Riven turns 18

General discussion about Riven.

Riven turns 18

Postby Yali » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:54 pm

Today marks the 18th anniversary of Riven being released. Thoughts?

I still think the visuals hold up all these years along with the music, puzzle design and writing. Every render is like an old oil painting and the writing of Gehn, Atrus and Katran is still as beautiful and impactful as when I first heard it. Gehn's speech and and Catherine's journal are incredible to have been in a videogame.

Other notes...

Not only are the graphics good, but the art direction is spot on. Dark, gothic, subtle... I feel it perfectly blends the tribal and the D'ni aesthetic. Its not over-designed which is I think is an advantage. Everything looks worn, old, decaying. The lighting and texturing hold character.

Still love that boat ride and the acting of Nelah is 100% convincing.

The animal puzzle is hands down the best puzzle in the series. Learning the D'ni numbering system uncovered for us the whole universe of the Rivenese and D'ni societies and how Gehn had warped both to fit his perverted needs for control. That Wahrk toy that allows one to understand the numbers reveals something not only about D'ni society, but about Gehn and his colonialist attitudes. This is followed with the parallel of how the rebels interpret Gehn's D'ni culture, using the numbering system to identify their secret code through the native animals.

Of important note, I've always inferred that the other animals in the circle all died out due to Gehn's misuse of the Art. Its also woth noting that the endpoint of this puzzle is reached through the gallows themselves, moving the player through a spacial discourse on the nature of Gehn's character and his destruction of traditional Rivenese culture. Richard Vander Wende has stated how the Wahrk was revered by the natives prior to Gehn's arrival and it was Gehn's use of the animal as a tool for fear that shows how he inverted their traditional beliefs in order to dominate and destroy Rivenese culture in favor of his esteemed D'ni.
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Re: Riven turns 18

Postby azel » Sun Nov 15, 2015 7:37 pm

I also am a very big Riven fan. Riven is my all time favorite adventure game. When it came out in Oct 1997, I was having a lot of physical problems that caused me pain daily. I escaped this pain by mentally going into the Riven world. This is why Riven will always be special to me. As the years passed I always kept a copy on my computer and played it at least once a year, which I still do. These days I escape reality by playing Second Life nightly. I know Second Life has a bad reputation as being a sex game, but there are many beautiful islands to escape to where there is no sex taking place. These escape islands are perfect to listen to music and relax before going to bed. Sometimes you can have a whole island to yourself on quiet nights when traffic is slow. I often wish there was a Riven island to visit on Second Life, but my Riven game is enough for me.

Anyway, yes, I am a lover of Riven. It helped me get through some bad years by giving me a place to escape. I’ve played all the CYAN games, but Riven is the only one that I feel like I lived in personally.

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Re: Riven turns 18

Postby Ainia » Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:39 pm

Shorah azel!

When are you inworld at SL? There are a lot of Myst/Uru refugees who are very active there and it might be fun to meet up and share favorite exploration destinations. :)
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Re: Riven turns 18

Postby Thestranger » Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:04 am

Wow! I missed this, haven't been on here in quite a while.
Riven, well, yes it is a bit of an obsession with me, Riven website, Riven mugs in my kitchen, coasters, placemats, Riven pillowcases on my bed, Riven hat (new not original), Riven map in my hallway (Spotlight and 'antiqued'), Riven (and Myst) discs in picture frames (the Japanese PS1 discs are particularly beautiful), Riven music in the car, a whole shelf full of various Riven games and books, Rivendaggers Riven Dagger in its own boxed frame, yes, you guessed it - I LOVE RIVEN ;-)
I have played it at least once a month for the past 18 years, I even bought the iPad version before I had an iPad, then went out and got an iPad just so I could play it on that!
For me, it is like a favourite holiday spot, somewhere I love to go and revisit often, the graphics are fantastic (even by today's standards), the storyline is excellent, the characters are believable and the acting was superb, the gameplay is brilliant and everything in it is exactly what you would expect - nothing is out of place.
This is gaming elevated to Art, I have no doubt that when it was finished everybody at Cyan was probably burnt out but what an achievement.
Riven & Myst, how many 18 and 20 year old games are still being sold today?

Brilliant guys, brilliant... and I will be playing it to the day I die... ;-)
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