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Noroi no Yakata (Japanese: 呪いの館 lit. “The Cursed House”), fully titled as “Noroi no Yakata Daiichiwa” (呪いの館 第一話, lit. “The Cursed House: Episode 1”) is a freeware PC game developed by an ordinary Internet user Sankaku Onigiri (三角おにぎり) and his son who was in 3rd grade back then, Tomo-chan(ともちゃん).
This meme’s interest is the game’s extreme “one hit, you’re dead” difficulty and the extremely odd death cry of the game’s hero sounding like “IeAAAAAAAAAAA” (イﾞェアアアアアアアアアアア) while he oddly flies straight upward looking like he is laying down.
Noroi no Yakata Daiichiwa was originally released on the Japanese file-sharing website Vector on July 21st, 1996. However, its strangeness and greatness caught nearly no attention till a gameplay video of it was uploaded on Nico Nico Douga (NND) and on YouTube both on January 2nd, 2008. And to make matters worse, the original game itself was put offline from the public several years before.
Many watchers were knocked out by its strangeness and greatness. According to an article about this video in Nico Nico Pedia, an internet encyclopedia for NND, it scored 1 million views on NND on May 11th, 2008. Currently, it has over 1.8 million views. On YouTube however, it only has over 200,000 views.
An article for this game in Nico Nico Pedia tells the reasons why this game is loved by many NND users. These are its extreme difficulty, as well as the strange jumping, crouching pose, and epic death cry, “IeAAAA!” (“イ゛ェアアアア！”), all three performed by the game’s protagonist. Soon after the gameplay video became popular, the protagonist was often called by viewers as “IeA” (because of his death cry) and especially “Hiroshi” (because of his look resembling Hiroshi Nohara (野原 ひろし) from Crayon Shin-chan) in their opinions.
The next day after the popular gameplay video was uploaded, the first of its MAD video was uploaded to NND on January 3rd, 2008. This crosses over another music meme known as "Marisa stole the precious thing".
Then, the number of its MADs and parodies uploaded on NND rapidly increased. In addition, Japanese students’ had nearly 1 week for New Year’s Day break, so it was lucky for this meme’s exploding popularity that many NND users have enough time to make MADs and parodies quickly right on schedule back then. Fortunately along with that, the original game’s data was reproduced online by the efforts of some users.
As a result of this, more than 550 videos related to this game have been uploaded to NND, and many of them are also uploaded on YouTube. Moreover, some fanarts are occasionally uploaded to Flipnote Hatena.
Despite the game’s subtitle that reads “Episode 1”, Sankaku Onigiri and his son Tomo-chan haven’t released nor even announced its sequel yet. Due to this, some fans independently made their own original sequels. One example is The Cursed House (RC), which was made by users in the game’s thread on the /gameama/ (Doujin game) board in 2channel. Another example is The Cursed House (EX). This was made by another user and featured extra effects and new actions. This version is sometimes called “Hiroshi May Cry”, which is a pun for Hiroshi and Devil May Cry. Both fan-made sequels were made in January 2008, making their creating speed and motivation high at that time. The fan made sequels are also listed on a Wiki page for the game.
Left: The Cursed House (RC) | Right: The Cursed House (EX)
In November 2008, NHK’s Japanese monthly midnight TV show “The ☆ Net Star!” (ザ☆ネットスター！) aired an episode that introduced a gameplay video of it and praised its greatness. In February 2010, the show interviewed with the game’s main author Sankaku Onigiri by e-mail.
From this interview, it was revealed that Sankaku Onigiri was age 39 when he created the game. He lacked good skills to create a game. Inspired by the DOS game by Infogrames titled Alone In The Dark, which he saw was ported to the 3DO REAL sometime in 1994, he decided to create a survival horror computer game like that. However, he gave up making “Episode 2” because his son Tomo-chan lost interest in playing with him.
And by this interview, he noticed the explosion of his game’s popularity on the Internet. He said “All what I want to say for this situation is IeAAAAAAAAAAA (イﾞェアアアアアアアアアアア)”. Furthermore, he reopened his game’s page on Vector and updated the game for recent OS.
Currently in 2010, he is 53 and an officer of accounting and finance department on a enterprise, while his son “Tomo-chan” is 22 and is a public servant.
Left: Hardcore Techno Mix | Right: CheetahMen II Remix
Left: "U.N.Owen was her?" | Right: [NSFW!!] Angry German Kid
VS. Dracula from Konami’s Castlevania series