Ib (video game)

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Ib
Ibgamemenu.jpeg
Developer(s)kouri
Composer(s)kouri
EngineRPG Maker 2000
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Android (operating system) , through Easy RPG platform emulation
Release27 February 2012
Genre(s)Adventure game
Mode(s)Single-player

Ib (イヴ, Ivu) is a free-to-play adventure video game with elements of psychological horror released in 2012 for Microsoft Windows by the Japanese artist kouri, running on RPG Maker 2000. Players control the titular character from a top-down perspective with the goal of escaping an eldritch art museum.

The game has been credited with helping popularize its engine's use in developing games without role-playing elements.[1]

Gameplay[edit]

The player moves a character through two-dimensional fields, interacting with and examining various objects. Obstacles come in the forms of blocked paths, which the player must somehow overcome and cross, and enemies and traps which deplete the player character's health. Once health reaches zero, the player loses. The player wins by seeing the narrative through to one of its ends. The game's English translator has said that the game is not demanding of the player's reflexes,[2] although many enemies are fairly swift in movement.

Plot[edit]

A girl, Ib, is taken to Guertena Weiss' art museum by her mother and father. With her parents' permission, Ib wanders off on her own. She examines a painting she does not understand as the museum abruptly empties during a power outage, its doors locking before she can leave with the other guests. A series of paint splatters guide her into a different painting of the deep sea, which she physically enters. Trapped in an alien, painted world, Ib eventually finds and joins forces with two others: Garry, a soft-spoken young man dressed in tattered clothes who becomes protective and nurturing of Ib; and Mary, a mischievous, eccentric girl roughly Ib's age. Throughout their quest to escape the art gallery, Ib, Garry, and Mary encounter numerous puzzles, re-animated sculptures, and monstrous killer paintings.

The game takes place at some point after the year 6235, as the numbers given with the paintings are years, as confirmed by the Japanese kanji for the games' script. The earliest date on Guertena's paintings is 6198 in "Marvelous Night"; the latest is The Geometrical Fish in 6235, and Mary was his last (her year being given as "????"). That's at least 37 years of Guertena painting, and at least 12 years with Mary (given "Juggling" in 6223).

Characters[edit]

Ib

(Japanese イヴ, romaji Ivu)

A girl that is not quite an adult yet. Ib has long, straight brown hair and red eyes. One day, Ib becomes trapped in Weiss Guertena's art museum.
Kouri describes in his official blog posts that Ib is the heroine; "Red-themed. Her family is upper-class, so her skirt goes just down to her knees." When showing the original first design of Ib, he notes, "the expression isn't quite right, but her clothes hardly changed." He mentions Ib "loves her mother. Of course, she gets along with father too." Initially, Kouri planned to have the menu image change for every petal the player lost of the rose. So Ib would look more ragged when she got down to 3 petals, but it "was too much of a hassle."[3]
Despite possible other translations for her name (such as "Eve") her name is officially written in English by Kouri as "Ib". That her name was officially meant to be "Eve" is a common misconception among fans, as Kouri has stated a clear preference for "Ib".
Garry

(Japanese ギャリー, romaji "Gyari")

A soft-spoken young man with lavender-like colored hair, dressed in tattered clothes who becomes protective and nurturing of Ib, as they try to escape the art gallery together (depending on players' choices). As the game progresses, Garry can go to extreme measures to protect Ib, even to the point of risking his life.
While Garry is often assumed to be an adult by fans, this is a common misconception - his official age nor birthday are never stated by creator Kouri or within the games' script. As well, instead of speaking with the dialect of a middle-aged Japanese man, he instead speaks using feminine pronouns and dialect (such as "onee", lit. "big sister"), similar to lavender linguistics. (For example, using the Japanese personal pronoun of "atashi", more commonly used by females, instead of "boku" or "ore", more commonly used by males.) Despite this, he also still refers to himself multiple times as a "man"; however, his use of such pronouns may associate him as a member of the LGBT community. Creator Kouri has also referred to him in blog posts and official art of Garry dressed in Japanese women's kimono as "Garry’s someone who'd like to cross the barriers of gender";[4] and has also mentioned regarding an official artwork of Garry as a witch, "Making Garry a witch, naturally, doesn’t feel off in the slightest."[5] As well, in the game, nothing is stated about his past or background prior to the game, other than Garry briefly mentioning near the start of the game he should have maybe worn better clothing to the art gallery.
In other blog posts as well as his art gallery, Kouri describes Garry's design as "stylish", stating "He’s got a stylish design" and describing him as "Ib's support". Kouri also mentions for Garry; "It was hard drawing distinctive expressions since he only shows one eye." Kouri says he likes the idea of Garry's "coat fluttering around wherever he goes" and mentions, "I fiddled with the ruggedness of the coat over time... He has a tank-top underneath." He mentions "Garry’s strange, but very easy to like." He finishes the section on Garry with "His personality’s very feminine, too", again relating to and confirming Garry's feminine personality.[3][failed verification] A design of Garry with pink hair is shown; Kouri stating "Garry would have been nice with pink hair, but I scrapped it because he stood out more than the protagonist and it didn’t fit the mood at all."[6]
The Japanese spelling of his name could be romanized as "Gyarii", "Gerii" or "Garii"; however, it is officially written in English by Kouri as "Garry".
Mary

