Monday, July 9, 2012

Myst



This was sent to me via Facebook today and while it's a good read, I highly doubt that it's real. The Facebook user that sent it can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002283361656

And his youtube page is here: http://www.youtube.com/user/aitrusdni

Edited on 5/21/11 at 2:30 AM: He sent me another message and uploaded 3 additional videos which I have included at the bottom of this article.

Here's the story he sent:

"Hi, you don’t know me but I have something for you. I was going to post this on 4chan but I saw your blog on stumbleupon a few days ago and got your contact info instead. I’m just afraid that if I posted this on /x/ the thread would die and my story would go unsaved. I know you say most of the stuff on your site is fake but I hope you post this anyways. Besides, I’m not sure how much longer this computer is going to last without shutting off and I need to give my proof to someone else in case something happens to me or my computer. I’ll probably send this to a few others as well, just in case. Here is my story:

I had happened across a YouTube video about a Myst speed run a couple weeks ago and it interested me. I figured I could do it faster so I started looking for my old copy of Myst Masterpiece that my dad had given me when I was younger. I searched everywhere for it but had no luck. So, assuming that I had misplaced it, I drove over to my parent’s house and searched there too. No such luck. As I was driving home, a bit bummed that I had lost my copy of Myst, I saw one of those buy-sell-trade places that usually carry video games, books, DVDs and the like. I decided I might as well stop since it was on the way and everything. It was a pretty average sized store set amid a small shopping center with a grocery store and some other shops. As I walked in I noticed that it was empty except for one employee, despite the fact that it was pretty well stocked; they had everything from original GameBoy games to new PS3 releases. As I browsed the PC games I realized that even though there were a few copies of Myst 3 and 5, there was no Myst. Hoping for some dumb luck, I asked the guy at the counter if he had seen a copy of the game recently.

“Hang on, I think I have,” he said, walking towards the back. I waited a minute and when he came back I was pretty excited to see that he had a copy of Myst Masterpiece in his hands, the exact version that I had once owned. “I’m not sure if it’s been tested yet. If you want I can still sell it to you and you can return it anytime this month if it’s not working.” I quickly agreed since it was such a short drive anyways and paid him the 5 dollars.

When I got home and popped open the jewel case, I realized that I just bought my OWN copy of Myst back from this guy. My dad’s initials were right there on the inside of the case, just like I remembered from my childhood. Now, my mom is pretty well known for donating my old stuff to Goodwill without asking so while this wasn’t impossible, it was definitely strange. My dad used to put his initials on all his old computer games, and it was for sure his handwriting, so I know it’s not just coincidence either. A little annoyed at shelling over money for something that used to be mine, I popped the game in and installed it. A few quick adjustments and I was ready to play.

I thought I’d try just running through to practice. I stalled on the fireplace passcode but I remembered it pretty quickly and practiced punching it out a few times before finishing my run. When I got to second try I thought I’d record my run just to see how much the video capture might slow down my progress. I quickly found that fraps doesn’t recognize Myst as a game (since it’s so old) so I just had to set my camera up on a tripod in front of the screen. I started it recording, ready to see how my first official time but instead something odd happened. As I ran through, I flipped up all 8 switches but when I got back to the first one, it was switched down. Obviously I have video proof of this which I will upload to YouTube. What was really strange was when I flipped the switch back down, the secret compartment refused to open, despite flipping the switch back and forth a few times. Naturally, I went back to check the other switches, because something weird was going on. Video capture takes up a lot of space on my SD card so I turned the camera off to explore. I wandered the main island for about twenty minutes, finding that about 30% of the time, the switches I returned to were not in the position that I left them. I thought jokingly to myself that perhaps Sirrus and Achenar didn’t want me to find the white page, even though I was a bit bummed at the time, thinking my game was glitched so that I couldn’t do the fast win anymore.

