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Some questions...? Mostly meaningless, have no bearing on the plot

#1 User is offline   debrotam 

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:37 PM

  • Inside the spherical storage thing in Gehn's lab on Boiler Island is a book with a slightly tattered/burnt cover. What is it for? Is it a prototype for his "powered" linking books for the domes? Is it his attempt at making a linking book back to D'ni?
  • What is the substance that is in front of the Tay linking book, fills up the island models on Map Island, and is in the little glass heating orb in Gehn's lab? Is it water? why does it avoid heat? Is it a goo of some sort?
  • What does the writing on the wall of the rotating room say?
  • After capturing Gehn and releasing Catherine, why are the puzzles reset? (i.e. why can't you go back to boiler island using the golden dome shortcut?) Did Catherine do this?
  • What is the ammo for Gehn's gun? Is it Ytram poison?
  • On boiler island, when trying to open the boiler, why does opening the large tube drain the water? That looked like a heat tube to me, because no water drained out when you turn the wheel to disconnect it.
  • How does Cho get out of the pit that he is thrown into at the beginning of the game?
  • What is the point of having an elevator that goes down through water in Survey Island?

I might have answered my own questions. Let me know if I have. Thanks for any help!
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#2 User is offline   Lostthyme 

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:00 PM

View Postdebrotam, on 12 December 2012 - 03:37 PM, said:

  • Inside the spherical storage thing in Gehn's lab on Boiler Island is a book with a slightly tattered/burnt cover. What is it for? Is it a prototype for his "powered" linking books for the domes? Is it his attempt at making a linking book back to D'ni?


It's been a while since I played the game but I might be able to answer some of these. If you're referring to his furnace, if I remember correctly Gehn made several failed attempts at linking books back to D'ni that he burned.

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  • What is the substance that is in front of the Tay linking book, fills up the island models on Map Island, and is in the little glass heating orb in Gehn's lab? Is it water? why does it avoid heat? Is it a goo of some sort?

The water on the island has strange properties, as you might have noticed while you were in the submarine vehicle on village island. It is repelled by heat (due to microorganisms living in it? Someone back me up on this).

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  • What does the writing on the wall of the rotating room say?

They're sort of psalms praising Gehn. You can find translations of them here.

If you're curious about the backstory of Riven, I would recommend reading The Book of Atrus. It fleshes out a lot, plus it's just a fun story.
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#3 User is offline   Talashar 

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:28 PM

View PostLostthyme, on 12 December 2012 - 04:00 PM, said:

View Postdebrotam, on 12 December 2012 - 03:37 PM, said:

  • Inside the spherical storage thing in Gehn's lab on Boiler Island is a book with a slightly tattered/burnt cover. What is it for? Is it a prototype for his "powered" linking books for the domes? Is it his attempt at making a linking book back to D'ni?


It's been a while since I played the game but I might be able to answer some of these. If you're referring to his furnace, if I remember correctly Gehn made several failed attempts at linking books back to D'ni that he burned.


It wouldn't have been possible for Gehn to write a linking book back to D'ni, but his attempts to recreate the special paper and ink for Descriptive and Linking Books resulted in many failures.

View PostLostthyme, on 12 December 2012 - 04:00 PM, said:

Quote

  • What is the substance that is in front of the Tay linking book, fills up the island models on Map Island, and is in the little glass heating orb in Gehn's lab? Is it water? why does it avoid heat? Is it a goo of some sort?

The water on the island has strange properties, as you might have noticed while you were in the submarine vehicle on village island. It is repelled by heat (due to microorganisms living in it? Someone back me up on this).


From Gehn's journal:

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I believe the remarkable properties of the water to be caused by a life form that resides in it – specifically, a type of bacteria. I am imagining a motile unicellular organism, but one with structures capable of holding bits of water, whose combined effect (via surface tension? a stronger force?) causes the composite body of water to move in response to heat. Prolonged exposure to extreme heat – for example, a period of extended boiling – seems to kill the bacteria – which would explain its dramatic aversion to heat sources. Unfortunately, these theories are still not fully tested, and I remain ignorant both of its deeper nature and its possible uses.


