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Ib (video game)

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Jan 18, 2022

Ib (イヴ, ibu) is a 2012 freewarepsychological horror video game published and developed by kouri for Microsoft Windows. Players control the titular character from a top-down perspective trapped in an eldritch art museum, later revealed to be titled the “Fabricated World’, where they meet the characters Garry and Mary. Together, they make the goal of escaping the gallery and returning to the real world.

2012 video game
Ib

Title screen, where the titular protagonist is featured
Developer(s) kouri
Composer(s) YASUpochi
Engine RPG Maker 2000
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release 27 February 2012
Genre(s) Adventure game
Mode(s) Single-player

Ib is the debut game of developer kouri, and was developed using RPG Maker 2000.[1] The art and sprites were created by kouri, and the game was made in a two-dimensional style.

Upon release in 2012, Ib was a critical and commercial success, and in 2014 achieved over 2 million downloads across Japan and the United States. The game received praise from critics and audiences alike, particularly for its gameplay, plot and characters. It has since attained a cult following, and Ib has been credited with helping popularize its engine’s use in developing games without role-playing elements.[2]

A remake with updated graphics is planned to be released in 2022.[3]

. . . Ib (video game) . . .

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 overcome, and enemies or traps that 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,[4] although many enemies are fairly swift in movement.

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. A young girl, Ib, is taken to fictitious artist 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 discovers a purple-haired figure on the ground, where the game requires you to retrieve his rose and replenish its life. After doing so, it is revealed that the figure is Garry, a soft-spoken young man sporting tattered clothes. They join forces and as they explore, they develop a close bond, and Garry becomes protective and nurturing of Ib.

Later on, the pair come across Mary, a eccentric girl who is believed to be around Ib’s age. She joins the group, and the three continue to explore. Upon inspection of a painting further in the game, the group are separated by a wall of emerging stone vines, leaving Garry by his lonesome meanwhile Ib and Mary are together as a duo. Known as the “separation puzzle”, the player can control both sides in certain areas and must work to reunite once again. It is soon revealed to Garry that the “antagonist” of the game is Mary, who’s true identity was a painting. Later “endings” would also reveal a backstory, possibly which influences her actions.

Later in the game, the player will discover Mary’s painting where they must then burn it, which effectively kills Mary. This can be encountered with or without Garry, who will either survive or die depending on the player’s actions. The player will soon after come across a large painting, which is required for the player to jump through in order to escape. Depending on the player’s actions, a distraction will appear each time they are about to do so (the only exception being if the player is on route to the “Together, Forever” ending); if Ib follows suit on that distraction, she will be stuck in the Fabricated World, and this will result in the “Ib All Alone” ending.

Soon after, the player finds their way back to the real world, where Ib will have lost all of her memory regarding her experiences in the Fabricated World. If Garry survives, she will see him at the “Embodiment of Spirit” statue, where two scenarios can happen; depending on the player’s actions, Garry will either recount no memory alike to Ib and leave, resulting in the ending “Memory’s Crannies”, or he will remember their past experiences and promise for the two to meet each other once again, leading to what is considered to be the game’s best ending, the “Promise of Reunion.” If Garry does not make it back to the real world, then one of two things can happen depending on the players actions; Ib will leave with her parents, resulting in the ending “Forgotten Portrait”. If Mary was not killed before Ib escaped, then Mary will follow her back into the real world where she will be recognized by Ib’s parents as their second child, before they all leave the gallery, resulting in the “Together, Forever” ending.

. . . Ib (video game) . . .

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. . . Ib (video game) . . .