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Achenar is the eldest son of Atrus and Catherine, and brother to Sirrus and Yeesha. He and his brother are the first two characters you meet when playing the initial game. He is also one of the main antagonists.
He was born on Myst Island, around 1776 (9432) - this makes him around thirty years old in the first game, and around thirty-nine by the time of his death.
Atrus was quick to show the brothers all the ages that he had created. He would take the two of them on journeys to the ages and introduced them to the wonders of the Art, but he was nervous about teaching it to them. In the Epilogue of "The Book of Atrus" it is mentioned that Achenar and his brother often played in the woods on the island, accompanied by their great-grandmother, Ti'ana.
In the original game, all Ages of MYST appears to be empty, lifeless shells of the once beautiful worlds described in Atrus' journals. It is believed that Sirrus and Achenar are responsible for plundering the ages dry to satisfy their greed and blood-lust.
Most Ages of MYST featured the living quarters of the brothers. Achenar's various rooms are filled with devices for torture, including an electrified cage, a jack-in-the-box that has a cobra hidden inside, a collection of lethal poisons, and a large contraption for tearing the victim in pieces. He also appears to use various tribal masks and holograms to instill fear into his victims.
It is uncertain if the original inhabitants of the MYST ages are driven out by the oppressive brothers, or outright killed off by the brothers. A collection of human skeletons and rotten corpses can be found in Achenar's torture chambers.
Imprisonment on Myst
"Remember, don't take the red page! Only the blue page. Return quickly..."
- Achenar to the Stranger in the blue book
In Myst, Sirrus and Achenar are the first and most frequent characters The Stranger interacts with. They are imprisoned in Trap Books, then described as the void between two worlds when a linking book's writing isn't quite finished (this was retconned in later games). Achenar was trapped in a book with a blue cover and pages, with several of the pages missing. The linking panel's image was too heavily distorted at first to even see Achenar, until the stranger inserts the first missing page into the book, at which point, the brothers can, if only barely, make contact.
Sirrus and Achenar guide the player through the game to an extent, telling them the story behind what occurred on Myst Island in the past, albeit mostly lies. However, the majority of their dialogue is used to either incriminate the other brother for dangerous crimes, or to plead for the player to find more pages, claiming that they will be released from their wrongful imprisonment once all the pages of their color are found and inserted into their books. A message from Atrus in a hidden chamber on Myst Island reveals that he believes the destruction of the various ages is due to one of their sons; he believes Achenar is responsible, but that he "shouldn't leap to conclusions. After all, it might have been Sirrus as well."
As The Stranger works their way through the four ages of Myst, they discover the character of each brother. Achenar's rooms contain torture devices, disturbingly dangerous toys, and even recordings of him angrily shouting in a foreign language. Both brothers' rooms often have messages from the other, usually threatening or scheming in nature.
The final clue to the guilt or innocence of the brothers is given by Sirrus and Achenar themselves. They explain that the final page to each of their books lies behind the fireplace in the library of Myst Island via a secret panel. Both brothers explain that there is a green book back there as well, but that the Stranger should not touch it. Sirrus states that the Stranger will become trapped as they are if they do, Achenar claims the Stranger will be killed if they touch the book.
In truth, the book was a link to D'ni, where their father, Atrus, is imprisoned. Atrus explains that both brothers destroyed his ages, and trapped him and his wife as well. Their greed led them to imprison themselves in specially designed trap books he had left on Myst Island. Once the Stranger finds the white page and delivers it to Atrus, he can escape his prison on K'veer Island in D'ni, and burns the linking books containing the brothers.
There are a bad ending to the first game, where the Stranger takes the blue page instead of the green book, freeing Achenar, and becoming trapped in his place. In this ending, Achenar takes the pages, and. the screen fades into blue static.
Aftermath of Myst
"For twenty years, I've harbored a secret. People talk about my sons and the evil things they did, but still I remain strangely mute. I do not discuss my own actions that day, or the rage I felt when I burned the two Linking Books that had snared them. Some people believe my sons died in those fires, but the truth is, they did not."
- Atrus to the Stranger about his secret
If The Stranger returns to Myst Island after the conclusion of Myst, there are burn marks where their trap books once were. The final fate of the brothers became skewed at this point, as it was believed at first that with the books being destroyed, the brothers were killed as well. It was later revealed that the destruction of the linking book did not kill the brothers, as they are shown to still be alive in Myst IV: Revelation. However, this created a contradiction and retcon; trap books, which were at first described in Riven as a special kind of book that traps a person in the void between ages, were written out of canon. Instead, it is written in that Sirrus and Achenar were actually trapped in the ages of Spire and Haven, respectively, two empty ages with no way out.
