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Video Game: Ib

Ib is a horror adventure game released by kouri in February 2012, using RPG Maker 2000. It follows the experiences of a nine-year-old girl named Ib who visits an art gallery with her parents. While looking around, she finds herself stuck in a strange, surreal world where the art has come to life. What's worse, Ib's life is now linked to that of a red rose she picks up, and if all the petals fall she will die.

Luckily, Ib finds friends along her journey. They are a man named Garry whom she saves, and a girl about her own age named Mary whom they bump into later, both of whom have roses of their own. Together, the three of them solve puzzles and try to find a way to get back to the real world.

An English-translated version can be obtained here (Now updated to Version 1.07). A video of a fan-made sequel, "Ib 2- The Nightmare Continues", was released here, but the project was canceled and revised into a different game.

Ib contains examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: One little blue doll is quite taken with Garry and follows him everywhere trying to get him to play. This being Garry, he's terrified of it. Then again, he has real reasons to be afraid of those dolls.
  • Action Survivor: All of the protagonists. Except Mary. Unless she tries to leave without taking certain precautions first, the gallery's pretty safe for her, since she's one of the artworks. She's obsessed with Ib and the possibility of becoming a real child.
  • Adult Fear:
    • The four endings titled "Ib All Alone" have her not going back to the real world and being trapped inside the art world, for some reason or another, and the endings "Welcome to the World of Guertena" and "A Painting's Demise" have a somewhat similar situation, except this time it's not just that Ib decided not to return to the real world, she actually couldn't because she gave in to despair and refused to get up ever again. Let that sink in for a moment.
    • Being the only adult in the group, Garry pretty much does his best to take Ib and Mary under his wing. He explains words they don't know, pushes aside heavy statues, gives them helpful advice, and so forth... and then giant vines suddenly separate him from Ib and Mary, and Ib and Mary have to go forward alone, goodness knows what they'll find, and there's nothing Garry can do for them...
    • In the Bonus Dungeon, Garry shuts his eyes for a few moments, after making Ib promise to stay put until he wakes up. She finds a secret room. She's still in said secret room by the time he wakes up. He's pretty upset when she returns.
      • Even worse, it's possible to die in the secret room, if you press the switch before completing the room's puzzle. To Garry, Ib would just be gone and he would have no clue what happened to her. Even if he managed to find the secret room, he would be immediately greeted by a dead Ib...
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: Mary, if you find the room her painting's hidden in.
  • Aerith and Bob: Your party can have as many as three people in it: Garry, Mary, and... Ib?
    • This is unique to the English translation, as her name is supposed to be "Eve", but calling the game that would have caused some confusion, while calling the game "Ib" and the character "Eve" would've been a bit strange.
  • all lowercase letters: In the English translation of the game, the ant in the green area and the white ant in the Bonus Dungeon both have their dialogue written in all lowercase.
  • Alone with the Psycho: At one point, while the girls are separated from Garry, Mary has a psychotic breakdown, and poor Ib gets to see Mary swing a knife around, become incredibly clingy to Ib, start wandering around saying nothing, and generally acting insane, and Ib doesn't know what to do about it. Depending how things go, Mary might end up trying to attack Ib.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Garry uses lavender linguistics common of gay men in Japan, but this could be a personal choice that doesn't necessarily reflect his sexual identity. If you ask him why he talks like that, he's vague about it.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Generally speaking, you play as Ib and in certain parts of the game you switch back and forth between playing as Ib and playing as Garry. However, under some very special circumstances, you get switched to playing as Mary. Unfortunately, if you're playing as Mary, it means you're locked into the worst ending. You've already lost Ib and Garry, and Mary's also screwed over, even if she doesn't realize it yet.
  • Anger Born of Worry:
    • If Garry fails the doll room event and goes insane, Ib gets upset and slaps him in the face. In most cases. And you're given the option of slapping him again, too.
    • While usually Garry 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.
    • In two of the endings, Mary becomes increasingly upset and angry when Ib collapses in despair and refuses to get up.
    • In certain story paths, Ib's mother scolds her, telling her that she's been looking everywhere for her. This mother is actually a fake, though.
  • Art Game: Most RPG Maker/Wolf RPG horror games feature the protagonist entering a generic haunted house and either being chased by one monster occasionally or suffering from The Many Deaths of You note . Ib is a story-driven Surreal Horror featuring a hit point system and set in an art gallery.
  • Art Initiates Life: As Guertena seems to believe. What with the Ladies paintings chasing you down, this seems to be true for at least the "other" art gallery. And Mary.
    It's said that spirits dwell in objects into which people put their feelings. I've always thought that, if that's true, then the same must be true of artwork. So today, I shall immerse myself in work, so as to impart my own spirit into my creations.
  • Background Boss: Of a sort. In the Doll Room, there is an advancing monster you are trying to escape.