I went to bed after that and didn’t play the game for a couple more days because I had some homework due after spring break ended. When I started playing again that weekend, I decided to just replay the whole game for the sake of nostalgia. Starting out, I wasn’t recording anything, but had my camera handy. I started up a new game and just sort of pretended that I had never played it before. I explored the island, read Atrus’ note to Catherine and started to slowly piece together the puzzles, even though I remembered most of them. Regardless, I started a new ‘Myst journal’ to write down and sketch all the important clues because that what I did the first time I played. The first weird thing I noticed was that I could view the Ti’ana grave marker. Please note that I am playing from a Myst Masterpiece disk that my dad bought for me years ago. Ti’ana’s grave is only viewable in RealMyst, which I do not own. Seeing her grave there freaked the hell out of me, especially since the zoom in on it was so… out of place. It’s like someone swapped the RealMyst shot into my game; it seems pointless to even provide a screenshot for it since it would just look like it was from the newer game. After finding the grave I was a little on edge and decided to stay away from the ghost switches for a bit so I headed into the library to browse the bookshelf. When I got into the library I saw the red and blue pages next to their respective books and decided to go ahead and add each one and see Sirrus and Achenar’s attempts to win me over to their cause. First I approached the blue book and opened it up; gratefully, all I got was the usual blue static. I got the same thing with the red book, so I went ahead and added the red page. After the ominous ‘you just added a page’ music, I cracked the book back open and waited to see Sirrus. Instead I got a repeat of what I saw before I added the page. Startled, I clicked away from the book and turned back to Achenar’s book. I added the page and opened the book to find the same thing happening. All blue static; no voice, no face.



At this point I pushed my chair away from my desk and sat for a second, wondering at what could have caused this. In my experience, glitched computer games simply become unplayable, they don’t alter gameplay in subtle and frightening ways. So I exited the game and restarted my computer for good measure. Then I booted the game back up and went straight to the library. I put the red page into the red book and opened it. Red static again. Instead of looking it up and confirming what I knew, I pretended that maybe the first page didn’t do anything and adding another page would fix whatever was going on. I added the blue page to the blue book and went outside to start playing. I walked to the clock tower, turned the hands to 2:40 and waited for the cogs to rise. After the noise and animation I walked across, but the game froze and wouldn’t let me open the door to the clock tower. Instead, I heard the sound of the rising cogs again. I turned around and the water still had the ripple-effect look so I took a quick screenshot before the game went black. I could still hear the game’s ambient sounds but everything was dark. At this point I was about to restart when I heard the mixed laughter of Sirrus and Achenar (they laugh at you at the end of the game if you give them the final pages to their respective linking books) and then all noise stopped. I ctrl+alt+deleted and closed the game. Nothing was running in the background; no internet, no other games, and I wasn’t logged into steam, skype or vent. I went to bed and tried my best to get to sleep.




When I logged back on I was still on the clock tower island somehow, but this time the cogs were in place correctly. So to finish what I had been doing at the time, I opened the compartment behind the clock tower puzzle. After beating the Mechanical age, with blue page in hand, I returned to Achenar’s book. I placed the page inside and then opened the book. Again, nothing but blue static. I didn’t know what to do. I went and made sure all the switches were flipped and went back to the docks. This time, the white page appeared as it was supposed to. I went back to the library and used the fireplace to get to Aitrus’ book. I clicked on it and nothing happened. I tried again, still nothing. The cursor still had the picture of a hand holding a white page. It wouldn’t add the page to the book for some reason. Just for kicks, I saved the game real quick and then started a new one. This time I went straight to the book that contained D’ni and jumped right in.

If you’ve never played Myst before, I’ll give you a quick rundown of what’s supposed to happen if you enter D’ni without the white page. Basically, Aitrus is trapped in this age, or world written into a book, because someone ripped out one the pages to his linking book (books with windows to other ages) and so he couldn’t use his book to return to the island of Myst. If you play the game correctly, you realize that Sirrus and Achenar (trapped within the red and blue books) are actually evil, and that you should bring Aitrus his missing page so that he can return to Myst to destroy the books that contain his sons. If you mess up and ever accidentally go to D’ni without the missing page, then you will be trapped with Aitrus until you die.

So, just to see what would happen, I started a new game and did exactly what I wasn’t supposed to; I joined Aitrus in D’ni without his missing page. Expecting the cut scene, it would be a bit of an understatement if I said I was surprised at what greeted me. When I opened the book, there was no explanation of why he is trapped there or what the red and blue books contain. Instead he immediately asks me to join him in D’ni with the missing page that I don’t have. I looked around a bit to see if everything was as I remembered before speaking to him.

“What kind of fool are you?!” was the first thing he said when the cutscene started. (Usually there is short speech before this part where he asks you for the page, but for some reason, it didn’t play.) “Did you not take my warning seriously? …Welcome to D’ni. You and I will live here forever.” Then it glitched and the word forever started repeating with the video going back, like it was on a loop. It started slowing down and the voice got deeper and deeper until it was just a distorted growling. I’ll admit I scare pretty easily, so this was enough to send me to bed for the night with the lights on. I remember having pretty weird dreams that night too. Even though I hadn’t lost to Sirrus or Achenar in Myst since I played it the first time, I dreamt that I was trapped inside one of their prison books and they were outside laughing at me.

