Continuity issue?

General discussion about Myst III: Exile.

Continuity issue?

Postby Vector Cramp » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:55 pm

So as I understand it, Atrus visited J'nanin to get inspiration for writing Releeshahn. Yet Catherine states at the very beginning of the game that they moved to Tomahna after Atrus finished writing the Age. But if that is true, then Atrus would have left a different linking book when he visited J'nanin to wherever he wrote Releeshahn and not Tomahna.

Is there something I'm missing?
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Re: Continuity issue?

Postby dgelessus » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:06 pm

Hm... three possibilities:
  1. Actually quite plausible explanation: Saavedro snooped around in Atrus's old home and knew where to find a linking book to Tomahna there. Then he just used that. And once Atrus moved to Tomahna, Saavedro took the Tomahna book, knowing that nobody would miss it.
  2. Kinda lame explanation: Atrus came back at some point after moving to Tomahna and leaves a Tomahna book behind as well.
  3. Other kinda lame explanation: Atrus had a Tomahna book with him before he moved to Tomahna.
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Re: Continuity issue?

Postby LuigiHann » Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:21 pm

The home in Tomahna would have been under construction for a decent amount of time before the family moved into it (it's a pretty elaborate set of buildings!), so it's not unlikely that Atrus would have hung out there to write and think before they moved. Knowing Atrus it doesn't seem unlikely at all that the library/study would be built before the living quarters.
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Re: Continuity issue?

Postby Ainia » Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:10 pm

Hmm, an interesting question, Vector Cramp! Here's what I've been able to research about this.

During the time period in question, it seems that Atrus and Katran/Catherine were more or less homeless, wandering across the Ages as they worked on rehoming the D'ni (they left Myst Island after the events of Myst/Riven, apparently soured on the bad memories there with their sons). I am guessing that once Katran became pregnant with Yeesha, Atrus realized they would want an Age in which to raise her and so began his reconstruction work at Tomahna.

Saavedro's journal records how he found the Tomahna Linking Book in J'nanin after he witnessed Atrus using it. So this would be how he gained access to the study area. At that time, Atrus had no knowledge of how Sirrus and Achenar had lured Saavedro to J'nanin, imprisoned him and then abandoned him to die there. In terms of the Exile timeline, this apparently was the only time Atrus visited J'nanin after his sons trapped Saavedro there; and Saavedro seems to have already been well in the throes of his madness and was afraid to use the Tomahna Linking Book for some time. We can't tell how long this was--days, months or years--since Saavedro uses no time annotations in his journal. And it's likely that he had lost all sense of time anyway...

My best guess is that Atrus left the Linking Book there after he had finished Writing Releeshahn (or close to when he finished it) and after he had finished Tomahna and moved his family there. I don't recall if we ever knew for certain, but I am guessing that Yeesha was born in Tomahna, so by the time The Stranger visits them there, they were well settled in. Saavedro certainly overcame his fear of the Linking Book after they were settled in, for his journal records how he searched their home thoroughly, looking first for the brothers, and then going through Atrus's study and library. Atrus's draft letter to Tamon on his Tomahna desk makes it clear that Atrus knows someone has been snooping about, but it's not clear how Saavedro managed to use Atrus's J'nanin Linking Book repeatedly without Atrus putting the pieces together; it *is* clear that he managed to do so, though.

Tamon letter

I'm not sure where the idea that Atrus visited J'nanin while writing Releeshahn comes from... Obviously, Saavedro was trapped there well before Atrus even thought about Writing a new home for the D'ni (i.e. he found himself trapped there before the events of Myst). Atrus's Exile journal makes it clear that he was inspired by the Writing principles he learned from Anna in Writing Releeshahn, but if Atrus had visited either J'nanin or any of the related teaching Ages, it's fairly unlikely this would have gone unnoticed by Saavedro. Yet Saavedro only becomes aware of Tomahna fairly late in the timeline, quite probably after Reeshahn is well in the works if not completed.


