Katamari Damacy

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My, the Earth certainly is full of things.

The King of All Cosmos gets drunk one night, and on a drunken bender accidentally destroys all the stars in the sky. The following morning, he assigns his son, the Prince, to make new stars by collecting random objects from the Earth to be turned into stars. The Prince, who had been treated rather badly by his father up to now, does this by running the objects over with a big sticky ball that makes bigger and bigger clumps of objects as it collects them. The Prince starts by collecting ants and thumbtacks, and eventually moves on to whales, jumbo jets, office towers, and sports stadiums...

Katamari Damacy is a delightfully addictive acid trip that only the Japanese could have created. The controls are simple, the game is brightly coloured and fun, and, for the concerned parent, nonviolent--although you are rolling up people, most of whom scream. It's great at a party. Recreational drugs optional... and, really, they'd be redundant.

Games in the series:[edit | hide | hide all]

  • 塊魂 / Katamari Damacy (2004): The PlayStation 2 game that started it all.
  • みんな大好き塊魂 / We ♥ Katamari (2005): The only sequel on the PlayStation 2.
  • 僕の私の塊魂 / Me & My Katamari (2005/2006): An installment on the PlayStation Portable.
  • (ビューティフル塊魂 / Beautiful Katamari (2007): The first installment on the seventh generation of consoles, and the only one not to not be released on PlayStation consoles, instead being an XBox 360-exclusive title.
  • 塊魂TRIBUTE / Katamari Forever (2009): The only release for the PlayStation 3 in its 8-year lifespan. A re-packaging of stages from Katamari Damacy, We ♥ Katamari, and Beautiful Katamari, all remastered in HD. The game also has four brand-new (albeit short) stages.
  • 塊魂ノビータ / Touch My Katamari (2011/2012): An installment on the PlayStation Vita.

See also the official webcomic, simply titled Katamari, created by the same folks who write Buttersafe.


