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Was I the only one who really disliked this game?

#1 User is offline   SolarSurfer 

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  Posted 12 April 2009 - 08:10 PM

Ok, so I'm brand new to these forums (I actually discovered them in my efforts to get the games to run on my Intel Mac with Leopard, thanks by the way) and I just wanted to know if I'm alone in an opinion. So I've been a fan of Myst since probably nine years old, and over the past few weeks I replayed Myst, Riven & Exile, finished Revelation and played through End of Ages for the first time. So upon finishing the main series back to back I created a final assesment of the games: Myst of course is classic and is made even better with the addition of Rime, Riven and Exile are my favorites and I felt they each built greatly upon the groundwork laid by the original Myst and had deep and complex stories, End of Ages was ok, the story was interesting and the game was fairly fun but it didn't feel like a Myst game (it also lost points for me when I learned that you are not playing as the same stranger from the first four games). Revelation though I thought was downright boring. It starts out promisingly enough, although the interface is a little clunky the graphics are stunning and the prospect of revisiting Sirrus and Achenar (as strange as it may be) is exciting, but after you dock in Tomahna the game suddenly turns into a series of chores with no significant story value. Help me set these frequencies, fix the generator, go to Haven and Spire for no reason than to gather one clue from the end of each age, it ends up redeeming itself in some sense one you arive in Serenia but the bulk of the game is boring, pointless chores.
For those who would argue that the other games feature similar chores with gathering the red and blue pages in Myst and the Symbols in Exile I'll point out that those helped progress the story. With each of the Red and Blue Pages you found you would gain another (albeit skewed) piece of the story, Exile was the same way. It was more like finding keys to unlock doors of the story. In Revelation you go through Spire and Haven, get a little bit of backstory but nothing hugely important and the satisfaction at the end of the age? a clue, a clue that most people probably could probably substitute with a small amount of trial and error. I'm not saying that the game was all bad, as I said before the graphics are beautiful, the camera and journal system was smart, Jack Wall did a great job on the score once again (although I thought Peter Gabriel's Curtains was out of place), and the ending (aside from the dream world portion) was good; however, as a whole it is probably my least favorite entry in the 4 part Myst series (that's counting End of Ages as Uru II, not Myst V)
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#2 User is offline   75th Trombone 

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 08:24 PM

[Paragraphs: I HAZ THEM!]

You are certainly not alone in finding Myst IV to be the armpit of the Myst franchise. I have to somewhat disagree with your reasoning, though. Serenia (and, along with it, Dream) are simply stupid, awful, ridiculous, and completely unMystlike.

Spire and Haven are both great Ages (although the hanggliding tent in Haven is stupid and awful) until their very ends, which (I agree with you) are completely anticlimactic and awful.

But the only thing Mystlike about Serenia and Dream is that you might experience something similar when locking the door and cranking the gas in Rime. Myst is not about spirits and ethereal brain planes, it's about machinery and landscapes and people acting like people.

Uru and Myst V are fairly unMystlike for the same reason: Though popular in fan fiction, the vague flowery prophetical speeches by a mystical woo-woo were notably absent from Myst and Riven (and Exile too). In Riven people talked like human beings. And who gives a frock about the Bahro, anyway?
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#3 User is offline   SolarSurfer 

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 08:35 PM

View Post75th Trombone, on Apr 12 2009, 08:24 PM, said:

And who gives a frock about the Bahro, anyway?

Lol, I must agree with that statement. I suppose you're right about Serenia as far as the the backstory of the age goes (although if you wanted to put a real world spin on it "Dream" could be equated to a pollen sniffing induced trip :cheesy: ) but I suppose the reason I like Serenia better is because that part of the game finally felt like we were getting somewhere story wise, I guess I was so fed up with doing chores that I was willing to forgive all the, as you put it "the vague flowery prophetical speeches by a mystical woo-woo"
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#4 User is offline   Johnraka 

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 02:05 AM

I can't say that I disliked Revelation, as has been said the graphics were stunning, I liked the 'Camera' and 'Journal', a great way of taking screenshots and saving clues without having to write them on scraps of paper.
But...
This whole thread got me thinking...
Yes, it was 'Visually' a great game, it had some rather irritating puzzles (don't get me started on the chair in Spire or the business in Haven trying to trap the Camoudile!) but I guess I had been blinded by all this beauty and not really thought about the game and storyline as a whole and yes, you are right, all of its predecessors did a far better job in this area, in the end I found myself racing to get to the end of the game to see what the end result would be and in terms of the story it wasn't much.

It was interesting to see other ages and to see what the developers came up with but did they really fit in with previous ages such as Riven, J'nanin, Voltaic etc?
No, I guess they didn't.
The only 'Age' if it can be called that which seemed to fit in was Tomahna but then that is Atrus's home so I would expect that, having said that however we didn't get to see Atrus's study in Revelation the way we did in Exile - an oversight that should not really have happened given how much free movement we had in Tomahna.