  • Badass Longcoat: Garry's got a pretty cool coat.
  • Being Watched: Garry says he feels like he's being watched when he and the girls are in the room with all the bunnies. The bunnies are dolls. And they really are watching him.
  • Berserk Button: In an odd example, the gallery itself freaks out when Garry first pulls out his lighter. Fire remains a touchy subject for the whole game, as it's pretty much the only thing that can kill its residents.
    • Mary in particular seems to really detest the lighter, which is sort of justified as it's the only thing you can use to kill her. If Ib has it in the "Together, Forever" ending, Mary confiscates it and throws it away, and in the "Welcome to the World of Guertena" ending, she confiscates it from Garry and throws it away.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Depending on which ending you get, this could be the outcome.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: The mannequin heads have these.
  • Blackout Basement: There's one in the Bonus Dungeon. You enter it to find that Garry's lighter has run out of oil and you need to find a different light source.
  • Bonus Dungeon: In 1.04, getting an ending where Ib escapes the gallery lets you explore a new area.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
    Rules of the Art Gallery: No loud conversation. No photography. No food or drink. No touching the displays. No fountain pens. No leaving ever.
  • Breakout Character: Garry. In the poll made by Kouri, he placed first by a landslide!
    Kouri: Ib came second and her votes weren't even half of what Garry got.
  • Category Traitor: In "The Liar's Room", the paintings are liars who try to lead Ib astray... except one, who tells her the truth instead. The others don't take kindly to this and murder him while Ib is in the other room.
  • Chain of Deals: You need to proceed to the next area, but the one guy that can let you through is hungry and wants to eat flowers. To be able to feed him without giving away your own rose, you must help the congested eye to help the snake to help the bride who will give you the flowers you need.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The handkerchief Ib's mother reminds her about at the beginning of the game is essential for getting the best ending.
    • "Strained Ear" and "Tattletale". There are a surprising number of paintings that do absolutely nothing, and at first, these paintings don't seem particularly ominous... until "Strained Ear" eavesdrops on Garry and "Tattletale" snitches on him after he finds out Mary's secret.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The colors of Ib's, Garry's, and Mary's roses are red, blue, and yellow, respectively.
  • Climax Boss: The giant doll. There are no other enemies like that in the game, and while there is no fighting it, you do have to escape the doll room before it catches you, and this event happens late in the game, after you learn something very critical to the plot. Bad things happen to Garry's mind if you fail.
  • Comforting Comforter: When Ib faints after escaping a mob of monster artworks, Garry covers her with his coat as she sleeps.
  • 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.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The painting "Strained Ear" just happens to be next to the bookcase where Garry reads about Mary actually being a painting. "Strained Ear" relays what Garry learns to the painting "Tattletale", which is in another room entirely, on another floor. In fact, it's in the room that Mary and Ib are in at that very moment.
  • 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 one ending.
  • Crash into Hello: This is how you meet Mary.
  • Creepy Changing Painting: Most paintings in the game change either due to you finishing a puzzle or just walking by them.
  • Creepy Doll: Garry runs into some major problems with them.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option:
    • In the green area, you have to use the ant's beloved painting as a bridge, which destroys the painting, and the poor ant asks what happened to its painting and will never know.
    • You can't take the friendly doll with you, and you have to rip it open and take its treasure to solve the paint puzzle. You can, however, nicely move it out of your way at one point instead of kicking it, so that it won't get mad.
    • If you are on an ending path where Garry survives, he refuses to leave until you've investigated the room that is blocked off by vines. Going into said room — which happens to be Mary's room — leads to Mary trying to attack, and you have no option but to kill Mary or else get a Game Over.
  • 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.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • While mannequins following you around or dolls stalking you can be quite creepy and Garry's understandably upset by it, they don't seem to mean any harm, at least not yet, and kicking them into the wall is just not nice.
    • If you go back to the room with the ant once Garry joins you, the ant insults him for mistaking him for trash and Garry threatens to crush it. Your only answers to said threat are ''No'' and ''That's Terrible.''
    • At one point, there is a mannequin blocking a hallway. Mary stabs it over and over and over and over...
    • One painting tells Ib the truth in a hallway of liars, causing him to be a Category Traitor. Fellow paintings murder him.
  • Distracted from Death: Invoked by Garry, if Mary gets ahold of his rose. Ib and Garry chase Mary trying to get Garry's rose back, Garry starts collapsing, and he tells Ib to run on ahead, and that he'll come running if she needs help. Of course, if she goes back to him later, she finds him dead, although she's too innocent to realize it.
    • Garry is sleeping...
  • Distressed Dude: You need to retrieve Garry's flower from the painting holding it hostage first before he joins you.
    • Later on, you need to snap him out of his temporary madness if you fail the Doll Room event... if your actions over the course of the game haven't completely doomed him by the time you get to that point.
