Riven, world map, by Will.
Hey, long time Mapstalgia. Riven. Oh man, Riven. Intended to be the only Myst sequel before Ubisoft bought the rights and slowly burned them. Criminally overlooked, absolutely brilliant. Some of the best world-building and environmental storytelling ever, fantastic atmosphere, memorable iconography, oppressive dictatorship, world-spanning puzzles, a sense of exploration that still makes me giddy and OMFG RIVEN.
This is the first game I remember looking forward to. I didn’t know where to find game news at the time so I was pretty much kept up to date by Fox Trot and my sister. I was young and hadn’t beaten Myst but I loved exploring that game and fell in love with Riven immediately. I got the bad ending by mashing buttons and blundered my way around the islands all the way to the side entrance of the gold dome before getting completely stuck, giving up, and leaving it for ~5 years. I also remember stopping and running from the computer at times. Game was creepy as hell.
Long time, indeed! It got super quiet in the ol’ inbox again, and I’m afraid I got so “dare not look” about it that I’ve let a few things that actually DID straggle in sit for too long. But let’s make that better! I’ll get ‘em posted over the next few days.
And, man, one of these days I”d like to have the patience to revisit Riven. I’ve talked a little bit about my mixed feelings about Myst, but I always liked the idea of the world building and I would have played Riven if the video stuff in it hadn’t consistently crashed my computer during the first couple minutes. Total non-starter, a real bummer.