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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:52 pm 
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Hi everyone! I just had a conversation with one of your members, who directed me to this most excellent forum. I had a bit of a snag joining, but I'm here now. Cool!

I'm totally glad to find this place because...

1) ... it's kick tushie and the fans are kick tushie, and I think you're amazing! (and thank you endlessly for loving Myst!).

2) ... it's the perfect place to address this "Stranger" business.

3) ... did I mention how great the fans are? And yes, now I'm just trying to make you love me.

I think most of you probably correctly understand the player's role in Myst. But then again, it was never overtly spelled out, and so over the past few years it's not surprising that this "stranger" explanation ever raised its ugly head, because it's a concrete answer to an ambiguity. So in case there is still any confusion...

I actually don't know where the idea of "the stranger" first popped up, but there is no stranger. The player is simply the player. And if some other "truth" has been imposed upon the Myst universe, that's a creative weirdness that took place without the knowledge of the original designers and kinda sucks, because it steals the mystery away from the thing. There is a good ambiguity when the player personally enters this world and lives within this world. But the idea that the player is playing the part of a character is not good; it pulls us away from our experience and so the place becomes less believable (and we so want to believe it).

It's like when the force changed from a spiritual force to a biological thing. I know it sounds silly, but there was a time when any of us could conceivably practice and _maybe_ attain the force! Now the force is a biological truth and we have to be born with it. It's stolen from us! (thanks a lot George)

Each player, individually, wanders through the Myst world. You create your own experience. You don't play the part of another character; you are you. You fall through the fissure, you are alone on an island with the sons of Atrus. You don't live vicariously through some other being (with his or her own personality and his or her own intelligence); it's you, attaining and exploring, living and breathing; that's what we worked so hard to achieve. And so this confusion about a stranger undermines so much of that.

Hmph! So there!

-- Robyn Miller


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:35 am 
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I'm with you on that, Robyn. I never liked the idea that it's not "me" exploring the ages of Myst and Riven. I like the idea of being there myself. But things changed throughout the course of the series and the "stranger" became a character unto his self.

Perhaps you can answer this for us. The Falling Man. Is he The Stranger or Atrus...?

look out below!


Last edited by Main_Avvie on Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:36 am 
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I think the whole Stranger thing started courtesy of the falling man image.
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"Unbelievable that this little piece of junk could be such a big problem." - Doc Brown

That said, I don't dislike the idea of it being a "Stranger." Remember the shadow of a person on Jungle Island? It kinda helps fuel the Stranger argument a bit.

Here's a question about the falling man, is it The Stanger/Player or is it Atrus falling through the fissure? It makes more sense that it's Atrus (Thanks alot URU ;) ) but no one can ever make up their mind. To sum it up, we need some closure on this argument too.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:50 am 
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Can't the falling man just be a logo - purely a generic avatar of the player - without actually being a defining piece of canon or the story?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:04 am 
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That's absolutely positively Atrus. "I continued falling into that starry expanse."

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:19 am 
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robynmiller wrote:
That's absolutely positively Atrus. "I continued falling into that starry expanse."


there was never any question for me to begin with :)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:37 am 
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I think it depends on the game that is played. If you are playing the five Myst games alone, then it is pretty clear that the stranger is YOU, like Robyn said.

However, in the world of Uru, the Myst games are said to be games created by (fictional) Cyan based on Catherine's journals found in the (fictional) "real" D'ni. "The Stranger" is a nickname we have given to the unidentified person who was (fictional) Cyan's inspiration for the player's role in Myst. The exception to this is Myst V, where the player's role is based on a (fictional) "real" person we know (again, in the Uru world). However, if you play just Myst V, the game imples that you are still you (who was there in Myst 1-4).

End the end, it all seems to come down to what context you look at.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:18 am 
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Sorry, I don't recognize the retcon.

I reject your reality and substitute my own.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:38 am 
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EccentricOne, thanks so much for this explanation. I understand a lot more, I think.

I guess my only answer is that the Uru concept you've explained (that Cyan created the games from Catherine's journals) is obtuse and too clever for its own good. There's little magic there. It's almost hard for me to believe. Like the games are simulations of something that once tool place? And all we can hope to play is a mere simulation from Catherine's memory, as interpreted by fictional Cyan? No! Please no! I mean I think someone would have told me! ... Maybe?

This is a re-edit of Myst in true George Lucas fashion: a re-writing of the world, done after the fact. Okay, maybe not Lucas-bad, but it's still a bummer. :-( Argh...

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:19 am 
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Yes, that's pretty much it, except the games are interpretations ("artistic license") by the real world Cyan. Cyan isn't fictional at all. And Rand actually went to Releeshan and met Atrus. I swear you can barely tell them apart. It's uncanny.

:P

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:24 am 
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A little bit more about the falling man on the cover of Myst. It never occurred to me that there would be any confusion about this. In the opening of the Myst game there's that little animation with Atrus falling through the fissure. I took that idea and applied it to the box design. We would have never attempted to show a generic player, for reasons I've explained in the above post. And the concept of the stranger would not be created for at least another 10 years, not by the creators of Myst but by the creators of Uru, so Illustrating the stranger would have never crossed anyone's mind. It would have seemed ludicrous (for reasons too numerous to list).

As an aside, look at the falling man's shoes. You can see he's wearing boots. I thought this might be something Atrus might wear.

Thanks for the opportunity to answer some questions today!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:29 am 
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it's the unfortunate necessity of tying URU to Myst and Riven for the sake of making it plausible. but the idea sort of makes casualties of Myst and Riven imo. in the long run it doesn't matter to me how it's explained. it's all a darn delightful experience through and through.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:36 am 
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Quote:
And Rand actually went to Releeshan and met Atrus.


Did I go somewhere and meet Sirrus? Please tell me I did! I must have... In preparation for my acting of the simulation.

I personally think that my version of Sirrus was more real, more undeniably wicked if you will, then Sirrus himself! Ha!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:48 am 
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Main_Avvie wrote:
it's the unfortunate necessity of tying URU to Myst and Riven for the sake of making it plausible. but the idea sort of makes casualties of Myst and Riven imo. in the long run it doesn't matter to me how it's explained. it's all a darn delightful experience through and through.


I don't think its necessary at all. They could have said that Cyan doesn't exist in the Uru universe, and that the Myst and Riven games never existed. Playing the "Cyan working from the journals" card allowed for them to have an in-universe excuse for changing things from the old games, but I don't feel that was really needed. Just saying "It's a different game, and we made some changes" should be enough.

The idea that everything in Uru - even things that exist purely for gameplay reasons - has to have an in-universe explanation has caused entirely too much trouble over the years (instancing, anyone?)

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:12 am 
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In case anyone is wondering, I can confirm this is "the" Robyn Miller.


Thanks,
Chogon (aka Mark DeForest - Hi Robyn!)


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