Myst II - Riven

In Riven two core puzzles need to be solved to complete the game. Each puzzle requires a significant amount of time spent in detailed study of various clues provided in the game. A number of minor puzzles must be solved to access these clues. These two, core puzzles are the tombstone puzzle and the fire-marble puzzle. The tombstone puzzle is arguably more difficult to solve as it involves deciphering a specific clue, which is not at all obvious, and is spread over two islands in different locations.

Tombstone Puzzle

A sequence of tombstones must be pushed in order to gain access to the Tay linking book. The cork balls found at various locations around Jungle Island provide clues as to which tombstones have to be pushed, and in what order they have to be pushed.

Each cork ball (except for one) makes a distinct sound - the sound of one of the animals of Riven. One of the animals (the fish), by its very nature, does not make a sound. Each ball also has a D'ni numeral inscribed on its reverse side. The table below gives the solution:

  (1) Fish
  (2) Beetle
  (3) Ytram (frog)
  (4) Seal
  (5) Wahrk

Given the correct sequence consists of 5 tombstones, out of 25 tombstones, that must be pressed in the correct order, the total number of possible combinations is 6,375,600.

Fire Marble Puzzle

Five fire marbles must be placed correctly on a 25 by 25 grid. Find the color associated with each dome from the rotating shield cover. (Look for the yellow colored symbol.) Find the grid location for each dome from the topographical extrusion device found on Plateau Island. Note that the grid is subdivided, by a bold line, into five regions, each region corresponding to one of the five islands of Riven.

Each region in turn is subdivided into squares, each square representing a 5 by 5 portion of the of the 25 x 25 grid. For each island, a colored fire marble must be placed in the indicated row and column of the starred (*) square, shown in the table below. The location of the fire marble in the starred 5x5 square is identified by the notation: (row, column) after the corresponding marble color.

In this puzzle we have to select 5 out of 6 unique marbles and place them in the correct locations on a 25 x 25 grid. To a close approximation this results in 5.631x1014 possible combinations.

Jungle Island
Red (2, 4)
Plateau Island
Orange (2, 1)
Crater Island
Purple (4, 2)
Temple Island
Green (1, 1)
Prison Island
Blue (1, 2)

Jungle Island

Crater Island

Plateau Island

  Orange   Blue
  Red   Green
  Purple   Yellow

Prison Island

Prison island is where Catherine is imprisoned. The island can only be reached via a linking book in Gehn's office in his 233rd Age.

Temple Island

The five sided room may be rotated to provide access to different areas of Temple Island.

Addendum - A Note on D'ni Numerals

D'ni numbers are expressed in a positional, base twenty five number system. Each D'ni numeral may be constructed from one or two symbols taken from a set of five primitive symbols. In the chart below, the five primitive symbols are shown in the left most column.

Rotating a primitive symbol 90 degrees (counter-clockwise) multiples the value of the symbol by five. In the chart below, these rotated symbols are shown in the top most row. Superposing a primitive symbol on a rotated symbol adds the value of the superposed symbol to that of the rotated symbol.

A D'ni number may be expressed algebraically in base ten as

     N = dn25n + ... + d0250


     di   is the decimal value of a D'ni numeral.

For example,


expressed in base ten notation is

     9(251) + 16(250) = 9(25) + 16(1) = 241

Chart showing all 25 D'ni numerals

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