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Video Game / Irisu Syndrome!

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Meet Irisu, Bunnygirl Witch Extraordinaire!... 

A freeware Japanese puzzle game starring a cute bunny girl, Irisu Kyouko. There are shapes of various colors falling down. Use your mouse to launch white blocks to make the shapes collide with another of the same color to score points and regain health. Can be downloaded here, and there is a fan-made English patch here.

As you progress through the game gaining more and more points, you can unlock various scenes involving three university students out on a camping trip. Of note is an old story one of them tells about a witch in the area.

See also Ai To Yuuki To Kashi Wa Mochi, another puzzle game by the same creator.

This game provides an example of:

  • Alice Allusion: Irisu's name is a reference to Alice, given her bunnygirl motif.
  • All There in the Manual: The backstory of the game and its characters can only be found in text files created in the game folder. More text also appears when clicking on images in the CG gallery — this is also how some of the text files are created.
  • Arrange Mode: After clearing the main game, you unlock Metsu mode. As before, you go for a high score by clearing shapes, making combos, and not allowing the falling shapes to pile up. Metsu mode makes the following changes:
    • You now deal with circles instead of triangles. Circles rise from the bottom of the screen and are cleared in a different way than squares are cleared.
    • The area that holds shapes is bigger than before, but you can no longer knock shapes out of play.
    • You don't lose health over time.
  • Art Evolution: In addition to the nicer-looking interface, Metsu also has improved shading.
  • Batter Up!: Irisu carries a nail bat around. It's actually bread. Irisu’s preferred weapon is a makeshift blackjack made from one of her socks stuffed with rocks and sand.
  • Big Bad: Irisu Kyouko, the deranged bunny girl Villain Protagonist out to murder Edogawa and Ageha, seems to be this at first, but it's actually Uujima Satoshi who is pretty much responsible for the plot, manipulating her into carrying out his twisted desires to kill the three of them including himself (though it’s also implied that the spirit of U-tarou, Irisu’s dead bunny, is influencing Irisu).
  • Big Bad Friend: Uuji. He started the events by decapitating Irisu's rabbit after it died. His reaction to discovering Irisu is plotting to kill his friends? Find a way to get her to kill him, too.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Intentionally done by Uuji on the unstable Irisu to get her to kill everyone. Also accidentally done by Ageha (she tells Irisu off during the good ending for basically stalking Uuji).
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: The titular Irisu, who loves bunnies and has them as part of her aesthetic! She's not as harmless as she looks, though.
  • Cats Are Mean: Irisu thinks so. She hates cats more than anything else after seeing a cat lick the blood from the school rabbit's severed head. The game doesn't really hint whether this trope is truly in play or if the cat was just following its instincts. There may even be a bit of an aversion, as the cat and rabbit apparently got along just fine while the rabbit was alive and would even play with one another through the fence.
  • Death Seeker: Uuji purposely plans to set Irisu off so she would kill him.
  • Demonic Possession: Heavily implied to be the ultimate source of everything. The spirit of the bunny isn't happy that Uuji got away with murdering it, isn't happy that it was forgotten, isn't happy that Irisu's being mistreated... The Stinger is named U-tarou, just like the original bunny, too.
  • Disguised Horror Story: The game starts out oddly lonely, but it's only after a few rounds and high scores that its horror themes surface.
  • Dummied Out: Invoked Trope; befitting the game's horror and fourth wall break themes, several hidden text files and images were included in the game's data files to be found via datamining. These include profiles, character design sketches, and a very plot-relevant one with Irisu talking about the block-destroying game that she plays to keep sane. The filename? uutaroutherabbit.txt.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Irisu is seriously messed up, but you find out later that Uuji is infinitely worse.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: The final unlockable in normal mode implies that Irisu found the suicidal bunny pictures and became mad again. This is subverted by the goals of Metsu mode.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The game is something Irisu plays with herself to keep calm. Score below 20k, and she'll end up going berserk and most likely killing everyone. Score over 20k, and she'll tear right through the 4th wall to attack Ageha anyway... Except it turns out the whole thing is just a really weird surprise party setup by Irisu. (Although it's heavily implied she goes after Ageha anyway.) Score over 50k in the new New Game Plus Metsu mode, and Irisu will start dressing normally, and the Three Amigos — now Four Amigos — will pose for a picture.
