[Spoilers] Rime and Riven

General discussion about realMyst.

[Spoilers] Rime and Riven

Postby Eat_My_Shortz » Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:44 pm

Story discussion (full spoilers for both realMyst and Riven -- do not read unless you have completed both games):

Something that bugs me about the introduction of Rime to the Myst canon (recall that although the Stranger visits Rime before Riven in the canon, Rime was added in realMyst in 2000, after the release of Riven in 1997). While I love the addition of the Rime Age and the way it connects Myst to the Riven story and the greater D'ni story, it seems to undermine a lot of Atrus' motivation in Riven.

From Atrus' Rime journal on Myst Island:
Within me is an urging to take the chance and return to D'ni to find these survivors and properly rebuild our city. However, I can do nothing until I am certain of the fate of my father. If my plan failed, if I missed a single Book when attempting to trap him on Riven, then he has been free all along. If that is true then all that stands between him and the Ages I have now written is the link from D'ni to Myst.

We know that Atrus and Catherine succeeded at viewing Riven through the Rime crystal viewer, long before Catherine was trapped on Riven and Atrus was trapped on K'veer.

And from Atrus' Riven journal (87.7.16, three days after the Stranger fixed Atrus' Myst book):
The deteriorated state of the Gateway Image makes the use of a visual signal impossible, but the picture remains a reliable indicator of Riven's condition nonetheless: by measuring and interpreting variations in the noise patterns, I am still able to observe basic changes that occur in the Age - even though I cannot see them. The problem is that my instruments can only detect changes that occur on a fundamental level, and it seems unlikely that an individual could effect such an elementary change from within an Age.

Why couldn't Atrus have simply gone to Rime to view Riven through the crystal viewer? Then he could have arranged a much simpler visual signal (a hearty thumbs up?) for the Stranger to communicate that the mission was accomplished, avoiding the need to trigger the destruction of the Age in order to signal Atrus.

I suppose Riven would still have been destroyed eventually, so it's just a minor plot hole, but as I said, it kind of bugs me that realMyst kind of retroactively inserted this plot hole into Riven.

PS. I got easy access to journal quotes thanks to Journals of Myst, a site that lets you browse all journals from the Myst series and Uru, and has been kept active for over a decade now!
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Re: [Spoilers] Rime and Riven

Postby dgelessus » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:29 am

As far as I understand it Atrus was trapped in K'veer at the time and had no way out, until of course the Stranger rescued him. Due to the fact that Riven was so unstable he probably also couldn't afford being away to Rime after the Stranger freed him.

What I find interesting though is that we never see any of Atrus's "instruments" that he measured the linking panel's sound with. Oh, and according to the canon linking panels don't transmit sound, so that's another interesting thing.
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Re: [Spoilers] Rime and Riven

Postby LuigiHann » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:51 am

You view Riven using a password that Catherine left in a note for Atrus on Rime. If fate were particularly cruel with the timing, it's possible that Atrus and Catherine both ended up trapped before Atrus even knew about that note.

When he says "noise patterns," he's talking about the visual static, not sound.
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Re: [Spoilers] Rime and Riven

Postby Eat_My_Shortz » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:53 pm

dgelessus wrote:As far as I understand it Atrus was trapped in K'veer at the time and had no way out, until of course the Stranger rescued him. Due to the fact that Riven was so unstable he probably also couldn't afford being away to Rime after the Stranger freed him.

Interesting. I mean he wouldn't need to be away for very long -- the Stranger could have brought the Rime book to K'veer, and Atrus could have linked there periodically for a few minutes, to observe Riven. (Unfortunately there is no linking book directly to the imager room in Rime, so he'd either have to take elevators every time, or write a new Rime book when he got there.)

Is Riven so unstable that he can't even be away for a few minutes? (Maybe -- at the end of Myst, he goes to Myst Island for about 20 seconds and when he gets back, he says "I fear my long delay may have already had a catastrophic impact on [Riven]". I always assumed he was away for longer than that and the game just sped up time for us.)

LuigiHann wrote:You view Riven using a password that Catherine left in a note for Atrus on Rime. If fate were particularly cruel with the timing, it's possible that Atrus and Catherine both ended up trapped before Atrus even knew about that note.