  • The Doll Episode: After Garry is separated from Ib and Mary, the violet area pretty much becomes this. The room that Ib had seen rabbits in, Garry saw a lot of dolls instead. A little doll takes a liking to Garry and follows him everywhere. A giant doll might appear behind bookcases and the like. Then Garry finds a room full of them. They lock him up. And force him to look for the key. On a time limit. And do horrible things to his mind if he fails.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: While visiting an art gallery with her parents, Ib suddenly finds herself alone in a bizarre and dangerous phantom gallery, and must find her way out.
  • Dying Alone: At one point, Ib finds a grim little storybook about a little girl who gets lost and dies. And it comes true in the ending "A Painting's Demise". Poor Mary.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending/Earn Your Bad Ending: The endings "Together, Forever," "Memory's Crannies," and "Ib All Alone" are quite simple to get, and while "Forgotten Portrait" is a bit trickier, as you have to do a bit of backtracking to obtain it, it's not by much. However, you have to go out of your way for the best ending, "Promise of Reunion," as you have to avoid adding points to Garry's doom counter and be sure you've formed a strong bond with him. And the two worst endings, "Welcome to the World of Guertena" and "A Painting's Demise," you also have to go out of your way for. With "Welcome to the World of Guertena" in particular, you have to screw up about as much as it is possible to screw up, meet one or two other requirements, and form a strong bond with Mary.
  • Eldritch Location: The phantom Guertena art gallery, from the entrance at "Abyss of the Deep" to the exit at "Fabricated World."
  • Equivalent Exchange: It seems that in order for Mary to leave the art gallery, someone has to die there in order to take her place in a painting. In an ending where Garry dies, she follows Ib out and is retconned into being Ib's sister, but in an ending where she leaves Ib and Garry alive (albeit insane) and tries to escape the gallery, she is unable to do so and the gallery itself kills her for trying to leave.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Paintings, mannequin heads, statues, dolls, and everything else in the museum are out for Ib's blood.
    • In the ant and dolls' case, Everything Trying To Put You At Ease, which probably will get you killed.
  • Evil Twin:
    • If you fail the doll room, Ib and Mary later encounter Garry not really acting normally after he is driven insane by dolls. Mary seems convinced that this trope is in play, but Ib doesn't buy that for a minute. However...
    • ...while that was the real Garry, there really is an evil twin of him running around, as well as an evil twin of Ib's mom, and in certain endings one or the other of them will appear to try to lure you away from the way out of the haunted gallery.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: While some of the artworks have titles that are vague or symbolic, a few of them have titles that describe exactly what the artwork depicts. "The Lady in Red" is a picture of a lady wearing red. "Annulated Woman" shows a woman somehow morphed into a ring shape. "Lady With Her Umbrella" is a lady with an umbrella. "Tattletale" doesn't seem like a case of this (it's just a painting of lips), but later on, it tattles on Garry.
  • Fanime: There is a fanime of Ib in this link. It's really well done!
  • Flower Motifs: All of the characters' roses have floriography meanings significant to their personalities. According to Sensational Color, Ib's red rose "can convey thoughts of courage and congratulations", fitting her role as the protagonist of a horror game. Garry's blue rose is a color impossible in nature and "are actually variations of purple or lavender, which look blue in certain light. However, you wouldn't really want to send a blue rose to someone, as it means a figment of the imagination, or something unobtainable." As for aforementioned purple roses, "It is said if someone gives you a purple rose, it means they fell in love with you at first sight", which, if you see the love as in a family or friendship-based bond, can go well with his role as an older brother-like figure to Ib despite just meeting her. Mary's yellow roses say that "In German culture, these beauties are a symbol of infidelity and dying love, but more traditionally they're a symbol of friendship and happiness.", the latter of which matches her upbeat personality and how she quickly made friends with Ib after joining the group while foreshadowing her true intentions for going with them, and in the Japanese variant of floriography, yellow roses still represent friendship, but they can also stand for envy.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: During the doll room event, a bell rings ominously every time the giant doll comes a little further out of the painting.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • One of the bookcases in the game reads "The girls here like to play 'Loves me, Loves me not'", and in 1.04, Mary brings up "Loves me, loves me not" during her psychotic breakdown in the brown area. This foreshadows Garry's fate when Mary obtains his rose.
    • Garry occasionally comments that the gallery isn't good for his mental health. It sounds perfectly innocuous, but if he fails to find the key in the Doll Room and escape in time, he does go mad, albeit temporarily. In 1.04, depending on player actions up to that point, failing to escape the Doll Room can drive him more permanently insane, and this event is the trigger for two of the worst endings in the game.
