Reference:RAWA/1998 Lyst posts

Friday, March 27, 1998[edit]

Jeff S. wrote:

Linking books cannot function with a page missing, correct?


When a person links, the book remains, correct?


Monday, July 20, 1998[edit]

Could you link from Earth to Jupiter, if you just so happened to write a book that perfectly described Jupiter? They're different planets, gazillions of miles apart. Is it a matter of light-years or is it something totally different, like parallel universes?

You could link to a planet very much like Jupiter, possibly even Jupiter in a parallel universe/Age/quantum reality. But you cannot link to a different place within the same Age/quantum reality/universe.

Monday, July 20, 1998[edit]

My understanding, from the story, is that there was one MYST Descriptive Book. That Book was used to link TO Myst Island.

Yes, that Book was written by Catherine and Anna, and first used to link to Myst island. (After the initial link, it was customary to write Linking Books in the Age which from then on are used to link to the Age, and not use the Descriptive Book for linking thereafter. (FYI - Atrus doesn't have another Linking Book to Riven, so you do link through the Riven Descriptive Book at the beginning of Riven.) )

That Book was LOST by Atrus when he fell into the fissure. It was LOST to the player of the MYST game when he/she linked to MYST (because the player, of course knew nothing of Writing and had on Linking Book to get back home).

No, Atrus lost a Myst Linking Book in the fissure, not the Descriptive Book for Myst.

pg 279 BoA Turning to Atrus, Catherine freed her hand, then took the knapsack from her back and opened it.

"Here," she said, handing him a Book.

Atrus stared, dumbfounded. It was the Myst Book.

Catherine smiled then; opening the Linking Book, she placed her hand against it.

Where did that book come from? In order for it to be a Linking Book which returns you to Myst Island from D'ni, it has to be a Linking Book written somewhere on Myst and must contain phrases from the Book of D'ni! Right?

No, a Linking Book to Myst only requires having been on Myst to write it. He needs no knowledge of the Book of D'ni. (And despite David Wingrove's[1] statements to the contrary, he doesn't even need knowledge of the Myst Book for that matter.)

But Atrus does NOT have the Descriptive Book of D'ni, and so CANNOT write a Linking Book which takes him FROM D'ni to any other Age. To write a Linking Book, one must have the Descriptive Book for the Age you want to LEAVE via that Linking Book, and one must write that Linking Book from the Age/location one wants to link TO via that Linking Book.

No. Linking Books are in no way connected to the Age you are leaving, only to the Age they were written in. You can write a Linking Book in Myst, then take it to any Age, and it will always lead back to Myst.

I suppose it is possible that one could COPY a Descriptive Book like MYST,

This Copy would very likely not link to the same Myst Island. It would be a similar Age, but because of randomness in how the Descriptive Book initially link to their respective Ages, it is very unlikely to link to the same Age twice.

and then you would have two Descriptive Books which link to the same Age, but it is not recorded that Anna wrote two MYST Descriptive Books that were exact duplicates but I suppose she must have, and I suppose that one of those somehow got to D'ni where, later, a page was removed by Sirrus or Achenar and hidden on Myst island - and that appears to be a contradiction in itself? By removing a page from the book, how would Sirrus or Achenar get the page TO Myst Island to hide it?

Here's the scenario:

Over the years, Atrus wrote many Linking Book back to the Library (the Linking Book you find at the beginning of Myst was written at the Dock, long before the Library was even built, which is why it's the only time you don't arrive in the Library when you link to Myst Island.)

These Linking Books were placed in their "places of protection" on each of Atrus' Ages, so he could get back to Myst whenever he wanted. He was also in the habit of carrying a spare Linking Book with him... just in case (as were most D'ni who travelled in Ages).

The boys told Atrus that Catherine had used the green Book (which led to D'ni, though they'd never been there or used the Book themselves). While he was preparing to go to D'ni, they sabotaged the spare Book he normally carried with him. Hence Sirrus' message to Achenar in the imager in Channelwood:

"I hope I pushed the right button. Very interesting device, dear brother. I'm not erasing anything important, am I? He [Atrus] is preparing. Remember, take only one page."

