Vib-Ribbon (ビブリボン Bibu Ribon) is a 1999 rhythm video game developed by NanaOn-Sha (known for developing PaRappa The Rapper and Um Jammer Lammy) and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game features a vectorgraphic rabbit Vibri wandering through the eponymous dimension or “Music World” while dodging the incoming obstacles.
Vib-Ribbon was originally released in Japan on December 12th, 1999 and later in Europe on September 1st, 2000. Even though the original release was never available in North America, it was re-released on PlayStation Network in 2014 after a Sony executive name-dropped it while introducing Mortal Kombat X. The game spawned two sequels Mojib-Ribbon (which focuses on rap music and calligraphy) and Vib-Ripple (involves jumping into images like a trampoline while revealing a “peta character” or hidden objects). However, they were never released outside Japan.
The game focuses on guiding the main protagonist Vibri to dodge the obstacles as the stage progresses and the difficulty increases depending on each course (Bronze, Silver and Gold courses). If the player misses or presses the wrong button, Vibri will get injured and the more damage she takes, the more the entire level will look like a scribbly mess. After 9 hits, she will devolve into a frog, then a worm, and finally it will lead to a “Game Over” sequence where Vibri will either break down in tears, scream at the player out of frustration or start doing sit-ups while saying “We need more practice!” Also, the game features the ability to play custom CDs that will randomly generate levels depending on the music tempo while the game runs on its own.
The games North American re-release generated positive feedback from the internet. On November 16th, 2014, Jim Caddick AKA Caddicarus uploaded a review of Vib-Ribbon, gaining over 1,241,362 views since December 2014. On February 12th, 2017, British YouTuber Slope’s Game Room uploaded a video regarding the history within the game and gained over 57,000 views.
The games were also a common topic on 4chan’s /v/ board, helping to maintain interest in the game and help it spread through word of mouth, though some users expressed sexual attraction towards the game’s main character, to the dismay of other users.