This section contains some major spoilers for the Riven Easter Eggs. If you would prefer to find them yourself please bookmark this site and come back when you're ready. Also, if you're just looking for hints to the Easter Eggs I would recommend you try Massimo Fiorentino's site first and then come back here later for the complete background on all the eggs. Proceed at your own risk!

eggAn easter egg is a hidden novelty that can be found in many computer programs. Some easter eggs can be placed out in the open where they can be easily stumbled upon. Others however, can be deeply embedded and require specific procedures to be followed before they can be accessed. Easter eggs can be such things as simple images, sounds, movies, and in some cases, games. All the easter eggs in Riven only fall into the first three categories however.

Basic eggs

richard's childrenAs a special tribute to their children, the three 'head' guys at Cyan, Rand Miller, Robyn Miller, and Richard Vander Wende, hid pictures of their children in the rocks of Riven. To find the first pair, exit the linking cell where you start the game. Immediately turn left then look up. At the bottom of this frame you should be able to make out two children. These children are Richard Vander Wende's daughters, Helen and Evelyn.

robyn's childrenThe second set of faces can be found nearby. To the right of the linking cage you'll find that you can look down at a cliff. At the start of the game, 'Cho' is dumped here by the Moiety scout. If you come back later when 'Cho' has left you'll find the next set of children. Look up in the left hand corner and you should see at least two children's faces. There are in fact three children in this shot. These are Robyn Miller's children, Grace, Alex, and Abraham. Abraham is the hardest to see, but if you look to the right of Grace and directly above Alex you should be able to find him. I have made the image brighter and circled Abraham to make it easier for you to make them out.

rand's childrenThe third set of children are a little better hidden. If you go to the 'side' entrance to the Gateroom and climb under the gate, you'll find yourself in a tunnel, no children yet? They'll only appear when the Gateroom is rotated so that an opening is facing this tunnel. When you have done this, look to the right of the screen and you'll see three more children. These three are Rand Miller's children, Kinslee, Kerryn and Kara.

rawa's initials
Hidden near the MagLev on Temple island are the initials 'RAWA'. They are only four pixels high and hard to see if you don't know where they are. Why are they there you ask? Well the initials are Richard Watson's of Cyan, so I'll let him explain.

"When performing the incredibly meticulous task of assembling all of the scenes in Riven (and then testing all of the various states), I sometimes was able to catch things that the art department missed on their first pass.
"For this particular shot, there are two different pictures - one for when the Magcar is there, one for when the Magcar is gone. When looking at the two pictures separately (like when you have to walk to the button, wait for the car to arrive, then walk back), they appear to be OK, but when I saw them right after one another (switching states without having to change screens) it's easy to see when there are differences between the pictures.
"In this case, the weeds on the ground were only in one of the pictures. The one with my initials was missing the weeds. This is something my limited Photoshop skills are prepared to handle, so I pulled both picts into Photoshop and copied the weeds from the pict with weeds and put them in the pict without weeds. All of the pictures in Riven with my initials are pictures that I touched up in a similar fashion."

rawa's initialsIn another email, RAWA mentioned another spot where his initials could be found. This set is a lot better hidden than the last lot, so much so that I couldn't find them at first. Thanks to Richard Pratt for pointing me in the right direction. When you exit the temple on Temple Island moving towards the MagLev station you need to stop as soon as you get through the door. At this stage it would be best to take a screenshot and paste that into an image editing program because this is very, very hard to see in game. You need to zoom right in to the very top right corner. When you do you should see this. These initials only seem to appear in the shot when the MagLev is not present. If you know of any other appearances of RAWA's initials, please let me know here.

alexAs mentioned above, some of the images in Riven had, for various reasons, to be touched up before they were put in the game. Found in the top left corner of this picture from Book Assembly Island is the name 'Alex'. Alex is the name of Robyn Miller's son who happened to wander into Robyn's office while he was touching up this particular image.

faceAlthough not technically an easter egg, you may have noticed something weird about the gateway image in the opening sequence when Atrus holds the linking book up for you. Aside from the fact that it's all fuzzy and messed up, you may see a face appear a few times. This face was put in by Cyan to create a certain atmosphere in Riven. The face is indeed Gehn's, making you almost feel as if he's watching you right from the start. If you look closely you may even notice his pale D'ni eyes. This face is one of many elements in Riven that are meant to make the player feel like they are being constantly watched.

sub mirageIf your going through Spyder's easter eggs (see below) you may come across something very strange. To get one of the click spots to appear you have to push all the bridge control levers in the village up. Then go to the window and look at the sub platform. Strangely the sub has made it's way back from the dock below you to where it started from. When you click on it, it disappears, bringing you one step closer to the real easter eggs.

Spyder eggs

spyderA while ago, an 'insider' at Cyan calling himself Spyder started posting some mysterious puzzles on the Cyan website. Solving these puzzles then presented you with riddles that pointed to certain 'spots' in Riven. It was found that when you clicked on these 'spots' the cursor disappeared. After solving Spyder's five riddles and then clicking on the five 'spots' in the correct order, you can gain access to Riven's major easter eggs.
If you'd like to figure out the puzzles and riddles all by yourself, they start here.

To activate the eggs you must follow the click spot order. The click spots are as follows...
1. The small orange egg found in a drawer in Gehn's Book Assembly Island lab.
2. The bowl on the table in the Rebel age.
3. The sub as seen from the bridge control room in the village crater.
4. Gehn's symbol on the front of the gold elevator on Survey Island.
5. RAWA's initials found near the MagLev dock on Temple Island.

click spots

With the eggs activated, make your way to Gehn's 233rd age. Once you have trapped him in the book, go down to his bedroom. There you'll find a tapestry of Gehn's symbol hanging on the wall. Click on the D'ni '5' symbol at the centre and a special movie will play.

