Irisu Syndrome! Review
For three days,
I am alone. In my room.
Was it because of her?
So tell me:
I hear the sounds of insanity.
Those piano chords and notes clicking.
I know all the songs.
These arias of madness.
They make me jitter.
Was I mad for playing this cursed game known as Irisu Syndrome?
Save for the books that do nothing to protect me,
save for the clocks that endlessly tick-tock my lifespan away,
save for my companion that is the sound of pen scribbles in my diary,
I am alone.
I’ve heard of things about it like that it is a surreal horror puzzle game. But I had never been scared by a movie or a game. I thought people were cowards. Nevertheless, I am a curious cat. I was downloading the game when my mom called.
The air feels thinner.
Yet, I breathe.
She told me that my dad is working late. She, as well, had to take care of her own accounting job. I said to her, “Take care.” I looked at the clock; it was 6pm. My download had finished and I patched it with the English patch.
The light in the room dims.
The blackness of night has swallowed the world.
Its lone survivor is the yellow moon.
A bunny is there on a crater.
I started the game. At first, I was confused. Not a lot of instructions. I tried to click and a white spot appears where I clicked. This white object flied and hits a red block, smacking with another. They glowed peculiarly and drop down, disappearing. It’s like Tetris, but you could make the blocks match even in the air. Interesting.
My eyes hurt.
So I rub.
But the bunny is still there.
The bunny appears every time you end a game. She is translucent in the background. After finishing the first game with a measly score of 1,231 points, she appears with a stare. I also get a new CG featuring three guys and one girl hanging out. An image appeared in my folder. They are a group photo of these kids smiling. Also, there were new text files — I read them. They read like a set of instructions. I don’t understand them. As I play more, text files appear out of nowhere. They become more cryptic.
I want to —
— deny —
— her existence.
Instructions of leaving left. Instructions of leaving right. Leaving upwards. Leaving downwards. Like an intricate puzzle.
What is odd is that these people disappear. And I check the photo of these people smiling; each of them are charred by black pencil marks. What is left is the girl alone on a picnic table.
She looks at me.
Eyes redder than blood.
The mouth of a hare and the eyes of a human.
I got the bad ending.
And she is crying.
And I am going mad.
The bunny appears on screen. She is crying. Everyone disappeared.
My laptop on the bed flickers.
Unsatisfied, I tried again. The photo had no scribblings when I played again. This time, I get 51,000 points. The laptop blinks. I hear my door slide open. Nobody is there. I closed the door.
The air feels thin.
I went back to my bed, but I saw a photo of my parents and me on the table. Mom and Dad had black marks hiding them like the video game. I didn’t remember the photo vandalized like that. I got some tissues and tried to wipe it off, but it took a while; apparently, it was made by permanent marker. There was no explanation of how that happened.
I felt sleepy. Must be exhaustion.
But then again, I haven’t slept a wink. The light is always on.
This is normal.
For this is considered normal.
By us, the humans who said so and acted like
You can’t turn off the sun, can you?
— It exists for the weak, they say
— But it hurts
The laptop screen
She climbs out of the laptop.
Why does she cry?
Is it for me?
I don’t like tears.
Tears are for the weak,
“Are you alone?” the bunny girl wiped her tears and asked.
Yes, I am.
“My name is Irisu. What’s yours?”
the Sputnik Sweetheart.
“That’s a book by Haruki Murakami, right?”
I am as pretty as a Murakami book;
as lonely as a Murakami book;
as sad as a Murakami book.
Oh, but please don’t pity me.
“I think we are in the same boat.”
That boat tumbles in the sea right now.
Who knows we can find R’lyeh in this ocean of sadness?
“Well, I wanted to kill you, but I’m not sure now.” She points to the laptop; it had an axe lying on the floor. She continued, “I’m pretty fucked up, right?”
We all are.
We just don’t want to realize it.
“But it’s funny that both of us are alone. Few people understand us.” She had a voice filled with resignation as if she knew she had no way out except out from my laptop screen to talk to me, a perverse lone being.
Because we always think sad stuff:
How we are alone;
And how alone we are;
And how we alone are.
“Yeah. Oh, we’re reaching the moon. 3 days, huh? Looks like we’re getting faster and faster.”
We got there faster in 36 hours.
With the Soviet Luna I.
“Wow, we underestimate you humans.”
But I don’t like people anymore.
They sicken me.
I am sickened.
By the way,
I saw a bunny girl like you there.
Is this where all the people of despair go to?
“Repressed despair, yes. Nobody can run away from it.”
Nobody yet everybody is there.
A lonely neighborhood is what it is.
“That’s a nice description. Call a real estate agent. You’d get money.”
But he won’t talk, Irisu.
Nobody in the moon does.
We live for everything that is nothing
that is everything
which is nothing.
My room rumbles.
“You will be alone for years to come. Do you want me as company?”
I will like that.
“Make sure to bring your hat. It looks nice on you.”
I need it to live.
“Forgot about that.”
The rumble stops.
My house is on the moon.
I wear my white hat.
I wear my white clothing.
I wear my white boots.
I open my door and walk.
“Isn’t the moon pretty?”
I escaped the Earth.
I am at the moon.
“I hate the past. I like to be a bunny in space. What about you?”
Without the bunny stuff.
I like to be human.
“But you know, I wonder if we’re doing the right thing: going to the moon.”
All right things are wrong
and wrong things are right.
“Are we hypocrites”
is not a question.
We are on the moon.
“But don’t you miss people?”
People disgust me.
They sicken me.
A sicko of the world,
they label me.
They’re no big deal.
“But they are! Your parents are still working.”
we disagree on something that has
nothing to do with bunnies.
“I was like that, you know. I kinda pity you.”
No need to lecture me.
Let me stay in limbo
“Then, it can’t be helped.” She looks at the watch. “I need to go home now.”
So are you going to leave me?
Till time ends?
I won’t miss you.
“Yep. And that’s okay.”
You don’t want to be a bunny in space?
Where you will be free:
From the arias of madness;
From the songs of hypocrisy;
From the melodies of cruelty?
“Just a few seconds is enough.”
But isn’t it impossible
For a little bunny girl like you
To go back to a world so despised
“For those who can’t believe in hope like you, yes. But I have hope.”
Do you think you can face the past
Live through the present and then