While kouri's Ib
doesn't have many characters, the few that there are manage to become rather fleshed out in a very short space of time, especially for a horror game. They are listed below with their associated tropes.Warning
spoilers ahead, and all of them are unmarked. Playing the game is highly recommended before going any further.
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The title character and protagonist of the game, Ib is a simply a young girl that visits the art gallery with her parents. When everything gets worse
, Ib must solve puzzles and dodge evil paintings to somehow find a way back home.
- Adorably Precocious Child: She's only nine and she can figure out puzzles that many adults would have trouble with. On the other hand, there's quite a few words she doesn't understand.
- Badass Adorable: She is nine and is pretty strong during the whole situation, except when she isn't.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's such a sweetie, until the final confrontation with Mary. Burn the painting. Particularly if you're going for the "Forgotten Portrait" ending, in which case Ib goes to the trouble of going back for Garry's lighter...
- Break the Cutie: While she's a lot more quiet about it than Garry and Mary, she shows signs of cracking earlier than either of them. She is upset by the painting of her parents, she hallucinates constantly, two of her hallucinations are of herself hanging, she has to see at least one of her friends and possibly both of them go insane (which is of course upsetting), and in a really bad playthrough, she is so traumatized by being unable to save Garry that she collapses and never gets up again.
- Constantly Curious: She asks Garry questions at any opportunity. What does "abstract" mean? What does "tryst" mean? Why is Garry's coat all ragged? Why does Garry talk like a lady?
- Daddy's Girl: Some dialogue options reveal her to be this. Word of God reveals she is actually a Mommy's Girl.
- Despair Event Horizon: Hits this if Garry fails the doll room and is unable to be brought back to sanity. She does not recover.
- Death by Despair: In the last scene of the "Welcome to the World of Guertena" ending, she looks kinda dead.
- Heroic Mime: Ib has no dialogue lines of her own; the player only learns what she says via occasional dialog options and other characters' responses. This is part of her character, as she is apparently a rather quiet person.
- Hime Cut: Goes well with the author's idea of her.
- Identical Stranger: Ib and her mother look strikingly similar to the Lady in Red portraits. In fact, when Garry first meets Ib, he initially mistakes her to be one of these monsters.
- Innocent Inaccurate: When playing as Ib alone, any word beyond a nine-year-old's comprehension is replaced with ???; you'll need Garry with you to fill in the blanks.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Garry. Although his age isn't explicitly specified like hers (she's nine and he's speculated to be from eighteen to twenty-four), it's obvious that he's more than a few years older than her.
- I Will Wait for You: One interpretation of "The Promise of Reunion" ending.
- Little Miss Badass: Despite legions of headless statues, sapient paintings, a Reality Warper, and generally the horror world she's in, and despite being nine years old, she's the one who survives to the end the most often.
- Mummies at the Dinner Table: Possibly in the "Welcome to the World of Guertena" ending. Either she's dead or she's so far gone that movement and speech are beyond her ability; either way, she was disturbingly still during Mary's celebration over the fact she found two friends and plans to keep them forever.
- Nightmare Dreams: She has one of these when she faints after from narrowly escaping a mob of monster artworks.
- Not So Stoic: There are definitely moments where how much the gallery is really bothering her shows. At one point Garry notes that a certain thing they run into even has Ib bothered, after an encounter with a bunch of attacking artworks she faints and has nightmares while she's passed out, she hallucinates a lot, Garry going insane in the Doll Room causes her to slap him in the face, and Garry really going insane in the Doll Room causes Ib to completely lose her will to live.
- The Ojou: According to Word of God, she comes from an upper-class family.
- The Quiet One: Everyone talks more than her and she's the protagonist.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Averted. She might look like a Creepy Child at first glance from the title screen, but she's far from it. She inherited it from her mother.
- Sanity Slippage: The gallery definitely is affecting her in a negative way, as demonstrated by the fact that she constantly hallucinates, and if you get the "Welcome to the World of Guertena" or "A Painting's Demise" endings, Ib suffers a complete breakdown and doesn't recover from it.
