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YMMV / Catherine

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The Subjectives have appeared. They're the killers. Do not die.

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Are Vincent, Johnny, and Orlando being good friends to Toby and Erica by suggesting the two shouldn't date but otherwise not intervening, or assholes for joking around about it instead of having a serious talk with Erica about whether she really thinks it's emotionally healthy for herself or Toby to not be honest about being a transwoman out of fear of another painful relationship experience?
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    • Is Vincent really cheating? We never see him making a conscious choice to be with Catherine, he merely wakes up with her in his bed every morning with no memory of how she got there. If you're a player who chooses not to have Vincent get black-out drunk at the Stray Sheep, it comes off more like he's being stalked or outright drugged without his knowledge. Which seems especially likely when it turns out Catherine is a succubus and the bartender is "serving" Vincent to her. Then again, he never tells her "I am engaged and seeing another woman."
    • Is Katherine an honest woman who just wants Vincent to finally take some control in his life? Or is she a Manipulative Bitch who's perfectly willing to use a variant of The Baby Trap to try and get him to do what she wants?
    • Concerning Catherine: is she a malevolent entity who has willingly led several men to their deaths at the behest of Mutton? Or is she merely a Punch-Clock Villain who has found someone she genuinely likes in Vincent?
  • Awesome Music:
    • A soundtrack composed by Shoji Meguro, consisting of smooth jazz for the quiet scenes and awesome classical remixes for the nightmare scenes.
    • Someone REALLY loves "The Planets".
    • All the level music used in the game are jazzed up arrangements of classical pieces, not only do they sound amazing, but they're rather faithful arrangements and a good gateway into classical music in general.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Erica. She's either beloved for being a mostly positive portrayal of a trans woman or hated for her identity being used as a cruel gag for the end of the game at the expense of another character, in the process painting her as predatory and validating various transphobic stereotypes, depending on who you ask.
    • Rin: Is Rin being a consistently warm and kind Third-Option Love Interest a nice refreshing change to the original two options or does Rin's lack of flaws or development in the story make for a boring, less nuanced Static Character who ruins the interesting relationship dynamic of the original?
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  • Bizarro Episode: The Cathedral, up to and including the wakeup from that fake day. It would make more sense if it were a Alternate Universe, but, due to the game's nature...
  • Breather Boss:
    • The sixth boss, Vincent's Shadow, is less proactive with his attacks, only doing so at specific points in the level. This means his stage is more of a complex puzzle than a frantic scramble that all the prior bosses were.
    • The seventh boss, who is Catherine, is one of the easier ones in the game. There aren't a whole lot of hazards, the boss' attacks are very obvious, and the blocks have some relatively forgiving arrangements that make climbing to the top very straightforward. This is to ensure that the Escort Mission that the level is won't be too frustrating, since it's the first and only time you have to guide a companion up the tower, and it ensures her AI doesn't muck things up too much.
  • Breather Level: The Quadrangle, which comes right after The Child and right before The Clock Tower, becomes fairly easy once you figure out the main gimmick. Of course, it's a different story once you get to the boss.
  • Creepy Awesome: The boss of stage 6, a rematch against the baby from stage 4 except it is mechanized with stuff like a chainsaw arm and a machine gun.
  • Demonic Spiders: The Red Sheep. They move fast, jump up two blocks, and can directly kill you. Thankfully, they're still vulnerable to traps, being pushed off, and the book. But pushing them off an edge is easier said than done, so if you can't easily trap them or find a book, then you'll probably have to just evade them, and good luck with that. Subverted in Full Body, where they lose the ability to climb more than one block, and thus can be more reliably evaded.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The last few stages introduce Random Blocks and Monster Blocks, making the stages less about puzzle-platforming and more about undoing until that next Random Block turns into the block you need.
    • Full Body attempts to mitigate this by having the RNG on Mystery Blocks and Monster Blocks be more predictable, and thus more manageable. Mystery Blocks also don't change until you step off of them, averting the issue of instantly setting them off if they turn into bomb blocks. And because Monster Blocks only move when Vincent moves a block, you can just step back onto them should they transform into such. This also means you can't avoid undesirable Monster Block moves without rethinking your strategy, though. Even with all this, there's still the issue of 9-5, where you face Thomas Mutton, who's basically malevolent RNG in Boss Form.
    • Downplayed with area 10. The last 2 stages are well designed and don't suffer from horrible RNG, at least not on an unbearable level. The first 2 though, are hair-pullingly frustrating with it. 10-1 in particular has the problem of getting killed by lightning strikes while hanging off this sides of a block.note  10-2 has the issue of Archangel/Big Brother copying Dumuzid's block damaging comet attack, but not his helpful block changing "curse", and doing so constantly.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Nergal, Catherine's father, due to his Bumbling Dad personality juxtaposing his status as a demon lord and providing some of the funniest scenes in the game because of it, which includes being used as a throne by Vincent during Catherine's True ending.
