Clock Tower

a game by Ascii

Platforms: PlaystationPSX

Genre: Adventure/RPG

Clock Tower claims to have the most terrifying story ever incorporated in a video game. Now this is no minor claim! It is especially for horror buffs out there looking to be scared out of their wits with controller in hand. There are five different levels accessed by finding particular items and talking to specific characters during the preceding levels. One cool feature players will find enjoyable are the 10 different endings that range from good to not so good depending how you do in the title for the ultimate in replay value.

  • MANUFACTURER - Ascii
  • THEME - Adventure
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1

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CRIMSON FOUNTAINS OF GORE

A bright plume of warm crimson rain erupted as the giant scissors rent the flesh of his next victim... This is certainly not the game for the timid or weak of stomach! From corpses at your bedroom door to half eaten bodies in the restroom. ASCII Entertainment. Inc. has packed Clock Tower to the belfry with some of the most gruesome and spectacular graphics of the year!

Watch in horror as the limping gait of the immortal Scissorman approaches your present hiding place--only to see the bright fountain of your own blood if he happens to find you!

Any horror fen will quickly recognize the brilliance of the programmer s virtuoso performance in the lighting, shadowing, angles, and sheer volume of gruesome content! Lots of animation and full 3-D polygons were used to bring the bloody, murderous surroundings to life. This, in conjunction with the well detailed backgrounds and characters, will have you at the edge of your seat--praying that you make it through the night!

THE HORROR OF SILENCE

The chilling sound of the Banshees scream itself couldn't have been more dreadful than the sound of the sheering scrape of sharpened steel blades sliding past each other--not to mention the wonderful effect of pure silence in some of the most chillingly tense scenes of the game. There's something terribly dreadful in the sound of your own two feet echoing through some of the most profoundly evil halls ever wrought, and I couldn't agree more with the programmers when they spoke of the "Terror of Sound" which they labored for in this game!

ASCII Entertainment's purpose in the sound scheme of this game is fairly easy to understand... with sounds that aren't there when they should be, sounds in impossible places, the chilling music of the chase, and the haunting scrape of the Scissorman himself as he stalks you with inhuman determination...they want to scare you out of your skin!

Of course, the voice-overs and sound effects of the surrounding environments are a beautiful addition to the already impressive audio display. The tightly knit unison of background noise, voices, sound of movement, music, and silence create a living auditory atmosphere that will draw you into the world of terror on the screen right before you.

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE...

In a game where one false move could easily mean the difference between escape and grizzly death, control is of paramount importance. This is another area where Clock Tower excels!

The ease with which the player can move about the screens and interact with objects (in a myriad of different ways) is easily accomplished with the use of surprisingly few different types of on-screen indicators. Each tell the character what types of actions are possible. This gives an intuitive control that is necessary when your life hangs on a split second decision. Additionally, using the item menu for accessing the items which you've collected is only a button press away!

From fleeing down dark corridors and hiding in shower stalls, to hurling chairs and brawling with your would be assailant, the full range of movements offered by Clock Tower will leave you breathless with the fight or flight instinct as you navigate the beautifully wrought 3-D environment

Very seldom does a game come out that achieves true excellence in every area of gameplay. With stunning visual effects, outstanding depth of characters and storyline. precision control, perfection of the "Terror of Sound," as well as the replay value of ten endings. ASCII Entertainment must be congratulated for a work of art. Clock Tower is a masterpiece of Horror!

SPECIAL FEATURES!

In addition to the normal features of present day video games, like being able to save and load games.ASCII Entertainment has also included several "Special Features." As you will quickly notice when playing the game, you'll have the opportunity to play as four different characters. You can end the game with all four characters, and each one has several different endings depending on how well you do in the game. Once you've seen an ending, you can check on the special menu "Ending List" to see whether you got an A. B. C. D. or E ending. You can review the ending cinematic by selecting one of the endings you have completed (There is no cinematic for the D endings). In this way. you'll know when you've completed all ten endings.--Once you've completed an "A" ending, you can go to the "???'' in the pamphlet menu option for a secret EXTRA MODE menu! Also, when you've completed all ten endings, you have the power to go back and start the game over--There will be another new option called BUY-OBUBYO. (I won't give away what this does, but believe me. it's cool!)

TIPS ON STAYING ALIVE...

