Myst Revelations

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Myst Revelations

Postby admin » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:42 am

I'm playing Myst Revelations, the penultimate Myst game. Like all the Myst games, the music and graphics are beautiful, and some of the puzzles are very good. But a few of the puzzles are unrealisticly hard -- for example recognizing that a mark on an irregular pentagon in one place corresponds to a number on a regular pentagon in another place entirely. I've reluctantly turned to a walkthrough for a couple of puzzles. Also, sometimes you do exactly the right thing and nothing happens because, presumably, the cursor is a fraction of an inch off, or you clicked a fraction of a second too soon or too late. Still, the game is better than most.
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Re: Myst Revelations

Postby slaven41 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:31 pm

I started that one quite awhile ago and haven't finished it yet. My experience is similar to yours. I got stuck on the machine with the chair that goes up and down. I looked at the hints (haven't played through them) and thought "How was I supposed to come up with that?" The Myst puzzles in the first three always seemed obvious in hindsight.

I think my favorite is still Riven, although that may be because a friend and I were both working through it at the same time. I liked how the puzzles weren't so compartmentalized. You might find a clue in one place to a puzzle in a completely different place. I'm guessing that people complained about that, though, since Myst 3 was much more orderly, less sprawling.

Does anyone still make games like that? I haven't had one in quite awhile. I guess I should finish Myst 4 and get Myst 5.

--Dave
"It's only Neutron. We call him that because he's so positive." --from This Island Earth
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Re: Myst Revelations

Postby admin » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:59 pm

I don't know any game quite like Myst, because in Myst there are no action puzzles (dodge, jump, parry, spin, thrust) and you don't shoot anyone. There were a few Myst wannabees after the success of Myst, but the puzzles were trival or impossible and the graphics confusing.

The chair was where I got stuck. What I didn't realize (spoiler warning) was that the clues were about different settings on the levers, not multiple information about one setting. Also, I don't think you can even begin the lever puzzle until you solve the geer puzzle one level down, and the clues for that are absurdly obscure.

I was able to do everything after that except wake the snake, and there I knew what I was supposed to do, it just took me about a hundred tries to do it exactly right. I finally got it when I was just waving the cursor around aimlessly.

I'm now on the final puzzle, or what I take to be the final puzzle -- the colored lights.
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Re: Myst Revelations

Postby slaven41 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:59 pm

Yeah, the gear thing at the bottom of the rock is really where I got stuck, I think. Which means that the snake and the colored lights don't mean anything to me.

When you talked about knowing what to do, but the computer being to fussy to let you actually do it, I thought of the monkeys in the tree nests, where you had to play the notes to get them to move around. I could never quite figure out how long was long and how short was short. I managed to get it eventually, but it was a real headache.

I've only played a couple other games of that style. One was Douglas Adams's Starship Titanic. That one had a lot going for it, but had some of the same flaws you mentioned. I eventually had to use the walkthrough for a couple of things.
"It's only Neutron. We call him that because he's so positive." --from This Island Earth
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Re: Myst Revelations

Postby admin » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:15 am

Yeah, the monkeys in the tree nest were a pain. I finally got them to move out of the way, but again after many tries and it was essentially a random effort that finally worked. According to the walkthrough, it doesn't matter whether the cranks actually make a sound or not, all that matters is the angle you rotate them, but you've got to get the angle just right.

I also played Starship Titanic for a while, and I loved Douglass Adams' jokes, but I found the puzzles impossible and eventually gave up. Better was his Bureaucracy game. "Why feed your llamas the easy way?" But I gave up on that, too, and the same with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game. It takes a rare sensibility to know the difference between a puzzle that an intelligent person can solve in a few days, and one that leaves you stuck for months.
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Re: Myst Revelations

Postby admin » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:11 am

For the first time, I'm sorry I looked at the Myst Revelations walkthrough. To people playing the game, I have the following recommendations (spoilers): 1) there is a switch in the laboratory that is very hard to see. You can't see it at all unless the room is dark. 2) I think you have to look at the walkthrough for the geer puzzle, and without the walkthrough the chair puzzle is very, very hard. 3) The monkeys in the tree and the two snakes depend on making exactly the right moves, which took me 100 + tries even though I knew what I was trying to do. The walkthrough helps, at least with the monkeys. For the rest of the games, the puzzles are hard but fair, and hints are better than the walkthrough if you get stuck.
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Re: Myst Revelations

Postby admin » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:03 am

When I was in grade school, I learned that the primary colors were red, yellow, and blue, and that red plus yellow equals orange, red plus blue equals purple, and yellow plus blue equals green. Made sense to me. It left out indigo and violet but I never could see the difference between indigo and violet anyway. Also, it makes the color spectrum "wrap around", while the low wavelengths are not in any way close to the high wavelengths.