This retcon created contradictions between the first two games and the fourth. Some fans speculate that Atrus, before burning the two books, completed the link, sending the brothers to Spire and Haven. However, canonically, the series suggests that the brothers were in Spire and Haven all along, and that the creators did not want to "reward" the player for failing the game by giving them another age to explore if they freed one of the brothers instead of Atrus at the end of Myst.
Revelation and Redemption
"I must find out if either Sirrus or Achenar deserve to be freed, and... you're the only one we can trust."
- Atrus to the Stranger about the freedom of his sons
In Myst 4: Revelation, Atrus writes a letter, inviting The Stranger over to talk about Sirrus and Achenar. He admits that when he burned the red and blue books before, Sirrus and Achenar did not die as previously stated. Instead, he imprisoned them within the ages of Spire and Haven, hoping that they would reform in solitude. Though he has made several trips to the ages with his family, he ultimately wants The Stranger to decide whether or not they've reformed and are worthy of release. After some exploration, The Stranger learns that both Sirrus and Achenar spent many years exploring their prisons, searching for the linking book Atrus left behind and adapting to their surroundings. Sirrus has used science to upgrade Spire with electromagnets, ships and power grids, while Achenar had learned the traits of the animals and created ways to communicate with several of them. Their journals also suggest that their behavior has changed over the years as Achenar is much calmer and more stern and Sirrus is much more bitter and vengeful. However, both prison ages are vacant and the two brothers are nowhere to be found within them.
After gaining access to Serenia, The Stranger is shown events that suggest Yeesha is kidnapped by the two brothers. Further into the age, The Stranger runs into Achenar, who is in the midst of stealing the life stone and proclaims that he has reformed and is only trying to stop Sirrus's evil plan. He points The Stranger to his journal, hidden within the age, which shows the two brothers plotting to use the age's Memory Chamber to steal Atrus's memories, which will allow them to learn The Art. After further exploration, The Stranger runs into Sirrus, who proclaims Achenar is still crazy and is plotting to kill their father and suggests you fetch him to solve this before locking himself in the unused memory chamber.
"It's over. Everything's gonna be okay, little sis... it's gonna be okay... be okay..."
- Achenar to Yeesha while dying from poisonous gases
After finding a way in, The Stranger finds Yeesha strapped to a chair and begs him/her to pull the silver lever to release her. Achenar rushes in and explains to The Stranger that Sirrus placed his memories into Yeesha's body in an attempt to fool Atrus into teaching him The Art and begs The Stranger for his trust, asking him/her to pull the amber lever instead. Yeesha proclaims that Achenar is truly crazy and that he will murder both her and The Stranger.
In the first bad ending, The Stranger frees Sirrus (as Yeesha), who crushes both Achenar and The Stranger underneath a crushing ceiling. The Stranger is barely conscious to see Sirrus gloat about how his disguise is perfect and that Atrus and Catherine will meet a similar fate after he learns The Art. Sirrus then shoots and kills him/her with the crossbow Achenar brought. In the second, Achenar gets closer to The Stranger to beg him/her to pull the amber lever as Sirrus steals his crossbow and shoots him in the back. Sirrus then gloats about his disguise and kills The Stranger with the crossbow.
In the only good ending, Sirrus gets knocked unconscious as the Memory Chamber starts to collapse. Achenar rushes to stall the collapse in order to give The Stranger enough time to return Yeesha to normal. The Stranger then visits Dream and finds Sirrus's spirit blocking Yeesha's memories. After unscrambling the memories, Sirrus is detached from Yeesha and dies in Dream, unable to return to the waking world without a spirit guide. Yeesha and The Stranger return to find Achenar barely conscious, who explains that the only way to stop the Memory Chamber from collapsing was to place the stone directly on the plant, which mean breathing in fatal amounts of toxic gas. He shows regret and tells Yeesha and The Stranger that it's better that he dies as repentance for all the things he had done prior to Myst. Achenar then leans over into Yeesha's lap and dies. The Stranger then returns to Tomahna, where a regretful Atrus thanks him/her and vows to spend more time giving Yeesha love and care. At the end of the game he looks at the picture of Achenar on top of his fireplace.
Appearance & Personality
In the original game, Achenar is played by Rand Miller. In following games, he is played by Guy Spring. In both cases he appears a bearded, dark haired man, although in Revelation his hair is much longer. It's not known if he had the D'ni's sensitive eyes or not.
He is portrayed as the crazy and dangerous brother who loves to torture humans and animals alike, and shows dangerous sociopathic tendencies. In Myst, he is portrayed as giggling incessantly. His behaviour is much more obvious, than Sirrus', during the first game, it is stated several times that Atrus only suspected him at first. This trait is diminished when seen in Myst IV: Revelation, where his is portrayed more as a survivor in the wilderness, plagued by his solitude, who regrets his past actions. It seems he forgave his father (he mentions that originally he thought Sirrus was going to capture Atrus, when he tried to stop him), and he deeply loves his little sister.