The 'Dream' sequence at the end of Revelation I enjoyed simply for the 'Puzzle' element, it was simple and straightforward enough, it was even fun but was it relative to the storyline? In all honesty, no not really.

As for Myst 5 - too much like URU and it did seem to lose its way a bit but then maybe it was supposed to, perhaps they should have released URU after Myst 5, the continuity would have been better if they had.

A good thread and one that got me thinking about more than just the 'Gameplay', thank you, it has given me a new insight... :cheesy:
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#5 User is offline   Talashar 

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 06:08 AM

I didn't like Serenia not because it was mystical but because of its lack of depth. It really feels like words were drawn from some kind of magnetic poetry set: ancestor, dream, palm reading, spirit, and the ramifications of the memory globes and quasi-immortality were not explored as much as they could have been. Serenia was an odd blemish in a game I found quite good in most other respects.

Also, I was twice disappointed by that age! First the Serenians turned out to be precisely as helpful and innocent as they seemed when I was expecting a twist, and then Dream was boringly abstract. The worlds of Myst should not be abstract. :cheesy:
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#6 User is offline   olddude 

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 06:36 AM

View PostTalashar, on Apr 13 2009, 08:08 AM, said:

...Serenia was an odd blemish in a game I found quite good in most other respects.

Also, I was twice disappointed by that age! First the Serenians turned out to be precisely as helpful and innocent as they seemed when I was expecting a twist, and then Dream was boringly abstract. The worlds of Myst should not be abstract. :cheesy:


At the risk of inserting a "me too" post, me too.

I found the Dream puzzles to be disappointing and in the case of the final two, boringly repetitious. I resented having to do them to finish the game. This was supposed to be a MYST game. Those weren't MYST puzzles.

I've mentioned before, what I thought about having to sit through a pop lullaby. What was the context? Dream = sleep = lullaby? Somebody really missed the point and did it in a extravagant, inescapably annoying way.

My feeling is, Serenia really detracted from an otherwise perfectly acceptable MYST game.
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#7 User is offline   Johannes 

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 06:37 AM

View PostTalashar, on Apr 13 2009, 02:08 PM, said:

I didn't like Serenia not because it was mystical but because of its lack of depth. It really feels like words were drawn from some kind of magnetic poetry set: ancestor, dream, palm reading, spirit, and the ramifications of the memory globes and quasi-immortality were not explored as much as they could have been. Serenia was an odd blemish in a game I found quite good in most other respects.

Also, I was twice disappointed by that age! First the Serenians turned out to be precisely as helpful and innocent as they seemed when I was expecting a twist, and then Dream was boringly abstract. The worlds of Myst should not be abstract. :cheesy:


My point of view exactly.
Don't get me wrong, I love Revelation, but some things are so irritating in it. Serenia and the Dream puzzles, the whole body exchange thing, and Yeesha's amulet. In the previous games we could only imagine what happened in the places we were seeing. The amulet and its flashbacks totally kills that feeling of being a detective.
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#8 User is offline   KatrAnna 

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 10:30 AM

View PostJohnraka, on Apr 13 2009, 04:05 AM, said:

The only 'Age' if it can be called that which seemed to fit in was Tomahna but then that is Atrus's home so I would expect that, having said that however we didn't get to see Atrus's study in Revelation the way we did in Exile - an oversight that should not really have happened given how much free movement we had in Tomahna.

You can go into Atrus's study. The amulet even replays Saavedro's entrance, as seen in Exile. It's where you can find the other Serenia book, which is the one Sirrus and Yeesha use, instead of the one in her room that Achenar uses. If you link back to Tomahna from Serenia, you start in his study.
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#9 User is offline   Johnraka 

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 03:37 PM

View PostKatrAnna, on Apr 13 2009, 05:30 PM, said:

View PostJohnraka, on Apr 13 2009, 04:05 AM, said:

The only 'Age' if it can be called that which seemed to fit in was Tomahna but then that is Atrus's home so I would expect that, having said that however we didn't get to see Atrus's study in Revelation the way we did in Exile - an oversight that should not really have happened given how much free movement we had in Tomahna.

You can go into Atrus's study. The amulet even replays Saavedro's entrance, as seen in Exile. It's where you can find the other Serenia book, which is the one Sirrus and Yeesha use, instead of the one in her room that Achenar uses. If you link back to Tomahna from Serenia, you start in his study.


Aaah... must have missed that (God knows how), thanks, I will have to go back and revisit...
:cheesy:
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#10 User is offline   musicwumusic 

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 04:25 PM

View Post75th Trombone, on Apr 12 2009, 10:24 PM, said:

And who gives a frock about the Bahro, anyway?

If this was the Civil War you would move to the South I presume? There is a lesson to be learned here. One that many refuse to accept.

View PostJohnraka, on Apr 13 2009, 04:05 AM, said:

It was interesting to see other ages and to see what the developers came up with but did they really fit in with previous ages such as Riven, J'nanin, Voltaic etc?
No, I guess they didn't.
The only 'Age' if it can be called that which seemed to fit in was Tomahna but then that is Atrus's home so I would expect that, having said that however we didn't get to see Atrus's study in Revelation the way we did in Exile - an oversight that should not really have happened given how much free movement we had in Tomahna.