This information, which is apparently out of date, made it impossible for me to solve one of the color puzzles in Myst. I looked it up on Wikipedia, and apparently any set of colors can be chosen as "primary", current choices being either red, green, and blue or else magenta, cyan, and yellow. The trouble with red, green, and blue is I can't see any way to combine them, except that all three together make white, and blue and red still make purple -- but purple isn't one of my choices. But it may help to know that magenta and cyan make blue, cyan and yellow make green, and yellow and magenta make red.

I still haven't solved the puzzle.
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Re: Myst Revelations

Postby slaven41 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:08 pm

How primary colors combine to create secondary colors depends on whether you're combining different colors of light, or combining different colors of paint or ink. The former is called color mixing by addition while the latter is called color mixing by subtraction. Here's the difference:

When you combine different colors of light, the light that reaches your eye is actually the sum of the individual colors. On the other hand, when inkjet ink is squirted onto a page, the color you observe depends on what light is absorbed by the ink. If you combine inks, this increases the amount of light absorbed, and so it decreases the light that reaches your eye. Hence, subtraction.

For combining light, the primary colors are usually considered to be red, blue, and green. Red+blue = magenta, red+green = yellow, and blue+green = cyan. Computer monitors work by mixing different colors of light. If you open something like PowerPoint or Word and make a big colored circle, and attempt to change its color, you can find an option buried deep somewhere to specify the amounts of red, blue, and green in the color of your circle.

Now for inks. For your three primary inks, you want one that absorbs red, one that absorbs green, and one that absorbs blue. The one that absorbs red reflects blue and green, and so the color we observe is cyan. The one that absorbs green reflects blue and red, and so we observe magenta, and the one that absorbs blue reflects green and red, and so we observe yellow. Hence the three primary colors of ink are cyan, magenta, and yellow.

When we combine cyan and magenta ink, the cyan ink absorbs red, the magenta ink absorbs green, and so the resulting combination absorbs both red and green. As a result, what gets reflected is blue. Hence in inks, cyan+magenta = blue. By the same logic, cyan+yellow = green and yellow+magenta = red.

This is, of course, an oversimplification, but the basic idea is there.

(I teach a course in Light and Color. This is cool stuff.)

Hope that was clear. I've had a couple of beers. :-)

--Dave

(Good luck with the puzzle.)
"It's only Neutron. We call him that because he's so positive." --from This Island Earth
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Re: Myst Revelations

Postby admin » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:26 am

A billion bottles of beer on the wall, a billion bottles of beer.
If one of those bottles should happen to fall
Nine hundred ninety-nine million, nine hundred ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall.

We used to sing that song driving to sf conventions. For some reason, we never finished it.

Your explanation was crystal clear. Thanks.
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Re: Myst Revelations

Postby admin » Thu May 26, 2011 7:05 am

I finally decided that the puzzle was impossible as initialized on my computer, and I downloaded a "save game" from the web with different starting colors. Now things are going smoothly, but I still wonder if others have gotten impossible starting colors, or if my belief that my starting colors were impossible was incorrect. My starting colors were blue, red, blue, white, green, green.
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Re: Myst Revelations

Postby slaven41 » Thu May 26, 2011 9:54 am

I haven't gotten to that puzzle, and probably won't. It won't run on 10.6, which is what my current machine is running.
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Re: Myst Revelations

Postby admin » Fri May 27, 2011 7:00 am

I finished Myst Revelations, and will go on to a new game later today. It's a beautiful game, with many extraordinary and beautiful puzzles, but some are too hard and some may be impossible. Also, there are some puzzles where you know the answer, but still can't get the game to accept it. So, don't feel to bad if you need help from a walkthrough.
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