That is the page you eventually take to Atrus, so that he can return to Myst Island.

Hope that helps,


Re: Plot errors in MYST game?[edit]

Date: Tuesday, July 21, 1998

J.C.T. wrote:

Conclusions (please tell me if I've got it right! :-)

1. The Descriptive Book creates the link. You can link to an Age via its Descriptive Book. Even an "identical" copy of a Descriptive Book is likely to link to a _different_ age than the original.

2. Customarily, after the first time an Age is linked to, A (at least one) Linking Book is written in that Age, and is returned to D'ni for use in linking to that Age in the future. The Descriptive Book is not thereafter used for linking.

3. Function of a Linking Book: The Linking Book will function such that, when it is used, it will take you to the Age and place in which it was written. No phrases are needed in the Linking Book from any Descriptive Book in order for the Linking Book to work.

These are all correct. :)

QUESTION: If a Descriptive Book is destroyed, do the Linking books which were written in the Described Age cease to function?

The D'ni histories don't describe exactly how this works, but if the Descriptive Book is changed, the Linking Book associated with that Book are changed as well. It would also appear that if the Descriptive Book were destroyed, that its Linking Books will cease to function.

At the end of the MYST game, Atrus is relying on you, the player, to return to him the missing page from his MYST Linking Book, so that he (and later, you) can return to MYST Island from D'ni. This, as was said, was the spare MYST Linking Book Atrus carried with him when he went to D'ni to find Catherine. This seems to imply that neither Atrus, Catherine, nor Anna had returned to D'ni from MYST in the time between MYST:BoA and Atrus' sabotaged trip to D'ni to find Catherine (if they had gone back to D'ni and back to MYST at some other time, then Atrus would find a Linking Book back to MYST in D'ni, one which worked). It's just an interesting plot point I think I've arrived at - every one was content to stay away from D'ni for all those years, which isn't at all unreasonable. It does make one wonder what sparked Atrus to finally return and try to restore D'ni at the end, though (BoD).

You are correct. Atrus wanted the link between D'ni and Myst to remain completely severed. Catherine was the first to use the green book leading back to D'ni since Gehn had been trapped on Riven.



Thursday, July 23, 1998[edit]

Phil W. wrote:

Am I wrong in thinking that there can be more than one book linking to a single age, i.e. Atrus' two Myst books? RAWA just told us that Atrus had to destroy all of Gehn's links to D'ni, so there could be more than one book linking there, and to Myst as well. So linking books are different than age-creating books. First an age is written, then it is accessed with one or more linking books.

Yes, Linking Books are a different issue. Since they link to the place they were written, there isn't the same "random" quality of the Descriptive Books.

You can write a bazillion Linking Books to an Age (while in the Age) without a problem (there were six different books that linked to Myst Island in the game alone). But if you write a bazillion Descriptive Books of the same Age (using a verbatim description), chances are that they'll still link to different (but very similar) Ages. So if a Descriptive Book is destroyed, you're very unlikely to ever be able to write another Book that links to it.

Thursday, July 23, 1998[edit]

If you have a linking book in (for example) your coat pocket, and you reach inside and lightly touch your fingers on the panel to begin the linking process... What happens to you, the book, and your belongings?

The rule of thumb for knowing what will come with you during a link is to imagine linking as just taking a step. If something comes with you when you step, it will come with you when you link. If you're wearing a hat, it will come with you. If your carrying a bag, it will come with you. If you're just touching a desk, it doesn't come with you. The ground you're standing on doesn't come with you. The exception is the Book you use to link. It always stays behind.

A linking book can only link when the book is pressed and made with the right materials, using the right type of ink, and using the right words to create the link. If this is all true... Then how does the Selenetic book work. It's just an image on a screen? How does that link work? You never touch the book, much less... does a book even exist? Ideas? Please?

