While the world of video games has always been defined by a wide-open world of possibility, nobody had ever thought, “Hey, what if that possibility was defined by TRIPPING ACID?” That is, until the introduction of the Katamari series.
Watch this intro video, then decide how badly you want to keep reading. Here’s a hint: it should be A LOT.
Excited? Of course you are.
The world of Katamari was introduced in the 2004 Playstation 2 game Katamari Damacy. Roughly translated, Katamari means “clump” or “blob”. Damacy is basically “soul” or “spirit”, so basically a life force. All of this means that when translated, the game means something along the lines of “Gathering Soul” which offers about as much explanation as anything else in the game.
The protagonist of the series is The Prince of the Cosmos.
The Prince takes that ball, known as the Katamari, and rolls it around picking up everything in its way. The reason behind this? Correcting the mistakes of his father, the King of All Cosmos.
The King apparently has this habit of destroying all of the stars in the universe, which means he then orders his tiny son to gather up objects that he then turns into new stars. This is absolutely what the game is about. There is no exaggeration here. The entire plot revolves around the King destroying stars, then his son trying to fix things.
Just wait. It’s about to get even better.
Here is the plot of the latest installment of the series, Katamari Forever: The Prince is practicing his jumping one day, which prompts the King to show him up. The King jumps as high as possible, just to spite his son, which sends him into the cosmos, where he collides with a meteor. This causes him to crash back on earth, slipping into a coma and losing his memory.
The Prince and his cousins spring into action, doing the only natural thing: building a robot copy of the King.
Robo-King, however, promptly malfunctions and destroys all of the stars in the universe (surprise surprise). He then lands and spends the rest of the game feeling really guilty and self-conscious about it.
In all of these games, the purpose is to collect as many items as possible and make the Katamari huge. In the process, the Prince sucks up everything around, living or not. The Katamari continues to grow, eventually encompassing people, cities, and even continents.
While it seems so funny and entertaining in the process to see just how large the Katamari can get and what it can pick up, one cannot ignore the final product. Eventually, the Katamari will be hurled into space and turned into a star. This means that everything it consists of is hurled into space.
This includes animals, children, people, and entire cities. All of it is destroyed.
One could get philosophical and claim that it has to do with the circle of life or something, but the truth of the matter is, Katamari is not an innocent, quirky game about rolling a ball. It’s a game about mass destruction and murder.
And between the destruction of all life just to create a new star, an amazing soundtrack, and the fact that the King of All Cosmos is never satisfied with anything you accomplish, what else could you ask for in a video game?