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M.c.P
Mar 27, 2010

Stop it.
Stop all this nonsense.

Nap Ghost



Riven, the Sequel to Myst (that's its full title) was released to with much hype and received with critical acclaim in the heady days of dial-up internet, late 1997. And, as sequels go, its a pretty impressive one. While it still used the still images and point and click gameplay of its predecessor, the detailed images and atmospheric soundtrack filled a whopping 5 CDs upon release.

To be frank, I don't think you need to know much about the original Myst to keep up with this game. But if you want a good look at the previous game, Magnatux's LP is pretty good and on the LParchive.

I consider Riven to be a better, more thoughtful game than Myst, though I will freely admit, its expectations for solving its puzzles are... cerebrally intense. It is first and foremost an exploration game, though, and I hope I can at least somewhat convey the atmosphere and wonder the game provokes.

To that end, this is gonna be a narrative LP with rather considerable transcript help from https://www.mystwiki.com, in the style of a journal. It only seemed appropriate, given the source material.

And... well... also because when I was a wee tot, I had this:


The Riven Prima Strategy guide had a soulless walkthrough to get you through the puzzles and to the end of the game... but it also had the Complete Riven Journal. An in character journey through the game, examining the artwork, figuring out the puzzles piece by piece, and reacting to the events. It was a Lets Play before the term Lets Play, and it sucked me into the Myst series in a time when my little head was barely developed enough to appreciate it.

So along with the updates, I'm going to include Lore posts about the Myst series, its characters, settings, and backgrounds. After five six games, three (honestly pretty good!) novels, and a decade of loyal fans, there's plenty to talk about!

So with the introduction out of the way, let's begin.


Entry 1 - Introduction
Entry 2 - Atrus' Journal
Entry 3 - The Gateroom
Entry 4 - The Temple
Entry 5 - Entering the Village
Entry 6 - Exploring the Lake
Entry 7 - The School and the Tower
Entry 8 - The Prison
Entry 9 - The Viewing Room
Entry 10 - Finding the Resistance
Entry 11 - Catherine's Journal
Entry 12 - The Caldera Lake
Entry 13 - Connecting the Islands
Entry 14 - Gehn's Workshop
Entry 15 - D'ni Numerology
Entry 16 - Solving the Dome
Entry 17 - Gehn and Catherine
Entry 18 - The 233rd Age
Entry 19 - The Star Fissure

Extras - Star Fissure Bad Endings
Extras - Prison Book Bad Endings


Lore: Myst Summary
Lore: The Art
Lore: The D'ni
Lore: Atrus
Lore: Catherine and Riven
Appendix: D'ni Language
Lore: Gehn, Anna, and the Fall of the D'ni

Edit: Oh, and, since this is a complex game with lots of information to discover and plenty of big ol' plot elements I'm going to go ahead and say No Spoilers, even if the game is nearly two decades old. Mostly because its become a bit forgotten and I imagine there are people younger than the game itself on the board these days.

M.c.P fucked around with this message at 17:47 on Feb 25, 2017

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M.c.P
Mar 27, 2010

Stop it.
Stop all this nonsense.

Nap Ghost

7.30
Entry 1


On another adventure, and with that a new journal. Atrus was kind enough to let me use a fresh one, though I imagine he anticipated reading it after I got back. Well, if I got back. He has a lot of confidence in me, but I wonder if running around a gaggle of empty Ages has really prepared me for this.

Soundtrack: Atrus' Theme



But I'm getting ahead of myself. I had come to visit Atrus, after a week seeing if I could make any contact with the former residents of Channelwood. He was writing, of course, but when he noticed me he was pretty happy to see me.



"Thank God you've returned! I need your help. There's a great deal of history that you should know, but I'm afraid that I must continue my writing."



He handed me a slim and small journal. I had seen him writing in it on occaision, though I never knew what for. I slipped it into my back pocket

"Here. Most of what you'll need to know is in there. Keep it well-hidden."



The next book, however, I had never seen before.

"For reasons you'll discover, I can't send you to Riven with a way out, but I can give you this. It appears to be a linking book back here to D'ni, but it's actually a one-man prison."



"You'll need it, I'm afraid, to capture Gehn."

Gehn was slightly more familiar as a name. Atrus had mentioned it in passing, some sort of enemy by the tone of his voice.



