Colosseum Mode opens up once the Golden Playhouse is completed on any difficulty. In it, two players can go head-to-head with a second player on any stage from the Underground Cemetery all the way to the Empireo. The rules are simple - best of three rounds where the winner is the one who either reaches the top or lasts the longest. This has actually led to Catherine being played at tournaments fighting-game style.
Tournament Play With Colosseum (Catherine, Fighting Game Style?)
As odd as it may seem, the argument has been made that even though Catherine is a puzzle game, it has a fighting game element thanks to the Colosseum Mode. While likely intended as a build-off, players have found that it is not only possible but often preferable to attack and KO the opponent rather than to reach the top.
Some Pro-Style Tournament Rules (courtesy of Finest KO)
The first and most prominent streamer and supporter of Catherine as a competitive fighting game, Finest KO (http://www.twitch.tv/finestko) developed these rules for Catherine tournaments:
- Best Of 3 Sets with Best Of 5 Sets for Grand Finals
- Banned Stages
- The Empireo, because a large wall of Dark Blocks creates an area where a knockdown will likely win the round unless the attacked player is very familiar with the game.
- Prison Of Despair, because it is possible for players to KO the other player by going down to the lowermost block and causing the other player's entire side of the stage to collapse by pushing out the lowest block on that side (though it is possible for the stage to be played if both players agree to not use that tactic.)
- Inquisition for being too quick.
- The rest is up to players and organizers, although common practices include the first stage being random or agreed and allowing the loser to change the stage while prohibiting the loser from choosing a stage he or she has won on during the match (unless the winner agrees to it.)
Finest KO, a streaming group of Northern California gamers including pros in BlazBlue (including the Game Center team that represented the United States at BlazBlue Revolution), Guilty Gear, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 and Persona 4 Arena, are the biggest supporters of Catherine as a legitimate competitive fighting game, calling Colosseum "a fighting game puzzle game". After playing through the Golden Playhouse on Hard difficulty during a stream session, two of their gamers, Coopa and Dacidbro (David Broweleit - one of the best BlazBlue players in the US, who would later commentate the Persona 4 Arena and BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma world finals at Evolution) discovered and tried Colosseum Mode, running a series of First To 5 money matches. They were smitten with the way it behaved like a fighting game, and hours later, they hashed out a meta game - with the aim of showing it off at a tournament.
First Catherine Tournament - Super NorCal Install, September 3rd, 2011The event was the next Super NorCal Install tournament on September 3rd, 2011 at Game Center in San Mateo, California, and the Catherine tournament - the very first streamed one in the world - proved to be the main event. The tournament also attracted players from Southern California and included not only Dacidbro and Coopa, but also Aksys worker and Shoryuken contributor James Xie and future SoCal Regionals Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 champion Vineeth Meka (Apologyman - nicknamed WallJumpMan at the time.)
Viewership on Twitch spiked during the tournament, leading to the stream being discussed on Shoryuken.com and NeoGAF and calls on the stream for Catherine to become a game featured at Evolution (EVO for short) - the annual world fighting game championships in Las Vegas.
Catherine Goes To Evolution - EVO 2015, July 18th, 2015
Four years later, that dream became a reality, as Atlus sponsored a large official Catherine side tournament at EVO 2015, which took place at Bally's Paris Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas strip. The tournament attracted players from not only the United States but also Japan and Australia (which had the most sustained competitive scene). Competitors included Dacidbro and speedrunner Ghoul, who is a Babel world record holder. The tournament was widely well-received to the point that Competitive Catherine became a Twitter trending topic as other Colosseum tournaments were subsequently scheduled.
In a surprising turn of events, Dacid came in 9th place after being the top-ranked player for six years.
- Winners: (1st) Shas, (2nd) Geordi, (3rd) Rob, (4th) Sketches
- Full Tournament with Commentary by KaraKancel, Shas, MikeMuscles, and Ghoul
- Video recorded and livestreamed on twitch by Ghoul
Catherine was a main event at CEOtaku 2017 thanks to Jebailey believing it to be its last year in the official lineup and wanting it to go out in style. It will still be at future CEO events, but likely in a non-official capacity. Of note, Shas was able to maintain his title as top-ranked player prompting this exchange on twitter.
- Winners: (1st) Shas, (2nd) Dacid, (3rd) Geordi, (4th) Maester Sketches
- Organizer: Glacia
- Final Brackets
- Finals Videos with Commentary by MikeMuscles and Drewchuck
- Videos of other rounds (thanks to Linus!)
Colosseum Mode Techniques & Hijinks
Also see Techniques
- The Energy Drink was nicknamed "X-Factor" by Finest KO because, like its Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 namesake, it makes comebacks very much possible.
- Combo - Finest KO discovered that if one player jumps on another, the attacked player cannot grab onto a ledge and there is a short period of time during which the attacked player cannot act, which means that the attacking player, if he or she times it correctly, can repeatedly jump down on the opponent until that opponent is knocked off the tower.
- Reversal - If a player sees another going approaching from a higher layer to go for a knockdown, he or she can push out the block that their opponent would attack from, either causing the opponent to fall or creating the opportunity for a counterattack.
- Stand (Pin) - Colosseum Mode allows players to walk over opponents if they hit them with the pillow first and knock them to the ground. One method that players have found is to stand on top of the downed player, preventing him or her from moving, and then moving up to the next level right as the bottom layer of blocks is about to fall.
- Option Select - If a player pulls out a block and ends up hanging as a result, he or she can knock down the opponent when dropping into that hang.