Based on all this, I am theorizing that Atrus continued using K'veer as his Writing office over most of those years, and at least until Yeesha left home on her pilgrimage; and perhaps after that as well. At the end of the PoTS quest, we see a note from Yeesha on Atrus's desk there; it's always struck me as something she left for him to find and read privately, and that she left it somewhere she knew he would find it. Of course, it's possible that Atrus used more than one location for his Writing over all those years, but it seems to me more practical to keep everything together in a single location, far from prying eyes and nosey intruders. After all, Atrus has had at least three different experiences about the steep cost of his Writing falling into unworthy hands.

If Atrus was linking directly to K'veer, then he must have been keeping his primary Linking Book to it on some other Age. From the conversation snippets we have from Myst between the two scheming brothers, we know they tampered with a Myst Linking Book that Atrus always carried with him (presumably his emergency escape Book), which is how they managed to trap Atrus in K'veer. Although the K'veer Book Atrus used back in those days was located on Myst Island, it seems likely that Atrus either moved it elsewhere or Wrote a new K'veer Linking Book afterward (since the brothers had damaged the one he'd kept on Myst Island). It's pretty clear that neither Atrus nor Katran visited Myst Island anymore during the Exile times.

Another (less convenient) possibility would be that rather than Linking to K'veer, Atrus was commuting there from Tomahna. Somewhere in the timeline between the initial Tomahna restoration work and The Stranger's second visit to Tomahna, Atrus built a transport vehicle which connected Tomahna with the Cleft. This fact coupled with the BoT information we have about The Lodge leads me to believe that Atrus had decided to refurbish The Lodge and rename it Tomahna (a fairly direct D'ni translation of the English name). Perhaps it was a means for Atrus and Katran to reconnect with Anna; if nothing else, it was much better suited for a family home than the Cleft. At any rate, in light of this, I suspect Atrus had repaired the shaft elevators, giving him more direct access to the D'ni tunnels and cavern below. Perhaps this was done while Atrus was working on bringing the remaining D'ni back to the cavern (I need to review the BoD about that), before he decided the D'ni should start anew in a new Age instead. It might have been an interesting turn of events, for him to deliberately connect the D'ni in the cavern with the surface dwellers back in those early times...

Still, it would have been a long trip to K'veer from Tomahna by foot...

The presence of the shaft Tomahn and their Book pedestals during Watson's quest suggests that the D'ni tunnel system *might* have had strategically placed Linking Books. Such a practice would make a certain amount of sense for the Surveyors, whose work in the complex tunnel system would make it difficult to travel back to the cavern itself in a timely fashion.

All speculation on my part, of course, but an interesting train of thought...
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Re: Continuity issue?

Postby Ahlisendar » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:36 pm

If I remember correctly, Atrus visits the ages of Myst for inspiration when writing Releeshahn. I think he also visits J'nanin briefly at some point, which is how Saavedro gets the book. I can't remember where that happens chronologically, though.
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Re: Continuity issue?

Postby ChloeRhodes » Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:00 pm

According to Atrus personal journal in Exile, he visited Myst and his ages to get inspiration for Releeshahn. Only after he did and figured out how he wanted to write it, did Catherine bring him the book to J'nanin. It was one of Atrus' oldest ages and he realized that it was the one he forgot to visit. He realized that it held the inspiration for Releeshahn through its lesson ages, but he'd already realized that by visiting all the other ages as all of them together made up Releeshahn in the same way the lesson ages bring meaning to J'nanin. He then decided after he was done with Releeshahn he'd revisit J'nanin one last time.

Also while he was writing Releeshahn the journal makes mention of him and Catherine needing to find a home for themselves. So no, he didn't live on Tohmana when he wrote it.
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Re: Continuity issue?

Postby Eat_My_Shortz » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:09 am

I agree with Chloe; I think the order of events was:
1. Atrus (while still working out of K'veer or elsewhere) visits the various Ages of Myst to get inspiration for Releeshahn. (Hmm, if it was too painful to go back to Myst Island, a place left relatively unscathed by Sirrus and Achenar, why was it not too painful to visit the Ages they destroyed?) This does not include J'nanin.
2. Atrus writes Releeshahn.
3. Atrus builds Tomahna while Catherine is pregnant.
4. Yeesha is born; Atrus and Catherine move in to Tomahna.
5. Atrus finally has time to visit J'nanin (purely out of his own interest, as he is no longer researching Releeshahn).
6. Saavedro escapes into Tomahna.
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