View PostLostthyme, on 12 December 2012 - 04:00 PM, said:

Quote

  • What does the writing on the wall of the rotating room say?

They're sort of psalms praising Gehn. You can find translations of them here.


See also the more up-to-date translations here.

View Postdebrotam, on 12 December 2012 - 03:37 PM, said:

  • After capturing Gehn and releasing Catherine, why are the puzzles reset? (i.e. why can't you go back to boiler island using the golden dome shortcut?) Did Catherine do this?


Presumably she did, though this makes more sense from a gameplay perspective (can't have the player wandering around) than a story perspective (Catherine has more important things to do!)

View Postdebrotam, on 12 December 2012 - 03:37 PM, said:

  • How does Cho get out of the pit that he is thrown into at the beginning of the game?


I don't remember the geography very well, but there's likely some way he could have walked/climbed/swum around.

View Postdebrotam, on 12 December 2012 - 03:37 PM, said:

[*]What is the point of having an elevator that goes down through water in Survey Island?[/list]


Gehn liked his mechanisms to look impressive, I suppose.
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#4 User is offline   tbr 

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:34 AM

View Postdebrotam, on 12 December 2012 - 03:37 PM, said:

  • Inside the spherical storage thing in Gehn's lab on Boiler Island is a book with a slightly tattered/burnt cover. What is it for? Is it a prototype for his "powered" linking books for the domes? Is it his attempt at making a linking book back to D'ni?


It's not for storage; it's for burning his many failed linking books. Gehn says in his lab journal:

Gehn said:

It is frustrating to expend so much effort creating a blank Book, only to end up destroying it when it doesn’t work! There are days when the lab is uncomfortably warm from the flames of these failed attempts.


Supposedly he burned the books as a security measure, and rightly so; the rebels were able to steal a partially burnt book which Catherine used as the base for Tay.

View Postdebrotam, on 12 December 2012 - 03:37 PM, said:

  • What is the substance that is in front of the Tay linking book, fills up the island models on Map Island, and is in the little glass heating orb in Gehn's lab? Is it water? why does it avoid heat? Is it a goo of some sort?



As has been noted, this is water. You can also see its properties in the village (there are holes in the water around the sub stops, which I supposed are hot), in the log cart (those glowing rings hold back the water with heat) and in the elevator on Survey Island (which we'll get back to).

View Postdebrotam, on 12 December 2012 - 03:37 PM, said:

  • After capturing Gehn and releasing Catherine, why are the puzzles reset? (i.e. why can't you go back to boiler island using the golden dome shortcut?) Did Catherine do this?



There's a number of possible in-character explanations to the rolled back Great dome bridge, and I'd say it's more likely that one of Gehn's minions did it than Catherine. But the point from a gameplay perspective seems to be to make the endgame quicker and more focused, so the player doesn't wander around all over the place.

View Postdebrotam, on 12 December 2012 - 03:37 PM, said:

  • What is the ammo for Gehn's gun? Is it Ytram poison?



The gun is powered by an explosive fire marble. Not sure if it is Ytram poison, but it seems very likely. At least that's what the rebels use, though their's is not deadly.

View Postdebrotam, on 12 December 2012 - 03:37 PM, said:

  • On boiler island, when trying to open the boiler, why does opening the large tube drain the water? That looked like a heat tube to me, because no water drained out when you turn the wheel to disconnect it.



This is a good question, because it's not very clear in the game. The large tube is actually the intake of a pump, which supplies the boiler with water from the lake. When you open it, it takes in air instead of water. I'm not sure if this means that the pump is constantly providing the boiler with new water, but this is the way I understand the puzzle anyway.

View Postdebrotam, on 12 December 2012 - 03:37 PM, said:

  • What is the point of having an elevator that goes down through water in Survey Island?



In an earlier design, it appears that the elevator was a part of the mapping puzzle. You can read about that and see a tiny picture at Riven Illuminated. At some point, the puzzle design changed, but they kept the design of the room. It's one of few elaborate areas in Riven that is not related to a puzzle.

This is another instance of the water "escaping" from the heat. The lava at the bottom of the elevator keeps the water floating, so the elevator actually passes through the surface of the water twice.
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