Myst Journey

End of Ages Soundtrack

End of Ages Soundtrack

Composer: Tim Larkin

Release Date: October 25, 2005

Length: 49 minutes, 17 songs

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Composer Tim Larkin, a sound designer and audio director at Cyan who had previously worked on realMyst and Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, was given the task of developing Myst V's musical score. Larkin stated that whereas earlier Myst games had been constrained by technological limitations, the available technology allowed End of Ages to have a more dynamic environment, with the music changing with various timings of different sound effects. Surround sound provided a more realistic and immersive gameplay experience.

A major challenge in writing the music was that the score had to be flexible enough to match the non-linear gameplay events. "Games are totally interactive experiences," Larkin explained. "You don't guide a player through, since you can't count on being at a certain place at a certain time. I can't write cue music to get the player to do this, this and then this. One player might hear the cue and run the other way!" Larkin had to step away from what he had learned as a jazz composer and musician writing pieces with a definite beginning and end, instead creating music with "less arc" and structure. Larkin admitted that some Myst fans would have preferred a musical style similar to Robyn Miller's scores for Myst and Riven, but replied by saying that change happens and players would find something to like in the new music if they kept an open mind.

Due to a tight budget, Larkin was unable to hire an orchestra to perform the music; all the instruments in the soundtrack aside from Larkin's own trumpet playing are sampled instruments. Larkin used a variety of synthesizers, samplers, and computers to create the score, working at his home studio and Cyan's offices. Larkin found that the biggest challenge with the score was finishing it on time for the game to ship.