Picked up Myst III yesterday ... I never played the first two so I'm still a little puzzled by the whole thing ("writing Ages" and all that). I got to the point where I'm at that puzzle with the four balls you arrange in a circular pattern and I just have no idea ... I probably need to pick up a clue somewhere that I missed.<br><br>Now I'm not asking for out-and-out cheats ... but any "advice" and/or background on the whole Myst saga would be appreciated <br><br>
I haven't played the third (yet) but have played the first two - I actually dabbled around in the first few screens on a friend's copy. Sounds like you're exactly where you should be. Seriously. All of the Myst games are about discovering the puzzle first and then solving it. Discovering what the puzzle is is part of the puzzle itself. Even the first game came with NO explanation of what you were supposed to do. <br><br>As far as "writing ages" goes... The entire "plot contrivance" of all the Myst games is that Atrus is an author that writes worlds into existence by writing about them in books. Then there are other "portal" books that when opened and touched by the reader will transport the reader to that world.<br><br>Each of the games has been set up so that there is lots of clear back story that has come before it (though you can never know all of it). If you had played the first two, you'd have more of an appreciation for the third, but it isn't necessary to understand the game. But here is a quickie explanation: <br><br>In the first game, Myst, you come to discover that Atrus has been imprisoned in an age by one of his two sons. It turns out that his sons are either power-hungry or crazy. They discovered their father's magical technology and have been exploiting it. You come to find out that the sons have also been trapped in boobie-trapped "prison" books and they appeal to you to let them out. Between the three, you have to discover which one to believe and rescue while solving puzzles all along the way. <br><br>Though Riven (Myst II) follows some of the back story set up by Myst, it is not the second in a series of three sequential stories; it relates less directly to Exile (Myst III) than Myst relates to Exile. Riven was definitely a step up in software development from Myst (as Exile is from Riven) - but aside from showing you the feel and the way the game plays out, there's no direct information you'd need from it.<br><br>Exile's story is that the character played by Brad Douriff (the main villain) is somebody whose world was exploited and/or destroyed by one of Atrus' sons. He is holding Atrus responsible and is exacting a revenge. From there, you have to discover everything else along the way. Like I said, if you had played Myst, you'd have a greater appreciation for the story that unfolds in Exile, but you don't need it to be engrossed by the story and the puzzles that unfold.<br><br>Just remember, keep a notebook/sketchbook handy and take lots of notes. If something looks like a clue, 90% chance it is. If it just simply doesn't make sense - leave it alone for a while, because either it is just a red herring (there aren't too many by the way) or it will make much more sense later.<br><br>
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