The D'ni stories of Atrus mention that the Linking Book to Selenitic was powered by machinery, but does not describe that machinery in any detail. We used the ship's screen to represent that.



Friday, July 24, 1998[edit]

When linking, does a part of your hand have to touch the book or can any part of you touch it.

Any part of you can start the link.

I think the story of the first actual Age is told in the discontinued comic book series in Comic #0.

That story is one of the legends about the beginning of the Art. There are many such legends, and they all conflict in many details. It is unlikely that we'll ever discover the truth about the discovery of the Art.

Re: Linking Conundrums[edit]

Date: Wednesday, July 29, 1998

Tom M. wrote:

How would you transport resources from one age to another? It would be easy to do for small amounts, like a handful of carrots or something. You could just put them in a bag and link, but how about bigger amounts.

Just find something stronger than you are to carry them...

How would you get a pipe of water running from one age into another,

You wouldn't.

or a truck load of bananas.

Pretty simple, actually. Just look through your Ages for a domesticatable animal strong enough to move the load you want transported.

Re: Linking Conundrums[edit]

Date: Wednesday, July 29, 1998

Could you run water from one Age to another if you had a pipe running along the top of the linking panel so that the water fell on the panel? Would the falling water link through?

No, the book would just get wet. :)

Organic tissue is required to establish the Link.

Re: Comments on Myst[edit]

Date: Thursday, September 10, 1998

Ken T. wrote:

I was wondering about this a little too... either he has an open linking book to the fireplace, so he can see people who are going to link into D'ni (though I didn't see one on his desk)... or it's a special book, or Cyan was simply using a little dramatic license because their research on the Atrus story was incomplete etc. etc...

One other major thing: I didn't know that sound was transmitted through the gateway images! But it happens for both the D'ni linking book and both of the trap books.

As for the people in trap books being able to see outside of the book... I think that's because you're not actually in an age: you're stuck in the link... so you can see (and hear) what's happening outside through the gateway image (this is definate, because it happens in Riven, which I think of as a much more credible source than Myst... but that's just my opinion :)

My stance for all of the above is "artistic license for gameplay reasons."

Sound doesn't travel through the books, and there is no way that Atrus could have actually seen you from D'ni or for the brothers to see out of their books, or for you to see out of the prison books.

But if Atrus wasn't able to tell you to make sure you had the page before coming to D'ni, bad things would happen (you'd be "forced" to get trapped in D'ni, then travel back in time (restore) to get the page). If the brothers couldn't talk to you, you'd have no feedback on your progress in Myst (and you'd have to try all 300 fireplace combos :)

And if we didn't let you see out of the books, you wouldn't have had a clue what had happened when you released the brothers, you'd just be stuck in a black screen. Not very informative.

Just my opinion,


Re: Journal on Box[edit]

Date: Friday, October 02, 1998

S.A. wrote:

If you look on the back of the Myst box. You find a journal entry written by Atrus. Notice at the end, how his writing ends suddenly, as if he was attacked, or something caught his attention. Any ideas as to why he broke off so suddenly?

One word: marketing.

It is _not_ a note from Atrus.

It doesn't even make sense. "I dare not write further without revealing too much." Huh?

I notice it's even on the Ages of Myst website. Wonderful. <--- (sarcasm)


I know, I know... more therapy.


Re: Linking...[edit]

Date: Tuesday, November 17, 1998

A fan wrote that he didn't think the story of the sea beast who swallowed a linking book and then linked inside out, as told in Klinvo's tale at the Riven Journals[2], was reliable evidence on linking.

The journals are apocryphal. They shouldn't be considered reliable for this kind of information.




  1. David Wingrove is the co-author of the Myst novels
  2. Klvino's Journal was one of the Riven Journals, a web site game created by Organic on behalf of Cyan as a treat for the fans before the release of Riven. These Journals have been restored by RIUM+ and can be explored on his Riven Journals Restored website.