Stranger (Myst)

Note: Fictional details from the Myst franchise follow, and will be treated as facts.

Stranger is how the player character of the Myst series of games is known, his role being controlled by the player. He is intended to be a mysterious, anonymous, gender-neutral entity without any history. It is most likely a simple blank, irrelevant in participation to the history, which allows any player to play the games without having to "play" a character. Players are thereby free to approach the puzzles and plot without having to account for any backstory, special abilities or personality factors for the Stranger.

Although we don't know even the Stranger's gender, it is preferred to refer to him as a male. He is also referred to as The Player game-wise, while Atrus refers to him simply as 'my friend'.

It was implied that the Stranger was a human (or at least a humanoid) in the original Myst games. Later, there was also the possibility of him even being a D'ni survivor, but for their own convenience while making Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, Cyan Worlds made the "Stranger" a human from Earth.

He discovered the Atrus' Myst book that fell from the Star Fissure to the Mexican desert, or it somehow found its way into his possession. Reading it, by mistake, the Stranger was Linked to Myst. He was stranded there until his explorations led him to Atrus who was trapped in K'veer by his sons (according to the official D'ni timelines, this happened on 12 December 1806). A month after freeing him, the Stranger was Linked to Riven to free Atrus' wife Catherine from Gehn. Then, Atrus let the Stranger fall into the Star Fissure in order to return home to Earth.

About ten years later (1816) the Stranger met the couple again on Earth (Tomahna) and helped them to recover the Releeshahn book from Saavedro. As years progressed, the Stranger even recovered Atrus' daughter, Yeesha from her brother who kidnapped her in order to pursue his plan for revenge.

The Myst games and novels are represented within the fiction as taken from the journals of Catherine, Atrus' wife. In the games, his role is assumed by the player, and as such the games are seen from the Stranger's perspective.


Saavedro mistook the Stranger for Atrus during the events portrayed in Myst III: Exile, suggesting that perhaps the Stranger is of similar general appearance to Atrus. However, Saavedro's initial view of the stranger occurred from behind a glass portal at a fair distance - thus still permitting broad lattitude in assuming anything about what the Stranger may look like.


The identity of the Stranger is one of the best hidden mysteries in the Myst universe, and little is known about this person, not even whether the Stranger is male or female. It is notable that in the Myst games any dialogue is absent, so we don't know whether the game characters asked the Stranger questions about his origin or what reply he might have made.

In the Myst hint guide, there is a small paragraph about the game's background. It says that 'you' (the player) found a strange book in a library entitled Myst describing perfectly an island. On the last page you saw an animated panel which you curiously touched and transported to Myst. This description is considered arbitrary and non-canon, as since then, the Myst backstory had evolved: The book was written in D'ni language and none could understand it. The image also, was on the first pages.

The game Uru: Ages beyond Myst revealed that the Cleft, and thus the location where the Myst Linking Book was found, is in Eddy County, New Mexico. As it has also been revealed that the Myst games take place in the early 1800s, many fans speculate that the Stranger must have been either a Spaniard (Mexico), or an Amerind native, born somewhere in the 17th century. But the Stranger could be as well some collector who bought the Myst Book from some dealer, after having changed many hands after its original finder.

Whatever the Stranger's identity as a 'historical' person of the Myst Universe and Atrus' life as a friend might be, it is highly improbable that Cyan made any plans about the history or whereabouts of this person and it's doubtful that we will learn anything more about him in the future.

External links

The Stranger's story ( - A fan fiction describing the possible history of the Stanger.


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