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{{#if:Ibara Title.png|
Ibara Title.png

Title screen (REPLACE!)

{{#if:CAVE|}}{{#if:Shinji Hosoe|}}{{#if:Shinobu Yagawa|}}{{#if:Toshiyuki Kotani|}}{{#if:Arcade
JP: July 15, 2005
PlayStation 2
JP: February 23, 2006|}}{{#if:|}}{{#if:Pink Sweets: Ibara Sorekara|}}
Developer: CAVE
Music: Shinji Hosoe
Program: Shinobu Yagawa
Art: Toshiyuki Kotani
Release date: Arcade
JP: July 15, 2005
PlayStation 2
JP: February 23, 2006
Previous game: {{{previousgame}}}
Next game: Pink Sweets: Ibara Sorekara

Ibara 鋳薔薇

Ibara Title.png

Gameplay Overview

Ibara (鋳薔薇) is very similar to 8ing/Raizing's Battle Garegga and Battle Bakraid games. So much so that Ibara could be considered a pseudo-sequel or, at least, a spiritual successor. The similarities are numerous - some are subtle, some are easily spotted. These include combining archaic technology such as biplanes with more advanced machinery; firing and a power-up system; and a medal collecting system which drastically increases scoring. The game features a similar method of earning bombs and a delay when launching them as well. Some of the enemies and their attack patterns are very familiar such as the large cranes in stage 1 and the minigun-wielding first boss. The enemy's explosions spiral around when destroying some of the heavier weapons/scenery and thin, while seemingly camouflaged enemy bullets are scattered around the play area in comparable patterns. More subtle references include the HUD layout which lists the name of the current stage at the top of the screen and, when starting a stage, tells users the title of the background music that is playing.

A notable feature of Ibara is the inclusion of a variable, real-time difficulty system by way of the Rank system. The player's rank increases as they acquire more items and cause more damage, increasing the difficulty of the game along with it. The number of enemies does not increase but the number of bullets fired towards the user does, often reaching a ridiculous level of bullet density. There are ways of lowering this rank system if the odds appear too much. The only known way of decreasing the player's Rank in Ibara is to die. The more lives you have, the less the rank decreases when you die. In the later version, Ibara Kuro: Black Label, Rank can be decreased by cancelling bullets with a bomb, however Rank also increases much faster in this version, potentially increasing from minimum to maximum in a matter of seconds.




Ibara MachineGun.png Machine Gun
Common; available in all stages
Low damage, high continuous rate of fire. Great for precision damage against large enemies, handling zako rushes, or drone milking.
Ibara Gatling.png Gatling
Common; available in all stages
Low damage, short burst fire. Similar applications to the Machine Gun, but slightly less consistent due to gaps between bursts.
Ibara 5Way.png 5-Way
Uncommon; available in most stages
Very wide spread shot, great for crowd control or point blank damage. 3x 5-Way can be excellent for survival in parts of Stage 4, 5, and 6.
Ibara Burner.png Burner
Rare; available in stages 2 and 6
High damage in bursts. Persists on screen for a while, good for space control. Produces the most tick points per second of any Option type.
Ibara Napalm.png Napalm
Uncommon; available in stages 2, 3, and 6
High damage with a small AoE explosion. Has some gaps between shots, so it can sometimes struggle against dense zako rushes.
Ibara Rocket.png Rocket
Common; available in stages 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6
Medium damage, but pierces multiple enemies or boss parts. Excellent against large targets. Raises Rank at the highest rate of all Option types.
Ibara Homing.png Homing
Rare; available in stage 3
Medium damage homing weapon. Extremely rare, the only consistent drop is Kasumi (Stage 3 Boss). Generally outclassed by other Options.



Rank System Overview

Ibara features a dynamic difficulty, or "Rank" system similar to that found in Battle Garegga. Most actions taken by the Player will increase the Rank, which also continuously rises with every frame of play time. The only known way to decrease the Rank is to die, either by accident or with planned suicides.

Almost every action taken in the game will increase the Rank:

  • Firing a bullet from the main weapon or Options
  • Collecting an item (all items, including Power-Ups, Options, Medals, and even the 1-UP item, will increase Rank)
  • Using a Bomb or Hadou
  • Sealing enemy bullets

Ibara's Rank system is quite complex, but there are a few basic principles that can help new players:

  • The Rank will decrease more if you die with fewer lives in stock. In other words, if you have only 1 spare life and die (thus leaving you with 0 stock), it will decrease the difficulty twice as much as if you died with 2 lives in stock.
  • Partial Bombs will increase rank more rapidly than Full Bombs.
  • The Hadou Gun will increase rank even more rapidly than either kind of Bomb.
  • Collecting Power-Up and Option items will always increase Rank, even if the items do not impart a change to the Player (IE: collecting Power-Up items while at full shot strength will still raise rank).
  • Raising your autofire rate does not affect the per-frame Rank; however, since you are firing bullets more rapidly, it does still affect the rate at which Rank will build over time.

Rank System In-Depth

Rank value is stored internally as a hexadecimal value, which is actually 'inverted' compared to the Player's experience of it - as this value decreases, the game gets harder. Because it is more consistent with the user experience, it is customary to refer to the increase in game difficulty as 'increasing the Rank', even though that is not technically accurate to the internal implementation.

There are two separate settings determining the rank in Ibara. Difficulty 1 determines only the starting rank and has no further effect on the gameplay. After the player has started a run, the rank is then gradually increasing determined by difficulty 2, which is the per frame rank increase.

