A Performance Boost for the Game
Book   "MYST"        

How to run a Mac CD ROM game from a hard disk.

originally published as part of The Hardsdisk Mac Pages

These tips apply to the popular vintage game "MYST". You may also be able to draw parallels to other Macintosh games that must be run from a CD ROM, from what is done here.

When MYST appeared in 1993, it was a departure from other games at the time and became an instant hit. It tested your intelligence, resourcefulness and knowledge of the physical world in a very compelling and absorbing way. Six virtual worlds were created, using HyperCard and QuickTime movies. The transitions to left and right and straight ahead were remarkable, considering the technology and you could literally get lost in the beautiful and painstakingly rendered "Ages of MYST". The original game was later used as a kind of story board for realMYST, the 2002 realtime 3D version of the original MYST.

MYST came on one CD, from which you copied a file and a folder to your hard disk. The remaining resources had to be drawn from the CD, while you played the game. If your CD ROM was in the 2 to 8X range you could expect a lag between the time you clicked the mouse and the time the screen changed. If the scene included a QuickTime movie, it could take even longer.

If you have an extra internal or external 500 MB hard drive or a larger drive that you can put a 455 MB partition on with Drive Setup (AKA; Apple HD SC Setup), you can make MYST run faster and much more smoothly. The exact space needed will vary for other games.

Start by getting your drive space ready, then name the drive or partition after the CD, "Myst". This is case sensitive and no other name will work. Make a new folder on your Myst drive and name it "Myst Graphics". Again, This has to be exact. Now find the Myst Graphics folder on your Myst CD. Drag everything in the folder, except for the 70 MB QuickTime movie file called: "MakingMyst.MooV", to the folder on your Myst drive. If you have successfully completed the game you will notice that one of the ages is conspicuous by its absence. It is there but has been made invisible along with one other file that needs to go in your Myst Graphics folder. To retrieve these items, you will need an application like Invisible File Copier which is freeware. The folder you need is called "Dunny" and the file is "DURes1" Make these items visible and copy them to your Myst Graphics folder on your new Myst drive.


A 455 MB partition on a 2 Gig drive. This one is formatted
"Extended" for a PowerMac. Use "Mac OS Standard" for 68k Macs.



Your Myst Graphics folder is the only thing you need
on your Myst drive and must have all of these files:


Once you have all of the required files in your Myst Graphics folder, I also recommend using the Volume Settings in Drive Setup to write protect your Myst drive. This will make it behave just like the CD only much faster.

Finally, make sure that the two files specified in the "Myst Read Me" on the Myst CD, are on your main drive or partition and you are ready to play without the slow CD. If you are using a PowerPC Macintosh, leave Virtual Memory on. If your processor is 100 MHz or better, with enough VRAM, you can set your monitor to thousands of colors instead of the recommended 256. Just press "Continue" when asked if you want to change it. MYST runs fine on System 7.1 through OS 9.2.2.

Be aware that you "may not sell or transfer reproductions of the software or manual to other parties in any way, nor rent or lease the product to others without the prior written permission of Brøderbund. You may use just one copy of the product on a single terminal connected to a single computer." See the MYST manual for more details. Other games including realMYST, forbid any kind of copying of any of the files. Make sure you have read and understand the limitations and your liabilities. Many games, more recent than MYST, including realMYST, install all of the resources on your hard disk. The only pertinent files remaining on the CD are a few KB of invisible enabling files. While there is no degradation from eliminating the CD for these games and replacing it with a floppy (or a disk image of a floppy) containing these enabling files, there will be no speed advantage from doing so.

Enjoy your enhanced version of the original MYST. Try to take some time out to maintain personal hygiene and don't forget to sleep at some point. It will help your brain work better. You will need it.


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