1. #1
    What do you think the degree of difficulty and length of play each Myst series game has?

    I believe Myst lasted the longest, since I played it when it came out and the concept was so new. Then Riven, because it had so many islands. IMO Riven is the greatest because it had frightening elements and a real sense of dread. But Exile's wonderful ambience and music may be my secret favorite because I like to go back to it "for a vacation!"
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  2. #2
    GOOD question!

    Hmm.
    MYST:

    Myst is quite long the first time you play it, but once you are clued in to how the Myst games work, it becomes significantly shorter.

    Difficulty is about Average for Myst. The puzzles all contain a level of logic that is fairly apparent, though certain puzzles do require you to sit down and just seriously THINK before you see the key.

    RIVEN: I think Riven is the longest STORY, and was certainly the longest game until it was eclipsed by the massive amount of content in Revelation. But it has the longest story, more happens in Riven than in most of the other games combined. Therfore Riven wins my LENGTH award.

    Riven is mostly average difficulty with a couple of the final puzzles being seriously brain teasing to the point of madness. Fire marbles, I'm looking at you.

    EXILE:

    Exile is the shortest of the games. The story moves fairly quickly from Tomahna to J'aanin, and then just sort of stops while you finish the lesson ages, apart from small character moments from Saavedro, which don't actually explain a whole lot more than "I'm mad and I miss my family". The story only begins again on Naryan (apologies for spelling) and that's over in about 30 seconds.

    It's difficult to explain the difficulty for Exile. While the puzzles themselves are on the easy side, the fact that most of the time you don't have a bloody clue WHY you're meant to be solving this stupid crystal ball puzzle, etc. means that the puzzles are a bit more difficult than they otherwise should be. To be honest, the lesson age concept doesn't quite cut it for me, it seems to mean they can do anything they want without having to think of a good reason for it. E'danna and Voltaic have an... ok, sense of logic, with E'danna telling the story of the bird and Voltaic being about getting the island fully powered up, but the other ages just have, well, puzzles, with no real goals apart from getting to the end at some point.

    REVELATION:

    Revelation is long. Really quite long. You spend as long on each age as you did for half of Myst. There's not a whole lot of story really until Serenia though. Lots of character development and well thought out clues as to what has happened thoughm but the length of the game did mean I was getting a little exhausted by the end of it. Like watching a 4 hour movie without an interval.

    Revelation is arguably the most difficult of the games. THe puzzles mostly all rival Riven in terms of challenge, and there are a few puzzles that don't make a whole lot of sense, and require far too much trial and error to get to work. (hello Mangrees)

    URU

    Uru is long but doesn't seem it. Since Uru is more of a history lesson than a story, it's hard to judge length since you spend so much of your time exploring and working out what you're looking at.

    The puzzles though, when you find them, are BRILLIANTLY logical. Nothing happens without a reason, nothing cannot be worked out by just sitting down and observing and looking. And mostly the clues are separate from the puzzle but not to obscure. Therefore it's both challenging but not frustrating, so uru wins my BEST DIFFICULTY AWARD.

    END OF AGES

    I havnt finished end of ages yet, but I'll come back and edit this when I have. Suffice to say I think End of Ages appears to have the beautiful logic of Uru.
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  3. #3
    After you've finished Myst you can ofcourse get from the start to the end in like 3 minutes but I didnt really find Myst very hard, there was one puzzle I was stuck at for like 2 months (got so frustrated I stopped playing) and then one night I was thinking about it and I realized there was a button I had forgotten to push so.. was more stupidity than not getting the puzzle..

    Riven was somewhat hard I think and much harder than Exile was.. Revelation was closer to Myst in difficulty level.. relative straight playthrough but not without having to DO lots of stuff so it just has this natural phase to it that I enjoyed a lot. End of Ages was just embarrasingly easy and seems to not have a single proper "myst styled" puzzle at all wich was kind of depressing..

    Uru being outside of the "Myst" series I must say are THE best Myst related games I have ever played.. the puzzles were awesome the atmosphere was awesome.. the freedom to move just added soo much to the game and the POTS had the single most INGENIOUS puzzle I have ever come across.. I shall never forget it. I cant imagine how fantastic this game would have been online, I hope Uru or its follower if there ever is one, gets a chance to go online..
    The fact that Uru was not a game where you have to hunt stats and go kill stuff all the time just created a community between players that is unmatched.. I just hope it doesnt remain that way...
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  4. #4
    Mowog's Avatar Senior Member
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    I cant imagine how fantastic this game would have been online, I hope Uru or its follower if there ever is one, gets a chance to go online..
    You do know about "Until Uru," don't you? Uru IS online, albeit the original "Prologue" version, and has a lively and enthusiastic following.

    Good topic, by the way. It's kind of hard to remember just how difficult I found the original Myst, simply because I played it when it was new, and that was a LONG time ago. I do recall that that the Selenitic tram was the biggest challenge, but I actually figured the sound clues out on my own the second time through, and that simplified things greatly.

    Riven was certainly a challenge, but a satisfying one because the puzzles were so well-designed, so logical, and so well integrated into the story and environment. Along with many other fans, I think that Riven was probably the best realization of the Myst story/puzzle combo.

    Exile was very enjoyable for me. I liked the story, found Saavedro fascinating, and being mechanically-oriented, thought that Amateria was about the biggest bang I'd had in any Myst game to date. A lot of fans **** off Exile as second-rate, but I loved it.

    Uru - Early on? Very cool; challenging, with free movement 3D that I still prefer. Later? An unfortunate compromise to adapt the game to single-player. But still enjoyable! I've been somewhat active in Until Uru, and am currently working with the Cavern Communications Network on The Cavern Today, an Uru fan-based podcast with a variety of entertaining features all built around Myst in general, and Uru specifically. So yeah, I'm an Uru fan!

    Myst IV - Early on? Fabulous, and I loved every minute. Later? Tedious, and I finally gave up after many attempts to solve the mangree/camoudile puzzle, which eluded me even with a walkthrough. But my frustration had been building to the point where I really didn't care about it much, and eventually just said "forget this," and uninstalled it.

    Myst V - Still in progress, but I'm enjoying it very much. Yes, it may be simpler than previous titles. But it's still challenging enough for me, and it's been great so far, except for some installation issues (solved), and performance problems in Laki'ahn (not solved).
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  5. #5
    Wow - three very interesting takes by three talented writers on the Myst series. I thank the_fibber, oopzie, and Mowog for sensitive and carefully considered replies to a simple question about a series of complicated game adventures.
    I believe the Myst games approach and may possibly achieve art. My enjoyment of the games has increased after reading the perspectives of these three writers. And I agree that Exile is under-rated, its artwork and sound are beautiful creations. Now I have to rethink Uru. Thanks.
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  6. #6

    Myst is magic.

    I solved myst 1 in 3 days. Pillow under my butt. Meal plate in arms reach. Ash tray but no other distractions. I played until I fell asleep, woke up pissed made another meal then connected and disappeared into another odyssey. What was the average solving time for that.?
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  7. #7

    The Best

    I played many over the years but never such a beautiful game since.
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