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BogusMeatFactory
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by BogusMeatFactory Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:11 pm

nullPointer wrote:Okay real talk people, as a first time player of Myst, which version would be the best one to start with (or alternately, which version is considered to be the 'definitive' cut)? I have both Myst Masterpiece Edition and Real Myst in my GOG library. I could also probably lay hands on the original release. And as a followup question, do all versions of Myst qualify for the Together Retro topic this month (i.e. do they all have live action FMV segments)?

My original plan was to play The Daedalus Encounter after A Fork in the Tale, but I think I might need a bit of a break from games consisting primarily of FMV segments.

(And sorry for the double post, I meant to ask in my previous quote)


I'm gonna disagree with Ack and say, play real myst. The reasoning behind it is that, one of the downsides of the slideshow style is getting a sense of bearings. There are ages in Myst that can be extremely disorienting, very specifically 2 of the 4 you visit. This can be a HUGE damper on how you approach puzzles and your perspective. The downside to realMyst is that it lacks some of the detail that the original Myst has because it doesn't use prerendered images.

Also, realMyst includes a 5th age to visit with a small puzzle and things that the the original game more into the series as a whole.

If you plan on playing riven, there is a benefit of hashing it out with o.g. myst as it still uses the slideshow style. It is a masterpiece and should be experienced none the less.
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by crazythink4 Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:27 am

nullPointer wrote:Okay real talk people, as a first time player of Myst, which version would be the best one to start with (or alternately, which version is considered to be the 'definitive' cut)? I have both Myst Masterpiece Edition and Real Myst in my GOG library. I could also probably lay hands on the original release. And as a followup question, do all versions of Myst qualify for the Together Retro topic this month (i.e. do they all have live action FMV segments)?


I personally preferred the non-realMyst version, but in all honesty, the puzzles are set up in such a way that once you solve it, it's really easy to get the solution again without a lot of backtracking. So I'd suggest trying the one that sounds more interesting/better to you and give it a go, as you're not going to lose a ton of time investment that way.

As for Masterpiece edition vs. original, I don't think that it makes a really big difference. The gameplay is pretty much identical, and the main differences (from what I could read) were:
  1. Higher color depth (24-bit color over 8-bit), but not higher-res textures or anything that I could tell,
  2. Better sound quality, and
  3. Better video quality.
My personal philosophy is that hardware limitations can really drive the game design and it's truly awesome when some games try to transcend those limitations. However, the improvements I mentioned earlier aren't something that strongly define Myst (though it was pretty amazing what they could get from 8-bit color). So, I wouldn't bend over backwards to get the very original unless you were super-interested.

If you're playing Myst for the first time, the puzzles can be pretty daunting as you need to do a fair bit of reasoning to piece together the internal logic that the game runs on. In the HG101 book Guide to Classical Graphic Adventures, he gives three fairly-non-spoilery rules of thumb for approaching the Myst games, which I've spoilered below in case you don't want hints:
  1. Machines won't work if you don't restore power. Do that first.
  2. If a symbol looks important, it probably is. Write it down.
  3. The more inaccessible the back of an object is, the more like that there's going to be something important there.

Beyond that, take it slow and enjoy the ride. Myst is the opposite of a wild adventure, so if you can, try to approach it from a contemplative mindset. And enjoy yourself!

(I swear, I'm not a copy of HG101's graphic adventures book that's become self-aware and learned how to BBcode. I just seem to have a lot of opportunities to bring it up in this topic and it's fresh in my mind. Do forgive me!)
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by Ack Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:52 am

Ack's Riven Journal:

After years apart, I have finally returned to Riven. The memories are bittersweet, since I could never beat the game and am not even sure how far I got. Memories flash through with each location, and I often ask myself while wandering the landscape, "Have I been here before?" Perhaps I have. I cannot remember, but this makes Riven's islands into a half-forgotten dream world. I'm on an escapade into a place bizarre, beautiful, and mysterious, seen through the lens of someone now much older who can only remember a place I've been before in brief snatches and momentary insights or whiffs of nostalgia.

