A real Myst book

This is a project I've been working on for six years - a replica linking book from the video game Myst.

An open book with a small computer screen inside it showing a view on a dock
(click to enlarge)

This is a “working” replica of a Myst linking book. It's made out of a copy of the same book Cyan originally scanned as a texture reference.

Inside the book is a full desktop computer, completely self-contained without any external wires or hardware. In the above photo, the embedded screen isn't just showing a still photo or a video: it's running a full copy of realMyst PC edition. Onboard is a copy of all the Myst games. It's fast enough it plays all of them smoothly (even End of Ages at ~30fps). You play the games by touching the touch-screen.


A brown book with black edges and the word MYST embossed on the front in gold
(click to enlarge)

The book in question is Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume LIV, Issue 312, December 1876 to May 1877 (roughly an equivalent of antique Reader's Digest)... 135 years old & still in this condition. Finding the book's exact edition is difficult - my research revealed what looks like at least 14 different bindings of the same book.

Unlike Cyan's well-worn copy, this one is almost pristine. The cover has been beautifully restored & the cracked hinge has been repaired. Custom embossing dies were made for the individual MYST letters, then the embossing was filled with 24-carat gold paint.

(Yes I essentially destroyed this book to convert it into a Myst linking book, but I like to think that it's cooler now. At least 20% cooler.)


Two views inside the Myst book showing that it's completely filled with electronics
(click to enlarge)

Inside the book is a full, hand-assembled desktop computer. The space inside is tiny, nearly half the size of a netbook, so I spent a long time sourcing the absolute smallest parts you can buy that met all of my requirements. It's a 3-dimensional electronics version of Tetris - this is what it looks like with both the motherboard & battery removed, plus with everything installed.

Some technical specs:

For those whose eyes just glossed over reading all that, consider this - it's capable of running Half-Life 2 at a 30fps+ & it contains the best editions of all the Myst games plus some extras.


An open book showing a blue page, a white page and a red interior
(click to enlarge)

Also included are some additional props - a blank white page and a blank blue page. These were sourced from additional copies of the exact same book Cyan used as a texture reference, meaning they're as "proper" as you can get. With the book's red interior lining, this makes a complete set of the three page colours used in Myst. They are their original hues & have not been dyed, so the blue is slightly more turquoise & the red is slightly more brown than they appear in the game. You can't be too picky with original 135-year-old paper hues.


A bookshelf filled with science, engineering and fantasy books with the Myst book in the middle
(click to enlarge)

“And it was real.” - Catherine, realMyst trailer


For more information, view my presentation video or the presentation's slides.


For sale. $15,625 (1000 in D'ni numerals).

© 2012 Mike Ando, aka RIUM+