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...The game was popular enough to garner two sequels, Minna Daisuki Katamari Damacy ("Everyone Loves Katamari Damacy", released in the States as We ♥ Katamari) and Boku no Watashi no Katamari Damacy for the PSP ("My My Katamari Damacy", released in the States as Me and My Katamari). A third sequel, Beautiful Katamari, has been released for the Xbox 360, and had been planned for the Wii but ran into some problems concerning the controller. A fourth game, Katamari Forever (Katamari Tribute in Japan) has been released for the PS3, the first Katamari game in high-definition. There is also i Love Katamari, a Katamari game for the iPhone and iPod Touch, which is a lot shorter than the other games, but has all the essentials. A version was also made in 2012 for the Playstation Vita titled Touch My Katamari.Katamari Damacy is a delightfully addictive acid trip that only the Japanese could have created. The controls are essentially an extended form of tank-based movement using both analog sticks and take a while to get used to, but 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.In September of 2012, a Webcomic based on the series was launched on Shifty Look, titled simply Katamari.This series has a character sheet.
Provides examples of:
Added Alliterative Appeal: Sort of. Both kanji in 塊魂 (Katamari Damacy) have near-identical right-hand radicals; to a casual observer, the entire kanji appear almost identical.
Aerith and Bob: The Cousins' names. Ichigo and Marcy; Shikao and Nickel; Foomin and Dipp...
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.
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 iDOLM@STER 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...
The Royal Family, including in some games, the King himself...
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, as the DLC levels taken together totalled only about 300k of data. This made it fairly obvious that the content already shipped with the game and there was no reason not to include those levels in the game disc. Also you must download them to unlock certain achievements.
DLC returned for Touch My Katamari in a better fashion. That said, the extra levels are free downloads, and even after downloading them, you have to find "Fan Damacys" in the game to unlock them. OR You can pony up the cash, buy a bunch of Fan Damacys on the PSN and unlock 'em right away. You can also purchase music, which also costs music but isn't required to clear the game.
Earworm: 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.
Fanservice: What the plot of We ♥ Katamari basically amounts to
Foe-Tossing Charge: Mobile items that are just barely big enough for you to pick up will go flying the first time you hit them before you can roll them up. Combine a large number of such items with a charged roll...
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.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Supposedly you're on Earth with the addition of the fictional Sunflower Continent. However, the first two games in the series seem to point away from this outside of the credits of the first and a bonus level on the second. The largest level in Katamari Damacy ends with the prince inside of a bounded, bowl-shaped ocean while We ♥ Katamari's has you literally rolling over the surface of the whole world without any of the traditional continents in sight. Also, the Sunflower Continent doesn't show up in either games' Roll Up Countries stages. Beautiful Katamari was the first to finally put the two together, with the Sunflower Continent somewhere south of Japan.
Happy Ending Override: A mild example between the first two games: At the end of Katamari Damacy, the King announces that the sky is complete, but We ♥ Katamari reveals that actually only the stars immediately around Earth were restored, and there's still a lot of work to do.
Heroic Mime: Prince and his Cousins. Well, some shriek if you pick them up in single player, but...
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: Not the Prince himself, but in We ♥ Katamari, there is a mission where you have to help a Sumo Wrestler bulk up for his match. After you reach a certain point, you can pick up people, who scream before slowly vanishing into the Sumo Wrestler's body...
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.
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).
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 Beautiful Katamari he tries to crush you with billiard balls.
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.
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)"
The meaning in this case is more akin to something like "team spirit", so it's more like "an undying love of lumbing things together."
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.
Pokémon Speak: A lot of the Cousins' dialogue when being rolled up falls under this. Naturally, this becomes Lost in Translation for the Cousins who went through name changes between regions.
Popular Saying But: Love makes the world go round... But manners keep you from getting motion sickness.
Put on a Bus: Out of all the many Cousins, only a handful made it into Touch My Katamari, only one found in each level. note Specifically, Ace, Dipp, Foomin, Fujio, Ichigo, June, Lalala, Marcy, Miso, Odeko, Opeo, Peso, Velvet and the Prince. The King's official Twitter explained the others were on 'vacation'.
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... 100% Completion is something only for the truly dedicated.
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.
Unstable Equilibrium: In the multiplayer modes, whoever builds their katamari even slightly bigger has the immediate advantage. Both players are capable of a charge attack to knock stuff off the other katamari, but the bigger one can throw his weight around much easier. After enough of a size gap, the bigger player can actually suck up the other player into his katamari as if he were an object. The smaller guy can technically break free after a while, but the game is as good as lost at this point.
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 Hoshinos (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).
Wacky Racing: The F1 level in We Love Katamari most certainly qualifies as this.
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.
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.