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Where do you think the Cleft is?
New Mexico 90%  90%  [ 130 ]
Arabia 5%  5%  [ 7 ]
Somewhere else 2%  2%  [ 3 ]
Get a life! 3%  3%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 145
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:36 pm 
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For the purposes of MO:UL, the cavern / cleft is in New Mexico. This is why KI time is MST.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:05 am 
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The back of the sign at the desert entrance says "Eddy County" - which is in New Mexico.

so, far as I am concerned, the desert & cleft are in New mexico.

And it wouldn't be the first time that "facts" in fiction books were changed at a later date. For Example, Mercedes Lackey has republished several of her Darkover Series of fiction novels several times, and keeps changing the "facts", even 10 years later, having decided that what she wrote previously wasn't entirely the way things were, or changing "facts" so that the novels don't contradict themselves.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:29 am 
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The book of Ti'anna refers to Arabs with Camels, which would suggest that the shaft into D'ni is in Arabia somewhere. This is an apparent contradiction to later indications that suggest it is in New Mexico. However, in the early 1800's, there was a caravan of camels (I think with imported Arabs) running across the deserts of the southwest. Look up "Hi Jolly" (the nickname of the Arab leader of the caravan).

Of course, where are "the markets of Jemaranir" in New Mexico?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:48 am 
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Having lived most of my life in Arizona, I remember hearing about Beale's Camel Corps. So I did some more hunting and came down with some date ranges.

From http://www.snopes.com/legal/arizona.asp: In 1856-7, the US Army imported camels with the intent of moving fright and men through the desert, but the Civil War [and the railroads] put the Camel Corpse out of business.

If the camels aren't a red herring, then that would place the Book of Tiana in that 2 year time window. Wait -- the book spans a lot more than 2 years, and it's supposed to have taken place earlier than that. Yep. Camels are red herrings.

But what about caravans? Archaeologists have been able to trace trade networks reaching from southern Mexico to the Four Corners. Turquoise and abalone shells were two items used to prove the existence of that trade network. Many Americans associate "caravan" with "Bedoin" or "camels," but it is possible that the caravans were bands of Native American traders who could have been on foot or -- after the 1500s -- used horses.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:52 am 
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If the cleft is in New Mexico, then where would Tomahna be located then?
ie; Myst 4 Revelations, Atrus said; Oh I will have to stop off at the cleft first for some tools...
I do not see remains of any cable car around the 'in game' cleft at all. hmmm .

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:27 am 
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I think people need to realize that the books are a part of the canon of the MYST Universe. They were written and inspired by the journals of Ti'ana and the Brother's Miller's journey with the DRC into the caverns of D'ni. The books are not an entire fact of the events that happened, so take them as what they are, fiction. Read the portion of About the Authors in the Myst Reader and see how they visited the D'ni caverns in 1993 which coincides with the URU journals. The books are an interpretation of the fabricated fictional documents found and translated, which turned into fictionally fictional books (confusing I know). So what is the reality of the situation? Where is the cleft. New Mexico.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:35 pm 
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Yeah Cleft is in New Mexico.

Tomahna is in New Mexico (just a few miles from the Cleft, it is now apparently buried under dirt and sand and stuff from all the years that have passed).


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:10 pm 
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This sort of thing happens a lot with fictional worlds, particularly if the story of the world goes on for a long time. Not every part of "canon" supports every other part of canon. Sometimes the authors change their minds or reinterpret something. I'm super OK with that. However, I don't think you can say that what went on before didn't count. When you publish something, it goes out in our world and becomes part of the lore. It's fine with me if the writers change their mind, and there are inconsistencies in the world. Also, unless it's published, lore doesn't count -- you see it in the finished product. What's on the white board in someone's office is interesting, but until it gets out somewhere, published, it's not part of the world.

So, the cleft in Uru is in New Mexico. It looks like the high western desert. I like it.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:11 pm 
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As I understand it, Rand (and Robyn?) M. supplied the story framework to Wingrove, with the understanding that he (Wingrove) could then take those guidelines and fill in the gaps, so long as he didn't modify the original points.

Apparently Rand didn't specify a location for the Cleft, leaving Wingrove to choose a location, which turned out to be somewhere where there were camels shuttling between towns with exotic names. And under the circumstances, that was fine. Why? Because at that point, the actual location of the Cleft didn't matter to the story, and was perhaps seen as immaterial. So I don't really see this as artistic license on Wingrove's part, because if he hadn't been given a location for the Cleft, it was left up to him, and he placed it where he saw fit.

Then came Uru, and IMHO, you can look at this two ways: OOC, Rand and company had fleshed out much more of the story by then, and had nailed down the location of the Cleft in New Mexico just because the plot worked better that way. IC, new journals were discovered that revealed the real location of the Cleft to be New Mexico. Pick one... ;-)

Then there's the third option - I seem to recall a certain Cyantist once saying that the Eastern location for the Cleft was included in the novels intentionally, to divert attention from the actual site. Once the presence of D'ni was made known to the public, they then felt it safe to reveal the real location - as suggested by Loshem in an earlier post.

Anyway, it certainly makes for a fun discussion.

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Last edited by Mowog on Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:40 pm 
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Yeah, I can't remember if it's canon or fanon at this point, but the story I'd always heard is that the real location of the Cleft intentionally was not included in the original notes given to Wingrove, for fear that if the real location came out in the novels people might mob the cleft site before the DRC was ready for explorers.