The two prison ages were not supposed to be the same as Atrus' regular ages in my opinion. They were just Traps rather than Ages, so Atrus probably threw in simple details for elements to sustain life, rather than carefully craft all the other details as he would normally have done. The rest of the details would have filled themselves in and we get to see how unpredictable this can truly be.

I have not read the novels, but I did read from a post somewhere that there was one of Catherine's ages described in one of the novels, and it is as dreamy and abstract as Serenia is. So there's your explanation why Serenia is this way. If you don't like it, tell Catherine :cheesy:

View PostTalashar, on Apr 13 2009, 08:08 AM, said:

I didn't like Serenia not because it was mystical but because of its lack of depth. It really feels like words were drawn from some kind of magnetic poetry set: ancestor, dream, palm reading, spirit, and the ramifications of the memory globes and quasi-immortality were not explored as much as they could have been. Serenia was an odd blemish in a game I found quite good in most other respects.

Also, I was twice disappointed by that age! First the Serenians turned out to be precisely as helpful and innocent as they seemed when I was expecting a twist, and then Dream was boringly abstract. The worlds of Myst should not be abstract. :D

I strongly disagree. Myst island is abstract in my opinion. I don't have a spaceship in my backyard. But this is what draws me to the Myst ages, the fact that they are not Earth.

Serenia was my favorite age in Myst IV, and it is on my favorite ages list that includes Amateria, Noloben, Todelmer, Tay, Channelwood etc. I guess since I am a musician, I like the more artistic and poetic qualities of Serenia; I like to see things that I do not understand and say, "that is something I do not understand, and I accept that." On an artistic level there are so many ways to understand and misunderstand and not understand. I love the Dream song's lyrics :rotflol: and how they have a deep connection with what happens in Dream, Myst IV in general, and also, life.

I fail to understand the alleged lack of depth to the ages of Myst IV. The Myst games were not intended to be intense action movies. The exploration is the reward, and therefore, anything goes, in my opinion.

I think this topic's name should be changed to "Was there anyone who really liked this game?" Me! :D
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#11 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 04:35 PM

While I personally loved Revelation (Riven, Exile, and Revelation are my favorite games in the series), I do see your points.

The prison Ages did end kind of oddly (albeit spectacularly) in that most of their journals (which would be the equivalent of Saavedro's imager speeches in Exile, or the brother's speeches in Myst) were scattered throughout the Ages instead of gained at the end. Perhaps they were trying to give us something to read when we got totally stuck on the puzzles (or, like me, didn't find whole open areas of Spire for a long long time). Dream was a little abstract (especially the second puzzle - the first one strangely fit, and the second's premise is good, but the second puzzle just was weird).

A few more rants and praises all mashed together.

Although they were admirably done, you could notice that a lot of the puzzles were ripped off of pen-and-paper puzzles (think of Achenar's hammer gate puzzle, the first Dream puzzle, the Tomahna power puzzle, and the mangree puzzle). As I noted, they were well done (and so are one of those things only noticed while not playing the game), and there were some exceptions (such as the totem puzzle in Haven [a Rivenesque "learn the Age"/scavenger hunt type of puzzle], the water displacement puzzle [a logic and physics puzzle which was only annoying in that it was hard to tell where all the rivers were being diverted to], and the spider chair [which was a straightforward plug-in-the-code puzzle, with a time element that made it challenging]).

The amulet was a little overdone (I loved getting lots of scenes of people, and all the speeches played back to me, but it didn't seem very logical [especially the admittedly cool talking journals - does each person go back to their old journals and read them aloud so the amulet can pick it up as a memory?]). I mean, couldn't they have gotten a lot of the shots simply by having Atrus put up more cameras (and having some kind of recording) and by putting a little more work into the journals? I would miss the (Sirrus and Achenar) speeches, though.

I hated Serenia with one part good loathing (the kind that shows how realistic and well made the world was) and one part bad loathing (which means it was just annoying), and the only Serenians I liked were Caradell (only for the sneaky line
Click to reveal hidden content
"but if that is true, then why does everything fall apart when you are here?"
) and Zanika.

The camera and journal were really nice (although I didn't like the journal design at all), and so was the addictive tapping. Those, combined with the ultra realistic visuals, fairly compelling story (while it's not as tricky as Exile or as deep and brilliantly done as Riven, it's still quite good), and good game mechanics (beautiful intro, easy menus, panoramic views, camera [so I don't have to keep entering and exiting the game to collect my screenshots]) make it one of the most immersive of the games for me, and much more explorable than even the realtime Myst V and Uru.

View PostJohnraka, on Apr 13 2009, 02:37 PM, said:

View PostKatrAnna, on Apr 13 2009, 05:30 PM, said:

View PostJohnraka, on Apr 13 2009, 04:05 AM, said:

The only 'Age' if it can be called that which seemed to fit in was Tomahna but then that is Atrus's home so I would expect that, having said that however we didn't get to see Atrus's study in Revelation the way we did in Exile - an oversight that should not really have happened given how much free movement we had in Tomahna.

