The Let's Play Archive


by M.c.P

Part 10: Entry 10 - Finding the Resistance

Ambient: Lapping water

I played around a bit with the map, but it was disappointingly sparse on information. This wasn’t helped by its operation. First I had to select the island on the overlook, then turn around and walk to the metal viewing chamber.

I started by looking around the Village Island, but it became apparent that buildings weren’t represented here. Which was probably a limitation of the model, making it impossible to show overhangs.

With a couple strange exceptions. Here was the Village Island dome, the one I found first. No trees or walkways, but the dome itself was represented right there.

Next I checked the L shaped island I was on. Oddly enough, the spiky rock formation was represented here…

But not the very building I was inside.

Around the bend was the dome on this island. I decided to examine it after I was finished with the map.

Curious, I checked Temple Island, and found the dome I spotted from below. That bridge between the islands was likely the only way up there.

Which led me to the connecting island and the one I was traveling to next. The map’s limitations demonstrated their issues here, if there were any structures in this ring shaped island, I had no way of seeing it here.

Just about the only thing of note was the crater in one part of the ring.

Which left one last island, the small one that was utterly invisible from the main four.

It was… a single enormous tree stump. Full size it would put the tree on Myst to shame. Had Gehn cut it down for paper? I’d have to go there to ever know.

But I didn’t have much to show for the map. There was a little more of the island to check.

This small lake at the top of the island had a few more paths here.

Down one path was another spinning dome.

Nestled in a corner like I saw in the map. I wondered why these structures in particular showed up when so many other things didn't.

I turned around and went down the other walkway.

More wooden statues of the tusk whales, and what looked like their tusks lining the edges. More than seemed possible, considering the size of the creatures and their place at the top of the food chain. Maybe they shed their tusks regularly.

The walkway led around to another of those viewers, with a good view of the spinning dome in the distance.

Unfortunately, something had set this one off its base. It was misaligned, and I couldn’t see the dome with it.

No possibility of timing here, but that wasn't an obstacle. I pressed the button repeatedly, hoping to luck into the right timing.

It didn’t take long to hit the right point. The dome opened up, gleaming gold in the sunlight.

It was a short walk around the lake to see if this was, indeed, the same as the one near the Village.

Inside was another book, and the same slider lock as before.

But that was everything to see on this part of the island. I turned around and headed back to the tram, and the mysterious ring island.

On the way back I noticed the water above, shimmering like a Jello mold as it protruded from the rocks. Astonishing, really.

The tram was there waiting for me where I left it.

It was a simple matter to get it prepared to visit the next island in the chain.

This ride was a relatively straight shot, but I wondered what I would encounter here, and the purpose of the long bridge to the Temple Island and its connection to that giant dome. It was Gehn’s, clearly, but what was it for? Even seeing the inner workings of the structure ended up revealing nothing.

Ambient: Wind and waves

I arrived at the stop and stepped out, looking immediately at a staircase to a building at the top of the ridge.

While I climbed the stairs I noticed another track that seemed to dip into the water. It was shaped a little differently than the tram tracks.

But it was time to see what the building up here was hiding. I walked up to the door and peered in through the windows.

I could see a little inside the small room. Devices, tables, and a few books. I reached for the door to open it.

It clunked in place.

A few more tries revealed the heavy metal door was firmly locked.

I checked right. No buttons, no levers, no trails hewn into the rock.

I looked left. Nothing.

This was the first door I’d seen in some time that was securely locked. No puzzle combinations, no keys hidden in chests. There weren’t any other pathways either, this was the only place I could reach on the island.

I’m going to look back through my journal, and see if there’s anything I missed.


It took some checking, but I’m not quite done here yet. I think I’ve figured something out. First though, I’d have to do some backtracking. First, the tram back to the Map Island.

Then, back through Map Island to the other tram station. I noticed the elevator had been lowered while I had been gone.

Watching the elevator rise from the impossible water, gleaming in the light poking in from above, was impressive.

Then through Map Island to the other tram, to return to Village Island.

See, there was something I had figured out. Well, nearly figured out, but I had enough clues to give it a shot.

