Thursday, April 16, 2009

Eder Gira and the Myst Nation

It's interesting how different people's minds work and process information differently. In many ways, this is a good thing, giving humanity a wide variety of skills from which to choose, and allowing individuals to choose problems that each finds interesting. One side effect, however, is that one person's fascination may be another's bore.

Once upon a time, there was a computer game called Myst, and it sold a whole lot of copies on a great many platforms. I owned a copy once upon a time, and it looked superb on my Difference Engine. It had a little soundtrack that came with it, done in what I'll call the "heroic ambient" style - elevator music with plenty of stirring, swelling strings - which was supposed to add to the mood, though I found it to be sufficiently repetitive that I stopped listening after a while. It had a mysterious quest, whereupon one Discovered Clues that led to New Places that led to More Clues to Discover, et cetera.

And, frankly, I have no idea how much et cetera was involved, because I got bored and/or frustrated with the game. Yes, it looked good. Yes, I like a brain-teaser. I discovered some Important Clues, but then got stuck, and realized I didn't want to spend the time that would be required to get through the game. (Years later, in possession of a handheld device, I bought a version of Myst for Windows Mobile, or whatever they called it at the time. Same result.)

But the fans of Myst are legion, and it came as no surprise to me when I read in New World Notes that there had been an online game (Uru Live) based on Myst, and that Second Life had fans that recreated a version of that world. Based on my less-than-happy experiences with the game, it was with some trepidation that I decided to investigate Eder Gira.

At the landing spot, a billboard provides a number of locations to which one can teleport. Below, the entrance to Bahro Caves:

After winding through several passages, the cave opens into this chamber:

In true Myst style, it's unclear what objects are relevant. Some are clickable, and some of those provide clues while others (as far as I could tell) just glowed or did nothing. (And entering the pit in the middle of the room provided immediate transportation back Home.)

The Slave Caves (unpictured) had a straightforward game that required touching various pads in the correct order, which then raised a gate.

The Pyramid, pictured below, provided a clue to a more complex game that I never did solve.

The Art Deco-meets-Steampunk-meets-Weird home of the sim owners:

The central place in the sim is a vast cavern with a number of side chambers, including an art gallery and a shopping venue:

The area even provides a dance ball...just in case.

I attempt to puzzle out yet another Clue

The build itself is simply gorgeous; my pictures do not do it justice. The game...well, if you liked Myst, this would seem to be up your alley. If not, remember that it takes all kinds, and we shouldn't judge. :)

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