The announcement of Catherine: Full Body two years ago took me by surprise. While I remember enjoying the original version a lot — save for its shark jump of an ending — I was curious why an enhanced re-release was coming instead of a simple port or sequel. Fans like Catherine and the game has developed a competitive scene around its block moving gameplay, but why was Atlus tweaking the original instead of developing a continuation to the story? I likely won’t ever get an answer for that, but there are some more pressing things that concern me with Catherine.
While fans are passionate about the game, its nightmarish setting, and the characters in it, the handling of a specific character is often criticized as the weakest aspect of the original. The waitress of the Stray Sheep bar, protagonist Vincent’s regular haunt during the story, is a trans-woman named Erica. That detail flew over my head the first time I played it, but there were some jokes at her expense with punchlines that amounted to, “She’s a dude!” The credits of the game also listed her as Eric, opting to dead-name her rather than using the name we all knew her by.
I’ve grown since then and have come to understand how poorly Erica was written, despite her being a powerful figure. I just remembered her as a woman, exactly as Erica would want. Needless to say, fans are dying to know what is going on with Full Body and Erica, especially since players of the Japanese release have been spreading out-of-context information regarding her role.