    • In the brown area, Ib can find a book that tells a grim tale of a little girl who gets lost in an art gallery, collapses, and dies. You'd think it's just something creepy directed at Ib, but it turns out to describe basically what happens to Mary in the "A Painting's Demise" ending.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With:
    • The dolls you see before Garry is separated from Ib and Mary. Ib saw adorable bunnies, but Garry saw disturbing dolls.
    • This comes up again when Ib and Garry are wandering the storybook section and only Ib and the player see a doll version of Ib hanging from the ceiling.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: A number of the scares involve the inhabitants of the Gallery looking directly at the player rather than menacing Ib and Garry.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: For some people, Carrie Careless and the Galette des Rois simply refuses to work properly and causes the game to crash. You're supposed to read it to unlock the door, but thankfully there's another way to unlock it for those who can't read it without crashing the game, or those who simply can't be bothered to read it, and the issue can be fixed either by using an alternate map for the room (provided with the game) or by converting the codec for the book's avi movie to something more easily read. And for those who desperately want to see the movie, it's included as a video file in the game folder.
  • Genius Loci: The gallery seems as alive as its art in the Art World. Especially when it comes to fire.
  • Get Ahold Of Yourself Man: The only way to fix Garry if the player spends too much time on their "treasure hunt" and breaks psychologically. In the "Welcome To the World of Guertena" and "A Painting's Demise" endings, though, Garry's too far gone to be helped.
  • Gold Digger: A book in one of the rooms reveals the Lady in Red painting as a representation of the "ugly, haughty" women who want to marry Guertena for his money, while not depicting a specific one.
  • Golden Ending: The ending "Promise of Reunion" is the happiest one, as Garry and Ib both make it out alive and promise to meet each other again, but tragically, no matter what you do, you cannot have an ending where all three main characters survive to the end.
    • Well, they all survive in "Welome to the World of Guertena," but they're all kind of insane in that ending.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The ending of the book Carrie Careless and the Galette des Rois.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The balls of paint in the violet area. The pieces of a certain painting in the Bonus Dungeon.
  • Happy Rain: Ib gives a portrait an umbrella. This causes it to rain in that room, and some of that rain trickles down a hole into the level below to fill a vase. Garry can then use that vase's water to complete his room's puzzles without the toxic gas wilting his rose completely.
  • Heroic BSOD: If you fail a challenge in one late-game area, Garry has a mental breakdown, completely ignores Ib and starts talking to the demonic blue dolls. If you've done okay beforehand, Ib can slap him back to sanity. If not, it's permanent. And Ib has one as well.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • In certain story paths, Garry gives Mary his rose in order to save Ib's life.
    • One of the options while with Mary implies that Ib might be able to pull one to save both Garry and Mary. She can't. It's a Red Herring.
      • The above option was turned into a fan-made ending called "Sacrifice" and placed into a different version of the game called "The Green Edition". However, this version of the game has been removed from the Internet at kouri's request.
  • I Choose to Stay: Mary 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 fix his words and promise that they will get out and will eat macarons together.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Mary. 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."
  • Implied Death Threat: The gallery itself seems to love doing this. If you kicked over the mannequin, you might see a message saying "Hanged Garry" and later Garry's face in a mirror might get scribbled out. If you saw the sinister painting (which depicts a falling Ib), or broke all three mannequins in a certain room, images of Ib being hanged appear in the Sketchbook World. If you have Garry with you in the Bonus Dungeon, the writing on the wall right before Abyssal Park says "Drown in the abyss." And when you're playing as Mary, most of the wall writing that starts appearing is very threateningly-worded, but never outright tells her to die.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Mary carries around a palette knife to stab things.
  • 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.
    • Examining Garry's corpse in the Heroic Sacrifice paths gives the message "Garry is sleeping..."
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: When "Tattletale" talks, its "voice" is nothing but a thumping sound. No one has any trouble understanding it though.
  • Interface Screw: In the hide and seek segment, you can come across a portrait of a red hand. If you do, a large, transparent red hand will take up most of your screen until you leave the room.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Ib and Garry.
  • Involuntary Group Split: Soon after Mary joins you, vines suddenly grow up from the ground and separate Garry from the girls. Ib and Mary go into another room to see if they can find something to take care of the vines. And then a statue blocks their way back to Garry.
  • It Was Here, I Swear: If Garry gets captured by the dolls and forgets Mary's secret, then later, when Ib and Mary find him, you can go back into the library. If you return to the bookcase where Garry learned Mary's a painting, you find that someone switched out the page containing that bit of information with a different page. While Garry can't remember and so doesn't say anything to his companions about it, he is very bothered by the swapped page, and Mary even asks him if there's something wrong.
  • Jump Scare: There are a few, and they are evenly distributed throughout the game so as to maximize the effectiveness of said scares.
  • Kill 'em All: In the "A Painting's Demise" ending, Ib and Garry both go utterly insane, are trapped in the painting world forever, and since they can't escape, they'll probably die there. Mary tries to escape herself, and ends up collapsing before she can reach her goal.