- Silent Protagonist: It's possible to see nearly all of the game with "..." being all she says.
- The Stoic: Doesn't say much or express much, especially for a little kid.
- Troubled Fetal Position: In two of the endings, Ib does this when she finds that Garry has gone utterly insane and she can't fix him. She never gets up again. Even Mary finds this troubling.
- Unfortunate Names: The I in Ib's name looks like a lower case "L" in some fonts; "lb" is a common symbol for pounds. Poor girl would be subject to a bazillion fat jokes in school...
A mildly flamboyant
young man that Ib runs into and saves, he decides to travel with Ib and find a way to escape with her.
- Adorkable: Has his moments.
- Ambiguously Gay: In the Japanese version, he uses language characteristic of women and gay men, including using the distinctly feminine pronoun "atashi". Ib even comments on this if the player chooses to. Of course, it's less apparent in the English version, since there are no gender-specific pronouns and no voice acting in the game. Instead, his feminine way of speaking is demonstrated with florid or old-fashioned turns of phrase — "thank heavens", "oh my", etc.
- Anger Born of Worry: While he usually goes out of his way to be nice to Ib, there are points where he yells at her, usually after she tries to do something really stupid and dangerous. (Trying to sit down when artworks are about to attack, deciding to jump into a very, very deep hole...) At one point in the Bonus Dungeon, Garry falls asleep, after asking Ib to not go wandering off by herself. She promptly finds a secret room, which has the same effect as wandering off would have. When she comes back, Garry has woken up and is very upset that she went off somewhere alone.
- Badass Longcoat: Garry's got a pretty cool coat.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's very kind to children and goes out of his way to make sure Ib's doing okay. He also is prone to kicking things over if they upset him. If you attack the little girl he's been trying to protect, he will knock you out. If you attack him for trying to do you a favor, he will knock you out. If you persist in chasing him and aforementioned little girl with a palette knife, he won't bother with knocking you out this time; he will burn you.
- Big Brother Instinct: To Ib. To Mary as well, until he finds out what she really is.
- Big Damn Heroes: Under certain circumstances, Garry ends up saving Ib from Mary, who'd just pulled a knife on her.
- Bishōnen: Pretty cute for a guy. A few people mistook him for a girl when they first saw his sprite.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He's one of the many people in the gallery at the start of the game, though he doesn't say anything if you try to talk to him.
- Cowardly Lion: He freaks out about a painting spitting (to be fair, the spit will hurt you if it hits you), at one point something that might have been a vase (too dark to tell) falls over and he screams, and the gallery in general just scares him. A lot. And yet he'll push all that aside if there's something that really needs doing.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Don't let the picture fool you; he truly is a benevolent guy, and really, really nice.
- Deep Sleep: Throughout the game, Garry will mention feeling tired, and at one point in the Sketchbook world, he nearly falls asleep standing up. He finally gets a chance to sleep in the Bonus Dungeon, and he takes it. You can't wake him up until you solve the room's puzzle.
- Deuteragonist: You play through a pretty large section of the game as Garry and so see quite a bit from his point of view. Also, The Reveal happens while you're playing as him, and how he handles an event that happens right after that affects the story in pretty major ways.
- Distressed Dude: When you first meet him, you have to save his rose from getting destroyed. Later on, if he fails the Doll Room event, Ib has to save him again... unless you're on the path for a couple certain endings, in which case there is no saving him this time.
- Friend to All Children: He's very kind to Ib, going out of his way to make sure she's feeling okay, helping her with words she doesn't know, etc. He shows the same amount of care where Mary is concerned despite sometimes getting annoyed with her. Given his reaction to finding out Mary's true nature, he doesn't seem to extend this kindness to paintings.
- Good Is Not Soft: He cuts Mary no slack despite the fact that she's just a little girl. He has no qualms with knocking her out and leaving her behind, and assuming he survived the toybox, he personally sets Mary's painting on fire when she tries to kill him and Ib.
- Heroic BSOD: He suffers a mental breakdown if he's caught in the doll room. How you've played up to that point determines whether Ib is able to snap him out of it or not.
