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Team Catherine on Love Triangles, Bust Sizes and Foreign Interest

Katsura Hashino and Shigenori Soejima share a few details on their "horror taste" HD adventure game in a recent Dengeki interview.


This week's Dengeki PlayStation has a look back at the Tokyo Game Show Catherine trailer (see it here), with commentary from producer and director Katsura Hashino and character designer Shigenori Soejima.

Interest in Catherine appears to be high. Hashino said that access to the Catherine official site is at the same levels as when they announce a new Persona game. The game places highly in weekly most wanted rankings, he noted.

Hashino was also surprised to see the large number comments from foreigners in the YouTube versions of the videos.

Regardless of the initial popularity, and although he has confidence in the product itself, Hashino is a bit worried about the game being accepted by players.

Hashino feels that Catherine is an ambitious game, and he believes that no one but Atlus would have given him the go sign for it. To help show the appeal of the game initially, the designers packed the design documents with "intense" visuals.

Included among those intense visuals was one showing Persona 4's Yukiko. This was just in order to show off the gameplay systems, which were determined in advance of the characters. Yukiko won't actually appear in Catherine.

Early in development, Hashino worked alone on the game's scenario. Eventually, other people were brought in and proper scenario creation began. The game's visual component underwent a similar flow.

It looks like the game underwent some major theme changes during those early development times. The decision to go with a male and female love theme came after discussions between Hashino and Soejima. Soejima originally wanted a war theme.

The tow provided some insight into their design choices for the characters. The Vincent character, Hashino revealed, is modeled after Vincent Gallo from Buffalo '66. They also decided to carry the name over.

Regarding the Catherine and Katherine characters (you'll recall the latter Katherine from this preview), I'm not sure if this is just Dengeki's paraphrasing, but the interview appears to refer to the cover girl blonde Catherine as "young Catherine" and the Katherine who was introduced later as Vincent's true girlfriend as "old Katerine."

Catherine and Katherine.

Old Katherine is meant to show adult charms, compared to the young and healthier Catherine. Soejima said he had to redraw the old Katherine character many times before coming to the final result. However, the young Catherine proved particularly difficult herself during the conversion to 3D as he made adjustments right to the end and even upped her bust size.

The game depicts a love triangle relationship between Vincent, Catherine and Katherine. Hashino did research for this part of the game by asking for similar experiences from the Atlus staff. The staff members who cooperated may end up getting their names in the staff roll.

One episode they ended up using in the game came from a girl who said that she's only seen herself killing others in her dreams rather than being killed herself. Dialogue similar to this can be seen in the game's first trailer.

Regarding content, the two said to expect a good amount of anime. Studio 4C spent about a year working on this area of the game. There will be more than the 30 minutes or so you'd find in Persona. The game's various endings will each have animated sequences.

Closing off the interview, the two shared some hints at what we can expect from future Catherine coverage. Soejima said to expect a number of additional character announcements. Hashino said that while what we've seen thus far has been more on the erotic side, they're going to start sharing the "horror taste" visuals from here on out.

Eventually, we'll also get a look at the game's final box art. It turns out the eye catching poster that has been used to promote the game at retail and at the Tokyo Game Show isn't from the box after all. Soejima said that he's just started to think about the package art and will be drawing it from here on out. He's actually thinking of making a parody of that poster.

The Catherine retail poster. The art was also used for the game's Tokyo Game Show video showcase area in Konami's booth.

The magazine still lists Catherine with a Winter release time frame. Soejima recently posted at the Catherine development blog that development is in the final tuning phase.

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