Atrus, the man you saved in Myst, is sending you on a new quest. You are to go to Riven, a world where he imprisoned his father, Gehn. Atrus might leave him there except for three things. First, the world of Riven is flawed, and is in serious danger of collapse. Secondly, the people of Riven need to be rescued from both their world and from Gehn, who lords over the people like a god. And also, Atrus’s wife, Catherine, is also trapped on Riven. To get from one world to another, one must have a Linking Book. Riven was originally called the Fifth Age when it was created by Gehn, and Catherine was born there. Your mission is to free Catherine, and entrap Gehn by using a book that appears to be a Linking Book back to the world of D’ni, but is in fact a one-man prison. Atrus gives you his diary (which explains the above in detail) and the false Linking Book.
Because of Gehn, Atrus doesn’t dare give you a true Linking Book for your own journey back, but asks you to signal him via the Star Fissure, and he’ll link to Riven with a true Book to rescue you and Catherine. How you might do this, he’s uncertain, but the Star Fissure is the void between the worlds, and he can only glimpse fundamental changes of Riven through it — so whatever you do must be dramatic.
You link to Riven, and find yourself encaged. A native man steals the false Linking Book from you, but is shot with a dart before he has time to do more than look inside it. His body is dragged off, and then another mysterious man comes into view, takes the dropped Book, and pulls a lever that opens the cage. As the cage door lowers, the mystery man jams the lever with a dagger and makes his escape.
The First Island – South Side
There’s nothing you can do with the jammed lever or the cage, so ignore them. There’s some kind of scope in the shape of a metal ice-cream cone, but it’s inoperative right now. Note that a pipe goes from it into the rock wall, and that the scope is pointed at a locked metal hatch. The hatch has five unlabeled buttons. Remember that, but put the issue of the scope aside for now.
Further along, you can look down a cliff and see the body of the man who first stole your Book. There’s no way to get down there to search him, and later in the game, his body will be gone, so you can’t be sure if he’s dead.
Assuming you’re on the south side of an island, you can go up a rock stairway to a spot where you can go west into a pentagonal chamber, east across a bridge, or north down another rock stairway to the north side of the island. The right side of the entranceway into the chamber has a large red button on it — more on that later.
The First Island – North Side
There’s not much here but a locked wooden gate across a break in the rock wall. A dagger in the ground points under the door, and you can, in fact, go under the door without opening it. You’ll come out the same way. The passage past the gate leads to a semi-circular alcove that has a peephole into the pentagonal chamber.
The First Island – Pentagonal Chamber
Inside the chamber are five pillars, each ornamented with a beetle. Pull the bottom ring of a beetle to reveal a peephole. Inside the peepholes, you can see the five panels of art that are on the five CD envelopes the game’s CDs are in. The pictures tell a story about Gehn: 1) how he expelled Atrus from Riven, 2) how he established five guilds, 3) how trees were destroyed to make Gehn’s Books, 4) how whatever Gehn writes in his Books creates everything in the world, and 5) how Gehn ascended and left them.
Between the pillars are three walls of native writing which you cannot read, the “east” entrance, and a locked ironwork door (to the “west”) through which you can see another bridge. There is no obvious way to open the door.
Pushing the red button in the entrance rotates the chamber for 1/5th of a circle. When the entrance is blocked, you’ll see a semi-circular alcove with a peephole. If you rotate the chamber three times, what was the exit passage will align with the entrance, and what was the entrance will align with a new locked door (“northwest”), through which you can only see another door. This doesn’t help you — but — if you rotate the chamber once more (4/5ths rotation from original) then you can enter the chamber from the north passage and exit through a fifth “south” passage.
The south passage is rough and ends at a vent leaking steam through a pipe in the air. An icon of the scope is above a lever that connects the upward pipe to a cross pipe leading to the scope. Pull the lever down — this will power the scope (not that that’ll help you just yet). Just inside the south passage are a red button on the right, and a gold handle on the left. Push the red button until the south passage connects to the northwest door. Pull the handle up to open the northwest door (it’ll slide up).
The northwest passage is still blocked by a second door, and that door is still locked. But there’s another red button and gold handle here. Pull the handle up — it’ll open the west door, although you can’t see that yet. Push the red button to connect northwest passage to east entrance, go to the east entrance and push the red button to connect east entrance with west passage. You can now cross the western bridge into a large yellow dome!
