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Headscratchers / Catherine

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  • A minor one but still odd. One of the questions that can alter your alignment is whether briefs or boxers look better on mennote . How exactly does your preference in underwear influence your alignment?
  • Who or what does Atlus have to thank for the game's unforeseen success? It sold pretty well for an Atlus produced game and anybody who hasn't heard of Atlus or Shin Megami Tensei seem to know about it to an extant.
    • Sex Sells
      • But with people who have no interest in anime graphics? I still consider that a feat.
      • Maybe rather than sex, per se, it's more the relationship and romance. I know I bought it because I was interested in how you would control the choice between K and C, and how the relationships would play out.
      • Mature treatments of open ended relationships certainly are rare in videogames. Maybe in this case a fresh idea happened to be a winning formula?
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    • A new definition of "unforeseen success?" It did about in the same range as the last two "mainline" Persona games, indicating that while the fanservicey packaging drew a lot of interest, sales probably went to the Atlus base.
  • This troper can't see how anyone can like Catherine (aside from the obvious). All of Vincent and Catherine's supposed hookups happen when the former is so drunk he can't remember anything, and that's assuming that sex happened at all in the first place. So either Catherine's raping Vincent every night, or she's tricking him into thinking he's cheating on Katherine with her. Neither option puts Catherine in the nicest of lights.
  • Why do people keep crying Financial Abuse in reference to Katherine? The most she does in relation to Vincent's finances is suggest that he ought to stop blowing cash on useless crap all the time. Even Vincent will comment on his poor financial situation at certain points. But Katherine doesn't even touch his money at all at any point.
    • If I remember correctly, Katherine says at one point that she'll handle the finances after she and Vincent marry, which is apparently enough for some fans to accuse her of being a financially abusive Control Freak.
      • It doesn't help that this is a Japanese made game with Japan being infamous for such wives. This sparks such fears despite the game being set in the US.
  • The reasoning behind the nightmares and Catherine honestly doesn't make sense. The whole thing just being a scheme to keep the population up, using Catherine to manipulate the male, and the nightmares to keep them on edge, and freaked out. I can kinda understand that. What I find kinda hard to comprehend is why the nightmares kill off the dreamer. Considering that Martha and Lindsay say that about 750'000 die of unknown causes, and that a vast majority is due to the nightmares, wouldn't that reduce the population by a large amount on an immediate scale, countering the countless months (if not years) to have the female get together with someone new, like the other male enough to want to marry, and then wait the 9 months for children? And what if this woman or man is infertile?
    • Gods, in general, never seem capable of thinking up these facts when it comes to humans and their ways or limitations. Possibly a case of Gods Cannot Comprehend Humans?
      • Since Gods have much more time on their hands than us humans, immediate short term planning is fairly pointless. Kill off 750,000 men who won't breed with women, increase the chances of the 400,000 'correct' men getting with women and making babies. Going with a hypothetical average of two kids per couple; that's a net gain of 50,000 humans....That or Izanagi is stepping in; you want to go into Japanese Mythology, since gods are real in this setting. (Izanami kills 1000 people each day, Izanagi has 1500 people born each day)
  • If Catherine is supposed to represent the free-spirited open relationship choice, how come she's so incredibly jealous? Doesn't that undermine the whole argument? "I'll kill you if I see anyone else with you" isn't very chaos-y, in fact, it's pretty controlling. More controlling than Katherine even.
    • Well she does represent Vincent's ultimate, perfect desire of lust and perfect girlfriend - so maybe her being so Yandere is just what he wants and finds hot?
    • While she is supposed to represent those things, we also see that once she falls in love with Vincent that Catherine's real nature/personality takes precedence over the role she is supposed to be playing (she also seems to think she is protecting him at this point).
  • When Katherine drops by Vincent's when Catherine is there, Catherine goes into the bathroom and later flushes the toilet. Considering she is an illusion in that world, how would she be able to even interact with the flush? She only has a visual body to the men she seduces so... it shouldn't work.
    • Well, consider the fact that she has been seen able to interact with other objects (such as drinking drinks and slipping on the cup saucer in their first encounter).
  • Vincent is convinced that he slept with Catherine. How come he didn't think it odd that, while she was completely naked, he was still wearing his underwear? Even if we assume it was Right Through His Pants, wouldn't they be, you know, somewhat moved? And this isn't merely a case of his scene-model wearing the underpants, the animated cutscene of waking up next to Catherine has a glimpse of his underpants under the blanket.
    • Most boxer shorts have an opening in front (you know, for peeing). They probably didn't bother drawing it in because why would they need to?
  • One of the confessional questions is what you'd do, if your lover was in love with someone else. How come the decision to 'cling what is mine' refers to Chaos and not Law? Wouldn't it make more sense that I'm trying to keep my relationship together be more of a sign for Law? Or is this going the route of 'true love means letting go'?
    • What generally produces the more chaotic result; to fight for a relationship that's doomed to fail, or to cut your losses and move on?
  • It's revealed that the nightmares occur to men who spend a long amount of time in a relationship 'with no commitment'. Turns out that story is bull, but that's not the point. How come longstanding relationships are referred to as having no commitment? It requires some proper commitment to stay in a relationship for such a long time, including Vincent spending five years with Katherine. Not to mention, being in a 'no commitment' relationship doesn't impede the chance of having children to begin with. What's this 'no commitment' bullshit?
    • 'Commitment' is rather subjective in terms of what is considered the right amount of commitment. In Vincent's case, he was committed enough to spend five years with Katerine, but not enough to 'seal the deal', in the eyes of Ishtar/Astaroth/Dumuzid. After all, a married couple is much more likely to procreate than two casual lovers, namely due to social values. A stagnated pair like Vincent and Katherine was rather situational, we could classify them as a borderline case.