    • Arguably, also the case when you reach level 100 in Metsu. The smile she gives the camera is sweet and genuine.
  • Endless Game: Normal mode goes on for as long as you can endure. Metsu mode ends at level 100.
  • Evolving Title Screen: When you get the good ending, wait long enough and the background will begin to go much faster before it turns into a description of the events where Uuji murders U-tarou, written by Irisu herself. The next change happens if you unlock Metsu mode, where it shows the decapitated head of a cat on the bottom right corner of the screen. Clicking on it takes you to Metsu mode, which also changes the title screen via changing the logo to a dark red version with a darker background while Irisu is walking with her back turned. The Album option is also gone in this mode. The final change occurs when you reach Level 100 on Metsu, where Irisu is shown smiling and looking towards the screen, and the same description from before is in the background.
  • Expansion Pack: Metsu, an updated version with an alternate gameplay mode and updated graphics.
  • Falling Blocks: You have to use your mouse to get the falling blocks to hit another of the same color before they're "set" on the ground. Alternately, get two or more falling blocks to touch each other in midair, and they'll glow and give you a bigger bonus.
  • Flashback Cut: When you unlock Metsu mode for the first time, a quick series of frames depicting the cause of Irisu's insanity appears before some exposition.note 
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In the "Good Ending", Irisu proceeds to walk into the game window FROM THE SIDE OF YOUR DESKTOP.
  • G-Rated Drug: Irisu becomes addicted to a cough medicine containing codeine and ephedrine, a presumably effervescent "white powder" she eats straight from the packet. By the diary entry describing her habit, she's up to thirty a day.
  • Game-Over Man: Irisu greets you every time you get a game over.
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon: Irisu and her nail bat, which is actually bread. ... Her real weapon in darth bunnygirl mode is a sock full of rocks that she was planning to murder everyone with, the one she's holding in the title screen pictures.
  • Guest Fighter: Irisu shows up in Nijikaku, her style based from Fist of the North Star. Alongside that, she has a Humongous Mecha she had built all by herself, and has her own original moves as well.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: It's not nice to break Irisu's focus. Also, not scoring well enough in the first part of the story will eventually cause Irisu to cry...
  • Hikikomori: It's insinuated that Irisu was this between elementary school and college, to the point that Uuji, who went to elementary school with her, doesn't remember her.
  • Idiot Hair: Ageha has two, but she's not really that much of an idiot, being more of a Genki Girl.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The worst part of Uuji's descriptions of his decisions is that you can almost... almost see the logic. It's almost... almost logical.
  • Interface Screw: If you play 13 rounds and click out of the window, Irisu will suddenly flash her Death Glare just once. Also, the first part of the normal ending involves her moving from outside of the game's window.
  • Jump Scare: By earning enough points in Normal mode before the story's week ends, Irisu fades into the screen with a terrifying Death Glare.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Ageha adores cats, and other characters mention once or twice how she reminds them of a cat. Including Irisu, who really dislikes them.
  • Loners Are Freaks:
    • As explained in Metsu mode, surprise: it's not only Irisu. It's Uuji — the second to vanish and the one with half-closed eyes. He's a psychopath who draws pictures of suicidal cats for fun, and it's heavily insinuated he decapitated the rabbit nursed by his elementary school class, after it already died... Because he felt it had been ignored all its life (by everyone except Irisu) and the gruesome scene would help his classmates remember it. Later on he discovers Irisu's plan to murder the other two so she can be with him and tries to find a way to get her to murder him as well.
    • As for Irisu, she went the other way around — she was normal, but shy — until the traumatic events with the bunny.
  • Love Makes You Crazy and Evil: The events of the game were touched off when Irisu got jealous of Uuji gaining (unwanted) friends, and decided to murder them.
  • Man Behind the Man: Uujima turns out to be deliberately manipulating Irisu into killing himself and his “friends.”
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: There are hints that the murdered rabbit's spirit could be responsible for the events of the game, but these hints are faint enough that a totally mundane explanation also works just fine. As mundane as the story can be, anyway.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Irisu" is just one syllable off from, and a slight mispronunciation for, "Alice". You know, white rabbit? There is also a real disease called Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. (Automated translators such as Babelfish and Google Translate even change "Irisu" to "Alice".)
