Aug 3, 2011

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Catherine: Tips and Tricks

Catherine: Tips and Tricks

Since Catherine released, I don’t think I’ve seen so many people playing the same game as me at the same time. This is also a win for Atlus, but it would appear difficulty fears have got the best of everyone. So far I’ve yet to meet someone on hard and most people seem to be taking the easy route. Most people thought Demon Souls was hard but in my opinion this is even harder. Due to this, offering some tips only made sense! So if you’re having issues playing perhaps consider some of the following.

Useful Moves:

Some of these are mentioned in game but generally after they would be helpful. The most useful ability is to hold onto the side of a box. This is done by walking off in an area where you won’t fall on a box directly below you. Here you can walk to the other side, behind some maps and much more, though that’s not the big perk. The best perk is broken boxes will not break so you can transverse them without triggering them to break. This is a big part of story levels and is easily the most practical skill out there.

Always remember that some areas have a front and a back. Here you can collect boxes from behind or jump up a level/hide a box. This won’t come in handy very often; though it comes into play.

Broken boxes always break the second time you jump off them. As mentioned above you can move on the side to avoid breaking them. You can also cover them up with another box. If you’re worried it will be your downfall consider using a pyramid ladder/stairs. This is done by pulling out multiple rows of boxes and using that to expand your ladder/stairs.

Gaps are a big problem, but using the above Pyramid ladder/stairs you can make the most of them. By making a group in a safe area then pushing it over the gap, this will allow you full ground to move and more importantly less problems.

Controlled destruction is another handy thing to keep in mind. Sometimes you will have useless block patterns and nothing to do with them. If this happens you can try to lower the blocks. If you try this in the story then you can get to the end faster, but it’s usually going to be harder. This should only be used in a last ditch effort. DO NOT try to make the game easier by bringing down checkpoints/goal. You will just stress yourself out.

If this sounds confusing you can see one of my failed attempts at Babel implementing all and many other techniques. I do strongly suggest you mute the video as the game likes to inform me everything’s a new record…

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While you might think easy is the way to go… well Normal and Easy are not that different. Generally speaking every level has a rather similar solution pattern (same for hard), but the lower the difficulty the less harsh the requirements to pass are. Still at the core they’re about even. I strongly suggest playing on a difficulty you think is right, or less stressful for you, be it Very Easy or Hard.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Your ending is decided by your standing. Chaos (Red) or Order (Blue), but these only control a small aspect. At the end of the game in night 9 you will be given special questions. These have no bearing on your standing, but do affect your ending.
  • Try to avoid buying items. To unlock everything the game has to offer it would be best to shoot for simple solutions. Buying items makes gold harder (explained below) and will not help you advance.
  • The puzzles are constant and have no unexpected elements. The only way to see something new is to break a crucial connection. This will cause the part to deform though this is rare. Youtube might also be of great assistance in figuring it out.
YouTube Preview Image

Going for Gold:

If you would like to unlock extra modes than you’re going to need gold ratings. Sadly there’s no fool proof method but these are things to strongly consider:

  • Doing everything well does not automatically get you a gold rating. Would you believe making it to the top with full jump combo and all the gold would result in an silver rating? The first five times I replayed stage one I could not get gold despite maintaining full jump combo and collecting all the gold.  One of the biggest keys to get a Gold Rating is you’ve got to be fast, do everything in your power to exit as fast as you can.
  • If you screw up than just restart. Sadly you’re going to need jump combos to even have a shot… reloading will void this. On my hard run screwing up two before the end resulted in 1,000 less points than I should have gotten. Missing one mid way resulted in over 17,000 short of the gold minimal.
  • Pick up as many pillows as possible. These will offer you retries.
  • Get used to the bosses’ tricks. These will usually be your downfall.
  • If you’re not averaging gold than just retry. Most likely you will not come back from multiple silvers.
  • Find a system that works for you. sometimes I will use my fightstick. Yes this will work on Catherine and actually is very nice. It might not be practical for pulling off moves fast, but if you have one it might be worth trying.
  • DO NOT BUY AN ITEM. Buying is basically an automatic failure. Very rarely do I have more than 2 – 6,000 points and items generally cost more.
  • Retry stages. Even if you don’t win practice is your friend. Many stages have some extremely harsh guidelines that you need to be able to pull off in seconds.
  • Make sure you’re playing normal or higher. Hard gives a trophy, but normal will be far more enjoyable.


Sadly this mode is purely using skills from the game effectively. If you’re having issues I strongly suggest you try in post-game. This is due to the fact you get unlimited tries once the game is completed. If you’re still having issues then check out Youtube.


Again like Rapunzel this mode will come down to how well you use your skills. However from playing it way too many times I can tell you it’s not fully random. Usually set groupings will fall down and certain areas have predetermined puzzles. This will be trial and error in some cases as I’ve failed at floor 20 (after beating it) and on floor 120. I will also point out sometimes there’s just nothing you can do about it…

When reviewing the video above upon I noticed a better path I did not take. However examining groupings I don’t think going that path would have got me much higher than I got anyways. If you’re having serious issues pulling off an area there is only one universally helpful tip and that’s to find a partner. However keep in mind this must be completed offline.