Walking Through A Scene From Riven On The Apple II

Twenty years before the 1997 release of Riven – Cyan’s sequel to the critically acclaimed title Myst – a fruity company in California released the Apple II, a 6502-based microcomputer that would be produced until 1993. With the upcoming remake by Cyan of Riven into a fully 3D experience, [deater] found themselves wondering how much of the original game’s click-and-puzzle game would fit on a 140 kB floppy for the Apple II series of computers. Since Myst was able to be squeezed  onto a mere three floppies and provide a reasonably playable version of the game on the Apple II, surely the same could be done for this sequel?

The Maglev in the Apple II port of Riven. (Credit: [deater])
The Maglev in the Apple II port of Riven. (Credit: [deater])
Just a look at the system requirements for Riven (Win95+, 100 MHz Pentium, 16 MB RAM and 75 MB disk space) and the knowledge that the game came on five CD-ROMs (until the DVD release) should instill some trepidation that a serious demake would be needed. Ultimately [deater] managed to set the system requirements for the port to any Apple II with at least 48 kB of RAM. The same custom game engine as for the Myst port is used, with the original CG stills downsampled and the movies rotoscoped at fairly low framerate.

Although the ‘Disk 39’ in the video is currently the sole floppy, containing part of Dome Island and the Maglev, it is probably a fair assessment of how many 140 kB disks would be needed to port the entire game. Even with the downsampled graphics, [deater] reckons it would take on the order of hundreds of floppies to fit the whole thing.

8 thoughts on “Walking Through A Scene From Riven On The Apple II

  1. Today I was gifted a Sinclair SPerctum 48K that’s still got the shipping plastic film on the keyboard and I got to wondering how many tapes it would take to hold a modern OS like Ubuntu or Win 10

    1. Depends. Do we measure tape lenght in number of orbits around moon? ;)

      On such systems, data blocks back then had been written multiple times in a row to compensate for read errors on the not-so reliable cassette medium.

      So the actual amount of data on physical tape might be a multiple to what’s being stored in digital tape images used by emulators.

    2. Hehe. 85 kB on 5m of tape in those cartridges, 17 MB per kilometer.
      Not actually that bad. You could fit an entire modern OS on a tape length less than a single low earth orbit. And it would take less than a two years to read it.

  2. What’s not being shown is footage from a composite video monitor of the era.
    If being displayed on, say, a Commodore 1702 monitor with a 0.64 mm dot pitch, most of the pixelation would be gone.
    The picture would be much more natural looking.

    This here is more like a raw frame buffer dump.
    I say “more like” because the Apple II is using NTSC artifact colors,
    so some processing is done by either frame grabber or emulator etc.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.