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Low-Spoiler Myst Walkthrough

Welcome to my Myst walk-through. (-: If you're new to my series of low-spoiler computer game walkthroughs, the idea is to point players towards things they might not have thought of in each game rather than giving away puzzle solutions or offering step-by-step instructions. There's not much point to playing an adventure game if you know all the puzzle solutions in advance, and there's no point at all in investigating a mysterious plotline if you've already had the plot spoiled.

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So these pages are as close to spoiler-free as possible while still providing valuable Myst hints and tips. If you are looking for the solution to a particular puzzle, I recommend the excellent UHS site--you can only see one hint at a time there, so you can get the answer to one puzzle without ruining all the others for yourself. If that interests you, here is the link to the UHS Myst page. My website here focuses on exactly the things UHS and traditional walkthroughs don't: the non-critical parts of the game, little detours you can take, extra details you might miss if you only did what was strictly necessary to win the game. If you want even fewer spoilers--you're considering whether or not to buy the game, for example, and just want to know whether there's anything you're going to hate in it--please try my Myst Review page to find all the pertinent information in one convenient spoiler-free package.

Adventure games in general tend to be more linear than CRPG's, and Myst is no exception. It's impossible to miss the vast majority of this game--if you don't finish all the puzzles in each Age, you generally won't be able to return to Myst Island until you rectify this. Even so, there are a few game elements that it's possible to skip accidentally. I'll list those for you here:

*you can talk to the brothers again once they've already given you their spiel after each page you give them. They never say anything important if you do, but it's another fleeting glimpse at their personalities. Since you have so little chance to interact with them before making your final decision, every little bit was welcome.

*the letter on the ground tells you a clue to how the imaging pool works. (It would be sort of hard to miss this one, but the imaging pool can be easily operated through trial and error, so it's possible.)
*the imaging pool itself is optional, actually; playing with the three settings listed on the control panel is interesting, but Atrus' message to his wife, though technically optional, is really important if you want to make any sense of the plot.
*there are four unburned books in the library, one coincidentally corresponding to each accessible age. Two of these (the Channelwood and Mechanical Age books) are optional, though interesting, reads; the other two contain codes you'll need to access the Stoneship and Selenitic Ages.

*In Achenar's room, the device on top of his dresser can be manipulated to display a weird hologram--that changes form as you move the slider. There is no point to this, but it's neat-looking, and sheds a little light on Achenar's personality.
*There are some personal effects of the two brothers in their drawers; you can't take them, but again, they help you piece together their personalities a little. (The contents of Sirrus' desk are rather interesting. Too bad you can't examine objects more closely in this game.)

*In Achenar's room, you can wind up his jack-in-the-box to see what's inside. You can also take a peek inside the trunk in his secret closet. Maybe Atrus and Catherine should have been taking this kid to the psychologist instead of the Myst Ages...?
*I'm not sure what, if anything, the switch in Achenar's secret room is supposed to do. It just makes the lights flicker in my game.
*In Sirrus' room, you can wind up his mechanical bird, though it doesn't do much. If you look through his telescope at the correct angle, you will see a startling image, though I have no idea what the point of this is (it may have just been an in-joke of some kind among the game designers).
*There's an interesting note from Achenar to Sirrus in Sirrus' secret room.

*You can manipulate the machine in Achenar's room to hear him speaking in a foreign language (presumably that of the race that once lived here), and also to hear a cryptic message left for him by Sirrus.
*Apparently the "foreign language" is actually just a voice recording run backwards, by the way; the second one has been identified as saying "Rush Limbuagh understands" (?), but the meanings of the other two original recordings are unknown to me.
*If you enter the central hut through the door nearest to Sirrus' house, you will hear the currently selected message play on the projector. As far as I know this has no practical effect.
*You can also manipulate the spiky table to make it open in rather dramatic fashion. As far as I know there's no point to that either. Were Achenar and Sirrus using this table and video projector to receive tribute or sacrifices from the natives (giving the appearance that the table had swallowed the offering up, when in fact it was being tilted down the chute to an undisclosed location)? Or was it just a trap intended to chomp the hand of any local foolish enough to mess with the brothers' stuff? I wish there had been a way to examine objects and devices more closely in this game (i.e. see where the hole in the table went), being as how there were no actual people to interact with.

SELENITIC AGE (the starship one):
There aren't any optional parts to this age. Just a sound-matching puzzle and a long, extremely annoying maze.

There are no optional parts here; it's strictly linear. It is however very important NOT to follow Atrus through the book when he returns to Myst, and NOT to step away from the desk. Otherwise you will miss what small amount of exposition he would otherwise give you upon his return.

There are four possible endings to Myst, three in which you lose and one in which you win (though it isn't very obvious from the abrupt conclusion that you've actually won the game.) Without spoiling their contents, you can see each of the four endings if you:

1) free Achenar from the blue book
2) free Sirrus from the red book
3) enter the green book without the white page
4) enter the green book with the white page.

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