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Minkata — Walkthrough
Written by Web Team   


This walkthrough is for Myst Online: Uru Live

What am I supposed to do here?
Where can I find clues to solve Minkata’s puzzle
How do I determine which way to go?
How do I figure out how far to go in any direction?
I keep hearing music! What does it mean?
What do I do once I find a kiva?
I’m trapped inside the enclosure! How do I get out?
How do I get back to the enclosure when it’s night time?
I finished all 5 courses. Now what do I do?
What rewards are there to find in this age?

Minkata book as it appears on your Relto bookshelf

Relto Bookshelf


In late May, 2007 the DRC opened an age called Minkata to exploration. Its linking book is located in Ae’gura on a pedestal on the left side of the Library’s upper level.

Minkata Book

There is a leather-bound journal next to it on the pedestal that contains important clues for solving Minkata’s puzzle. Before linking to Minkata download a pdf file of the Journal and print it for future reference. The linking book and journal are present in the library of the neighborhood instance of Ae’gura as well as the public instance.

 Minkata Journal

It will help you in Minkata to turn on shadows if you do not use them. As you move around in Minkata, consider using your keyboard’s up and down arrow keys to walk forward and back, and your comma and period keys to move left and right. This helps assure that you maintain a constant direction as you walk or run. It will also help to activate the preference to Go to Where I Click. Do this by selecting the spanner (wrench), selecting navigation, selecting advanced, and checking the box for Go to Where I Click.


Minkata, a D’ni word meaning heavily-scarred, is said to have been a training age for members of the Guild of Surveyors. Surveying Minkata must have been a challenge even for experienced surveyors. To say Minkata is windswept is an understatement. Constant winds whip sand into the air obscuring sight of all objects but those closest to you. Your objective in Minkata is to locate specific objects in the Age, then carry out actions on these objects. There are two reward objects to collect.

You link into Minkata near a large cage made of animal bones and rope. Hide covers the top of it and inside it there is a large, oval stone inscribed with Bahro symbols and the English words  "Find Your Path in the Stars." The stone has a jagged, but clean, split down its long axis. 

Minkata Link in
Bahro Stone inside Cage

When you arrive, the first thing to do is look around and take stock of your environment. The top of the cage is a good place from which to do that. As you walk toward the cage, notice that you leave tracks in the sand for a short period of time. About halfway around the cage from the link-in point the ropes are closer together forming a ladder. Climb to the top of the cage and look around.


From this vantage point, as far as you can see there are flat-topped, more or less circular or oval mounds that are brown at the top and white on the sides. These are eroded remnants of younger rock or sediment that once covered Minkata’s surface. Through time, sand suspended in the air by strong winds has scoured the surface, leaving behind only the areas of sediment most resistant to this scouring.


In several directions you see flags of various colors tied to long animal bones — surveyors' markers left to disintegrate in the blowing wind and bright sun. Look carefully and you should be able to see six flags from the top of the cage in addition to those that are attached to bones that form the cage. Also in the distance among the mounds you will see a few large bones. All of these objects are reference points. It will be helpful to sketch on paper the locations of the flags and bones in relationship to the cage and to one another.



There are several things to observe about Minkata that will make your exploration easier. The first thing to note is that Minkata has three suns. Were you to return to Minkata at various times over a period of days, you would see that they are always in the same location relative to the link in point, the cage and the flags. The planet is in a stationary orbit relative to all three of its suns. This observation is a very important to your successful completion of the journey on Minkata because it means your shadows always point in the same direction.

Minkata’s sky

Next, as you are standing atop the cage, look down at the surface to see a compass rose. A compass rose is a circle that shows the principal directions that are printed on a map or a chart.

Top of the Cage

We see them all the time on maps we use. Typically they have two intersecting lines marking the primary directions, north, south, east and west, and typically the direction to north is indicated by a longer line or being noted with the letter N. Often there are additional intersecting lines on a compass rose to indicate the directions NE, SE, SW and NW, and perhaps still more lines marking the direction to NNE, ENE, ESE, SSE, SSW, WSW, WNW and NNW. These relationships are illustrated here. Compass Rose

By convention, on Earth (and for convenience, on Minkata), north is designated 0 degrees and the numbers increase clockwise: 90 degrees becomes east, 180 degrees becomes south and 270 degrees becomes west. Note that there are 20 points on Minkata’s compass rose, making each point on it 18 degrees.