  • Kill It with Fire: Tearing down or removing Mary's painting won't work. To kill her, you have to burn her painting with Garry's lighter. This is also the case for the vines blocking Mary's room.
  • Knights and Knaves: At one point, Ib comes across a "Liar's Hallway", where all of the inhabitants except one lie to her about which tile to pull up in the next room. Pull up a tile a liar pointed you to and you get hit with poison and lose two petals; pull up the tile the single truth-teller tells you and you can proceed in your quest. And then when you return to the room, the liars have killed the truth-teller.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: In a normal play-through, failing the Doll Room event causes Garry to be driven insane. Ib is able to save him, but he forgets something very important he just learned. As of 1.04, though, if you've played really really poorly before that point, he completely forgets everything and never regains his sanity after failing the Doll Room event, and you're in for a very bad ending.
    • This also seems to happen to any humans who escape the art gallery. In any endings where Ib and/or Garry escape the gallery, they lose all memories of their time there, and it's only in the best ending, "Promise of Reunion," that they'll remember, because Ib gave Garry her handkerchief earlier and the sight of it triggers their memories.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Breaking lots of artwork is generally not a good idea, and smashing or kicking the Creepy Dolls and mannequin heads will lock you out of the game's best endings. And as of 1.04, if you do really bad, the game cuts short around the Doll Room event and you're stuck with one or the other of the game's worst endings.
  • Life Meter: Each character you control has a rose with a number near it on the top of the screen. Should the number hit zero from coming in contact with too many dangerous enemies, it's Game Over.
  • Little Miss Badass: Ib. 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.
  • Living Statue: Some of the statues come to life and chase you.
  • Loves Me Not: There is a book in one of the rooms saying that "the women here love playing 'Loves Me, Loves Me Not'". Which probably refers to the Ladies, seeing as your first meeting with Garry includes him getting wounded all over the place as Lady in Blue plucks his rose petals somewhere else. Later, in certain story paths, Mary also does this with, again, Garry's rose. Needless to say, the results aren't pretty.
  • Luck-Based Mission: In a previous version of the game, during the Doll Room event, the location of the key to Garry's freedom is always the same. But as of 1.04, it's up to chance. In one play-through, you can find it in about two seconds, and in another, you might have to rip apart five or six dolls before coming across it. And it's a Timed Mission.
  • Mad Artist: Guertena. See the character page.
  • Madness Mantra: After Mary learns that Garry's on to her, she has a Freak Out. Ib notices something's upsetting Mary and you're given three dialogue options. Mary will respond by repeating what you just said back at you two or three times before dashing off. You next find her repeatedly stabbing a mannequin while muttering to herself.
    Mary: In my way! my way! my way! my way!...
  • Man-Eating Plant: The "Stubborn Twins" artwork in the Bonus Dungeon. If you try to walk past it without first getting the plants to fall asleep, the plants hold you with their vines and chomp on you until all your petals are gone. Game over.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: A common joke interpretation of Ib and Garry's relationship.
  • Memory Wiping Crew: The dolls. Garry reads in a book about Mary being a painting. Just a short time later, the dolls trap him in their room. If Garry is unable to escape the room, they make him forget what he just learned about Mary's true nature, and someone also goes and switches the page in that book about Mary's painting with a page about a different painting altogether.
  • Mirror Scare:
    • At one point, you and Garry find yourselves in a room where the only thing you can do is to look in a mirror. Doing so reveals nothing scary, but when you look away, you discover that a mannequin head is blocking the door. You can't budge it, so you have no choice but to look into the mirror. It reveals a mannequin head looking over Garry's shoulder.
    • You can also look at the mirror outside the room with the picture "Separation". Depending on how you've treated the gallery so far, looking into it after using the lighter can trigger the mirror to appear covered with red "NO FIRE" over it for several lines, or the reflection appears with empty eye sockets blotched in black with the words "PLAY?" in red or "NO EYES" in black. Otherwise, the reflection appears normal, but if you try to look at it with Mary in your group, it breaks before you reach it.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • Ib All Alone: Instead of escaping the painting world, Ib follows an illusion of either Garry or her mom. Or, she decides to step back from the exit painting for no reason instead of taking the opportunity to jump in.
      • 1.04 adds a new Ib All Alone in the Bonus Dungeon, where Ib can sleep in "Final Stage". Sleeping through all the opportunities to open her eyes will result in this ending.
    • Welcome To The World Of Guertena: No one escapes. Garry goes insane in the doll room, Ib suffers a Despair Event Horizon, and Mary gives up her dream of going to the human world, instead deciding to keep Ib and Garry with her. Forever.
