Blink And You’ll Mys It: Myst Speed Run

By Quintin Smith on November 19th, 2010 at 1:08 pm.

A computer game, yesterday.

This can take pride of place next to that 4 minute long Morrowind speed run. Somebody’s posted a video that travels all the way through Myst to the ending cutscene in a whopping 1 minute and 45 seconds. The footage is old as the hills, but the Hivemind policy on this is clear. If none of us have seen it, it’s statistically impossible for any of you to have seen it.

And here’s that Morrowind speed run, in case you couldn’t be bothered to click on the link.

The best bit is totally the fight with Dagoth Ur at 6:06. “What a fool you are. I’m a God! How can you kill a– WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”

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61 Comments »

  1. pakoito says:

    Hehe I was just watching the Morrowind one yesterday :D

  2. malkav11 says:

    It’s really not very hard to finish Myst quickly, since the vast majority of the game just exists to clue you in as to how to win, and if you already know you can just go straight to the end.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Also, those speed runs got nothing on Quake done Quicker (with a Vengeance).
      It’s simply the most epic speed run ever!

    • P7uen says:

      People can say what they like about Myst, but it was actually that facepalm moment at the end that hooked me on gaming.

      Edit: Christ alive I just watched that Quake one, I’m in awe.

    • Muzman says:

      There’s a couple of good Quake 2 ones as well (although I remember some of my fave cool moves got scrubbed at one point for something faster. There’s should be a Quake done Cool as well somewhere, I reckon)

      The Half Life 2 one is fun just for the guys surfing through the air on a piece of wood.

    • Agrajag says:

      Friend of mine was part of the QDQ team. Fucking amazing job these guys were.

  3. Rinox says:

    What’s that weird red smear thing that closes in on the screen when he’s flying through the dust storm about halfway the vid?

    • Dajs says:

      When the character is under the effects of a debuff it applies semi transparent red border around the screen, in this case (I think it was because of the loading screen for the next area) the effect kept reapplying and adding itself, becoming horribly opaque.

      Just my guess anyway.

    • drewski says:

      Sunder and Keening (the two items you get that allow you to kill Dagoth Ur) basically destroy you if you don’t have the Wraithguard. He’s using an exploit to get the buffs, but he stills gets brief debuffs when he’s got them equipped. Only because he’s switching so fast, the debuffs aren’t really having much effect. It’s only when the game loads that the debuff effect on the display can actually progress far enough to be really noticeable.

  4. Brumisator says:

    I so hate obnoxious coloured youtube annotations, it makes me 90% less likely to click on the uploader’s other videos, out of spite.

  5. opel says:

    “Hail saviour, Hortator and Neravarine… What? What do you mean you skipped that part?”

  6. Anarki says:

    If you like speed runs, this website is the central hub for most of them
    http://speeddemosarchive.com/

  7. Jonathan says:

    Could somebody explain what the point of speedruns is, or why I should care about them? The appeal is a mystery to me.

    • P7uen says:

      Fun, challenge, curiosity, things like that. I wouldn’t worry about it.

    • Stephen says:

      It’s a bit like the appeal of implementing a working CPU in Minecraft. Speedruns are pretty tricky, there’s a real science to it.

      Also, it’s a bit like the back of your head – just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

    • Taillefer says:

      Some speedruns are exquisitely designed and show a deep understanding of the game. It’s not just playing normally-but-faster. Working out the specific item to steal, so you can sell it for just enough gold, so you can buy two potions you’ll need to boost your damage output so you’ll just about be able to kill something before it can kill you (because you’ve created a character with just enough hitpoints)… and so on. There’s something impressive about that

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      That’s something I love to do with survival horrors… just barely making it through the game. There’s a huge appeal in figuring out how to be most efficient all by myself. Speed runs are similar I presume.

      Of course, a speed run in myst or an rpg is much different than a speed run in Mario bros or something.

      As for the appeal of actually watching a speed run (like those in rpgs and myst), it basically comes down to feeling amazed at how short the game actually is… well that’s my guess – I rarely ever watch videos like these.

    • MD says:

      Yeah, the best speedruns involve some mixture of creativity, mastery, and depth of understanding. (And often humour!) Don’t judge them on the Myst one; as Taillefer said, good speedruns aren’t “just playing normally-but-faster.”