- Heroic Sacrifice: If Mary gets Ib's rose, he gives up his own in exchange for hers.
- If We Get Through This: If you talk to Garry under the fake sunlight in the Sketchbook area, he will mention eating macarons at a cafe the day before going to the art gallery. He will then ask Ib if she wants to go there together if they manage to get out, before proceeding to correct himeself and promise that they will get out and will eat macarons together.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Ib. Although his age isn't explicitly specified like hers (she's nine and he's speculated to be from eighteen to twenty-four), it's obvious that he's more than a few years older than her.
- In Touch with His Feminine Side: He speaks like a woman (uses female Japanese pronouns instead of male, for instance) because he'd prefer being...gentle. Word of God also mentions that "Garry’s someone who'd like to cross the barriers of gender." It's been speculated that he's gay, but it could be that he's genderqueer.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: If he gets captured in the doll room, he forgets what he just learned about Mary. It doesn't last long, though; he remembers it just a few minutes later when Mary tries to knife him.
- Memento MacGuffin: When you take the option to give the handkerchief to him for his wounds (you must have a high bond level to get it), you will able to see the game's best ending.
- Mummies at the Dinner Table: Possibly in the "Welcome to the World of Guertena" ending. Either he's dead or he's so far gone that movement and speech are beyond his ability; either way, he was disturbingly still during Mary's celebration over the fact she found two friends and plans to keep them forever.
- Mysterious Past: We never really learn why he became trapped in the same world with Ib.
- Nice Guy: He is very kind and helpful to strangers. He is also good with kids.
- Not Himself: If the dolls trap him and mess with his head, he acts so differently from how he normally does that Mary concludes that he must not be the real Garry. Thankfully, Ib concludes otherwise.
- Oh, Crap: He has several of these, but the biggest would be when he realizes Mary had followed him and Ib while hiding in one of the houses in the sketchbook world.
- Only Sane Man: Compared to Ib or Mary, he can come across as this. He is also a more literal example, since Ib keeps hallucinating and Mary is a painting. Except in 1.04, where depending on the player's actions, it's possible for Garry to go completely and utterly insane and not recover.
- Peek-a-Bangs: One eye is covered by his (dyed?) hair.
- Properly Paranoid: His reaction to the bunnies. Mary thinks they're adorable, and Ib can also call them cute or even say she wants to pet them, but Garry's terrified of them and thinks the girls are weird for liking them. What he's seeing is creepy dolls; Ib was hallucinating at the time. His fear of the things turns out to be completely justified, since they end up basically capturing him and forcing him to play a game with them. And if he loses, they drive him insane.
- Rescue Introduction: He first appears when he's nearly dying from one of the portrait ladies plucking the petals from his rose, and Ib has to retrieve it for him. Once he has his rose returned, he joins Ib in finding a way out of the Gallery.
- Sanity Slippage: In Version 1.04. If you get the "Hanged Garry" message, Garry will start to feel like there's something around his neck when there's nothing there. Also, depending on player actions, it's possible to get an ending where Garry getting captured in the doll room drives him so utterly insane that Ib is unable to bring him back to reality.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: "HYEEEEEK!"
- Take Me Instead: If Mary gets Ib's rose in the toy box, Garry trades his rose for Ib's to save her life. It ends badly for him.
- Tarot Motifs: Garry is associated with The Hanged Man; he is seen looking at an image of "The Hanged Man" at the start of the game, certain circumstances give you a "Hanged Garry" message, and one of the endings has a picture of Garry replace "The Hanged Man" in the gallery. Given that "The Hanged Man" can symbolize self-sacrifice and/or entrapment, this becomes significant in two of the endings where Garry sacrifices his life to save Ib and two of the other endings where he becomes trapped by insanity.
- Tastes Like Friendship: Garry gives Ib a lemon hard candy to cheer her up after their near fatal encounter with a mob of monster artworks. In the best possible ending, Garry mentions this candy to help Ib remember all the trials they went through if she had forgotten.