Tropes used in Katamari Damacy include:
  • Alliteration: Sort of. Both kanji in 塊魂 (Katamari Damacy) have the same right-hand radical; to a casual observer, the kanji appear almost identical.
  • Aerith and Bob: The Cousins' names. Ichigo and Marcy; Shikao and Nickel; Foomin and Dipp...
  • AI Is a Crapshoot: Played with in Katamari Forever with the RoboKing.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population - Ironically, given how brightly he dresses, the King has grey skin. Cousin Opeo, meanwhile, has blue skin. The colorful clothes everyone wears also invokes this, mainly since that's the easist way to tell most of them apart. (Aside from the Cousins with more distinctive shapes...)
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Presents, which you can equip in all sorts of combinations. In a nice touch, most presents look different depending on which character/cousin you're playing as.
    • By extension, the cousins themselves probably count as this, seeing as they all play the same.
  • Ass Shove: Referenced in the thermometer item description: "Used to measure your temperature. Put this in your mouth, armpit, or..."
  • Big No: "Students? Studying at school? Noooooooooooooooo!!!" - The King Of All Cosmos
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Certain cousins fall into this. For instance, TV lover Shikao shifted his face around just so he could watch scary movies out of the corner of his eye.
  • Black Bead Eyes: The Prince and his cousins.
  • Blatant Burglar: Lampshaded in We ♥ Katamari. The description for "Burglar" in the collection of items you have rolled up is "He wants to be stealthy, but he looks so obvious."
  • Bowdlerization: The English version of the first game omits the detail that the King was drunk when he broke the stars.
  • The Cameo: Various characters from The Idolmaster sing the Beautiful Katamari song "Unity" (Danketsu). They basically give quick self-introductions, argue over who gets to be the leader, and sing the choruses together.
    • That actually works both ways, since the main theme on The Idolmaster 2 is Unity.
  • Camp Straight: In the original version, The King. The Japanese dialogue is written to give him a feminine speech pattern, and you can hear it in his voice when he sings A Song for the King of Kings at the end of We Love Katamari. The sequel shows he genuinely fell in love with the Queen, so...
  • Charged Attack: The aptly-named Charge N' Roll technique. Use it carefully, however - it's all too easy to slam into a much larger object and lose items off your katamari.
  • Cloudcuckooland - Nobody will notice your Katamari until it grows big enough, and even then, the inhabitants of each level really like odd arrangements of their items...
  • Comic Book Adaptation: Katamari is actually a webcomic adaptation, available on Namco's Shiftylook site.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: One of the songs on the Katamari Damacy soundtrack is entitled "The Wonderful Stars Walk is Wonderful".
  • Destructive Saviour: You (as the Prince) are restoring the night sky, but at what cost? THE ENTIRE WORLD?
  • Did You Just Roll Up Cthulhu: You can roll up a kraken, several giant-sized superheroes, angels, mermaids...
  • Doom Doors: The sound the RoboKing makes in a Katamari Forever cutscene.
  • Downloadable Content: The "Lock and Key" system was used for Beautiful Katamari. Fans were not pleased.
  • Ear Worm: The entire soundtrack. Na na na na na na na na na...
  • Easy Amnesia: The King in Katamari Forever, after getting hit in the head by a meteor.
  • Ermine Cape Effect: Is the King's Royal Cape not the most elegant shade of pink?
  • Esperanto, the Universal Language: We are brushing up on Our skills.
  • Everything's Better With EVERYTHING
  • Franchise Zombie: Keita Takahashi only reluctantly agreed to help with We ♥ Katamari, and had nothing to with any of the other games past it.
  • Fungus Humongous: Mushrooms of all sizes can be rolled up. The largest covering a quarter of an island.
  • Genre Busting
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: There are several "Uranus" jokes in the last level of Beautiful Katamari.
    • One of the loading screens, reads "WE ♥ URANUS. WE ♥ KATAMARI, TOO. ♥
    • Even worse is the Cousin known as Johnson, who looks like a penis. Or Odeko, who's very proud of his long head.
    • At one point the King brags about "the size of Our royal thing". (He claims that it's larger than Russia, to be specific.)
    • If you manage to roll up both the King and Queen of the Cosmos in the Elephant/Bird level of We ♥ Katamari, the King will, in so many words, mention that sex inside a Katamari is great.
    • In the description for the handcuffs item, the King notes "If you do something really bad these may be used on you! Or if you are good...".
    • The King's description of the cobra item: "It's rumored that there are even larger ones hidden in trousers."
  • God: The King of All Cosmos is essentially this in the Katamari universe. Cosmos help them all.
  • Heroic Mime: Prince and his Cousins. Well, some shriek if you pick them up in single player, but...
    • In We ♥ Katamari and all games afterward, most Cousins' roll-up chattering consists of repeating their names or parts of them over and over again.