The First Island – Inside Yellow Dome
Inside the dome is not an observatory as you might think, but a large pool of bubbling water. You are on a catwalk that leads forward, then circles clockwise and downwards to an exit to a lower north exit. If you turn back at the entrance, you’ll see a lever to the right, but it doesn’t do anything right now. Another quarter circle of catwalk is on this upper level, but out of reach — it seems obvious that a piece is missing between it and where your part starts its circle. From the ceiling hangs a large mechanism, out of reach, purpose unknown. Five massive pipes lead out from it in five directions and out through the walls. A diagram labels the pipes with five shapes built of squares. All you can do for now is exit to the lower north.
The First Island – North of Dome
The walkway here has two more steam pipe controls, both labeled as controls for raising and lowering a bridge. Pull the levers down to provide power to both bridges. One lever powers the bridge leading into the dome on the east, another to a bridge leading into the dome from the west. Powering a bridge control won’t by itself move a bridge. You can now work the lever inside the dome — but since it raises the bridge away from you, effectively trapping you here, this seems worse than useful for now, so pull the lever (and bridge) back down so you can leave the dome and go back to the pentagonal chamber.
You’ll also find a button on the north outer wall of the dome that looks like it should work as an elevator control, but doesn’t do anything when you press it. Again, just remember it for now.
The First Island – East Bridge, Pink Chair Room, Temple, Cable Carport
The bridge east of the pentagonal chamber leads through a cavern passage. Halfway along is a door to a room with a pink chair, and further along is a door to a temple.
The pink chair is surrounded by semi-circles of wire that can enclose whoever sits there. The wires raise themselves as you enter. Sit in the chair to use its controls. The right arm has a button that lowers and raises the wires. The handle on the left arm makes a hum, but it’s not clear what’s really happening. Also in the room are spy images of the temple room, and the cable carport. Pull the lever beside the image of the temple room to open its large southern door.
The temple is dominated by a larger version of the wire globe in front of a star emblem, and is flanked by two unusual animal statues. Leave via the southern door that is opened from the pink chair room.
The cable carport is empty — push the blue button to summon a car. Get in and sit down. The controls are simple — push the lever that sticks out to the left to turn the car around, then lift the handle to move forward. You’ll arrive at the second island — and be asked to change CDs.
The Second Island – Cable Carport
Don’t leave too soon — one wall has a wooden eye embedded in it. Push it, and it’ll rotate to reveal a symbol. You’ll eventually find five of these eyes — remember their symbols and the sound they make when they rotate. The passage up from here ends at the middle of a longer stairway that leads down to a beach, and up to bridge. On the other side of the bridge is a wasteland of treestumps.
The Second Island – Treestumps
Someone’s been busy chopping down trees here, and insect life is plentiful. The paths branch, and give you three ways to go. The leftmost leads to a river valley. The center path leads to a gate into a forest; a beetle can be closely examined on the right edge of the gate. The rightmost path leads past an axe into a square hole, where a simple train car awaits you. If you get in and push the lever, you’ll travel to yet another island, the “lake island”.
The Second Island – Forest
The forest is quite a contrast to the devastation of the treestumps. The path bends around a bit, but has only one obvious branch inside a large tree. The left branch leads to a bridge over a startling fissure of molten lava, and ends at a gate into a river valley. The right branch leads to an apparent shrine in the shape of a mythic animal. There is another less obvious branch where a large dagger points into the ground. Follow the dagger to find another wooden eye.
The Second Island – Shrine, Cable Carport
As you might guess, the shrine has a secret entrance — push the top of one of the globes that light the end of the path to open the shrine’s mouth. Inside is a black lever that opens and closes the mouth from the inside, and a blue button to summon a cable car. Further back is a small wooden elevator with a control wheel on the right. Pull the wheel up to go to the upper level of the forest, or down to travel to another cable carport.
If you do go down, you must turn around to find the exit to the carport — that’s not a metal door you must open. The car will take you to yet another island — the “L-shaped island”.
The Second Island – Forest Upper Level
A metal walkway leads from the elevator to a spinning metal dome with eye symbols on it. One symbol is uniquely yellow; the others are gray. A branch of the walkway leads to a scope device that looks at the symbols. Push the button on top of the scope continually until you manage to select the yellow symbol. The dome will stop rotating and open up, revealing a window showing a Linking Book, a slider control with five sliding markers on it, and a button. Without knowing more, you can’t open the dome further right now.
Past the dome, the walkway continues over the magma pit, and over the river valley, to a lonely building on a high hill. Inside the building is a single chair with two levers. Sit. Push the left lever, and you will be elevated high above the village. Look down. Push the right lever, and watch a floor close above the water inside a hollow cone structure. You’ll want that floor there. Push the left lever again to get back down.
The only way to continue from the Forest Upper Level is back down the elevator.