You can go into Atrus's study. The amulet even replays Saavedro's entrance, as seen in Exile. It's where you can find the other Serenia book, which is the one Sirrus and Yeesha use, instead of the one in her room that Achenar uses. If you link back to Tomahna from Serenia, you start in his study.


Aaah... must have missed that (God knows how), thanks, I will have to go back and revisit...
:cheesy:

It also has
Click to reveal hidden content
Atrus' journal about Serenia.

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#12 User is offline   Talashar 

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 05:56 PM

View Postmusicwumusic, on Apr 13 2009, 05:25 PM, said:

I have not read the novels, but I did read from a post somewhere that there was one of Catherine's ages described in one of the novels, and it is as dreamy and abstract as Serenia is. So there's your explanation why Serenia is this way. If you don't like it, tell Catherine :cheesy:


I'm dubious that anyone would be complaining if we had visited that age instead of Serenia. They have very different feels.

Maybe the larger problem is that Catherine is misrepresented in Revelation overall?

View Postmusicwumusic, on Apr 13 2009, 05:25 PM, said:

View PostTalashar, on Apr 13 2009, 08:08 AM, said:

...and then Dream was boringly abstract. The worlds of Myst should not be abstract. :D

I strongly disagree. Myst island is abstract in my opinion. I don't have a spaceship in my backyard. But this is what draws me to the Myst ages, the fact that they are not Earth.


I think you misunderstand me. I'm objecting to the fact that Dream was entirely composed of the following elements: white lights, primary colored lights, tiny geometrical shapes, and floating cutouts.

View Postmusicwumusic, on Apr 13 2009, 05:25 PM, said:

I love the Dream song's lyrics :D and how they have a deep connection with what happens in Dream, Myst IV in general, and also, life.

I liked the song too. Very evocative.
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#13 User is offline   SolarSurfer 

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 09:32 PM

View Postmusicwumusic, on Apr 13 2009, 04:25 PM, said:

View Post75th Trombone, on Apr 12 2009, 10:24 PM, said:

And who gives a frock about the Bahro, anyway?

If this was the Civil War you would move to the South I presume? There is a lesson to be learned here. One that many refuse to accept.

Yeah there's a good lesson, but we're not negating the value of the lessons we're simply commenting on an uninteresting story point (in our opinion). In my opinion if you bind a story to a particular moral it's probably going to lose some value because you're then forcing your creativity to fit into a moral shaped whole and you may have to trim off some pieces to make it fit. I think someone missed the point of this thread.

View Postmusicwumusic, on Apr 13 2009, 04:25 PM, said:

I think this topic's name should be changed to "Was there anyone who really liked this game?" Me! :cheesy:

Yeah… definitely missed the point.…

Anyway I digress, I think it's interesting how a lot of people who really liked this game (unlike me) disliked the age that I found most satisfying. Funny how that works. So far I was right about being odd one out :D
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#14 User is offline   75th Trombone 

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 11:47 PM

Quote

I have not read the novels, but I did read from a post somewhere that there was one of Catherine's ages described in one of the novels, and it is as dreamy and abstract as Serenia is.


No. No, no, no, no, no. They are entirely different.

Catherine's Age could be described as "dreamy," and it certainly is more fantastical than your average Age, but it is such via the creative use of the laws of physics. Catherine's Age used gravity and wind and things that actually exist to create a wondrous experience.

Serenia is not at all like this. Serenia is about spirits and magical plants and the transfer of souls/minds and similar hand-wavy mystical things.

Here it is in a nutshell: Other than the Art, there is no magic or other paranormal activity in the Myst universe. And even the Art is loosely based on quantum mechanical theories.

Myst IV obliterates that rule, and Uru/Myst V kinda push it pretty far.

Quote

If this was the Civil War you would move to the South I presume? There is a lesson to be learned here. One that many refuse to accept.


:cheesy: What I was obviously saying was "Who gives a frock about the Bahro storyline, anyway?". "These creatures you never actually see and can't communicate with or empathize with were enslaved by the D'ni! Here's a magic tablet you can use to free them!" LIKE I CARE.
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#15 User is offline   Bad Whippet 

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 10:41 AM

Oh my, I LOVED Revelation!!!

I'm undecided about which (Riven or Revelation) is my all-time favourite, but I just thought Revelation was totally epic, and I suppose this is why I felt Myst V was so disappointing afterwards because the new-style graphics, characters and even the direction of the storyline felt like too great a departure. The big, BIG thing I enjoy from Myst games is atmosphere, and Myst II, III and IV have it in bucketloads. I just loved it. I didn't even mind the Dream bits. The only negative I have on Revelation is the unnecessary 'timing' difficulty of some of the puzzles, like the second mangree puzzle which I became near-explosive about.

