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Action Drive

Like every other game, Katamari had concept art to test how the game would play, or which artstyle would fit the world of the game better. In an ongoing Twitter thread, Keita Takahashi shared some concept art for Katamari and explained what the original idea for the game was, as well as the origins of some concepts. Originally, the King, Prince, and Queen were part of a project code-named Action Drive. The original story involved the Queen being kidnapped by crazy scientists. The King wishes to rescue her, but thanks to his laziness, he doesn't want to do it himself. Instead, he opts to send his son, the Prince, to do it instead. Since the Prince is so small, getting around to search is a hassle for him. To make things easier, he decides 'human jacking' would be the best option. Gameplay would have involved using his hammer head to stun humans before putting a magic controller into their head to control them, making the search for the Queen much more efficient. The project was turned down, but Keita decided to reuse the designs he made for Katamari Damacy later on.

Early character designs

Possible Beta Mu

Not many images of character concept art has resurfaced. The King's early design shows him with ears on the sides of his head and with nostrils under his nose. The only mainline cousin with a possible concept design that has been shown is Mu. His beta design can be seen inside of the Katamari Wa Damacy album pamphlet. This Mu design shows him with bug-like limbs, a longer antenna, and only three eyes. Cousin from Namco High has the most concept designs that are publicly available, with a total of 12 different concept designs.

Gallery

Action Drive

Katamari Damacy

We ♥ Katamari

Beautiful Katamari

Sources

An article that has the original concept art for Cousin. The original artist is not named here but it is safe to assume that the artist is Yuko Ota.

A piece of art that was drawn by Magnolia Porter which depicts the early designs of Cousin and Meowkie, Made by Yuko and Geneva respectively.

Two pieces of concept art of Cousin drawn by Yuko Ota. The first one shows five unused designs and the second one shows some conceptual color pallets alongside the final color pallet and designs of Cousin as well.

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