On February 24th, 2008, I wrote a full set of instructions for how to get Myst Masterpiece Edition working on Windows XP SP2. It became the definitive solution for getting the game to work and at least 5000 people have followed my instructions. Even the Myst community on Facebook links to my post and references me by name. That’s pretty cool. 🙂
Just in case the Myst Community forum goes down for any reason, here are the contents of my original instructions:
*** INNOVATIVE SOLUTION ***
Myst Masterpiece Edition (MME) relies on only a few QuickTime4-related files to be located in c:\WINDOWS\System32\ . By providing the files below (gathered from a QT4 installation, from the game CD) and overwriting any of these files provided by QT7 I have been able to have Myst (MME), iTunes7, and QT7 all function correctly at the same time on Windows XP SP2. The only downside is an outdated QuickTime settings screen that is the result of replacing these files.
Here are the files required from QT4:
1. c:\WINDOWS\System32\QuickTime.qts (guts)
2. c:\WINDOWS\System32\QuickTime.qtp (saved preferences)
QuickTime.gts (from QT4 or otherwise compatible QT version) must be present at c:\WINDOWS\system32 . The second file, QuickTime.gtp, is optional except for the fact that it contains your preferences of “safe-mode” set as a recommendation of other posts (and this one!). (More on this below.)
Some of you may have already tried QuickTime in Safe Mode and some may have already tried installing the older version of QuickTime. I required both downgrading *and* turning on QT safe mode to get Myst working. As my own addition to these steps, I upgraded back to QT7 but figured out a way to keep the only files needed by Myst (MME).
Fix it! Here’s how.
1. Install Myst Masterpiece Edition
2. Browse to the game folder. Right-click on Myst.exe and choose ‘Properties’. Switch to the ‘Compatibility’ tab. Set these settings:
[X] Run this program in compatibility mode for:
[Windows 95] OR [Windows 98 / Windows ME]
[X] Run in 256 colors
[X] Run in 640 x 480 screen resolution
[X] Disable visual themes
3. Attempt to to run the game. If you experience a black screen with “wind sounds”, and maybe have a hand cursor, but cannot do anything except exit the game, you need a Myst-compatible QuickTime.gts file placed into your Windows’ System32 folder. Proceed to step 4…
4. Make a backup copy of your existing QuickTime.gts file (of course) and then acquire a Myst-compatible version of QuickTime.gts gathered from a working QT4 installation. (Look for my zip attachment.) [link] [link]
5. Copy the Myst-compatible QuickTime.gts to your %WINDIR%\system32\ folder. For Windows XP that is:
6. Attempt to run the game. It should only take a few seconds to discover if you now see the intro movie or in-game user interface. If the game CRASHES here, it is because you also need to run QuickTime in safe-mode. Proceed to step 7…
7. START > CONTROL PANEL > QuickTime . Switch to “[Video Settings]” and select “Safe Mode (GDI Only)”. Proceed to step 8.
Please note, if your settings screen looks any different than I have described, just look for a section for “Video” or “Display” and change to Safe Mode where you see it. If all else fails, place a Myst-compatible version of the QuickTime.gtp (preferences file) into the same folder with QuickTime.gts . (Look for my zip attachment.) [link] [link]
8. Attempt to load the game. You should probably see a cool explosion now as your PC CATCHES FIRE. Okay so maybe it’s just the intro video. At this point Myst should be working.
9. (optional) Check iTunes and QuickTime for their own functionality. If it’s anything like mine it should all work.
My Additional Notes in response to SkipG
[Editor: SkipG complained that some of the animations weren’t working. This was my reply.] You are correct. My solution fails to include some sort of animated image decompresser (I forget the name). Without it, a few objects in the game sometimes show incorrectly or motionless when they should otherwise be animated. (For example, the PSI gauge on the furnace in the cabin.)
I did not discover a solution to this small visual glitch, but it only presents itself about 3 times in the game. I assure you I completed the original Myst even with this problem, having no prior knowledge of how to solve the puzzles. To take a game that is completely unplayable to a completable one, I think I’ve done my job well. 🙂
I remember the key animation you mentioned. My solution to making Myst work does not prevent you from seeing it there on the floor. Whatever animation is supposed to be there that goes unseen will not prevent you from completing the game, as it did not stop me from doing so. I did not experience the crash you describe when clicking on the key. If you can find success in advancing by following my steps again, knowing that I have played the game through my very first time using my own QuickTime fix, you should have peace of mind to continue.
Please let me know if I can assist further
Final reply from SkipG
Wow, that was quick! After writing the note last night, I decided this AM to retry your excellent instructions. I uninstalled QT7 and installed QT4 from the CD, making sure safe mode was selected in preferences after the install. I then uninstalled QT4, and found that QuickTime.qtp remained in the system32 directory. Installed QT7 to the default QuickTime directory under Program Files. In the System32 directory renamed QuickTime.qts QuickTime.qts.ver7 and copied QuickTime.qts from the QT4 installation to the System32 folder.
I launched Myst and after the INTRO went to the Library. Clicking on the picture to get to the tower, I got a message “Some files from the QuickTime installation are missing. Would you like to download them?” At this point I exited the program and copied the file “QuickTimeInstallCache.qdat” from the CD to the QuickTime folder on the C:\ drive. I restarted Myst and now when I click on the picture to get into the tower, I don’t get the cool animation of the picture morphing, but the bookshelf does convert into a set of stairs. Clicking on the key I spoke of earlier now does nothing, including crashing.
Thanks for your solution and for documenting it. I know it took a lot of work. And I agree your solution, with a very minor tweak, is a very workable compromise, given we can’t have two versions of QT coexist.