realMYST Easter Eggs

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In the early ’00s, Spyder, previously known for doling out clues to the Riven Easter Eggs and The Vault, began to post clues in Cyan Chat to easter eggs found in realMYST. These were documented faithfully by the late community member Mark “Zardoz” Plummer on his realMYST Easter Egg Hunt website.

A couple of the clues documented there are loose ends that may or may not yield secrets yet unseen. However, on the evening of April 10, 2012, over a decade after the original Egg Hunt, Spyder again showed up in CC with a new clue, seemingly also about the original realMYST:

[22:00] \\\\\[Spyder]  <links in from somewhere on the internet Age>/////
[22:01] [Spyder] Have any of you tried shooting the moon yet?
[22:01] /////[Spyder]  <mistakenly used an unsafe linking book without a maintainer's suit *ZZZZZWHAP*>\\\\\
[22:08] \\\\\[Spyder]  <links in from somewhere on the internet Age>/////
[22:09] [Spyder] Vintage MYST from Reality
[22:09] [Spyder] Get In My sights you see...
[22:09] [Spyder] Shoot The Moon To Raise The Mast
[22:09] [Spyder] And Get a Wild Blast Straight from the past
[22:10] /////[Spyder]  <mistakenly used an unsafe linking book without a maintainer's suit *ZZZZZWHAP*>\\\\\

Over the next ten years, there would be occasional flurries of activity around this new clue, but nothing has yet been discovered.

Line 1

Vintage MYST from Reality

This seems to tell the fans that the game being spoken of is the original realMYST. At the time this clue was given, there had been no new releases of realMYST since the Mac version came out in 2002, so "Vintage" realMYST was the only existing realMYST. However, the iPad version was announced on March 1st, 2012, and would come out two months later. So the word "Vintage" could have been a clue to look to the old version, not the imminent one. It could also merely be there to say "Yes, you're really getting a new clue about a 12-year-old game."

Line 2

Get In My sights you see...

One of the original realMYST Easter Eggs was known in the game files as "YourInMySightsNow". To activate the egg, you input two patterns into the fireplace. The first is referred to as "logo", resembling the Cyan dingbat:


…and the second is known as "plus", resembling a crosshair:


Doing these makes the turret from the Myst Mayhem April Fools' gag protrude from the library tower, pointing toward whichever landmark the Tower Rotation is currently set to. (All non-locked-in Tower Rotation positions make the turret point directly away from the island; there are no fine adjustments to be made.) After waiting about 30 seconds, the gun barrel will aim, point slightly upward, and recoil with a BANG sound (in actuality using the sound of the giant tree releasing boiler pressure), then lower to its original position.

So this line of the new clue seems to indicate that activating YourInMySightsNow is a prerequisite to finding the unknown egg in question.

Line 3

Shoot The Moon To Raise The Mast

The nut. These seem to be the direct instructions on how to activate the unknown egg. Many possibilities of their meaning have been theorized and tested, to no avail thus far. Whatever "Shooting The Moon" means, it sounds like it will result in a mast raising; the obvious interpretation, since YourInMySightsNow takes place on Myst Island, is that it's somehow involved in raising the ship by the dock. Which might mean that "Shooting The Moon" is some process by which the correct constellation symbol pillars will be lit up.

In some card games, "Shooting The Moon" means to do the opposite of what you normally do, and thereby achieve the best result. (For instance, in Hearts, if you collect every single card that would normally penalize you, every other player is penalized a lot.) This could mean that all the pillar symbols start activated, and you deactivate the incorrect ones to raise the ship. Many permutations of this have been tried, and none have been discovered to succeed yet.

But also, the Myst clock tower has an ornament with an arrow and a moon. And there is a constellation pillar with an arrow symbol. So perhaps merely turning off the arrow to raise the ship is involved. Furthermore, the arrow pillar is a vital part of the Torsk Easter Egg: If you set the cabin safe to the combination 423 you will carry an unusable grenade launcher (another Myst Mayhem reference) any time you are outside on Myst Island and the arrow pillar is activated. This allows for several combinations of metaphorical/literal moon-shooting. But again, no success has been had (or at least noticed) with many combinations of these concepts.

And of course, any of the above could be completely, entirely wrong. There are other masts around: the sunken Black Ship on Mechanical, for example. We know of no way to raise that one, and it seems like this step should happen on Myst like the other Easter Eggs, but we just can't be sure.

Line 4

And Get a Wild Blast Straight from the past

This seems to be a description of the Egg itself. Perhaps something different happens when the YourInMySightsNow turret fires? Could it be another Myst Mayhem artifact? You could be the first to find out!

