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 Post subject: Myst intro questions
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:47 am 
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The video in question
First off, I feel I should say that my understanding of Myst's mythology is sadly limited. I stumbled across the original Myst in the software section of a used book store in the mid 2000s, and I discovered MO:UL just a few months ago via a friend. I instantly fell in love with it (MO:UL, not my friend) and I hope it stays around for years to come.
That said, a few things have been puzzling me about the Myst intro. First, Atrus apparently links out of the star fissure (the linking sound can be heard, 0:21 in the above YouTube video), but the Myst book does not appear to ever open. Is it possible Atrus has something like the Relto book that allows him to "panic link", taking the book with him? Or does he somehow close the Myst book before actually linking? Or am I thinking far too much?
Second, the star fissure appears to be the same one that appears on Relto at the end of Yeesha's Journey. Does this suggest that the Myst book fell near the cleft, meaning that the Stranger is from New Mexico's Eddy Country? Does it further suggest that he may well know Zandi?
Third, is there any explanation for this black void the stranger finds the Myst book in? It's actually what I imagine a trap/prison age looking like.
I have tried to speculate on these things, I must admit, however, that such conjecture may be futile, since a lot of things in Myst have been relegated to "AL". Still, questions about the Myst intro are unsettling to me.

Any thoughts on this? Am I missing details (from Myst II-V or the Myst novels) that explain things?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:37 am 
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Most of your questions are mostly answered by the novel The Book of Atrus, and the game Riven. There's a very tight connection between those stories and this intro. So I'm hesitant to explain them since they are kind of spoilers...

Light spoilers: [spoiler]but suffice it to say that Atrus is linking using that Myst book, so if it doesn't appear to be open at that point, it's just because of the simplified silhouette visuals. Similarly, I think the dark place where the player finds the book is just a normal place, where it happens to be nighttime. [/spoiler]

Heavier spoilers: [spoiler]the fissure definitely leads back to the cleft, although Atrus didn't know it at the time[/spoiler]

I definitely recommend reading The Book of Atrus and playing Riven at some point, since it's much more interesting to piece all this together. The other games and books, while cool, are kind of independent and skippable, but BoA and Riven basically form the crux of Atrus's entire story.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:26 am 
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To complicate LuigiHahn's explanation a bit (spoilers just in case):

[spoiler]There's a huge discrepancy between what happens in the intro and the backstory supplied by (if I remember correctly) the game manual or box art.

In the intro, Atrus jumps into the Fissure, links out, and the book arrives in the desert in Eddy County, hitting the ground right in front of the Stranger. The problem with this is that there's a 30-year difference between when Atrus loses his Myst book and when the game takes place...it's highly unlikely that it would take this long for an object to get through the Fissure. Granted, we don't know when the "Riven relics" in the desert got there, since there's a 200-year gap between the first 4 Myst games and URU, but when a player jumps into the fissure in URU, it takes them to the Cleft instantly.

On the other hand, in the "official" backstory, the Stranger acquires the book through some rare books dealer. He/she reads through it (and can somehow read D'ni script) and unwittingly links to Myst after touching the linking panel to see what it does. This seems more likely because someone could have just found the book while hiking in the desert and sold it to someone, who in turn sold it to the Stranger. But it doesn't account for the fact that when the intro ends, the player is standing outside in the desert at night. Why would someone go out to the desert to read a book? Also, as I said, it's almost impossible that someone lost in the desert would happen to see a book just fall right in front of them because of the way the Fissure probably works. So really, I have no idea how to reconcile the two stories.[/spoiler]


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 Post subject: Re: Myst intro questions
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:31 am 
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Mynameisonic wrote:
I stumbled across the original Myst in the software section of a used book store

Just like the Stranger did, according to one of the two backstories!

Mynameisonic wrote:
I must admit, however, that such conjecture may be futile

Very funny, Atrus :D

Mynameisonic wrote:
Still, questions about the Myst intro are unsettling to me.

...And you so close, not realizing that perhaps the answer is about to be written.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:40 pm 
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Solstice wrote:
On the other hand, in the "official" backstory, the Stranger acquires the book through some rare books dealer. He/she reads through it (and can somehow read D'ni script) and unwittingly links to Myst after touching the linking panel to see what it does.


That's not really official story, it's just from a hint book. Even if it's an official hint book (I don't recall), doesn't really make it canon. Pretty sure that version of the story mentioned the linking panel being on the last page of the book.