  • Fair for Its Day: Poor Erica. Back when the game released, she was praised for being a transgender character in a market where those weren't common at the time, and if they were in, they usually had a negative portrayal. As the years went on, however, she started getting criticized for having her gender be used as a throwaway Unsettling Gender Reveal gag, as well as coming on to Toby even though he felt uncomfortable losing his virginity to someone who was once a man, making both her look like a sexual predator
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • This image. It's been floating around days before they announced the English Voice Actors. NSFW!
    • "Hilarious" might be an overstatement, but some scenes become amusing when looked back on with the knowledge that Catherine is a succubus, and Invisible to Normals:
      • When Katherine showed up with the cake while Catherine was over, she couldn't have seen Catherine anyway... and when Catherine went into the bathroom, she was probably just eavesdropping from there and waiting for the most inopportune time to flush the toilet.
      • When Catherine showed up at the Chrono Rabbit while Vincent was there with Katherine, she was probably just hanging out in the entryway, shouting things in Vincent's direction.
    • Zero Punctuation's review of the game featured a gag wherein Vincent decides to reject both Katherine and Catherine before running away with a woman named Qatherine. The Full Body version would turn out to have a new character named Qatherine. Ross of Game Grumps made the same joke on a Sonic 3 & Knuckles episode of Grumpcade, and they even predicted her having an unnatural hair color and being a Cute Clumsy Girl.
  • It's Hard, So It Sucks!:
    • You know something's hard when the masochists that are the Atlus fanbase have so much trouble that Atlus had to patch in an easy mode.
    • Hell, Bennett the Sage of That Guy with the Glasses, often shown to be a rather... unpleasant fellow in crossover vids (all played for laughs, of course; he's nothing like that in real life) couldn't even get through the game and have time to review it, most of his video on it was him complaining about the difficulty.
  • It Was His Sled: At least in the Atlus community, the games setting actually being in space, Catherine being a succubus, Erika being trans and Rin being a Wholesome Crossdresser alien are all common knowledge.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: If you complete a boss stage, the ensuing cutscene has it being repelled by the light bursting from the exit, to a triumphant "Haaaallelujah!" If you've been struggling with that boss, you'd be rejoicing too.
  • Narm: The screams of the sheep as they fall to their deaths would be more pitiful or frightening if their voices weren't so funny ("I'M FAAAA-AAAALLLLIIIIIINNNGGGGG!"). For that matter, the more hostile sheep have equally silly voices.
  • Narm Charm: "Head goes BOOM!", spoken by the Final Boss.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has its own page.
  • Nightmare Retardant: So you're facing off against the Final Boss, who is a giant head with a beard made of sheep that are still alive and Glowing Eyes of Doom, and what is the Pre-Mortem One-Liner he delivers before the fight starts?
    "Prepare yourself, boxer boy!"
  • One-Scene Wonder: Nergal, Catherine's dad and ruler of the underworld, who only shows up in the good and true endings of the cheater's route.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: Catherine: Full Body became known in the West for the transgender character Erica appearing pre-transition in one of the game's new endings, which was seen in some LGBT communities as creating some Unfortunate Implications.
    • Rin was also subject to controversy pre-game release as it was believed that he was transgender like Erica and would be treated as another unsettling gender reveal joke based on the marketing. When the game actually released in Japan, misleading accounts of what happened when Vincent finds out that Rin is a cross dressing boy began circulating which further fanned the flames. Likely due to knowledge that most eager western players wouldn't have access to an English translation of the game for some months, forum posters began exaggerating the circumstances of Rin's gender reveal, even claiming that Vincent struck Rin in anger, when in reality he merely slapped his hand away and immediately felt guilty about it following Rin's reaction. People on Twitter proclaimed that they wouldn't support Atlus after this controversy combined with the Erica ending drama. After the western release, things were cleared up for some, but the game and Atlus' reputation had another stain on it. Some also weren't keen on the fact that Rin is actually an alien, as they felt it cheapened Vincents relationship with him.
  • Periphery Demographic: Surprisingly, the game's multiplayer mode has become popular amongst competitive gamers, to the point where in some locales, there is a tournament scene for the game.
