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

Sunday, February 9, 2014

RMME Review #2: Mechanical Age

Standard disclaimer: Spoilers abound herein.  If you have any problems, dial information, thank you for calling.

Onward and upward!  To Mechanical Age we go.  The suspenseful music at the clock tower was really creepy, which I liked very much.  I'm trying to find it on the soundtrack, but I can't.  Which tune is it???

Anyhow, I finally figured out what that invert look feature is.  In Classic Myst mode you can bring up a screenshot of original Myst which is superimposed on your current realMyst view.  Just hold the Shift key for comparative study.  It's pretty interesting, actually.  In certain areas in Mechanical, well, namely INSIDE the fortress, there is a clear difference.  RMME is considerably shadowier whereas original Myst is rather bright.  But that's ok, because we have a flashlight!  

Example of "invert look" feature in Classic Myst mode
In one review, the reviewer (I can't remember which, sorry) didn't like the invert look feature.  True, the feature is just an extra gadget without any real purpose other than to show exactly what changes have been made, but hey, it's a game, so we're not supposed to take everything so seriously.  I did find, however, that I was unable to switch to this mode from Free Roam when I was on the top floor.  I wanted to check the differences in lighting between old and new, but couldn't manage it.  The flashlight really came in handy, but it wasn't NECESSARY to use it since there is nothing there except gears.  This is of course when you don't drop the elevator down to access the controls.

Top floor in darkness, behind elevator

Same view with flashlight.  See how much fun this is?
Top floor sans elevator = bright, flashlight not necessary
When you drop the elevator you can see it is bright enough to see what you need to see.  What I am trying to indicate here is that the flashlight is not integral to puzzle-solving.

As to the real-time effect here.  I think we are all guilty of thinking realMyst automatically means day/night cycles everywhere.  Clearly, this is not true.  In Mechanical Age, the sun has a horizontal orbit, much like in Teledahn in Uru (love that Age!!).  I think there may be some disappointment among folks about this, BUT, I found that the movement of the sun in Mechanical is entirely congruent with the theme of the Age.  Think about it.  The whole rotation thing, you see.

Ok, I have to say something about the difficulty people seem to be having with looking around.  You don't have to hold down any mouse buttons!!!!  Just stop walking, and move your mouse to any edge of your screen and ta da you are looking around.  Isn't this how first-person shooters work also?  I played Halo 3 once for two minutes while tripped out on Vicodin immediately after oral surgery so I may have my facts wrong.  I'm not understanding how the controls are a problem.

I was fishing around in Sirrus' room and I poked the chess board and I found something fun!  Was this always here?  I can't remember at all.  Maybe someone will confirm somewhere.

Hehehe it's cute!  I was also amused...or re-amused I guess...by how polite Sirrus is in his letter to Achenar, where he signs it "Regards"!

I should start signing that on emails to my sisters and see what they say hahaha!!  :P

It took me a minute to figure out the tower rotation because I completely forgot how that whole thing worked.  When I made it to the third island, I saw in my left-hand view something interesting -- was that always there?  A Blackship!

Holy Blackship!
It did not take very long to complete this Age since I didn't need to wait around for any day/night cycle.  So I grabbed my pages and crammed them into their respective books.  I'm really impressed by how Rand could play calm and wise Atrus AND freakazoid Achenar.  When I first played this game I had no idea they were played by the same guy.

So Mechanical is complete and Stoneship is next.  I have to admit that I am miles more excited for Selenitic and Channelwood, which is why I am getting the other two out of the way first.  But Mechanical was nice.  Again, the water is breathtaking.  


Darke Adventures said...

Another great write-up, thank you. Just got into Channelwood age myself, that flashlight sure comes in handy at night. Didn't realise that the invert look mode superimposed the original images - cool. I have heard of the 'Black Ship' thing but have to say I have never seen it myself. Re; the whole looking around thing, with most fp shooters any movement of the mouse corresponds with immediate movement on the screen (not sure what the technical term for it is but there probably is one), it is unusual to have to move the mouse pointer to the edge of the screen before you get movement (although I seem to remember a couple of fps games I had where this was the case) I have to say I do find it mildly irritating and having a 2 screen setup my pointer wanders on to the second screen and the whole game minimizes itself so I have gone back to 'classic mode'. Looking forward to seeing your next blogs. Kind 'regards' (ha ha) JD

Briana Jackson said...

Hahaha!! 2-screen setup seems like an amazing gaming experience, and in the case of the rmme controls, I can see how this is a definite problem for your gameplay.

Tobias said...

Quite correct, the music box couldn't be opened in the original Myst. They did make a render of it, which can be seen here: http://mrillustrated.com/mystnotin.php – So in a way realMyst ME is a director's cut, complete with outtakes ;) But yeah, the ship is completely new. However, I believe the previous RealMYST DID have a day/night cycle in Mechanical, so it really bums me out that it's gone. It seems they kept the cycle for Myst Island (obviously) and added one for Channelwood (which didn't have one in realMYST), but removed it for all the other Ages :(

Briana Jackson said...

Yeah, it's kind of strange that they would take stuff away from original realMyst. I guess it's a good thing I played that one only once and a long time ago because I've forgotten everything.

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