U.R.U. - The Uru Restoration Undertaking

About This Project

This project was started after I was stunned with the effects of some of the discoveries made by fellow adventures posted in the official Uru forums. There is a thread which described the process of removing the game's access to certain SubAge data files, allowing access to areas even those of us in Live could not reach.

After some experimenting, and a large bit of exploration, it became clear how brilliant the authors of Uru were, and how much their work imitated The Art. Through the experimenting I have done for this project, I have found that the game behaves very much like the the way The Art is described in previous works. Parts of an Age could be modified, or even removed or added at will by the Development Team. They could alter the fabric of an Age by modifying the files that describe it. Interestingly, the way that the game caches the Ages causes the deterministic nature of the linking to function properly as well. You can modify the Ages by the methods described on this site at will up until the point you link to the Age. After the link however, the Age you are in is set and cannot be changed. You may only link to the Age your new modifications link to by leaving and returning to the link. While mildly irritating in the context of experimentation, it is a stunning and presumably unintended side-effect of the game's design.

Now that Uru Live has been put to an indefinite slumber, there is ample motivation to explore the game as it might have been. Although there is the promise of the future expansions, myself and others are curious about what Cyan had in mind for the game, and what it is capable of. Please do not make the modifications described on this site unless you know what you are doing and remember to back up the characters in your sav folder before participating in this project, in the likely event that the future expansion will not work with these modified avatars. Oh, and do not try to contact Cyan or Ubi for support if you break your Uru. They don't need the trouble, and neither do I. If you're careful, no permanent harm will come to your game. At worst, you'll only need to reinstall the game.

The pages on this site assume you have completed the Uru: Ages Beyond Myst single-player component (henceforth referred to as Uru:Prime, or simply Prime), and may contain spoilers for areas in both the single-player game as well as potential future expansions. Though it is unlikely that the areas accessible in the original release product will remain unchanged in the next expansion, it is possible that some disappointment may result if you visit these areas ahead of time. Already, this project has gained access to areas and relto pages that were not available even in Uru:Live. Caveat lector.

Currently, this project is undergoing the goal of exploring and documenting the areas in the City, and the game in general, as well as the process of subtly changing the Ages to facilitate this exploration. Eventually, it is hoped we may be able to modify the Ages more freely, and perhaps even create original Ages. This last goal is unlikely to happen anywhere in the near future, if it is indeed possible at all.

The abilities that this project affords an eager explorer is akin to a meddling with The Art, in a respectful attempt to understand it. It is a tribute to the minds at Cyan that this project has become a Myst-like puzzle in its own right, and even after the untimely cancellation of Uru:Live the game continues to present new mysteries and challenges to those who would take the journey.

— Joseph (2004-03-18)