I begin trapped in a cage, my only order to find a man and trap him in a book while rescuing a woman. Unfortunately, the guard speaks a language I do not understand, and he takes the prison book from me almost immediately. He's killed for whatever reason and dragged away, but though I am freed, the prison book is now gone, and I am left to my own devices. The only thing I can do is explore and learn as much as I can, to see if I can track down my missing book and complete my mission.

The first thing I do is examine a nearby piece of machinery over a hatch. I do not possess the code to open the hatch, and while there are buttons and a viewport of some kind on the machine, none of these work. I turn away in despair and turn to leave, finding myself on a stone stairway. The stairs lead me to a golden room, which I learn to manipulate to open up other potential doorways inside. However, I am unable to access them from this side. There are also statues of beetles inside, which hide images depicting a history of some kind. Is this the formation of Riven? Who is the god they portray? I can only surmise that this tells the creation of the world by the author, much like the man who sent me here can build worlds in books.

I step away from the gold room and continue along the stone steps, which lead me to a locked wooden door. The door refuses to open, but there is enough room below that I can successfully squeeze through. The inside of the room is cool and damp, and I climb. I soon find I am yet again at the gold room, and now I can enter from this side and access portions I was previously unable. The room across the way lets me manipulate the gold room and lift a grate, and I also find a piping system of some kind which has an image that looks similar to the machine I found earlier. I use the lever on the front of the pipe and wonder if things have changed.

Going back into the gold room, I find a new room with a locked door that I cannot open, as well as further grate controls and a way to further spin the gold room. Now I find myself moving along a walk way to a large dome. Inside, I am greeted by heat, as a cauldron boils beneath me. Looking over the piping, I quickly surmise that this must be a power plant of some sort, with everything operating off of steam. That strange machine earlier, I must have changed the flow so that it might be powered! I continue down the catwalk to find two other valves releasing steam. I reroute them and observe a distant walkway to another island. Perhaps it will give me access to the control room in the center of the plant. I turn back and discover the lever by the door of the power plant now lets me raise and lower the walkway. While interesting, this is not yet helpful.

Returning to the outside, I go back to the original entrance I found to the gold room and turn away to a rope bridge I had left unexplored. I move down it into yet another cave and make my way along to a door. Inside, I find a chair, but sitting in it I am only able to control the cage that surrounds it. Another lever on the side doesn't seem to do anything that I can discern. I decide to return to it later. I also find a porthole to another room and a switch, which opens a door inside. I leave it open and return to the corridor.

Further along, I find the chamber with the door I just opened. It contains another cage, similar to the last, only now more ornate, with a large stained-glass window and two huge fish sculpture. I suspect that these are for offerings of some kind and that this room holds some sort of either religious or governmental significance; it's simply too ornate and regal to be otherwise. I go through the open door and discover a landing station for a tram system. With nothing else I can think of to do, I call the tram and board it.

==================================================

The second island appears to be bigger than the first, and I discover almost immediately a strange eye-like object with a symbol carved into the back. I make my way into a cave and come to diverging paths. Taking the left, I see creatures tanning on a rock. When I approach, they dive into the water and swim away. I look around their area and find another eye device with a different symbol carved in the back.

I continue along my chosen path to a village. A man in a tower warns of my coming and hides. I am unable to speak to him. Below, I find a pool with another wooden eye device, and when I fill the pool with water, it takes on the shape of...something. A jellyfish? A bug? I cannot tell. I continue along down to the water of a lake but find I can no longer proceed and turn back.

The other way takes me to a deforested section lined with stumps, and there is a large sword stuck into the landscape. I can also see the island I came from, as well as a third island with a walkway that connects to the first. I saw this one when I was working on those steam pipes, and I observe there is some kind of tram system that seems to lead to it. I look through the stumps and find a mine cart but do not take it. I also discover a beetle, but it swiftly flies away.

I head down into the deeper forest and discover another large sword in the ground as well as a massive totem that looks like a fish of some kind. Pressing on, I come to the far side of the village I had found earlier, but the people flee from me. With none of the homes open to me, I press on to find some kind of submersible, which I lower into the water. A nearby kiln cooking some kind of food sits nearby, as does what I can only assume is an ornate altar that looks like the fish I saw in the regal room on the first island. Since this now appears to be a dead end, I rush back to the far side of the island to gain access to the submersible.

