If you have solved the mysteries of Myst you will understand the background to Riven. If not it is of no matter, the adventure is complete in itself. This walkthrough will get you to the end of the adventure but you should really take time to explore and discover all the clues yourself. The slideshow presents a bunch of screenshots from the games and the links in the walkthrough open the image in question. If you get lost go here or click on the golden island symbols to see a detailed map of that island.
The adventure begins in the chamber where you last saw Atrus (or not if haven't played Myst). Listen carefully to what he has to say - the linking book he gives you is a 1-man prison, you will need it to capture Gehn (don't worry about who he is yet). There is more information on this prison book and Gehn in Atrus's notebook.
Your first glimpse of Riven will be through the bars of a prison (get used to this, you will be locked up more than once). A man will take the book from you and seconds later be killed by a strangely dressed man who will open the gate.
In front of you is a telescope. Nothing seems to work and the cover is locked. No matter, we can come back here later. Go round the rock and take your first proper look at the Riven Isles. Go up the stairs on your left. At the top is the entrance to a round room, some stairs leading down and a bridge to the right.
Turn to face the entrance to the round room. Can you see the button on the right? Don't press it yet - go inside and take a good look around. There is one blocked exit with an intriguing looking building behind it, five pillars and a five pointed symbol on the floor. A clue perhaps? Leave the room, turn round, press the button and watch what happens. Press the button again until an entrance appears. Re-enter the rotating room, you will see a new exit, this one is blocked as well. Maybe there is another way into the round room - a hidden door perhaps.
Leave the rotating room and go down the other set of stairs. At the bottom is a locked gate. Try crawling underneath. At the top of the ladder is a hidden entrance to the rotating room. All you need to do now is align the inner exit with this outer entrance.
Return to the main entrance and press the button once. Back to the hidden entrance, into the room and out the new exit. Follow the tunnel and check out the little picture. Look familiar? Look up and see the steam vent. Look down to close the vent and redirect the steam. Back up the tunnel and look, a handle and button. Press the button a few times until the blocked exit reveals itself. Try operating the handle. Now we're getting somewhere. Off to the new exit, the outside door is locked but never mind, turn round. There is another handle here. The last one did the job so maybe this one will help as well. Now press the button twice and you can get back to the main entrance. Click the button until the room is back where it started.
You can now get to the golden dome. Inside the dome is a small plaque with 5 symbols and a five lines in a star shape. And hanging from the ceiling is some sort of a control room with, guess how many pipes? The rotating room had five of everything. Maybe the number five has some significance on Riven? Take note of the 5 symbols. Go down the stairs and out of the dome. There is some sort of steam pipe with a little lever and another plaque. Look around, maybe the pipe leads somewhere. And while you are doing this, check out the other islands (there are two big ones in front of you).
Close the steam valve (always worth doing just in case). Carry on down the path. Up and to the left is a rotating dome - what's that all about? Look right just before the tunnel. Through the tunnel to the end and, yet another steam pipe. Turn the lever and look up. There is not much more you can do here so head off back into the dome. Just before you leave the dome look across the gap, can you see the wheel and the doorway behind it? There must be some other way in. But for now go back to the rotating room and out the main entrance.
Cross the bridge and head off down the tunnel but do not go too far. On the left is a door. Go inside and check out all the equipment. The important ones are the viewers either side of the door and the lever. Off now to explore the rest of the tunnel. At the bottom is a pillared room with a familiar barred sphere. Check out the animals (called Wahrks apparently) on either side of the sphere, is that an offering in front? If you cannot get out of the main door - you need to find the operating lever. Outside is some sort of rail or suspension device. But no train. Try pressing the blue button.
The next bit is up to you, there are only two controls - enjoy the ride.
There is so much to see and do on this island. It is a real treasure trove of games and gadgets. But first, before you head off up the tunnel, look to your right. Get up real close and touch the ball. Take a good note of the symbol that appears and associated animal-like sound. Turn round and head off up the stairs, through the tunnel and outside to some stairs leading up and down.
Up the steps and over the bridge. Somebody has been doing a bit of forestry. There are a number of ways you can go but I suggest you head for the gate. And draw a map! Is that an insect on the upright? Take a look - and remember the sound. Through the gate and down the path.
Down in this twilight world you can see another rotating dome with some walkways up in the trees. Just past the hollow tree are some steps leading down to the big knife and another wooden ball. At the path junction go right and down the stairs to the wooden Wahrk. On one of the round lamps is a button that opens the fish mouth. Climb inside. On the right is a liver, pull it up and take a ride to the upper level. Follow the path to the rotating dome and carry on round to the right. Carry on up the steps and... too late, you have been spotted! Continue on to the observation tower and open to door. Sit on the Wahrk throne and pull the left lever. At the top look down for a spectacular view of the D'ni Village. Pull the right lever to close the floor of the 'Wahrk Trap'.
