Promotional Art for Riven
Image via Cyan Worlds Inc

Riven Endings Guide — How to Get All Endings

Here's a Riven endings guide on how to get all endings in the game during one playthrough.

There are a total of four endings you can achieve in Riven, ranging from bad to the true ending. Luckily, you can get all endings during one playthrough if you know the right places to save your game. Here’s a Riven endings guide that explains how to get all endings in the game in the best order.

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Every Ending in Riven

How to Get the Bad Ending in Riven

Speaking to Gehn in Riven.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

You must save before interacting with the Age 233 link book in Temple Island after solving the colored fire marble puzzle. Saving before you go to Age 233 is essential to earn a missable achievement and progress the game from Chapter 10 to the finale.

You can get The Finality by repeatedly refusing to link into Gehn’s Prison Book when he asks you. To achieve this, resist the temptation to interact with the book when Gehn presents it to you. The first time you refuse, he’ll warn you not to return until you’re ready. To leave, interact with the linking book inside the cage next to yours. You’ll then find yourself in Gehn’s lab on Boiler Island.

Temple Island’s symbol is the circle with a dot in the center. Once there, you’ll need to spin the rotating room to return. First, spin the room three times to exit using the main entrance. Then, use this spin button to spin the room twice more. After that, you’ll gain access to the bridge leading back into the Gold Dome.

Exit Gehn’s lab using the door with a catwalk leading to the spinning metal dome. You’ll want to use the Starry Expanse to return to Temple Island. Once there, interact with the Age 233 link book again. Gehn will return and ask you to link into his prison book again. Again, don’t do anything; eventually, he’ll warn you that you’ll have one last time to link into his book.

Exit out of Age 233 using the same link book as before. You’ll be back in Gehn’s lab on Boiler Island. Use the Starry Expanse and return to Temple Island once again. Return to Gehn using the link book. He’ll give you one last chance to link to his prison book. Refuse again, and he’ll shoot you for making him angry. You’ll die, Gehn will get to complete his mission, and the credits will roll. In addition, you’ll earn the Finality achievement.

How to Get the Second Ending in Riven

Getting the second ending in Riven.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

After earning the Finality ending in Riven, load your first save. After loading in, interact with the Age 233 link book. Listen to Gehn’s monologue again, and the first time he asks you to link into the Prison Book, interact with it. You’ll earn the “Perhaps It Would Be Best” achievement, which you can only earn the first time you talk to Gehn.

When you link into the prison book, you’ll see Gehn’s face looking suspiciously at the book, and he’ll eventually touch it. When this happens, you’ll be back in Gehn’s study with him safely in the prison. Next, save your game again; you’ll need to reload to this point to proceed with the following two endings.

Open your backpack and take out the Gehn’s prison linking book. Open it and interact with it. Doing so will set Gehn free and transport you back into his prison. He’ll then express his confusion about why you let him out, but thank you for your sacrifice. You’ll earn the “This Must Be The End For You” achievement, and the credits will roll.

How to get the Third Ending in Riven

Speaking to Atrus during the third ending in Riven.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Reload the game using your second save after earning the second ending in Riven. Doing so will put you back into Gehn’s study. You’ll want to breach the seal without rescuing Catherine from Prison Island to earn this ending. To do so, use the link book to be returned to Gehn’s Lab in Boiler Island. Then, head back to Temple Island via the Starry Expanse.

Once there, head back to the starting location where you saw Gehn’s guard get taken out. This area is called the link-in plateau. Next, interact with the steaming control console. You’ll need to solve the 10-digit password to unlock the controls of the machinery, which will let you breach the seal. To do so, you’ll need to figure out the 10 Rivenes symbols in Cathern’s journal and then enter those symbols into the console. The password on my playthrough is 4 2 6 10 2 1 1 10 8 2.

Once you’ve successfully unlocked the control console, the next step is to move the lever on the right over to the slot on top of the machinery on the left. This action will trigger the breach of the seal. Following a brief cutscene, Atrus will make an appearance. He’ll take Gehn’s Prison Link Book from you, seemingly pleased. However, his joy will be short-lived as he realizes Catherine is not with you. He’ll express his gratitude for your efforts and depart to rescue her.

The ground will tremble, and you’ll fall into the Starry Expanse. You’ll earn the “Mixed Signals” achievement for summoning Atrus prematurely. As you drift away, Atrus will deliver a poignant monologue, reflecting on the salvation of Riven, but at what cost?

How to Get the True Ending in Riven

Catherine and Atrus hugging during the true ending in Riven.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Reload your second save to go back into Gehn’s study on Age 233. However, don’t leave this time; instead, use the ladder to go to Gehn’s sleeping quarters. On his nightstand, you find his timepiece. Open it, and you’ll hear a series of unique noises. These noises hold the key to saving Catherine from Prison Island, so pay close attention and remember them.

Next, leave Age 233 using the link book and return to Gehn’s Laboratory. Head to the Starry Expanse, but this time go to Prison Island, the symbol of the Vertical Eyeball. Once at Prison Island, descend the ladder and follow the path to the entrance to the building. To unlock the elevator, interact with the console on the wall. You’ll find three buttons that make the noises you heard when interacting with Gehn’s timepiece. The correct order to press the buttons is the first button on the left, middle, and then right.

Take the elevator to the top of the building, and you’ll find Catherine waiting for you. She’ll tell you that she’ll need to save the residents of Riven and wants you to breach the seal back on Temple Island. Catherine will leave the prison, and you’ll earn the “Who Will Link the Broken Chain” achievement. Leave the prison by pressing the white button on the elevator console. Then, take the Starry Expanse back to Temple Island.

Once there, head to the link-plateau, unlock the control console, and lift the machinery as you did before. After the cutscene, Atrus will appear. He’ll take Gehn’s Prison Linking Book from you and ask where Catherine is. However, this time, Catherine will appear. She’ll say that the residents of Riven are now safe and that you can all leave. Afterward, Catherine will interact with the link book you trapped Gehn into. Atrus will thank you for giving him his life back, hold the book over the Starry Expanse breach, and touch the book. The ground will shake, and you’ll fall into the Starry Expanse. Atrus will perform another monologue, but you’ll hear the true ending this time.

Now that you have used our Riven endings guide, you’ll see all endings in the game during the same playthrough. Check out our Riven guides hub for guides like our Can You Play Riven on Steam Deck, so you can play on the go!

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Image of Matthew Kevin Mitchell
Matthew Kevin Mitchell
Matthew Kevin Mitchell is a freelance writer for GameSkinny and has written in the game journalism industry for over two years. In his previous roles, Matthew primarily covered Manga, like One Piece, horror movies like Scream, and asymmetrical horror games like Dead by Daylight. His favorite moment came during his first press event covering Scream 6. He hails from Denver, Colorado, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Regis University. When he isn’t scaring himself silly or writing, he loves to play goalie in rec ice hockey, spoil his dog Nux, and drink an unhealthy amount of coffee.