    • A Painting's Demise: Garry is driven incurably insane by the Doll Room, and Ib is too distraught over his condition to do more than collapse. Mary leaves them in the Doll Room and continues her escape, but she finds herself unable to leave the Gallery itself despite her successful escape from the Fabricated World.
    • Together, Forever: Ib escapes alone, with Garry dead, but doesn't realize that Mary follows her. Ib loses all memories of the painting world, and everyone, including Ib, remembers Mary as her sister. Plus, Mary kills Garry and gets away with it.
    • Forgotten Portrait: Ib escapes, but Mary and Garry are dead, with Garry having saved Ib from Mary. Ib doesn't remember any of this, even when she sees a new portrait in the art gallery depicting a deceased Garry.
    • Memory's Crannies: Ib escapes with Garry... but none of them remember any of their adventure or each other.
    • Promise Of Reunion: Ib escapes with Garry... but you have to kill Mary to do so. At least they end up remembering once Garry checks the handkerchief Ib gave him.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: Possibly in the "Welcome to the World of Guertena" ending. At the very least, Ib's rose looked awful wilted, and neither she nor Garry were moving or reacting at all as Mary had the whole gallery celebrating her having made two "friends".
  • My Name Is ???: Question marks given in the place of some of the book and painting titles represent words that Ib doesn't understand. If you have Garry in your party, however, he'll tell Ib what the word means, except for the book of porn.
  • Never Say "Die": In spite of death being a very real threat in this game, the D-word is never explicitly said. This becomes rather heartbreaking in the endings where Ib finds Garry "sleeping" after Mary plucks all the petals from his rose, the implication being that she is too young to realize the full truth.
  • New Game+: As of Version 1.05, after beating the game, you have the option of carrying over your cleared endings and collected art works to a new game, and if it's your first time carrying over data, the Bonus Dungeon is added on, that is, if Ib manages to escape the gallery. The player portraits in the save screen even get a small orange plus in the corner to reflect this.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If the dolls erase Garry's memory of Mary's true nature, then later on, Mary 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.
  • Nightmare Dreams: Ib has one of these when she faints after from narrowly escaping a mob of monster artworks.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: The story/cut-scene Carrie Careless and the Galette des Rois and certain areas of the Sketchbook world.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: "The Liars Room" has the one painting who tells the truth brutally disfigured by the others.
  • Non-Specifically Foreign: Weiss Guertena. 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 due to the German and Italian components in the name, since German and Italian are both official languages of Switzerland.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: There's a few:
    • Walking under guillotines is a bad idea. As is giving the blue painting that eats flowers your rose. As is walking by plants that are twice your height and seem kinda hungry.
    • In the Bonus Dungeon, pressing the switch in the corner of the secret room before finishing the puzzle.
    • Any variation of "Ib All Alone", in which you decide to stay in the painted world for some reason or another.
    • Both the "Welcome to the World of Guertena" and "A Painting's Demise" endings. The game gets cut short around the Doll Room event, and you never reach the final chapter. Garry and Ib go insane in the doll room, which means they're unable to escape and remain trapped forever. Mary decides to stay with them in the former ending, and in the latter, she attempts to leave on her own and ends up dying horribly for her efforts.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • It's more than a little ????? when Ib reads the title of a painting and some words are too ????? for a young girl to ?????
    You don't understand some of the words...
    • At a few of the more disturbing moments in the game, such as in the Liar's Hallway after the liars murder the one who told the truth, or when it's revealed that the room with the cute rabbits is actually a room full of creepy dolls, the background music cuts itself off, leaving you to stare at a horrible room in dead silence.
  • Not So Different: If you meet Garry in Guertena's True Exhibit after completing the Bonus Dungeon, Garry comments that while a lot of the artworks tried to harm them, some of the artworks tried to help them instead, and he remarks that maybe humans and living artworks are very similar after all.
  • Offscreen Teleportation:
    • The mannequins, who are never seen actually moving until the toy box, where they slide around, tend to randomly appear in places they shouldn't have had time to appear if you duck into a room for two seconds or turn your back on them.
    • The doll that stalks Garry from the time he's separated from Ib and Mary until the second doll room gets around this way, suddenly appearing in front of him just a few feet further down a hallway or appearing right next to him when he turns his back for a moment.
  • Oh, Crap: Garry upon realizing that Mary isn't real.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Usually subverted, since you always have your rose to represent your health. Invoked when you get into the toybox in the Sketchbook world. It's a large area you have to roam and most dolls or anything slightly menacing won't move anywhere. Until you find Garry, that is. You're still a one-hit-kill, though.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: The opening screen plays a rather Sad and wistful tune incorporating a music-box like melody.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Garry.
  • Pervert Revenge Mode: There is a nude painting that slaps you if you open the curtain she's hiding behind. In Version 1.04, she slaps Garry if he's in your party at the time.