Notice that you cast three shadows of varying length and intensity; one from each sun. The shadows are easier to see when you are on the sand. The longest and darkest shadow always points north because the center, brightest, lowest sun is almost directly south. When you are facing north, the shadow to the right points 18 degrees northeast through the first purple arrow to the right of north. When you are facing north, the shadow to the left points 306 degrees or 54 degrees west of north through the second purple arrow on the left. The numbers are not as important as noting through which of the arrows your shadows pass.

What else do you see from the top of the cage? Now you can see that the red flag in the sand closest to the cage is due north of it. Turn west (left) to face two green flags. Turn left again to see what look like purple and orange flags located southeast of the cage. Turn left again and, if you are very patient and wait until some dust clears, you can barely make out a flagpole located northeast of the cage. It is far enough away that you may not be able to see its flag through the dust cloud.

Jump off the cage and walk to the closest red flag. It bears two inscriptions: the symbol of the Guild of Surveyors that is identical to the one in the center of the compass rose and a D’ni number, 125. Turn and run to the green flags to see that they bear the symbol, but lack numbers. Turn back toward the cage and run to the orange flag that is now to its right (SE). You may have to wait for a lull in the winds to see it. It bears the symbol and the D’ni number 625. Turn right (south toward the lowest sun) and run to the flag in the distance. There is a symbol, but no number on it. Turn back north toward the cage. All you see is sand. You know you just ran south, so you could retrace your steps back to the north to return to the orange flag, but if you are patient and wait for the wind to drop, you can just make out the orange flag through the dust and, to the left, you can see the two green flags. The point is that you can see distant objects even in Minkata’s dust storm if you are patient and observant. As you run back toward the orange flag you’ll eventually see the bones of the cage rising above the densest portion of the dust cloud. Return to the cage.

There is one more visible flag to check; the one that is located east north east of the cage. Run to it. It is a purple flag with a symbol, but no number. Turn and use your footprints to retrace your steps to the cage. Watch for its bones to appear above the dust cloud.

We have surveyed the obvious features and objects in the immediate vicinity of the cage. Next let’s look at the clues in Minkata’s journal. At this point you may want to explore the age to get a feel for the land. Should you get lost you can use your Relto book to return to the island and from there come back to Minkata to start again. You may be lucky enough to stumble across one or two of the locations you seek. Many of us have done that.

Minkata’s Journal

Minkata Journal Open Minkata’s journal or refer to the pages you have printed. Look at the first numbered page to see familiar objects: four compass roses and a flag with the number 125. Also note the numbers 625 and 3125 that are printed on the page. You’ve seen a flag bearing the number 625, so this must mean there is a third flag somewhere bearing the number 3125. A future task may be to locate that flag.


Examine the compass roses. They look very similar to the one at the top of the cage, except that each has a long, green arrow pointing in some direction and each has a number associated with it: 360, 556, 442 and 420. You would be correct to reason that the four compass roses on the journal page labeled 1 (one) indicate directions and distances you should travel to reach a destination.

Look at the other pages in the journal; note that in all it contains five separate courses that you must follow to find certain spots in the Age. Each course is laid out in several legs (like a golf course). You must go the correct distance at the correct compass heading to complete each course and reach a destination. 

Finding all five destinations is the first part of solving the puzzle. Walking or running all of the legs accurately is difficult, but possible, after finding a practical way to calculate distance.


Return to Minkata and use the surveyors’ flags to calibrate distance. Two of the three flags are close by; one of them 125 units away and the other 625 units away. It is not important what the units are, though it has been speculated that they may be 1/25 of a shahfee. A shahfee, which translates to "span" in English, is a unit of D’ni distance equivalent to about 13.3 feet or 4 meters.