Atrus flipped to the front of the tome he had been writing in ceaselessly since I first rescued him. The glow from its pages showed it was a linking book, a portal to another world

"Once you've found Catherine, signal me, and I'll come with a linking book to bring us back."

Catherine, Atrus' wife! He certainly talked at length about her when we first met. So this age was where she was trapped?

Atrus seemed to sense my conviction. He held up the book



"There's also a chance, if this all goes well, that I might be able to get you back to the place that you came from."

The linking panel was blurry, quite unlike any I've seen on Myst. It flickered and bursted with static and random images. But it was a chance, however slim, of getting home. I had little information and even less equipment, but the hope and desparation in Atrus' eyes convinced me.



I placed my hand on the panel.



Ambient: Distant Waves
The linking process was painless, as usual. I was briefly worried that the blurry panel would lead to a bad link. I took a moment to look around.



That's when cage bars lifted.

I admit, I became pretty furious at this point. Why had I accepted this ridiculous mission? Why Atrus couldn't take a moment to explain what was going on, what I might expect? I imagined this mysterious Gehn would descend on me, take my things, and have me executed for my associations.

As I fumed, a guard fairly stumbled into view, looking confused. It took him a moment to even notice I was in the cage. Probably not many visitors from this direction.



He tried talking to me. "atemah tagalah" or something. I just stared blankly but it soon became pretty obvious that he was after the... 'trap' linking book I was still clutching in my arms.



I was the one in the cage, I wasn't about to invite a beating. I let him have it.



He looked over the moon after seeing the linking panel on the front. He didn't put his hand on it the panel, but he looked like a promotion was in his future.



At which point he got hit in the neck with something and fell over like a sack of bricks.



The man(?) that came up to remove the body didn't say a word. He picked up the trap book and quickly put it in a pouch. Then, just as quickly, he turned around, pulled the lever to open the cage, did something with a hammer to the lever, and left.



At this point I had mustered up the courage to shout "Hey, that's mine! It's really important!", but my mysterious benefactor had already vanished.



I walked up to the lever and took a look at his handiwork. Some kind of dagger was lodged in the mechanism. A couple test pulls revealed the lever was non-functional. I suppose that's a plus if Atrus comes after me.



I looked back at the little trap I had linked into. A clever system for visitors, no doubt. But that thing next to the cage, was that...?



I had to back up to get a better view, it was more than twice my size. But yes, it was an extra large version of the dagger that masked character just stuck in the lever.

I still have no idea what to make of it. A symbol? Is it Gehn's mark, or someone else? They freed me from that cage, which seems specifically made to trap visitors by linking book.

In any case, I took a look at the strange contraption I was standing next to.



Idly flicking switches served me well enough on Myst, and I wasn't going to drop those habits now. Regretfully, nothing seemed to work.



Peering into the glass at head height didn't reveal much either.



This was a dead end, so I walked past the cage in the direction the masked man went off in. The first thing I saw was the multiple islands. Finally! I was getting tired of Atrus' 'one island' school of design, now at least the endless horizon was a little broken up.

There appears to also be a tram system connecting the islands, which was well enough. I can't swim, and know precious little about sailing. It feels good to know I can get to the next island easily enough.

I did notice a groan coming from below the cliff, though.



Looks like my guard friend was taking a nap. And he's not dead either, which is a bit surprising. Our masked, dagger wielding friend is apparently the humane type.

A lot has gone on in only a couple minutes, and I'm not totally lost. I still have Atrus' Journal in my back pocket. Hopefully it will reveal what's going on here.

Though thinking of his Myst journals, I probably shouldn't hold my breath.

M.c.P fucked around with this message at 11:51 on Sep 22, 2016

M.c.P
Mar 27, 2010

Stop it.
Stop all this nonsense.

Nap Ghost

Entry 2
Atrus' Journal












Atrus' journal was, thankfully, enlightening. I have a better grasp of my mission here, though my knowledge of where I am is woefully incomplete.

This set of islands is known as Riven, and they are on the verge of falling apart. Only Atrus' continued writing and corrections keep the Age from disintegrating entirely. This is, apparently, a hallmark of Gehn's Ages. Gehn, who is Atrus' father. (You could have told me more about this, damnit!)

Apparently Atrus managed to trap Gehn here, stopping his father from continuing his... "Myopic quest to restore the D'ni". There's more to this, but I think I can accept Atrus' judgement if Gehn truly did erase so many civilizations. But somehow Atrus' wife Catherine has been trapped here as well, and he has turned to me to help rescue her.