    • This trope is also played straight in cutscenes and in conversations with the King, as neither the Prince nor the Cousins are heard speaking, but the King sometimes responds to them, making it clear that they can speak - it's just that the player can't hear it.
  • Hollywood Atlas: Once you get big enough to roll out into the world in later games, you'll notice that countries are represented by stereotypical trappings and tourist locales. In the original games' credits, you can roll up the entire world as well.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: In We ♥ Katamari, one mission requires you to help a Sumo Wrestler bulk up for his match. After you reach a certain point, you can pick up people, who are not actually eaten, because the "Meals eaten" counter doesn't go up when you roll up inedible objects. Instead, they just sink into his sweaty fat folds.
  • Important Haircut: The King suffered one, as depicted in his flashbacks.
  • It Runs in The Family: The Prince's large collection of cousins, who combine all sorts of strange shapes and behaviors in addition to rolling katamari themselves. Inasmuch as a group like this can have a normal one, it's suggesed that the Queen Of All Cosmos is the "sane" one.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: See Love Hurts, below.
  • Kawaisa - The Prince and all his Cousins. With how many there are, each with their own distinctive look and Presents, there's bound to be at least one that gets you going "Awwww..."
  • King of All Cosmos: Trope Namer.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In Katamari Forever, the RoboKing openly wonders about the physics of turning katamaris into stars.
  • Leitmotif: Many items have distinct sounds associated with rolling them up (and some have sounds for crashing into them before you're large enough to collect them). After a short time playing, you'll come to recognize when you've rolled up a particular item by sound alone.
    • Also, "Katamari On The Rocks," the main theme to the first game, is pretty much the theme to the series and gets remixed frequently.
    • Not strictly a leitmotif because it has nothing to do with melody, but most if not all of the lyrical songs in the games include some variation on the Japanese verb "katamaru" (which describes the game's featured action).
  • Living Statue: It's amazing how many of the inanimate objects can move -- and flee in terror when you try to roll them up.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Each game introduces several new Cousins/Second Cousins/Distant Cousins... you get the idea. From We ♥ Katamari on, all of the cousins are playable after you've collected them, letting you give the Prince a break (and subsequently roll him up).
  • Looming Silhouette of Rage: The King at the game over screen, should you fail an objective.
    • If he's not shooting lasers at you.
  • Love Hurts: "Tough love" indeed. In any game, your father will mock you angrily for failing the level.
    • In We ♥ Katamari he fires lasers at you.
    • In Katamari Forever he throws bouncing meteors at you. If you like, you can try to dodge them for as long as possible, and the game will keep score. You can even get a trophy for reaching a certain score.
  • Lucky Charms Title: WeKatamari, read as We Love Katamari.
  • Meaningful Name: Several of the cousins have these, like the strawberry-shaped Ichigo, soup-bowl-headed Miso, cheerful and innocent June...
    • Also the game's name. "Katamari" means a "lump" or "mass" and "Damacy" is a corruption of "Damashii/Tamashii" for "soul." So an interpretation is "a mass of souls" or, in essence, "a mass of objects (rolled up into a Katamari ball)"
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Cowbear.
  • Mushroom Man: One of the Prince's second cousins, Kinoko, looks like a mushroom with arms and legs but no face.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Lalala: SHE'S NAKED!
  • No Fourth Wall: The entire premise of the second game is that the first was so popular that the King sends the Prince out to make more katamari for the fans.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall: The King of All Cosmos loves doing this.
  • Pandering to the Base: We ♥ Katamari, literally, which involves fulfilling requests from in-universe Katamari fans.
  • Parental Bonus: The items and their animations are often rather... interesting.
    • The descriptions of the items you've rolled up in the Collection screen are notably absurd. The King's descriptions for all the countries you roll up in Comet level in We ♥ Katamari in particular have jokes that would go over even adults' heads.
  • Playable Menu: The save game select screen uses the in-game controls, and while the Level/Character/Operation select systems (Select Meadow, Space Mushroom, etc.) do not, they are playable in their own way.
  • Popular Saying, But...: Love makes the world go round... But manners keep you from getting motion sickness.
  • Puzzle Platformer: At smaller sizes, the levels have ramps, bridges, and vertically-moving platforms (all built out of the same "ordinary" objects as the rest of the environment) that the player must carefully navigate to get to certain secret items.
    • The classification becomes more obvious with the introduction of the ability to jump.
  • Randomly Drops: There are some items that only occasionally appear on select levels... One Hundred Percent Completion is something only for the truly dedicated.
  • Royal We: The King always speaks like this.
