Katamari Damacy is an action puzzle game developed and originally published by Namco (now Bandai Namco) in 2004. The basic gameplay centers on rolling a round object called a katamari (literally translated as "clump") with the ability to pick up other objects smaller than itself in order to grow bigger; once the katamari is large enough, it is launched into space and becomes a star or other celestial object. Katamari Damacy is notable for its bright, simple aesthetic and the quirkiness of its gameplay mechanics, as well as its whimsical story and eccentric characters.
The core concept for Katamari Damacy originated from its director Keita Takahashi, who began developing the game as a student project. After Katamari's initial release, it received acclaim for its unique gameplay and became a cult hit. The original game went on to spawn a long-running franchise; however, Takahashi would only continue as the series' director for one sequel, We Love Katamari.
The King of all Cosmos has destroyed every star in the night sky by means of an inebriated rampage through space. He has tasked his son, the Prince, to create new stars by using balls known as katamari. As the Prince, the player attempts to roll up as many items as they can so the resulting katamaris can be used to create new stars.
The King appears often in game, and usually with humorous comments about life on earth. He refers to himself in third-person with liberal use of the royal "We," and happens to have a voice that sounds like a record player being scratched. The King is larger than the Earth, and his sculpted body is clad in a tight black suit.
The game doesn't have a specific plot line, but the Prince must create stars to the King's specifications and doing so shall unlock new stages. The tiny Prince ends up getting tasked to rebuild the moon with help from the Hoshino family, whom the Prince will come to know through the various cutscenes.
The hub world, known as the Home Planet, serves as a way of checking what items the katamari has rolled up, what constellations the Prince has created (from completing certain stages which focus on a different task than usual) and allows the player to save the game and change various settings.
He can then float down to earth and start playing stages. In the story stages, the King will task the Prince to create a katamari of a specific size or higher in a certain time limit. The earlier stages will have the Prince rolling a katamari around houses, and then gradually he will move out into the open world by completing more stages, culminating in a stage where he has to create the Moon.
There are also "Constellation" levels, where the Prince has to do other activities rather than creating the biggest possible katamari. He may have to collect crabs to recreate the constellation of Cancer, or to find and roll up the largest bear possible to make Ursa Major, among many others.
The "Eternal" levels are stages in which the Prince may roam around specific stages. There is no time limit, no size requirement, just the ability to make the katamari as big as possible and seeing the sights. The player unlocks these stages by getting a large score on levels 4, 8 and the "Make a Moon" stage.
Multiplayer is available in a competitive form. The players take control of either the Prince or one of his many cousins. They are placed in a small area of the game and compete to gather the most objects possible in a three minute time limit. They can bump pieces off the other player's katamari, which provides an advantage as the player can then collect the fallen objects.
The game utilizes a dual-analog stick control system. The player has to push both analog sticks forward to move forward, both sticks to the right if they want to strafe right, etc. To turn, the user must either push just one stick forwards or backwards, or one stick forwards and the other backwards, which is faster than the former method. If one pressed the left stick forward, the katamari will turn to the right, simulating the Prince's left hand pushing forward. The Prince can perform a 'spin dash' by rapidly moving both sticks forwards and backwards, which, similar to Sonic's spin charge ability in his 2D games, gives the Prince a short boost of speed.
Katamari Damacy utilizes a unique graphical style. It is very blocky and at times rough to look at, but critics and consumers alike praised its uniqueness, which allows the game to use bigger and more plentiful areas of gameplay, and was kept in the multiple sequels. The graphical choice reduces CPU and GPU load, allowing for faster load times and larger levels (although in some of the later levels there are loading screens when the katamari is big enough to progress to a new area).
The unique soundtrack, primarily composed by Yuu Miyake was loved by critics, who applauded its mix of electronica, country and soft rock.
Name: Katamari Fortissimo DamacyTotal length: 75:14
- "Nananan Katamari" - 1:21
- "Katamari on the Rocks ~ Main Theme" - 5:57
- "Overture" - 0:49
- "The Moon and the Prince" - 5:30
- "Fugue #7777" - 1:22
- "LONELY ROLLING STAR" - 5:44
- "The Wonderful Star's Walk Is Wonderful" - 3:12
- "Katamari Manbo ~ Katamari Syndrome mix" - 5:35
- "You Are Smart" - 3:32
- "A Crimson Rose and a Gin Tonic" - 4:29
- "WANDA WANDA" - 3:23
- "Que Sera Sera" - 5:31
- "Angel-Flavored Present" - 5:08
- "Katamaritaino" - 5:54
- "Katamari Stars" - 2:28
- "Cherry Blossom Color Season" - 6:14
- "Lovely Angel" - 1:27
- "Stardust Fanfare" - 0:08
- "Last Samba" - 1:00
- "Katamari of Love ~ Ending Theme" - 4:09
- "Katamari March Damacy" - 2:20