    • Irisu's name is composed of the characters for "enter" and "a nest". Kind of fitting for all the insanity that takes place.
  • Mind Screw: Subtle, but it's there. Text files appearing, pictures being modified, background wallpapers changing, a few plot threads that ultimately aren't explained...
  • Multiple Endings:
    • Bad Ending (Lose 6 times in a row): Irisu snaps, killing the 3 protagonists. The ending is of Irisu sitting in her room in the dark, listening to a news report about Edogawa's body being found.
    • Good Ending (20,000+ points): Irisu calms down, and instead of killing the 3 protagonists, she convinces the men to "disappear" and comes back to scare Ageha (AND THE PLAYER) witless. However, after a fourth wall-demolishing scene, it turns out it was all just a birthday party for Ageha. Irisu and Ageha have a heartfelt discussion. (It's insinuated she still has major issues with the cat-obsessed Ageha, given the fact that she ends up erasing her face from the photo between this and Metsu.)
    • Original Stinger: Get 40,000 points in Irisu Syndrome after getting the good ending to unlock Metsu mode. You get a new text file. Ageha's image is whited out.
    • Extra Stinger (100,000 points in normal mode before playing Metsu): Irisu finds the bunny suicide picture, presumably after the good ending. She scribbles a demonic bunny on it, with glowing, hate-filled red eyes. It is titled U-tarou.png, the same name as her killed bunny. It is possible that she went insane again after seeing this, and that the three friends are screwed.
    • Metsu ending (Get all of the journal entries on Metsu's title screen, then get 50,000 points in Metsu): Uuji decides to work his best at getting everyone together, although he's not sure he is happy with the situation. Ageha and Edogawa are starting to fall for each other, and with his help, Irisu has joined in with the group as a new friend, and Edogawa and Ageha are now performing their "no Hikikomoris allowed" policy on her. It's insinuated that someone — Uuji or Irisu — found Uuji's journal about the bunny, but this has little effect on the overall plot.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Irisu's plan for Ageha and Edogawa. Uuji's plan for... himself. Unfortunately, the latter combined with the former equals Ax-Crazy fun... maybe.
  • New Game Plus: Beating the game unlocks Metsu (aka Destruction, Ruin, Doom...) mode, which plays hell with the rules. New bubbles float up from the bottom, which supplement the rubble on the ground. In addition, you can no longer launch trash out of the screen to get rid of it. Major story explanations are also given as you play through Metsu Mode.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book:
    • Uuji's cat suicide drawings, even though he's in college.
    • And the unlockable picture you get for reaching 100,000 points on normal mode, showing one of said drawings defaced by a scribble of a demonic black rabbit that's missing half of one ear.
  • Nintendo Hard: If you don't know what you're doing, your game will end very, very fast.
    • A quick guide: Left click to send up a white block. Right click to send up a much faster grey block. Your goal is to cause blocks of the same color to crash into each other. 3 options for that:
      • Have a falling block land on a matching block on the ground, destroying both.
      • Send a fallen block up to collide in mid air with a matching block (does not have to be glowing).
      • Cause two glowing blocks to collide in mid air, causing them both to glow even brighter and explode harmlessly when they hit the ground.
    • White and grey blocks stay on the ground afterwards, but are destroyed by glowing colored blocks slamming through them.
    • Using the scroll wheel speeds everything up a little. Holding the space bar speeds it up a LOT.
    • You lose health every time a glowing block lands, and gain it whenever you cause blocks to vanish. Your health also depletes gradually over time. You can launch blocks off the sides of the screen, which destroys them but does do a slight amount of health damage. More colors appear as the game progresses. Flashing "bomb" circles occasionally appear, which when hit with a glowing block will destroy all blocks of the same color. Like Tetris, the game level goes up as you play.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • The only thing more pants-wettingly terrifying than the music during the good ending is when the music stops.
    • Irisu.txt, the text file describing her. "..."
  • Oblivious to Love: Subverted. Uuji recognizes Ageha has a crush on him, but is annoyed by it more than anything else, recognizes Edogawa is in love with Ageha and wishes he'd take her away, then realizes that Irisu is in love with him and she's completely out of her gourd... which he finds cute.