- Vague Age: His age is never specified in-game, although it is estimated to be between eighteen and twenty-four.
- What the Hell, Hero?: The blue doll who stalks Garry and wants to be friends with him becomes a lot less friendly and tells him how hurt she feels if he kicks her instead of just nudging her aside.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: For Garry, dolls. They creeped him out from the get-go. One of them stalking him down a hallway creeps him out even more, and the time a whole bunch of them locked him in a room was a rather traumatizing experience. By the end of the game, Ib investigating one of them causes Garry to warn her not to touch them.
- Wistful Amnesia: In "Memory's Crannies", he feels sorrowful when looking at the red rose sculpture in the gallery, but doesn't know why...
- Would Hit a Girl: He knocks out Mary after she either tries to stab him or threatens Ib with a palette knife.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Lavender hair with dark purple streaks at the top.
Another young girl right around Ib's age that she and Garry meet in the gallery. She readily agrees to their invitation to stay with them and find a way out.This character is a Walking Spoiler.
- Advancing Boss of Doom: She promptly loses all notion of being friends with Ib or Garry when they find her painting, and Ib just so happens to have one rose petal left at the time. If she catches you or you choose the wrong option at the painting, Game Over.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Kinda doesn't listen to Garry's warning about the importance of their roses at all because she becomes distracted by their prettiness and then rambles about her favorite colors. It turns out, however, that her rose is fake and nowhere near as important to her as Ib's and Garry's are to them.
- Ax-Crazy: Palette knife crazy, to be more exact.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's cute, friendly, cheerful, and playful. Doesn't mean she won't kill you with a palette knife.
- Big Bad: She's the main antagonist of the game as a whole, although Guertena is the Bigger Bad.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She's just a sweet little girl who wants to be friends, and she stabs mannequins for simply being in the way. Tries to ditch Garry when he obviously needs help. Chases her friends with a palette knife. Locks them in a toy box. May even kill them.
- Blondes Are Evil: Or if not evil, lonely paintings that come to life and want to kill someone in order to get out into the real world.
- Cheerful Child: A Foil to Ib's seriousness.
- Conscience Makes You Go Back: A rather dark version of the trope. In the "Welcome to the World of Guertena" ending, Mary decides to abandon Garry and Ib in the Doll Room after the former succumbs to madness and the latter gives in to despair. She promptly comes right back, unable to bear parting with Ib. Since Ib and Garry are obviously in no condition to leave, Mary keeps them with her. Forever.
- Constantly Curious: She's always asking questions of both Ib and Garry. Has Ib ever seen snow? Why won't Garry explain what this book is saying? Can you eat a plum/cherry tree? Does this scarf look good?
- Controllable Helplessness: The Painting's Demise ending. When Mary crosses the painting into the museum, reality starts to fall apart around her as she doesn't belong. All you can do is walk around and read the notes on the wall calling her back as the museum deteriorates and it gets darker and darker...
- Cosmic Retcon: Mary becomes Ib's sister all along in the "Together, Forever" ending.
- Crash-Into Hello: She's first introduced when she crashes into Ib.
- Cute and Psycho: One minute she's rambling about how crayons taste nasty or clinging to Ib and wanting to be her friend, the next minute she's chasing Ib down with a palette knife.
- Devil in Plain Sight: All things considered, the fact that she never does articulate how she got into the gallery, doesn't tell anything about her parents despite asking Ib about those of her own and doesn't seem to be, y'know, actually afraid of the gallery - not to mention her mysteriously period-unaproppriate dress - should have clued Garry and Ib in from the start.
- Dimension Lord: A small-time example, but there are a few implications that Mary was the one who created the sketchbook section of the painting world. More notably, the monsters are curiously absent when she joins the party, and after her true colors start to show, she is the only hostile encountered in the sketchbook area; it's possible that the monsters are afraid of her.
- Disappeared Dad: She comments on how she doesn't even have a dad, and so would like to meet Ib's parents.
- In the ending "A Painting's Demise", it's revealed that she considers Guertena her father, and seems to miss him.