The movie is of John Keston (who played Gehn) singing part of an Italian opera called "O Sole Mio". The part he sings goes as follows...gehn's opera

"Che bella cosa e' na jurnata 'e sole,
n'aria serena doppo na tempesta!
Pe'll'aria fresca pare gia' na festa...
Che bella cosa na jurnata 'e sole."

Why was John Keston singing an opera during the filming of Riven? I'll leave the explanation to RAWA...

"I wasn't one of the Cyantists flown down to the studios in California for the live action filming, so I don't know first hand, but the way I remember the story was that he burst into song between takes (there was a lot of down time for the actors as sets were being set up, etc.). The cameras weren't rolling, but when they were ready to film, they asked him to do it again."

This egg also contains a special treat for 'Riven DVD' owners. I was chatting with Marty O'Donnell (one of the sound designers in Riven) in Cyan Chat once when he told me a little secret. If you have the DVD version listen very closely during the movie. While he is singing, John Keston is walking around the set. Watch his feet. When he takes a step you can hear his footsteps. At one stage his feet are hidden below the screen. During this time, listen closely and you'll hear twice as many footsteps as John actually takes. Marty says the reason he did the "foot" thing with Keston, was that he wanted to subtly show people that none of the sounds that he seems to make (or any of the actors make) in Riven were really made by them. The sound designers had to do them all, and if they did it well - no one would notice.

Also on the DVD version, keep your ears open at the end of the movie. When John Keston finishes singing he throws his arms up and claps his hands. As this happens, Marty has thrown in a cartoony sound effect. I guess the only way you could describe it is "BOOIIING" :o). Marty also says that no one at Cyan was ever aware of the tiny stuff he did on the Gehn's opera movie, and that they wouldn't have minded anyway. These extra features of Gehn's opera also appear on some regular versions of Riven, but mysteriously not on all of them, like my original CD version for instance. Christy Palamaryk has confirmed that they appear on the version that comes in the 'Ages of Myst' bundle. StC has also told me that the special early-release edition of Riven (with the "signed" red box), has the extra features.

silly puttyThis next egg has to be the most unusual of them all. Gehn seems to be receiving television signals from Earth. To see it, activate the eggs and then go to the Wahrk Throne room on Survey Island. Once there lower the left viewing screen. To the right is a small round bolt on the arm of the throne. Click on it for another movie. This movie is actually made up of two old TV commercials spliced together.

The first section is a commercial from the late 1960s for a men's cologne called "Hai Karate." This cologne was meant to make men so attractive to women that it came with, as the narrator says, "Instructions on self defence in every packet..." to help fight them off. In the first part of the add, a very mild-mannered, nerdy guy puts on the cologne, and his date immediately goes wild. The ending, seen in this egg, is him trying to save himself from her.
The second part is a Silly Putty commercial from the 1950s. It features a sailor lauding the benefits of this 'wonderful' substance. His exact words are "Hello there. You know, I've been all around this wonderful world of ours, and in all of this world, nothing else is silly putty."

This Easter Egg was made by Michael Sheets who was on the development team for Riven. He was working on the movies of Catherine in her prison for the scopes in the Wahrk room and had set up a project in "After Effects" that provided lens distortion, colour effects etc. He needed a movie to test the effects setup with, so he used these commercials that he had on a CD.

village egg spotThe wire-frame models used to create the graphics in Riven are extremely complex. One of the most intricate areas of Riven is the jungle village. If you want to see a wire-frame view of the village and the surrounding lake, first activate the eggs. Then wander along the path that leads village in wire frameto the sub platform in the village. Turn around and head back to the hut where you knock on the door. You should find a small ladder. Stop there and turn to your right and you should be confronted by this wire-frame picture. If your interested in the inner workings of 3D graphics and how the jungle village was made, you should visit Rivenguild's "Making of Riven" (Defunct) series.

stairway to heavenGehn's shonky writing technique has really caused some problems now. In this easter egg the jungle has disappeared and has been replaced by the sky. Walking down from Gehn's gallows control throne you'll come to a stairway leading down into the jungle. If you've activated the eggs, click on the light on the path below stairway click spot

and your surroundings will mysteriously disappear only to be substituted with a view of the sky. This shot may have originally just have been a test render of this part of the walkway and was probably kept as an easter egg because it looked cool.

christmas decorationsEver felt like hanging some Christmas decorations up in Riven...? No, me neither. But somebody did. If you go to the temple containing the large imager on Temple Island, and you have the eggs activated, you can string some party lights around the sides and change the colouring of the stained glass window at the back. To do so simply click on the middle lantern on the left of the room. This picture may have originally been done as a test render for the glare shader created by Karl Stiefvater of Lume inc.

Since a lot of the information I have put up here is based on my own interpretations, some of it may be incorrect. If you think there is a problem with anything here, please fill out this form, and send it to me. Or, if you have anything that you think I should add, also please fill out this form. Thank you.

Last update, 26-oct-1999 author:Stewart Bradford
temple island
jungle island
book assembly island
survey island
prison island
tay (rebel age)
gehn's 233rd age
misc. information
easter eggs

All Riven images and text 1996, 1997 Cyan, Inc. All rights reserved Riven Cyan, Inc.