Pull the left lever again and leave the observation tower. Go back past the rotating dome and take the left junction just before the elevator. At the end squint through the sight glass - you will get to know these symbols quite well. Click on the button on the top and keep clicking until the wheel stops. Note the golden symbol (repeated up the page a bit). The dome stops and opens. Take a look inside if you like.
If you go back to the dome you and climb inside there is a set of sliders and a button and a Linking Book book hidden behind a window. You can try setting the sliders and pressing the button but it is unlikely that anything will happen. What you need is the number sequence.
Go back to the elevator and go all the way to the bottom. There is another transporter station here but do not leave just yet (well you can if you want to but you will have to come back eventually). Take the elevator back up and exit through the Wahrk mouth. At the top of the stairs you meet a little girl who runs away, follow her and take the right hand junction. Go up the stairs and through the gate. Turn right and carry on down the path and into the crater. You can see people moving about but nobody seems to want to talk. Looking about you can see all the buildings and structures you saw from the observation tower. Note especially the telescope in the middle of the lake.
Head on off along the walkway. On the platform is a ladder going down but there is nothing at the bottom. Interesting. Carry on along the walkway and up the ladder. You can knock on the door you like - how many knocks for Riven? Carry on along the walkways. After some climbing you should be on a platform with all sorts of things around you. Have a good look around but make sure you pull the lever. This will send the submarine down. There is nothing much more to do here so head off back to the steps where near the entrance to the island (where there was a choice of up or down).
Go down the steps until you can see the sea creatures sunning themselves on the rock. If you are careful you can get close, try to remember what they sound like - can you associate the sound with a rotating ball? Go down to the beach and find a way to the rock on which the creatures were sunning themselves. Can you see the ball? It is on the right hand side of the rock. Take note of the symbol, the sound you hear and the shape of the rocks. Back to the path and head left through the tunnel. Eventually you will come to a sort of sand pit with a ball in the middle. Give it a nudge and listen. Now turn the valve. Hmm, now you have a symbol, sound and a shape which match the insect you saw. Carry on down the ladder and through the tunnel. Climb into the submarine.
OK, in the submarine are three controls. Experiment a bit and you should be able to work out which one does which. It is really worth making a map here as you will get lost very easily. When the submarine stops and you cannot see the rails in front of you it probably means you can get out. Unfortunately somebody has forgotten to get the ladders to all the exits except for two: the place where you started and one other. If you are hopelessly lost, there is map here.
Climb the ladder into the Platform Control Room, you will have to work out which way to move the levers to extend the ladders, but looking out of the window will tell you if you have got it right.
Back to the submarine now and off to the School. In the school have a good look around. The most important thing is the fish toy. Using this you will learn the Riven numbering system. If the symbols leave you baffled here is the solution:
5 is the symbol for 1 rotated a quarter turn. 10 is the symbol for 2 rotated a quarter turn, 15 is the symbol for 3 rotated a quarter turn and so on.
The numbers in between are the sum of two symbols: 9 is 4 + 5, 11 is 10 + 1 and so on.
Still confused? Then here is the complete set.
Now you can put a number to the symbols, sounds and animals you have seen and heard.
Back once again to the submarine and go this time to the Wahrk Trap. In the centre is a handle which you need to pull. A sort of trapeze comes down that on closer inspection is a set of manacles. If you put all the clues together you will realize that this is a sacrificial altar. The unfortunate victim would be locked into the manacles and somebody would open the floor. A Wahrk could enter the lagoon and 'crunch!'
Sit on the metal bar and you will be whisked up to the top. At the top is a strange door, if you look inside you should see an old friend. Some stairs go down to the left and there a wheel type thing to the right. Use the wheel to open the door and go inside.
The jail is now empty and the only thing you can see is a grating in the floor. Does it open and is there anything inside? If all goes well a false wall should open. Follow the tunnel - it gets very dark but keep on going. At the end is an opening looking out over the sea. There must be some way to light things up a bit. On the left is a light bulb. Give it a tap. Go back up the tunnel turning on all 6 lights. Now go back down the tunnel and open the hidden door. Go down the tunnel and into the Stone Room. There is a ring of stones in the center with an animal icon on each - one of them is the same as the beetle symbol. All you need now are the other animals.
Leave the room and go back to the jail entrance. Turn right, climb down the stairs and drop the ladder to get to the lower level. Head back up to the place where the trees have been cut down.
The numbers, sounds and symbols discovered so far are:
2 - beetlewings - beetle
3 - two tone chirrup - ?
4 - groan - amphibians/sea creatures
5 - groan - ?
You have now arrived on the third Riven island. In front of you is a large lake with a number of pipes and a walkway leading to structure in the centre. To your right is a large round building and on the crater rim are a number of pipes, platforms and buildings. Take a good look around. The bits you need to find are the lever in the middle of the lake, the controls for the round building and a ladder that leads to a locked hatch.