The Second Island – River Valley
You might have entered from the leftmost path of the treestumps, or from the forest gate, but either way, the sentries in the weather tower will sound the alarm, and you’ll find the village deserted — all the people go into hiding at your approach. You cannot reach the sentry tower.
The Second Island – Village
It looks complicated, but there’s only one way for you to go — follow the paths and ladders until you reach an area with an odd contraption that looks like a boiler tank on wheels — it’s actually a one-person sub. Push the lever beside it to lower it into the water. Entering the sub comes much later.
Everything else here is mostly for show. You can only reach one gourd-house’s door, and they won’t answer unless you knock five times — not that they’ll talk to you even then, of course. You can look down at one pier into the water to see an “H” in the water — that’s just a place the sub can stop at. Also, note the triangular fish hanging up in places; they’re easy to miss.
The Second Island – Beach, Blue Lights
Go back through village, valley, treestumps, and bridge, and head down the stairs to the beach. Two large beaked seal-like critters are sunning themselves here, but swim off at your approach. Go off the path onto the beach and head for the rightmost end. A wooden eye is embedded in one rock that looks like it may be some sort of animal.
Back on the path, it turns back into the rock where a cave is lit with blue lights. A hand drawing of Gehn sacrificing men to beasts is easy to miss on one wall. This area leads into the other side of the village, and another sentry heralds your arrival.
The Second Island – Village, Other Side
An odd white circular pool is here, and another wooden eye is embedded in it. If you turn the handle at one side, water fills part of the pool. The shape of the water is that of a beetle — more obviously so when viewed from above.
Past the white pool is where you can board the sub. Although the sub is below water level, the water seems to be held back somehow.
The Second Island – Inside the Sub, Ladder Control Room
The sub has three controls — the large lever on the right moves the sub forward on its track. The lever in the middle turns the sub around. And the sliding lever selects whether the sub will take the left or right track when the track splits.
There are seven places where the sub can stop on the track. From the sub’s initial position and direction, it can travel clockwise to a Y-branch, then to the cone, then to an X-branch, and back to start. The other branch of the Y leads to the pier. The other two branches of the X lead to the schoolhouse and a ladder control room.
You can’t leave the sub at either the Y-branch or the X-branch. You can exit the sub at the other five locations, due to the water being held back somehow, but you can’t reach the land unless a metal tongue with a ladder has been extended there. Initially, there are tongues and ladders only at the start location, and at the ladder control room.
The most direct way to get to the Ladder Control Room is to turn the sub around, make sure the track selector is to the right, and go forward twice. Climb the rungs up the cliff, and in the room you’ll find there, push all the levers up. (They’re initially set up-down-down-up-down.) Look out the window to see the difference.
The Second Island – Schoolhouse
You can ignore the alphabet tiles and the message on the slate — there’s no way to learn Rivenese. But you can learn how to count to ten by playing with the gambling device in one corner. It has two stick figures dangling by their legs towards their doom. Each time you work its control, you hear a roulette wheel inside spin, and a symbol appears in front. Then the man is lowered by that much — listen to the clicks.
Here’s how to count to ten:
The Second Island – Cone, Prison Cell
If you haven’t closed the floor here (see Forest Upper Level), you won’t be able to do much. There’s a triangular handle on a pull cord. Pull it, and a bar will be lowered. If the floor is there, you’ll be able to grab it and ride up to the top of the cone before it goes back up by itself.
Walk across a board from the top of the cone to the door of a prison cell. Someone is inside, but won’t talk to you. The control to open the prison door is to the right of the door. The person inside leaves for places unknown.
Inside the cell, open the floor grate and reach into the water to find a control that opens up a secret passage!
I was unable to travel back down the cone, but at the end of the walkway you can lower a ladder down to the village near the pier. This means you can’t get back at the sub — but it’s only temporary. If you leave long enough — probably to another island — the villagers will return the sub to where you first found it.
The Second Island – Secret Passage, Circle of Animals
Re-opening the secret passage is done with another triangular handle at the right end of the mechanism. The passage beyond is pitch black, and you have no light. If this was Zork, a grue would eat you or you’d fall into a pit, but that won’t happen here. Walk boldly straight ahead into the darkness until you reach light — it’ll be a window-like opening where you can see ocean. A stick on the left is a light source — touch it to turn it on. This lights up enough of the previous room so you can find its light stick, and by lighting it find the next one, and so on, back to the secret entrance.
Once back at the secret entrance, head back down the now lit cave and find a stone door in one wall. Open it to reach a new branch of cave, and close off the route to the ocean window. The new branch is already lit, and leads to an odd room — a dagger symbol is on the far wall, and 25 tongues of stone form a large circle, and each stone bears a stylized representation of a different animal. The secret to this room is revealed later.
