Myst Online on Linux Mint 21.1

I’ve now installed Myst Online: URU Live on a couple of machines running Linux Mint 21.1. It wasn’t as straightforward as I would have hoped. The below steps worked for me, and I hope they’ll work for you!

Relto Island
  • Open Software Manager, and install Lutris
    • Install the Flatpack version, rather than the Linux Mint package. The latter halts when it tries to run Wine.
  • Confirm via the Software Manager that Wine is installed.
  • Open Lutris
    • Here you will be tempted to use Lutris’ config/installer for the game. Don’t do that. It’ll install, and even launch the game, but the installer hangs before completing, so it never adds the game to the list.
  • Download the game installer from Myst Online’s site.
  • Click on the + button in Lutris to add a game.
    • Select “Install a Windows game from media”
    • Enter the game’s name and click Continue
    • Click Install
    • Make with the clicky on the options you want, then click Install
    • Click the Browse button and navigate to the installation file that you downloaded.
    • Click Continue
  • You will now be kicked into the Windows installer for Myst Online: URU Live. Do the same things you’d do in Windows.
  • When the installation finishes, it will ask you if you want to launch the game. Tell it the same thing you tell those phone calls asking about your car’s extended warranty. Just say no.
  • The installation should complete, and you should now have the game listed in Lutris.
  • Launch the game from Lutris. It will go through all of the updating that is normal during a first launch.
  • Enjoy the 20-year-old MMO!

Edanna and Amateria

I finished Myst 3: Exile a while ago. My lack of posting about it probably gives a good idea of how I felt about it at the end.

Edanna was fun. It was a bit more linear than I expected, but the puzzles made a lot of sense as a teaching Age. For its time, the graphics were beautiful and engaging. My only complaint was that it was sometimes difficult to tell which bits were background and which were pieces of the puzzles.

When I got to Amateria, I just used a walkthrough. The puzzles made absolutely zero sense to me, and even after completing the Age, I have no idea what it was trying to teach.  The “lesson” was a clue as to how to solve the puzzles, but had little bearing on the Age itself. This is where the change in game creators comes through most clearly. This Age threw me out of the game and made me want to give up on the entire Myst franchise.

I’m pretty sure that whoever developed this game had a hand in Minkata in Myst: Online. One messed-up, overly-difficult Age that is completely unrelated to the game’s story, or the story at large, can ruin an entire game.

It’s been long enough that I’m considering installing Myst 4 and 5. Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment. We’ll see.

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Energy Locked Away

The Voltaic Age was not what I imagined it would be. Energy makes me think of lightning, of laser beams, of the plasma in the sun, and in weather like hurricanes and tornadoes.  I did not expect rusty gears, cliff faces, rocky gorges, and a deflated air skiff. There was some head-scratching upon my arrival.

Every accessible door was locked, save one. Near the river, there was a manhole that allowed access to an underground door. Opening the door allowed access to a piston that engaged… something. Nearly every piece of machinery that comprised the energy infrastructure for the Age had been disengaged, jammed, or broken. Hydroelectric, steam, and mechanical all needed to be reactivated and funneled in the correct direction. As I bent my head to the task, it was difficult to discern which repairs were set up as puzzles by Atrus for his sons and which were broken and disjointed by Saavedro.

Riding on the air skiff was far more fun than I expected. I knew it had been coming as soon as I’d determined where energy needed to flow, but it still took me off-guard. My fun turned to awe as I completed the Age, and saw more of the energy that I had originally anticipated than what the puzzles of the Age had brought me to expect. I found a second linking book back to J’nanin and breathed a sigh of accomplishment.

One of three down.

I took the sigil I’d received to the observatory and unlocked a new message from Saavedro. What he’s done is monstrous, but what has been done to him, if he’s telling the truth, is just as monstrous. Sirrus and Achenar left more damage in their wake than what they’d done to Myst and its Ages. My anger at them is impotent now, after what Atrus had done to their prison Books in the Myst library. Nothing more can be done to them, but Saavedro, if he’s not lying, is still trying. I’m not sure if he can be talked down, but having all of the facts might make a difference.