Since the hatch at the top of the ladder is locked, you need to find some other route to the rest of the island.
Go out to the island in the middle of the lake and set the lever to the centre position - this puts power to the round building. Now go to the round building. There are some burners underneath, the door is locked and the indicator shows red. Go round to the side of the building and experiment with the controls. You need to shut off the burner, empty the water and raise the floor. Stuck? Here is sequence:
Ensure the left-hand lever is to the left.
Turn the wheel so that the hose disconnects - the water disappears.
The right-hand lever turns off the burners.
Now move the left hand lever to the right and the pull the handle on the wall to raise the floor.
If all has gone well, the door should open and you can climb down the ladder. Crawl along the tunnel (dark in here isn't it?) until you reach the end. Jump down and enjoy the view. There is only one way to go so follow the path until you reach the platform. Aha, now you can open the hatch. Go through the doors and down the tunnel. At the end is some sort of a trap and a fan up above.
Click on the trap to open the cover. On the right is a food pot. Take one of the pellets and place it in the trap. Pull the lever. Nothing happens - you need to power the mechanism. Remember how you got power to the round building? Off you go then. With power applied pull the lever and off goes the trap. Now it is time to look around. Go back up the tunnel and outside. If you look right you can see a walkway. To get to the walkway go back through the doors, turn round and close the door. There is a tunnel leading left and right. Go down the left-hand tunnel first. At the bottom is another rotating dome. If you go round the dome you can see a lens in the wall. How did you find the last tunnel? Close the door and go down the tunnel. If you look through the viewer you can see the dome. Click on the button until the dome stops, take note of the symbol.
I wonder if there is anything in the trap? I caught a tree frog which sounds suspiciously like the noise made when I rotated the number 3 ball on the Village Island. And if you want to see another frog then go back to the Village Island and look back down the tunnel leading to the arrival point from Temple island.
Where next? Head down the long walkway to the right of the exit doors. Towards the end is a door on the right. Locked (what a surprise!). Back the way you came, but look out for the lever on the left. If you operate this lever something stops. Go back to the trap and look up. The fan has stopped giving you a route into the laboratory.
Have a really good look around. Play with the toys and note the number on the ball. Read the journal. In it are some clues and most importantly the number sequence needed to unlock the rotating domes (this sequence changes every time you install the game).
If you move the sliders on the dome panel and press the button, you can access the Linking Book. Unfortunately there is no power to the dome so the book is not activated yet.
Go back out the way you came in, turn right and head for the tunnel and walk along the long walkway to the bridge. If you closed the steam valve (outside the golden dome), the lever on the right will lower it. Inside the dome once again you will find yourself on a new platform. Go to the other exit. Press the button on the outside wall and if you closed the steam valve (again) the bridge should rise. Follow the path round to the back door of the rotating room. Do not go inside just yet, return to the dome and follow the platform until you come to a large wheel on the left. Turning the wheel extends the platform. Head on around the dome, down the stairs and outside, all the way to the rock tunnel. Remember what you saw on the right? The cover is gone and up you go. Do I really need to tell you what to do next?
This is not much more to do here so return to the laboratory. Press the blue button just inside and go out the other exit which will take you to another transporter and the fourth Riven island.
This island is so full of clues that it will take you some time to find then all. First off though, you need to go up. Leave the transporter, go through the doorway and up the stairs. At the top is a strange broken landscape. Follow the pathway between the rocks. Look down occasionally and note the tunnel below. Keep on going to the elevator, press the button and go up. In front of you is a platform with a panel at the end. Recognize the shapes? They are the similar to those you saw on the plaque in the golden dome and represent the 5 Riven islands. Look down and you will see the shapes repeated. Press one of the shapes - and watch. Turn round now and head back, through the elevator and into a new lake. There is a path going left and right and a building in front. Explore the paths and it is obvious what to do. Note the dome symbol. Back to the building, go inside and examine the machine. This is the key to the positions of the rotating domes. You will need to play with controls a bit but should be able to find the positions of each dome - remember though, one of the domes is underground so you are looking for a hole. Note the grid reference of each dome, without these you cannot rescue Catherine.
With the shape of each island and position of the domes noted, head back down to the transporter station. Turn the transporter round and go out the other door. At the end of the path is a lever, which you need to pull to go further. Out of the depths comes a lift, get inside and press the button. Follow the path and - somebody takes fright and runs away. You can try to follow them but it is too late, they have taken the other transporter. Back to the path, up the stairs and through the doorway. Climb the stairs, sit down and press the button. Now facing the window grab the left hand handle. A viewer appears with two buttons. Pressing the left-hand button shows you Catherine. The right-hand button shows you something, but what? Click on the protrusions round the viewer. Eventually all will become clear and a symbol appears. Remember what you read in Gehn's book?
