The Voltaic linking book open to its linking panel
A linking panel is a small moving image usually located on one of the first few pages of a Descriptive Book or Linking Book, showing a view of the Age that the book links to. By placing one's hand on the linking panel, it would allow them to link to the Age that the book leads to. The linking panel is almost always found on the top or middle of a right-hand page; usually the first or second page of the book. The only known exception is the Cleft book on Relto, which has one linking panel on the left page and one on the right. Bahro Stones also have linking panels on them, acting identically to those in Linking Books.
|The following sections are written from an Out-of-Cavern (OOC) perspective. All fictional events should be considered fictional.|
Differences between games
The linking panel is represented in different ways throughout the Myst games.
The Myst Island linking book shows an approach of the island until landing at the docks in which it then remains motionless. With the other four Ages, it shows an endless loop around the perimeter of the Age.
The linking panels first show an approach of the link-in spot and end in the view rotating around it. The Riven Descriptive Book's linking panel shows a rapidly-changing distorted view of various points around the Age.
The linking panels work similar to the ones in Riven, but once used, the approach is shown full-screen.
In Uru, the linking panel is just a static image. This is likely due to graphical limitations.
Linking panels show a view that rotates around the link-in point, with the exception of the Myst Island linking panel, which shows a stationary view of the dock, also showing the rain.
|This section contains information that is not entirely canon to the Myst storyline.|
In Myst, linking panels transmit "live" images and sound, making two-way communication possible. This is however not considered canon. It is also never explained how the "view" of the linking book is visible at its destination.