Katamari Damacy (lost prototype build of Namco game; 2002)

From The Lost Media Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Gdc kd04.jpg

Katamari Damacy's prototype's title screen

Status: Lost

Katamari Damacy had a very unique and risky development compared to other Namco games. Fortunately, with the support of Keita Takahashi's boss, Mitsutoshi Ozaki[1] and Namco's former president Masaya Nakamura[2], Keita Takahashi acquired the team and resources to create a prototype for this hit title.


Before Katamari Damacy, Keita Takahashi was on the team to develop a prototype for a racing game nicknamed Action Drive. While brainstorming new concepts for the game, Keita created a damsel-in-distress storyline about the Queen being kidnapped by evil scientists on Earth. The Prince would have been sent by his lazy father to rescue her. Even though this idea was not used, Keita was given permission to reuse the character designs for his own game.[3] The prototype itself was built on Nintendo's Gamecube system, though the final game was a PlayStation 2-exclusive. Keita Takahashi was not experienced with game development, so the Gamecube's hardware would have been a more developer-friendly option for Keita and his team.[4] Students from Namco Digital Hollywood[5] assisted in creating models and assets for the game. If the prototype was successful, the same team could begin work on a full-fledged game. [6] With the help of a visual designer from Namco, the team was able to finish the prototype within six months.[7]

A signboard created for Japan Media Arts Festival[8]


Fortunately, the game was well received inside Namco. Keita Takahashi recalls many of Namco's employees gathering to play this early Katamari build.[9] The prototype was shown off at the Japan Media Arts Festival[10] and was selected as a "recommended work" by the jury committee.[11]


The prototype's gameplay does not heavily differ from the final game. However, a few visual differences can be easily noticed:

  • Instead of the kanji logo (塊魂), Katamari Damacy's logo is romanized and written in cursive.
  • The Prince's model has a wider head than the final design.
  • The background of the King's screen is pitch black, whereas the final version has a galaxy.


More from Keita Takahashi

External Links


  1. Katamari Damacy’s Creator Had To Move Mountains To Get His Game Made Retrieved 28 August '23
  2. Keita Takahashi thanks Masaya Nakamura Retrieved 28 August '23
  3. Keita discusses the repurposing of Action Drive's characters Retrieved 28 August '23
  4. You Can Thank The GameCube For Katamari Damacy, According To Creator Keita Takahashi Retrieved 28 August '23
  5. Financial Decline and Restructuring of Namco Retrieved 28 August '23
  6. Katamari Damacy, Bossfight Books - P. 33
  7. Katamari Damacy, Bossfight Books - P. 34
  8. Katamari Damacy's 10th Anniversary Retrieved 28 August '23
  9. Katamari Damacy, Bossfight Books - P. 38
  10. Katamari Damacy on Japan Media Arts Festival's website Retrieved 28 August '23
  11. Japan Media Arts Festival 2003 Jury Recommended Works Retrieved 28 August '23
  12. Katamari Damacy Prototype artwork Retrieved 28 August '23