In Myst, the successful graphic adventure video game released by Cyan back in 1993, linking books are written by the D'Ni people using a process known simply as "the Art." The purpose of these linking books is to transport people to other worlds known to the D'Ni as Ages. Linking books play an integral part in Myst and its sequels, and now a working replica of one has been created. Not "working" in the sense that it can transport the reader to other ages, but working in the sense that the Cyan games can be played using this real-life version of the linking book.
There have been previous attempts at creating a replica of the linking books from Myst, but they have invariably been used for display purposes, with a rolling trailer merely repeating on the screen. This Myst linking book, created by dedicated fan Mike Ando, goes a step further.
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Ando first sourced a 135-year-old copy of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, the book which brothers Rand and Robyn Miller modeled the original linking book on. He then effectively destroyed it in order to fit it with the components needed to bring the linking book to life. Namely a hand-built desktop computer small enough to fit inside the book, and a 5-inch LED touchscreen with a display of 640 x 480 pixels.
The computer features the smallest components Ando was able to lay his hands on, and it's consequently around half the size of a netbook. It's powered by a 3-cell lithium ion battery that will run for up to two hours before needing to be charged. The computer boasts a 1.6 GHz Intel Z530P processor, an Intel GMA500 graphics chipset, and 1 GB of RAM. Windows XP powers the whole thing from a 32 GB flash memory card.
All of the Cyan games are included, as well as some extras: Myst Masterpiece Edition, realMyst, Riven DVD edition, Riven Elementary, Myst III: Exile DVD edition, Myst IV: Revelation, Uru: Ages Beyond Myst & The Path of the Shell, Myst V: End of Ages, The Manhole Masterpiece Edition, and Crowthistle. These can all be played using the touchscreen.
The video embedded below shows what this replica Myst linking book looks like in action. Ando is looking to sell this labor of love, which he claims took many hours over the course of six years to complete, asking US$15,625 for it purely because this sum represents 1,000 in D'ni numerals.