  • Porting Disaster: The Steam release of Catherine Classic has some glaring issues. There are outright Game Breaking Bugs for owners of 2080 TI graphic cardsnote , preventing the game from starting unless certain specific video settings are applied, and risking future crashes throughout gameplay. The audio levels for the port are inconsistent — rendered cutscenes are significantly louder than in-engine cutscenes, which can be very quiet even at maximum volume. The Steam page advertises unlocked framerate, but players quickly discovered on launch that there are 30 FPS caps at odd points in the game.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: For the most part, Full Body tones down the difficulty of the original, adding an Easier Than Easy difficulty and a couple of Anti-Frustration Features, such as a hint option for the Rapunzel minigame, the requirements for unlocking the Babel stages being reduced to only having to complete the game once instead of having to earn all Gold prizes and a revamped "Undo" feature where dying while you still have remaining "undo"s reverses the mistake instead of outright killing you. Not to mention the Red Sheep can now only move up one block instead of two, making them A LOT easier to evade.
  • Too Bleak, Stopped Caring: As is typical for the SMT franchise, there's not many heroic characters to root for, as the story is filled with cheating men, and abusive women. In fact, the original two Love Interests are also both abusive, albeit, neither are without their redeeming qualities and you can achieve a happy ending with either.
  • Unfortunate Implications: In one of the new endings for Full Body, Catherine goes back in time to make a golden timeline where Vincent and her were the ones dating since high school. An unclear number of years later, at Vincent and Catherine's wedding, the new timeline erases the transition of Erica, its first trans character, with no explanation, which some players found infuriating. At best it's showing Erica pre-transition or with a delayed transition (as Toby had previously only known her post-transition) for the sake of another Unsettling Gender Reveal joke that Toby is unaware that Erica is a transwoman and attracted to him. In the worst case scenario, it’s outright implying that Erica’s best life involves her never transitioning, as if a trans woman’s dysphoria can simply go away without transitioning. That said, at least in the English version of the game, it's implied that Erica will transition, as she says to Toby that a woman is closer than he thinks.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Vincent is treated by the narrative as being unfaithful but the circumstances of him doing so more closely resemble Date Rape than actual cheating, with Vincent getting so drunk that his encounters with Catherine come off as Questionable Consent at best and Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male at worst. Plus while he really should sober up a bit, he just found out his long time girlfriend is possibly pregnant, and she seems to be pushing him to propose even though he isn't sure he is ready yet. It results in him being more sympathetic given he's just suddenly had two bombshells dropped onto him suddenly, and he isn't sure what to do.
    • Catherine, in spite of the above and the scene where she repeatedly hits Vincent in the bathroom. She is shown to be genuinely in love with Vincent, to the point she even neglected her job to be with him more. And at least one of her victims was shown to be a reprehensible person in the first place. note  Being a Punch-Clock Villain instead of fully invested in her crimes probably helped too. Downplayed, though, in that she's often seen as the lesser of two evils, she just wasn't intended to be.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Katherine is repeatedly pushed as the nicer, healthier option for Vincent but her domineering behavior ends up making her look like just as much of a Bastard Girlfriend as Catherine — or even worse. She's meant to come off the way she does in the beginning, as a well-meaning (if aloof) young woman with an irresponsible boyfriend, but her sympathetic qualities take a nosedive when she starts toeing the baby trapping Control Freak line when she announces she intends to take over Vincent's finances during her Pregnancy Scare, and she crosses it once she reveals that she knew she wasn't pregnant, but maintained the ruse to force Vincent into a marriage he might not be ready for. It says a lot when your emotional abuse is so bad that people consider you to be a worse person than a trickster with a tendency for violence.
  • The Un-Twist:
  • Values Dissonance:
    • A downplayed example: The idea that the nightmares exist to weed out men who won't marry and father children to keep the world populated may make sense in Japan, which is infamous for an aging population coupled with low fertility rates, particularly amongst younger demographics; this leads to the concern that Japan's population will start to die out faster than it can grow. Although Japan's case is the most notorious, many European countries have similar problems that may or many not be addressed (or merely made obscure) with immigration.
    • Vincent and Katherine discussing having a baby together and getting married when they don't even live with each other may look odd to people in the West, but in Japan couples more often move in together after they get married.
  • Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?: Justified! During the course of the main game, Katherine breaks up with Vincent for pretty justifiable reasons. So, since you can get a Katherine ending, there has to be a good reason why Katherine would ever take Vincent back... and lo and behold, it turns out Catherine was an illusion and Vincent never really cheated. Although it sounds like bullshit at first and Vincent's friends have to back him up for the explanation to stick. And Vincent does admit that in his heart, he really was cheating, so there is some genuine forgiveness shown by Katherine as well.
  • Woolseyism: Calling a barkeep "Master" in America would be a trifle odd, though it's standard in Japan and would be the literal translation. "Boss" seems far smoother and more natural while still conveying the appropriate level of respect. It's such a good bit of translation it even found its way into the dub of Persona 5.


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