The Lake Island – Mill
At the end of the train ride, you are dumped out of the car, down a chute, and onto a mill. Fortunately, it’s not operating right now, or you’d be shredded like all the lumber that’s come through here. A lever is here that will turn it on if the mill had any power fed to it — but there isn’t any power, and you don’t need to use the mill in any event. A ladder takes you down to the beach. Behind the mill is another ladder that lets you get back into the train car and make the return journey to the forest island.
The Lake Island – Lake Center
This is relatively simple — a walkway leads to the center of the lake where four pipes converge on a single handle control. One pipe is smaller and not selectable — assume it is providing power, probably steam. By moving the handle, you can direct this power to the mill, the water tank building, or another building high up the cliff. Turn the handle toward the water tank building (center position).
The Lake Island – Water Tank Building
There’s a lot of pipes here, take it slow, and examine things from several angles. When you’re ready, stand on the walkway outside the building, facing the tall window.
First of all, you can’t enter the building until the heat has been turned off. When the heat is on, there are blue flames on the underside of the building, the glass tube beside the door is red, and the window shows the water is boiling. To turn off the heat, pull the handle for it up. The pipes are gold-brass and on the right side of the screen. The water will stop boiling, and if you look up, you’ll see the heat redirected to a light at the top of the post. The tube beside the door is now clear, and the door will automatically open when you step up to it. However, there’s not much point in going inside — there’s a ladder going down in the center of the room, but there’s no floor and lots of water between you and it.
Back at the pipes, swivel left and face the handle on the Y-pipe connection. Turn the handle to the right (lower) branch. This provides power for the floor release handle. Turn back to the window and pull the floor release handle up — it’s just right of the window. The floor inside the tank will float to the top of the water. You’ll see this through the window.
Now turn the handle on the Y-pipe to the left (upper) branch, and provide power to the pump. Turn the large wheel on the pump to open the intake pipe to take in air (instead of water) and the water inside the tank will be drained, leaving the floor at the upper level.
Go inside the tank. Go down the ladder into the large pipe. Crawl through the pipe in darkness up the cliff and exit at the top of the cliff. Once you’ve exited the pipe, you can’t re-enter the top end of the pipe. From here, you can only walk to the front double doors of the structure you viewed from below, although you can see another building in the distance past here.
Before entering the building, take a moment to open the circular hatch so you can now use the ladder that links the beach to here. It was locked from below; otherwise you wouldn’t have had to bother with all those pipes.
The Lake Island – Inside Double Doors; Upper Walkway
The double doors lead not into a pleasant home, but into a gloomy cave. The only obvious passage leads up to an experimentation area with a pulley and fan — but if you close the double doors, you’ll find two more passages.
A pulley holds a small metal globe perforated with holes. The globe opens, and you can move a pellet onto its inner plate from a side depression that holds a collection of pellets. If the control in the center of the lake is providing power to this location, you can use the control here to lower and raise the globe. Nothing seems to happen to the globe or the pellet, however, and the large fan above turns uncaringly.
One side passage leads down to a door, which opens to an underground room containing another spinning dome. To find its scope, you must close the door behind you and enter the passage the open door hid behind it. Use the scope to open this spinning dome as you did on the forest island.
The other side passage leads outside again, along a walkway to Gehn’s pentagonal house. The door is locked, of course. Also on the walkway is a handle that is providing power to the fan you’ve already seen, and another inside the house. Pull the handle to turn off both fans. Go back to the fan, and crawl up inside its pipe and enter the house through the fan.
The walkway continues a lot further past the house. Astoundingly, this is one end of a huge bridge to the first island, ending near the west end of the yellow dome. There’s a lever here to lower the final end of the bridge so you can enter the dome from this side, but it won’t work unless you powered it up (see The First Island – North of Dome). If you didn’t do that, you’ll have to get back there the long way, pull that lever, and come back here again.
The Lake Island – Pentagonal House
Read Gehn’s diary on the desk below the fan. It has lots of information, including his access code for the domes, and a color sequence expressed in eye symbols. You also learn he has escaped into his 98th Age.
The dome access code when I played was 8 – 11 – 13 – 16 – 22. It will be different from game to game. To understand how to count past ten, you must realize that the symbol for 5 is just the symbol for 1 turned sideways, and the symbol to 10 is the symbol for 2 turned sideways. Likewise, a sideways 3 means 15, and a sideways 4 means 20. Furthermore, numbers that aren’t a multiple of 5 are built up by merging two symbols. The symbol for 6 is 5 plus 1, the symbol for 7 is 5 plus 2, the symbol for 8 is 5 plus 3, and the symbol for 9 is 5 plus 4. 10 is 2 sideways, and then 11 is 10 plus 1, 12 is 10 plus 2, and so on.