Of course that was later circumvented because we were called and Yeesha set up a method for us to get in, and the DRC just had to live with it, but that wasn't the original plan.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:57 pm 
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chucker wrote:
Norfren wrote:
"RAND MILLER with david wingrove" (sic!)


Since I can't find a mistake in that quote, dare I ask what the 'sic' is meant to signify in this case?

Probably that Rand Miller spells his name with considerably more lowercase letters, and David Wingrove spells his with a couple more uppercase, hahaha

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:45 pm 
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The only thing I can think of was that it was more believable that you'd have a large number of explorers finding New Mexico accessible whereas somewhere in the Middle East not so much.

Seems like a weak reason to perform the ret-con if you ask me. I've never liked the location shift, but at least it doesn't really change the actual place. The Cleft is The Cleft, no matter where it really is.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:24 pm 
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chucker wrote:
Norfren wrote:
"RAND MILLER with david wingrove" (sic!)


Since I can't find a mistake in that quote, dare I ask what the 'sic' is meant to signify in this case?


From Wikipedia:

Quote:
Sic is a Latin word meaning "thus", "so", "as such", or "in such a manner". In writing, it is placed within the quoted material, in square brackets – or outside it, in regular parentheses – and usually italicized – [sic] – to indicate that an incorrect or unusual spelling, phrase, punctuation, and/or other preceding quoted material has been reproduced verbatim from the quoted original and is not a transcription error


In this case: The uppercase spelling of RM and fully lowercase spelling of dw is exactly as found in the book.

Tweek: I do believe that the actual writing was done by DW, but to a simple reader (knowing nothing about what was going at Cyan behind the stages) the authors' list suggests that RM is the main author and the whole storyline had his blessing.

I only wanted to express that we shouldn't consider too seriously what is canon or what not in MREDU. Based on the examples of previous games & books, if a new book or game would happen to be published in the future, some "canon" things would certainly be changed again.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:46 pm 
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I would change the emphasis and say that only URU (online) can be considered canon.
Not everyone has got to grips with the bahro in the books and the bahro in URU not being the same, for example,
as well as the location of the cleft.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:53 pm 
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The Cleft was already known to be in New Mexico when I started working here at Cyan in 1992, and I was first learning D'ni history from Rand. It's important for it to be there for back-story reasons. Just one simple example: Rand and Robyn lived in New Mexico growing up; they never lived anywhere near the Middle East. Other reasons for the Cleft in New Mexico are out there, but still have not been discovered, so I'll leave it at that.*

Robyn's original short story written long before Myst had Anna and Atrus living in a nondescript desert in a nondescript location, and that was carried over to the outline for the Book of Atrus. When the first draft came in from David Wingrove, I flagged the additional information that now implied a middle eastern location for the Cleft as details that needed to be made more vague. I was overruled. A nondescript desert was not as interesting, and the difference in location could be attributed to "artistic license" since, even back then, the novels were intended to be "based on Catherine's journals" (a fact which the introductions and acknowledgement sections of those novels make reference to).

This revelation that Myst, Riven and the novels were fictionalized accounts of a larger story tied into the To D'ni story that was taking place on Cyan's website at the same time during Riven's development. To D'ni (not to be confused with the "To D'ni" expansion pack for Uru) played out over time on a hidden portion of the cyan website from '95 to '97, ending with one "winner" who got a beta copy of Riven before the game was released. When you entered that area of the website, the words "To D'ni" in the D'ni font ("b'D'ni") flashed on the screen. That same phrase in the D'ni font was hidden in the background during several interviews that Rand and Robyn gave during Riven development.

In this light, the change of the Cleft's location could be seen as intentional misdirection by the people who wanted the D'ni story told. This fed Zandi's irritation with Cyan's amount of "artistic license" when he visited Mysterium in 2001. It later tied into the "Preafter" story with Zandi (2002-2003). Enough of the "actual details" of that story were given in Myst, Riven and the novels to those who would be "Called" by them, and there was enough "fiction" for anyone else to just dismiss them, as briefly alluded to by Zandi in his introduction in the Cleft.

Looking at the big picture of the D'ni story, the change of the Cleft location for the novels is now as much a part of the story as any other facet.

Do I wish my notes to remove the Middle Eastern references from the novels had been heeded the first time? Only for the selfish reason that it would make my life simpler not having to repeatedly explain the reasons for the supposed "later change TO New Mexico" since Uru was released. :) But for the bigger picture of the D'ni story, I have to admit it makes a great deal more sense for the location to be wrong in the novels for the reasons given above.

So, where is the Cleft? It depends on how deeply you want to dig into the D'ni story.

Those who played Myst and Riven as self-contained games: Cleft? Who cares where it is? It isn't in the games.
Those who dug deeper and read the novels: The Cleft is probably somewhere in the Middle East.
Those who have dug deeper still and participated in the online/real-world stories (To D'ni and Preafter): The Cleft is in New Mexico and always has been. Reports to the contrary were mis-direction by those who didn't want D'ni discovered by any except "the Called" who would be able to find it even with the mis-direction.

This is all well and good, until we get to Uru, which is the story of those "Called" going to D'ni (as Zandi tells you at the Airstream). That being the case, Uru has to take To D'ni and Preafter into account, because the "Called" only exist at that deepest level, even though Uru is available to those who didn't dig that deeply for whatever reason. Those people will have to decide how they want to resolve the paradox: learn more about the larger story of D'ni, or dismiss it as "retcon". I would love it if people would choose the former, but am resigned to the fact that most will choose the latter.

Hope that helps,

RAWA
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Last edited by RAWA on Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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