After that last event, I decided I didn’t really care about the speed run anymore. I was just too freaked out to play anymore. It wasn’t until a couple weeks later that I actually got around to uninstalling it. After it was removed and the computer rebooted; however, there was still a desktop launch icon, which I deleted. The next day the icon was back. Slightly annoyed, and curious, I clicked on it to make sure that Myst had uninstalled properly. Instead of a warning about missing files or whatever, the game loaded up and skipped straight to the opening scene on the docks. Everything was flashing green though, and I have no idea what may have caused this to happen. The sound worked, I could see the cursor most of the time, and occasionally I could see where I was, but it wasn’t what I would call playable. I filmed a short segment with my digital camera and as soon as I turned it off and set it down, the computer died again. I tried turning my camera back on to see what it looked like played back, but my camera battery, which had been at 2 of 3 bars was now completely dead. The camera thing was a little weird, because it’s a brand new camera but I was just really starting to wonder if my computer’s power supply unit was just going bad. Conveniently enough, I’ve had this problem with a past computer and bought an Antec PSU tester for just such an occasion. No dice. The power supply was totally fine. Something else was causing the random shut downs and restarts. I decided to document what was going on so I opened up Word and started a back-journal of everything that had happened so far. I’ve been using the journal document to write this message to you. As I was typing up the last little update about the green screen, it kinda bothered me that my iTunes (which was on shuffle) randomly selected that moment to play the opening theme from the first Myst game. It isn’t that weird, I know, since I have 67 separate songs from 3 different Myst game soundtracks but out of the 3,600 songs, I did find it pretty odd that the next 2 songs in a row were also from the first Myst games. Paranoid, I turned off iTunes, finished my journal entry and shut down the computer before I left the house to hang with some friends.



I got home around 3:30 in the morning, a little drunk and ready for bed. When I walked inside, headed for the bathroom, I instantly sobered up. The computer was turned on, the monitor was turned on and Myst was running. Just to clarify, I live completely alone and I’m the only person with a key to my place. Not to mention that even if I had left my house unlocked and a friend came over, none of my friends know the login password for my desktop. Regardless, I turned on every light and searched for friends playing a prank on me. No one was there. I could still hear the lapping waves of the game’s opening screen as I looked. I decided that I must have left it on and not realized it, though I am absolutely positive now that that is not what happened. Too scared to sit down at the computer and play, I instead pushed down the power button, intending to manually shut it down. As soon as my finger depressed the button, I heard the Sirrus and Achenar laughter (Sirrus’ booming ha-ha-ha’s and Achenar’s high pitched giggles). Next I clearly heard the ripping noises of pages being torn out of a book, followed by the same static-y noise that accompanies the prison books from Myst. I realized that I was still holding down the power button and that the computer was taking way too long to shut down. I released the button and sat down in front of the computer, listening to the terrifying noises. I touched the mouse and the noise stopped. All I could hear was the lapping water again. I don’t know if it was because I was drunk, or too scared not to, but I started playing.

I must have played that game for 3 hours, half drunk. At one point I tried to turn on my camera, but it was still dead; I had never remembered to charge the battery. I tried minimizing to open CamStudio but nothing happened when I hit the Windows button or control alt delete. During this episode of playing, the music would start and stop at random intervals. The sound effects from the Spaceship age would occasionally blare loudly from the speakers while walking alone on the island or in the wrong age. In Channelwood, I’m pretty sure I heard the first half of “The Tower” playing in Achenar’s room among the trees. Occasionally, perhaps 2 or 3 times throughout the night, I swear I heard the familiar laughter of one of the brothers from far away, as through it were coming from outside. I played through each age, retrieving, for unknown reasons, the red and blue pages from every age and placing them into the books that still showed only static and color. I solved the puzzles and found the clues needed to realize the secret to beating the game. Of course, I had beaten the game before but that night I felt as though I needed to replay every aspect of Myst. After completing everything the island had to offer, I took the white page and passed through the fireplace. This time when I clicked on the book, I was allowed to enter with the page. Or so I thought. I phased into D’ni to a deep, scratching, growling noise, much like the noise of the last repetitions of Atrus’s last word “forever” from earlier. This time, though, Atrus just stared at me. The growling went on, but Atrus simply stared. Was it in anger? Disappointment? It looked like loathing. The growling grew louder and my speakers turned up to full volume by themselves. The physical turning control was always set to high but the Volume Control that moves within windows turned up by itself. It was so loud that items on my desk began vibrating and Atrus just continued to stare. I ripped my power strip out of the wall and the computer went dark. The abrupt silence was somehow just as frightening as the game. I left pretty much every light on and went to bed.