To use the access code, set the five sliders inside a dome to those five positions and push the button. Inside is a Linking Book to Gehn’s 98th Age. There’s still a problem: the books’ pictures are dark without the necessary power.
The color sequence is expressed in eye-symbols, but the obvious sequence is red-orange-yellow-green-blue-purple, and this can be verified in the L-shaped Island’s spy room.
Also on that desk is another wooden eye, and a note about Gehn’s discovery of it. Have you been keeping track? You should have found five of these eyes now.
Other things in the room are less important, although interesting. Another desk has a small box of drawers containing a sampling of stones, and a globe of water can be turned on to show how oddly water reacts to heat (as described in the diary). A third desk has a vice, and a magnifying glass showing how five-ness can even be found in the pattern of the wood. A furnace, or kiln, in the center of the room holds a burnt Linking Book — one of Gehn’s failures. You should open both the doors to make sure they’ll be unlocked should you wish to return here.
Last, but not least, a blue button at one door will summon a cable car to a carport down on the other side of the cliff, although the button is not in front of the door that you’d use to get there. The car will take you to the L-shaped Island.
The L-shaped Island – Carport to Forest Island
The passage from this carport leads to a T-junction. Head left to the Spy Room, or right to the Red Room.
The L-shaped Island – Spy Room
Yet another weird chair to sit in. Push the button inset in the right hand control to turn the chair towards the window. It’s an underwater window, if you weren’t sure. Pulling on either control lowers a large globe in front of you. Each globe has a circular viewscreen, two or six pentagonal buttons, and six hoops to pull on.
The left globe has two buttons. Push the left button to spy on Catherine’s room on the Prison Island. Sometimes she’s there; sometimes not. Push the right button to spy on the village on the Forest Island. Pull the hoops to rotate the village view. There’s nothing worth seeing, however.
The right globe has six buttons, each labeled with a different eye symbol. Pull a hoop to rotate the buttons, but you can only push a button when it’s in the red frame. It’s hard to be sure what you’re looking at, but there’s apparently pipes and lights in the ocean, and each button lights a different light. Each light is a different color, but the one that should be purple doesn’t seem to work. Also, the red light is right outside the window, and it will summon a large shark-like creature to you. Don’t summon it too often, or it’ll ram the window in frustration and ignore the red light thereafter.
The L-shaped Island – Red Room, Elevator, Red Pool
You sense that this room is too close to a magma pit for comfort, but nothing threatens. A small room at the end is an elevator. Push the button inside to close the door, which also doubles as a gangplank, and ride down through some red liquid to a red pool. The exit from the pool leads to the Carport to Lake Island. If the elevator is not waiting above the pool, a lever is nearby to summon it up.
The L-shaped Island – Carport to Lake Island
You can exit from both sides of the carport. When the car is facing inward, you can exit to the Red Pool. When the car is facing outward, you can exit to the Jagged Rocks. You can’t just walk around the car; you must get in the car and turn it around to get to the rest of the island. And, of course, you can take the car to the Lake Island, but if you haven’t unlocked the doors to the pentagonal house there, you’ll be stopped there.
The L-shaped Island – Jagged Rocks, Etched Path
You will walk quite a distance here, along a path through a landscape of pointed jagged rocks and swamp. Strangely, you can see the Red Pool below one part of the path. The path continues up into a new terrain, this time a path etched into the rock, with odd white rock formations — odd since they seem artificial with all the spigots lining the top edge. Otherwise the land is flat; you can see ocean below you at both sides. The path finally ends at what appears to be a fortress, but with a crude elevator. Inside the elevator, the button is barely visible on the lower left. Go up the elevator. Forward is a view of the path you just crossed, and behind you (the elevator has no back here) there is a small lake.
The L-shaped Island – Island View
This is not a view of the true islands, but five artificial islands of stone. From above, you can see a grating of some sort was used for the “roof” of the islands. A square control panel with five differently shaped buttons corresponding to the shapes of the islands is here:
Pushing a button makes the roof of the corresponding fake island bubble up like blue gelatin. If you read Gehn’s diary, you’d know that the water on Riven reacts strangely to heat, perhaps due to some amoebae or bacteria in the water. Only one “island” can be activated at a time. I suggest your first shape should be the L-shape.
The L-shaped Island – Small Lake
In the center of the lake is a floating room with a topography machine. Unless one of the fake islands has been activated in island view, you can’t reach the topography room — the bridge there retracts.
