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

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hardest, Stupidest and Craziest Puzzles in Myst History? -- a response

I was reading comments on the Cyan forums and I saw a link in someone's signature that led to this very old topic on the MOUL forums, titled "Hardest, Stupidest and Craziest Puzzles in Myst History?".  This is probably one of the funniest things I have ever read on any Myst-related forum.  I would say it is the funniest thing I have read on any forum in general, but the IMDb boards are a scream!  If you're ever bored, go find a movie on that site and page through the topics.

First, I shall give my opinions:

Hardest: 
I will have to agree with others and say the Riven fire marbles puzzle.  I have others to add, however.  I know they have one answer for each, but this is my game now and I will play how I want.

1. Riven fire marbles -- and it's not so much that the single puzzle of putting the marble in the right box is hard, but that the ENTIRETY of the games puzzles culminate in that little grid.  I think it is Cyan's greatest achievement in terms of puzzles.  Ahnonay is second place.
2. Ahnonay in general (all iterations)
3. Mangrees in Myst 4
4. Minkata in general
5. Spider chair in Myst 4

Stupidest (I will translate this as Most Infuriating)

1. Mangrees in Myst 4 (those monkeys are lucky they're cute!)
2. Serenia in general
3. Collaborating with Atrus on that blasted machine in Myst 4.
4. Fireflies in Eder Gira/Kemo
5. Markers in Uru -- I know lots of people enjoy this, but I can't bloody stand it
6. Esher popping up out of nowhere.  Constantly.
7. Jumping in Gahreesen -- I Relto'd out so many times playing that Age.

Craziest

1. Serenia in general
2. Mangrees in Myst 4
3. [crazy cool] Ahnonay in general (all iterations)
4. Drawing pictures for the Bahro...I still am confused by Myst 5 (I like the game a lot, but seriously -- what?)
5. [crazy cool] Amateria's ride!

Favorite Puzzles
1. Riven in general
2. Water channels in Channelwood
3. The sounds of nature in Selenitic
4. Orchids in Edanna
5. Color-telescopes in J'nanin
6. Shooting rocks in Teledahn
7. Ahnonay in general
8. Roller coaster in Amateria

I'm probably forgetting stuff, but that's what I have for the moment.

Some people have condemned the Pod Ages and the Watcher's Sanctuary, but I find myself indifferent.  This is probably to do with my impatience and lack of immense intelligence needed to figure out these puzzles which led me to consult walkthroughs rather than piece it all together myself.  Happily, some excellent people arranged a calendar for the Pod Ages and I could plan my day around when the portal would appear.  Set some pellets in Er'cana to bake, vacuum, read a book, watch a movie, etc.  It was rather a comfortable set of puzzles for those of us who cannot dedicate much effort.  As to the Watcher's Sanctuary, I do admit I was bored during those approximate 15 minutes, but I was so nervous that I would miss my window of opportunity and I kept my eyes glued to the screen and my hand poised over the mouse the whole time.

It seems like everyone is especially hard on Myst IV: Revelation.  It's a good thing Cyan didn't make it!  I can't say enough how much that game fails compared to the others.  Why do you play it then, you ask?  Because it must be played -- there's essential story.  Also, it does have some things to recommend it, for example the visuals and the majority of Haven and Spire.  Perhaps if they removed the magic necklace, the priestesses in Serenia, Dream, and the elaborate monkey puzzle the game would have been excellent.  Several people have also ripped on poor Atrus and his ever-famous quote "Try moving the slider!"  Ah Rand, you'll never live that one down.  I am pleased to announce that when I played Myst 4 (again) over the summer I calibrated that machine with relative ease and Atrus didn't yell at me.  I felt more accomplished then than I did throughout the rest of the game.

A few of the comments concerning the color clouds in Dream are particularly amusing.  Strangely enough I found that puzzle enjoyable.  For me, it's like that happy feeling of popping bubble wrap.  I think anthropologists and psychologists need to get together and study the emotional effects of bubble wrap popping.  Why do we like it so much???

Moving on to the fireflies -- HA (see LuigiHann's amazing post on p. 1 of afore-linked forum topic).  I think enough is said in my earlier post Bugs where poor local_character was enduring immense strife not only with the fireflies but also with glitches in the game.  It was dreadful and he nearly quit the game altogether!  But if I could add one more bit of criticism, I hate trying to get that damn Relto Page in Eder Kemo!  It takes me FOREVER to make that jump and I HATE it.

Anyhow, I spent an hour reading all 7 pages of that topic.  It was fun!  It also makes me miss the Myst Online days ca. 2007/8.  Those were wonderful times.

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