Depending on the number of runs played during one continuous session, the starting rank will gradually increase. Starting rank can be reset either by entering the test menu or by powering down the PCB. The values in the table below are taken from the first run after powering up the PCB.

Difficulty 1 (starting rank) Decimal Hexadecimal
Easy 15,204,352 E80,000
Normal [default] 14,680,064 E00,000
Hard 14,155,776 D80,000
Very Hard 13,631,488 D00,000
Super Hard 13,107,200 C80,000
Unbelievable 12,582,912 C00,000
Difficulty 2 (per frame rank)
Slow 12 C
Medium [default] 16 10
Fast 20 14
Very Fast 24 18
Maximum Fast 28 1C
Unforgettable 32 20


  • Rank maxes out at 00,000,000 (000,000 in hex) regardless of the difficulty settings.
  • Starting rank for Harder mode is 8,808,032 (866,660 in hex) on default settings.
  • Starting rank for Extended mode is the same as on Normal mode on default settings.

Rank is influenced by certain actions of the player, e.g. firing your Shot or picking up an item. All of the actions that have an effect on rank are listed in the tables below. Even though, an increase in difficulty is actually measured by a decreasing rank counter, the numbers below are listed as if the rank counter would count up. This is simply to make things easier to follow.

Action Rank increase in decimal Rank increase in hexadecimal
Death from 1 life > 0 lives -2,097,152 -200,000
Death from 2 lives > 1 life -1,048,576 -100,000
Death from 3 lives > 2 lives -524,288 -80,000
Death from 4 lives > 3 lives -262,144 -40,000
Death from 5 lives > 4 lives -131,072 -20,000
Seal a bullet 4,096 1,000


  • Cancelling bullets turning them into rose items has no effect on rank.
  • Grazing enemy bullets has no effect on rank.

Item Rank increase in decimal Rank increase in hexadecimal
100~900 Medals 256 100
1,000~9,000 Medals 1,024 400
10,000 Medal 4,096 1,000
100pt. Rose Item 256 100
200pt. Rose Item 512 200
400pt. Rose Item 768 300
800pt. Rose Item 1,024 400
Shot Power Up (small) 4,096 1,000
Shot Power Up (large) 65,536 10,000
Bomb Item (small) 8,192 2,000
Bomb Item (large) 131,072 20,000
Option Item 65,536 10,000
1-Up Item 524,288 80,000


  • Dropping a medal has no effect on rank.
  • Collecting excess items for score has no additional effect on rank.
  • Powering up with with a Shot Power Up (small or large) has no effect on rank.
  • Reaching the next full bomb with a Bomb Item (small or large) has no effect on rank.
  • Triggering any of the Special Options has no effect on rank.

Attack (per full burst) Rank increase in decimal Rank increase in hexadecimal
Regular Shot (Shot Level 0~2) 30 1E
Regular Shot (Shot Level 3) 40 28
Regular Shot (Shot Level 4~5 and Special) 50 32
Machine Gun 15 F
5-Way 75 4B
Gatling 15 F
Homing 40 28
Rocket 100 64
Burner 32 20
Napalm 50 32
Bomb (fragment) 20,480 5,000
Bomb (full) 8,192 2,000
Activating a Hadou Gun 69,632 11,000


  • The values for Regular Shot have been tested for Dyne (A). They may or may not differ for Bond and the different sub types.
  • While activating a Hadou Gun has an effect on rank as indicated, actually releasing it has no effect on rank.




Programmer Shinobu Yagawa previously worked on the games Recca, Battle Garegga, Armed Police Batrider, and Battle Bakraid. Ibara has much more in common with these games than with much of Cave's other releases, many of which were primarily developed by Tsuneki Ikeda.

During the development of Ibara, Yagawa was allegedly instructed to remake 'that game' - a veiled reference to Battle Garegga.(ED: needs sourcing!)


The game was released in arcades in July 15, 2005, and it was released on the PlayStation 2 on February 23, 2006.

To remedy some of the concerns fans had with the original version of the game, Cave released an updated version in limited distribution called Ibara Kuro: Black Label. It was released on February 10, 2006. The update contains many additions, some of which appeared earlier in the released PlayStation 2 port in the form of Arrange Mode.

A sequel, Pink Sweets: Ibara Sorekara, was released in the arcades on April 21, 2006.


Ibara was not as well received as other Cave games upon release. It is often claimed that Ibara was not very popular with arcade players or operators; several Ibara PCBs are known to have been sent back to Cave to be converted into other games that work on the CV1000B hardware platform. (ED: needs sourcing!) Weekly Famitsu magazine awarded the PlayStation 2 version of Ibara a score of only 26/40 based on four reviews (7/7/6/6).


  1. In-depth rank info from an unpublished document written by Archer (dated September 17th 2011)
  2. https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-11-02-super-bank-breakers
  3. https://www.famitsu.com/cominy/?m=pc&a=page_h_title&title_id=11135
  4. https://www.famitsu.com/cominy/?m=pc&a=page_h_title&title_id=24103
  5. https://www.famitsu.com/cominy/?m=pc&a=page_h_title&title_id=24093
  6. http://www.cubed3.com/news/4566/1/nintendo-reviews-baten-kaitos-gets-top-honours-from-famitsu.html
  7. https://web.archive.org/web/20060427111442/http://www.taito.co.jp/d3/cp/ibara/
  8. http://www.cave.co.jp/gameonline/ibara/index.html