Clock Tower (1996 video game)
North American cover art
|Genre(s)||Survival horror, Point-and-click adventure|
Clock Tower, known in Japan as Clock Tower 2 (クロックタワー2), is a survival horror point-and-click adventure game for the PlayStation. It is a sequel to Clock Tower for the SNES (also known as Clock Tower ~The First Fear~ on its PlayStation port).
There are two novels and a radio drama based on the game. They were not released outside of Japan.
Clock Tower is a survival horror point-and-click adventure game, with the player controlling a cursor to direct the character and give commands such as to investigate objects. The interface is akin to 1990-era computer adventure games, but simplified to work better with a gamepad.
The game is separated into three scenarios, including a prologue during which the main character for the rest of the game is decided. In the prologue, the player controls Samuel Barton. In the first scenario, the player either plays as Jennifer Simpson or Helen Maxwell. The playable character for the second scenario can either be Nolan, Stan, or Helen. Between each scenario, there is additionally an intermission, in which the player can explore the town and gather clues via a 'world map' before moving on to the next level.
In the Japanese version, there is a secret mode unlockable by getting all 10 endings called Buyo Buyo Mode. If the mode is turned on during the game, all of the characters change size and width repeatedly.
Clock Tower was unique amongst adventure games of the era in that it had a sole stalker pursuing the main character. This delayed puzzle-solving and required the player to run, finding hiding places or ways to temporarily fend off the attacker. The stalker was a typical slasher villain wielding a large pair of scissors, dubbed Scissorman.
If directly confronted by the Scissorman, the player engages in a "panic" mode and must repeatedly pound the "panic button" to struggle with the attacker. If the character is low on health, or the player has not tapped the panic button quickly enough, Scissorman kills the character. Scissorman can appear at various points in the scenario. He can be randomly encountered in the hallways or emerge in response to the player's interactions with an object. He can also be found in hiding places that the player would normally use. Scissorman cannot be defeated by normal means, and must constantly be evaded.
In the mountains of Romsdalen stood Barrows Mansion, owned by Mary and Simon Barrows. Here, in 1986, Mary Barrows gave birth to a pair of deformed, malicious twins named Bobby and Dan. In 1995, four girls from the Granite Orphanage were adopted by Mary Barrows and brought to the mansion, but were soon attacked by both Mary and the first Scissorman, Bobby Barrows. Of these, the only survivor was Jennifer Simpson, who escaped after causing or witnessing the deaths of Mary, Bobby and Dan.
One year on from the events of The First Fear, Jennifer Simpson has been adopted by Helen Maxwell, the assistant of a renowned psychiatrist, and is currently undergoing treatment in Oslo to help her cope with her experiences in the Clock Tower case and possibly shed some light on the mystery that was the Scissorman.
The plot revolves around another survivor of the murders, a young boy named Edward, and the sudden re-emergence of the Scissorman.
- Jennifer Simpson (voiced by Rumiko Varnes)
15-year-old Jennifer lost her parents when she was very young and was raised in the Granite Orphanage. After her narrow escape from the Scissorman a year ago, Helen Maxwell, who was investigating the case for her studies, took her in. Jennifer is being used by Professor Barton as a research subject. In Helen's story she is captured by Scissorman in the 3rd Scenario and is hung up on the cross in the chapel. If Helen is too slow or does not have the pistol Jennifer will be killed by Scissorman.
- Helen Maxwell (voiced by Risa Shiraishi)
Helen is Samuel Barton's assistant professor of criminal psychology. Although she is Jennifer's adopted mother, she shares a sisterly relationship with the young girl. Helen is very protective of Jennifer and always looks out for her. In Jennifer's story in the 3rd Scenario, she is found in the storage locked in a chest and can translate the note for Jennifer. She is counted as dead if she is not released from the box despite appearing in Jennifer's A ending.
- Nolan Campbell (voiced by Jeff Manning)
Nolan Campbell is a reporter. Nolan is targeted by Scissorman when he starts getting involved in the Clock Tower case. Through the Clock Tower case he develops a romantic interest in Jennifer. In Jennifer's story in the 3rd Scenario he always survives and assists Jennifer in killing Scissorman by distracting long enough to cast the door spell. In Helen's 3rd scenario he is found in a coffin in the storage and if not found before Scissorman's demise will be considered dead.
- Stan Gotts (voiced by Peter Stone)
Stan Gotts is an assistant-inspector. Stan is obsessed with tracking "Scissorman" down. A firm believer in hands-on experience, he places no faith in the supernatural and believes that he'll be able to bring the case to a close. He is close to Helen and forms a friendship with her. In Jennifer's 3rd scenario, if she runs into the torture room while being chased by Scissorman or under other certain circumstances, Gotts will be found upside down in the grinder with an enormous pool of blood around him; he can also be found alive on the floor of the torture room. He always survives Helen's 3rd scenario and assists Helen by giving her a pistol, and if Helen has met the qualifications for the A ending he will rescue Helen from being pulled into the door with Scissorman.