The next morning I noticed that all my lights had been turned off while I was asleep. I checked to make sure my door was still locked; it was. All my light switches had been returned to the down position and I was reminded of the switches on the island being in the wrong positions when I first started trying to do my speed run. I went to turn my computer on but when it came up, my wallpaper had been changed to a picture of Atrus glaring at me. I unplugged the computer again and went to work.




Later that night I needed to charge my iPhone so I turned the computer on. The background image was still the pixilated face of Atrus, glaring hatefully back at me. I changed the background and opened iTunes. I left my phone to charge overnight and played some PS3 before going to sleep. The next day I ejected my phone from my computer and left for work. Throughout that day I received around 12 different phone calls from an Unknown number that I couldn’t call back. The first time I picked up I was on break and just decided to answer to see if one of my friends was blocking his number to be a dick. As soon as I answered I hear static and laughing. Sirrus and Achenar. I hung up and didn’t answer my phone for the rest of the day. At some point amid the 11 missed calls from the unknown number, the background of my phone had changed to the picture of Atrus.

That night I decided to do something I should have done a long time ago. After changing my phone’s background picture I called my mom to ask about the game. When she answered I must have sounded a little strange because twice during the conversation she asked if I was ok. I told her I was fine, ‘just a little paranoid, maybe I’m turning into dad, ha ha…” and kept it light. (If you care to know, my dad is a paranoid schizophrenic, though mostly he’s just paranoid, hah.) Anyways, what it came down to was that my mom told me she had never taken any of my stuff anywhere other than Goodwill. She said that there was a chance that one of my games may have gotten mixed up with some old CD’s she had sold in a yard sale but she really didn’t know for sure. That could easily explain it, I guess. Someone had probably bought it from my mom for a dollar and sold it to the buy-sell-trade place for 3 bucks or something. I told my mom goodbye and hung up. I sat on the couch for a while, wondering what I should do with the game. Obviously something weird was going on. I seriously thought for a while that I might be crazy.

I decided to start uploading some of my proof to youtube. I had uploaded the green glitch video a couple weeks ago since I had planned on using it as a reference if I needed to ask around on message boards about how to fix it. I went to my computer and starting looking through the files I had recorded with CamStudio and my digital camera. I went to playback some of the segments but none of them would work. Every time I tried to start one, whether it was recorded with my camera or with the capture software, it would start and then tell me that the file was corrupt. Even the green glitch video wouldn’t play now. I couldn’t get them to upload the way they were either. Youtube kept encountering errors, saying they were the wrong filetype. I charged up my camera for a few minutes and took a short video that showed DivX saying my files were corrupt. Just as I was about to put the SD card into my reader, I had an idea. I would take the card to a friend’s computer and see if it worked there. So I drove over to my friend Bobby’s house and used his computer to upload the clip onto the youtube account I had created for my glitch video. It uploaded and played fine. When I got home, just to test, I tried copying and playing the file on my computer, but suddenly it was corrupt. I know there wasn’t anything wrong with DivX, because all my other files worked. It was just the Myst files that wouldn’t play. That was three days ago. For the past 2 days I’ve been staying at my parent’s place, using their computer to send out these messages. I have to go home soon, my work clothes are there and I can’t just live here forever, but I’m scared. I’m scared because that same night that I uploaded the corrupt file video, I was woken up in the middle of the night by the game.



Before I went to bed I had turned everything off. I know what I’m telling you sounds impossible, or at the very least crazy but at around 3am that night my bedroom door slammed open and woke me up. Usually my door stays cracked a few inches just because of the weight or whatever, but something slammed it against my wall and I sat straight up in bed, fucking terrified. I stared into the darkness beyond the door and listened intently. That was when I heard it. A click, the whirring of a fan and a POST beep. My computer had just turned itself on. I heard the buzz-click of my shitty CRT monitor and saw the soft blue light reflected on the walls. I heard 9 keys being pressed slowly, but very audibly on my keyboard, and then once more; the same number of keys you’d have to press to type in my password and hit enter. The windows boot-up sound played and I heard the mouse slide quietly a few inches before the double-click. I knew what was coming next. Dun-dun. Dun. The opening music. And then:

“I realized the moment I fell into the fissure, that the book would not be destroyed as I had planned. It continued falling into that starry expanse, of which I had only a fleeting glimpse. I have tried to speculate where it might have landed, and I must admit however, such conjecture is futile. Still, questions about whose hands might one day hold my Myst book are unsettling to me. I know my apprehensions might never be allayed... and so I close, realizing that perhaps the ending has not yet been written.”

