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Video Game / Namco High

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"I think I know what the people want, I said. What they WANT, is to be able to manipulate their favorite classic video game characters into a variety of lurid but safe-for-work romantic encounters. What they WANT, for instance, is to cajole a cute Katamari into some sort of kissing situation with the spaceship from Galaga."

Namco High is a Dating Sim by Bandai Namco Entertainment and Homestuck author Andrew Hussie. The game stars the Cousin of the Prince from Katamari Damacy as they navigate the romantic ins and outs of a high school setting. It features several characters from Namco Bandai's library (such as Lolo from Klonoa and the aforementioned ship from Galaga) and three "exchange students" from Homestuck. Six of the characters (Al B. Tross, Anti-Bravoman, Galaga, Lolo, Meowkie and Valkyrie) are free, and you can get others by purchasing either single characters or characters packs.

When it was up, you could play the game on the ShiftyLook website. Sadly, the website is no longer functioning. However, there is a working mirror up here which can be downloaded here (with all the paid characters too!).


  • 10-Minute Retirement: Mr. Driller gives up digging for about a day on his route in horror at the destruction he accidentally caused, but Cousin snaps him out of it.
  • Acting Unnatural: Richard Miller is good at many things. Acting casually, to avert suspicion, is not one of them.
  • Almost Kiss: In Mr. Driller's route, he and Cousin almost kiss on the roof after they give him a Rousing Speech and reignite his love for digging, but Pac-Man interrupts them. Later on, however, he gives Cousin a chaste kiss on the cheek.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: When King is facing to the right of the screen, the word "King" on his belt is the right way around. When he faces to the left, most visibly while opening the Confiscatorium, it suddenly becomes mirror-writing. Meowkie's hall monitor badge is also known to flip sides.
  • Ambiguous Gender:
    • Cousin will always be referred to by non-gender-specific pronouns, to allow players to interpret Cousin as whatever gender and sexuality they prefer. Being that Hussie has previously encouraged gay and lesbian ships in Homestuck, this isn't surprising. However, Taira calls Cousin "Dude", and Davesprite possibly refers to Cousin as a "boyfriend" (he might also be referring to himself from Cousin's point of view; it's unclear).
    • Possibly Galaga as well.
    Cousin: But -
    Pac-Man: Be. True. To. Yourself.
    • Subverted with Davesprite, because him being true to himself is more counterproductive than it has any right to be.
  • Art Shift: Most characters are drawn by different artists and, as such, have different styles.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Cousin, should they join the drama club.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Terezi tells Cousin they remind her of her old partner, who was a grouchy person. Homestuck readers probably assume she means Karkat. In reality, she's talking about Pyralspite, her favorite Scalemate (stuffed dragon toy). Cousin accidentally rolled it up into their Katamari, sparking the caliginous feelings Terezi has for them.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Valkyrie's ending, in which she goes back to her own time period.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: Or "Cousin Meets Undead Samurai" in this case for Taira's route.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: This is Davesprite's shtick being a omniscient game guide and so on.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: "A Cool Guy From Last Year", who very closely resembles Al B. Tross, pulls this in the Richard Miller route.
  • The Cameo: Other than the students, we have President Dig Dug, and King from Tekken in charge of detention.
  • Canon Foreigner: Cousin was never in any previous Katamari games.
  • Catchphrase: Cousin's "Nailed it."
  • Club Stub: The Digging Club on Mr. Driller's route has two members, the absolute bare minimum to be an official school club. As Cousin is the second member, it's implied that it doesn't even exist on the other routes.
  • Crossover: Bandai Namco Entertainment and Homestuck characters in a high school setting.
  • Crossover Couple: None of the characters you can date are from Katamari, to say the very least.
  • Dating Sim
  • Double Entendre: Nidia's route is chock full of these. For one thing, "Combining into a dragon" or just "Combining" is repeatedly used as an allegory for sex. Cousin thinks Nidia's "grinding" refers to the dance move, and remarks that she's "so experienced" after she tells them she's Combined before (Cousin is embarrassed to reveal that they never have). Furthermore, Nidia reminisces about Combining with her previous partner, saying it's "the most natural thing in the world," and reveals that she's in detention for trying to force other students to Combine with her, which is referred to as "harassment." Lastly, her special ending has her and Cousin (literally) combining into a dragon. Heavens! Kind of puts her earlier "Sometimes a dragon is just a dragon" comment in perspective...
  • Dysfunction Junction: There are self-esteem issues, obsessive tendencies, and paranoiac conditions aplenty.
  • Easter Egg: One that references Homestuck. When entering Zoosmell Pooplord as your name, you get the response "TRY AGAIN, SMARTBUTT."
  • Evil Counterpart: Evil Namco High, which captures Pac-Man late in the game.
  • Evil Lawyer Joke: In Tomari's route, he renounces inventing to become a law student when convinced there's no way to prevent ten thousand years of darkness and evil. When Cousin asks how useful lawyers will be in this time, Tomari says he wants to fit in.