The thing I needed first, if I was going to complete my job here, was the trap book taken by the mysterious man who freed me from the cage I arrived in. His calling card was a small dagger, a symbol of resistance against Gehn.

Besides rescuing strangers from other dimensions, they also left eyes scattered around the inhabited island. Each of them was had a number, and each was associated with an animal. Thank goodness I had found the schoolhouse, or I would have never figured out the symbols were associated with numbers.

Number 2, the scarab beetle.

Number 3, the frog.

Number 4, the Pelican seal. This one I could only really have discovered by sound, but it was so distinctive, there was no mistaking it.

And Finally, number 5, the Tusk whale.

I was missing a number, 1. There was a possibility it would go to 6, but… So many things here revolve around the number 5, it was worth a shot. I didn’t have a concrete idea of it, but I did have something to try.

The fish I had seen from the viewer, with the little ball floating in the lake. It was well created, it couldn’t just be a coincidence.

Back on Village Island the same watchtower spotted me and sounded the alarm once more. I kept walking. I wasn’t going anywhere occupied.

Thankfully the ladder to the prison was still down. I idly wondered if the downtrodden Rivenese were willing to investigate if this mysterious stranger hadn’t come barging back onto the island.

Or perhaps my trip back to the prison was going to expose the Resistance. Hopefully I could take care of things before Gehn’s lackeys could fall upon their hidden tunnel.

Sountdrack: Rebel Theme

I returned to the mysterious room. It was time to see if my thoughts were correct.

I looked about and found a triangle shaped fish, close to the one from the viewer. This was the biggest leap I was making in this puzzle, but it was a chance.

I pressed down on top of the pillar, and it lowered into the ground.

Next, the scarab beetle. All these animals were important to the Rivenese, at least enough that Gehn would use the imagery in his own buildings. I wondered what they originally represented.

Third, the frog. Was this how the Resistance kept themselves hidden, using aspects of the culture that was being crushed under Gehn’s heel? I wondered how long Gehn had been here, trapped and trying to bend these people to his will.

Fourth, the Pelican Seal. Gehn may be trapped, but it was clear he had somehow rediscovered the Art, if those books in the domes were any indication. How many people would turn on their own nation for that kind of power?

I turned to the fifth and, hopefully, final pillar. The tusk whale, a beast that probably always loomed large in the cultural conscience of Riven, but now even more so as Gehn’s executioner. I layed my hand on it, and pressed down.

The effect was immediate. The still wall ahead of me rippled, and I realized it was Riven water, suspended like glass in front of the dagger. Slowly, it drained away along the walls, laying bare the dagger.

Slowly, the dagger lifted, revealing a platform.

A platform with a book on it.

I stepped forward, cautiously. The edges of the paper were frayed and burnt, and there was some kind of crystal frame on the linking panel.

I looked in the linking panel, and it revealed a grey Age, dominated by a bulbous plant. Smoke poured from the top, and small opening glowed with light from inside.

I paused and marveled at what I was looking at. Gehn was not the only one able to write Ages here. The resistance had also managed it. I wondered if Gehn even knew they were capable of this. But then, how could he? All signs pointed to him no longer being on Riven, likely on his own private Age where he was safely insulated from the imminent destruction of these lands.

I paused, hand over the panel. I had been rescued, but I still didn’t know how these people would react to me. One of them saved me, certainly, but did they understand who I was? I certainly didn’t have many chances to communicate with them. But I remembered Catherine, Atrus’ wife. While Gehn had been all over the island, her whereabouts were completely unknown. Maybe, just maybe, she was here.

I placed my hand on the panel. The world went dark, and I heard the sound of a link as I passed through.

And then I was there, standing on a wooden pier staring at the bulbous plant. I had forgotten how magical it was, traveling through a linking panel. The hopping back and forth on Myst had inured me to its mysticism, but on Riven, this had been the first link I made since I arrived.

Of course, there was no one around. I’ve been sitting on the pier writing this entry and seeing if anyone was going to show up.

There is a lovely statue in the cave here. At least I didn’t totally misread the signs, it’s clear these people have no love for Gehn. It’s actually quit-

Soundtrack: Boat Ride