I sat in silent fear, listening to the words might have once brought back happy, nostalgic feelings and felt only hysterical terror. At that moment, I wished that I could believe I was crazy. I tried to tell myself that it was all in my head, hoping for the first time in my life that I had actually gone insane. But when you see something so real and tangible, when you can hear buttons being pressed that require physical manipulation, you can’t trick yourself into believing that you’re dreaming. No nightmare is that realistic. I didn’t know what to do. I knew I couldn’t go back to sleep and there was no way I was going over to that computer. My mind was racing. I slowly grabbed my keys from my bedside, but the computer was somewhat in between me and the door. That was when I glanced over toward the window. The outline of a tall, thin man was silhouetted against the cloudy, moonlit sky. He was mere feet away from me. I ran for the door. I ran outside, slammed my door behind me, not even bothering to lock it, and dashed for my car. I jumped in and peeled out down the road just a few seconds later. Terrified out of my mind, I turned on the interior car lights and locked the doors. Just as I turned off of my road I saw the man who had been outside my window, standing near my front door.

So here I am. Hiding out, using my parents for security because I’m too afraid to go home. Just like a little kid. I want to bring this up to my mom, or maybe even my dad because I think I need mental help. But I can’t help but feel like once I’m alone again, that guy is going to find me. I know if I told them they’d hire me the best specialists they could afford but do I want that? The answer is yes, if I’m really just crazy. But what if I’m not? Do I really want to be branded insane at 22? Will I live past 22 if I just go home and pretend I’m fine and that this has all been a dream? I’m sorry to bother you, and you don’t need to respond, but I’ll take help anywhere I can get it. I’ll keep you updated if anything else happens of course, but I don’t know yet if anything else WILL happen. Please get my story out, but please keep me anonymous for now. Thanks."

If he does send anything else, I'll be sure to update.

Update 5/21/11: This was sent to me at around 2 AM and when I checked his youtube account there were 3 additional videos uploaded.

"Earlier today two of my friends agreed to meet at my place to help me pick up some clothes, and also to try to retrieve some of the video proof that I had on my computer. I wanted to know if what I remembered was real or not. On the drive over, I explained to them what was going on. Turns out they had been a bit concerned over the past few days and, while it took some convincing to stop them from asking if I was kidding, they finally understood what I was telling them. They advised seeing a doctor but I wanted them to see the videos on my computer first before talking about any of this stuff with my mom. I packed a bag full of clothes and copied 3 videos off of my computer onto a flash drive. It seems the videos work ok on other computer because when we got back to my parents, they all played back just fine. I’ll be uploading the proof of the red and blue pages, the changing switches and Atrus in Dn’i after I send this to you. They’ll be on my youtube page. I hope this helps convince you. I’ll try to stay in touch."

The videos:





7 comments:

  1. Your going to be okay. Your family history and age do make it likely that this is a first episode of something. They can be extremely vivid and focused aroud familiar things, especially with sybols, like myst. Go see a good psychiatrist when you are first able and take these posts with you. Don't be afraid.
    Pathbend M.D.

    ReplyDelete
  2. :/ im sure theres a way to re-edit those final videos and still show the clicking to open the books, look around etc.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This has already been posted on /x/ numerous times, it's a good read but it can do without the bit at the start saying they were afraid nobody would save the thread if it were on /x/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ηavе уοu ever consiԁereԁ about incluԁing
    a lіttle bit more than just уour artіcles?
    I mеan, what yоu say is fundamеntal
    and еverythіng. Νevеrtheleѕs juѕt іmаgine if you addеd ѕοme great visuals or video
    сlips to gіѵе your ροsts mοгe, "pop"!
    Υour сοntent iѕ exсеllent
    but with images and videо clіρs, this sitе cоulԁ undeniably bе
    οne of the most beneficіal in itѕ field.
    Eхсellent blοg!

    Heгe is my homepagе :: buy cheap luxury watcheѕ online ()

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi there would yοu minԁ stating which blog ρlаtform уou're using? I'm looking to start my οwn blog
    soon but I'm having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I'm looκing
    foг something unique. P.
    S Aρologieѕ for bеіng οff-toріc but I had to аsκ!



    Also vіsit my homеpagе; cheaρ ѕtaіrlift []

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow..... this is probably fake but good story!

    ReplyDelete