wrongIn any project as complex as Riven there are sure to be some minor mistakes that creep in. Since all the images in Riven are pre-rendered, things can fall out of place. If you change something in one picture, it has to be changed in every other picture. With the huge amount of pictures in Riven it's no wonder that some instances were over-looked. Unfortunately, when you go through Riven with a fine-toothed comb like I have, you tend to stumble across a few strange things.

gehn's pipeIf you arrive at Gehn's Book Assembly Island lab at the right time you'll find that he has left his pipe and gun behind. When you return later you'll find that he has also returned and taken them with him. However if you stand in front of the desk and then look up you'll see something strange at the bottom of the screen. The pipe has mysteriously reappeared.

hut shadowsSometimes when rendering the extremely complex and detailed models in Riven the artists would remove unimportant things to reduce the models size, and therefore make it easy, and faster, to render. This extra geometry was meant to be stuff that was behind the player or otherwise obscured from view. In these cases the removal of the objects wouldn't affect the final product. Unfortunately the artist got a little carried away removing things for this picture. Hidden from view above this hut are more huts and some walkways. What the artist didn't realise is that they would cast shadows on the hut below. If you look up you'll see how the shadows should have been.

disappearing island

Is Riven collapsing underneath your very feet? If you look to your left whileisland from maglev crossing the bridge to the Gateroom from the temple you may notice a strange occurrence. In one shot you can clearly see a small island out in the ocean by the MagLev tracks. Yet from every other shot from the bridge it's not there. If you pay attention during the MagLev ride to Jungle Island however, you'll see that this island has reappeared. Also note that the direction of the shadows changes.

repeated letterAdorning the school walls are a number of plaques imprinted with D'ni letters. Going counter clockwise, they are organised into the D'ni alphabet which, unlike our english one, starts v,t,s..... However if you follow the letters closely you may notice an anomaly. One of the letters has been repeated. Maybe the students were having trouble remembering that particular one :o).

vanishing treeIs Gehn still cutting down trees for his book making experiments? If you look closely at the trees in the jungle as you cross the rope bridge towards the cleared area you may see this. The tree on the far left is standing tall and strong in one shot, and then in the one immediately after, it has disappeared. It seems to be present in all the other shots you can see it from though.

d'ni letters, english wordsThis next mistake is extremely hard to see in game. In fact, it is impossible to see. It was only after some developments on the Riven Lyst that it was revealed to be an actual mistake. For some time now it has been known that there was some D'ni writing on the front of the gold elevator on Survey Island. It is impossible to make out exactly what it says in game, but with the help of some extra renders found in the book "From Myst to Riven" and in a Riven calendar, some keen people have been able to figure out what it says. When transliterated the text reads: "In Gehn we trust". The problem is that it is simply english written in D'ni characters. It should read in D'ni: "t'gehn pahnet". This phrase also appears on the lights in the village school house only that there it is correctly written in D'ni. Here's RAWA's comments on this: "I'm guessing that the artist who built this just used the English as a placeholder while waiting for me to give them the D'ni translation, then when they got the phrase, they used it in the schoolroom and forgot about the placeholder on the elevator."

slats?board?The small elevator found near the superdome on Temple Island has some strange properties. When you look up at it from below it looks as if its platform is made up of slats that you can see between like the walkway. When you walk up the top however, the boards are turned ninety degrees and there is no gap.

wrong numberAlthough it's not particularly obvious in the game itself, Gehn's timepeice actually has a mistake on it. If you visit the Riven Journals and solve the fourth journal, you will get to see this picture of the timepeice. Then if you look closely at the symbol used to represent zero, you'll see a slash with a box around it. The symbol for zero is actually meant to be a box with a dot in the centre.

magic trickThe window in the village sub seems to have some magical abilities. If you look at the 'eye' floating in the lake from above the water, you can clearly see a stick connected to it holding it in place. When you get into the sub and position it so that you can see the ball through the window you'll notice something strange. The window has performed a magic trick and made the stick completely disappear.

disappearing subSomething seems to be wrong with the sub platform. It appears to occasionally give way and instantaneously drop the sub into the lake, then a few seconds later, return it to its correct position. The first instance of this occurs if you enter the village for the first time through the 'front' entrance. When you do this a movie plays of the villagers scampering into their huts. As soon as this movie finishes playing the sub disappears. Turn around and then back again and it has sprung back into place. This has been fixed on the DVD version.
The next instance of this phenomenon can be witnessed from near the jail cell above the Wahrk gallows. To get there you have to use the sub and travel through the lake. When you're above the gallows sub from jail cellthen, the sub is below you and not in its resting place up in the village. The movie that plays when you open the jail cell displays an empty area there. The problem occurs when you return after visiting the Rebel Age. The sub will have returned to its original position, but if you close and then open the jail cell again, the same movie as before will play and the sub will disappear. The sub returns when the movie finishes.