- The Ditz: Though this might just be because she's only around Ib's age, which is nine. Or because she's a painting that really doesn't know any better.
- Freak Out: Has a particularly nasty one when she learns that Garry has found out what she really is; she starts going around stabbing things, becomes extremely clingy to Ib, tries to attack either Ib or Garry, and basically stops being the sweetie she was introduced as.
- Girl with Psycho Weapon: A palette knife.
- Glurge Addict: According to Word of God, her favorite things are drawing with crayons, playing with dolls, and pictures of pastries. This does not make her any less creepy.
- I Choose to Stay: In the "Welcome To the World of Guertena" ending. She's all set to just ditch the utterly insane Garry and the despairing Ib in the doll room and go enjoy life in the human world... but thinks better of it since Ib is the first friend she's ever had, and so she remains in the painted world just to be close to Ib.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Assuming Garry is still alive by the time you burn her painting, should you check on the pile of storybooks next to it, Garry will comment on one book titled "How to Make Friends."
- Improbable Weapon User: She carries around a palette knife to stab things.
- Kick the Dog: Throwing away Garry's lighter/eating the candy he gave to Ib in the "Together, Forever" ending.
- Knife Nut: At one point, she finds a palette knife and decides to keep it, "just in case". If you succeed in the Doll Room event, Mary pulls the knife on Ib when she thinks Ib's going to abandon her. If you fail in the Doll Room event, she pulls the knife on Garry when he tries to give her rose back after she drops it. At one point you can catch her stabbing a mannequin head over and over because it won't move out of her way. And when she's looking for them later in the Sketchbook world, she still has her knife out. And should you find her painting, run.
- Little Miss Badass: While still obviously very childish, when she realizes that something's wrong when she "escapes" the painting world in "A Painting's Demise", she pulls out the palette knife immediately if she has to defend herself. Not that she can defend herself from what is essentially the world itself, but still... Essentially, a little girl even the monsters chasing you fear.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: An interpretation of her exchanging Ib's rose for Garry's.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If the dolls erase Garry's memory of her true nature, then later on, she drops her rose and Garry tries to give it back to her. Mary freaks out and tries to stab him, which not only causes him to have to knock her out in self-defense, but also jogs his memory. Oops.
- Not Growing Up Sucks: Some of her dialogue in the brown area and in Guertena's True Exhibit implies this; at one point in the brown area, Mary wonders why adults are so tall, if she'll be tall like Garry some day, and says that she wants to grow up soon. In Guertena's True Exhibit, she rattles off a whole list of occupations she wants to have when she grows up.
- Pinocchio Syndrome: Mary, being in reality just another painting, desperately wants to come to the real world. And is willing to do some pretty unpleasant things to do it, although she'll only resort to murder if you've angered her enough.
- Reality Warper: In the Sketchbook and Toy Box areas.
- Remember the New Guy: In the "Together Forever" ending, everyone remembers Mary as Ib's little sister.
- Sanity Slippage: At first, Mary might only seem a little bit off, but by the time they're all in the sketchbook world, it's pretty obvious she's not entirely stable.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Mary does this in the ending "A Painting's Demise". Garry and Ib both lose it in the doll room and Mary promptly gives up on them and tries to find a way out on her own. This doesn't go too well for Mary.
- A Sinister Clue: She's left-handed. This only becomes apparent when she starts swinging knives around.
- Slasher Smile: Has a freaky particular one at the end of "Welcome to the World of Guertena".
- Soul Jar: The painting she came out of, carefully guarded in the sketchbook world. Once it gets burned, Mary is reduced to ashes along with it.
- Sweet Tooth: She seems to be very fond of candy.
- Tragic Dream: In most of the endings. her dream of escaping to the human world is foiled. In some endings, Ib and Garry kill her, in some variations of "Ib All Alone" she is simply forgotten, in "Welcome to the World of Guertena" she gives up on the idea as she doesn't want to leave Ib alone, and in "A Painting's Demise" she tries to escape... and can't.
- Tragic Monster: Most of the artworks are monsters and wlliing to kill Ib, Garry, or both. Including this one.
