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 Walking by the ribbon

Luck is by my side.

Laugh and Peace, Polaroid


Vib-Ribbon is a Rhythm Game produced by NanaOn-Sha 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. 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.

It was followed up by two sequels: Mojib-Ribbon, which worked on calligraphy; and Vib-Ripple, which worked on digitized images. Neither was as successful. Currently, there is some investigation on making a download version of the original for download services, but this is very preliminary at this time.

This game has examples of:

  • 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 the worm, a game over). This can be really nerve-wracking when combined with the other flavors of Interface Screw.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: For all its Engrish, "Sunny Day" definitely qualifies.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: "Universal Dance"
  • Ear Worm: The high score song most definitely is. You may also find the built-in soundtrack to have a couple ("Universal Dance" is the most frequently cited one). Plus, the swappable nature of the game means you can always provide your own, provided they're standard CD format.
  • Engrish: Of the six songs included in-game, four are like this ("Polaroid," "Sunny Day," "Laugh and Peace," and "Universal Dance."). The other two are in Japanese.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Vibri's final form.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Eventually, some of the obstacles will start spinning, which can make it hard at times to tell what precise obstacle is coming, sepending on where the rotation is at.
  • Evolutionary Levels: Which go from worm to frog to rabbit to fairy princess.
  • 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.
  • Music Player Game: Ur Example.
  • No Export for You: While released both in Japan and Europe, North America has never seen the original. The sequels were never exported at all.
  • Rhythm Game
  • 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.
  • Sequelitis/First Installment Wins
  • Vector Game
  • Widget Series: We repeat - you play a rabbit walking along a mobius strip dodging obstacles.
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