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Low-Spoiler Guide to Myst

Welcome to my Myst hints page. (-: If you're new to this series of low-spoiler computer game walkthroughs, the idea behind them is to point gamers towards things they might not have tried in each game rather than giving step-by-step instructions or divulging puzzle solutions. There's not much point in playing a puzzle game if you know the solutions in advance, after all.

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So these pages are as close to spoiler-free as possible while still providing some valuable Myst hints and tips. If you are looking for the solution to a particular puzzle, I recommend the UHS site--due to the way their pages are set up you can only see one hint at a time, so you can get the answer to one pesky puzzle without ruining all the others for yourself. Here's the UHS page for Myst, if that interests you. My site, meanwhile, focuses on exactly the things UHS and other traditional walkthroughs don't: the non-critical parts of the game, little detours you can take, extra details you might miss if you did only what was strictly necessary to complete the game. If you want even fewer spoilers--you're considering whether or not to buy the game, for example--please try my Myst Review page to find all the pertinant information in one convenient spoiler-free package.

Now, on with the game!

Myst Hints and Tips
Myst Walkthrough
Myst Cheats and Links
The Backseat Game Designer: Myst Critique
Riven: The Sequel To Myst

Myst Hints and Tips

Myst was first released in 1993, and it shows its age in its awkward slideshow graphics, rudimentary interface, and cranky refusal to work with Windows XP. (Right-clicking the Windows icon, choosing "Properties," and setting "Compatibility" to 256 colors and Windows 95 compatability got it working for me. Setting the screen resolution to 640x480 also helps with the graphics somewhat.) The idea behind the game is that you've been mysteriously transported to another world and have no idea why you're there or what you have to do to get back. All the fun of Myst is figuring that out for yourself, so I'm not going to spoil any of it here; here are the few things it may help you to know before you get started:

Movement: The movement controls in Myst are very inconsistent and often unintuitive--in some locations clicking on the right edge of the screen will cause you to turn 90 degrees to the right as you'd expect it to, and in others it will cause you to do a complete about-face. Don't let this disorient you.

Inventory: For the most part you cannot pick up objects in Myst, so don't waste any time trying to (even when something looks like it ought to be an extremely useful object). The major exception is book pages, which you can pick up and carry, but only one at a time--so if you find two, you'll need to bring one back to Myst Island, then go back for the other. On a few other occasions you will be able to pick up a key or other such small object, but you'll have to use it within the same room you found it in, as you won't be able to carry it with you.

Interface: Your only method of interacting with the gameworld is by clicking on it. There will be no indication as to whether an object is clickable or not; you'll just have to use trial and error (which is frustrating since if you try to click something non-clickable, the game usually assumes you're trying to step forwards or rotate a random amount). In my mini-walkthrough below, I list everything clickable that is optional (and therefore you might possibly be in danger of missing). On some occasions you will need to click something and then pull it in the appropriate direction, but this was usually intuitive (pulling a lever down and so forth).

Time Management: Time does not pass in Myst, and you can take as long as you like exploring any part of it you choose in any order you want to. The only exception is at the very end of the game; when a character tells you he'll be right back, you must not move from the spot until he returns, or you will miss what he would have said to you next.

Problem Spots: There are no realtime sequences in Myst and no potential dead ends; until the final endgame, there is no way to lose the game and no alternate paths to take. The only pitfall is if you are hard of hearing or cannot get the audio on the game to function, because there are several quests that require you to remember, produce, and respond to audio cues (the other characters' speeches also cannot be subtitled, and the plot would be hard to follow without listening to them). Also, as mentioned above, when one of the characters tells you he'll be right back during the finale, do NOT move from the spot until he returns, or you will miss what he would have said to you next.

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