Apple ][ Myst "Demake"

How much of MYST can you run on an Apple II+ with a single 140k floppy?




Details

I needed a break from my Another World Demake and somehow was thinking about Myst.

Could you do a credible version of Myst on an Apple II in lo-res mode? The answer seems to be just barely. I think you could also make a nice version with hi-res graphics, but they are 8 times bigger and it would be harder to fit on a reasonable number of disks.

One observation, Myst island is very dark and brown. Maybe a system with lots of browns (hello C64!) would work better.


Implementation

This is not the full game, but you can walk around the main island, solve a few of the puzzles, and even travel through a few books.

The graphics were all done by hand, and the quality is a bit irregular as I was trying a few different techniques.

The game is just a series of "rooms" you can walk between. Each room has four exits, N/S/E/W. In each room you can have one item you can poke around with. This maps the gameplay fairly well, though the real game you can have more than 4 exits from a room.

The whole thing is written in 6502 assembly language, takes up 40k of RAM and fits easily on a 140k floppy.

Graphics Comparison

Here's a quick comparison of an image from the actual game, a HGR (hi-res) version made with Bill Buckels' bmp2hgr utility (uncompressed hires images are 8k), and finally a hand-converted GR (lo-res) version (uncompressed lores images are 1k).


Video

A playthrough of the mechanical age (v0.7). In an emulator as my Apple IIs are at work so currently not easily accessible.


An early release (v0.1) recorded on an actual Apple IIe Platinum. It will look better on a CRT monitor, my video capture card struggles at times.


A video on twitter of the clock puzzle.

A video on twitter of the generator puzzle.

A video on twitter of getting to the Selenitic age.

Someone requested to see what my workflow was like for creating the graphics. The answer is it's a very inefficient one, but here's a video of me creating a background if you're curious:



Screenshots




When making your own game engine, sometimes it's tempting to inject some sarcasm:


Implementation Status


System Requirements


Downloads

Disk Images

Source


Controls

To move the "pointer" use the arrow keys or WASD (your emulator might not support up/down arrow as the original Apple II didn't have them).

Use enter or space to move or for action.

Spoilers

If you haven't played through the real game it might not be obvious how to beat things. The real game has lots of clues you uncover but this version isn't complete enough for that. So if you want some spoilers click here.

Credits


TODO


Mini-faq


Development Notes

28 March 2020
Release v0.81. This adds u-turn support. The dimensional imager works. Beginning of the stone ship age.

24 March 2020
Release v0.8, a bugfix release fixing some issues encountered when you leave/return to the main island from various ages. Encountered more or less all the bugs when trying to show off the game to family.

23 March 2020
First finished the rocket puzzle by adding the circuit breakers on the tower. Then got completely carried away and implemented most of the Mechanical Age. Took a lot of time and is much bigger than I expected. It looks like it might take two 140k floppies if I get around to implmenting the whole game.

15 March 2020
Implemnted the puzzles (Generator Room and Spaceship Controls) to get to the Selinitic Age. The age itself is not implemented. Its colors are even worse for the Apple II than previous. Also there's a big sound puzzle and then the interminable sub maze which would be complex to implement.

9 March 2020
Well that one video I posted got unexpectedly popular. Including the crew at Cyan! Hello to the Cyan people if you're reading this, I apologize in advance for some sarcasm about the game's plot that I sprinkle around in places.

8 March 2020
You can now solve the clock related puzzles, open the gear, and travel to the Mechnical Engineer age.

5 March 2020
You can now access all of the marker switches.

4 March 2020
Moved all compression to lzsa, which freed up nearly 8k of space. It's not quite as fast as the previous RLE algorithm I was using though.

I thought I was done, but I might be adding some additional features, stay tuned.

3 March 2020
Still room in memory, so added a few more locations.

2 March 2020
Added some more graphics and sound, and threw the release out the door!

1 March 2020
Threw this together over a weekend, because why not. Cursing Atrust more than normal for all his granite and wood which are a pain to convert down to GR resolution.


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