- Tragic Villain: Her primary motivation throughout the whole game is that she wants to live a normal human life, but given the nature of the painting world — of which she herself could even be called a monster resident of — and the protagonist's obvious desire to get out of there as quickly as possible, she has to resort to desperate measures.
- Averted in the "Together, Forever" ending, where she does get to live as a human.
- Walking Spoiler: It's hard to talk about Mary as a character without spoiling over half of the story.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In a couple of the "Ib All Alone" endings, Mary isn't dead yet. What does she do in those endings? We don't know.
Ib's mother and father
- Good Parents: From what little is seen of them, they seem to be the ordinary, loving type of parents to Ib.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Ib and her mother look quite alike, sharing the same eyes and hair.
- Unnamed Parent: We're never given the names of either of them.
The artist who created all the artworks in the exhibit. He strongly believed that he could bring his artworks to life by pouring his heart and soul into them. It worked a little too well.
- Bigger Bad: The indirect cause of the events of the game, thanks to bringing his art to life.
- Disappeared Dad: Is this to his artworks, particularly Mary.
- Mad Artist: Somehow he made his art come to life. He didn't quite think it through for what happens to his creations when he dies...
- Non-Specifically Foreign: Weiss is the German word for "white." On the other hand, while appearing to have influence from the Spanish or Italian languages, Guertena is not a real name or word in either of those languages. At best, we can hypothesize that Weiss Guertena is Swiss or South Tirolian due to the German and Italian components in the name, since German and Italian are both official languages of those areas.
- Posthumous Character: He's dead before the story starts.
- Truly Single Parent: That he pretty much created life in his artworks causes him to be this. Mary considers her father, and refers to some of the other artworks as her siblings.
The Painted Ladies
Some of the many paintings who attack Ib and Garry.
- Cool Big Sis: The affectionate way Mary refers to the Lady in Red implies that they are this to Mary.
- Gold Digger: Guertena based the Ladies off of greedy women who wanted to marry him for his money.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Their red eyes just make them scarier.
Oddities in the art gallery, the smiling blue dolls don't appear to have been made by Guertena himself. They love playing, and end up causing Garry a great deal of trouble.
- Abhorrent Admirer: The doll who stalks Garry. He's quite disturbed by her.
- Balloon Belly: Dialogue states that some of them have bigger stomachs than the others. This means that they have items contained in them.
- Behind the Black: One doll teleports (see below) when off screen. However, this happens in a (fairly) well-lit hallway with no obstructions to Garry's sight. Garry should be able to see the doll appear, but it is implied that he doesn't as he never comments on seeing it move in front of him.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The giant doll. While she first appears in the "Red Eyes" painting, after that you only see her before the doll room event under certain circumstances. She occasionally pops up behind bookcases and the like. It just seems like another thing kouri threw in to freak out the player... then you get to the second doll room. There she is.
- Creepy Doll: Oh so very much, although it's played with a bit in-universe. Garry is understandably creeped out by them, but even though Ib doesn't see them as dolls at first because she's hallucinating, she does see them later on, and rather than seeing them as "disturbing" she just notes that they're smiling. And blue. And as for Mary, they're her dolls, it's strongly implied she made them herself, and she thinks they're adorable.
- Driven to Madness: They inflict this on Garry if he fails their little game. Depending on how you've played up to that point, it's either hardly effective at all or permanently damaging.
- Living Toys: Definitely alive.
- Losing Your Head: The stalker doll if Garry kicks her into the wall. The head keeps following him anyway.
- Memory Wiping Crew: If they capture Garry before he can escape their room, they erase his memory of Mary's true nature.
- Offscreen Teleportation: The stalker doll's main mode of transportation.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: All of the dolls have these. It only adds to their creepiness.
- Stalker with a Crush: One of the dolls seems quite taken with Garry. She stalks him down a hallway and keeps writing messages asking him to take her with him, or begging him to stay with her, and even after he either gently nudges her aside or kicks her, she keeps following him, although if he does the latter, she suddenly leaves messages that are far more threateningly worded.