To discover the identity of the last creature and more clues pull down the other viewer. You should be able to recognize some of the symbols on the buttons: they relate to the rotating domes. Press each in turn and note what you see.
One of the buttons attracts a Wahrk which growls at you. Aha, now you have the missing animal. Call it back a few times and it gets annoyed and head butts the window! You can also see a representation of a Wahrk on the Village Island
You need to relate symbols to colours to islands to the position of the domes. This takes a lot of patience, but remember what Gehn wrote in his journal. There will still be some gaps in the solution but you should have most of the answers.
You are just about done here so press the button and head back to the Transporter near where you saw the stranger. Leave the Map Island.
You arrive at the tree elevator. Grab the handle and pull it to the centre position. Up goes the lift. Pull the lever on the left and leave through the Wahrk.
You now need to go back to the Stone Room. I will wait here until you get there. You need to press the stones in the correct sequence (1 to 5) using the clues you have discovered.
Fish, Beetle, Tree Frog, Amphibian, Wahrk
Now enter the linking book in front of you.
In front of you is the Rebel Base, if only there was a way to get there. Turn round and look around but there is nowhere to go. Maybe there is clue in the Linking Book? Watch out, D'ni! When you finally awake you are in jail again. There is nothing to do except check the door. Through the opening in the door you can see and hear the rebels. Go back into the jail and you will soon receive a visitor. She leaves you Catherine's journal (which you should read) and the Prison Book, stolen when you first arrived. Is the door open now? Nope, back into the room again. Your visitor returns, this time leaving you a Linking Book with one of the portable power crystals that Gehn wrote about in his journal. It is time to return to Riven.
Note: I found this the most frustrating of all the Riven locations, so much to explore and no way to get there - there may be more but I have only seen 4 people moving about.
Leave the Stone Room and head back to the jail. The final prize is within reach. You need to return once more to the Main Dome Island.
Go to the main entrance of the rotating room and make sure the exit to the golden dome is open. Enter the golden dome and turn round. On the right is a lever which raises the walkway. If it doesn't rise you need to go back to the golden dome and close the steam valve in the cave on the right. Return to the rotating room through the back door and realign the room so you can get to the raised walkway.
Up the walkway and into the upper dome level. In front of you is some sort of a press and on the right is a control unit. The handle needs to be in the up position.
Go to the press and look down. You should by now be able to recognize the Riven map. On the right are a set of coloured marbles which need to be set in place. Remember the map room with the dome locations? Remember the symbols and colours for each of the islands? If not you need to explore the islands again. Even with all the information in place, you can only be certain of 5 locations and 3 colours (orange, green and red). If you look at the fire marbles you will see six colours. You saw 5 of them in the Map Island observation room. The sixth was broken but you can infer that it should have been purple and associated with the Crater Island. This only leave you with a choice of Blue or Yellow for the smallest island. The only way to find out is by trial and error. With 5 marbles in place, close the press by pulling the handle down and press the white button. If you have solved the puzzle you should hear the system powering up the Linking Books and see the marbles ending back on the right. If not the marbles stay where they are and you need to try again.
If you are really stuck here is the solution.
It is now time to leave the Riven Islands. Go to any of the rotating domes, enter the code to reveal the Linking Book and dive inside.
What a surprise. Another cage. Turn round and press the button on the bars. Gehn will turn up and bore you with a long explanation. Eventually he will offer you the linking book as the only way to escape - remember what Atrus wrote about a Prison Book? You can leave, come back, even find Catherine but eventually you will have to enter the book.
Gehn tries to follow you but becomes trapped himself. Have a good look around. Pull the handle by the window and cage opens. At the bottom of the ladder is Gehn's bedroom. On the bedside cabinet is a watch. Click on it and memorize the sounds it makes (click, tings and buzzes). Note: the sounds change every time to install the game.
Back up the ladder and into the centre of the room. There are 5 Linking Books - one for each island of Riven. There is only one island you have not yet visited. Go there now (hint: try the smallest island). If there is no power to the books operate the lever on the the spherical thing - a red light should come on (I thought this was a furnace first time round).
Leave the dome and enter the building. In front of you is a set of controls. Press the little buttons to hear the sounds. Reset the machine using the lever and duplicate the sequence you heard in Gehn's bedroom. Get it right and the cage rotates taking you to Catherine. Escape together and follow her back to the Main Dome island. Go to the telescope. Enter the number sequence from Catherine's journal to open the hatch. The numbers relate to the order you press the buttons, not the number of times you have to press each button.
Now look closely at the left hand support, there is a clue in the Journal. Knock the stop out of the way. Press the button on the right of the telescope to make the telescope go down as far as possible and..... Well I will not spoil the surprise.
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