Using the flag numbered 625 will give you more accurate results. Stand at the center of the compass rose on the cage and press your caps lock key so you will run. Have a timing device handy: a stopwatch or a watch with a sweep second hand or a digital watch with a timer. The only tricky part of this calibration is the rope ladder toward which you will run. Your avie will want to climb down the ladder, so you will have to jump as you reach the edge of the cage to avoid doing that. Repeated trials with male and female avies give a time of 26 seconds to reach the flag labeled 625. Try it to get your own value. Rounding to the nearest second is ok.

Next try this “time and compass method” for the first course that has four legs. Calculate the length of time you will need to run along each leg of the course. Using 0.0416 seconds for each unit of distance, that comes to: 15 seconds for leg 1, 23 seconds for leg 2, 18 seconds for leg 3 and 17 seconds for leg 4. Remember to use your shadows to identify the direction you need to run each time. You should plot this course on paper before you begin. Not only will it speed your journey toward the destination, it will provide a clue for future use. Times are from the center of the compass rose on the cage.

Please turn on the sound for the movie above. 

If you have calculated correctly and run the course correctly, you will reach your destination — a kiva or deep hole in the desert. You can see it from a distance because as you approach, its top looks white rather than brown. Walk away from it and look back to see what it looks like compared to a normal mound. Remember the way it looks from a distance! Being able to do so is a useful skill to have! As you approach the kiva you hear reward music in the zone between the last waypoint in a course and the endpoint. It is an audible cue that you are approaching your destination.

Kiva 1

Climb down the ladder into the kiva to see what is in it. You find: a circle of large tusks, bones, the symbol from the surveyors’ flags, a spool of rope, open boxes - some with remnants of flag material, and straight ahead of you, a Bahro stone identical to the one in the cage, also bearing the phrase in English, "Find Your Path in the Stars". Touch the center of the stone. The zigzag pattern at the center glows and you link somewhere.

You appear to be in the same kiva, but light and sound have changed. Climb out of the kiva to look around. It is night and the sky is incredible! There are two prominent spiral nebulae, billions and billions of stars and five prominent constellations. Could one of them be the path to follow? Look around closer to the ground to see the cage in the distance, now appearing broken. Walk or run to it. The ropes are gone and some of the large bones have fallen down so you can approach its Bahro stone. Touch it and this time the entire pattern at the center glows and you link back to the previous state: daylight Minkata and an intact cage.

To leave the cage you have two options - use your Relto book to go there and then return to daylight Minkata, or touch the stone again returning to nighttime Minkata, go back to the nearby kiva Do the latter now. Touch the stone to return to nighttime Minkata and go back to the kiva.

Nighttime Minkata

When you plotted the course to this kiva (kiva 1) you created a course plot on paper that resembles a zigzag. When you touched the Bahro stone the zigzag portion of the pattern glowed and you linked to nighttime Minkata. Look at the five bright constellations in the night sky from a position on the surface next to kiva 1. Do you see one that resembles a zigzag?


What to do next is not obvious. Click on the zigzag constellation to set a course; walk toward it. This only works if you are using Go to Where I Click. If you don’t use that preference, just turn and start walking toward the constellation. Keep walking until something happens. At a point along your path you will see a floating Bahro glyph — a zigzag and four circles, usually a short way left or right of your path. You are likely to be closer to it if you do use the Go to Where I Click preference option. Walk through the floating glyph. When you do, the zigzag constellation moves in the night sky. Turn to watch where it goes. When it stops moving, the floating glyph will move off in the same direction. Look near the planet’s surface. The constellation has stopped just above the cage and the floating glyph has moved toward the cage. Now you know how to find your way back to the cage at night after you have found each kiva.

Kiva 1 Floating Glyph

Congratulations! You have completed the first part of Minkata’s puzzle. There are four more destinations to find, rewards to find, and that flag labeled 3125 to find. You can do those things now or you can read below another way to locate the kivas using vectors.

Floating Glyph 1 done

With each kiva located and bahro stone touched, the glowing glyph in the cage changes to resemble the pattern at the center of the stone (see the map). When the pattern is complete, walk through the glyph to be transported to a Bahro cave with a single rotating stone and the zigzag and circle pattern on the cave wall. Touch the pattern to have the stone moved to your Relto and jump into the void to follow it.

