The Longing Ribbon is an RPG Maker horror game that won an award for atmosphere in 2005.
Premise:One day, three friends—Jeannine, Matthew, and Sara—and the formermost's dog Sandy are on a trip that takes them through the woods. During the drive, however, they become lost. Shortly after finding a wrecked car with nobody inside, they resume their travel, until Sara notices somethingthey had just passed a stone path that none but her noticed. Utterly lost, without a clue where they may be headed, and now pelted by a sudden rain storn, the three decide to take shelter at whatever house lies at the trail's end.
Said house is a mansion. A friggin' huge mansion.
Inside, Jeannine wanders, examining the bizarre decor. When she returns to the entrance, where she had left her friends and dog, they've disappeared. In an effort to find them, she searches through the house yet again, until finding the mistress of the mansion. She says that Sara and Matthew have already met her, and that she agreed to let them stay the night. Jeannine hurries upstairs to talk about their temporary refuge, but her friends soon begin arguing over just who wanted to stay in their room: Sara claims it was Matthew, but Matthew's certain it was Sara. They disregard it without much fuss, and prepare themselves for bed.
Though Jeannine does the same, her sleep is brief. She will soon wish she'd never come to the mansion at all.
Available for download at RPGMaker.net.
To prospective players: having been made with RPG Maker 2000, it can only be played on Windows computers.
The Longing Ribbon demonstrates:
- All Just a Dream: The nightmares, obviously.
- Bittersweet Ending: Jeannine successfully banishes Darxyll back to the afterlife and grants Alanis the peace of death she so desperately sought; and she, Matthew and Sara survive and escape the manor. But, Jeannine had to kill Luke in order to keep Darxyll from returning. Oh, and Sandy and Lyman are both dead.
- Blackout Basement: Beneath the kitchen. Good thing you have your nocturnal choroids!
- Books That Bite: Chapter IV; almost every piece of furniture from the mansion starts to lash out.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Luke. He's creepy, yeah. He also did a garage band audiotape.
- Character Level and Experience Points: Both averted. Rather than have Jeannine gain strength through combat, she grows via magical sinks, paintings, and stories. Yes, really.
- *Click* Hello: Done by possessed Sara inside the rotting cellar.Sara: Wait right there. I'll be down in a second.
- Collapsing Lair: The mansion begins to collapse after defeating the final boss, leaving you with a little over a minute to escape.
- Evolving Attack: The strength of Jeannine's various techniques can be increased at sinks.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Remember that evil-looking Instant Rune in Luke's room, which you see in the prologue? While walking through the same room, but in its decrepit state, pay very close attention to the bedframe when you head toward the door.
- Genre Blindness: You discover a broken car in the middle of nowhere. After finding that there's no one inside, you start driving again; then, your friend sees a path mere seconds after you passed itor would have, had it been there before. While checking out the mysterious trail, it starts raining. Now your dog is behaving oddly. Of course the only rational solution is to stay at the mansion down the road!
- Hearing Voices: Sara hears a voice on the stereo's blank cassette tape. Judging by how she acts later on, it's of the Evil type.
- Hellish Pupils: Sara, once she becomes fully possessed.
- Infant Immortality: Subverted. Poor Sandy...
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Wait, the one foot tall potted plant is blocking my way? To be fair, this happens in a dream.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: Jeannine, as far as firearms stored underneath her bed and the sword in Matthew and Sara's room are concerned. Matthew would fit this, too—if he was actually more heroic.
- Mood Dissonance: When Jeannine is presented with a rock wall to examine, try choosing the answer of Whoop-dee-shit. Monster eyes flash, then Sara spins, falls over, and accidentally chucks her gun away. What's more, you can just keep telling the wall the same phrase over and over, until you actually pull the rocks out. Remember: this all happens after the *Click* Hello/Dramatic Gun Cock event.
- Motive Rant: In the final act, you have to find several recordings made by Darxyll and Alanis that are essentially this.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Reschen gives several blatant hints that the red chest should not be opened until the kids are outside the manor. Guess what happens. Though to be fair, Darxyll's illusions did make it seem like they were in the clear.
- Notice This: Sara quite clearly tells Jeannine to check a painting when they first enter the mansion, and, in her provided bedroom, mentions how odd the sink is, and asks her to look at it, too. Matthew tells Jeannine to examine the bookcase on the second floor, but this is after you've already lost the chance to read at least one MP-boosting story.
- One Woman Party: seeing as Jeannine is the only character to receive the benefits of obsessive-compulsive disorder and a taste for depressing artwork, this is to be expected.
- Permanently Missable Content: Every time the chapter changes, make sure you check as many paintings, book cases and sinks as you can. New chapters not only bring new instances of the aforementioned, but also get rid of the old ones.
- Precision F-Strike: Swearing becomes more present as the story progresses. Not too shocking, considering the circumstances. The culmination being Jeannine's "Holy fucking shit!" while listening to Luke's garage band tape.Possessed Sara: You had your chance, you miserable, prying cunt. Now I'm going to kill you.
- Preexisting Encounters: Of the Set Encounter type.
- Public Domain Soundtrack: The modernist symphonies are... surprisingly fitting.
- Save Point: Not only are they painfully rare (often one to a chapter), they're one-use only.
- Shout-Out: Many, but the one that stands the most is, of all things, Zero Wing. The quotes "Main screen turn on," "You are on the way to destruction," and "For great justice" are said at certain points in the game. And they are surprisingly fitting for the moments in which they are said.
- Spooky Painting}: Examining them gives Jeannine an extra ten Hit Points. They're pretty much all over the place, too. Some of them aren't interesting during one chapter, but in the next, they're magically new and fascinating. And in entirely different places.
- Random Encounters: Occurs in Chapter IV, when Die, Chair! Die! comes into effect.
- The Stinger: At the end, the Big Bad asks Reschen why she left the Ribbon with the trio if she had no intention of wanting to return to life. Reschen is unable to give a response...
- Story-to-Gameplay Ratio: Combat doesn't make an appearance until a good deal in. In fact, you can skip combat entirely, if you choose End Game > No three times without having Jeannine move.
- Take Your Time: Played straight and averted. In the latter's case, there are two events outside of combat where Jeannine can be One Hit Killed.
- Took a Shortcut: Jeannine, it seems. When exploring the decayed cellar, the mildly possessed Sara goes ahead of you after the rockslide; however, the next time she appears, it's at the entrance of the room you're already mostly through. Then the *Click* Hello / Dramatic Gun Cock happens.
- Warm-Up Boss: Arguably the Dream Thing. Its most powerful attack is fairly weak, if you've been actively looking for books, paintings, and sinks.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Alanis sure as hell doesn't. The whole point of her alliance with Darxyll is so she can ultimately die.