I realized the moment I fell into the fissure that the Book would not be destroyed as I had planned. It continued falling into that starry expanse, of which I had only a fleeting glimpse. I have tried to speculate where it might have landed, but I must admit that such conjecture is futile. Still, questions about whose hands might one day hold my Myst book are unsettling to me. I know my apprehensions might never be allayed, and so I close, realizing that perhaps the ending has not yet been written. -- Atrus

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

local_character at the Cleft

Last night, local_character almost completed the Cleft.  I was left laughing at the way he explained things, such as calling Relto Pages "green things" and the whark a whale, despite my attempt to explain what it was.  It is interesting to discover how many aspects of Uru were made specifically for the crowd that has played every game and read the books.

local_character had found previously 3 Journey Cloths very easily: on the back of the sign at the link-in point, on the whark skeleton, and on the back of Zandi's (whom he refers to as "that fat guy") trailer.  When he finally went into the Cleft he began to hit roadblocks and became more and more frustrated.  It took him some time to realize that the fallen bridges acted as ladders.  He asked for advice on how to lower the bucket to which I answered "look down".

When he arrived at the lever that operates the mill, he sought more advice.  I gave him questions to think about such as "So the lever is blocked, what could be blocking it?" and when he got the lever working he wasn't sure what the big deal was.  I then asked "What is the general purpose of a windmill?", thinking of the turbines I came across in Co. Donegal, Ireland.  He realized that power must extend farther than the lever.

When he came to the recording device that activates Yeesha's hologram message, he was frustrated again because his code didn't work.  I told him to double check, make sure the order is correct, make sure you copied the symbols correctly.  I was amused by his descriptions of the symbols.  He referred to one as the "football", whereas I refer to it as the "fuzzy eye".  He discovered that he had one of the symbols wrong and so he learned the lesson that in Myst you need to double check a lot.

The "football" or "fuzzy eye"
He found the next two cloths, one on the wall in one of the rooms, and the next where one appears during Yeesha's hologram speech.  I don't think he listened to her speech.  When I asked him, he made a joke about what he felt her girlfriend-potential was: "If I was the last man on earth and if she was the last woman".  Personally, I find that harsh because I think she looks cool with her face tattoo and cornrow-bangs on one side of her head.

His final frustration is the final Journey Cloth.  He can't find it.  I warned him it is a tricky case, typical of Myst games.  He wondered if he should close both doors in the two rooms and found that didn't work.  I suggested that he close one, which he did, but he said he found nothing.  Finally at midnight here in NYC (where I live; he lives in Chicago), local_character decided he would sleep on the matter of the final Journey Cloth in the Cleft.

Before signing off, however, he was delighted to inform me he found two "green things":


By which, of course, he meant the birds and calendar (or blue flames island) Relto Pages.  I wonder if he will ever submit to using the proper terminology.  He refused to accept whark as the name of the beast whose skeleton is found near the other Riven ruins.

I remember when I first played Uru 10 years ago (!) how excited I was to see those ruins and realize where it was exactly that I "found" the Myst Linking Book.  Ah memories!

One thing I noticed that was particularly surprising to me was how frustrated he was with this early beginning.  Also, he finds it difficult to stop in the middle of something and type a reply to me.  He was asking about VOIPs and I nearly told him that this wasn't Halo 3 on Xbox Live.  I mentioned that maybe we could Skype at the same time as playing the game if that is easier.  He did not seem receptive to this idea.  As to his gameplay, he surprised me by getting stuck at the puzzles.  When I first played, I breezed through the Cleft.  But then I remembered that he hadn't been exposed to Myst before and therefore would not know how the puzzles tend to operate.  A lesson in patience on my part, and a lesson in brain exhaustion on his part.  I suppose his reactions are akin to mine when I played Myst IV: Revelation.  ("Try moving the slider!")

Anyhow, tonight he will attempt to find that final Journey Cloth and then I will be able to travel to his new Ages with him.  In silence, of course.  I won't point anything out.  I've taken to keeping chat logs in case in the future I will be able to post examples of local_character's hilarious thoughts.

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