I'm guessing, but maybe it depends on whether the atmosphere or the storyline of the entire series is of the greatest importance. The latter is bigger for me; I felt like I was playing a point-and-click game with Myst V, but in Revelation II, III and IV, I felt as though I was there in those Ages.
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#16 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 10:56 AM

View PostTalashar, on Apr 13 2009, 04:56 PM, said:

Maybe the larger problem is that Catherine is misrepresented in Revelation overall?

Oh, don't remind me of that. :cheesy: The cockney accent, the journals of horribility, the really lame memory quotes... :D
They definitely could have portrayed Catherine better.

Quote

View Postmusicwumusic, on Apr 13 2009, 05:25 PM, said:

I love the Dream song's lyrics :D and how they have a deep connection with what happens in Dream, Myst IV in general, and also, life.

I liked the song too. Very evocative.

I'm neutral-positive on the song. It fit surprisingly well in its place and is a cool song.

View Post75th Trombone, on Apr 13 2009, 10:47 PM, said:

Here it is in a nutshell: Other than the Art, there is no magic or other paranormal activity in the Myst universe. And even the Art is loosely based on quantum mechanical theories.

Myst IV obliterates that rule, and Uru/Myst V kinda push it pretty far.

I'd say more Myst IV pushes it pretty far and Uru/Myst V obliterate it. I interpret Dream as part of the Art (like the Fissure). It follows very different physics than Earth (or follows them in a very different way - may be entirely based around mental stuff, allowing minds to directly interact just like computers directly interact through the internet [instead of directing through robot bodies or something]), and is vaguely connected to the Serenia Age (it's not another Age, I'd say, and not an in-between Ages like the Fissure, and not exactly just a part of Serenia). I see memories as a sort of emotional residue (you know how you can sort of read people's emotions either by some unknown force or by subtle body language and such? This is sort of the same - it amplifies specific things [any body language will minutely change the ground underneath the body talking person] and allows the wearer to interpret it better [the video is clearer because a lot of the memories are subconsciously registered, but just like how games add music to help people "feel" the emotions and atmosphere, the videos are added to help people "feel" the atmosphere of the subconscious amplification of memories).

View PostBad Whippet, on Apr 14 2009, 09:41 AM, said:

The only negative I have on Revelation is the unnecessary 'timing' difficulty of some of the puzzles, like the second mangree puzzle which I became near-explosive about.

You know, the most annoying timed puzzle in all the Myst games for me is the Treegate in Myst. I had some trouble with the other timed puzzles in the series, but they were much more fun and less hassle.
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#17 User is offline   musicwumusic 

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 04:15 PM

Apologies, 75th Trombone. I was out of line. Suffice to say that the Bahro-Tablet-Yeesha concepts mean more to me than any of the other things presented to me in Myst. Mainly because it was one of the underlying causes of the actual Myst series... And besides, when there is nothing else to care about, I can always come back to the Bahro. :rotflol:

Quote

Yeah… definitely missed the point.…

Ahh, I get the point of this topic now. I feel like I've just deciphered a YeeshaCode. (that was not a joke, I had a hard time getting the point)

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Apr 13 2009, 06:35 PM, said:

Although they were admirably done, you could notice that a lot of the puzzles were ripped off of pen-and-paper puzzles (think of Achenar's hammer gate puzzle, the first Dream puzzle, the Tomahna power puzzle, and the mangree puzzle).

Perhaps passed down from Ti'ana? :cheesy: Although I had a hard time figuring out how Achenar/Sirrus could have made all these contraptions... especially the one that lowers the bridge in Haven. The first dream puzzle didn't interest me, but I felt it wasn't worth it to mention because it was consistent with the rest of dream (besides Sirrus' "brain") where spirits are represented as light emanating energies. When the "guide" asked me, "not what you expected, is it, traveller?" I knew it was going to be someone else's abstract interpretation of a spirit realm. But then again I can just blame it on the Serenians. :squee:

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Apr 13 2009, 06:35 PM, said:

The amulet was a little overdone (I loved getting lots of scenes of people, and all the speeches played back to me, but it didn't seem very logical [especially the admittedly cool talking journals - does each person go back to their old journals and read them aloud so the amulet can pick it up as a memory?]). I mean, couldn't they have gotten a lot of the shots simply by having Atrus put up more cameras (and having some kind of recording) and by putting a little more work into the journals? I would miss the (Sirrus and Achenar) speeches, though.

Wasn't the amulet supposed to show you memories? The reading of the journals was probably a memory of what each person was thinking as he/she was writing in their journal. Like when I read, I hear a voice in my head for each character. But Atrus's journal reading was so unmotivated... I had to close the book :D

By cameras, do you mean the ones the stranger has to help him set in the beginning? How do those even work? I would think that they are hard to make, considering the trouble he has in figuring out where to get a replacement after he blows everything up...

View Post75th Trombone, on Apr 14 2009, 01:47 AM, said:

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I have not read the novels, but I did read from a post somewhere that there was one of Catherine's ages described in one of the novels, and it is as dreamy and abstract as Serenia is.


No. No, no, no, no, no. They are entirely different.