- Samuel Barton (voiced by Robert Spencer)
Samuel Barton is a professor of criminal psychology. He provides psychological research and investigates the Clock Tower case from this angle. He believes that Scissorman is not an immortal killer, instead believing this idea has been created by newspapers like the one Nolan works for. In Helen's story it is revealed that he posed as Scissorman, saying that he was drawn by Scissorman's soul. He then dies peacefully. In Jennifer's story he is found against a tree in the garden, and can assist by translating the note into the door spell. However if Jennifer had Helen translate then he will be found hanging from the tree, and if Jennifer inspects it, Scissorman will leap at her from the top.
- Harris Chapman (voiced by Jojo Otani)
Harris is a assistant psychology professor. Harris is a gaunt man and has a infatuation with Jennifer. He is the fake Scissorman of Jennifer's story after being promised by the Scissorman he could have Jennifer. He dresses and brings Jennifer into the Barrows Mansion but is killed by Scissorman shortly afterwards. In Helen's scenario he is found in the kitchen and he gives Helen a key that cause the player to get the C ending, but he can be found later. He can also be found decapitated in a pot.
- Edward (voiced by Terry Osada)
Edward survived the incident a year ago. He was found at the scene of the murders suffering from amnesia, so was taken to the Granite Orphanage, where he given the name Edward. he is also undergoing psychiatric treatment from Samuel Barton. At the end it is revealed that he is Dan Barrows (the giant purple child whom Jennifer set on fire while fleeing from him in Clock Tower: The First Fear) and the true Scissorman.
- Beth (voiced by Sayoko Kamei)
Beth is one of the Research Assistants. She becomes involved in the events of Scissorman and Clock Tower when they start getting more involved with her. Beth is very ditzy and naive. She is extremely immature for her age, having a tendency to whine. She also has a multitude of stuffed animals. Her fate is always optional: In Helen's 3rd scenario she tries to follow Helen to safety after being found she gets dragged down into the floor by Scissorman, but survives if Helen talks her into staying put. In Jennifer's scenario she is found cowering in the wine cellar and will give Jennifer the key, but if certain items are not found in time, she will be replaced by Scissorman who attempt to pull Jennifer. Upon returning to the cellar if Jennifer inspects a wine barrel, blood will leak out followed by a finger-ring which Jennifer recognizes as Beth's-and the key.
Tim is Nolan's camera man. He works closely with Nolan and is scared easily, but he is a good person over all. Like many of the other characters, his fate lies in the player's actions. In Jennifer's 3rd scenario, if certain items are retrieved in time, Tim will be found safely by the lounge fireplace and will give Jennifer a box of matches, but if not, Tim's smoking body is found stuffed half-way in the fireplace with the matches lying next to his body. In Helen's 3rd scenario, he can either be found hiding in the wine cellar or dead in a barrel.
- Kay (voiced by Maya Moore)
Kay is Edward's guardian. She is a very tall woman who always wears a waist length white coat. In Jennifer's and Helen's A and B endings she can be heard pleading with Edward to stop and return to the orphanage before being killed and her corpse is found lying on the ground next to Scissorman upon entering the cavern. It has been discovered through e-mail to Hifumi Kouno, the game designer and director, that the demon Dan Barrows as Edward was able to sense and exploit her repressed feelings toward him and bend her to his will. This is why she is the one that kills Jennifer in her C ending. Her corpse was most likely sucked into the door when Jennifer or Helen opened it.
- Rick (voiced by Barry Gjerde)
Rick is a butler of the Barrows mansion, he retired before the murders began. He gives Gotts and Nolan some information about the Barrows before being killed. In Gotts's scenario he is mauled by his dog, and in Nolan's scenario he is crushed by the chandelier in the foyer of his house (ironically the chandelier was given to Rick by the Barrows as a retirement present).
- Mr. Sullivan
Sullivan is the head librarian. He likes to collect things and show them off in a personal gallery. In Helen's second scenario (if in the prologue Professor Barton hasn't given the statue to Harris, the player's next scenario after the first scenario is the library, if the statue was given to Harris, player's next scenario will be Rick's house and Mr. Sullivan won't be found dead) he is decapitated by the library's giant clock when he sticks his head out of the porthole to see what is wrong with it.
Danny is the "computer guy" for the University. He does not go to England with everyone because he has no passport, due to this he always survives.
Rose is a student at the University. She is an attractive slim woman with shoulder length brown hair and wears a skintight orange knee length dress. She is a friend of Helen's and she has an infatuation with another student named Baker. According to Helen, Rose uses the University as a "motel" alluding to Rose going there at night to meet up with Baker. She is killed by Scissorman in the first scenario. Her corpse can be found cut open and gutted in a bathroom stall or impaled to a bed in the therapy room.
