After Myst, there was Pyst, a bizarre parody starring bathtub John Goodman

Imagine a comedian building a game called Brand Theft Auto 5, set in a version of Liberty City ruined by the millions of players who ran through GTA 5's singleplayer campaign. An army of lawyers would march over to squash it, surely, but in 1996 something similar happened to the classic puzzle game Myst. Welcome... to Pyst.

Pyst was created by comedian and Firesign Theatre co-founder Peter Bergman. The game is set on the same island as Myst but each scene has been vandalised by Myst's 4 million players and all the puzzles have been replaced by jokes. 

Pyst also somehow stars John Goodman as the island's ruler, King Mattrus. YouTube has preserved some of his antics in this behind-the-scenes making of video. At one point Goodman appears topless in a bath and talks about showing the player "a whole other side of Pyst island". We also learn what "the Bergman poop factor" is.

The game had some novel features (for the time), like an in-game link to a Pyst website. You could also dial Pyst on the phone "to interact with the characters from Pyst island." I dialled it. Sadly the number is dead. Myst's publisher Broderbund seemed entirely fine with the parody, saying "we've seen imitators and they usually just give us a good chuckle."

Let's enjoy the box art. They really work that one pun.

Pic via AlphaCoders

Pic via AlphaCoders 

The game doesn't seem to be available for sale anywhere but it does appear to be floating around Abandonware sites. I don't see why I should play it when instead I can listen to the original Pyst single, "I'm Pyst". To his credit, Goodman really goes for it.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.