Complete Portal

For your reference here are details of the courses to the five kivas that to use with the “time and compass” method of locating them.

Minkata individual course maps

For an individual Minkata courses map with plot points, click on the image above (PDF file)


There is a more direct way to locate the five destinations. Each compass rose gives data for a vector - a concept in physics and mathematics that is represented by a line that has direction and magnitude (distance in this case). A useful property of vectors that have a common point of origin, as these do, is that you can draw them end to end in any order and generate a single, straight line pointing toward the destination and with its length giving the distance to it. This result is called the vector sum. The center of the compass rose is the common point of origin for our vectors.

Try it for yourself with the four compass roses from the first course. You will need paper, pencil and a protractor. Paper with a square grid and a protractor make the job easier, but they aren’t essential. And it does not matter what scale you pick for distance as long as all of the lines fit on the paper you use. Here’s what to do.

Identify a starting point on the paper. Note that the first compass rose identifies a vector pointing 153 degrees for 360 units, the second one identifies a vector pointing 18 degrees for 556 units, the third one identifies a vector pointing 36 degrees for 442 units, and the last one identifies a vector pointing 270 degrees (west) for 420 units. The vector sum is a line pointing 20 degrees (NNE) for a distance of 581 units. You can draw the vectors in any order and each time the vector sum is the same — a line pointing at 20 degrees for a distance of 581 units.

Climb to the top of the cage, stand at the center of the compass rose and turn until you are facing 20 degrees (northeast). Remember to observe your shadows before you move forward so you can reorient yourself should you need to. Run forward and jump off of the cage at a point next to a large bone. It takes 24 seconds, approximately 80 running steps from the base of the cage, to reach kiva 1.

Here is the vector sum information you need to reach all five destinations:

Minkata complete map

Click on the image to download the complete full size Minkata map (PDF file)

1.     20 degrees — (northeast) for 24 seconds. Distance is 581.
2.    104 degrees — (east southeast) for 103 seconds. Distance is 2483.
3.     319 degrees — (northwest) for 82 seconds. Distance is 1975.
4.    213 degrees — (southwest) for 116 seconds. Distance is 2792.
5.    273 degrees — (west) for 91 seconds. Distance is 2179.

You will not hear reward music if you approach a kiva along a vector unless you happen to cross a location between the last “time and compass” waypoint and the kiva. Whether you use the time and compass method or the vector method to reach the five kivas, you should plot the course to them on paper as doing so provides essential clues. Although you can plot the vectors in any order, you should plot them in a specific order to obtain the clues. D’ni books are read from left to right and so is the information in this journal. As you plot a course, begin with the compass rose in the upper left and work your way systematically down the page to the lower right.

Repeat this process at each of the five kivas, touching the Bahro stone in the cage each time you return to it. Gradually the glowing glyph changes to resemble the pattern at the center of the stone. When the pattern is complete, walk through the glyph to be transported to a Bahro cave with a single rotating stone and the zigzag and circle pattern on the cave wall. Touch the pattern to have the stone moved to your Relto and jump into the void to follow it.

You have completed Minkata’s puzzle with the exception of locating the rewards. Be sure to return to Minkata to collect the rewards and to listen to Tim Larkin’s wonderful music.


There is a pair of hiking boots and an oversized soccer ball to be found as rewards, but no Relto pages. The hiking boots are located in the kiva 4 in nighttime Minkata. The soccer ball can be found day or night by running for 30 seconds due south of the kiva 4.

Soccer Ball and Boots

To find the yellow flag labeled 3125, run due east of the cage for 30 seconds. Make a north pointing line in the sand by using the comma key to make a guide line in the sand, turn and run along that bearing (north) for about 126.5 seconds. Using the vector method this is a bearing of about 13 degrees (northeast) for 130 seconds.


Written by Lial. Coordinates and data calculations by Jiim. Photographs by J’iim and Ayli. Instructions on how to use Minkata Journal by boblishman. Movies by Jiim. Design by Ayli.

Last Updated ( Friday, 26 March 2010 )
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