Catherine's Age could be described as "dreamy," and it certainly is more fantastical than your average Age, but it is such via the creative use of the laws of physics. Catherine's Age used gravity and wind and things that actually exist to create a wondrous experience.

Serenia is not at all like this. Serenia is about spirits and magical plants and the transfer of souls/minds and similar hand-wavy mystical things.

Hmm. I have to go read about her other age sometime...
I think I was too obsessed with the bubble fountain at the beginning of Serenia to think about the unnatural physics of the place. :D
I'm beginning to think I find fantastical things more interesting than things that are physically possible. And next to none of what are built into Myst ages are physically possible. For example, I would equate the "impossibility" of the Dream realm with what Sirrus built in Spire, or how the goal island in Voltaic can reset itself back to its original condition if you link back to the Age. So I find almost all the ages of Myst on the level of "impossibility" of Serenia. And that's why I like them. I can't stand the ages that seem like they are on Earth, like Tomahna, which is why I insist in believing it's not on Earth..

Talashar said:

I think you misunderstand me. I'm objecting to the fact that Dream was entirely composed of the following elements: white lights, primary colored lights, tiny geometrical shapes, and floating cutouts.

Sorry if I was being unclear. I understood you; to me, floating in a realm of spirits in the form of light shapes, and having a spaceship in which there is a musical keyboard and a digitized-yet-real linking book, is about the same level of abstraction. Of course they are completely different kinds of abstraction, but I mean, neither of them are "non-abstract". But that's just me...
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#18 User is offline   Talashar 

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 05:00 PM

View Postmusicwumusic, on Apr 14 2009, 05:15 PM, said:

But Atrus's journal reading was so unmotivated... I had to close the book :cheesy:


I'm envisioning Rand Miller's response to the script... "Wait, you mean I have to read all of this? Thank the Maker I don't have to do Achenar anymore!"
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#19 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 05:14 PM

View Postmusicwumusic, on Apr 14 2009, 03:15 PM, said:

Perhaps passed down from Ti'ana? :cheesy: Although I had a hard time figuring out how Achenar/Sirrus could have made all these contraptions... especially the one that lowers the bridge in Haven.

Well, how did Atrus construct the rocketship puzzle in Myst? They're all a big family of supergenius people who waste their enormous talents entirely on super failable locks for people to break through.

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View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Apr 13 2009, 06:35 PM, said:

The amulet was a little overdone (I loved getting lots of scenes of people, and all the speeches played back to me, but it didn't seem very logical [especially the admittedly cool talking journals - does each person go back to their old journals and read them aloud so the amulet can pick it up as a memory?]). I mean, couldn't they have gotten a lot of the shots simply by having Atrus put up more cameras (and having some kind of recording) and by putting a little more work into the journals? I would miss the (Sirrus and Achenar) speeches, though.

Wasn't the amulet supposed to show you memories? The reading of the journals was probably a memory of what each person was thinking as he/she was writing in their journal. Like when I read, I hear a voice in my head for each character. But Atrus's journal reading was so unmotivated... I had to close the book :D

But why don't we ever "hear" someone's thoughts in any other memories (all the rest are just what they say, the actual things that happened outside of the mind)? I guess it falls into why we don't see the person writing the journal (it just decides what to show you).

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By cameras, do you mean the ones the stranger has to help him set in the beginning? How do those even work? I would think that they are hard to make, considering the trouble he has in figuring out where to get a replacement after he blows everything up...

I mean like the ones already up in Tomahna (the three security cameras). If Atrus had just built/wrote those into the cages (or into other parts of the Ages), or if Sirrus or Achenar had decided to journal some of their stuff by D'ni/Mechanical Age versions of cameras/tape recorders, we could have be able to discard the whole amulet concept entirely. It would have been a way to get the same results in a very Mystlike way (and less poorly defined semimagical constructs).

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Hmm. I have to go read about her other age sometime...
I think I was too obsessed with the bubble fountain at the beginning of Serenia to think about the unnatural physics of the place. :D
I'm beginning to think I find fantastical things more interesting than things that are physically possible. And next to none of what are built into Myst ages are physically possible. For example, I would equate the "impossibility" of the Dream realm with what Sirrus built in Spire, or how the goal island in Voltaic can reset itself back to its original condition if you link back to the Age. So I find almost all the ages of Myst on the level of "impossibility" of Serenia. And that's why I like them. I can't stand the ages that seem like they are on Earth, like Tomahna, which is why I insist in believing it's not on Earth..

Talashar said:

I think you misunderstand me. I'm objecting to the fact that Dream was entirely composed of the following elements: white lights, primary colored lights, tiny geometrical shapes, and floating cutouts.

Sorry if I was being unclear. I understood you; to me, floating in a realm of spirits in the form of light shapes, and having a spaceship in which there is a musical keyboard and a digitized-yet-real linking book, is about the same level of abstraction. Of course they are completely different kinds of abstraction, but I mean, neither of them are "non-abstract". But that's just me...

