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Myst            Riven             Exile

Most gamers have heard of Myst and Riven. If so, you undoubtedly know how Myst broke all kinds of sales records for computer games, and how Riven didn't do so bad either.

What you may not know is that a new sequel to Myst and Riven has just been released in the UK (7th September 2001): Myst III: Exile.  


Below is a quick review of each game, links to cheats and a general overview of the gameplay, graphics and sounds used in all 3 games.


When you start on Myst-island you haven't got the slightest idea what you must do. As you progress in the game, bits of information are given to you. You discover that the two sons of Atrus have been captured in books that can be found in the Myst library. Your job is to find books that were written by Atrus, which will lead you to other worlds. Remember that you came to Myst by reading a Myst-book and touching the last page and thus be teleported to Myst-island. In these worlds you'll have to find red and blue pages, which will free the sons little by little. Maybe, only maybe, then you can help the man who so desperately wrote the letter...


Riven picks up where Myst left off; in the company of Atrus, who has another errand for you. Matters are desperate: his beloved Catherine appears trapped with Gehn (Atrus’s dangerously unstable father) in the dying age of Riven. Fearing that 30 years of confinement there hasn’t done much for Gehn’s insane worldview, Atrus also gives you a “prison book” and instructions to capture him.

You arrive on Riven inside a barred cell - Gehn apparently has little love for visitors. A masked man soon frees you, but in the process you also lose Atrus’s book, and with it, your only means of catching Gehn. With more questions than answers, you must explore an alien world, find and rescue Catherine, neutralise Gehn, and then escape to tell the tale.

Riven doesn’t have much of a developing plot. The game cannot be fundamentally altered by your actions, and it doesn’t go to any pains to explain itself. Players must instead work for their story by piecing together diverse clues, finding journals, and meeting talkative NPCs. Surprisingly, the game keeps up its end of this deal - everything in the game has a purpose, and a history. Unfortunately, most revelations seem to come in the final hours of the game; leaving you guessing for quite some time, and packing an awful lot of discovery into a small portion of the game.


Myst III: Exile is set some ten years after Riven. Atrus and Catherine, whom you rescued in Riven, have moved to a new place called Tomahna and have a baby daughter, Yeesha. However, their lives will be upset by the arrival of a man bent on revenge. His home was destroyed by Sirrus and Achenar, Atrus's two sons whom you stopped in Myst. It will be up to you to learn this man's history and discover how to stop him.

The game is a mix of the familiar and new. The game utilizes the same style of computer-generated images as the first two games, albeit better-rendered ones. There are five new Ages for you to explore: the Tomahna Age, the J'nanin Age, the Voltaic Age, the Amateria Age, and the Edanna Age. As in Riven and Myst you move from fixed point to fixed point in the game world. New to the series is the ability to pan around through 360° at any of those points.

The Gameplay

You control the game in the most easiest way there is. It completely relies on the Windows point-and-click system. This means that you control your movements with a single click of the mouse. When you can manipulate an object in the game e.g. move a lever, take an object etc. the movement-hand changes into a grabbing hand. You then can use it on the object and depending on the fact that this is the right time to use it the object will respond. The game is a sequence of mostly non-moving pictures, so when you want to go forward you hop a little forward. There are a lot of pictures however so this hopping isn't irritating. Another feature is that you can change into the next picture gradually. This means that this picture you're looking at will fade into the next one. You can also turn and depending on the situation you'll turn 90 or 180 degrees (360 degrees in Exile) thus allowing you to move in any direction, providing that the program allows it. Sometimes you can also look up or down to see things that are either above you or on the ground.

The Graphics

All the graphics are rendered pictures. This means that they look very realistically. The process of making the pictures is the following: First a wire-frame-model of the object is made in a 3D-modelling program, then the texture is added to the object and it is placed in the background which is made exactly the same way. Finally some light sources are added and the virtual camera is positioned. Then the picture is rendered.

All the pictures have a natural feeling to them, so you really think that you are walking in a world that could be real. The creators have paid real attention to the details of things. Even the smallest objects have been thought of. This means that you probably won't find any object that was the wrong colour or misplaced altogether.

The Sound and Music

The sounds of the game were created when the graphical artists had finished the game. This way the sound-artist knew exactly what kind of style the graphics were, so that he could make the sounds that fit with the picture. I think that he has done a good job in adding to the atmosphere of the game. Some sound-elements are creepy and this adds to the desolate world in which you play. Others just fit to the game. This means that you don't really notice them, because they just sound so natural. A good example is the howling of the wind in some stages or the sounds of the water.

The music is a whole different story. At first the developers weren't going to put any music in the game, but when they tried a few song they thought that it really added to the atmosphere. The music is not disturbing the game, it just helps you really get the feel of the island and the other worlds.