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Myst III: Exile
January 17, 2001 | Christopher Morin

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Creating a Mood
Soundtracks from the Matrix, Waterworld, The Fifth Element, and the first two Myst titles influenced the soundtrack for Myst III:Exile. The music editor Jack Wall tried, as much as possible, to keep the otherworldliness of the original titles while adding his own style and interpretation to this newest Myst chapter. Game players can expect music performed by full orchestras, choirs, the works. As we all know, an appropriate soundtrack is essential to a great game experience. Game developers are now trying to have soundtracks that are on par with feature films. This is quite a leap forward over the games of old. Music adds to the experience and helps to draw us further into the world the games’ creators want us to enter. How many times have you discovered the hair on the back of your neck was rising just from the music in that horror flick; or experienced the rush as Rocky Balboa reaches the top of the steps there in Philadelphia? All that was emotion created by music. Music will play an integral role in this latest title as it did in the previous two. You can read an interview with Mr. Wall here.

Not to be overlooked are the game’s sound effects. Much work goes into these effects to make them suitable to their place in the game and into making them unique. There is a fascinating, I think, interview with Presto’s music man Jamie Scott on the Myst III website. Head on over there to read it.

As you can see from the concept art and screenshots, Myst III will be no slacker in the visual department. Myst III will present prerendered scenes of the highest graphics quality. This is evident. Presto is also using their Sprint engine to incorporate real-time rendered scenes and animation. The player will be able to follow a flying bird or turn to see a new character enter the location. This game will be a combination of real-time and prerendered scenes. Many realistic effects such as moving water and sunlight glare will also be better utilized in this newest title. So, not only will Myst III be an aural delight, but also will please visually.

Myst III:Exile will feature the same point-and-click interface as previous titles. It will have the same puzzles that will make your brain sweat. However, with the new Sprint engine, fantastic graphics, and immersive sound this newest game will draw you into its reality just as surely as the others did. Because of the new Sprint engine, the game designers are not limited to eye-level puzzle placement. Though, there are only certain places the player can go, he or she is free to look all around. The designers have freedom to place their puzzles and clues anywhere they like. Expect Myst III to be even more challenging than the last titles.

Presto has taken great care to weave the story of Myst III into every puzzle of the game spread out over five new ages. This way, the player will know, or should know, why it is important to solve each particular puzzle. Too many times in these games, a player will figure something out but not understand the importance of that discovery until later. The writer Mary DeMarle had the difficult task of making sure the player learned the right information at the appropriate time regardless of the order and without giving away too much too soon. This was accomplished by creating packets of information. For a little more detail, read our interview with Susan Weyer of Presto Studios.

One great element that will keep the player engrossed in the plot is the ever-present feeling of the game’s villain. The player will know there is an impending confrontation but not know when it will happen. This will build suspense and a feeling of foreboding that should make this game like a great thriller – you will not be able to put it down.

All told, Myst III:Exile should leap frog the point-and-click genre of games by quite a leap. Its music, effects, and visuals combined with a promising story reveal a game poised to set a new bar to which other developers will aspire. Perhaps, like the original, Exile will spawn another generation of copycats. Look for Myst III:Exile by early April 2001.

After playing Myst III for a while, you will be ready again for the madness and mayhem of Rune, Unreal Tournament, and Quake III again.

Myst III: Exile
Developer: Presto Studios
Publisher: Ubisoft
Buy Myst III: Exile now at


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