I realized the moment I fell into the fissure that the Book would not be destroyed as I had planned. It continued falling into that starry expanse, of which I had only a fleeting glimpse. I have tried to speculate where it might have landed, but I must admit that such conjecture is futile. Still, questions about whose hands might one day hold my Myst book are unsettling to me. I know my apprehensions might never be allayed, and so I close, realizing that perhaps the ending has not yet been written. -- Atrus

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Egypto-Rivenese Puzzle

In my exhibition practices class today at the Metropolitan Museum of Art the curator was showing us examples of ancient Egyptian Predynastic (umm ~ca. 3300 BC, give or take a century or two) cosmetic palettes.  Some are fantastically decorated in relief, but others were molded into animal shapes without any relief or incised decoration.  Actually, on some there is incised decoration to mark the figures of the shapes as a more recognizable form.  There are always exceptions.  It keeps us in business.

So what does this Myst junkie think?  Well, naturally I thought about their ancient Egyptian function as cosmetic palettes, on some of which pigment remains.

But while the curator was explaining them in greater depth my mind wandered away to the animal stone puzzle in Riven, the one that brings us to Tay.

Riven has been much on my mind lately because of crimault's YouTube videos of his game play.  (BTW, he had a four-hour live stream last weekend and all of us obsessed weirdos sat down and watched.  Only Myst fans possess this degree of dedication.  It was awesome!)

Take a look at some examples:

Double-headed bird

Guinea fowl

Elephant!  My favorite animal.

Double-headed turtle

Egyptian tilapia

Figure riding an elephant.

Ibex (probably?)
Now, perhaps you are wondering how I am possibly seeing Riven in all this.

Room of the Animal Stones puzzle.  Sorry I couldn't find a better image.  Would you believe the Internet doesn't have one?!  I googled everything I could think of, but this is all I got.
Here are some details:

Spoiler!  This is the solution to the puzzle.
Do you see where I am going with this?  I was imagining the palettes as inlay for the Riven animal puzzle.  We could make an Egyptian-inspired Riven game!  Perhaps this is something I can create for the next Egyptology conference.  Since it is already too late for this year (as the conference is this weekend!).  Real-life Riven with an Egyptian theme.  I'm really loving this idea.  If I had a backyard I would totally create this.

I feel like it has become self-aggrandizing to be conflating Myst with my Egyptian studies, so I hope it isn't coming across that way.  These are simply things I see on a daily basis so it is in this that I will find most of my comparative imagery.  I promise the moment I spot something that looks Myst-y and doesn't have to do with Egypt I will post it immediately.  Well, I did post that subway one in an earlier post...

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