Part of that is trapping Gehn once more, this time in the Prison Linking book he gave me. A one man prison that traps people in the void between Ages. The same books that caught Atrus' sons... I wonder about the punishment, but Gehn probably has power here. Trapping him may just be necessary to rescue Catherine.

And after Gehn is trapped and Catherine rescued I need to signal Atrus somehow. With the linking panel so blurry I don't think I can run back to the cage and wave my arms about. Atrus writes that he can only detect "fundamental changes" in the age, whatever that means. He mentions a "Star Fissure" that I might be able to use, but he seems to know about as much as I do precisely what needs to be done.

Which is, apparently, why I was sent without a way back. To remove the possibility of Gehn returning to D'ni, should I fail or get captured again. I must say, its a pretty neat way to protect himself. But if its true that Riven is close to collapse, this is the only way Catherine and the people of Riven can possibly be saved.

Regardless, first thing's first. I need to get the trap book back from the dagger wielding man who took it.

RickVoid
Oct 21, 2010


M.c.P posted:

And... well... also because when I was a wee tot, I had this:


The Riven Prima Strategy guide had a soulless walkthrough to get you through the puzzles and to the end of the game... but it also had the Complete Riven Journal. An in character journey through the game, examining the artwork, figuring out the puzzles piece by piece, and reacting to the events. It was a Lets Play before the term Lets Play, and it sucked me into the Myst series in a time when my little head was barely developed enough to appreciate it.

They did the same thing with the strategy guide for the first game too. I still have the book somewhere, more than twenty years later.

If I recall correctly, just like in the first game, you can actually short-circuit the plot here at the very start of the game. Any plans to show that off, after you're done with the main playthrough?

Fedule
Mar 27, 2010


No one left uncured.
I got you.


Riven remains one of my favouritest ever puzzle games, and to this day, even among my pile of newfangled 100% this and Platinum that and all-S-rank the other, the fact that I finished this game, fair and square, without a guide, remains my proudest ever gaming accomplishment.

That said it does seem like I missed out somewhat by not owning the guide. It sounds cool.

I gather an unofficial remake is in the works though the dev team seem sensibly quiet about progress. At the same time, Obduction has shown us that Cyan has absolutely still Got It. In summary, I have a lot of hope for this genre.

God speed, goon sir!

Hitfreezy
Mar 3, 2013


I'm glad for this opportunity to revisit the good times. None of the sequels (nor Obduction) really went for the Riven approach of having one big world instead of several disconnected ones, and I'm okay with that since it makes them a bit more varied and less of a pain, but it really was an amazing concept (and amazingly well implemented too). In all honesty I've grown to like the game a lot more now that I'm done with it than when I was spending entire days wandering aimlessly looking for the smallest sign of player gratification.

Cathode Raymond
Dec 30, 2015

My antenna is telling me that you're probably wrong about this.


Soiled Meat

Oh cool. I haven't thought of the Myst series for a while but I've always been curious since I knew a lot of people who played it growing up but I never got around to it myself.

I haven't read the whole update yet but when you say the expectations for solving the puzzles are high, do you mean the puzzles are cognitively demanding or that they are put together by cathair-mustache crazy adventure game designers?

Because those are two very different flavors of "hard."

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








Cathode Raymond posted:

I haven't read the whole update yet but when you say the expectations for solving the puzzles are high, do you mean the puzzles are cognitively demanding or that they are put together by cathair-mustache crazy adventure game designers?

Because those are two very different flavors of "hard."
Don't worry, it's the former. Back when this game came out (and I do remember the five CDs) I wasn't willing to put in the commitment necessary to solve it on my own, but having used a guide to beat it I can appreciate the...er...purity of the puzzles. All of them can, as with Myst, be solved with sufficient consideration of the puzzle itself and the surrounding environment. Unlike most adventure games your inventory is extremely limited, and when you do have to use something from it you'll know.

M.c.P
Mar 27, 2010

Stop it.
Stop all this nonsense.

Nap Ghost

RickVoid posted:

They did the same thing with the strategy guide for the first game too. I still have the book somewhere, more than twenty years later.

If I recall correctly, just like in the first game, you can actually short-circuit the plot here at the very start of the game. Any plans to show that off, after you're done with the main playthrough?

