Riven Retrospective / Full Playthrough

Join me on a journey back through one of my favorite video game experiences: Riven: The Sequel to Myst! Watch at 1.5x, and don’t miss my previous Myst Retrospective: #myst25

0:00 Introduction
2:53 Start of Riven
9:38 Temple Island
17:46 Jungle Island
39:45 Crater Island (and Temple Island)
59:10 Survey Island
1:10:11 Major Puzzle Solving
1:22:33 Gehn’s 233rd Age
1:30:27 Animal Puzzle Solving
1:33:00 Tay (Moiety Age)
1:39:38 Trapping Gehn
1:45:20 Catherine
1:48:37 Ending
1:51:40 Credits and Closing

Making of Riven (DVD):
Journal Transcriptions:
ScummVM Daily Builds:
Recommending Riven:

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  • I played the game for the first time this weekend and admit to using a guide for certain parts, mainly the marble puzzle. I think you're right about not having the time to play a game like this as an adult but I still appreciated and enjoyed it. But most of all here to say it was awesome to hear you breakdown the thought process behind some of the more tricky parts. BTW if you haven't yet: Check out Obduction, The Witness and Talos Principle — they all carry Riven's torch while adding in some of the faster-pace, accessibility of games like Portal and Braid.

    dtPlaythroughs July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • In my own personal opinion, I think you shouldn't need to necessarily tell people to watch the video at 1.5x as this undermines your video and also Riven itself.

    Zimmer 101 July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Thanks!

    Brooks Hanes July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Such a masterpiece of art that it seems undermining to even call it a game! Great playthrough and review. I agree Exile wasn't better than Riven, but I still feel it offered some great environments and I actually thought the story was clever and realistic, showing how the past can come back to haunt.

    I have yet to play Myst 4, but I'm optimistic about it. I think it will be a good experience even if it can't compare to Riven. I mean realistically, I don't see how they could ever top Riven anyway.

    Samuel The Fox July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Hey Jordan, will you have time to take on Exile in the future?

    Michael Z July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Ah Riven, the game I loved to play when I was wee lad.. not understanding English, not understanding the game, but what a game it was.. eventually I did beat it but it took a really long time (years). My kid is 3 now… in a few years he should be ready to dive in another world.

    Planetdune July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Beautiful Walkthrough ! I recommend playing 'Catherine's Freedom' in the background.

    Max Headshot July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • I still haven't played through this game yet. I have completed myst 1, and 3, I need to complete myst 2, and 4.

    Garrett.Y July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • I could never finish this game when I was young but it was still one of my favourites ,I had another crack at it recently but got stuck on the number system ,I also didn’t know about the marble puzzle and probably would never have found it ,the silhouette puzzle is bullshit too.great video

    ThePolicenaut July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Many thanks Jordan for this great playthrough. It was quite a journey back in time and I loved that you even told the background stories about many aspects of the game.
    EDIT: I hope you find the motivation to do Myst 3, 4 and 5 playthrough aswell

    Byte5 July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Will you do URU? I probably will never play URU, so it would be awesome to see it.

    Fused Toast July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Thank you so much for this retrospective. I have such font memories of this game and I believe its puzzle design is almost unparalleled. Found your video by accident. Did you ever get those play throughs of later games like Myst III done, like you mention near the end of this?

    dirklectisch July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Thanks for this. I really wanted to try and do it myself but I found myself on your video after almost every puzzle. Some stuff really is so hidden!

    Nathan Kellerhals July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • 38:38 Wait what how is that a frog?

    xplusziefv July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Dude, just stfu whlilst playing. YOu ruining hte atmosphere…

    ItsMe July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • The woman who played Catherine sadly passed away for unknown reasons. As for the woman that voiced her, she is still alive.

    Thisithis ithis July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • i spent a couple hours playing riven.. i got frustrated and came here to see the story play out, im glad i did because i dont believe i could have beaten riven. nice play through.

    Cody Hutchison July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • I remember playing this as a young kid; I never understood what to do with the domes! I hated them since I was blocked in the game because of them, and didn't really know English since it was my 2nd language… I think I'll try this again, without tips, and I'll just have to crack the codes…
    For anyone curious, a full game without any walkthrough or hints took 1 year or 2; the guy played only Riven and on a daily basis… It's a ruthless game!
    Anyway, it's extremely fun to see all those contraptions again and again!

    SunnyGabe July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Thanks for posting this.

    lnpilot July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Played this as a kid, without understanding a thing! But I loved clicking through the world, it gave me a very creepy vibe. I have to play it again!

    Ellen Ranås July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Your Myst/Riven retrospectives (especially with the notebook-camera for Riven) are one of a kind and they are absolutely beautiful. The way you play through them, talk about the games history and its story and tell your own little story is what you rarely get on youtube. But hey, I will admit I was kinda crushed when I saw theres no Myst III/4/5 video on your channel.

    I absolutely hope you are still planning to go for a "full" retrospective, because there is really nothing on the internet that compares to your work, or rivals it.

    evoo1 July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Jordan you probably won't read this but I was in your sure. I feel that Myst and Riven are gold standard when it comes to puzzle games. However, CYAN also made a similar come back with Obstruct and it's incredible.

    Inquiring Minds July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • I could really live here and be happy as long as I have all the modern creature comforts in my lockable hut.

