Vib-Ribbon Wikia

Vib-Ribbon (ビブリボン Bibu Ribon) is a PlayStation rhythm game developed by NanaOn-Sha and published by Sony Computer Entertainment.

It is the first game in the series. The game's main gimmick was that any CD could be inserted and the game would create a stage off of it, essentially allowing for endless levels.


Vib-Ribbon is a rhythm game in which players guide the main character, Vibri, across a line filled with obstacles tied in correspondence to the beat of the song. There are four basic obstacles; block, loop, wave, and pit, which require players to press the L, R, X, or Down buttons respectively at the right time to navigate. Sometimes two obstacles will be merged, requiring the player to press two buttons at the same time (for example, a block and pit combination will require players to press L and Down together). Not pushing the correct button(s) at the right time turns Vibri into a scribbled version of herself temporarily. Getting hit by obstacles too many times will degenerate Vibri from a rabbit into a frog, followed by a worm. Getting hit too many times while in worm form will end the game. Completing a successful streak of obstacles will help Vibri recover back to her higher forms, and clearing enough obstacles in succession while in rabbit form will evolve Vibri into Queen Vibri, increasing the player's score until Vibri is hit. Similar to Parappa the Rapper, "free-styling" in between obstacles gives extra points.

The better you do during a stage, the better the Score Coupons you receive. These shapes are then converted into a number at the end of the run, during which bonus points may also be rewarded. Earning a high score will cause Vibri to sing a congratulatory song and it's length based on their position. The base game features six songs performed by an unaccredited Japanese singer which are divided up into bronze, silver, and gold courses containing two songs each. Additionally, players can generate levels using songs from music CDs, with difficulty varying depending on the intensity of the music. All CD tracks can be played in two modes: regular and "Speed" mode. In Speed Mode, the obstacles coming toward you increase in speed each time you successfully clear the previous one, until eventually, you reach the target speed on the speedometer. On the CD track select, if you choose "all tracks" the game will pit you against a giant level, consisting of the whole album, in order of difficulty. There's also an auto mode, where the game plays it's self against the whole album, but score isn't counted. The soundtrack, according to Masaya Matsuura, was provided by a band called Laugh and Peace, with vocals by Yoko Fujita. Working with the band, Matsuura wanted a soundtrack that would encourage players to use their own music CDs. Reluctance to associate the game with any one music genre was a big part of why the game's visuals are so color-neutral and simple.

The Vib-Ribbon website describes the game, saying: "Load up your soundtrack and watch Vibri go! Vibri can ride the ribbon to all kinds of music. The game CD includes 6 songs from Japanese group "Laugh and (Peace)" but the fun feature of this game is that you can use your own music! Just drop your CD in and watch as Vib-ribbon works its magic, creating a level that matches the tempo and tone of the music."

A diagram from the manual, showing what buttons to press for each shape.

Reception and Sequels

The game was received very well overall, with criticisms being the game's brutal difficulty. The game spawned two sequels: Mojib-Ribbon, which focused around rap music and calligraphy, and Vib-Ripple, which was similar to Vib-Ribbon but instead used digital images loaded into the game to generate the levels. Both were released in Japan for the PlayStation 2.


  • Vib-Ribbon is able to generate levels from any music CD by storing the game and level generation algorithm in the PS1's RAM. Not including the title screen, tutorial, or it's own music, Vib-Ribbon is small enough to fit in the PS1's 2mb RAM.
  • The game originally released in Europe and Japan only. However, after a 2-3 second clip of Vib-Ribbon was shown in E3, the internet went crazy, which caused it to be re-released on the PlayStation Network as a PS1 classic on October 7th, 2014.
  • Mercedes originally partnered with NanaOn-Sha to make the game, as it was initially commissioned as an advertisement for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class car. After design issues surfaced with the car and the ad plan was dropped, development continued as a stand-alone game. A screenshot of this Mercedes-Benz partnership version was shared in a Retro Gamer magazine.[2] The prototype is in a completely different style, being a more standard polygonal style, and the camera is positioned behind the character. Gameplay would involve the car driving in an area, one of which being we know is the outer ring of a planet in space. The car would have likely had to move around to avoid obstacles.
    • It should be noted that this version of the game is not Vib-Ribbon, as the Vib-Ribbon was conceptualized after and spawned from this cancelled game.

The only known prototype of Vib-Ribbon.

  • The only known Vib-Ribbon prototype is a European localization prototype dumped and released by Hidden Palace user drx. It seems the prototype was just created for the purpose of getting feedback on the localization, as the only difference between the final build are a few minor word changes to the Italian Tutorial.[3]
  • Being the unique game it is, Vib-Ribbon would go on to inspire many games and be referenced a few times. Some notable games that are seemingly inspired by the game are Bit.Trip RUNNER, Audiosurf, and Rez. It would also go on to inspire other Masaya Matsuura games, like Musika and Rhyme Rider Kerorican. Friday Night Funkin's vocal direction was inspired by Vib-Ribbon's style of vocals for Vibri, leading to the "boop and beep" vocal track style the game is most known for. Though it was not included on the PlayStation Classic console, it was referenced in Astro's Playroom on the PlayStation 5, solidifying it as a remembered classic for PlayStation history and beyond.
  • Vib-Ribbon has a couple of Lost Media items and footage, including a recently-discovered art book, a similarly discovered Christmas disc promotion, and an appearance on Japanese TV channel Viewsic.


【CM】 ビブリボン -vib-ribbon Commerical-

Japanese Vib-Ribbon TV ad