Riven MagLev

The Mag-Lev station of Temple Island with the car parked.

Mag-Lev was a mechanized transport system between the five islands of Riven. It used magnetic levitation and D'ni technology learned by Gehn (the D'ni people favored raw forms of energy like magnetism).[1]

Because the islands ever separated because of tectonic plate shifts, some bridges were rendered useless for long spaces. Gehn ordered one of the Rivenese Guilds (perhaps the Guild of Builders) to pursue the design of a new system. It levitated above rails thanks to two huge magnetic coils, with each given the identical amount of power, the functional power distribution 48 units (7 units below the optimum). Slight imperfections in the metal affect the symmetry of the magnetic fields of power.[2]

Mag-Lev tracks connect Temple Island with Jungle Island, and Crater Island with Survey Island.

Notes & trivia[]

  • Originally Riven's islands were to be connected with bridges, but they would require a lot of clicking to realistically traverse. The mag-lev device was conceived to make travelling between islands more exciting for the player.[3]
  • Richard Vander Wende drew concept sketches for the Mag-Lev, inspired by Victorian-era locomotives, and WWII airplanes. The 3D model was designed by Bret St. Clair and Tony Davidson.[1] The car took 3 weeks to create, and the dock with the tracks took another month.[3]
  • Various sound effects were combined by Tim Larkin to create the movement of the tram's doors, including servo, power seat, window motors and other metallic sounds and clicks.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 From Myst to Riven, p. 52
  2. Riven Journals #2
  3. 3.0 3.1 From Myst to Riven, p. 55
  4. From Myst to Riven, p. 100