    Inquiring Minds July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • This is a lifetime game… There may be diferent ends and also diferent ways to get there. The jurney is the most important and is fascinating… Thank you!

    gomo Gomez July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Thanks very much for your playthrough! I spent some of today seeing if I could get the original Riven discs going on my antique PowerBook G4 running Mac OS X.4 (in the 9.2 Classic environment) and happily – with the occasional jogging of memory by skipping around your video – was able to get all the way through without any technical hitches. I think this is the first time I’ve played it in about the last five to ten years? Such a wonderful and elegant game!

    Catherine Xanthe July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • I would love to see you play obduction!

    nu July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Just discovered your Myst & Riven play-throughs, and good for you to still be enthusiastic about them. I don't know if you finally decided to play the later games, but Revelations is well worth a look.

    Jules July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • I really wish I had the patience, and intelligence, to have gone through myst and riven in earnest. They are works of art.

    WikiPeoples July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Thank you so much for this playthrough, I really enjoyed watching your approach.

    Zara L. July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Thank you for the playthrough, nice job with video! I remember the game as a child. I was always a fan of myst.

    Jimmy Ro July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • MYST and Riven, two masterpieces of their time. MYST was the first game I think that you became part of the game. As a family we sat around the pc trying to figure out where to go next, what caused what. It was great and different and beautifully rendered. A lot of games get this part right, or that part right. MYST had all of them right, it fit together like a jigsaw puzzle of the Mona Lisa.

    James Miller July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Great walkthrough. The balance between hint and solutions is done in a way that promotes exploration without huge delays in solutions. + for the graph paper and notation. Nice work!

    Ryan Walker July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Hi. Very much enjoyed the play-through.
    Haven't read all the comments. Have you explored the game's easter eggs yet?

    Myst – < http://eeggs.com/tree/874.html >
    Myst II: Riven – < http://eeggs.com/tree/948.html >
    Myst III: Exile – < http://eeggs.com/tree/2904.html >
    Myst IV: Revelation – < http://eeggs.com/tree/9998.html >

    Cliff Goldstein July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Playing this on a PS 2 and having to constantly change discs takes the challenge to an even higher level

    Roy Jones July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • The problame with your number grid is it goes form 1 to 25. Ina base 25 system, the pattern goes form 0 to 24, with zero being an empty box.

    25 is a double digit number, and the rows should be 0-4 5-9, 10-14, 15-19, and 20-24. in that format the rotation system is even more visually obvious

    Juggernaut July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • I never played Myst but got this game as a hand-me-down from a friend who hated it. I got VERY immersed into the game but I have to admit. The 25×25 puzzle with the colored marbles threw me for a loop. I honestly never even noticed the darker lines that outlined the shapes. I searched and searched for a solution for the longest time but nothing made sense because I didn't revisit that platform and see the outlines. I eventually gave up and looked up the solution but never finished the game because I felt so damn cheap in having cheated. Thanks for a comprehensive walkthrough, so that I finally see what I missed.

    Pale Horse July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Just imagine a Myst game in VR

    Lee Croft July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Never played this back in the day but I remember seeing it on shelves. The first game is a masterpiece, love going back through from time to time. One of these days I'll get around to playing this one.

    Jared T July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • I definitely don’t have the patience to play one of these games. But I think they’re amazing. You should do a playthrough of Cyan’s Obduction

    Ryan O'Connor July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Awesome playthrough, man! Very relaxing and nice to have on in the background!

    HoodoHoodlumsRevenge July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Kinda unhappy to not see a walkthrough/retrospective of Myst 3 exile, 4 revalations, or 5 end of ages by you. I enjoyed this one very much.

    Sean Kiesser July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • I NEVER knew about getting the colors from the viewing room where you can see the whark.

    Sean Kiesser July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Remember my mother playing this for months when I was like three years old. 🙂 Great playthrough!

    Alfehan 420 July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Figured out that the 5th animal was a fish because the eyeball symbol didn't make a sound, what animal doesn't make sound? a fish

    KrateKarrot July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Well done video… look forward to more

    Matthew Weitz July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • IN minute 21:26 you mention cheating, why? This is a huge clue that I have not found on my own – maybe because it was impossible to see? Or is there a clue that talks about it in Ghens book?

    Frem 2019 July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • TIL: you were a much smarter kid than i was.

    district5rookie July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • I made it to about the 30 min mark as a kid and it took me dozens of hours. Today is my 33rd birthday and I just remembered I had never beat it. I’m watching this play-through to get some much needed closure. Thank you for this!

    Edit: My only criticism is that I would have liked to see all the movie animations. It detracts from the atmosphere when you skip.

    district5rookie July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • Atrus doesn't leave it (the ending) to chance, he knows that his book survived (otherwise the stranger wouldn't be able to get the Myst book at the beginning of Myst) and he had himself been in the Star Fissure (albeit briefly) as he jumped into the fissure at the end of the book of Atrus, which is also seen at the beginning of Myst.

    LordAndSaviour July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply
  • I played this as a young-20s in early 2000. It brought back so many good memories! Until you mentioned switching the discs, ugh. I got about halfway through but never finished the game, and playthroughs were hard to follow on dial-up!

    Sara L Jones July 8, 2020 7:54 am Reply

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