Klonoa (クロノア, Kuronoa) is a video game series created by Namco and Klonoa Works, as well as the name of the titular character of the series. The character and series were launched with the release of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile for the PlayStation in 1997.

Klonoa
Klonoa.png
Klonoa as he appears in Namco × Capcom.
Genre(s)
Developer(s)
Publisher(s)
Platform(s)PlayStation, WonderSwan, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Wii
First releaseKlonoa: Door to Phantomile
December 11, 1997
Latest releaseKlonoa
December 4, 2008

The character Klonoa has features of a dog, cat, and rabbit but is not explicitly any particular animal.[1] He is described within the games and manga as a "Dream Traveler", who is fated to travel to various places where the state of dreams is in danger, but he himself is not aware of that. His traditional voice actor is Kumiko Watanabe, he is voiced by Eric Stitt in the English version of the remake of the first game. He has Namco's mascot Pac-Man on the side of his blue hat. Wanting to be a hero, he is young and good-hearted and is willing to go against all odds to make sure justice is served. He is easily able to befriend characters along the way who support his cause. His attitude is innocent and even a bit naive, as shown in Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil.

Klonoa was designed by Yoshihiko Arai. Arai's first design, "Shady", had a shadow-like appearance. However, he felt that the lack of color did not seem tasteful, and dropped the design. His next design was created with characteristically animal eyes and long ears, as Arai felt that a person's eyes and silhouette are the features noticed when they are first met. He added a large hat with a Pac-Man emblem on it and collar to give the character a childlike and energetic quality. The design was kept and used for Klonoa.[2]

GamesEdit

HistoryEdit

Release timeline
1997Door to Phantomile
1998
1999Moonlight Museum
2000
2001Lunatea's Veil
Empire of Dreams
2002Dream Champ Tournament
Beach Volleyball
Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008Klonoa (Wii)

Klonoa: Door to Phantomile was released in late 1997 in Japan and in 1998 in North America and Europe, it was critically well received by numerous gaming publications and magazines. It was one of the first PlayStation platform games to feature two-dimensional character artwork on a rendered, three-dimensional backdrop.[3] It was described as 2.5D to distinguish it between other games that relied on one or the other.[citation needed] A remake of Door to Phantomile, simply titled Klonoa, was released on December 4, 2008, in Japan for the Wii console. It features revised graphics and voice acting, as well as many unlockable bonuses that were not in the original. These include new costumes, Mirrored Visions, and challenge areas. It was then released in North America on May 5, 2009, and in Europe on May 22, 2009.[4]

Klonoa's second appearance, Kaze no Klonoa: Moonlight Museum was released solely in Japan for the Japanese-only WonderSwan handheld system in 1999. It is Klonoa's first handheld appearance and his first fully two-dimensional one. Despite lacking the artful style of the first game, Moonlight Museum set the standard for the approaching Game Boy Advance titles like Klonoa: Empire of Dreams, which came out two years later.[original research?] Though it was very similar in style and execution to the previous game, it was developed for the more sophisticated Game Boy Advance hardware and was also available in North America and Europe.

Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2001 with moderate success. Its different types of gameplay include a standard set of platformer levels in the "2.5D" style, hoverboarding down snowy mountains and water parks, time-attack challenges, puzzle-solving, and boss fights, it also introduced a "360 degrees" system.

A third handheld title, Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament, was released for the Game Boy Advance in Japan in 2002 with a heavily belated release in North America three years later. Utilizing the same game engine as Empire of Dreams, Dream Champ Tournament was a similar gaming experience that benefited from more sophisticated puzzles and featured a newer cast of supporting characters.

A sports title, Klonoa Beach Volleyball, released for the PlayStation in Japan and later Europe, featured Klonoa and his friends in a unique version of volleyball. A North American version was not released.

Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal was a Japan-exclusive title released in late 2002. Taking a unique twist on the series, the game is an action role-playing game rather than a platformer and is played from a top-down perspective.

A webcomic adaption of the series made by Namco Bandai subsidiary ShiftyLook, called Klonoa: Dream Traveller of Noctis Sol, began publication on September 26, 2012. It was illustrated by Hitoshi Ariga,[5] with new pages being published every Wednesday. The webcomic came to an abrupt end following the shutdown of ShiftyLook in late 2014.

On October 27, 2016, a Klonoa film adaptation was announced, and was in development under the animation production company Henshin.[6] In January 2019, the film was confirmed cancelled.[7]

In September 2019, a trademark filing under the name Klonoa of the Wind Encore was discovered, which was updated as of September 2020.[8][9]

GameplayEdit

The games are set in different worlds, though the primary and known ones are Phantomile and Lunatea. It revolves around Klonoa and how he, the Dream Traveler, must save whatever world he is in from peril. Along the way he makes new friends and enemies, some of them becoming recurring characters. The game is an early example of a side-scrolling 3D game. It is an adventure and puzzle type of game. The main gameplay feature involves using Klonoa's ring and "Wind Bullets" to inflate enemies, which can be thrown at other objects or at the ground, giving him a boost upwards allowing him to double jump.

CameosEdit

Other mediaEdit

MangaEdit

Shippuu Tengoku Kaze no Klonoa is a two-volume long comedy/slapstick manga that, unlike the somewhat more serious tone from the video games, feature Klonoa as a good natured, clumsy and dim-witted kid obsessed with being a super hero. His attempts to make good deeds tend to fail or cause the opposite effect, due to his being overly enthusiastic, his habit of jumping to conclusions and, sometimes, just because of bad luck. The volumes were released in 2002 and 2003.[12][13]

His patient sidekick is a Moo, who is the postman of Breezegale. Garlen is the main villain, trying to scam or catch Klonoa but failing every time, making a fool of himself in the process.

