A list of leaked achievements for Atlus' upcoming adult horror Catherine tells us more about how the game plays - and also how it ends.
I'm not going to lie, I'm quite intrigued by Atlus' Catherine, but there's a problem: We really don't know that much about the game. Sure, the setting and concept look damn cool, and if any developer has proven its ability to do modern real-world psychological fantasy, it's Atlus' Persona team. But in all the trailers we've seen what, a few seconds of gameplay?
Earlier today, Xbox 360 Achievements posted Catherine's achievement list - and revealed quite a bit more about the game in doing so. The list has since been pulled, but many of the achievements are mentioned on Andriasang.
It goes without saying that, if you're interested in Catherine, you may want to leave this post now. Or, in other words:
It appears that the action segments in Catherine are divided into stages, with an achievement given for beating each stage - "First Nightmare" for beating Stage 1 and so on. Some of the listed stages also have strange names, like "Babel 3, Obelisk," "Babel 2, Menhir," and "Rupunzel's 64th Stage," but it's not clear whether these are just titles for the aforementioned levels or if these are something like side-dungeons.
On the gameplay side of things, it appears that the action may well revolve around powerups called "stones." An achievement rewards players for creating an explosion involving 15 or more stones, whereas another, "Bird Man," requires players to do a triple jump with the "Jump Stone" - I guess there'll be some platforming elements in Catherine, too.
Protagonist Vincent won't just be solving his own problems, either - he'll be resolving the issues of characters like Daniel, Todd, Justin, and Morgan. Perhaps he'll be delving into their nightmares as well, or it could be more like Persona's Social Link system where helping them just requires interacting with them on a regular basis.
It seems that Vincent can also while away his time in the Stray Sheep Bar (seen in many of the promotional trailers thus far), and several of the achievements revolve around the watering hole. You'll get an achievement for staying at the bar longer than everyone else, an achievement for replying to more than 20 text messages while at the bar, an achievement for checking out the various drinks the place offers, and an achievement for changing the music on the jukebox. If this is any indication, the gameplay might include strong social elements (in-game, not social-gaming) in addition to the action sequences.
The achievements also spoil the game's ending - or rather, that should be endings. Since these are the most spoilerrific of all the achievements, I'm going to throw in another warning here.
As expected, the game's multiple endings depend on your relationship with Katherine (Vincent's girlfriend) and Catherine (the coquettish blonde with whom Vincent has an affair). You have "Reconciliation With Girlfriend End (Girlfriend Normal)," "Wedding With Girlfriend End (Girlfriend True)," and "Get Rejected By Girlfriend End (Girlfriend Bad)" for Katherine, and a similar set of achievements for ditching the girl and ending up with Catherine.
Interestingly enough, there is also a pair of endings that sees Vincent going off on his own: "Head Off On a Journey End (Free True)" and "Choose to Be By Yourself End (Free Normal)." Not everything needs to involve girls, Vince, buddy!
I have to say, even though I now know how it's going to turn out, I'm no less interested in Catherine than I was before - something like this is about the journey more than the ending.