For now, on to Edanna, the nature Age. “Nature encourages mutual dependence.”

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Exiled and Exploring

A few years back, I wrote about my history with Atrus. Yesterday, I went back to J’nanin, the training Age. The lunatic’s name is Saavedro, but he’s no longer in the observatory, which is mounted on the center tusk of the island.  I’ve wandered a bit, found his journal (which was missing quite a few pages, but still managed to be both horrifying and enlightening). Thanks to clues found there, I’d figured out a way in to the observatory via the back door, and viewed his taunting message to Atrus. He’d linked away, though, as soon as I’d found a way in. If I want the Book to Releeshahn, I’m going to have to play his game. I’m going to have to follow in the steps of Sirrus and Achenar, and learn what Atrus tried to teach his sons twenty years ago.

I’ve figured out how to redirect the sound to the strange plant buds near the nature Age bridge. I can get to the tusk, but not inside it. I’ve also aligned the light beams across the island to route around the broken prism, and recorded their order. That allowed me in the (mechanical, energy?) tusk, but I did not now how to arrange the pebbles. I’d seen a similar layout inside the observatory, so I headed back there.

After I found the right viewport, I arranged the angled image over its twin on the tusk as closely as I was able. I recorded the pebble positions, and then duplicated them inside the tusk. Something clicked, and a metal basket descended from above. It contained a linking Book, and was titled “Voltaic.” An energy Age, not a mechanical one, then. Too much to hope for to revisit the Mechanical Age that I linked to from Myst, it seems.

So, here I go again. Let’s hope that this lesson teaches me something about energy and balance. What was the phrase in that notebook Atrus gave me right before I left?

“Energy powers future motion.”

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The Pod Age

I’d never done the Pod Age during my last foray into the Cavern. I’d been worried that I needed to follow Yeesha’s directions explicitly if I was to learn her ways, if I was to learn the art of writing the Ages. Since then, I’ve come to a different conclusion. She, or the Bahro themselves, would be the only ones able to put the cloths throughout these Ages. They would be the only ones to add the rotating stones to my Relto. So, whether the DRC released these Ages as “safe” or not, Yeesha and the Bahro want us to go through and learn the lessons that these places have to teach. That’s good enough for me.

This Age is unlike any other that I’ve visited so far. Scattered throughout the different climates of a large land and ocean mass are observational pods. Most are no longer reachable, or their linking Books haven’t been released to the Explorers yet. In any case, the four that are available are underwater, in desert, and in jungle. The second underwater pod is damaged, and only has emergency lighting. After a bit of exploring each pod, I discovered that a powered switch on the bottom floor brings full transparency to the windows. The buttons that surround the switch create sounds that mimic local wildlife. Kind of an active wildlife observatory, where you can use the sounds to call specific creatures to you.

Unlike the other Ages, solving the puzzle of the Pods was pure research, and most of it was done from the Cavern. There’s journals and documentation scattered all over the place, most of which I ran into during my marker hunts.

The one clue that I remembered from my last time in the Cavern was that the Pod puzzles had something to do with time. So, I started there. I learned all about the D’ni clock in my Bevin, as well as brushing up on the differences between surface time measurement and D’ni time measurement. Once I got that basic information and understanding down, I knew I’d have to apply it to something.

I remembered a map that I’d found that showed the locations of all of the Pods within their Age. The map was filled with numbers. The Pods were numbered, as were smaller dots in the ocean, as was a path along the bottom. The key was in here. It was in the timing that the puzzle lay. Once I figured out the when and the where, I’d be set.

I was right, but it was easier said than done. I had no idea how entrenched I was in our system of time measurement. I’d never been outside of it, even in other countries. There had always been different words for the same system. But the D’ni day was not based on a solar or a lunar cycle; they lived underground. It was based on the lighting cycle of the algae in the great lake in the Cavern.

