Luck is by my side.
Raindrops falling on me
I have no umbrella
Vib-Ribbon is a Rhythm Game produced by NanaOn-Sha of PaRappa the Rapper and Um Jammer Lammy fame, and released for the Sony PlayStation. In it, you have to guide a rabbit named Vibri across a mobius strip called the Vib-Ribbon, dodging obstacles along the way. There are four basic obstacles (spikes, blocks, loops, and pits), which can further be combined into a dual obstacle (for example, spiky loops and blocks with pits in the middle). The obstacles appear in time with the music, and reaching the end of the song means reaching the end of the stage. Hitting too many obstacles causes Vibri to devolve (from rabbit to frog to worm to game over), although successfully navigating ten in a row causes Vibri to evolve back up (and potentially go from rabbit to princess).
The game is distinct for two reasons. One, it's a Vector Game - despite when it was developed, it runs entirely on vector graphics. While not monochrome (the scale at the bottom showing remaining time and the scoring gems are in color), it is a throwback to the primitive graphics of the early 80's.
The second, and perhaps most significant, is that it can make a level out of any CD track.note Because the actual coding for Vib-Ribbon is so sparse, the entire game itself fits on the PlayStation's RAM, allowing the player to swap out the game disc for any CD to be read and its songs converted to levels. Moreover, the six built-in tracks to the game are also in CD format, so the game is already its own soundtrack.
Vib-Ribbon was followed up by two sequels: Mojib-Ribbon, which could make PaRappa-style rap levels out of .txt files, and Vib-Ripple, which turned digitized images into hidden object games. Neither were released outside of Japan, the former most likely for being near impossible to localize. The original finally became available for download on the Play Station Network in North America on October 17, 2014, a solid 15 years after its initial release.
Vib-Ribbon contains examples of:
- Auto-Scrolling Level: Vibri will move automatically, so you must use precise timing to navigate through the various obstacles.
- Beautiful Void: The entire game takes place within a nearly empty black void with minimalistic vector graphics in which the only living thing appears to be Vibri herself. For most of the gameplay the only things on the screen other than the player character are a single white line and some small geometric shapes at the top. Still, between Vibri's cuteness and the generally cheerful songs it manages to have an oddly pleasant atmosphere.
- Continuing is Painful: Should you miss an obstacle, you lose your combo, and the ribbon starts vibrating. Of course, the vibrations make it much more difficult to tell when to hit the correct dodge for the next obstacle, which makes it really simple to get to the ten misses required to devolve (or, if currently as the worm, a game over). This can be really nerve-wracking when combined with the other flavors of Interface Screw.
- Difficulty by Acceleration: Obstacles and perspective shifts become faster and trickier as the tempo of the song changes.
- Difficulty Spike: The bridges in "Overflowing Emotions" shift from a massive increase in tempo to slowing the level to a crawl. The game had changed the song structure before, but it had been done much more subtly.
- Ear Wings: Getting a high enough score causes Vibri to float up offscreen using her ears as wings.
- Evolutionary Levels: Vibri starts as a rabbit and can turn into a fairy princess, and devolve into a frog and worm.
- Harder Than Hard: Album mode - you play every track on the current CD, randomized. And the longer it goes on, the more Interface Screws the game throws at you. By the end, you'll be watching combined obstacles stacked on each other moving at different speeds while spinning as the game switches to an isometric view.
- Interface Screw: The longer the song goes, the more of these you deal with - including obstacles moving at different paces and orientation shifts that make it easier to misjudge obstacle placement. The tracks can also switch directions.
- Mad Libs Dialogue: Vibri's song for getting a high score changes in structure depending on how good the player did, and she reads the numbers individually (in Japanese, of course).
- Marathon Level: Long tracks can really test your reflexes as the level becomes harder to navigate and keep up a string of combos.
- Nintendo Hard: Despite the simple premise making use of four buttons, the combo system can get pretty frantic and challenging, more so in the second Silver and Gold tracks.
- No Fourth Wall: Every time Vibri talks, it's to the player.
- Played Straight during the tutorial.
- Non-Mammalian Hair: Vibri's worm form has 3 hairs on its head.
- Ocular Gushers: On one of the game over screens, Vibri cries and makes puddles on the ground.
- Scoring Points: Confusingly, your score is described during play by a series of shapes at the top of the screen, which is converted to a numerical value at the end. It's possible to convert this in your head, but usually you get distracted by the levels.
- Surprisingly Good English: While the pronunciation isn't perfect, the singing does manage to distinguish between the b, v, l, and r consonants and remains gramatically correct for the most part. "Overflowing Emotions" is still pretty impenetrable, however.
Mojib-Ribbon contains examples of:
- Wingding Eyes: Mojibri's face is the letters ".txt" with a mouth underneath, with the two t's serving as eyes and the x serving as a nose. Mojiko's face looks like this (*。*) with a mouth underneath. Osorezan 1999 has a number sign for his right eye, but his face is otherwise not able to be recreated in basic text.
Vib-Ripple contains examples of:
- Toilet Humor: Boonchies, Vibri's main obstacle in the game, are differently-colored piles of feces with faces.
- Well done! Way to go!Nice one. Congratulations!The tropes page score is...15 tropesAnd yes! It's a high score.Yippee!