It turns out to be an underwater train of some kind. I learn how to manipulate it by pulling a lever to spin it around, select tracks, and push forward, but despite there being several stations, most have ladders that are retracted which I cannot access. I finally find another spot where I can climb out, and this leads me to an outpost where I can view the lake. There are also levers in the back, and by flipping them and looking outside, I see I can extend the ladders. I push them all out and return to the submersible, now able to access much more of the area. I hope to see them soon.

But first, I finally decide to pull out a history book I was given at the start and discover it is really a journal. Here I learn more about my mission: I must rescue the wife of the man who sent me, and also imprison his father within the prison book. But the world of Riven is collapsing. I hope I can find my prison book and complete my mission in time.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So ends this entry of Ack's Riven Journal.
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by BogusMeatFactory Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:25 pm

I won't be spoiling anything Ack, but know that I am so excited to hear your stories with riven! I hope you are taking notes!

Fun fact, the guard at the beginning of the game begins speaking d'ni, but is terrible at it and switches over to rivenese.

What is cool is that, in the original release of the game, those images depicted through the beetle holes were the sleeves for all the cds to the game. What sucked was that each island was a disc and you would switch like crazy.
Ack wrote:I don't know, chief, the haunting feeling of lust I feel whenever I look at your avatar makes me think it's real.

-I am the idiot that likes to have fun and be happy.
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:02 pm

Did a quick replay of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers on Sega CD today. Jesus Christ, that's probably the worst offender for "lazy IP cash-grabs" ever.
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by Exhuminator Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:12 pm

I put another two hours into The X-Files for PC last night. I really like it so far. Very engrossing, and well balanced insofar as gameplay VS cutscenes.
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by crazythink4 Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:25 pm

Ack wrote:Ack's Riven Journal


Um, this is a little spooky. I also played Riven last night and we followed almost the same path and almost got to the same point. I think I got a little farther than you, but otherwise it’s nearly the same.

While this is my first time playing Riven, last night wasn’t my first session. I started it earlier this weekend and got a little overwhelmed by it. While it plays a lot like Myst, it feels very different. Rather than having several ages with a hub world, it’s one big Age, which makes it feel a lot bigger, but also made it a bit more intimidating to me. It was so expansive that I felt like I was getting lost and missing a whole bunch of stuff. I got stuck on the mini-island after the mine cart ride. (Gah! Not you too, Riven!!)

So, I started again last night and took it a bit more slowly and methodically. So far it's much more manageable and less intimidating. It turns out that while it *is* one big interconnected island, there are still very distinct parts which have the different feels. As such, I can compartmentalize the different areas in my mind better. I love the creativity and aesthetics that went into creating Riven; it's clear that this is a labor of love for the Millers and not another cash-in (not that I expected it to be, given its reputation). The water potholes are pretty amazing. Riven does take you for a few showy rides, but they actually don't feel cheapened by the passage 20 years.

Anyway, I followed the same basic path as Ack and decoded the Riven number system. Eventually, I left off going down the mine cart shaft again where I last got stuck, but now I feel much better equipped to handle it (probably more a state of mind than anything). I'm definitely enjoying my time with this, and I'm glad I picked it! :D
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by Exhuminator Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:21 am

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I finished The X-Files Game for PC last night.

This one started pretty strong, but got weaker the longer I played it.
Really nice FMV and immersion, but fairly meh game design.
Full review here.
I've got a couple FMV games left to try this month.
Hopefully one of them will prove to be legit great.
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by Ack Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:24 am

X-Files plays like a forgotten episode, but it suffers from a lot of the same problems that the show did in terms of plot, where it started strong and then just went downhill. I wouldn't blame the game so much for that, as the series itself went off the rails. In that sense, the FMV game is a pretty fair realization of the show.
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by Exhuminator Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:32 am

The problems I had with The X-Files Game weren't to do with its plot. The plot is above average for a PC adventure game. The problems I had here were with haphazard gameplay design and unintuitive player progression.
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