This is a bare-bones description of how to complete Myst. But you should use it only as a last resort. The true goal of the game is to explore everything, and find all sorts of interesting details about Achenar, Sirrus, and the world(s) you're in. The game can be successfully completed without ever leaving the main island, but that's no fun, is it?
ALL puzzles can be solved by exploring, trying things out, and using plain common sense. If you find yourself trying a gazillion combinations to solve a puzzle, you're doing something wrong.
Pick up the note in front of the planetarium. As you explore the island, you'll find that there are 8 marker switches in total: Pier - Giant gears - Planetarium - Spaceship - Mall with small pool and pillars - Brick building - Wooden shack - Clock tower Turn each marker switch on (up) as you get to it. (Worry about the clock tower marker later.)
In the pier, there is an entrance to an underground room. Go to the projector, and turn it off by pressing the big button at the bottom. Turn around. You'll notice a piece of paper on the wall to the left. Press the green button on the upper left corner, which will reveal a hidden control panel. Enter the number of switches "08", and press the button to close the panel. Turn back to the projector, push the button, and watch the man's message to Catherine.
In the library, each wall contains interesting items. Give the blue and red pages to the corresponding books. Each brother wants more pages. Read the 4 legible books in the book-case. You can ignore the book with the weird squares in it, you'll deal with it later. Jot down any interesting diagrams from the others on your notebook.
Look at the map next to the entrance. Each of the marker switches in the island lights one specific group of buildings in the map. Grab the tower and rotate it until it flashes red, then stop. There are 4 "red" positions, each one of them corresponding to where one of the 4 available link books is hidden (ship, giant tree, gears, spaceship). The paintings next to the book-case open and close the secret passageway behind it. Go to the elevator, close the door, and press the button to go into the tower. If you rotated the tower correctly, the ladder with the "book" on it should show you where the book is hidden, while the ladder with the "key" should lead you to the clue to the puzzle that lets you get the book.
Ship: Go to the planetarium, turn the lights off (the switch is next to the door), sit down on the chair, and click on the control panel. Set each of the dates from the clue (Oct 11, 1984 10:04AM, Jan 17, 1207 5:46AM , and Nov 23, 9791 6:57 PM), and map the constellation shown to one of the constellations in the Stoneship book. Go to the pillars at the mall, and click on the appropriate symbols (leaf, snake, and bug). The book is in the now resurfaced ship.
Tree: Go to the wooden house, and enter the combination for the safe next to the door (7,2,4). Open the safe, get the match, and light it with the matchbox. Turn around and light the pilot light below the boiler. Turn the gas wheel all the way up (green icon). Wait until the thumping sound stops, then turn the wheel all the way down (red icon), and QUICKLY get out of the house and into the tree to the right of it (see library map for location) before the "elevator" in the tree goes underground. If you can't do it that quickly, don't turn the gas quite all the way off. The book is down beneath the tree. If you went up in the elevator, press the white button to your left. That releases the steam and drops the tree down to the underground level.
Gears: Go to the clockhouse, enter 2:40 into the clock using the wheels, then press the button. Go into the clock, and use the levers to set the wheels to 2,2,1. HOLD either front lever down to rotate the middle wheel only. Click on the vertical lever to your right to reset the puzzle. The book is in the giant gears close to the pier.
Spaceship: Go to the brick building, set the generators to send exactly 59 volts out (buttons 1,2,3,6,7,8 and 10 should do nicely. The numbering order is on the wall as you leave the control room. In order to figure out which button has which voltage, just hit them one at a time). If you go over 59 volts, you will blow a fuse. There are two electric towers to climb, one next to the brick building, one clearly visible close to the spaceship, click down the breaker switches. Then enter the spaceship. Play the notes from the Selenitic Age book in the organ, and set the same notes in the controls of the ship. If you're tone deaf, just count number of notes from the bottom. (8, 20, 23, 13, and 6, respectively, including the bottom as one). Press the button and the book will appear before you.
Go to the other half of the ship, up the stairs and look through the telescope. Find where the lighthouse is. (135 degrees)
Go to the umbrella and push the rightmost button to drain the lighthouse. Go to the basement and drain the chest by opening and closing the valve at the bottom. Go back to the umbrella and let the lighthouse fill up again. Unlock the now floating chest, get the key, and open the lighthouse. Crank up the generator and power the battery. Note that the battery is slightly discharging, so move quickly! (If the lights go out, go to the generator and crank it up some more.)
Go to the umbrella, press the middle button to drain the rock and go inside. Go all the way down the tunnel, find the page for either of the brothers, and explore a bit. You should find half of an important note in the map drawer in Achenar's room (that's the messy room). The entire note is given below.
Go back to the red-lined "panel" in one of the walls. Inside, you'll find a compass rose, just like in the Stoneship book. Push the "SE" button (the clue is 135 degrees, found with the telescope). This will turn on the submersible's lights.