  • In hindsight, this game makes no sense if it takes place anywhere except Japan, and considering the names of the characters it clearly isn't meant to. Catherine's plot only works in the context of Japan's population crisis, because in most of the world the idea that demons kill off men who are keeping women from having children for the sake of the population is crazy. It ignores the fact that our planet is ridiculously overpopulated and if anything, there need to be less children being born than there are right now. If the gods really were doing this everywhere in the world, it essentially means they're overbreeding us until our numbers become unsustainable for our resources.
    • However, the True Freedom ending reveals that the city seems to be a space colony (likely on Mars, considering Vincent's comment earlier about "I think someone on Mars didn't quite hear you!"). Population management would be a bit more of an issue in space, depending on how far the colonization process is going. Another point is that this is plan is being spun off by the goddess of fertility, who probably has a vested intrest in keeping the population expanding, along with her other reason to keep it going.
    • The game still makes sense in other first world countries too.While Japan's aging trend is the most notorious case, Italy is just as bad, Germany is not too far behind, and the rest of the first world also going on an aging trend too. It's actually the USA being the exception amongst the first world; it only averts this problem due to immigration, and even that apparently will result in 1 out of 5 Americans being senior citizens by 2050.See here for an overview.
  • Why do people list this game as Shin Megami Tensei spinoff when there's not much that connects the two other than cameos?
    • Big one is Ishtar / Astaroth being a single character with both a female Ishtar form and male Astaroth is something entirely specific to Shin Megami Tensei, from their weird merging of multiple mythological traditions about Ishtar and her Christian corruption Astaroth. They've entirely spun off their interpretation of Ishtar / Astaroth to create the lore of this game. And of course Nergal shows up too. And Teddie. Beyond that, it's a game with Order Versus Chaos themes, with a Karma Meter split between Angelic, Neutral and Demonic options that lead to three different ending paths (exactly like LAW, CHAOS, NEUTRAL in main series). It's also an Urban Fantasy game dealing with contemporary people involved with supernatural occurrences. You can play music on the jukebox from Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, Persona 4 and so on. And Vincent does indeed show up in Persona 3 Portable. This is to basically say, since it is agreed Jack Bros., Persona 4: Arena, Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night, and all the other non-Mon games are spin-offs due to overlapping characters, secondary gameplay systems and thematic similarity, then this game is too.
  • One of the questions asks whether or not you'd date someone that was already married. The option for "No" is worded as "I would never cheat!" Pretty sure that this hypothetical Mrs. Robinson would be the one cheating, not the player...
    • If the player knows this lady is already married, then they're complicit in the cheating (as opposed to being kept in the dark, and thus unknowingly dating a married woman).
      • Knowingly dating a married woman still wouldn't make the player guilty of cheating. There's a reason that aiding a convicted murderer isn't considered as bad as actually murdering someone (not to say that extramarital affairs and murder are on the same level or anything, but you get my point).
      • The problem comes from the fact that, unlike murder, theft, etc, cheating is something that demands a partner (as opposed to a victim). The player might not be technically cheating, themselves, if they're not in a relationship, but they're still enabling infidelity.
  • So this whole scheme with the nightmares is meant to prevent the population from decreasing. So then why are the men who are having non-succubi-related affairs or are just constantly sleeping around with various women getting these nightmares? Wouldn't impregnating multiple women at once be a greater benefit to the population than just committing to a single woman?
    • Remember this entire scheme is actually a way for Ishtar to find a replacement for the Big Bad. So it's actually just because she needs to find someone who would be willing to dump his girlfriend for her (or already be available) if they were worthy. But yes, Dumuzid is, putting it lightly, not very bright, and Vincent outright calls him out on how his explanation for this plan basically makes no sense.
      • This has its own headscratchingness as if she picks out of such a crop, she'd be rather likely to get a repeat of Dumuzid.
  • How did Vincent even survive the Cathedral? He never opened the door (which kills the Boss of the current level), and instead decided to stay with (dream/fake?) Katherine a few blocks down (knowing that, y'know, said blocks can disappear over time, thus dooming him). Being saved by Astaroth/Dumuzid might be a thing, but that'd mean risking the fact that they might give away their identities (which they probably don't want any human to know about them, considering Dumuzid's response to Vincent in the last stage in regards to Astaroth) considering that Vincent seems to recall at least a tiny bit of his dreams.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: If Vincent really was worried and didn't want to end up cheating with Catherine, to the point that he tries staying up all night at one point, why doesn't he take the simple solution, sleep at Katherine's place?
    • As Vincent will admit in the Lovers endings, even if he technically didn't do so in the end, he did in fact want to cheat on Katherine. We could also discuss his suspicions that Katherine was the "Witch" causing all the weird stuff to happen to him in the first place making him scared of her, but at the end of the day it comes down to Vincent being a bad person who didn't want to be with his girlfriend for a period of time yet wouldn't even discuss any of his feelings with her. Whether he grows out of these feelings or decides to embrace them, of course, is up to player choice.
  • Is this game canon with the Persona series or no? Vincent's cameo back in Persona 3 Portable seems to imply they may, but it just raises questions regarding the Persona 5 DLC for the rerelease.
    • It is not. There is no commercial space travel or the like in Persona. From Persona's point of view, it was just a weird dream the cast had one night. At best it is two worlds from The Multiverse of Shin Megami Tensei as a whole temporarily overlapping, or a similar situation to Shin Megami Tensei if... and Persona where similar events and characters exist in different universes.
      • However this ignores the fact that this game takes place in the future, as the main character among with others are on a Space Colony. So it's still possible that both Persona and this game take place inside of the same universe, just with Catherine taking place in the future.

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