If it's the short circuit I'm thinking of, I technically can't yet without some random guessing

I'm definitely going to go through the BAD END permutations though.

RickVoid
Oct 21, 2010


M.c.P posted:

If it's the short circuit I'm thinking of, I technically can't yet without some random guessing

I'm definitely going to go through the BAD END permutations though.

Excellent.

Maigius
Jun 29, 2013




Riven is a favorite of mine. I can probably recite all of the dialog in the first half of the game or so, even the lines in Rivenese.

M.c.P
Mar 27, 2010

Stop it.
Stop all this nonsense.

Nap Ghost

We haven't had anything close to a problem with this but I'm just gonna head off any problems.

I'm instituting a No Spoilers policy for future events from here on out. Background is okay, but I really want to keep the puzzles and revelations fresh for any readers.

I mean, yeah, the game is old enough to drive and almost old enough to drink, but I'd say its gotten so old that there's a hefty population on this forum that may have never seen it before. So lets make a point of being considerate for them.

M.c.P
Mar 27, 2010

Stop it.
Stop all this nonsense.

Nap Ghost

Lore: A summary of Myst

I realize I've said that knowledge of Myst's story isn't required... But it could be nice to know. If you want a more comprehensive overview, I'm going to plug Magnatux's LP again. But if you want a cliff notes version...


This might be the original resolution

Myst begins with you, the player, finding a mysterious book with an astonishing (for 1993) moving picture depicting an island covered in strange objects and buildings. For one reason or another you place your hand on the picture and are whisked away on your very first link to the eponymous island of Myst.


Pictured. Note the weird misshapen mountain and the old timey rocket ship.

You arrive, gormless and confused, to an empty mysterious island. Fortunately, if you check a door you arrive next to, you can get access to a recording which explains quite a bit.

If, however, you are a six year old with poor object permanence and a short attention span, you might just never find the drat thing and swear off the game for another five years.


it would take 5 years for them to replicate the Star Wars grainy hologram technique

You get a grainy message from this guy, Atrus, to his significant other Catherine. He suspects one of his sons is destroying his books, and moved the remaining ones to places of protection. Those places being a variety of somewhat arbitrary puzzle locks solved with obscure hints from the observatory on top of the weird looking mountain.

But the library holds other secrets. A red book and a blue book, and when you open them, you meet these happy fellows.


Nothing makes people relatable like an extreme close up.

Sirrus and Achenar, Atrus' sons. They each tell you the other brother has trapped them in these books, and to free them you must travel to the ages connected to Myst and collect the red/blue pages missing from each book.

So you, having nothing better to do than watch the water pool screensaver in that imager from earlier, do so.


You explore the lush and tall canopies of Channelwood,


The barren and alien wastes of Selenetic,


The slick and precise fortress of Mechanical,


And the wood and stone impossibility of Stoneship,

Finding red and blue pages in each age. But Atrus' journals discusses these ages, and described each of them as inhabited. Your visits, however, are to abandoned places. And its not long before you discover why.


Yes that is a body part in the box on the left!
Achenar is a sadist, who keeps torture instruments and symbols of death in his private quarters on every Age.


I think that's the only rug on the entire Age
Sirrus is a greedy sociopath, wanting nothing more than to extract wealth from every age.

So you, as the player, presumably decide that neither of these assholes should be set free. Or you free one and rather grimly discover that the only way out of a prison book is to swap places with someone, shortly before your friend burns the book you're in. But both brothers mention another book you absolutely shouldn't touch, and considering they're jerks, you go ahead and open it up.


You can tell he's good because he's giving the camera some space.

So you find Atrus, who doesn't try to deal or wheedle or blame, but explains that if you can find a page the brothers hid, he can get back to Myst and fix everything. He seems nice, and furthermore hasn't left a trail of plundered wealth and tools of death across the ages, so you gladly comply.

And Atrus is quite nice! He opens up the library, gives you free run of Myst, and states that this terrible chapter with his children is solved.



... solved for good.

Thus the game ends, until Atrus finally gets up the nerve to ask you to solve another of his problems in Riven.

M.c.P fucked around with this message at 14:56 on Sep 22, 2016

verbal enema
May 23, 2009

only marfans dot com


gently caress YES RIVEN

RickVoid
Oct 21, 2010


One of the really interesting things about Myst is that, provided you already know which pattern unlocks the secret door to Atrus's book, you can actually complete the game without solving more than a handful of puzzles, and you don't have to leave the island to do it.

