The Let's Play Archive


by M.c.P

Part 13: Entry 13 - Connecting the Islands

Ambient: Dripping water

I spent a long time wandering around the caldera lake, the frog cave, and the balcony. The fact that there was a two story ladder climb didn’t make it any easier. It got to the point where I decided to take a quick rest inside the cool, damp cave instead of walking around under the beating sun. I took a step inside and shut the doors so I could think some more.

God Damnit.

Two side passages, hidden by the open doors, sat there in plain sight. After knocking my head on the railing a couple times, I moved to explore the island further.

I went left first, moving through a short rock passage to a door. Opening the door revealed another spinning dome.

I didn’t see the opening device anywhere, but my attention was drawn to a hole in the wall. It looks like it was in a different room.

The air felt fresher here, so I looked up. This dome was connected to something by a pipe that exited through a large hole in the ceiling. Thinking back, I think the other domes had similar pipes as well.

But my thoughts went to the opening device. I turned around and looked at the door I entered in. Would Gehn use the same trick twice?

As it turns out, he did.

This passage led to the opening device, The third one I’d encountered so far. And this one wasn’t broken, thankfully.

The same process worked here. The symbol was a circle with a vertical line.

The dome opened up, and I headed back to the room to see my handiwork. Another book inside on this island. There was one of these domes on every island, by all appearances.

But I couldn’t do anything else with it without the combination. I turned around to check out the other path.

Moving right took me to a metal walkway on the edge of the caldera. Ahead I could see the building that thwarted me when I first got to the island.

I walked up to the familiar looking door and gave it a try. It clunked solidly. Turns out Gehn actually locked both doors.

I threw a rock at the window but it bounced off with a dull thunk. I was still stymied here.

But the path went onwards, and I took a look, hoping this would reveal a way in.

Ambient: Wind

Instead I found the footbridge I’d been seeing ever since I got to Riven. The great golden dome loomed in the distance ahead of me.

It was a long walk, and every so often the bridge shook in the wind beneath me. It occurred to me I never really figured out what this giant construction was for. Gehn was extravagant, certainly, but I got the impression nothing he built was without its function.

I got to the end and saw the bridge was raised. Pulling the lever at the side here lowered it without issue.

But I thought I recognized this place, and took a look at the pipe running to the bridge mechanism. Far below was the steam pipe that I activated when I first got to the island.

If I hadn’t idly flipped that switch, I would need to turn around, take the lumber cart to Village Island, take the tram to Temple Island, walk back through the temple and dome, turn the steam on, and then make the same trip in reverse to get back here, just to lower the bridge.

I mentally affirmed in my head that I would never leave a switch un-flipped as long as I lived.

Ambient: Humming machinery

But with the bridge lowered, I could make my way back into the Golden Dome, but on a different part this time.

Following the walkway led me to a wheel, and a gap to where I first entered the dome.

Turning the wheel extended a walkway to the other side. I’d officially made a full circuit around the islands.

But I’d skipped an exit on the way here. I turned back around to check.

It led outside, but there was an immediate gap in the walkway. I looked down and thought I recognized that inoperable elevator below me.

I glanced behind me and saw a button on the wall of the dome.

Pressing it raised the platform from below, allowing me to cross.

The walkway led to a door and switch that looked familiar to me.

Pulling the switch revealed a familiar wall and peephole. This was the mysterious locked door of the rotating Gateroom! I’d made my way back here, finally!

But with two entrances to the Gateroom open to me, a thought occurred to me.

I made my way back inside the dome to the first entrance, and gave the bridge lever a pull. It raised on this side, sure, but I had another path to the Gateroom.

I just had to take the newly connected path and rotate the room a few times…

And I could finally see what was on the top level of the dome.

I’d had this place closed off to me the first time I came here, after all. Surely I was on to something.

It was, unfortunately, rather empty of answers.

I turned around and left, more than a little intimidated.

It took some more Gateroom rotations to get back to where I was, but I thought of another possibility. The platform I raised to get here came from below. Does that mean the button below was operable now?

I looped around the inside of the Dome to get to the lower level.

But my curiosity was rewarded. The button here was operable. Apparently the elevator worked with two connected platforms.

Pressing the button took me downwards to a concrete tunnel.

Which in turn led to the fourth dome I’d seen in my journey.

The device was right here, and being thorough, I thought I’d use it.

The symbol here was a circle with a dot in the center.

With the right symbol selected, the dome opened up with a rumble, gleaming in the sun. I noticed another pipe here.

This one went straight back to the giant dome.

Perhaps the two domes were connected somehow? Catherine mentioned they were somehow important for Gehn’s linking books, but precisely what they’re for is beyond me.

Regardless, thinking of Catherine’s journal reminded me of something else.

There was a certain nostalgia about coming back to this island. It was the first place I explored after linking here, and its layout was nearly second nature to me now.

Though it was only now that the island was fully open to me. Another of Gehn’s security measures, ensuring his realms were only accessible from his side.

But he wasn’t the only writer at work here. A long time ago Catherine had made her mark on Riven as well.

It seemed impossible, but it was time to see what she was truly capable of.

I returned to the hatch on the viewer and flipped through Catherine’s journal. The numbers were in D’ni, but I knew enough to translate them. 1, 4, 5, 2, 2. I mentally numbered the buttons from left to right and tried the passcode.

The hatch opened up with a click, revealing a black expanse below.

II stood up and looked at the eyeglass. I wasn’t sure what I’d see next.

Looking through revealed stars, but the glare of light made it hard to see very well.

I lowered the telescope as low as it would go so I could get a better view.

Looking through the glass now let me see clearly. A massive expanse of stars, but there was a dark cloud floating in the center of it. It felt unreal, I had to remind myself that this was directly beneath my feet.

I pulled away, surrounded by the rocks and sea air of Riven. I’d have to come back here one more time to signal Atrus. Whatever this place was, it would probably be my ticket to making those ‘fundamental changes’ he needs. All that remained was chasing down Gehn.

And for that, I’d have to get into that damned building on the Bookmaking Island. Time to see if Gehn is as secure as he thinks he is.