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Meowkie's parents wanted her not to end up in a life of crime like them, and moved to the town so she could attend Namco High and get a good education; that's why being a Hall Monitor means so much to her.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Meowkie is ostracized and blamed for everything because her race is assumed to be Always Chaotic Evil, something which causes her a significant amount of distress.
    • In a more humorous example, Pac-Man is prejudiced against the "weird foreign exchange students" from Homestuck, with them being the only characters whom he tells not to be themselves.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Valkyrie somehow ended up in the modern day, even though she's from a Medieval Stasis series. This doesn't seem to stop her too much, since she pretty quickly picks up Leet Lingo and other quirks of the high school setting. As it's later explained, she was sent forward in time by Zouna, a time wizard from her series. She's concerned about what Zouna is doing in her own time period, and she's attending Namco High primarily so she can find a way to get back.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Jane, hardcore. She describes herself as a "hard-nosed skeptic" and refuses to believe that anything out of the ordinary happens at Namco High, taking this to absurd extremes such as by claiming that a classroom is too small to hold a spaceship (even though Galaga is sitting right there) and failing to realize that her friends Terezi and Davesprite are anything other than cosplay enthusiasts. At the end of her route, she admits that maaaybe some strange things do happen at the school.
  • Flat "What": Cousin has a tendency of pulling these out.
  • For Your Own Good: Mr. Driller's father tells him and sincerely believes that forbidding him from digging is for his own good, as he fears that Mr. Driller is poised to become just as obsessed with it as he once was. In the end he realizes it was wrong to take something so important away from his son and that together they can learn moderation in digging.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Terezi Pyrope, Jane Crocker and Davesprite are described as such in-game (fittingly, as they're the only characters that don't come from a Namco game).
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: Davesprite's role in a nutshell. Being an omniscient game-guide has probably something to do with it.
  • Freemium: Al B. Tross, Anti-Bravoman, Galaga, Lolo, Meowkie and Valkyrie all have their routes available for free. In order to access the rest, you have to pay real money. You can buy content either individually, in packs of three or all of it in a single purchase. This last option is the only one that includes the routes for the Homestuck cameos.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: After your first run through with Davesprite, it turns out that his fears of remembering the previous run through were unfortunately correct. Davesprite will watch you run through the game as many times as you please, remembering each one. And the worst part? If you go through Davesprite's route again, he acknowledges this, but has the exact same lines of dialog as before. Davesprite could relive the same romance over and over, and have no damn way to stop it.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Evil Namco High, whose students and faculty consist of robot copies, on some character routes.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Cousin is the protagonist's default name, but they can be named anything you like. Except Zoosmell Pooplord.
  • High School AU: Many of the characters present in Namco High either were adults or never even go to high school in their series of choice. This is particularly noticeable with Mr. Driller's unnamed Missing Mom. In the actual Mr. Driller series, his mom is Toby Masuyo, who in this game is both much younger and completely unrelated.
  • Instant Costume Change: When she reveals her secret identity to Cousin, Aki transforms instantly from her civilian clothes to her superhero outfit.
  • Interspecies Romance: Cousin describes themself as an alien in Aki's route, which makes every romance in the game interspecies. Even if one chooses to instead interpret them as Ambiguously Human or simply doesn't know Cousin is an alien, this still applies when choosing to pursue Meowkie (a cat), Davesprite (a half-crow, half-human Exposition Fairy), and Terezi (a different kind of alien). Lolo might count as well, being Little Bit Beastly.
    Cousin: ALIENS ARE REAL??? (Besides me, I mean.)
  • It Runs in the Family: In the Namco High continuity, both Mr. Driller and his father struggle with an obsession with digging.
  • Konami Code: Referenced very subtly. It's the order of the secret handshake for cheat code sellers and villains; at least that's what Cousin implies to Al B. Tross.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to usual Homestuck fare (murder, sexual humor, strong language), none of that is present in Namco High. The "TRY AGAIN, SMARTASS" joke of Zoosmell Pooplord is Bowdlerised into "TRY AGAIN, SMARTBUTT".
  • Marry Them All: Parodied. While Davesprite keeps teasing the existence of such an ending, it doesn't appear to actually be there.
    Davesprite: just means i wont tell you any of the locations of the ten secret easter eggs that when gathered all together unlock the route to the perfect harem ending
    the characters all have special outfits for that one
    if you know what i mean
    Davesprite: haha that oughta keep those suckers busy for a while
  • Maybe Ever After: At the end of Hiromi's route. Her relationship with her partner Toby is very heavily implied to be a romantic one, with there also being the implication that her feelings for Cousin aren't quite platonic either. At the end the three of them ride off on Hiromi's motorcycle together into the sunset with all of them having become friends; whether its the start of a polyamorous relationship between the three of them or simply Hiromi/Toby and Cousin being a dear friend isn't said.
