Shortly before Myst IV, a conversation about Earth music featuring:

Atrus as: Himself

Me as: The Stranger

"Do you miss your home?" Atrus asked me one day, when I was visiting Tomanha.

"Sometimes." I told him.

"Don't you miss your old friends?"

"I was a bit of a loner. I didn't really have any friends to miss."

"Tell me about where you came from." I snorted.

"Why would you want to hear about that place? It wasn't a nice world."

"Surely there was something about it you liked?"

"Well... there is one thing I really miss."

"What?"

"I miss the music." I said, with a small smile. "Some of the music there... it was great." Atrus looked interested.

"What kind of music was there?" I grinned, half-remembered tunes drifting through my mind.

"I loved rock music. It's very different from the kind of music you have here. It's all drums and bass and guitar." I sighed, wishing I had my guitar with me. "There were some great bands, and some greater songs. I only learned a few of them, and it make me sad to think that I'll never hear that music again." I'd had my MP3 player in my pocket when I first fell into Myst, but it had long since run out of battery, and I hadn't found a way to recharge it. Some of the technology on Rime had been reverse engineered from it.

"What kind of bands? What were they called? What were some of the songs? Can you sing one?" I grinned, and almost laughed.

"I never knew you had such an interest in music." Atrus grinned too.

"My friend," I suppressed a sigh as, once again, he failed to call me by my name. Ellie isn't that hard to remember, is it?, "you came from a different world. Everything from there is fascinating to me, because everything is so different from here. Tell me about this rock music? Please?" I sighed.

"Alright. Well... there was a great band called Metallica." I glared at the shadow of a smile on his face. "It's not a funny name. They were amazing, they did so many songs. I quite liked The Unforgiven, and, Nothing Else Matters, and... almost anything of theirs really." Some of the songs that had been ground into my head from childhood surfaced. I smiled at the memories. "There was Wonderwall by Oasis, that was a beautiful song. And I'm Blue by Eiffel something, that one was weird. There were the Backstreet Boys, I didn't like them much, but that song, what was it called? Hmm... oh yeah, Larger than Life. That was a good one... And some of the theme songs from TV, especiallythe Fresh Prince of Bel Air." I laughed, and looked at Atrus' bewildered face. "I suppose that's a bit much all in one hit." Another beloved childhood theme song popped into my mind.

"Do you think you could sing one of these songs?" I chewed my lip. I hated singing in front of people. Ah well, he wouldn't know how well or how badly I was doing it. I smiled.

"Okay. This one was a theme song from a cartoon." I grinned, took a deep breath, and began.

"I wanna be the very best,

Like no one ever was.

Duh nuh nuh nuh.

To catch them is my real test,

To train them is my cause!

Duh nuh nuh!

I will travel across the land,

Searching far an wide!

Duh nuh nuh nuh.

Teach pokemon to understand,

The power that's inside!

Pokemon!

It you and me!

I know it's my destiny!!

Ohhh, you're my best friend,

In a world we must defend!"

It was about there that I burst out laughing and couldn't carry on. At the second line I'd started sort of dancing to it, because it was one of those songs where I can't help myself. Atrus had seemed, at first, to be enjoying it, probably just for the music, but when I started laughing, he did too. After a while we stopped. I smiled, glad that I could remember at least some of the songs from the place I still though of as home.

---

Don't laugh at my music...

Anyway, I've always wondered what it would be like in a world with absolutely no familiar music at all. Pretty awful, particularly for people like me, who are powered by music. Imagine my surprise when, lets say a year later, I go into Serenia and find a Peter Gabriel song in Dream!