Fister Roboto
Feb 21, 2008




Buglord

One thing that's always bothered me is that Atrus firmly believes that the art of writing doesn't create worlds, which is what Gehn believes, and that he simply links to an already existing world that matches the description. But how can writing also make changes to these already existing worlds if Atrus is right?

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








Atrus knows that the creation of worlds is possible, but unlike Gehn he has no desire to do so. Even excepting the concept that power corrupts, he's known for a while now from Gehn's own works that such is incredibly tenuous and unstable in the long term.

C-Euro
Mar 20, 2010



Soiled Meat

Myst and Riven don't get nearly the love they deserve when people look back fondly on 90s adventure games. I actually replayed Riven a while back and it's awesome but boy are some of these puzzles tricky.

TheOneAndOnlyT
Dec 18, 2005

Well well, mister fancy-pants, I hope you're wearing your matching sweater today, or you'll be cut down like the ugly tree you are.

I really wish that Riven had received the infinite remake treatment that Myst has gotten over the years. It'd be nice to play it in a manner other than point-and-click on a tiny screen.

My memories of this game are hell of a lot more fuzzy than those about Myst, so I'm looking forward to this.

oldskool
Aug 9, 2010





Lipstick Apathy

Fister Roboto posted:

One thing that's always bothered me is that Atrus firmly believes that the art of writing doesn't create worlds, which is what Gehn believes, and that he simply links to an already existing world that matches the description. But how can writing also make changes to these already existing worlds if Atrus is right?

According to Continuity Guy Richard Watson:

quote:

Observation is the key to knowing whether an addition to a Book will be a change (further defining the current Age) or a contradiction (forcing a link to similar, but different Age). Quantum theory explains why all the Ages a writer can describe already exist (Atrus is right, Gehn is wrong), and tells why observation is so critical. It also shows that science fact is much stranger than science fiction.

So long as the changes Atrus writes to Riven aren't quantifiably contradictory to something that exists within Riven, it will change Riven to fit the writing rather than disconnect from it to find another Age that more closely matches the Description. That's the problem Atrus is running headfirst into: trying to Write ways to stabilize Riven that don't contradict the quantifiable facts regarding what's destabilizing it.

oh god page one and i'm already

Raised by Hamsters
Sep 16, 2007
and hopped up on bagels

As a stupid child, I never actually finished Myst, and I'm not actually sure I knew there even was a sequel. Just devoured the Myst LP you linked though, and really looking forward to more Riven.

whitehelm
Apr 20, 2008


M.c.P posted:

So along with the updates, I'm going to include Lore posts about the Myst series, its characters, settings, and backgrounds. After five games, three (honestly pretty good!) novels, and a decade of loyal fans, there's plenty to talk about!

6 games...you probably forgot Uru.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Oh man, Riven and Myst, two games that I gave a try in my early teens and where I didn't get past the first few starting screens for either before giving up and declaring them unplayable garbage.

Looking forward to this LP to see what I missed, the background and setting seem pretty interesting.

Drunk Theory
Aug 20, 2016




Oven Wrangler

Ahh Myst and Riven, my favorite games of my early teen years. I remember enjoying the puzzles in this series, since most weren't use item A you found on slot B.

Mind you, some of the puzzles are also drat hard, so it was a frustrating experience sometimes for young me, but I played with my mother, so we muddled through it. Good memories.

M.c.P
Mar 27, 2010

Stop it.
Stop all this nonsense.

Nap Ghost

whitehelm posted:

6 games...you probably forgot Uru.

So I did! In my defense, Uru was... weird. So was Myst V for that matter, but I missed Uru entirely.

M.c.P
Mar 27, 2010

Stop it.
Stop all this nonsense.

Nap Ghost

Entry 3



Ambient: Distant waves
Well, navel gazing about my job here wasn't getting me anywhere. It was time to get moving, and there was only one path to take.



Though it looked like there was a branch fairly quickly. The breeze and the sound of the waves was refreshing after the still, damp air of Channelwood at least, but I had plenty to check on.



A bridge, another stairway down, and a room to enter. I stepped back to see if I could see anything beyond it.



I saw something pretty drat impressive.
A giant, golden dome. Did the locals build it? It reminded me of Sirrus' extravagance. Just less... baroque. Ostentatious to the extreme though.