Other thoughts

It's possible that the odd capitalization of the clue bears a cipher of some kind; however, Spyder's grammar has been known to be eccentric before. [citation needed]

Possibilities + Interpretations

There are multiple interpretations for the clues given by Spyder, but so far, the solution possibilities have been far too broad to attain a solution. Thus, to help others in their interpretations of the clues, ideas mentioned before in this article are included here for completeness sake.

Shoot The Moon To Raise The Mast
  • Shoot The Moon (Literal interpretations):
    • The Moon + Arrow Vane on top of the clocktower
      • There is a crescent moon shape alongside an arrow on top of the Mechanical Gate clocktower at the end of the island However, there is no way to interact with this object, save for moving up to it by hacking one's configuration files to change the gravity settings. There is, however, what appears to be interactivity triggers about the Moon Vane in the save file. (similar to the YourInMySightsNow, Rime Gas, "Bring Me The Doughnuts", and Kong egg.)
    • The Rocketship
      • Often referred to what would become the 1960s-1970s Apollo missions, a moon shot, the idea of a mission to explore Earth’s moon, was an idea also often explored in science fiction.
    • YourInMySightsNow
      • This easter egg produces an effect where a gun barrel protrudes from the viewing slot of the Rotating Tower on the mountain behind the library, as a reference to the 1999 April Fools image of "Myst Mayhem", to announce realMyst. However, this can only be pointed at the four certain landmarks on the island, and will point backwards unless directly at these landmarks, so one cannot point the barrel at the Moon Vane on the clocktower.
    • Torsk
      • This easter egg produces a grenade launcher that appears only for aesthetic purposes, again in reference to the 1999 April Fools image of "Myst Mayhem". However, this does not affect gameplay, and cannot be fired at anything, not even the Moon Vane.
    • The Black Ships:
      • There is a Black Ship Emblem, a crescent moon with a cross symbol, in Atrus' Journal about the Mechanical Age. What purpose this serves is unknown.
    • Rime Imager:
      • Face 14 in the Face Egg resembles a moon.
  • Shoot The Moon (Figurative interpretations):
    • Hearts: In the Hearts card game, it means 'take every point possible' or to try to collect all the hearts and the queen of spades, making all of the wrong moves to produce a desirable result. This nets the winning player the maximum score of 26.
      • The Generator powerhouse contains displays that only allow for two-digit numbers. 26 as a power input (As opposed to 59, the normal voltage) does not produce any discernable effect. (NO EFFECT)
      • (In conjunction with the "Raise the Mast" clue:) The Sunken Ship at the dock can only be raised by selecting the three correct symbols in the pillar garden. The interpretation of shooting the moon can also mean to choose the wrong symbols. However, again, this has not produced a discernable effect. (NO EFFECT)
      • (In conjunction with YourInMySightsNow:) One idea presented was to produce the YourInMySightsNow crosshair as a an inverted shape in the fireplace (i.e. the squares producing the shape are blank, and the blank areas are filled with squares), shooting the moon by using the wrong shapes in the wrong areas of the symbol. (NO EFFECT)
    • The Rocketship + YourInMySightsNow:
      • One could interpret the clue as being to point the barrel of the tower turret to the Rocketship, as the Rocketship is doubly associated with both the "moon shot" idea, as well as the Selenitic Age. (where Selene, the root of the name, comes from the Greek goddess of the moon) Again, no effect. (NO EFFECT)
      • One can change many settings in the code box containing the link to Selenitic, but no code has been found that produces another effect other than the one that activates the viewscreen above it. The figurative idea would be to set all the sliders to the highest notes and pull the lever. However, nothing has been achieved with this yet. (NO EFFECT)
    • Multiple Elements; The Clocktower And Pillar Garden:
      • The Clocktower shares two elements with other objects, which in turn each share one element: The Black Ships Flag, and the Pillar Garden
        • The Arrow: There is an arrow on the Moon Vane, and there is also an arrow on one of the control boxes of the Pillar Garden.
        • The Moon: There is a moon on the Black Ships flag, and there is also a moon on the Clocktower Vane.
        • The Cross: There is a cross on another control box in the pillar garden, and the Black Ships flag has a cross that vaguely resembles a dagger. (plus the cross somewhat resembles crosshairs, much like the YourInMySightsNow symbol in the fireplace.)
    • At a High Level: The other interpretation of "shooting the moon" is the definition of "to attain great or high heights."
      • The Giant Tree:
        • One can ride the tree elevator to its apex, by turning up the gas valve to maximum, and running back outside to catch the elevator as the pressure pushes it upward. Even with the Torsk or YourInMySightsNow easter egg active, this does not produce any discernable effect, again. (NO EFFECT)
      • The Rotating Tower:
        • The Rotating Tower is the highest viewpoint on the island. However, even if active, one cannot see the YourInMySightsNow gun barrel while inside of the tower, nor does it produce any noticeable effect. (NO EFFECT)
      • Inputs:
        • Another possibility is to set every input to its highest level (numbers to 99, etc.) This was tested both with and without overloading the electricity on the rocketship, but this does not produce any noticeable effect. (NO EFFECT)
    • Torsk
      • This easter egg is activated partially by the activation of one of the Pillar Garden control boxes: the Arrow shape, which is also present on the Moon Vane on top of the clocktower.
    • The Planetarium Viewer: The idiom "Shoot for the moon and land among the stars", may suggest that the viewer is involved, and a date needs to be put in.
      • At least one easter egg, Kong (a version of the famous Pong video game), was found here by inputting a set of dates into the viewer, which produced the ball and paddles on the screen on the left. Still continuing on the "moon shot" idea, one could input the date of the first moon landing into the viewer, but it seems to have no effect. (Although one can still test it.) (NO EFFECT)
      • A different idea, a film, "Le Voyage dans la Lune", by filmmaker Georges Méliès in the early 1900s, involved a cannon shooting an exploration capsule to the moon. Inputting the release date of this film, 1 September 1902, had no effect either. (NO EFFECT)
      • Apollo Missions:
        • The first moon orbit (Apollo 8) was conducted around Christmas time of 1968. All dates relevant (Dec 21st, 24th, 25th, and 27th) were entered into the viewer, but did not produce an effect. (NO EFFECT)
    • Screenshot: Press Alt + Y to take a screenshot (Advanced Mappings, available from realMYST Setup, needs to be on). The theory is that it is similar to the hidden code that one can find on the Teledahn photograph in the Baron's Office in the D'ni cavern, only by taking a KI photo.
      • This was tested on the following:
        • Clocktower Moon Vane Ornament (NO EFFECT)
        • Rocketship (NO EFFECT)
        • Black Ships Flag in Mechanical Journal (NO EFFECT)
        • Face 14 of Face Egg (NO EFFECT)
        • Sirrus' Bolt of Fabric with the Black Ships Emblem (NO EFFECT)
    • The Gear Plateau:
      • Curiously, the YourInMySightsNow turret will not fire at the Gear Plateau, whether the gears are open or not. This has led some to believe that the Gears have some significance. Plus, the sunken three-quarters gear does have a semicircular half-moon profile shape when closed. (And one of the symbols needed for the return code in Mechanical, which some have interpreted as being fitting abstractions of the tasks you need to perform to exit the age, is a half-moon semicircle, representing the gear you need to return to.)
    • Vintage Skill Game similar to Skee-Ball:
      • There is a vintage game called "Shoot the Moon", consisting of a wooden frame with two inclined metal rods (away from the player) that slide within a slot. On the frame is a set of indentations with a score for each. Included with the game is a large metal ball bearing. Depending on who has made the game, the scores (numbers) and the skill level (planet names) range from Mercury-to-Pluto, Earth-to-Moon (Atmospheric layers), and anywhere from negative-250-to-(positive) 5000 points. The idea is to use the physics of the rod tracks and the ball bearing to transfer movement by squeezing and relaxing the distance of the tracks. If done correctly, you can bring the ball all the way up to the final hole, which is either "Pluto", or "The Moon", and 2500 points, or 5000 points, again, depending on the manufacturer. The only places that even remotely resemble this track-like shape are the tracks in Selenitic, or the rope boundaries in the Myst Island Pillar Garden.
  • ...To Raise The Mast (Literal interpretations):
    • The Sunken Ship:
      • The ship may need to be raised to produce the easter egg's effect.
  • ...To Raise The Mast (Figurative interpretations):
    • The Giant Tree: (In conjunction with the "Shoot the Moon" clue:)
      • If one interprets the raising of a mast as a similar effect somewhere else, one can ride the tree elevator to its apex, by turning up the gas valve to maximum, and running back outside to catch the elevator as the pressure pushes it upward; the tree is shaped like a mast, and is also made of wood, and also rises because of the pressure provided by the log cabin boiler. So far this has not yielded anything. (NO EFFECT)
    • To Prepare to Depart:
      • One could interpret this as a corruption of hoisting a sail on a ship to depart.
  • Possible Effects:
And Get a Wild Blast Straight from the past
  • Flying Rocketship
    • The final notable element in the "Myst Mayhem" image was the Rocketship flying around the island, which could be suggested as happening in the easter egg by both "Shoot the moon" and the above clue. (as in, the Rocketship takes off, or passes by, somehow.) The other easter eggs, Torsk and YourInMySightsNow, both involved a callback to the joke image as well.
  • Something Nostalgic
    • "Straight from the past" suggests something would appear that would have been considered old at the time the game was made.