Words & Prisons
by Cameron Kunzelman

When you think of Atrus sitting at his writing desk in a caved-in portion of D’ni, you should also think of his imprisoned sons Sirrus and Achenar.

Atrus’s quill pen scripted Myst Island, its rocket ship and its towering trees and its observatory. He wrote the world into its shape. His mind scrawled onto the page is this thing that you are experiencing.

The man with the power of gods felt that his only option was to imprison his sons.

They were evil, of course. They destroyed Atrus’s library, killed or enslaved the denizens of the worlds that Atrus wrote, and trampled the universe under their feet.

They watched their father create worlds out of words on a page. He wrote, and the Linking Book showed them a beautiful picture of the planet that their father seemingly conjured out of nothing. Infinity was at their hand, and wanting for nothing, they delved into the richness with glee and cruelty.

When Myst is complete, you visit Atrus in his writing room in D’ni. Armed with the linking book that will allow you both to travel back to Myst Island, Atrus scrambles back to the island that’s become your second home. When you follow him, you see his works. The linking books that might take us to the brothers are blasted to nothing.

A living god, betrayed by his sons, restores the power stolen from him.

Sirrus and Achenar, two children raised with the knowledge that their father could create worlds out of words and whole cloth, deemed corrupt, placed in the solitary confinement of dead places written to be forgotten. Looking at the pages of a magical book, hoping to see the face of a father, forever.  ◒

 

Cameron Kunzelman is a game critic living in Atlanta whose work can be found at Paste Games, Kotaku, Waypoint, Polygon, The Atlantic, and other great publications. You can watch and listen to him via rangedtouch.com and check him out on Twitter @ckunzelman