Drain the ship with the leftmost button and go in. Click on the desk in the lower level, and the book leading back to Myst will pop up.
Find the 5 microphones (Water, Fire(thunder), Clock, Crystal (flute), Wind), and turn each on. You'll also find the red and blue pages at the "Crystal" and "Water" microphones, respectively.
Go to the microwave tower through the Wind tunnel, and aim each of the five dishes in the right direction (use sounds, icons, and places as a guide. The coordinate numbers are: Water:153.4, Fire: 130.3, Clock: 55.6, Crystal: 15.0, and Wind: 212.2). Push the sigma button. This will give you the sound sequence to open the door near the spaceship. (Crystal, Water, Wind, Fire, Clock) Go on in, get in the underground craft and press forward. At each station, listen for a sound which will indicate direction. If you miss it, press the button on the speaker. The sounds are "plink" for north, "Bloooop" for W, "Plonk" for S, and "Shhhh" for E (these sound names are approximations, so give us a break) Combinations of these sounds indicate NE, SW, etc. The sequence of directions to get to the Myst book is: N,W,N,E,E,S,S,W,SW,W,NW,NE,N,SE. Get out, and find the Myst book.
The pages for the brothers are in secret rooms accesible from their chambers. Explore next to the "throne" in each room.
Go to the "tube", and press the button in the hallway. The floor will reveal a lower room. Go down there, and rotate the tube until the red icon shows. Careful not to let the tube rotate past the red icon!
Go back out, and you'll see that the tube held an elevator. Press the wall button again to close the floor, and enter the elevator. Press the up button, then press the "middle" button and exit the lift before it goes down. The building rotation controls are above the elevator.
Enter the rotation controls and rotate the tower to the other two islands. They have the symbols for the control next to where you entered the Age. (symbols below) Use the simulator in Achenar's room to practice how to rotate the tower. The method we used was: Put the left lever up one notch. Hold the right lever all the way up for about 7 seconds. Let go of the right lever, then quickly put the left lever back down. Practice on the simulator until you get the timing right, because you won't be able to see the orientation of the tower, just some motion in the gears. Once the tower stops, it'll make a sound for each of the four compass directions, the same sounds as for the selenetic age, above.
The control panel next to where you entered opens the room where the Myst link book is. The symbols are: 1) an O with the bottom cut out. 2) point down triangle, rectangle, point up triangle. 3) circle over three triangles 4) left half circle, filled in. (These are easier to spot than it sounds.)
WARNING: A bug in the game as released won't let you go to the island with the last two codes. Get the fix from Sumex-aim.stanford.edu.
Go to the windmill and turn the water on with the faucet on the floor. The pulldown lever is a red herring. Go back down and use the "switches" in the pipeline to control the water flow to the first elevator. (Not the one next to the staircase!) Climb in, close the door, and use the lever to go up.
Up there, find the control to open/close the staircase. Go to the staircase, climb down, open the door, and use the pipeline switches to send water to the generator next to it. Climb back up the stairs, and use the elevator there.
Find the rooms for both brothers (and Achenar's "temple"), their pages are there. In Sirrus' room (the nice room), find the other half of that note you found in the Stoneship Age.
Use the switches to turn on the lonely-looking generator close to where you entered the world. Turn it on, and watch the catwalk appear from the waters. Walk to the other side, down the other walkway, and find the crank to extend the pipeline back to the main line. Use the switches to turn on the elevator there, and climb up to find the Myst book.
(If you're having some trouble figuring out where the water is going in the pipelines, listen as you walk past them. If you can't hear the noise of water, this section of the pipeline has no water. Also, you could just trace the water from the windmill, checking every Y junction as you pass.)
ENDGAME / DUNNY AGE
When you return four pages to either brother, he'll give you the same info: go to the library, pick the right-end book in the center shelf, and look up diagram 158. Go to the chimney, press the button, enter the diagram below on the plate, press the button again. You'll see the green book (the Dunny Age), the blue page, and the red page. Diagram 158 (click where there are Xes):
XXOOOOXX OXXOXOXX XOXOOOXX XOOXOOXX XXOOXXOO XXXXXOXO
There are 4 endings:
- give the last blue page (Achenar traps you)
- give the last red page (Sirrus traps you)
- go to Dunny without the white page (your own stupidity traps you)
- go to Dunny with the white page (Dad goes back, destroys both books, congratulates you, and asks you to stick around for further adventures)
The white page is in the vault. To get to the vault, follow the directions in the two halves of the note ("|" is the note break, the first half is in Stoneship, the second half is in Channelwood)
Marker Switch | Vault Access Island | of Myst The vault is loc | ated in very plain view on the island of M | yst and access can be achieved very | easily if the simple instructions are f | ollowed. First locate each of the marker | switches on the island. Turn every one of | these switches to the "on" position. Th | en go to the dock, and, as a final step, tu | rn the marker switch there to th | e "off" position.
Good luck, and Happy Mysting