September 13, 2012 by misterblank22
The boogeyman isn’t in your closet or under your bed. He isn’t some dark creature randomly attacking you in the night. The boogeyman isn’t even a “man”, it’s a seductive half-dressed anime girl named Catherine. In the grand scheme of things which is really scarier, a shadowy figure in your corner that lacks physical features or a pretty girl who shows no signs of evil tendencies lying naked next to you?
Catherine is a video game that came out in 2011. I bought it the day it came out. It is the most unusual video game to come out that year due to the story and gameplay.
No game has ever dealt with a relationship as its main story arc. Yes Mass Effect has relationship subplots but they have nothing on Catherine. Catherine gives the player full control over Vincent and his two love affairs which slowly destroy his life.
Vincent has been with Katherine for five years, all five years they were both happy. But at a coffee shop Katherine starts to bring up marriage. This feeling is sudden but it is very obvious that Katherine has been thinking about it for a while now. These feelings are brought on by things her mother has said and seeing all of her friends being married or getting married.
As Vincent listens to Katherine he thinks to himself, he does not feel that they should rush into something they both do not feel is right just because everyone else is doing it. So he blows the situation off.
At the end of the day he goes where he always goes after work, the Stray Sheep Bar. (The name becomes a symbol for the entire game but I’ll get to it later) So he sits with his friends who are the last people to talk to about relationship problems. He complains about Katherine pressuring him into marriage but all of his friends have completely different views on the situation. Orlando says to never trust a woman so marriage is out, Jonny tells him to relax and the virgin Toby tells him to marry her since he may never find another girl again. So in the end he got nowhere other than drunk.
His friends leave the bar but Vincent decides to stay which is the decision that destroys his entire life. Vincent stays in his booth drinking heavily until Catherine appears out of nowhere to sit next to him.
The two drink, talk, flirt, touch and connect. Guess what Catherine doesn’t like or ever want? Marriage, she doesn’t want to be tied down. He feels he’s looking at a mirror image of himself but in a female body.
Immediately he feels guilt and wakes Catherine up, the complete opposite of Katherine in every way. She tells him she doesn’t normally go home with guys after first meeting them and not to think less of her but she felt a connection with him. Vincent feels this “connection” too but resents it. From here on out nothing goes well for him.
Katherine meets him for lunch in the same old cafe drowning him in marriage talk and how everyone else is more grown up then they are. He tells her some lie to keep the situation from progressing and to prevent marriage as a possibility.
Then come texts from Catherine, filled with “I love you” and “I can’t wait to see you again” “Do you love me too?”. The player can text her back in various ways, but watch what you say and decide which girl you love more. Of course on my first playthrough I wrote love notes back, leading this poor girl on while lying to Katherine.
The only place Vincent feels safe from Catherine and Katherine is in his dreams. Well that just ended. Each night he has a dangerous battle up “blocks” trying to escape death. These “blocks” are called his blocks in life which he is trying to get through and move. But he isn’t the only person fighting blocks, several people are there with him but they appear as sheep, this is where the Stray Sheep bar metaphor comes in. Every sheep you meet sound and wear things that are very similar to people in the bar, but every day Vincent wakes up he can’t really remember much of his dreams, all he knows is his sheets are wet with urine. The poor guy is scared.
Back at the Stray Sheep Catherine sends Vincent some nude pics of herself which of course you look at. (But this makes it harder on Vincent if you do) After the nude picture you look around realizing that some regulars are missing. Turns out they died in their sleep the night before.
More nights come bringing more fear, battles, and death of fellow sheep. What could make this worse? Katherine missing her period. Vincent does not react well causing her to feel more alone then she already did. She begins to comment on how distant he has become.
To just add to it Catherine begins going crazy with jealousy which results in her attacking Katherine, physically and mentally. It all explodes in a fight involving a knife. Vincent realizes he has just ruined his and Katherine’s life with his lies.
Now Katherine is covered in Vincent’s and Catherine’s blood due to a fight she did not start. She pushes Catherine’s body off of her as Vincent crawls to hold her. Tears run down her face as she looks at Vincent dying in front of her. Catherine’s lifeless eyes look up at her. But the “blocks” in Vincent’s life are not out-of-the-way yet. The dream comes to life bringing Katherine into the mix. Catherine’s ghost starts to chase them as they climb the blocks trying to get away. Katherine is too weak to keep going, Vincent is wounded but pushes through to save her and their unborn baby. Everything is falling apart around them. Catherine hurls insults at them as she destroys the blocks they need to get away.
Once the two get to the door to get away, the light shines on them which frees them from the nightmare. But this is only halfway through the game, Vincent has gotten himself into far more of a mess then he first thought. Everyone is dying around him due to their lies and their deception. It depends on how you play but Vincent could join them with Catherine right next to him.