(Japanese メアリー, Romaji "Meari")

Dressed in a long green dress, with long blonde hair; a mischievous, eccentric girl who initially looks and acts roughly around Ib's age; noted to have an "innocent" personality.
It is later revealed to the player, however, also depending on players' choices, that the "antagonist" of the game is Mary. However, later "endings" would also reveal a backstory, possibly which influences her actions.
Mary's ultimate desire, as shown by the various initial endings; is to leave the "Fabricated World" and live as a human in the real world.
Later on, in additional "endings" released after the initial set of endings, Mary is revealed to be Weiss Guertena's "daughter", as a painting that he painted (a blog post on Kouri's website after the reveal also shows her happily holding out a yellow rose for "father".) A common misconception by fans is that Mary was his granddaughter. However, due to the years given on the paintings, Guertena's death prior to the games' start, and Ib's and Garry's own presumed ages; Mary may be mentally "developed" as an adult (or young adult), despite also retaining the aforementioned "innocent" personality (due to her being sheltered and apart from humans in the art gallery).
Kouri describes in his official blog posts that "She loves cute things", "Also playing. And delicious things." He "had a lot of trouble settling on a color" for her dress, at one point also considering designs featuring the colors of white and blue; navy blue; and orange and black. Personally, Kouri liked the navy design "just as much. But it seemed too ocean-esque, so" he scrapped it. Kouri wished he could have made a few more "discussions" between her and Garry.[3][failed verification]
Guertena Weiss

(Japanese ワイズ グルテナ, romanji Waizu Gurutena)

