Soundtrack Saturdays: Katamari Damacy – Que Sera Sera

You may not have noticed, but my YouTube account was terminated a few days ago. I could talk about how annoying and frustrating it is to lose something that I’ve had for years, all due to the site’s inconsistent copyright notice system, but I’ll spare you. It’s fine, really. I’ve restarted from scratch and am currently getting my travel videos reuploaded. I didn’t lost anything important…aside from my favorites list.

Having to redo my favorites list has actually been a blessing in disguise; it’s made me revisit videos and songs that I haven’t heard in ages, like the Katamari Damacy soundtracks. If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you know why I love the Katamari series: A bizarre, hilarious premise involving physics and mythology, accompanied by an eclectic blend of rock, jazz, pop, electronica, mambo, gospel, and pretty much every other musical genre you could possibly think of. “Que Sera Sera” was one of those great standouts in the original game; no one expected chill English lounge music in such a wonderfully strange Japanese game.

If you want more Katamari Damacy, you can listen to the OST here.

Good gaming, good music.

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Soundtrack Saturdays: Katamari Forever – Cherry Blossom Color Season

Pretty sure I’ve expounded on the virtues of the Katamari Damacy series a few times. Katamari Forever in particular is a treasure trove of eclectic remixes of songs seen in the older titles. “Cherry Blossom Color Season” hearkens back to the original game, which featured the same tune sung by a Japanese children’s choir. This version by Yuu Miyake not only has the vocals redone, but adds some acoustic guitar and a little Burt Bacharach-style brass into the mix. The result is a strange, but oddly relaxing piece of music.

If you want more Katamari, you can find a partial series OST playlist here.

Good gaming, good music.

Soundtrack Saturdays: We Love Katamari – Katamari On The Swing

Last week, I posted one of my favorite songs from the We Love Katamari soundtrack. Upon further listening, I realized that I’d completely overlooked “Katamari On The Swing.” Pretty sure no one was expecting swing music in a Japanese niche game. As the replacement for “Katamari On The Rocks” as the game’s main theme, it set the tone of the sequel perfectly: it was bigger, grander, and flashier in every way. Compare the original intro to the one in the sequel, for example. This track was so popular, it got its own synthesized remix in subsequent titles.

If you want more We Love Katamari, you can find the full OST here.

Good gaming, good music.

Soundtrack Saturdays: We Love Katamari – Heaven’s Rain

When Katamari Damacy became a sleeper hit in 2004, Namco decided to take the popularity and run with it. A year after the original game, We Love Katamari was released on the PS2. It’s one of the rare examples of a sequel improving on every aspect of its predecessor. The already bizarre narrative was made even more meta, stages were scaled up, there were hundreds of more interactive objects, challenges were more difficult to complete, and there was far more variety in terms of settings and visuals. You want to build a snowman? Try making one with a head the size of a house. On the game’s final stage, your katamari gradually grew from the size of a small animal to rolling up entire countries in the span of a few minutes. Seriously, check it out.

The soundtrack was greatly expanded as well. While the first game utilized mostly rock and jazz, We Love Katamari delved more into instrumentals, beatboxing, and techno tracks. “Heaven’s Rain” is one of the more relaxing songs in the game. The soothing vocals, accordion, and strings always made me want to just kick back and finish the stage at a slow pace…then the beats kicked in.

If you want more We Love Katamari, you can find the full OST here.

Good gaming, good music.

Soundtrack Saturdays: Katamari Forever – Sayonara Rolling Star (Yuri’s Mix)

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned Katamari Damacy’s eclectic soundtrack before. In a game series where you roll up everything into a giant sticky ball, you’d think the music would be overshadowed the bizarreness. But with each successive title, the remixes and sampling became longer and more complex. This is especially evident in this song; in the original game, it was a mellow electronic tune called Lonely Rolling Star. In Beautiful Katamari, it was revamped as a pop song called Sayonara Rolling Star. In Katamari Forever, it was finally remixed from pop into disco. And it sounds awesome. Fun fact: the song is about lovers parting ways. Seriously.

If you want more Katamari Forever, you can find part of the OST here.

Good gaming, good music.

Soundtrack Saturdays: Katamari Damacy – Katamaritaino (Roll Me In)

Video

I think I’ve mentioned how Katamari Damacy possesses one of the best and most varied soundtracks in video gaming. Katamaritaino is one of its most underrated entries. In a game where your goal is to roll up flowers, trees, animals, people, cars, buildings, cities, mountains, countries, continents, planets, moons, and the entire galaxy into a gigantic sticky ball, some smooth Japanese jazz is strangely appropriate.

If you want more Katamari (and believe me, you do), you can find the first game’s full playlist here.

Good gaming, good music.

Soundtrack Saturdays: Katamari Damacy – Katamari On The Rocks

Video

In 2004, a very strange game was released for the PS2. Katamari Damacy had a simple premise: Use a giant sticky ball to roll up literally everything in your path. The more you rolled up, the bigger your ball would become. Lint, paper clips, clothes, people, animals, furniture, walls, cars, trees, buildings, cities, islands, countries, planets, moons, stars, galaxies…everything. The scale just kept growing and growing, and everything you picked up changed the physics of the ball itself. Your efforts were overseen by the oh-so flamboyant King Of All Cosmos.

Yes, it was very strange indeed.

But popular too; this bizarre little game became a sleeper hit and launched one of Namco’s finest franchises. It was greatly helped by its incredible soundtrack, an eclectic mix of J-pop, rock, jazz, and lounge…and that’s not even getting into the plethora of remixes in the sequels. Katamari on the Rocks was its main theme, and its catchy insanity became a cult classic in the video game world.

If you want to get more Katamari (and I highly recommend you do), you can find the rest of the OST here.

Good gaming, good music. Nana-nananana-nana-nanana…