  • Older Than They Look: Although the characters are university students, the art style makes them look as if they're still in junior high.
  • Painting the Medium: Text files appear in the program folder, and a picture is modified to reflect the story progress. There's also the Interface Screw described above.
  • Pair the Spares: In the best ending, Uuji decides to try to get Ageha and Edogawa together, since they make a much better couple than Ageha/Uuji, which also leaves him available to date Irisu. Of course, since he's a nutjob, this may or may not work.
  • Psychotic Love Triangle: Irisu loves Uuji, and Uuji loves Irisu, but Ageha loves Uuji, so obviously she's gotta go. Of course, there's also Edogawa who loves Ageha, but nobody really cares about him.
  • Puzzle Game: An incredibly simple puzzler of falling shapes, but still very hard.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Irisu snaps, her eyes turn red with black sclera. This is seen when hitting 40,000 points after seeing the other endings in normal mode, or automatically at level 100, which also ends the game immediately. They also randomly appear after you've played the game 13 times upon alt-tabbing... but only once. Those are associated with a dead bunny she used to play with — Uuji dreams of them, and they appear in The Stinger for Normal mode.
  • The Reveal: Let's explain just how Metsu altered everything players thought they knew. In the original game, we learn that Uujima is the unfortunate victim of Irisu's affections, and only because he draws pictures of cats dying in gruesome ways, which he claims he's only drawing in the first place because he's trying to imitate an actual European cartoon book. When we see the 100k picture we assume that Uuji followed Ageha's advice and drew a picture of rabbits dying, that Irisu happened to find, with predictable results.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Metsu ultimately never explains whether Irisu is possessed by the ghost of her pet bunny or not, whether the scribbled picture found as the final goal Normal mode is canon, and why exactly Irisu smiles towards the screen upon maxing out the score is anyone's guess.
  • Scary Surprise Party: It was Irisu herself who planned the "party" for Ageha, intent on using it as a cover to kill Uuji's new friends so he'd go back to drawing suicidal cats. In the best ending, she simply decides against it and plays along.
  • Scoring Points: The game is based around doing this - many events, including unlocking Metsu mode, are only triggered by reaching certain scores.
  • Selfharm: Uuji's internal monologue in one of the text files implies they used to or are still doing this.
    It's a matter of time before they think it's strange for me to always be wearing long sleeves. It's not something small enough to hide with a watch. And when those people realize it, I'll automatically be estranged from them. Until that time, I'll let them misunderstand. I enjoy being with them.
  • Sequel Hook: Uuji's commentary during the perfect ending in Metsu suggests he's not 100% happy with how things turned out, even though it's pretty close to a perfect ending for everyone. And there's no explanation of the "red iris on black eyes" theme that appears on Ax-Crazy!Irisu, the picture Ax-Crazy!Irisu defaced in The Stinger, and in Uuji's nightmares.
  • Shout-Out: Edogawa always wears a shirt with a design on it, each design referring to another game by the same creator. The one he wears during the camping trip is a rendition of the Mother 2 logo reading Ma Mo Mo (short for Maou Monogatari Monogatari). In the "photo" in the game folder, his shirt shows the characters from Ototsukai, while another shirt in the Metsu ending references Ai to Yuuki to Kashiwa Mochi.
    • The game appears to reference the Suicidal Bunnies books by Andy Riley, though he's only referred to as "some foreign cartoonist called something-or-other."
    • There are a surprising amount of these hidden throughout the game — in fact, a couple of the cat suicide pictures in the background make no sense until you have played Ma Mo Mo.
  • Shrinking Violet: Irisu. An attempt to cure her of this by murdering her pet rabbit, accidentally leaving the head for her to find causes the events depicted in the game.
  • Spooky Photographs: The game comes with a picture of the three amigos in the game folder, completely unexplained. As you progress through the game, the picture is altered. After Edogawa goes missing, his face is scribbled out with black marker. After Uuji goes missing, his face is scribbled out with black marker. If you get the bad ending, then Ageha's face will be scribbled out as well. If you get the good ending, the picture will return to normal. That is, until you score enough points to unlock crucial parts of the story, after which Ageha will be whited out of the picture. In Metsu Mode, getting 50,000 points (triggering the "4 Amigos" Metsu good end) will cause the picture to return to its original state.