The manga borrows characters, villains and locations from most of Klonoa's games, such as Lolo who makes an appearance in almost every comic, but instead of following any canon personality or storyline, it simply puts Klonoa and Moo in many everyday situations that quickly snowball into huge confusions or spectacular (and painful) accidents.

The first volume mainly takes focus on Klonoa's actions and morals as a (stupid) hero, which often turns out to be turned upside down, and the Moo's responsibility as he has to stop Klonoa from doing something idiotic.

However, the second volume's story is mainly about Popka who is looking for the "Legendary Hero". Baguji told him that the hero could be recognized by a "Hot Spring" icon somewhere on his body. Only the Legendary Hero can stop a disaster that may blow up the world.

WebcomicEdit

Klonoa: Dream Traveller of Noctis Sol was a webcomic series published by ShiftyLook, written by Jim Zub and drawn by Hitoshi Ariga. It began in August 2012 and lasted for two seasons with new pages being released every Wednesday, later Wednesdays and Fridays, before abruptly stopping in mid-late 2014 with the closing of ShiftyLook, resulting in the story to be unresolved.[14]

Cancelled animated film adaptationEdit

On October 27, 2016, it was announced that a film adaptation is under pre-production at Henshin.[6] It was announced on January 10, 2017 that Hideo Yoshizawa had joined the project as executive producer.[15] Ash Paulsen of GameXplain also joined in as an associate producer.[16][17] After two years with no updates, writer Hitoshi Ariga confirmed the project was cancelled on January 4, 2019.[7]

ReceptionEdit

Aggregate review scores
Game Metacritic
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (PS1) 87%[18][a]
Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil (PS2) 91/100[19]
Klonoa: Empire of Dreams (GBA) 85/100[20]
Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament (GBA) 78/100[21]
Klonoa (Wii) 77/100[22]

The Klonoa series has been critically well received. It is praised for its gameplay, graphics and story.[18][19] It also received several awards including Lunatea's Veil winning GameSpy's PlayStation 2 "Platform Game of the Year" in 2004.[23]

However, the series disappointed success commercially. With Lunatea's Veil only sold 133,401 copies in Japan during 2001, making it the 85th best-selling game of the year.[24] Klonoa on Wii only debuting with 5,800 copies sold in Japan, making it the 33rd highest-selling game in the region in its first week.[25]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Arai, Yoshihiko (March 6, 1998). "今回のエッセイスト グラフィックデザイナー・荒井 佳彦: OUTER VISION 2:主役キャラを考えよう". Bandai Namco (in Japanese).
  2. ^ 風のクロノア/開発者リレーエッセイ Archived 2005-11-01 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Klonoa: Gateway to Phantomile". IGN. 1998-03-11. Retrieved 2014-06-02.
  4. ^ IGN staff (2009-03-07). "IGN: Klonoa". IGN.com. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
  5. ^ "Big O's Hitoshi Ariga Draws Klonoa Webcomic for ShiftyLook". Anime News Network.
  6. ^ a b Schilling, Mark; Schilling, Mark (2016-10-27). "Tiffcom: Henshin Developing Film Based on 'Klonoa' Video Games (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved 2019-02-03.
  7. ^ a b https://twitter.com/ariga_megamix/status/1081353923137421312
  8. ^ "Bandai Namco has trademarked Klonoa of the Wind Encore". My Nintendo News. 2019-09-17. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  9. ^ "Klonoa Encore trademark now listed as Issued and Active". My Nintendo News. 2020-09-11. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  10. ^ IGN staff (2000-11-06). "Go Speed Klonoa, Go!". IGN.com. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
  11. ^ "PS4&Xbox One『鉄拳7』DL版のプレオーダーがスタート、追加予約特典"開発スタッフ描き下ろしキャラパネル"もお披露目". Famitsu. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  12. ^ "疾風天国風のクロノア 第1巻". Amazon.com. Archived from the original on 28 June 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  13. ^ "疾風天国風のクロノア 第2巻". Amazon.com. Archived from the original on 28 June 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  14. ^ "Klonoa: Dream Traveller of Noctis Sol". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on 28 June 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-01-13. Retrieved 2017-04-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Real Talk - Episode 45: Hidden Costs". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  17. ^ Paulsen, Ash (2017-01-18). "As @rpereyda mentioned, I can now VERY proudly announce that I have been brought onto the #Klonoa animated film as an associate producer!". @AshPaulsen. Retrieved 2019-02-03.
  18. ^ a b "Klonoa: Door to Phantomile for PlayStation". GameRakings. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
  20. ^ "Klonoa: Empire of Dreams for Game Boy Advance Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 12 March 2005. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  21. ^ "Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament for Game Boy Advance Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  22. ^ "Klonoa for Wii Reviews". Metacritic. 2012-01-22. Archived from the original on 2012-03-04. Retrieved 2012-01-22.
  23. ^ GameSpy Staff (2004). "GameSpy.com - Game of the Year Awards - 2001". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 2009-02-03. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
  24. ^ "2001 Top 100 Japanese Console Game Chart". The Magic Box. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
  25. ^ "Famitsu Japan Game Charts 2008-12-1 to 2008-12-7 and Sales". Weekly Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain, Inc. 2008-12-08.

External linksEdit