Nonetheless, I wouldn't assume that the Stranger picked the book up immediately after it fell through the fissure. I think the intro is just stylized and simplified. It's an opening credits sequence, after all. Gotta be artsy.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:03 pm 
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Well, I just wish they would have remade it in RealMyst so that true canon could be established. I know that Myst IV invalidates half the plot of Myst I, but still...

And yes, I guess the story was in a hint book or something, it's been so long that I can't remember. But, canon or not, it bothers me that neither attempt to explain how the Myst book got in the Stranger's possession works out at all.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:14 pm 
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I don't really have a problem with the "found it on the ground in the desert" theory. Regular books might not last 30 years or whatever, but D'ni books are special in a lot of ways. And I'm glad they didn't change the intro, it's iconic (although I am quite glad that they rerecorded the voiceover, and was sad that they used the original recording on the iPhone version)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:41 pm 
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Also note that the book glows when it hits the ground. That would be hard to miss out in the desert in the middle of the night.
Yeah I don't see any problem with just stumbling upon the book. Actually it seems rather more likely than someone buying a book written in D'Ni and finding a linking panel in the back even though no one else has.
That brings up another question; what ever happened to the original Myst book? Is it still out there in the desert somewhere? Or is that cleared up in Riven as well?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:10 am 
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http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/riven_the_sequel_to_myst

It's 5.99. Don't pass up this incredible masterpiece and many of your questions regarding the Star Fissure and such will be answered there.

On the note of the Myst linking book. It, like many others is a linking book that connects to a Myst descriptive book. The descriptive book is most likely in Atrus' possession in Releeshahn. The Myst linking book discovered in The Cleft was one that Atrus had intended to be destroyed. He had no idea originally that the fissure would lead somewhere. We know what the star fissure IS by playing Riven but we still dont really know how it works. All of that is purely speculation at this point.

Furthermore, the Myst games are only loosely considered canon as they were inspired by the events of Atrus' life documented in the journals of Katran and therefore the intro and indeed the entirety of the Myst series is considered artistic license. The events of Myst took place in the early 1800s so it's entirely possible and indeed probable that "the stranger" was in fact a Native American who discovered the book in the desert and most likely by accident was trapped on Myst Isle. By The Maker or The Roll as Yeesha would say :)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:57 pm 
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That's another thing that bothers me...why does the book glow? It would explain why someone would bother going outside on such a dark night, but none of the other linking books in any other games glow like that. So really, there is no justifiable reason for why the Stranger is out there in the desert when it's that dark outside, unless he/she got lost somehow and stumbled upon the book...but how could you see it if you can't even see the ground beneath you?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:59 pm 
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LuigiHann wrote:
I don't really have a problem with the "found it on the ground in the desert" theory. Regular books might not last 30 years or whatever, but D'ni books are special in a lot of ways.


My problem isn't that the Stranger finds it in the desert, but that it hits the ground right in front of him/her 30 years after it should have arrived, given what we know about how the Fissure works.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:43 am 
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Solstice wrote:
LuigiHann wrote:
I don't really have a problem with the "found it on the ground in the desert" theory. Regular books might not last 30 years or whatever, but D'ni books are special in a lot of ways.


My problem isn't that the Stranger finds it in the desert, but that it hits the ground right in front of him/her 30 years after it should have arrived, given what we know about how the Fissure works.


I commented on that a couple posts earlier

Quote:
Nonetheless, I wouldn't assume that the Stranger picked the book up immediately after it fell through the fissure. I think the intro is just stylized and simplified. It's an opening credits sequence, after all. Gotta be artsy.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:02 am 
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One interesting fact is that the stranger found the book in 1807AD. This was the same year of the Pike Expedition that visited New Mexico. Me and another explorer were theorizing that perhaps one of the men in the Pike Expedition picked the book up on their way through what's now known as Eddie County.

Read about it here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pike_expedition[/code][/url]


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:26 am 
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Interesting theory. I was wondering if any exploration took place at the time of the Myst discovery. Any other expeditions took place there by other powers?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:38 am 
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I'm not history buff, but I'm sure that there were some random explorers who decided to test their luck by going west. Also, consider that the French had explored a lot of the land to the west of the original 13 colonies before America was even founded, though not necessarily the Southwest...it would be very fitting for the Stranger to have already been an explorer and adventurer before finding the Myst book.


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