'Cho' off the Cliff
If you go to the cliff on your right after starting a new game, you can see the man who took your book. He is probably unconscious. Later in the game 'Cho' vanishes from the cliff. In Gehn's journal you later read that he survived, and told Gehn the news of your arrival.
Beetle on the Post
When you go across the bridge toward the jungle, there is a doorway in front of you. At one point in the game there is a little crawling beetle on the post to the left. You can get a very close look at it if you click on it. It will fly away if you attempt to move the mouse over it.
If you have used RIVEN Movie Player / RIVEN Movie Snoop to open the file b_Data.MHK on CD #1 and played movie 80 (304_bpress.mov) and 81 (304_bpressup.mov), you probably have seen the bottom right picture. It shows a book press that Cyan later decided to remove from the game. During testing, very few people identified it as a paper press. Most assumed that it was something to open/unlock a passage somewhere. For that reason Robyn told Jason to take it out of all the shots. But, he didn't remove it completely. If you stand in front of the boiler mechanisms on Book Assembly Island, put your cursor in the upper left hand corner of the screen, even if it doesn't turn into an "up" hand, and click, you can see the picture on the top right. If you look in the bottom left corner of the screen you can see the top wheel of the book press. Thanks to Karen Bahnsen for pointing out this one.
Darth Vader on Jungle Island?
If you look closely about halfway through the maglev rotation movie in the maglev to Temple Island you will possibly see the mask of a well known father in the shadows. The father is Luke Skywalker's and his name is Darth Vader. The similarities can only be seen in a couple of the frames and it is very vague, so you have to want to see it. The movie (812_jtmgtrn.mov in j_Data2.MHK) can be viewed with the RIVEN Movie Player.
Design in the Stone
This design can be found in the stone walkway outside Gehn's lab on Bookmaking Island. I have no clue what it is supposed to be, but it may look like some sort of dome rendered in dots.
Drain under Elevator Platform
Outside the golden dome on the lower walkway, you will find an elevator you can activate without being on board. So, when you're facing the elevator (not inside), you can push the button to make it go up and then see what's underneath. Down there you see a drain covered by a steel grid.
On Cyan's RIVEN picture page and in the RIVEN calendar you can see a view where the elevator is coming down to the glowing room. This movie is not as easy to see in the game as it seems, but some smart people has figured out a method anyway: Put the elevator at the top and go to the maglev. Enter it and turn it around, go to the spinning dome and link to Gehn's Age. From here, link to jungle island, take the wahrk idol elevator all the way down, stopping at the middle pushing the blue button, and take the maglev to Survey Island. Walk through the corridors, and you can finally see a closed door with a blue button. Press the button to summon the elevator.
If you proceed from the start in such a way that you visit Spike Island fairly early on, you will catch an image of a figure in white robes. This is one of Gehn's scribes, played by Tony Fryman. To see him, do the following: From the beginning, take the maglev to Jungle Island. From there, take the mine car to Book Assembly Island. On Book Assembly Island, crawl through the vent to Gehn's lab (note his gun and pipe on one of the tables). Summon the nearby maglev with the blue button, then go out the opposite door and directly down the stairs to the maglev landing. Take the maglev to Survey Island. When you arrive, turn the maglev around before you exit. Walk down the hall to the elevator, take the elevator down and walk down the hallway. Just before you get to the junction, you will stumble upon this figure strolling down the hall reading a book. The person will see you and flee to the nearby maglev. If you follow, you will see him turning the maglev around and escaping.
Face in the Book
After Atrus holds up the RIVEN linking book, this face appears about six times within the other blurry images. The identity of this face is not known, but some say that it's Gehn, which is also the theory that I support.
Take a walk through the cave that ends up by the Maglev to Temple Island. Stop a few steps before you get out and take a closer look at the edge. It looks exactly like the silhouette of a frog, and the wood eye is located at the place the frog would have its eye!
Gehn's Bedroom Pictures
On the wall of Gehn's bedroom in Age 233 hangs two pictures of Keta and Aitrus. The pictures are actually based on photographs of real people. His late wife, Keta, who also appears in a recording on Gehn's imager is played by actress Kate Vander Wende. Kate is the wife of RIVEN's game designer Richard Vander Wende. His father, Aitrus, is a modified picture of Confederate general Benjamin Huger. He's not very well-known since he was ineffective during the Seven Days campaign and never saw combat again. Thanks to Ed Lee for the info!
Gehn's Gun and Pipe
If you go directly to Gehn's lab on Book Assembly Island (Temple Island -> Jungle island -> Book Assembly Island) you will see that he has left his gun and his pipe on one of the desks there. If you return later in the game the pipe and the gun will be gone (Almost. Read on).
Gehn's Pen, Inkpot and Orb
In Gehn's lab on Book Assembly Island, take a look at the table from a distance and you will see what appears to be a golden orb of some sort. If you zoom up to it the table you can see a pen, inkpot and a strange cup. The cup looks just like the orb, with the handle cut off. Thanks to -SuperCompGeek for pointing this out..
Girl in the Jungle
The first time you exit the idol's mouth on Jungle Island and walk up the stairway into the jungle, a little girl will appear on the path in front of you. She will run off, and you won't find her again. You will only see her once in the game.
This spectacular view of the lava on Jungle Island is a sight many RIVEN players overlook. If you stop right inside the gate in the jungle and turn left (or right) and then look down you will see the red hot lava glowing up at you from beneath.
