Myst engine overview
It is well known that the original Myst for Mac was created with HyperCard, and in fact it looks like a set of HyperCard stacks turned into a standalone Classic application. Each stack represents one of the Ages. Game data (pictures, cursors, sounds) are stored in resource forks and movies are stored in separate (obfuscated) QuickTime files.
The story is obviously different for the Windows version. Although the Windows Myst engine is very different from Riven's one, it is clear that it uses resources stored in several Mohawk archives as well.
Like in Riven, the Ages are represented by individual Mohawk packages:
- HELP (Myst ME only)
- SYSTEM (does not exist in all versions and only contains the RSFL resource)
These are plain Mohawk files despite their obscure .dat extension. However, unlike Riven, Myst data is not entirely inside Mohawk files. For example, movies are separate QuickTime files. The Masterpiece Edition also contains a "pics" file for each Age (e.g. SEpics) which contains a list of JPEG pictures. Among these pictures there are copies of the PICT resources stored in the Age's Mohawk file. It's not yet known which version is actually used.
Both Myst and Myst Masterpiece Edition use little-endian byte order in their resource data, except for MSND resources.