The successor to Myst and Riven, Myst III: Exile puts the player in a more
environment with new worlds to explore and new storylines to uncover. It was
May 7, 2001 to eager fans around the United States, and will make its way to
the rest of the world in the Fall.
Unlike the previous games, Myst III: Exile was developed by Presto Studios and
published by Ubi Soft. Cyan, the company responsible for Myst and its sequel, was
only peripherally involved in planning and creative development for the game.
Since your last meeting, Atrus and Catherine have been building a new
world for the survivors of D'ni. The new world, which Atrus has dubbed Releeshahn,
is contained in a linking book which is stolen by a madman shortly after the
player's arrival in the game.
The madman, Saavedro (played by Brad Dourif), is angry at Atrus for destroying
his homeworld. By sneaking into Atrus' home age and altering the books describing
the ages, Saavedro has built a complicated trap into which the player has accidentally
It is the player's job to escape the trap, save Releeshahn and find some way to deal
Atrus and Catherine's new home. A house full of lush vegetation and typical
Atrus architecture surrounded by a beautiful desert.
The hub age from which the other ages are accessible. J'nanin was originally
designed to be a training age for Sirrus and Achenar, but when Saavedro stumbled
into the world, he started changing the puzzles as part of his trap for Atrus.
J'nanin is a sandy island with a deep pit in the center which has a lake at the
bottom. Out of the center and three corners of the island, enormous tusk-like
structures stick out of the ground. The center pillar has a laboratory at the bottom
and a room at the top which is accessible by a (broken, when you arrive) elevator.
Each of the other tusks is inaccessible until the player deciphers the puzzles to
access them. Contained within these other tusks are the linking books to the other
The Voltaic Age is the most "traditional" of the worlds in Myst III. It has
puzzles similar to those found in Myst and Riven. A barren rock in the middle of an
ocean, the Voltaic Age houses systems driven by steam and electricity which
the player must activate in order to find the hidden symbol.
The die-hard Myst player will notice that one of the rooms (containing a large
electricity distribution system) has symbols engraved in it -- the same symbols that
were deciphered as numbers in Riven.
An Asian-themed age, Amateria has tracks running all around it for huge balls
to roll on. The balls are composed of a strange substance that is described in
Saavedro's notebook as being similar to the shield substance which destroyed his
Edanna consists of an enormous dead tree which has provided a home for an entire
ecosystem to thrive. Exotic plants and animals inhabit the tree and provide
the player tools and clues as to how to solve the puzzles within.
Saavedro's homeworld, where the climax of the game occurs. Narayan is a world
covered with pink clouds above which organic-looking structures float. The
culture which evolved in this age designed the writing system and symbols which are
central to puzzles throughout the game.
Unlike Myst or Riven, the puzzles are mostly self-contained and rely little on
knowledge learned in other ages or other portions of the game. They also are not as
disguised as they are in some places of the previous games.
None of the puzzles overlap in their style -- each is a world unto its own.
However, all of them are image-based; in Myst and Riven, there were several puzzles
which required "speakers or a decent pair of headphones1," so the player
could hear the sounds associated with objects and put them in the correct order or
Some of the puzzles are obvious to someone who has played Myst or Riven --
especially on the main age of J'nanin. On the other hand, the puzzles in Edanna and
Amateria diverge greatly from those in the previous games.
Despite having initial compatibility problems with a large number of users (Mac
and PC), Ubi Soft has released two patches which have brought Myst III: Exile up to
a playable level. The game is much more technologically advanced than it's
prequels, but the puzzles are much simpler. The game takes less time to complete
and is less immersive than Myst or Riven, but still breathtaking in beauty.
Hard core fans won't be disappointed by the game, and newcomers to the series won't
be scared away.
1 A joke referring to the manual for the original Myst.