Everyone loves the software company Cyan because of the Myst series of adventure games. That’s completely fair, because the first two games at least are great and fully deserving of respect. Myst’s worlds and puzzles still hold up today, and it was hugely influential as one of the first great first-person adventure games. And Riven, well. I first played Riven in grade school, without much experience with games like it besides Myst, and I found the whole thing terribly unfair and only beat it through liberal use of a strategy guide. I replayed it during college and was awestruck by everything.
But I’m not here to talk about that, as you can find much better paeans to the series elsewhere. Before Myst, Cyan made educational-ish adventure-ish games for youngsters: The Manhole, Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel, and Spelunx and the Caves of Mr. Seudo. I had all three growing up, and I loved Cyan for them even before I had played Myst.
Cosmic Osmo in particular got the most playing time of the three. I’m not sure if by raw numbers it was the biggest game or had the most to do, but it always felt like it did. You explore a bunch of different planets with oodles of things to poke and prod at, and there’s a ton of whimsical creativity in the places, people, actions, and reactions.
I just started playing LucasArts’s The Dig earlier today, and there’s a minigame in the main character’s PDA heavily inspired by Lunar Lander. Cosmic Osmo also has a simple landing-type minigame called Ship Chip Lander. The minigame has an attract mode sound which triumphantly yells out the game’s title: ”SHIIIIIIIIIP CHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP LAAAANDER-NDER-NDER-NDER-nder-nder.” Any time I play any landing-type game, such as today during The Dig, I always yell that out in tribute to Cosmic Osmo.
I found one video of the minigame on YouTube played/recorded by DameDracaufeu. She plays pretty quickly, so the voice clip only plays twice, both near the end of the video: once at 4:59 and again at 5:41. I think the clip deserves better, so I’ve extracted it and attached it to this post for posterity.
To the crew at Cyan: thanks for making my life better with four seconds of magnificence.