  • Multiple Endings: You get a different ending based on who you choose to fight alongside you when you go to rescue Pac-Man from Evil Namco High. From there, you can get three endings:
    • Golden Ending: Successfully obtain your character of choice's three events. You fight with them together and save Pac-Man from Evil Namco High. After the credits, you will get a CG involving Cousin and the character you romanced.
    • Mediocre Ending: You only get two out of three of the character's events, but you talk to the character you choose the day before Pac-Man gets kidnapped. This ending results in you winning, but you don't get the CG.
    • Bad End: You only talk to your chosen character once. When you both go to fight Evil Namco High, you are either defeated or the character you were with grows apart from you (not talking to Valkyrie the third day but the other two still results in a sad ending).
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Anti-Bravoman describes Poetry Club as being full of nice people... and him.
  • Mythology Gag: At least one for every character just about. King's observation that the man you're about to murder in cold blood could be your best friend is a direct reference to him and archnemesis turned best friend Craig Marduk from the Tekken franchise.
  • New Transfer Student: Cousin (the Player Character), as well as the Homestuck characters.
  • Odd Friendship: Cousin is surprised to find that Meowkie (a small and very nervous cat girl) and King (a Large Ham wrestler who intimidates the rest of the school) are good friends.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • The final battle with Evil Namco High generally consists of your character and their romantic partner leaping in, followed by cutting straight to the conclusion. You may get a few other details to make you wish you'd seen more. Meowkie, for example, is apparently quite the Badass Adorable.
    • Cousin's speech to Dig Dug that convinces him to not only give Mr. Driller his drills back so he can help save Pac-Man but also team up with the two of them himself happens off screen and is just summarized by Dig Dug. Apparently they were very persuasive.
  • Oh, Crap!: Mr. Driller's reaction when he realizes that hitting a pipe while digging when he was supposed to be in detention accidentally destroyed his father's statue.
  • Riding into the Sunset: The ending of Hiromi's route has her, Toby, and Cousin ride off into the sunset together as they leave to explore the world.
  • Robosexual: If you choose to pursue Galaga, a spaceship.
  • Robot Me: Every student who attends Evil Namco High is this to Namco High's students, complete with robotic faceplates and LED eyes.
  • Shipper on Deck: Cousin has to play matchmaker for their classmates, in addition to finding a date for themselves.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sitting on the Roof: In his route, Mr. Driller and Cousin sit on the roof together after he destroys his father's statue and gives up digging. He asks them to come there with him because he wants to be as far from the ground (and the painful memories of digging) as possible.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse:
    • The description for the Galaga ship about being "THE MOST ALLURING, CAPTIVATING, AND ENCHANTING THING IN THE UNIVERSE"? It's not an exaggeration. The constant attention and favoritism it receives from others has made it unable to accomplish anything on its own merits, and it thinks Cousin is only nice to it because of its beautiful hull.
    • Donko has similar issues stemming from her cuteness and popularity; one of the things she initially likes about Cousin is that she can rely on them to be sincere rather than pouring on the flattery.
  • Spiritual Successor: The bizarre premise being the hook for a Dating Sim might seem rather familiar to those who remember Hatoful Boyfriend, the game where a human girl tries to date sentient birds. The fact some of the love interests in this game are similar to the dateable birds doesn't help, like Anghel and Davesprite or Yuuya and Al B. Tross.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: All over the place, particularly with Anti-Bravoman. For example:
  • Tempting Fate: After anxiously considering what kind of bizarre and dangerous students they're probably in detention with, Cousin says they hope no one talks to them. Immediately afterwards, Donko yells for everyone to come introduce themselves to Cousin.
    Cousin: I hope no one talks to me.
    Donko: WoooOOOOW! Check out THIS weirdo!
  • This Is Gonna Suck: After King's bombastic speech to the students where he boasted that he fought a dinosaur and is willing to beat up any of them if they challenge him, Cousin remarks that they're probably going to die in that classroom.
  • Totally 18: Parodied. The legal page has very faint text at the bottom, reading "18 18 all characters 18 everyone 18" despite the fact that Namco High is entirely free of adult situations. Presumably, everyone is in their senior year, though Hiromi offhandedly mentions she's 19 (because she was held back a year).
  • Troll: Terezi (duh) and Davesprite, who both take pleasure in screwing with the player for kicks.
  • What Are You in For?: If Cousin talks to Al at the start of the game, he'll ask what they're in detention for, and they'll bluff and say "the usual" in an attempt to seem cool before realizing they have no idea what that means.
  • World of Weirdness: Let's take a roll call. Talking cats. Talking drums. Talking spaceships. Trolls. Superheroes. Zombies. Robots. Funny Animals. Aliens. Mad scientists. Sprites. Evil clones made from an evil experiment. Whatever the hell Mr. Driller is. Pac-Man. There's more.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: It's implied that Nidia ships Sherlock/Watson.