    • Taken to its limit in Me and My Katamari, where (in a loading screen) the King breaks the fourth wall and says that the game should've been called "Us and Our Katamari."
  • Rule of Cute
  • Say It with Hearts: The King does this quite a lot.
  • Sentai: Jumboman, in all colors and sizes.
    • Royal Cousin Kuro also loves Sentai, and is known for striking poses.
  • Shout-Out: The LCD screen on Mag's face sometimes has a Pac-Man display.
    • In the We ♥ Katamari collection screen, the King describes Pakistan thus: "There's a city here called Harappa. But there aren't any rapping dogs."
    • In We ♥ Katamari, black-haired, white-clad ghosts can be seen emerging from wells in some levels - an obvious reference to Ring.
    • In one level, a Venus flytrap can be seen sticking out of a duct stuck in the ground, referencing the Piranha Plants from the Mario series.
    • An arcade game machine plays the Pac-Man theme when rolled up.
    • In Beautiful Katamari, the Cool Planet stage has many Xbox 360 consoles and controllers in the house and around the pool, including a collection of controllers arranged that spell out "360".
  • The Slacker: Goro the Slacker from Touch My Katamari.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Any relaxing, soothing background music becomes this as your Katamari becomes large enough to start absorbing people and buildings.
  • Sugar Bowl
  • The Tetris Effect: Play too long and you'll start calculating in your head how to roll up your surroundings. Na na na na na na na na...
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The optional sequence in the ending of the second, where the Prince tries to return to his home while the King rolls up everyone else into a katamari.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Why is it that no one notices a giant clump of rubbish rolling around until it's big enough to "collect" them? Or winged whales balancing on top of skyscrapers, grand pianos abandoned in the middle of the road, circles of dancing squid in the street, wrestling superheroes, volcano Gods, Buddhas, dancing vending machines, an elephant with afro'd musicians playing jazz on top of it, a hot air balloon dropping things, circles of dancing dead squid in the street, or a parking garage spinning on its own turntable?
    • Interestingly, only one of the Yoshidas (the son) notices the King of All Cosmos while they're flying to Top Shell Island. He's understandably surprised, and everyone else thinks he's crazy.
  • Uranus Is Showing: In the "Uranus" level of Beautiful Katamari, naturally. The King makes a few (completely unintentional) Uranus puns, and follows with "Why are you sniggering?" to the player character's (unheard) response.
  • Verbal Tic: In the English version, the King always speaks in Royal We, and has a habit of sticking weird adjectives into his sentences.
    • Although by the time We ♥ Katamari rolls around, the King is apparently learning Esperanto, though still rendered in the record scratches of the previous game. In the Japanese version, he is learning English. "Very Very Nice game..."
      • In the first game, he greets you at every level with a different language, including Esperanto.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: It's surprisingly soothing to hear living beings scream upon being rolled up. And nothing can quite beat the sadistic glee of rolling up something that was smacking you around mere minutes earlier (especially if it actively chased after your Katamari and knocked several precious objects out of it, repeatedly).
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: The King is rather stingy with praise throughout the entire series.
    • In Katamari Forever, he will only congratulate you for getting a score of 100/100 (or better). A score of 99 or lower is treated as mediocre.
    • This was also the relationship the young King and the Emperor had in the flashback reel of We ♥ Katamari.
  • What The Hell Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made On Drugs?!: "Katamari Damacy: not LSD, but an incredible simulation!"
  • "What the Hell?" Dad
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: None of the male cousins even blink at wearing a bikini. On the flip side, none of the girls ever mind wearing a mustache. Or any of the other Presents that one might associate with one gender over another.
  • Widget Series: It's a game whose goal is to roll the contents of the entire game world into a ball. Try explaining that to people.
    • To be fair, the contents of the entire world are already in a ball, when you think about it.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: Usually reserved for larger, longer stages, such as Make the Moon or Bird & Elephant. And yes, you CAN roll up the world in the end credits of the first game.
  • X Meets Y: Bubbles, an early 1980s arcade game by Williams, meets Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, or any other late-1990s brightly-colored 3D collect-fest.
  • Your Size May Vary: While the Prince's height is given as 5cm, he and the other cousins can appear in various places in various sizes. Lampshaded in-game via their roll-up profiles, which never specify their exact height.
    • The King's roll-up profile states that he can change his size whenever he pleases, "depending on (his) mood and atmospheric conditions," so presumably the Prince and the Cousins also have that ability.