  • The Rivenese village alarms go off.
  • A whark eats someone in the Rivenese school number game.

Finish your drink and start a new one:

  • Every time you have to resort to a walkthrough for advice on progressing through the game.
  • If the sunners swim away because you’re an asshole.
  • If the whark tries to kill you because you’re an asshole.
  • If you get poisoned and knocked out.
  • If you shit your pants when you get back to the Temple.
  • If you giggle at the mechanics of Gehn’s sink.
  • If you hear the giant steam-boom on top of the Great Dome.
  • If you free Catherine.
  • If you imprison Gehn.
  • If you get the good ending.
  • If you get any bad ending.

Everyone with you, including you, has to finish their drink:

Any other rules you’d like to suggest?  Share them in the comments!

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