Vib-Ribbon is a rhythm video game in the style of PaRappa the Rapper and Amplitude. The game was unique in that the software loaded into RAM, letting the player use any music CD to play against; the game could generate a unique level from any track. The graphics for Vib-Ribbon are simple, consisting of straight, white vector lines forming crude, angular drawings of the level and the character, a female rabbit named Vibri.
The objective of the game is to guide Vibri along a ribbon filled with obstacles corresponding to the song being played. Pressing the correct buttons at the right time will let Vibri pass unscathed. Failing to do so multiple times will eventually result in Vibri degenerating from a rabbit into a frog, then a worm, and finally perishing for good. If 18 obstacles are navigated successfully in a row, Vibri’s form is “promoted” to that of fairy princess if she is currently a rabbit. If she is at a lower leveled form, she will advance to the next highest form instead. The game’s score is represented by a series of symbols that accumulate as the game level progresses. A numerical score is generated at the end of the song. Depending on the score obtained, Vibri will sing a congratulatory song that gets longer with higher scores.
From the auction:
Masaya Matsuura is, without a doubt, one of the most unique video game and music designers in the world. The PlayStation music game Vib-Ribbon is testament to that. To commemorate the launch of this game Matsuura-san together with his studio NanaOn-Sha created 50 special statuettes.
After Matsuura-san worked together with the American artist Rodney Greenblatt on the iconic Parappa the Rapper and invented the modern music video game in the process, he developed Vib-Ribbon on the PlayStation by himself.
The Vector-based line art of Vib Ribbon was both an artistic choice and a technical solution for the type of game he wanted to create. With his earlier music game Parappa the Rapper the music was still streamed from the game CD, but Vib Ribbon was the first game to be entirely loaded on to the internal RAM of the PlayStation. This made it possible for users to insert their own music CDs and use them to play the game. Levels and obstacles were dynamically generated based on the music.
Vib Ribbon is now a cult title. Its release was limited to Japan and Europe. The sequel was only released in Japan.