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5 tips to beat Myst (no spoilers)

Jeremy Milliner

Published

Myst is Cyan and Broderbund’s award-winning graphic adventure puzzle game designed by Rand and Robyn Miller back in 1993. You play as “the Stranger,” who stumbles upon a linking book, traveling to the titular mysterious island. From there you’ll be solving puzzles and linking to other worlds known as “Ages” in the hopes of saving a brother of your choice – Sirrus or Achenar.

Despite its being an older game, Myst still holds up as a gorgeous experience with numerous puzzles that even today might scratch some heads. If it’s all a bit much to take in from the start, we’ve put together a list of five tips to help get you on your way.

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This is general advice, mind you, and will not be revealing any puzzle spoilers. RealMYST has improved graphics from the original release, along with a day/night cycle, optional change to mobility, and additional post-game content. You can download RealMYST right here:

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1. Save often, and in different slots

The golden rule with these kinds of games is to save often. While there’s never any way for you to die (though there are good and bad endings), saving means you won’t have to solve many of the game’s puzzles a second time.

Saving in separate slots (we recommend using at least two) is equally important. Myst has you traveling from a nexus world to other Ages, yet the story itself is actually non-linear; there’s no rule as to which Age you go to first. Once you get to one, however, the door back is shut and the only way to return to the initial island is to solve your way through the Age’s many puzzles.

If there’s an age that’s stumping you it might be a good idea to refer back to the books in the Myst library, or even attempt a different age before the one that’s got you stuck. The only way to do that is to revert to a save back on the first island.

2. Read the books in the library

While many of the books in the library on Myst island are tragically burned, there are a few still readable – four to be exact. In this game reading books is about far more than just getting lore. They often contain pertinent information regarding the different ages, or clues about how to reach them.

If nothing else, at least take note of the images in the back of the book; you will be presented with them again in the game world sooner than you might think.

3. Focus on one Age at a time

While it may be tempting to read all the books at once and try to unlock every Age, your best bet is probably to focus on one at a time. That way, you’ll be more likely to both retain the information you gathered from the book, and also more accurately use the tower rotation (which we’ll explain a little later).

Additionally, the reason you’re exploring the various Ages in the first place is to collect the red and blue pages. Since you can only carry one page at a time, it won’t do you any good to “sweep” through all the ages in hopes of getting them all at once.

4. Expect this general sequence of events

The goal of Myst is to acquire the red and blue pages for the corresponding brothers Sirrus and Achenar. It can be daunting, however, trying to decide the best way to go about doing this. Your best bet is to follow this list:

  • Read a book and figure out which island landmark will get you there
  • Use the tower rotation (check out our step 5 for hints)
  • Access the linking book  (by solving an Age’s entry puzzle)
  • Travel to the Age
  • Find the blue or red page and pick it up (you can only choose one color!)
  • Find the linking book that transports you back to Myst
  • Give the page to the brother of your choice
  • (Optional) Return to the Age and bring back the page for the second brother
  • Rinse, repeat with the other three Ages

5. Learn how to use the tower rotation

Still having trouble? We’ll get you started off, but this is a MINOR PUZZLE SPOILER.

You’ve been warned:

The key to unlocking the other Ages all comes down to rotating the tower. If you look behind the library from outside, you’ll see that there’s a large tower. You’ll have to get to the top of it to use the tower as intended. To enter the tower you’ll have to click the staircase portrait in the library. The bookshelf next to you will shift to a staircase and the tunnel is opened.

So you’re in the tower, but what’s the point? Well, you need to rotate it. Have you noticed all the markers dotting the island? What about the odd blueprint picture in the library? Try and flip a couple of marker switches, then return to the library. Now look at the blueprint picture and hold down the bullseye icon over the tower.

The white line coming off the tower will turn red. Once it does, quickly let go of the button. Now head back up to the tower. The side with the book symbol will show which Age you’ll be linking to (read the books downstairs to improve your guesswork) and the side with the key will give you your hint.

Best of luck out there! Choose your friends wisely …

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