The thing with the Serenia is that it is strange in a nonscientific (or nonscientifically explained) way. It's the difference between (certain kinds of) sci-fi and fantasy. Sci-fi tends to explain things with "advanced" science and technology, while fantasy describes them as magic (generally - both have many exceptions). The strange elements in Spire were not levitating due to a "life force" or "spell" - they were implied to be a scientific phenomenon, a manipulation of the laws of physics. Serenia and Dream are not implied as mystically based on the power of the mind and suchlike (the spirit protectors, etc.). Spire (or Voltaic, or Edanna, or even Myst) we can explain as following only slightly modified laws of physics but with special machines, materials, and natural elements that all combine to make fantastic appearing things. The spaceship is still made out of material (even though it is odd for someone to make one - it's just eccentric). The musical keyboard is still made of physics based atoms. The digitized linking book is based on scientific principles, not spiritual power. Serenia doesn't give us anything to explain with unless we use the magic clause (or really warped physics). The objects in Dream are not made of material nor do they follow the laws of physics. If you took the giant gears to Earth, you'd expect them to fall to the ground (due to gravity). You wouldn't be so confident on how the objects in Dream would work if you took them to Earth (if that was even possible).
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#20 User is offline   75th Trombone 

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 06:24 PM

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I'd say more Myst IV pushes it pretty far and Uru/Myst V obliterate it. I interpret Dream as part of the Art (like the Fissure). It follows very different physics than Earth, and is vaguely connected to the Serenia Age. I see memories as a sort of emotional residue.


Complete non sequitur. Uru's "magic" has everything to do with linking to Ages. Myst IV's magic has, as you admit, to do with "memories" and "emotional residue" and "wandering around in someone's fricking head." So how is it that Uru obliterates the non-Linking-magic rule more than Myst IV?!
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#21 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 08:57 PM

View Post75th Trombone, on Apr 14 2009, 05:24 PM, said:

Quote

I'd say more Myst IV pushes it pretty far and Uru/Myst V obliterate it. I interpret Dream as part of the Art (like the Fissure). It follows very different physics than Earth, and is vaguely connected to the Serenia Age. I see memories as a sort of emotional residue.


Complete non sequitur. Uru's "magic" has everything to do with linking to Ages. Myst IV's magic has, as you admit, to do with "memories" and "emotional residue" and "wandering around in someone's fricking head." So how is it that Uru obliterates the non-Linking-magic rule more than Myst IV?!

Because I'm putting more weight on how the rule bending/smashing is being presented rather than to what it has to do with.

I don't see linking as "magical" (other than in the magically cool use of the word), and so the more blatant Uru "magic" (being less explainable and presented with a more "this is magic" attitude rather than the more balanced attitude that Myst IV has towards its "magic") and the really blatant EoA "magic" (which only marginally has to do with linking). I can also see Dream, as I explained, as a Fissure-like semi-linking experience (going between worlds without linking). I never saw the Fissure as "magical" or breaking linking laws.

Therefore, Uru and EoA are blatantly "magical", while Myst IV allows some freedom in interpretation. So while it is less connected to linking (but then how connected is the Fissure to linking?), it is allows for a more scientific view and therefore violates the Myst attitude to "magic" less.
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#22 User is offline   musicwumusic 

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 01:27 AM

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I mean like the ones already up in Tomahna (the three security cameras). If Atrus had just built/wrote those into the cages (or into other parts of the Ages), or if Sirrus or Achenar had decided to journal some of their stuff by D'ni/Mechanical Age versions of cameras/tape recorders, we could have be able to discard the whole amulet concept entirely. It would have been a way to get the same results in a very Mystlike way (and less poorly defined semimagical constructs).

I guess something like Achenar's imager recorder in Channelwood? I would have been satisfied just reading the journals without any audio. But I don't think I have seen any sort of "surveillance" video in any Myst game. How would you document what the amulet shows you while you are in the fireplace, immediately after you pick it up, for instance? It'd be wierd I think for Atrus to have surveillance in his own bedroom... Remember that much of what the amulet shows occurs in a multitude of different places.

Quote

But why don't we ever "hear" someone's thoughts in any other memories (all the rest are just what they say, the actual things that happened outside of the mind)? I guess it falls into why we don't see the person writing the journal (it just decides what to show you).

I think we're supposed to feel lucky that the amulet works at all... :cheesy:

Quote

Serenia doesn't give us anything to explain with unless we use the magic clause (or really warped physics). The objects in Dream are not made of material nor do they follow the laws of physics.

Here's another idea that I just thought of. Couldn't Dream be like an alternate version of a prison book, that you're in that realm between links, but this time there is a way out. This would explain how all the spirits are there, since this void between links is probably associated with the Star Fissure, it's the actual realm in which all the Ages exist, and you never get to see during normal linking. I guess it still doesn't explain the rest of Serenia... But I like it anyways :D

Quote

Therefore, Uru and EoA are blatantly "magical", while Myst IV allows some freedom in interpretation.