hingesIf you look closely at the hinges on the front gate to the jungle (ie the one with the golden beetle on it), you may notice that they don't quite seem right. It appears that the artist that created this segment of Riven forgot to add a texture to them. This has resulted in the hinges being the dull flat grey colour that is automatically applied to untextured MagLevuntextured objects. This effect is much better illustrated in this early test render of the MagLev where nothing is textured. It is highly unlikely that this is what they were meant to look like since everything else in Riven has an old, weathered look to it. Thanks to Marcel Paans for pointing this one out to me.

maglev doorDon't you hate it when you drive off with a car door open. Well for some reason you can do this with the MagLev on Survey Island. Because you need to exit the MagLev on either side, the door opens no matter which way your facing. Unfortunately when you take off for Book Assembly Island the door doesn't close like it should. This seems to be the most widely acknowledged mistake in Riven, it was even worthy of a mention on Cyan's site. This error has been corrected in the DVD version however. Here's what RAWA had to say:
"This MagCar anomoly is explained in detail in Gehn's book "Anomolies of The MagCar" Here's an excerpt from the chapter entitled "Sometimes the Door Closes Very Quickly and Silently":

"...sometimes the door closes very quickly and silently..."

I hope that clears this matter up. :o)"

stand?If you look closely under one of the desks is Gehn's Book Assembly Island lab you may notice a small anomaly. Standing close to the desk with Gehn's journal, you'll see that the only thing underneath the desk is the stool. Move away and look back and you should notice something else. To the left of the stool is a tall 'stick' withno stand a round base resting on the floor. It appears to be connected to the solar system model thing on top of the desk also. This was most likely part of something that Cyan had intended to do with that model, but due to time restrictions etc. they never did. This 'stand' seems to appears in all shots of the table except for the close up.

phantom catherineWhen you free Catherine she breaks the wire's on the combination lock to her prison. She also seems to disable the elevator itself, stopping you from going back up. Or does she? If you turn on zip mode you can get the elevator to go back up. When your up there something strange will happen. Catherine reappears.cage lock Because your not meant to be able to get up here after Catherine has been freed, using zip mode has tricked the game into thinking she is still trapped, and so a movie will play of her walking past the door and looking at you as if she was.

In the school house in the village one of the children has been scolded for making a mistake on his spelling test. Maybe he was simply trying to be like hiswhark? god, the almighty Gehn. If you read Gehn's personal journal, found in his bedroom on age 233, you'll see that he has spelt the name of the giant mythical whale like creature as "Whark". Then if you read Catherine's journal you'll see that she spells it "Wahrk". Obviously, since Catherine is a native of Riven and that she has lived there most of her life, you'd think that she would know how to spell it. Here is what Richard Watson of Cyan had to say:
"'Wahrk' is correct... 'Whark' only proves Gehn was human and made mistakes too. :o)"

survey islandDid you notice anything strange about the layout of Survey Island? When you arrive on the MagLev coming from Book Assembly Island you'll see that the station isn't all that far above sea level. Travel down the tunnel and you'll find the golden elevator. maglev stationsThis elevator seems to take you down a fair way and should probably leave you below sea level. Yet when you get down the bottom you'll find another MagLev station. This station is also above sea level, yet there were no hills or other level changes in the path from the elevator to the station. So what's going on here? It must be a result of Gehn's unique writing technique.

golden elevatorFor some reason the golden elevator on Survey Island is nearly always found in the down position, yet there is a movie on the CD of it being lowered and then opening for you. You'd think that this movie would be easy to see in game, but instead you have to do certain things. If you raise the elevator and then try to take the MagLevs around the islands, the elevator will greet you already open at the bottom. Instead of taking the MagLevs you have to go up to the Fire Marble Dome, link to Gehn's 233rd age, then link back to Jungle Island and take the MagLev found at the 'back door'. When you get to the elevator simply press the blue button.

man in the windowSome people say that they can see a man out of Gehn's bedroom window on his 233rd age. Go to the window where the imager is resting and look to the right. Hiding in one of the rock formations is what appears to be a man in Rivenese clothing. This is not actually the case. It's fairly hard to judge distances and size in this one picture, but if you watch closely duringbig man the fly-by sequence in the 233rd age linking books on Riven, you can get a better view of this rock. From this new perspective this 'man' now looks at least as big as Gehn's whole office, including the dish on top.

man of lightAnother mistake made by some players in Riven like the one above can be found just inside the front gate of the jungle. On the tree to your right is a pattern made of shadow and light. The 'lighted' area appears to be in the shape of a person. This is not however the case. One of the beta-testers even wrote a great, big, long theory as to why Cyan put "that light guy" there. Sorry, that's just how the light happened to come through the trees. I guess the large absence of people in Myst just has people seeing them everywhere in Riven. Like is the case in the above, rock formations etc. can give the illusion that there are people there. RAWA says it best: "It's like seeing strange shapes in clouds... sometimes it's skywriting, sometimes it's just a cloud. These are just clouds."

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.