On either side of the lake is another spinning dome and its scope. Stop the dome in the usual way.
The L-shaped Island – Topography Room
There’s one device here. It has a large square display in a 5 by 5 grid, a 5 by 5 control panel, and a lever. The control panel displays in its grid the shape of the button (and island) you selected at Island View. The basic island shape is represented with one or more squares. One square of the shape is highlighted in yellow; the other squares are white.
When you push the yellow square on the control, the larger grid displays a topographical map (or turns the map off if already on). Pushing a white square turns it yellow, and shows a different map. Pushing the handle rotates the controls and the display by 90 degrees.
Until you view the L-shape with this device, it’s not obvious that these maps are useful — but two squares of L-shape are unmistakably the Jagged Rocks and the Etched Path of the island you’re on. Once you realize the shapes of the fake islands correspond to the shapes of the real islands, and that the topographical maps are showing you a portion of a real island, you can figure out what shape goes with which island you’ve been to:
The First Island – Inside Dome, Part Two
The bridge from the Lake Island leads into the western upper catwalk you couldn’t reach before, and it leads back out at an upper level on the north side. Before that, why don’t you turn the crank at the far end of this catwalk to join this catwalk to the first catwalk?
The First Island – North of Dome, Upper Level
A button on the wall raises that elevator that wouldn’t work, which completes a break in the bridge leading out from here to the last locked door of the pentagonal chamber. Pull the handle here up to get rid of this door. I know, I know, you want to get to that other bridge you can now see leading to a fourth spinning dome. Go back inside the dome, run around the catwalk over the new part to the first catwalk, and down and outside to the lower level.
Push that elevator button that didn’t work before. As the elevator above you goes down, so does the one you’re standing on to a “basement level”. The stairs and bridge to the spinning dome and its scope are easily reached from here. Return the same way.
The First Island – Top of the Dome
Have you forgotten the bridge control lever for the first bridge into this dome? Inside the dome, pull the lever and raise the bridge away from you. You couldn’t get back to the pentagonal chamber before with the raised bridge, but now you can regain the chamber via its northwest entrance. Rotate the room (if necessary) to get to the east entrance, and from there rotate it to link east entrance to west. You can climb the raised bridge from the pentagonal chamber to the top area of the dome.
Inside is a straight path to a machine hovering over a 25 by 25 grid. There are six colored marbles: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. A control switch is on one wall. Pushing the switch lowers the machine, which presses onto the grid, and reveals a white button where the switch was. Pushing the switch again raises the machine. When the marbles are all in their proper positions on the grid, push the switch and push the button.
From everything you’ve seen so far, you should realize that the mechanisms in the dome will provide power to the books inside the spinning domes. If you’ve been paying attention, those five pipes leading out of this dome connect to the five domes on the five islands. You haven’t seen the fifth island or its dome, but Gehn’s diary on the Lake Island told you there was one on each island.
So where do the marbles go? It may take a while to work this out, but the marble colors correspond with eye-symbols, and each spinning dome has a different eye-symbol. So each marble represents a spinning dome. Putting a marble on the 25x25 grid is like marking the dome locations on a map of Riven. You saw a 5x5 grid representation of Riven at the L-shaped Island’s Island View. Overlaying the 5x5 map onto the 25x25 one means that each square of the simple map is represents by a 5x5 area on the larger one. Which is exactly the information the Topography Room on the L-shaped Island can tell you. The domes are easy enough to spot on the topography maps — once you’re looking for them — except for the underground one on Lake Island (it’s represented by a hole in the cliff). You’ve never been to the fifth island, so you’ll have to guess its color is either yellow or blue — it turns out to be blue. The yellow marble shouldn’t be used at all. So the marble placement is:
Gehn’s Age – First Visit
Now that the Linking Books have power, go to one and use it. It doesn’t matter which dome you go to — all five go to the same place — a cage in Gehn’s new digs. Why so surprised? He built the cage you linked to in Riven, too. A button on one side of the cage summons Gehn.
Gehn apologizes for the cage, but explains his reasons for caution. He knows you brought a Linking Book with you to Riven, and that a rebel from the villagers stole it. The rebels also call themselves the Moiety, use poison darts, symbolic daggers, and Catherine is their leader — whom he had to imprison for their own good. He asks you to retrieve the Book, bring it to him, and not to free Catherine. As a show of good faith, he powers up the five Books that link back to Riven. All five Books can be reached from the cage, and are marked with the symbol of the island it links to. He leaves the room, and you have no option but to link back to Riven. Since you’ve never seen the fifth and smallest island, I suggest you link to there.