I agree. That's why I can like Serenia, because I can have my own interpretation of Serenia, it doesn't have to be this or that. For example, in Uru, Relto is the island in the sky, that sort of ruins the mystical quality of "ooo what is this place?". In Myst IV, especially in Dream, I can call things what I want to call them, and no one says otherwise. I can give spirits offerings, and they're bubbles, :D and no one ruins the fun by calling them anything different.
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#23 User is offline   Talashar 

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 05:43 AM

You two had a completely opposite reaction to Revelation vs. Uru than I did. :cheesy: I'll take mystery over goofiness any day.
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#24 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 11:01 AM

View Postmusicwumusic, on Apr 16 2009, 12:27 AM, said:

Quote

I mean like the ones already up in Tomahna (the three security cameras). If Atrus had just built/wrote those into the cages (or into other parts of the Ages), or if Sirrus or Achenar had decided to journal some of their stuff by D'ni/Mechanical Age versions of cameras/tape recorders, we could have be able to discard the whole amulet concept entirely. It would have been a way to get the same results in a very Mystlike way (and less poorly defined semimagical constructs).

I guess something like Achenar's imager recorder in Channelwood? I would have been satisfied just reading the journals without any audio. But I don't think I have seen any sort of "surveillance" video in any Myst game. How would you document what the amulet shows you while you are in the fireplace, immediately after you pick it up, for instance? It'd be wierd I think for Atrus to have surveillance in his own bedroom... Remember that much of what the amulet shows occurs in a multitude of different places.

Atrus does have surveillance in his bedroom. In Myst IV, you can see three security cameras: one in the bedroom, one in sunroom (original Exile starting point), and one looking over the gondola area. You can see the feeds for these cameras in his lab.
Posted Image
Wouldn't it be natural for him to put cameras in the linking chambers as well, with some kind of recording which you could examine (which would get you a few of the memories, including the fight, Yeesha running, and Sirrus-Yeesha conversation)?

The other memories could be covered by more journal entries or notes, and perhaps some imager recordings by the two (to spend their boredom - just like writing a journal).

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Here's another idea that I just thought of. Couldn't Dream be like an alternate version of a prison book, that you're in that realm between links, but this time there is a way out. This would explain how all the spirits are there, since this void between links is probably associated with the Star Fissure, it's the actual realm in which all the Ages exist, and you never get to see during normal linking. I guess it still doesn't explain the rest of Serenia... But I like it anyways :cheesy:

I see Ages as comparable to islands in an ocean. Linking books build bridges between islands, allowing people to walk from one to another. Yeesha just throws you onto other islands. The bahro can just swim between islands. The Fissure is like a marsh - it's crossable on foot but isn't exactly an island. Dream is a weird island - perhaps a floating mass of broken wood. The whole pistil sniffing in Revelation works basically like a linking book to bridge the gap between Serenia and Dream (maybe more like a boat or tunnel or a very different type of bridge).
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#25 User is offline   mysteria13 

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 11:58 AM

I have to add my two cents. I've been playing Myst since I was 8 - and I'll be 22 in a week - so I've been playing Myst for a long, long, time. And I loved Revelation. LOVED. Now, that isn't to say there weren't parts of Revelation that I hated but I'll get to that.

The story of the two brothers not being dead and gone was really intriguing to me. In Myst, I always felt bad that they "died" which essentially they did, because Atrus burned the 'only Linking Books'. Since at the time we didn't know the difference. While the brothers were clearly evil and not so much on the up and up - I was a nice kid and thought they deserved a second chance anyway.

So when I read the promo for Revelation (There is something I must tell you about my sons...) I completely flipped. I was very excited. It had been far too long since Exile and I needed more crack Myst. I loaded it into my mother's desktop, and started to play.

The "move the slider to select a different signal" puzzle made me want to kill Atrus myself. But I got through that with a modicum of dignity and respect and moved on. The "oh please fix my power, my friend" puzzle was very Myst like and I breezed through that.

Spire was a pain in the rear. I do not get science. I don't. Spider Chair? I want to blow it up. But I did it, I succeeded and I made the executive decision that Sirrus was still an evil Jerk. Clearly. I went to Haven directly after, and found out that Achenar = not so much an evil Jerk.

Serenia was just lame. The Age itself was uninteresting and the acting was horrific. "This is SO not good" ringing any bells? And finding that idiotic stupid journal where the two stupid rivers crossed was a lesson in futility. Dream was drug induced, (Peter Gabriel? Seriously?) and the idea was a little over done.

The life and death choosing at the end, however, was very Myst like. It was very heart breaking for me, and I know that I cried - especially because Atrus is a tool.

Revelation is not without its problems, but if Revelation was mediocre, the games just went from that to worse. Myst V End of Ages was terribly unimpressive to me. The graphics were worse, and "Duk'ni needed me" was just...ugh. URU was interesting to start but I just didn't care, I had no emotional attachment to Yeesha. I did what I did in the first four games because I cared for Atrus. No Atrus, no emotional attachment.

So yes, I liked Revelation. Riven is still my favorite, with Myst and Exile as a tie for second.
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