  • Phantom Zone Picture: In the Forgotten Portrait ending, The Hanged Man painting is replaced by a picture of Garry, presumably that of the "sleeping" Garry in the Toy Box area. The title of the painting is as the ending suggests.
  • 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.
  • Plotline Death: Either Mary or Garry will suffer this before the game ends. If Garry survives to the end, he sets Mary's picture on fire when she catches him and Ib in her room. If Mary survives, either Garry went completely insane and the Lady in Blue possibly played Loves Me Not with his rose again, or Mary plucked his rose to death in the toy box. And if you went for "Forgotten Portrait", "A Painting's Demise", or certain variations of "Ib All Alone", they're both screwed.
  • Point of No Return: After Ib faints in the Gray Area, you can't go back there, and must proceed through the Violet Area. Another major one comes at the Doll Room; it's at this point that your ending is decided, for better or worse. Given the game's linear nature, backtracking isn't usually necessary, but it can be annoying to have to play through the game all over again to nab that last piece for the True Exhibit if you missed it and crossed either of these points (or any of the other very minor ones that occur in the Violet Area).
  • Porn Stash: There's a book of in one of the rooms in the purple gallery. Ib doesn't understand most of the words, and Garry abruptly closes the book, saying it is too soon for her to read that, hinting that it is a book of erotic stories.
  • Portal Picture: Ib enters the phantom gallery through the "Abyss of the Deep" painting and returns through the "Fabricated World" mural.
  • Properly Paranoid: Garry's 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.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Reality Warper: Mary, as the Sketchbook and Toy Box areas show.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • One of the paintings is called "Red Eyes". It depicts a rabbit with red eyes and Garry is freaked out by it. Okay, actually it's a giant doll with red eyes. Garry's freaked out by it either way. The dolls all have glowing red eyes and they cause all sorts of trouble.
    • Ib and her mother are an aversion. Although Garry initially mistakes Ib for one of the Ladies, Ib's quite a nice kid.
  • Red Herring: The multicolored skeleton sculpture named "Puzzle". Also possibly a shout out to Seiklus.
    • More tragically, the option to tell Mary you'd stay behind to let both her and Garry escape. While the other two options correspond to possible endings, no such luck for this one.
  • Relationship Values: Which ending you get depends heavily on how well you treat the painting world's inhabitants and how close you are to Garry or Mary.
  • Remember the New Guy: In the "Together Forever" ending, everyone remembers Mary as Ib's little sister.
  • Rescue Introduction: You have to save Garry before he joins your party.
  • The Reveal: Mary is a painting.
  • Running Gag: Ib staring at things and annoying her companions with it.
  • 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.
  • Selective Condemnation: Kick over a mannequin? Bad. Push over one mannequin in the room and break the floor in the process while ignoring the other two mannequins? Fine. Accidentally kill a doll you didn't even know was there, or kick a doll over in frustration? Bad. Ripping a doll's stomach open and stealing her treasure? Fine. Setting the painted girl on fire because she went crazy? Only way to proceed if you're on the path for a good ending.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The endings "Welcome To the World of Guertena" and "A Painting's Demise". None of them make it. In both endings, Garry succumbs to madness and Ib loses the will to live. In the former ending, Mary gives up on the idea of escaping to the real world because she can't bear to leave Ib, and in the latter one, Mary ditches Ib and Garry and tries to find a way out herself, and ends up dying in the process.
  • Soul Jar: If Ib or Garry's roses wilt completely, then they will die. And considering that Mary's rose is fake, her Soul Jar is her portrait that you must burn down.
  • Spiritual Successor: In a handful of ways, to 1998 RPG Maker 95 game Palette.
  • Spooky Painting: They want to KILL you.
  • The Stool Pigeon: Two paintings combine tattling forces together to make life harder for Garry. Garry learns Mary is actually one of Guertena's artworks, and makes the mistake of saying it out loud. The "Strained Ear" painting hears it. "Tattletale" tells it. Mary now knows that Garry knows. Cue her having a psychotic breakdown and the dolls trapping Garry and trying to make him forget.
  • Stylistic Suck: The sketchbook area, which looks like doodles (and smells like crayon if Garry is to be believed). It's heavily implied that unlike the rest of the gallery, it was created by Mary and not Guertena.
  • Surreal Horror: This game involves many bizarre artworks that may give the players nightmares. To quote Garry,
    Garry: I don't think this is... good for my mental health...
  • Suspicious Video Game Generosity: Blue vases (which have infinite use and can completely rejuvenate your rose) are more likely to show up before difficult puzzles.
  • Take Me Instead: Garry will offer up his own rose to Mary in return for Ib's in certain story paths. Which Mary likely wanted from the start.
  • 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.