Prison Island – First Visit
The path from the dome leads inside to an elevator, caged on one side. A pull cord works the elevator, but there is also another set of controls — a switch and three tab buttons. The three buttons make musical tones: clank, tink, and ding respectively.
The elevator goes up to Catherine’s Room. Catherine first asks how you got by Gehn, but checks herself, and warns you that he’s trying to use you, waiting for you to make a mistake. Wary of Gehn’s spying, she whispers that the Moiety has your missing Book, and then abruptly ends the interview with, “Well, if you won’t help me, there’s nothing more to say to each other.”
The only way off the island is to link back to Gehn’s Age. From there, link to the Forest Island and head for the Circle of Animals.
Forest Island – Circle of Animals
Serious thought must now be given to finding the Moiety, and the Circle of Animals is where you need to find them. Gehn himself said in his diary to search the south side of the village (where the secret caves are), and the dagger is their symbol, so you’re in the right place.
The key here is the five wooden eyes that you’ve found. Each eye had a symbol representing a number from 1 to 5. Connecting eyes to animals is by the sound the eyes made.
Eye #1 is in Gehn’s Pentagonal House on Lake Island, and made a low wroooah sound. His note said it was found floating in the bay of the village. You haven’t heard that sound elsewhere, but you can guess it’s a fish. The only fish you’ve seen in the village are the triangular ones hanging to dry.
Eye #2 is in the village’s white pool that made the shape of a beetle when water was in it. The sound of the eye buzzed like the beetle too when you heard it at Treestumps, so this is a beetle.
Eye #3 is at the Carport from the First Island, and makes a chee-up or chick-up sound. It might be a bird, but it’s probably a cricket.
Eye #4 is in the Forest at the end of the giant dagger, and makes a vweh-vweh wugh-wugh sound. That’s the sound the big-billed seal-like animals on the beach made. They are “sunners”.
Eye #5 is at the beach on a whale-shaped rock, but the honking sound is easily recognizable as the shark thing that you saw in the Spy Room at L-shaped Island. It’s called a “wahrk”.
(Eyes #1 and #3 require the most guesswork, and it helped me to notice that of the three I was sure of, those icons were *not* used in the documentation booklet, so it was likely all the animal icons used in the booklet weren’t correct. And I got the names for the sunner and wahrk from the T-shirt ad enclosed.)
So, face the way you came in. Touch the second stone from the right to get a close-up of the triangular fish’s stone. Touch it in close-up to lower it.
Still facing the way you came in: the beetle is the second stone from the left. Lower it.
Turn to the right. The cricket is second from the left. Lower it.
Turn right again (facing the dagger). The sunner is at the far right. Lower it.
Finally, still facing the dagger, the wahrk is dead center. Lower it. The wall shimmers alarmingly, and a panel opens to reveal a Linking Book. It’s one of Gehn’s burnt Books powered by a crystal that Gehn’s diary said that Catherine had made. Use it to link to the Rebel Hive
Toto, I don’t think we’re in Riven anymore. The hive looks dark and ominous. Water blocks any direct passage to the hive, so you turn around and see a passage behind you, and then you see another Linking Book, perhaps back to Riven. But before you can reach it, two rebels surprise you and dart you into unconsciousness. You briefly awaken enough to see yourself ferried over to the water to the hive, and then all is black again.
You awaken in a small room. The bed and table are simple shapes that are part of the rock walls, ceiling, and floor. A bowl is on the table. The door is locked, but you can see out to a nighttime view of hive life.
Lie down and get up again. A woman enters and speaks to you but you can’t understand her. She puts on the table the trapped Book that Atrus gave you, and Catherine’s diary. Take them into your inventory and read the diary.
Catherine’s diary has a wealth of information (in horrid handwriting) that explains what has happened to her. Her diary explains how rebels stole two burnt Books from Gehn, and how she was able to use one book to link to this new world, and another to link back to Riven. Rebels also learned the secret of the spinning domes, so she was able to use Gehn’s power source once to get the damaged Book to work. She knew they could only do that once, so she Wrote the new world with the necessary crystals to fix the damaged Books’ power problem, and also to link back.
Her diary also contains the combination for the scope on the First Island. When I played, it was 1 – 1 – 5 – 2 – 4; this changes from game to game. The scope is over the Star Fissure that overlaps the worlds. If you haven’t noticed, there is a small stop on the bottom of the left leg of the scope that prevents it from being lowered too far — the diary mentions this also.
A note inside the diary tells you to first free her, and then signal Atrus via the Star Fissure. The note says that the combination for her prison is in Gehn’s office.
After you finish reading the diary, the woman returns and brings in the Linking Book that goes back to Riven. Touching it links you back to the Circle of Animals.