But the Stranger could have told Atrus about that in the three days before being sent to Riven.
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Re: [Spoilers] Rime and Riven

Postby LuigiHann » Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:28 pm

Stranger may not have been aware of the significance. The Riven book didn't have a recognizable linking panel, and Catherine's note didn't mention the age by name.
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Re: [Spoilers] Rime and Riven

Postby dgelessus » Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:24 am

The time Atrus is away varies depending on machine and game version. I used to play Myst ME on a Win2k VirtualBox cause I couldn't get it to work under XP, and there I remember him being away for a fairly long amount of time... half a minute or even a whole minute, maybe I just remember it incorrectly, but it was long. He didn't really have to do much either - link to Myst, run to log cabin, grab matches, burn books, scribble something into the Rime journal, enter fireplace code, go back. Okay, that may actually take a minute.
Maybe Atrus even wanted the Stranger to go and have a look at Riven in Rime, which would be why he dropped the journal. The Stranger then simply didn't recoginze Riven, or didn't see why it is important. Or maybe he is just mute and couldn't tell Atrus.
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Re: [Spoilers] Rime and Riven

Postby KathAveara » Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:43 am

The implication is that the stranger can and does talk to people.
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Re: [Spoilers] Rime and Riven

Postby Jamie Marchant » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:02 pm

What if the veweier can only see Jungle Island(I beloved this is what was shown). Catherine prevents you from going back there so you have no way of talking to Argus once you release her.
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Re: [Spoilers] Rime and Riven

Postby Vector Cramp » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:13 pm

Jamie Marchant wrote:What if the veweier can only see Jungle Island(I beloved this is what was shown). Catherine prevents you from going back there so you have no way of talking to Argus once you release her.


Only you see Temple Island from the view (as evidenced by the recognizable bridge) which is the one island that you can get to.

Also, whose Argus? :P
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Re: [Spoilers] Rime and Riven

Postby Eat_My_Shortz » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:48 am

That's right, it's Temple Island, so you could literally walk there from the fissure and wave to Argus ( ;) ) if he was looking through the viewer.
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Re: [Spoilers] Rime and Riven

Postby KathAveara » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:04 am

How would you know if he was looking?
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Re: [Spoilers] Rime and Riven

Postby Jamie Marchant » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:58 am

Vector wrote:Also, whose Argus? :P

Sorry I wrote that on my Android.
KathAveara wrote:How would you know if he was looking?

You would not :), making communicating this way even less sesonable.
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Re: [Spoilers] Rime and Riven

Postby Twitch » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:40 pm

What I don't understand is how Atrus can speak to you through the green book. Is there just a floating linking panel in K'veer showing him the fireplace whenever the green book is open? Are there similar things in Haven and Spire so you can watch Sirrus and Achenar tear out pages?

On top of that, Riven starts about 20 days after Myst ends, which would have given the stranger plenty of time to tell Atrus about the imager on Rime. Plus, after the Stranger used the book, the viewport should have stabilized and showed Atrus a clear view of the events at the Riven cleft, without the need to bust open the seal into the starry expanse.
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Re: [Spoilers] Rime and Riven

Postby Jamie Marchant » Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:49 am

Twitch wrote:What I don't understand is how Atrus can speak to you through the green book

Not even Cyan knows this. If you didn't know in URU all other Myst games are games made by Cyan(except URU which is real) and any continuity error like this are either mistakes or artistic license. I personally think this is the cheap way out and it really annoys me to no end! Espeselly since in the 90s when the games first came out and Atrus really did talk to you though the linking book it felt like a fleshed out a complete wourld and not one with wholes in it! :evil:!
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Re: [Spoilers] Rime and Riven

Postby Ainia » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:32 pm

Umm, yeah, the canon explanation from RAWA is that everything except Uru are games created by Cyan or their affiliates (Presto, Ubisoft), by request of Elias Zandi and later the DRC.

The games are based on historical events documented in Katran's journals (which were discovered in New Mexico by John Loftin/Elias Zandi when they re-discovered the D'ni cavern); and on the experiences of Dr. Watson when he left the DRC after Phil Henderson's apparent death. And so for storytelling reasons, Cyan had to bow to the technology limitations of the times and the need to tell a coherent story in a game setting.

For example, RAWA has stated that there is no such thing as a "trap book" but that Cyan used them in order to make the Myst and Riven games playable; historically, the Stranger would have dealt with Sirrus, Achenar and Gehn more conventionally, but showing this part accurately would have made the games far too complex. Similarly, the Stranger and Atrus would have communicated but in a much more complicated/less game-friendly manner, so Cyan used "talking" linking panels as a workaround.**

If you are interested in reading more about canon according to RAWA, you can check out The Watson Letters, where I've collected everything I've been able to find written/posted by RAWA about Myst matters. :)

As Jamie said, on the other hand, Uru is "real" and was intended to be a platform for real-time interactive storytelling on both Cyan's and the community's parts.

**Robyn Miller, on the other hand, takes a very different view of "canon history" within the Myst universe. ;)
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