Baker is a student at the University who has the unfortunate luck to be one of the first victims of Scissorman. His corpse is used to trick Helen into unlocking the door to the women's lounge so Scissorman can get inside to attack her for the first time.
Sandra is a librarian clerk that works behind the desk at the library. Her name was found in the Artbook notes. Other than that, her name is rarely mentioned. if in the prologue Professor Barton hasn't given the statue to Harris, the player's next scenario after the first scenario is the library, if the statue was given to Harris, player's next scenario will be Rick's house and Sandra won't be involved in the case, and she survived. If it isn't, she is found impaled to a bookshelf in Helen's second scenario, and if the bookshelf is inspected Scissorman will jump out at Helen from behind it.
Depending on the player's actions, the ending may change from good to bad. There are 5 different endings for Helen and Jennifer.
- Ending A
After finding out that Edward (who turns out to be Dan from Clock Tower: The First Fear) was Scissorman, she draws him into the vortex by the Door Spell and escapes his grasp by stabbing him with a dagger. She and Nolan are trapped in the wreckage after it collapses. After a romantic conversation, they are rescued by Helen.
- Ending B
Jennifer opens the vortex with the Door Spell and Edward is pulled in. However, unable to get out of his grasp, she is pulled into the vortex as well. The FMV that follows shows Helen and Nolan visiting her grave.
- Ending C
Jennifer finds Scissorman in the cavern and recognizes him when he calls her. Before she can have the chance, she is stabbed by Kay. The FMV that follows shows a reporter that is outside reporting the incident, stating that many corpses have been found. The rescue team behind her then announces they have a survivor, and they wheel out with a stretcher. Edward turns out to be the survivor, and he promptly opens his eyes and smiles.
- Ending D
Under the fountain in the courtyard, Jennifer finds Edward, who tells her he has found a way out. She walks past to the door that's behind him, but before she could even get to it, he stabs her and his reflection is shown in blood.
- Ending E
Jennifer is in her room writing in her diary about how the Demon Statue was never found. She then hears a familiar metallic clanging outside her window, and gasps.
- Ending A
Helen shoots Scissorman before he could kill Jennifer, only to find out he is Professor Barton. After the professor tells her why he dressed as Scissorman, Helen informs Gotts and Jennifer of what happened. Gotts asks if the case is closed, but Helen can tell that the scissorman is still alive. She finds the Scissorman (who is really Edward but not recognize as Dan) under the fountain and traps him in a vortex using the Door Spell. Though Edward manages to grab Helen, he is shot by Gotts before he can pull Helen in. She helps Jennifer out of the Barrows Mansion wreckage.
- Ending B
After the vortex is opened, Scissorman is pulled in, but he manages to pull in Helen as well. The FMV after it shows the reporter covering the incident. It then pans to a familiar pair of scissors laying on top of the rubble and Scissorman's hand rising from the wreckage.
- Ending C
After going under the fountain, Helen finds Professor Barton. He tells her that he has found something behind him that helps solve the case, but after Helen walks past him, he hits her over the head with a rock and kills her. The FMV that follows shows Gotts visiting her grave.
- Ending D
Helen shoots and kills Scissorman before he could kill Jennifer, only to find out that he is Professor Barton. After the professor tells her why he dressed up as Scissorman, Helen informs Gotts and Jennifer of what happened. They conclude that Professor Barton was the real Scissorman this whole time, and the game ends.
- Ending E
Helen comes in to check on Jennifer before she goes to bed, only to find the girl with a small pair of scissors lodged in her back. She then runs to Jennifer, not noticing Scissorman hiding behind the door. The screen then fades.
Clock Tower on the Playstation has become a cult classic. Many fans loved the twists of Scissorman and the items to collect throughout the game as well as a wonderful storyline and making the Scissorman a cult icon in the Horror genre. The game has gotten mixed to good reviews from various publishers. Publishers such as Absolute Playstation, Gamezilla, and NowGamer praised the game for its atmosphere, story, and gameplay with scores ranging from 8.8 to 8 (out of 10) also calling the Scissorman "The Michael Myers Of Video Games". However, IGN and Gamespot marked the game down for its dialogue heavy portions of the game, their scores ranging from 5.5 to a 5.8. The average review score on Gamerankings lies around 70/100 and a 74/100 at MobeyGames. In 2006 Gametraillers.com named Clock Tower #10 on the "Top Ten Horror Games"
To date many independent game sites have requested for the Clock Tower Scissorman story to become a movie. On November 29th 2011, David R. Ellis, director of "Snakes on a Plane", has been attached to the project as the director, and the tentative release date is for 2012.
On January 7 2013 David R. Ellis "Who was attached to directing the Clock Tower film" died mysteriously and future plans for making the film has been postponed.
Other resources and information
- Clock Tower at GameFAQs
- Clock Tower at MobyGames
- GT Countdown - Top Ten Scariest Games - Clock Tower was voted as number 10
- Le Manoir Burroughs A French fan site.