There was an additional clue, one that helped start off the cycle that could be determined from the other clues. The sunlight in the desert Pod was particularly bright, and shone through some cracks (or holes?) in the glass in four streams, as you can see here. There were also four symbols on the ground. As time progressed, the beams of light moved across the floor as if they would eventually touch on the symbols on the floor.

I’ve solved all four Pods, and now have another layer of circling stones in my Bevin. I wasn’t greeted by Yeesha’s voice, so I’m left to my own to discover the lesson taught. With all of the research needed to discover and understand the proper timing, as well as the Pods’ obvious purpose as research stations, I’m thinking that it has something to do with the importance of learning.

Possibly also patience.

Skipping ahead to Ahnonay

So, I got a little excited about the prospect of visiting Myst Island. I knew that one of the Ages in the Watcher’s Pub would get me there, so I popped in to see if there were still only two. Sure enough, Er’cana and Ahnonay. I read all of the Watcher’s prophecies that had been translated and left behind, and then I popped in. The Grower, a figure in the prophecies, was supposed to figure out how to travel through time. Ahnonay was supposed to be Grand Master Kadish’s success at this, proving himself to be The Grower.

The images below would seem to back him up, and the effect of going to three different versions of the same Age is mind-blowing. Each is incredibly beautiful and stunning to be surrounded by.

When you’re on your way there, you’ll notice some familiarities, and they may be unsettling. Grand Master Kadish wrote another Age that we’ve been to before: Kadish Tolesa. Once again, the truth, and the real beauty, is being hoarded behind deception. Unfortunately, I need a buddy to complete this one, and I’ve really jumped ahead. Next time I log on, I’m going to hit the Guild of Greeters neighborhood and see if I can join in a run to complete the two garden Ages, Eder Tsogal and Eder Delin. I’ll come back to this one in time, and I’ll be armed with enough notes and enough brain power to get back to Myst Island.

Mastered the Markers

Even after trekking through the Cavern back and forth, to and fro, here and anon, over and over, searching for markers, I can still stop and appreciate the beauty of D’ni. (Pic on left)

The marker missions are done. I did the yellow and red Great Zero marker missions, and then I did all of the calibration marker missions. I’m almost back to where I was when the Cavern was closed off to us a few years back. Still, though it was cool, once again, to get in-cavern location numbers showing up on my KI, it was a disappointment when the other two doors – the ones with the Great Zero insignia – didn’t open. (Pic on right) I remember having an insatiable curiosity about what these doors hid the last time, and I have to admit that it’s the same this time around.

The graph from last time is gone, replaced with the pulsing image of a Great Zero marker. So, if it had a purpose, it no longer does.

Won’t you be my neighbor?

So, I get the last of my red markers, seen below in a strangely squished screenshot. Last &*^@ red marker. I’m let into the back room of the Great Zero Machine, and what do I find? Yeah, more marker hunts. These ones are a bit different, and a bit more fun, but I needed a bit of a break, so I logged off there.

Today, I picked it up again. See, I’d wondered if I should hop back on Yeesha’s path right away, instead of doing these timed marker hunts. When I finish these hunts, my KI will be upgraded with some neat position marking, IIRC, but I could never figure out what that was really good for. Especially from Age to Age. Another option was to try and find people to accompany me to the garden Ages so that I could finish something I’d never finished in my previous stint in the Cavern. Then I got to thinking how despite my sporadic visits, I’m the only one in my neighborhood that’s seemed to log on.

The Great Zero Machine is neighborhood instanced, which means that your neighborhood shares a unique version of that Age. Nobody else can get in there with you. I can share images and such of my accomplishments in my Neighborhood, but if I’m the only one left in it, why bother? Neighbors would be great to log on with and run through the garden Ages with.

Myst Online: Uru Live is free now, to play. No monies. So, here’s my pitch to recruit my friends into my particular version of online crack. Won’t you be my neighbor?