Still, it was impressive, and that meant it was probably important. I stepped into the room to see if there was a way through.



Soundtrack: Gateroom
Inside I was struck by the solemnity of the room. I didn't take much time to look around at first. The other door looked like the right direction.



But it was gated shut. The star pattern was interesting though.



Peering through the grate revealed that the golden done was just beyond. This close I could see the brickwork, but the size of it was still impressive.



But faced with another dead end I took a closer look around. Two doors, three walls. The walls had writing on them but I couldn't decipher it at all.



There were also five pillars, each with a beetle on them. I took a closer look at the one by the entrance. Seeing the ring at the bottom, I gave it a tug.



Its wings opened up, revealing a lens of some sort. I looked closer.



I was a bit wary of sticking my eye up to random holes. The cage trap still left me jittery. But it looked like a picture, and I pressed my head against the beetle.



A man, haloed in divinity, puts a pen to paper, and from it bursts forth a world of life and beauty. Is this... Gehn?



I began to move from pillar to pillar, intent on seeing what else there was.



The same man, with a divine halo, descends from the heavens. The people, non-divine, bend their knees in supplication.



Surrounded by fire and fury, this divine being casts someone into, well, into a Star fissure. The term had been on my mind and couldn't find any other words to describe it.

Seeing that book, I pried open Atrus' Journal. He mentions losing his Myst linking book in the Star Fissure. This image... Atrus must have linked out while falling, leaving the book to continue falling into the depths. These images have to be Gehn's side of the story.

Christ was Gehn representing himself as this divine being?



More images to inspect. A hierarchy of lords, five wise men working under Gehn's authority. Builders, teachers, um, peacemakers? Something with geometry or measurement. Last... bookmakers? Take trees, make pages, seems right.

I mean, if the D'ni are about anything, its books. But Atrus seemed confident that without D'ni's resources Gehn could not possibly make any new Ages.



Then the last image. The bookmaking process, turning trees into wood pulp, boiling it in fires, all for this book that people are bowing to.

People with... divine halos on their heads. The D'ni? They look like the supplicants from the second image. Maybe it means the books would make them divine.



I had to step back, it was becoming too much to process. This room had revealed a side of Riven I wasn't sure I was ready to face. Regardless it was a dead end, and I had to turn back.



But as I was exiting I noticed a button by the entrance. Not one to leave a button un-pressed, I gave it a push.



And the whole room began to rotate!



I was left facing a closed wall, but the light gleaming from it revealed a peep hole.


Looking through revealed the room beyond, but the door had moved. So the whole room did rotate!



I mashed the button a couple more times and another entrance rotated into view. Another door!



But this turned out to be a dead end as well. The same gate, and then another door beyond.

I'm going to step outside and get some air. This atmosphere in this room gets oppressive and I need to think a bit.



From this entrance I can only get to the two exits opposite, meaning there are still two sides I haven't seen. But I'm at the limit of what I can do from here. Time to check the other paths.

----

Eureka!



Figuring if there was anything to get from the room, it would be the stairs on this same area, I went down the other set of steps.



The footing was a little treacherous but the view was amazing.



The end result deflated me even more. Another locked door, and the chain looked sturdy too.
I did note the dagger at the bottom though, and knelt down to take a closer look.



No buttons, secrets, or hidden pages though. What I did notice, was that there was a good foot and a half of clearance under the door.



I won't say I was particularly dignified crawling on my belly through the dirt underneath, but I was through. And just a little up the passage,



Was another entrance to the rotating room. Perfect!



If I could rotate the room I could get to the final entrance I haven't seen and that might just get me somewhere!

I looked around for a button, but there was none.



Looking through the peep hole showed the gate room, but no way to rotate it from here. Another dead end?

At which point I remembered. I could get back to the bridge entrance button and just rotate from there! Bursting with energy I rushed back to see if it worked.



Which meant turning around, hopping carefully down the small cliff, scraping my way under the door again, nearly running up the stairs,



Hanging a right into the entrance and just about slamming the button for the room to rotate.



Checking the peephole showed me the same view as before. Good, I had gotten the rotation right.



Back outside, down the stairs, under the door (I could do it quickly enough by pulling myself through with the doorframe), up the ladder...



Success.



I strode across the rotating room like a conqueror.



I was exultant, though I certainly didn't know what I expected on the other side. Gehn, shocked and amazed at my room rotating talents? The masked man, who would give me back my trap book, give me a spare dart gun, and join me on a soporific rampage across Riven?



