Welcome to the dark world of Ib. This was a game made with the RPG maker format, I’ve been meaning to play it for years and the other day I decided I was finally going to sit down with this game and play it. So ladies and gentlemen select new game and let’s check out the psychological horror game Ib. Mad spoilers ahead.
Your main character is a little girl named you guessed it “Ib” or Eve depending on the translation. She is a nine year old girl who’s visiting the Guertena art gallery with her parents. She is a mostly silent protagonist who is very brave. During her trip to the art museum she finds herself in a twisted version of the gallery where the art wants her dead.
Ib meets a young man named Garry in the twisted art gallery. She rescues him from near imminent demise. You see each of the protagonists has in their possession a rose, except Garry dropped his in his escape from a monster. When Ib comes across the monster it is tearing out the petals (Ie diminishing Garry’s HP) she rescues his rose from the creature. Garry is a kind man who decides to do his best to be brave and help this little girl get out of this fabricated world.
The last of your party members is a little girl named Mary that the party meets about halfway through their trials. Mary has a yellow rose in her possession though she likes Ib’s red rose and Garry’s blue rose more.
Ib’s rose has a maximum of five hit points, meaning she can take no more then five damage before you incur a game over. She has in her possession at the start a lace handkerchief which is stupidly important to the games true ending.
Garry has a few more things in his possession then Ib does. He has a wristwatch which I didn’t find any relevant use for. (Is there one? Anyone know?) A silver lighter (like the handkerchief painfully important) and a blue rose that has ten petals.
I never actually controlled Mary so I don’t know how many petals her rose has, she also has a palette knife in her possession. She doesn’t have that right away, she picks it up once Her and Ib have been separated from Garry.
The game does provide a few hints in the beginning such as seeing Garry in front of the portrait “The Hanged Man”. The hanged man holds important clues for a puzzle later on and depending on your play style one of the more dangerous ideas in the game is when the gallery decides Garry needs to die and you find near the hanged man painting “Hanged Garry”.
There are all kinds of puzzles and enemies over the course of the game. That have various effects. Almost everything in this game can and will hurt you. Those five hit points, they go real fast.
Some puzzles involve luring enemies away from certain areas. Others are word related puzzles, and there’s even a math one in there somewhere. The most common prize for your troubles is a key which unlock a new area.
My personal favorite is the stick figure painting that wants to play hide and seek with you. He hides behind one set of these curtains. There are a handful of elements here that will hurt you (if your unlucky they might even kill you and you’ll have to start the whole puzzle over).
You also get a small handful of dialogue options. Your ending depends on what you choose to say at each conjecture.
Near the end of the game the art takes a drastic change from the art gallery’s perfect walls and floor. The area known as the Sketchbook is covered in childlike drawings. Aesthetically the change is amazing, the characters even comment on it being a little jarring.
The game features multiple endings, most of which are fairly macabre. Garry with his mind broken and Ib refusing to leave his side.
Ib being tricked by an illusion of a loved one (it can be Garry, Mary, or her Mother depending on which route you went) and failing to leave the fabricated world behind. In the ending with Ib’s mother Garry is even on the other side in the art gallery desperately yelling for Ib to take his hand before it’s too late.
The “Forgotten Portrait” is favorite/ least favorite ending simultaneously. I love the tragic feel of it, it’s extremely melancholic to think that Garry gave his rose in exchange for Ib’s in a time of turmoil. And in the end he was forgotten by everyone including the girl he gave his life for.
The game’s true ending is “Promise of a Reunion” wherein Ib and Garry make a solid promise that they won’t forget what happened and they will meet again.
The games cast of side characters ranges anywhere from this teeny tiny ant that is near impossible to see on your screen to monsters that are larger by far then your protagonist. I was stuck on the screen with this ant for like an hour trying to figure out where to go!!!! RAGE!!!!!!
One of the most prominent enemy types are the Lady in Red (or Green or Blue). They knock their paintings off the wall and break the glass with a startling crash that catches you off every single time. Once the glass has been shattered the women halfway emerge from the frame and chase you down with a fury.
The manikin heads rarely ever damage you, but don’t think for a second that they aren’t painstakingly relevant to your ending. If Garry breaks a manikin head whelp congrats your a third of the way to a bad ending. And then there are the freaking dolls!!!!!!!!! The dolls start stalking you and leaving messages on the wall. They even lock Garry in a room for a life and death game of hide and seek. This leads to the mind broken Garry ending. I mean Welcome to the World of Guertena…
In a rare treat the congested eye actually wants to help you as long as you help him too.
Then there’s……..oh there’s Mary as a painting. Because she’s a liar. Popular theory is that she is the one that drew them into this world because she can only because she can only leave if she takes someone’s place. So she brought two people into the world, one to replace and the other to integrate herself into their life. Ib was to be her sister and Garry the sacrifice. Mary is…Mary is a character that a lot of people sympathize with her “she just wanted to be real and to be free” People actually say “She just wanted to experience love and sunshine.” Nope screw that noise, that little blond psychopath tortured one of the protags to death and there is literally no justifying that course of action. I for one am glad I got to set her on fire, Bitch.
There are a seldom few points where you get these cool hand drawn looking pictures. There are quite a few just surrounding this mirror.
This is one of those cases where I think animation would have actually seriously detracted from the scene.
So overall Ib is a short charming game. It has no combat so that’s one less system for people to bitch about! Woohoo! The puzzle solving is pretty solid and the characters are well worth investing in.
Expect to see this screen for more time then you actually spend playing the game.
Striving for a good ending is very fulfilling
Extremely well written driven characters
Engaging and interesting story
The seek this item puzzles actually change the location!!!!!!
Given the mass amount of things trying to kill you, you never know exactly what’s dangerous
That damned ant
One hit kills in the end game
Princess tutu fanfiction syndrome (Ie people are so desperate for a happy ending that they will pull out the most cliché tropes to try to force the entire cast into a happy ending)
So do I recommend Ib? If your seeking a picture perfect ending don’t bother. Go read a damn fanfic or something because that’s the only way that everyone’s going to be happy. At least one character will die in every ending. Sometimes all three. There is no happy ending for everyone.
If you desperately want romance play a different game. No one needs OTP fanart of a child and a teenager. Stop now. If you want great characters that aren’t pedophiles, don’t have gender issues, and will probably have ptsd for the rest of their lives even in the good ending? Then Ib is the game for you.
I decided to add in one more thing just for giggles. A handful of personal confessions.