I remember the agonizing years it took (middle school to the end of freshman year in high school) for me to beat this beautiful, richly compelling game. Over the years I have had the drive - and really just pure luck - to beat all five of the Myst games. By far, this is the most compelling one out of all of them. Myst was good, Riven was great, Exile was ambitious, and this is just the top of the cherry. I like that they made it dark, that it had significantly more disturbing elements and violence, and I loved the real life themes of spirituality and shamanism seamlessly woven into the game play. Peter Gabriel as the spirit guide who in the end plays a key role in the climactic events is a soothing and vibrant character amidst all the chaos. But this one really keeps you going. Juliette Gosselin, who plays the mcguffin, is charming and genuine enough so you really want to see her to safety. The reluctant actor, Rand Miller, is iconic as ever as the timeless Atrus. But I have to hand it down to Guy Sprung and Brian Welch. They did a wonderful job giving humanity to the otherwise faceless characters of Sirrus and Achenar. This is a very character-driven game, and really an experience unto itself apart from the Myst universe while still being a part of it. It's currently out of date for the updated Mac OSX which is a real shame. I hope Ubisoft follows Cyan Worlds and ends up posting it and Exile online. I give it a solid 10/10, probably the best game in the entire Myst series, and excellent because all the other games built up to it and with it here it's all the more special. If the opportunity arises for you to play it, follow my advice. Just play it. Bring a cheat guide just in case, though. As it is the most stimulating it also features some of the most difficult puzzles I have ever encountered, makes Riven look like tic-tack-toe.