      But of course, there’s no reason why you “should” care about them. Speedruns will continue to exist without you, and vice versa. :p

  8. Pani says:

    I seem to remember myst taking me multiple attempts over a period of months to finish for the first time. And I think the first time I finished it, I let one of the brothers loose or something.

    Then again, I was a wee-whipper-snapper back then.

  9. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    Does anyone else see something fishy in the morrowind one? Health and such that he shouldnt have.
    Like in that Half-Life one, the same thing would sometimes happen…

    • Jan says:

      The Morrowind one uses a glitch with some permanent effect items.
      On the other hand, the speedrun deserves praise, as it is quite tricky for an unpatched Morrowind to not crash for more than 5 minutes.

  10. Urael says:

    I’d like to see them try that with Riven.

  11. Hans Joachim says:

    I wonder if the Hivemind policy refers only to the footage, as I have done the same thing in-game, but haven’t seen the video before. Then again, as someone mentions above, when you have finished Myst once, you’ll know what you’re supposed to do in the end.
    Speaking of Myst, the piano puzzle is still one of the hardest puzzles I’ve had to solve. Not because it’s hard to figure out, but because it took me ages to get it right.

    • ninjapirate says:

      Oh wow, I remember when I was a kid my neighbor was playing Myst. He spent an entire afternoon trying to get the piano part right, but he just couldn’t do it.
      Frustrated, he asked a few people to have a listen and see if they could figure it out. There were four people in the room, three grownups and me, while my neighbor was sitting in front of the PC, taking in their input. After they kept failing, I remember telling them “no, it has to be higher” and “nope, deeper, that doesn’t sound right yet” and they immediately got it right after listening to me.
      My neighbor had a new-found respect for me after that, and he even gave me the key to his apartment so I could play on his PC whenever he and his wife were out of town.

      That was, what, about 18 years ago? Meanwhile, I’m about as old as my neighbor was back then, yet I still feel terribly proud of myself just thinking back, ;)

    • Hidden_7 says:

      The exact opposite with me. The piano puzzle was the bit that ended my playthrough. I have no sort of musical aptitude, to the point where I’m pretty sure I’m at least partially tone deaf. In any case, vast swathes of tones on that slider would sound exactly the same to me. I remember thinking to myself that this puzzle, for which I knew exactly what to do, was literally impossible. It was shocking to me that anyone could possibly do it.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      I remember never being able to solve that as a kid… but then I played a musical instrument for 8 years.
      When I replayed myst about half a year ago, that piano puzzle was a breeze.

  12. blainemono says:

    I don’t get the Morrowind video. How did he do it?

    • Rinox says:

      Make use of the potion stacking ‘exploit’, fly over the walls that shield off the end-boss’ volcano hiding place and bludgeon him to death with absurdly boosted strength and endurance.

      On the one hand it’s wonderful that you CAN do this (ie no invisible walls, actual free world), on the other not the best of designs perhaps

    • D says:

      IMO it’s absolutely fine design. You would need a thorough understanding of the world and the systems to pull off these immersion shattering experiments, and already with such a level of understanding there isn’t much immersion left to shatter. I can understand the reaction of calling it bad design, but if it will never detract from the enjoyment of anyone playing the game – wheres the “bad” part?

      Repost: Oh wow spamfilter goes crazy on edits for me.

    • drewski says:

      Rinox – he doesn’t use the potion stacking exploit. He uses a buff exploit that was in unpatched Morrowind which occasionally allowed item buffs to be stacked when equipping/unequipping.

      He jumps the walls of Red Mountain using scrolls that he gets off that mage at the start (fortify acrobatics 1000 points for seven seconds), which is how he travels so from Balmora to Red Mountain. He uses Almsivi Intervention to get to Balmora. The only thing he uses potions for is for levitation (to break his fall from the acrobatics scroll, I think – not sure), and to mark/recall out of Dagoth Ur’s lair back to the bit where Azura’s cutscene is triggered.

    • Rinox says:

      Oh ok, sorry. It’s still an exploit though, which is more or less what I wanted to say (ie it’s not really meant to be possible). So in response to D as well, I agree that it’s fine design that it should be possible for the player to reach Dagoth Ur so early, but cutting out a massive part of the main quest and killing him thanks to what is basically an exploit is a bit questionable, no? :-)

  13. Maykael says:

    I really can’t understand how that guy finished Morrowind in 4 minutes without cheats? Can anyone explain?

