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RIVEN

Reviewed by  Mr. Bill & Lela


Sunners at Jungle Island If you have been longing (as so many others have) to experience another of the strange and beautiful worlds created in Myst, then you are in for a real treat because this sequel is like watching, and interacting with, a 'living' work-of-art. So turn down the lights, turn up the sound, and prepare for a breathtaking journey!

In Quantum Physics today, there is a theory (validated by several experiments) that states that the observer affects reality: that the very act of seeing something may be necessary to its existence and that describing something may actually bring it into being. According to the story first introduced in the Myst game and the Myst novels, there was once a race of people who knew this secret, the D'ni, and they perfected the craft over 10,000 years, creating a thousand worlds by describing them in detail in special books, which could then be used to link to those worlds.

In time, the D'ni and their secret knowledge were destroyed, leaving only Gehn, Atrus' father, as the last survivor of that noble race. Gehn was determined to rediscover the lost art of his ancestors, and he taught his son, Atrus, everything that he learned. But whereas Atrus was imaginative and talented, Gehn was not ..... and the worlds that he wrote were imperfect and always eventually disintegrated, dooming their innocent inhabitants. Gehn didn't care: he simply abandoned them to their inevitable destruction and went on to write another. After all, he was their 'god'!

Gate Room on Temple IslandRiven was one such world, Gehn's Fifth Age, and it was there that Atrus met his wife Catherine, a native of Riven. Eventually they both realized that they had no choice but to try to stop Gehn. And so, 30 years ago, they tricked him: they left him on Riven without a Linking Book to use for escape, and without the materials to make one. But Catherine became concerned for the welfare of the doomed people and so returned to Riven to try to relocate them. Captured by Gehn, now she is his prisoner held to lure Atrus there so that he can escape.

But Atrus dares not go: he must write feverishly to try to forestall Riven's imminent collapse. And so he has asked you to do this one final thing for him before he sends you back home: to find and rescue his beloved Catherine and capture Gehn permanently in a Trap Book ..... a Linking Book in which certain links have been cut, allowing no escape unless the prisoner can convince someone to take his place. And he has given you his own personal journal of Riven to help you succeed.

Riven is a 1st person, point and click game with full screen, stunningly beautiful graphics, great music and sound effects, wonderful machinery, and fantastic, bizarre wildlife. We particularly loved the wild tram rides and the Sunners (sort of a cross between a penguin and a duck-billed seal). You will see a few people in this game but, for the most part, they are reclusive, afraid of strangers, and they speak a strange, incomprehensible language.

You'll visit 7 different sections of Riven, and many of the puzzles (as in Myst) relate to gaining access to those areas, whereas others help you to piece together the story. As in Myst, success depends on keen observation and close attention to detail. Be systematic, explore (noting symbols and sounds) and try to understand, read the journals for clues and codes and, once again, "think as if you are actually there". And save often, because there are several ways that this story can end. Enjoy!

Produced (1997) by Cyan and published by Red Orb Entertainment.

Cyan does not sell the game, but they sell the soundtrack to the game, calendars, and books about the people, history and culture of Díni as they relate to the story of MYST and Riven (we had to have and read all three books).

Was available on 5CD ROMs in a Commemorative Box and published by Ubi Soft Entertainment.

Minimum System Requirements: Hybrid Win / MAC CD-ROMs or DVD-ROM! (Hybrid means PC and MAC versions are on the same CDs or DVD.)

Where To Buy This Game:

Walkthroughs or Hints:

"Hints & Solutions" available here!

"Walkthrough" available here!

"Tips, Hints & Walkthrough" available here!


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