Handle on the Stump
This triangular handle can be found on the stump by the mine car from Jungle Island to Book Assembly Island. It is not related to any of the puzzles in RIVEN, and you can't do anything with it. The handle is similar to the one you pull down to summon the cone elevator, so maybe it originally was there to summon the mine car from Book Assembly Island. Sebastian Ochs has pointed out for me that it looks like a kind of saw, a sharp wire with two handles for two men to cut trees.
Hole Above Boiler Dome
Did you know that there was a big hole in the ceiling over the spinning dome on Book Assembly Island? Many players do not see this when they play the game. On the 3D Pin Map at Survey Island this can be seen as a hole where the spinning dome is supposed to be located.
Irresolute Bridge on Survey Island
On Survey Island, if you don't press any of the buttons to make the pin map make a island in the map building the bridge to it doesn't go across. From the path to the Fire Marble Dome, you can turn towards the big Moitey Knife and clearly see the bridge is out. Then again, if you turn a different way it is retracted. Thanks to -SuperCompGeek for pointing this out..
Irresolute Elevator on Temple Island
When you walk from Book Assembly Island against Temple Island, you will still see a gap in the bridge, even if you've already raised the elevator to the top! Thanks to Mike Hegenberger for pointing this out.
Knocking on the Door
In the village on Jungle Island, you can knock on the door of one of the little huts. If you knock five times (note the five symbol on the door), someone will open a part of the door and take a look at you before shutting it again.
If you are standing in the Sunners' Lagoon on Jungle Island facing the walkway, you will probably see some faint scribbling in the sand. It is very hard to see if it really is letters, and even more difficult to see what it says. I remember someone said that it looked like the BrøderBund logo, but I really don't know...
There are three walls in the Gate Room on Temple island with D'ni inscriptions. Their headlines are "nahvahot", "relem" and "rekortee" - "Our master", "The ink" and "The books". Now if you stand at the centre of the Gate Room and look at the wall with "nahvahot" you'll notice that the headline "nahvahot" is mirrored! However, it will appear correctly in the closeup of the wall. In case you're not familiar with the D'ni language: start a new game of RIVEN, go to the centre of Gate Room and turn left two times. Now compare the inscription you see with the one you get if you click on the wall for a closeup. Thanks to Sebastian Ochs for pointing this out.
If you had a look out the window in Gehn's bedroom, you might have seen a person in rivenese clothing standing on the rocks on the bottom right of your screen. It is not a person. Richard A. Watson at Cyan has made a post to the RIVEN Lyst concerning this: "The figure out the bedroom window is an optical illusion, just part of the rocks. It's hard to judge distance and scale from these few shots, but those giant rocks are thousands of feet high, so if that were a person, he'd be about a hundred feet tall."
If you turn your monitor's brightness to the top and look very closely at these books in Gehn's lab, you will see that the front book on the shelf has a questionmark on it. I have no idea what it is doing there. In the small picture on the right I have "equalized" (a histogram function) the image of the front of the book to show the questionmark as clear as possible.
Weili Huang told me in a letter that in Softimage 3D, whenever you open an existing file of a 3D model, there is 1 in every 15 occasion that Softimage will unable locate an existing 2D texture for that particular model, once it is unable to locate it, the programme will load a question mark icon as a 2D texture on the 3D model to inform the the 3D animator that he/she need to reload the 2D texture again.
When Cyan build RIVEN with Softimage 3D, they took 3hours to load/save a single island, therefore there are heaps of problem they've to face, bare in mind that Softimage 3D is an excellent but very difficult programme to use, compare to wozzy software like 3D Studio Max or Poser, it even get some of my classmate in tears as they get fustrated with their modeling and animating assignment. So Cyan did suffer alot with the programme but they're able to go through all those hardship and created RIVEN which has break the boundary that every 3D animators had faced.
Maybe there are more question marks around in RIVEN to hunt for?
If you return to Gehn's lab after exploring some of the other islands you will see that the pipe and gun are gone. But, if you stand in front of the table in a certain position and look upwards you will see the top of the pipe still on the shelf. MYSTic...
On the elevator walls on Temple Island you can see at least three skulls. On at the top, looking upward, on on your way dows, and one on the bottom. There may be even more skulls on RIVEN elevator walls, but I don't think these were wanted to be skulls by Cyan.
Upsetting the Wahrk
If you have been in Gehn's underwater throne long enough and turned on the different colors of lights, you'll have noticed that the red light summon a majestic creature known as a wahrk. Turning it on a second time summons the beast again; only this time he's a little put off that it's only you. The third time, he just swims by with an angry snort. By the fourth time, the wahrk is very angry. He swims right up to you and tries to attack you. Fortunately, there's some kind of transparent glass between you and that beast! Pretty scary, or what?
If you walk down the blue cave connecting the jungle with the bay on Jungle Island and turn left at the halfway you will see this faint blue pictogram. The painting depict how Gehn punishes the Moiety rebels. Gehn uses the Wahrk Gallows to lower the bait (read: the people) into the mouths of hungry wahrks. This is also being told in Gehn's Journal and is shown by the number game found inside the school house.
In the Sunner Lagoon on Jungle Island, go behind the rocks and look at them. You should be able to see the ball. The rocks look like a Wahrk. Thanks to "Arowin" for pointing this out.