What I got was, well,



Well,



A steampipe?



The picture on top looked like the weird contraption next to the cage nearby. Maybe it did something with it.



In any case, I wasn't about to leave it un-pulled.



I considered heading back to the doohickey to see what had changed, but thinking one more stint of crawling underneath that door gave me pause. There was another room rotation button here. And some sort of switch on the left, by the door.

I was on a roll anyway, I pulled it. The sound of metal being moved sang out from nearby. Had I opened a door?

On a hunch I rotated the room a couple times and took a look at the entrance leading to the door.



The star gate was gone, and another entrance was open. Progress!



I mean, the door beyond that was closed tight with no sign of a way to open it, but it was still progress.
Now I just wonder why the switch for this gate was on the other side of the room.



Here there was another switch, and another room rotation button. Pulling the switch elicited the same sound of rattling metal, and there was only one more gate in the room.



One hell of a gate system, frankly. And utterly impossible if I hadn't noticed that side passage. Whoever is leaving these daggers around, they're proving essential for getting past all these contraptions.

All that remained was rotating the room to get back to the bridge, then rotating the room to the orientation I found it in.




And I was home free.



I still had no idea what the giant dome was for. Just that it was enormous and shining, and someone had gone to great pains to make it difficult to access.



Ambient: Low humming
I wish I could say I found answers inside.



Instead, it was just more confusion.



And symbols I didn't understand.

I'm taking a seat on the metal walkways. It's not comfortable, but after all the running around I just did I needed a breather. The shade and the water below make this place quite cool, which is an improvement over the hot sun outside. I can see the walkway curls around to the other side of the dome. I'll be seeing what's over there when I've recovered.

M.c.P fucked around with this message at 14:56 on Mar 12, 2017

Fister Roboto
Feb 21, 2008




Buglord

Those tetris blocks definitely look familiar...

Sockerbagarn
Sep 8, 2007

All makt åt Tengil, vår befriare.


I feel like I missed out on something not playing this as a kid. I remember reading reviews for Myst and its sequels in gaming magazines (printed in paper! Wow!) but I was too busy playing all the other amazing games of the time to get around to it. If I'm to believe the reputation the series has earned I probably wouldn't have made it through the game anyway. So I will instead use this let's play to vicariously fill in the blanks in my gaming career!

Fister Roboto posted:

Those tetris blocks definitely look familiar...

I thought so too, and when I looked back I found them on the stained glass picture inside one of the scarabs depicting the, uh, engineer? Architect? It's a bit hard to apply it to the puzzle without knowing what the puzzle actually is though.

Drunk Theory
Aug 20, 2016




Oven Wrangler

Sockerbagarn posted:

It's a bit hard to apply it to the puzzle without knowing what the puzzle actually is though.

This might as well be the tagline for the game. One of the main challenges really is deducing what hint applies to what puzzle.

Octofoot
Jul 16, 2008



Oh my god, Riven. I managed to beat this the summer after it had been released, mostly because I did literally nothing else once school had let out. It's tricky as hell, but if you're into puzzle games that at least have discernible logic to them instead of "literally try everything at random" mechanics(lookin' at you, Sierra and LucasArts), It's great. Just make sure you keep meticulous notes. And like, enjoy the scenery, man. These are seriously pretty games for their time.

Shame they only really made three Myst games. Everything after Exile... I dunno. They messed with it too much, they don't feel like Myst games when you play them and it makes me very sad.

SpruceZeus
Aug 13, 2011



Exile didn't feel that Myst-y either. It was developed out of house (by Presto Studios) and it kind of shows. It's by no means a bad game, though. Not as good as Riven, by that's a high bar to clear. The series definitely kinda went downhill after that point though.

At least Obduction proves that Cyan didn't completely lose it.

RickVoid
Oct 21, 2010


Exile gets a pass, even if only because Wormtongue is the villain.

And he's a great villain.

M.c.P
Mar 27, 2010

Stop it.
Stop all this nonsense.

Nap Ghost

The villain performance saves Myst: Exile.

And I actually like Myst: Revelations a lot, but I admit I was the weird guy who was drawn into the Super Paper Mario love story so maybe my opinions don't count for much.

