The Let's Play Archive


by M.c.P

Part 6: Entry 6 - Exploring the Lake

Ambient: lapping water

I admit I spent more time than I should have playing with the water. It seemed to respond to body heat slowly, such that if you dip your hand in the water would slowly bend out of the way, making a divot in the lake. Even if I could swim, I wasn’t sure it was even possible here. Strange physics, certainly

But I had a trap book to recover, and a megalomaniacal cult leader somewhere out there. I went back up the ladder to explore more of the village.

A narrow wooden walkway led around to the metal contraption I saw before. From the wheels and the shape, it looked sort of like a bathysphere.

It looked a little out of place among the wooden walkways and mud huts. Definitely a vehicle though. The short ladder led to a small hatch from which one could enter.
The lever beckoned, and I gave it a test pull.

The metal device neatly lowered itself.

I peered over the edge and saw the vehicle had been lowered onto the rails underneath the lake. So this was the vehicle for getting around! But diving after it didn’t seem like a wonderful idea from this height, and that’s even if I hit the water.

Curious, I began to look around this little rocky outcrop. It looked like there was another wooden platform by the far rock cliff. I didn’t see any way over there though.

I took a closer look at the gold things. More of those tusk whale things, and drums besides. It looked like an altar, but thankfully devoid of that gaunt figure that was probably Gehn.

There was also an oven, with wood ready to feed the fire.

Something was being cooked. It was wrapped up in a cloth but smelled a bit like fish. It looked good but I decided against waiting until it was done and stealing some poor local’s lunch. The fruit would tide me over for now.

But this was another dead end. No other pathways or anything to see. Options exhausted, I walked back to the other half of the island. There was still a path I hadn’t been down.

The walk was quiet, eerily so. It struck me that so much of Riven was barren rock, with green plants clinging to the cliffs in protected spaces.

The village had been nestled on a cliff side, but I hadn’t seen anything resembling a farm. I suppose that small jungle was carefully cultivated for fruit. But so much of it had been clear cut.

But I had returned to the stairs, and the other path I had missed earlier. And ahead, what looked like the beach.

Ambient: Ocean waves

But as I continued, I noticed something ahead. Wildlife!

Two large animals were sunning themselves on the rock. They had bodies like seals, but with long protruding beaks or snouts. I began to slow down as I got closer to them. They seemed to respond with every step I took.

Unfortunately I was so engrossed that I missed a step, causing a clatter as I kicked a couple loose stones. With a short grunt both the beak seals slipped into the water and swam off into the ocean.

Well, at least I had this little lagoon to myself now. The water was crystal clear and quite beautiful. I took a stroll around the beach, wondering if the water here was just as strange as the lake water.

But from the other side of the lagoon, I noticed the rock formation looked a bit familiar. It looked like, well, yet another tusk whale. A small sandbar meant I didn’t have to get my shoes soaked as I took a closer look.

And here was yet another eye, embedded in the rock.

Spinning this one revealed another symbol and emitted another sound. A keening, echoing call that sounded like a whale itself.
Were these creatures… real?

Moreover, what in the world were these eyes supposed to represent?

Not feeling very relaxed and a bit uncomfortable around another tusk whale I went back to the path and continued following it.

It led through a long and winding cave, but it still felt well-traveled.

And on the other side, I found myself at the lake once more. This was the walkway I saw earlier! I had circled around the island. Hopefully this wouldn’t be another dead end.

Down the ladder ahead was a small basin. It looked like something for the village.

A water basin, by all appearances. And yet another eye embedded in the stone.

Spinning this one revealed another symbol… but the sound, a clicking buzz, was familiar somehow.

I noticed there was a spigot in the basin, and a handle next to me. Curious, I gave it a turn.

Water began to pour out of the faucet, filling the basin partway. I paused. The way the water was shaped, it looked just like…

A beetle.

That was why the buzzing sound was familiar, it was the same sound that beetle made when it flew off.
I flipped through this journal. Each eye had a sound and a symbol. The rocks on the beach and how they looked like a tusk whale… the animalistic noises from the other ones. Someone was leaving some sort of clue around this island. But for what?

Lost in thought I started playing with the water here as well. The water in this basin didn’t react to body heat like the lake water. Feeling a bit dry after circumnavigating the island, I took a sip and continued on. It was a bit flat, but refreshing nonetheless. Beyond the basin was a ladder, leading down.

It’s a good thing heights don’t bother me too much. I clambered down onto the walkway, just above water level.

Just around the corner was a cave, and the vehicle I had lowered earlier. I reflected on the fact that if the sub had been raised, I would have to go around the entire island to get it in place.

I suppose the villagers probably shouted up until someone pulled the lever to get them to shut up.

I climbed down into the mini sub and closed the hatch after me. Through the window I could see the wavering wall of water that this sub was comfortably nestled inside. The controls weren’t exactly labeled, so it was experiment time. I started with the large handle to the side.

And the sub lurched into life, plunging into the water and continuing on the rail tracks across the lake bed. Eventually it came to a junction and stopped.

The center handle rotated the sub around, and the sliding handle below that seemed to pick what route to take if there was a split. I got the sub turned around and took a route I hadn’t been to before.

When I popped open the hatch and looked out though, I realized that I was still stuck. The ladder was retracted and I didn’t really relish stepping into the water wall or trying to jump from the top of the bathysphere.

I took a look around and noticed the familiar telescope in the rock. I had made my way to the platform right below the village, so if I needed to go back there I wouldn’t have to walk around the island again. Well, if I got the ladder extended anyway.

I went back inside using the admittedly clunky levers and controls to explore the rest of the lake… But nearly every place I visited had its ladder retracted.

Except one, on the other side of the lake from where I started.

Thankful for some new scenery I climbed out of the mini sub and took a look around. There was the village on the far side of the lake. It would be picturesque, but the gaping holes in the lake surface marred the image a little.

The lake wasn’t honestly that big, though the tiny porthole and rough controls made it a bit hard to get a good idea of the area. Most of it was locked off though, except here.

And it was looking like another long climb for me.

When I made it to the top I was greeted by a row of switches and a window.

Glancing through the window revealed an excellent view of the lake, and all the holes in the water.

Having nothing else to do up here I flipped a few switches at random. No sounds, no secret doors opening, no rumble of stone on stone. Frowning I looked around and out the window again.

At first I didn’t notice anything. But something seemed different about the nearby tower… The ladder had been extended!

I turned around and used both arms to move all the switches up.

I checked back at the window, and, from what I could tell, all the ladders had been extended. The lake stops have been opened up to me, and hopefully I wouldn’t run into anyone else seeing what else was around.

Maybe I could find someone who could tell me where in the world Gehn is. Or where Catherine is. Atrus’ small journal sits heavy in my pocket. I’m still utterly lost in this Age, and don’t feel any closer to my goal. Nothing to do but keep exploring for now.