    • Worse is The Stinger. You get a picture of tortured stick figure rabbits, the drawing Uuji used to send Irisu over the edge in the bad ending... only with a BIG black X marked through it... Which, if you zoom out and look it from a distance, makes it actually a drawing of a giant, demonic bunny. This is found only after the "good ending" appears — when Irisu is supposedly sane(r)... Meaning she found it after previously abandoning "the plan"...
  • Stalker with a Crush: Irisu is convinced that she and Uuji are soulmates because she chanced to see some doodles on his notebook, depicting cats killing themselves in various ways. Uuji reads in her diary/notepad that she feels their relationship is going forward quite well despite them never speaking to each other. That said, Metsu reveals that Uuji also has a stalker-like crush on Irisu, filtered through his own personal insanity: He finds out that she wants to kill his friends, and wants to try to get her to kill him, too.
  • Start of Darkness: Metsu mode serves as this for Irisu and, to a certain point, Uuji, explaining what happened with the bunny and the "plan", and so on.
  • The Stinger: Multiple. All creepy as fuck.
    • After getting the good ending of the original game, the background of the main menu is replaced with Madness Mantra scrawl after a certain amount of time has passed. (Randomly, approx one in 2 chance. Can be forced by holding down spacebar, which causes the game to run at max speed.)
    • After the good ending, get 40k points on normal mode and Ageha's picture gets whited out — oh, and you get that lovely picture at the top of the screen when the game ends, implying that even with the day going perfect, she snapped later anyway.
    • Get 100,000 points in normal mode before playing Metsu and there will be a new picture in the game folder, of "Bunny Suicide" doodles... which Irisu apparently found. It's splattered with blood, the tortured bunny has had glowing red eyes drawn on top of it... and Irisu has drawn a demonic bunny coming out from the bottom of the page, with glowing, insane eyes.
    • Getting to level 100 in Metsu Mode causes Irisu on the title screen to start smiling, and the round to end immediately with the same... not quite Slasher Smile. Two fan theories on that — Either she's finally happy and sane-ish, or she's gone completely postal. Fortunately, no more red eyes-on-black images appear after Metsu.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: Normal mode ends with Irisu just playing a prank on everyone and becoming friends with them. An extra scene implies she later found out it was all Uuji's fault and then ended up killing Ageha... but Metsu doesn't elaborate on this and just finishes with everyone happy, even if this wasn't what Uuji had in mind at first.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In Uuji's txt. entry, he discovers Irisu's plans to invite him, Ageha, and Edogawa on a trip, murder the latter two, and erase the evidence that she was there. In his entry, he points out that even if the plan was carried out successfully, he'd still have to tell the police something.
  • There Are No Therapists: It's unknown if Irisu got therapy after what happened in elementary school, but given the fact that the game takes place in Japan... she was probably left to her own devices instead. Also no word on if Uuji was getting help, but Ageha does call him out on his creepy cat drawings once she feels comfortable enough around him. This turns out to be a very bad idea.
  • Three Amigos: Edogawa, Uuji, and Ageha, the three university students.
  • Visible Silence: Irisu.txt. Just three vertical dots.
  • Wham Episode: Metsu. Before its release, the game had very little explanation, just that Irisu was staring at the screen, occasionally went batshit insane, and the two endings switched between her murdering everyone and her not murdering everyone. Metsu unveiled the rest of the story.
  • When She Smiles: Irisu gives a sincerely happy smile when level 100 is reached in Metsu mode, though it has no context and leaves players wondering why.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Cats in Irisu's case, due to her happening upon her pet rabbit's decapitated head being licked by a cat. Her seeing Uuji's "The Bunny Suicides with kittens instead" drawings is what causes the events in the series. Also used by Uuji as a form of suicide — he switches from drawing cute cats killing themselves to cute bunnies killing themselves in order to get her to murder him, too.
  • Yandere: A rare two-way example. Irisu is insane due to her pet rabbit being horrifically murdered; Uuji is an apparently natural psychopath who wants Irisu to kill him out of some sort of twisted sense of romance... and who decapitated said pet rabbit after its death, wanting people to remember it after its passing. Both are, at first glance, perfectly normal, albeit somewhat shy.

"I wonder where everyone went..." 

Alternative Title(s): Irisu Syndrome