Gehn’s Age – Second Encounter
When you arrive in the cage, Gehn is there to greet you, and takes the trapped Linking Book from you. He examines it, but is suspicious, and holds it open for you to touch the image of D’ni. Touch it and entrap yourself.
From inside the trap, you can see Gehn ponder what to do, but he finally decides to touch the image himself. This frees you and entraps him! Since the book was outside the cage, you’re outside the cage too. Open the cage by pulling the handle on one side of the room. The door to the outside is locked, but you can descend down a ladder to Gehn’s quarters.
There’s not much down here. Gehn apparently took a bride on Riven once, and has her picture and an imager of her speaking. A second diary should help confirm that you did the right thing in trapping Gehn. A bauble beside the book makes five sounds when you open it — this is the combination to Catherine’s prison. When I played, the combo was tink-tink-ding-clack-clack; this will change from game to game.
Back upstairs, link to the Prison Island.
Prison Island – Freeing Catherine
In the elevator, push the appropriate tabs to duplicate the bauble’s musical code (1st tab clacks, 2nd tab tinks, 3rd tab dings), then throw the switch. The cage will rotate out of the way, and the elevator will rise automatically. Catherine joins you, and asks to see the Linking Book. She takes it from you, hardly daring to believe that Gehn is finally captured. She cautions you that there are still Gehn’s followers to worry about, and the safety of the villagers. She’ll rescue the villages and get them to the Rebel Hive world. You must return to the First Island and summon Atrus via the scope over the Star Fissure. Catherine leaves you, and there is a pause before you can go forward towards the dome. Link to Gehn’s Age — how did the cage get back? — then link to the First Island.
First Island – Star Fissure Finale
Go directly to the scope, and open the hatch below. The scope must be at its highest for the hatch to have room to open. Use the code you read in Catherine’s diary. Push those buttons and pull the handle. You don’t need to look in the scope, but you can see the Star Fissure if you do look. Lift the stopper out of the way in the scope’s left leg. Turn the scope handle down and push the button repeatedly to lower the scope until it breaks the glass over the fissure.
The crack doesn’t stop with the glass but cracks right through Riven, and the scope tilts, buckles, and falls into the fissure. Almost immediately, Atrus links into the open cage and asks you where’s the book, and where’s Catherine? Before you need answer, Catherine runs in from behind him and shows him the Book. Catherine also tells you that the villagers are now safe on their new world. They both thank you for your efforts, and Atrus holds open his Linking Book for Catherine to touch. She links back to D’ni. Then with a final farewell, Atrus holds the Book over the Fissure, and links to D’ni. The Book falls into the Fissure, and you soon follow. As you fall through the Fissure, Atrus’s voice continues, hoping you’ll be able to find your way home, and that although all their problems are solved, there are always new problems, and that although the story of Riven is over, the stories of life have no true ending.
What if you don’t touch the trapped book when Gehn asks you to? He’ll give you more time to think it over. You must leave his Age, return, and push the signal button again. You can still trap him if you touch the book with your second chance.
What if you touch it in Riven before then? A native finds the book and returns it to Gehn. He will then force a native to touch the book while the native is in the cage. The native is trapped, and you are freed, but still in the cage. Gehn reclaims the book, regrets that he must delay his reunion with his son, and shoots you with a poison dart. The scene fades to black while Gehn talks, and the credits roll.
What if you touch it after trapping Gehn? He is freed, and you are trapped. He is at a loss to explain your self-sacrifice, but promises you’ll be remembered for your part in rebuilding D’ni civilization. Thousands of people’s lives will be cleansed as a consequence. Then he closes your book, and the credits roll.
What if you visit Catherine after trapping Gehn but before freeing her? Nothing much. Catherine won’t know Gehn is trapped, so still won’t approach you until you free her.
What if you visit another island instead of the First Island after freeing Catherine? Well, you can’t. Catherine destroys the other four books in Gehn’s Age. In fact, once on First Island, you won’t be able to visit another island via tram or bridge, either.
What if you free Catherine before trapping Gehn?
What if you recover the trapped book before your first meeting with Gehn?
What if you return to the Rebel Hive, either before or after capturing Gehn?
What if you signal Atrus too soon, either before Gehn is trapped or Catherine is freed? Atrus will still come. If Catherine isn’t freed, it’ll be too late to save her or the villagers, and Atrus must link back to D’ni, alone. He still calls you friend. As you fall through the Star Fissure, Atrus’s voice reflects on the heavy price Gehn’s defeat has cost. The villagers will suffer; he must try to repair Riven’s wounds; and he’ll never know Catherine’s fate. The credits roll.