[the palaverist]

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

[the spirit of clumping]

Katamari Damacy is a surreal Japanese video game whose name means "the spirit of clumping," or more simply, "clump spirit." The goal of the game and the mode of play are fairly simple but different from anything else I've ever played: you roll a ball (the katamari) around various environments, picking up all kinds of objects as you go — paper clips, people, elephants, chopsticks. As you collect objects, the katamari grows, allowing you to pick up ever bigger items. (You can see what this actually looks like here.) The game is presided over by a king whose speaking voice is record scratching and who either praises your success or shoots lasers out of his eyes when you fail. (He also has great legs and a psychedelic cylindrical pillow permanently lodged behind his head.)

What makes the game so compelling is the elaborate, creative, surreal universe in which you operate — not to mention its zany, sometimes dark humor — and part of that effect is achieved by the music, which consists of thoroughly loopy J-pop and a pair pieces for full orchestra, recorded with appropriate theatrical bombast.

I wish I could tell you who the artists are, but I can't find that information anywhere. Still, you can buy the soundtrack at YesAsia.com.

01. Introduction
02. Katamari on the Rocks
03. Overture II
04. Katamari on the Swing
05. Kurukuru Rock
06. Everlasting Love
07. Tsuyogari Katamari
08. Beautiful Star
09. Heaven's Rain
10. Houston
11. Blue Orb
12. Katamari Holiday
13. Baby Universe
14. Disco x Prince
15. Killing Hot Savannah
16. The Royal Academy of Katamari
17. King of Kings' Song
18. Untitled

Thanks to DKNY for the link, and for introducing me to the game.

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