    • Azhrarn says:

      Buffs stack, it’s as simple as that.
      He loads up on potions and scrolls, leaps over the barriers and proceeds to kick ass with stats that are boosted to hell and back. His regeneration is pretty much all that’s keeping him alive through most of the latter part of the video, and I don’t think I want to know what his combat statistics were.

  14. Igor Hardy says:

    That’s hardly some secret technique in Myst – everyone who has finished the game knows how to take this shortcut.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Is anyone else shocked about people commenting on that video asking if it’s for the PSP, and that it would look crappy?
      PSP… When that game came out, we barely had single-speed CD-ROM drives in our computers!!
      Kids these days…

  15. Nallen says:

    I can feel it coming, any day now. The revolutionary new game – Tetris.

    Also, yes, SpeedDemosArchive.

  16. squirrelfanatic says:

    For all of those who are wondering how these things are done: SDA, really. Apart from the fact that the guy who did the Myst speedrun knew the solution to the puzzles I doubt that many people could do it that fast. It’s not just the “how to do it”, it’s mainly “how to do it flipping fast” in this case.

  17. WiPa says:

    If you read the video description on the Myst one, someone has beaten this time.

  18. squirrelfanatic says:

    Without reading all the seven pages of comments on youtube.com, I think it is safe to say that it is unlikely that a lot of people can easily do this. I didn’t say it was unbeatable, but that it is an achievement to do it this fast. Anybody can claim that he or she can do it faster, but until there is some kind of proof… Apart from that, some sites (like SDA) work with anonymous reviewers to prevent cheating attempts.

  19. Schaulustiger says:

    Not even a speed-run can make Myst look exciting. At least for me.
    The Morrowind one was hilarious, though.

  20. Oozo says:

    Boy, does that “Myst”-game ever have some serious frame drop-issues – the movements are not fluid at all. If you’re doing a speed run, use a proper graphics card, will ya?

  21. stahlwerk says:

    Re: Morrowind..
    “Sure, one prophecy, coming right up!”

  22. ordteapot says:

    This Deus Ex speed run is a bit long, but some of the tricks are ridiculous and/or entertaining

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlNko3V2aHM&feature=&p=925967FE6363F2A6&index=0&playnext=1
    http://speeddemosarchive.com/demo.pl?DeusEx_Realistic_4320

    Sometimes it’s fun watching a game be broken.

  23. noom says:

    I have only ever attempted one speedrun (not counting my time in Trials 2). That was Metroid Fusion on the GBA, which I completed in 1 hour 29 minutes during a particularly dull train journey. I really paid for it the next day with the worst neck pain I’ve ever had though.. :(

  24. Ricc says:

    That’s interesting. I assume Myst didn’t load as fast when it was originally released? So, this has only been possible with modern hardware.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Yeah, I remember my parents playing it on their old Mac and it used to take up to 30 seconds for each screen to load. Not only was it the most boring game to watch and play as a 12 year old, it was painfully slow too.

  25. Dervish says:

    The clicking is very fast and precise, so that’s impressive, but I’m with the other posters that don’t understand why this Myst run should be mentioned in the same breath as the Morrowind one. Everyone that has beaten the game already knew how to do this–there are no clever tricks, no creative solutions, no flaws to exploit that had to be figured out and studied.

    Maybe Quentin hasn’t played Myst and he thinks there’s more going on here?

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      Even though I replayed Myst half a year ago, I was still surprised that it could be done in less than 2 minutes until I watched the video. Then I was like “oh wait…”.
      I’m suggesting Quinn didn’t realize the simplicity of it until it was too late.

  26. Cunzy1 1 says:

    Well let us see all your best times then!

  27. malkav11 says:

    Speedruns are a weird thing for me. Stuff like the 4 minute Morrowind is impressive and interesting to watch, as was that one Portal speedrun video that was going around which went fast enough to cause motion sickness. But they really have to be absurdly fast or exploit the game mercilessly.

  28. ORYLY says:

    The Morrowind guy walks diagonally because it’s faster!

  29. MrEvilGuy says:

    Real Myst would have been more impressive.

  30. Spacewalk says:

    As speedruns go, Half-Life in Half an Hour is a favourite of mine. It’s a good watch, if you haven’t seen it yet.

  31. Caddrel says:

    Guys, wrong headline! Surely, “Blink and you’ve Myst It”?

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