The creator of the art gallery; noted initially by many to be a rather mysterious man. As the player progresses in the game, more small pieces of Guertena's history are revealed.
According to his Diary, Guertena believed that people can impart their spirit in the things they create; this including artwork. Guertena's goal was to immerse himself in his work in order to impart his spirit into his creations.
Later on, in additional "endings" released after the initial set of endings, Mary is revealed to be his "daughter", as a painting that he painted.
In his self portrait, Guertena wears a white long-sleeved shirt, and can be seen holding a paint brush in his left hand, which hints that Guertena might be left-handed. The picture that he is painting is the portrait of Mary. His face is never shown, leaving the rest of his appearance mysterious. He died prior to the game; of presumed natural causes.
'Weiss' in German also translates to "white."
Ib's Parents
Noted to be high-class, as Ib is from an upper-class family. They initially accompany Ib to the art gallery, but disappear along with everyone else when the lights first go out.
Ib's father, a young man, has dark brown hair, dark blue eyes, and pale skin. He wears a blue suit and a green tie. A polite, kind, and also sweet man like Garry; gentle in both words and appearance, he trusts Ib and seems to get along well with her, as portrayed in Kouri's old sketches. Noted to be very "intimidated" by art. Carefree; he also seems to forget things easily. He obviously loves Ib and, to his wife's disapproval, tends to buy her a lot of stuffed bunny plush dolls, including one which he gave her on her 9th birthday prior to the game's start. He and his wife also appear portrayed together in a portrait in the Fabricated World ("Couple"). He is mentioned very infrequently, and much less so than his wife, thus, his role has little significance. Neither he nor his wife speak with the dialects older Japanese middle-aged people would use; also making it very unlikely Garry is older than them, as Garry does not, either (and, neither does Mary).
Ib's mother is a young woman, with long, well-kept dark brown hair that is tied up in a fancy and fashionable-looking ponytail, red eyes, and pale skin. She wears a red dress with sleeves, and with a red gem on her neck collar. She acts loving and caring towards her daughter, and very much overall like a "mother", and seemingly does not want to spoil Ib much, as she disapproved of Ib's father giving Ib a lot of stuffed bunny plush dolls for her birthday or otherwise (and because Ib had many already). She lets Ib wander off on her own to explore the art gallery at the start of the game, but also expects Ib to behave. Ib shortly (as always) tells Mary at one point that her mother becomes "angry" sometimes, during which she "isn't nice", likely because of such disciplining of her daughter. However, she also trusts Ib to be responsible, especially where Ib's handkerchief is concerned (the handkercheif item of which also playing a significant role in the best "good ending", among other variations, likely due in part to her telling Ib to be responsible). She warns Ib to stay away from strangers, which foreshadows later endings of the game.
In some said "bad endings", among others, a "Fake Mother" appears, trying to deceive Ib using the tactic of also telling Ib to stay away from strangers (in many cases, Garry is also there). If Ib chooses to go with the "Fake Mother", the player will receive "bad ending"s of "Ib All Alone".
If Ib escapes the Fabricated World, Ib's mother can be found looking at paintings in the art gallery, and in some versions of the endings tells Ib that it is time to leave.
The Lady in Red
Variations of her in the game include "The Lady in Blue", "The Lady in Green", and "The Lady in Yellow".
One of the paintings in the art gallery that temporarily acts as a "character", coming to "life" to chase the player and friends around.
Despite what a man in the gallery theorizes, Guertena himself denies that it depicts an actual person. A book in the art gallery also states how "the women here" have a fondness for flower fortune-telling, which may include the Ladies.
On an official artwork of her from Kouri's art gallery,[3] Kouri noted, "At first you’d be certain she was a beautiful and elegant lady... but..." Kouri also mentioned in a Halloween-themed blog post on his official site that she "has developed a fondness for chocolate", portraying her eating a pumpkin-shaped lollipop while music notes surround her (likely implying her humming). He then went on to comment; "Girls like sweets, huh."[5]

Reception[edit]

Ib has gained a cult following in the horror indie game field. It has received praise for its atmosphere and general design, and has garnered comparisons to Yume Nikki.[7]

By the start of 2014, Kouri mentioned on his website that Ib broke 1,150,000 downloads in Japan. There was a similar "high" number of downloads on the English side.[8]

Ib also received some official merchandise, such as mini 3D figurines sold at Animate shops around Japan in early 2014; a 2013 calendar sold at Comiket 83; mascot plush dolls of Ib, Garry, and Mary sold as arcade prizes around late January 2013 at Taito Station; and a tote bag and a wine glass sold at "Guertena Shop".[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ RPGmakerweb (15 July 2014). "THE RISE OF THE NON-RPG RPG MAKER GAME: HORROR GAMES". RPG Maker. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Ib - vgperson's Translations". vgperson. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "Ib Gyararī" Ibギャラリー [Ib Gallery]. モノクロミュージアム (in Japanese). Kouri. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  4. ^ Kouri (2 January 2013). "2013-Nen desu" 2013年です [It's 2013]. モノクロブログ (in Japanese). Kouri. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b Kouri (2 January 2013). "Harōwin Gentei" ハロウィン限定 [Halloween Limited]. モノクロブログ (in Japanese). Kouri. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b Kouri (14 December 2012). "Ib Karendā Hanbai no Oshirase" Ibカレンダー販売のお知らせ [Ib Calendar Sales Notice]. モノクロブログ (in Japanese). Kouri. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  7. ^ Shiloh, Scarlett (2 November 2017). "A Look Into an Artist's Mind & RPGMaker Horror Games Through 'Ib'". Entertainment Monthly. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  8. ^ Kouri (31 December 2013). "2013-Nen no Kansō" 2013年の感想 [Reaction to 2013]. モノクロブログ (in Japanese). Kouri. Retrieved 4 October 2018.

External links[edit]