I straight up haven't played five and Uru though. Maybe I should, but I keep getting disappointed when I see images of five. They attempted to create a free movement version with 3D modeled characters instead of the inserted live action ones and... It just looks bad in comparison.

SpruceZeus
Aug 13, 2011



Yeah, don't get me wrong, I do like III, and Brad Dourif is a big part of that. It's a fine game in its own right, certainly.

Uru is OK. There's a few really annoying puzzles that want you to make use of the physics engine which are pretty bad, the look and controls are a bit dated, and some of the expansion stuff definitely shows its origins of 'scrapped content from our failed MMO we repurposed to be single player instead' but it's still probably worth at least one playthrough in my opinion, since Complete Chronicles is only $10. There's some neat puzzles and cool looking places, and one of the ages in the second expansion, Path of the Shell, is legit kind of mindblowing.

Myst V? Don't bother.

SpruceZeus fucked around with this message at 23:59 on Sep 23, 2016

Hitfreezy
Mar 3, 2013


I really liked Revelation too, though the last Age dragged it down a bit.

I think the best thing about Uru was the total freedom of movement. You could get absolutely anywhere, and the developers had to account for that (most of the time it was actually intended). This is especially noticeable after playing Obduction, in which you can't jump so even the smallest fence becomes a puzzle (and yet a 3D Riven would probably work just fine without adding any artificial barriers, go figure). Path of the Shell is probably my favorite part of the series.

Myst V is indeed bad, at least when compared to the others. It also has nothing to do with them plotwise (it's basically a sequel to Uru). Still a decent game on its own, I guess.

SkyTalon2314
Aug 8, 2013



Riven has such great memories for me. As a kid, my dad and I were big into doing games like Myst, Riven, and Carmen Sandiego together. We even beat Riven together, albeit with the help of some walkthroughs for getting past some of the more... obtuse puzzles. Still, I can't help but smile as I read through this.

SpruceZeus
Aug 13, 2011



revelation sure looked nice but the story was absolute malarkey and a lot of the puzzles were nonsensical or just plain tedious

and thats my Hot Take

e: ^^^yep i had a similar experience. riven and myst are a pretty big part of why i'm so into this hobby

Octofoot
Jul 16, 2008



Oh god, Revelation was such garbage. I have so much to complain about, but I can't even figure out where to begin. It's awful. I think why I have Exile firmly in the camp of Myst games is that it still has that abandoned feeling in the world, whereas Revelation just feels way too crowded with people and animals and it just falls flat as hell. Had it been its own game in its own series, it wouldn't have been a bad puzzle game except for a few spots, but tacking it onto the Myst series did both a disservice, especially with how it hosed with the characterization of like, literally everyone, not to mention established mechanics.

Uru and End of Ages at least returned to the abandoned world aesthetic for the most part, but they were so drat gimmicky they're not worth much of a drat, either.

Melanion
Jun 7, 2011

heard the walls are paper thin from where you are to where I am


M.c.P posted:

The villain performance saves Myst: Exile.

Dourif and the end-of-age cinematics were amazing. A dirigible ride up to a maglev chamber? A giant bird carrying you in a plant gondola? Best of all, a human hamster ball ride that reveals all the puzzles you've been solving are really part of a single giant rollercoaster ride! The animation had me slack-jawed as a child.

That said, the D'ni language puzzles at the very end can dine on a surfeit of dicks. That was some tedious bullshit.

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Dr. Buttass
Aug 12, 2013

AWFUL SOMETHING


oldskool posted:

According to Continuity Guy Richard Watson:


So long as the changes Atrus writes to Riven aren't quantifiably contradictory to something that exists within Riven, it will change Riven to fit the writing rather than disconnect from it to find another Age that more closely matches the Description. That's the problem Atrus is running headfirst into: trying to Write ways to stabilize Riven that don't contradict the quantifiable facts regarding what's destabilizing it.

oh god page one and i'm already

There's some stuff about the level of detail in the writing too, I think. You have to be extremely detailed about all sorts of poo poo in describing an Age to get a good Link to it, and I think bad Links can cause an Age to be unstable. I'd put an educated guess at, since non-contradictory changes can be made, if your description is too vague, a statement with multiple interpretations is trying to make valid changes that are all true at once, in mutually exclusive ways, tearing the world apart at the seams. I think that's why Riven is jacked up and Gehn's left a long paper trail of genocide behind him; his technique as a Link author can best be described as "gently caress it, I want a burrito."

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