  • Tears of Blood: The mannequin heads will cry these if they are smashed. Also creepily enough, some of the portraits depicting similar pale heads will also cry blood and smirk creepily as their eyes follow you.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: As one book discloses: "If your spirit suffers too much, you will soon start to hallucinate and in the end you will be destroyed. And more worrying yet is that you will not even be conscious of that fact." At first, it seems like it's Garry who's hallucinating because he sees Creepy Dolls instead of the cute bunnies that Ib and Mary apparently see. However, it turns out that they were dolls all along (which Mary actually thinks are cute for some reason), and it was just Ib who saw them as bunnies. If the bond with Garry is too low or you let him kick the mannequin, you'll see the giant creepy doll pop up in certain spots. Ib also sees other hallucinations like herself hanged, or illusions of Garry and Ib's mother appearing to try to convince her to stay behind and not jump into the painting back to the real world in some endings.
  • Timed Mission: The second doll room, where Garry has to locate a key and escape the room he's trapped in before the giant doll gets him. If you fail this, you do not get a game over in most circumstances, but it does make you more likely to get a bad ending.
  • Tragic Keepsake: In some of the bad endings, Garry's lighter or the candy he gave to Ib would have most likely become this for Ib when Garry died in the phantom gallery. That is, if Mary didn't discard the lighter or eat the candy to prevent Ib from remembering Garry's sacrifice.
  • The Tragic Rose: Roses might represent life in this game, but this means that it's all too easy for them to wilt away or have their petals plucked away to nothing. There's also a sculpture of a thorny rose in the gallery titled "Embodiment of Spirit" and is described as "beautiful at first glance, but if you get too close, it will induce pain".
  • 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.
  • Twenty Minutes into the Future: The game apparently takes place in the year 6000, but there's no real indication of this, since the books could simply be lying (or set Twenty Minutes into the Future themselves).
  • 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...
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: When Garry is about to smash the stalking mannequin head in fear, Ib has the option of stopping him or simply covering her eyes. When the creepy doll is following Garry, Garry has the option of kicking it into the wall or nonviolently moving it out of the way. When Ib is in a room with three mannequins, she only has to break one of them, but you can opt to break all three.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment:
    • The more mannequin heads and creepy dolls that you damage, the further away you will be from obtaining the best possible ending.
    • If Garry kicks the overly friendly doll, it comes back to bite him in the doll room where he has less time to do the "treasure hunt" than he would have if he'd been gentler.
    • If Ib breaks all three mannequin heads in a certain room outside of the one you need to break to complete the room's puzzle, she later sees an image of herself hanged in the Sketchbook World. Also, you know you pushed the wrong mannequin if you got injured in doing so.
  • Voice Grunting: Carrie Careless and the Galette des Rois contains some odd sounds apparently representing voice.
  • Wackyland: The sketchbook area. It ends up that it's where Mary lived and kept her painting safe.
  • Wham Episode: Ep. 3, which would be the part of the game set in the violet and brown areas. It is in this part of the game that Garry learns Mary's a painting and Mary has a psychotic breakdown. It's possible for your game to end here; Garry then gets caught by dolls, and if they drive him insane and Ib sinks into despair, Mary either keeps them in her world forever or tries to leave and dies. If that doesn't happen, Mary later tries to attack one of them, leading to them having to split off from her for their own safety.
  • What Measure Is A Nonhuman: Played with confusingly. On the one hand, Mary is given a lot of development and is clearly identifiably sentient; on the other hand, in order to get the best ending, you have to kill her, and after you've done so, Garry comments not that they just killed their former friend, but that they just destroyed one of Guertena's masterpieces. On the one hand, you have to rip apart dolls at least a couple times in order to proceed, as one of them has something you need to solve the paint puzzle and another one is holding the key you need to leave a certain area, but on the other hand, kicking dolls and mannequins over might lock you out of the good endings. On the one hand, Ib thinks nothing of destroying the ant's painting; on the other hand, when Garry says he wants to stomp on the ant, Ib doesn't let him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • If you opt to kick the overly-friendly doll, her head will continue to follow Garry around, telling him how hurt she feels that he kicked her head off.
    • There's an oddly silent version of this as well. Until the toy box, the mannequins never try to harm Ib or Garry, but if Ib breaks all the mannequins in a certain room or Garry kicks over the mannequin that appeared in the mirror room, more mannequins will appear. Some of them are crying. In one room, a piece of paper on the wall will say that "someone has destroyed one of the exhibits." And when Ib has to go find Garry in the toy box, if he kicked over a mannequin earlier, Ib will find him surrounded by mannequins, and they are all just... staring at him.
  • Wistful Amnesia: The results of some endings.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Garry. While both Ib and Mary have real-life hair colors, Garry stands out with his purple hair. It could be dyed, though.
    • That spider-like fringe of black at the top could be his roots showing...
  • You Remind Me of X: A bit of All There in the Manual; a pair of sketches on kouri's site imply that Garry reminds Ib of her mom.

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alternative title(s): Ib
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