Recently, Nate directed me to Riven X, which allowed me to run the 5 CDs through my computer and install the 13-year-old game on my laptop (without having to change disks every time I go to a different island). I am completely in love with the whole Myst series. I now have Myst on my iPod Touch, and Riven, Myst IV and V, and Uru on my laptop. I look forward to the day when I can play black-and-white Spelunx again on a modern system.
Anyway, the Myst Online: Uru Live community calls itself “The Called,” similar to the way Star Trek fans are referred to as Trekkies. The term comes from a speech by Yeesha, the Grower, who (in game mythology) will rebuild the destroyed D’ni civilization. The MMO, Uru, presents the idea that Yeesha will regrow D’ni culture using the Called, who are humans that feel mysteriously drawn to the underground Earth cavern where the D’ni lived. There has been quite a bit of debate, I understand, as to how this would happen in the real world. I think the consensus is that it would be a kind of genetic memory like salmon runs or something, and that only part-D’ni humans would return to the Cavern. The question is then, since the D’ni were sealed in their cave until the Myst series starts, when would they have shared genetics with humans?
Well, after careful reading of the Riven journals, it seems Cyan gives us the answer. Both Catherine (the wife of the hero, if Atrus can be called a hero) and Gehn (the antagonist) mention in their journals that the natives of the Riven islands take to D’ni technology and ideas very quickly. Both characters speculate if perhaps the Rivenese have some D’ni blood (presumably the D’ni had long ago created a link, now lost, to Riven or something).
Once we establish that the Riven natives have D’ni blood, the question becomes simple. Catherine wrote the Star Fissure into the Linking Book to Riven. Although it appears to be a fissure from the island directly into space, it allows matter to be “hospitably exchanged” between two Ages, like a wormhole – and as we know from Uru, the other end of the Star Fissure is at the Cleft, right next to the entrance to D’ni.
When Gehn was first trapped on Riven, he did a bunch of inhuman tests about the Star Fissure, which included flinging Rivenese miscreants in and seeing what happened to them. Of course, since things, including Atrus’s Myst book and people, get direct transportation from Riven to the Cleft, 18th century Earth now has D’ni blood via the Rivenese immigrants.
And through science fiction magic, some special people feel called to the Cleft to start a journey to rebuild D’ni. Which explains why some people are such big Myst fans. It’s our genetics.
Well I think it’s cool, so there.