As you may have noticed, you can't actually expect to solve the case of the Scissorman if you're kicking up daisies with a large scissor hole in your chest. If you find this alarming, you may find that the following information may help you to get in a few good licks before spilling your guts at Scissorman's feet. Scope out a room before you're in danger. If there seems to be a large something that you could run around (like a table or a couch), it could buy you some time to think when Scissorman chases you around and around. Also, look for items that you could possibly throw at Scissorman. There is one room with a chair that you can throw at him, in another room, there's a bike, and in yet another room, you can find a mop to hurl at your attacker. There are several items in each scenario that can be used to slow down the Scissorman, but be cautious with the items you throw, you can only throw them at him once. Also, try to avoid hiding in the same place too many times in a row. Scissorman has a limited IQ, but he's not that stupid! As a last resort, you can use the panic button to engage Scissorman in hand to hand combat. If you press the panic button fast enough, you live, if not, you're history! Be aware that you can only use this method a couple of times before your status arrow goes red--then you'll have to try running away instead of fighting...at least until your status goes back to yellow or white. Also remember to check every nook and cranny for items that you may be able to use later. With a little help, you might just live to see tomorrow.

DEATH OF A TIRED GENRE

With one of the first true horror stories to come to the PlayStation game console, ASCII Entertainment is staying at the forefront of ground breaking technology and new genre ideas with this latest game. This isn't just another of the tired "battle against the typical bad guy" formula game where you go into a scary house, look around, kick butt, and leave. Clock Tower brings a totally new villain concept to the screen. Scissorman appears in a mystical and beautiful land seldom thought of when conceiving a new game (Romsdaaren, Norway), and when he gets there, all hell breaks loose--it's your job to clean it all up and try to put a stop to it. The beauty is that the random appearance of the villain makes the game totally unpredictable from start to finish, giving a tired old preconception of games (that a character should be at a certain place at a certain time) a new life in what's sure to be a new genre of true horror games for the PlayStation game console. Enjoy!

reggie posted a review

Overview

Every great horror movie or story always has the evil character that embodies the dark fears of the characters in the film, as well as the people watching in the audience. You know, you have your Freddy Kruegers and Michael Myerses, not to mention your Jasons. Clock Tower's Scissorman puts them all to shame! This is one creepy dude, set in one creepy atmosphere, and that amounts to one creepy game.

Clock Tower is a graphic "point-and-click" adventure game. Throughout the game, you may play as five different characters and see up to 10 different endings based on the decisions you make throughout the game. Throw in some audio that sounds like it came straight out of a horror flick, and you end up with a suspense-filled adventure.

Gameplay

I am not a big point-and-click fan. Usually point-and-click can be translated to slow-and-boring. This has all changed, thanks to Clock Tower. It is one of the best point-and-click adventures of all time. The gameplay is nothing revolutionary, but it is the story and the suspense that make Clock Tower work.

Anyone who has ever played a point-and-click adventure game will feel right at home with the controls. You guide your character through the screens by clicking on "hot" areas, which are usually areas of interest. You find objects that will be placed into an inventory that you can use at a later time. And you must locate keys to unlock doors or other items to help you progress further into the game.

If the gameplay is nothing revolutionary, then what makes this game so good? Scissorman. This is one of the scariest bad guys in the history of evil bad guys. First, let me draw you a visual of him. Scissorman walks sort of hunched over and drags one of his legs along. He is slow and not very strong, but he is armed with the largest pair of scissors you could imagine. These scissors are not used for clipping coupons out of the Sunday paper, either. Any chance he gets, he would be more than happy to stick them straight through you.

The other thing that makes Scissorman so cool is his element of surprise. This guy knows all the best hiding places and always seems to jump out at just the right/wrong times. It is rare that I get startled in movies and I can't think of a single video game (okay, maybe Resident Evil) that has made me jump because I was startled. I can think of at least five times that I jumped when something happened during this game. That tells me that I was really into the game and that they did a great job with timing and placement of the startling moments. If they are overused, they would lose their effectiveness, but that was not the case. By the way, try playing late at night with the lights off. It makes things that much scarier.

On a more sobering note, I was a bit unhappy with the unfair nature of Scissorman. Sure, he is a bad guy and everyone knows that bad guys never die (just ask Jason), but there are rules you just have to follow even if you are a bad guy. Scissorman breaks a major rule of evil villains. He does things that are impossible. I can deal with a certain amount of unrealistic action, but it is completely unfair when you run out of a room that Scissorman is in, only to find him in front of you in the next room. How the hell did he get ahead of you? I don't remember stopping to tie my shoe or anything, so how did he get there? Also, he always knows what path you have taken. There could be three doors next to each other, but Scissorman ALWAYS knows which door you went through. How does that happen?

I will say that Scissorman is a smart fellow. Well, you can usually outsmart him the first time, but don't try the same trick twice. For example, I was being chased so I hid in an empty box. Scissorman came into the room and looked around but did not look in the box. I was safe for the time. Well, he started chasing me another time so I headed back to my trusty hiding space, only this time, he decided to gently ram his giant scissors through the box and kill me. This happened in a couple of different places, and I thought it was great because you had to be creative in your hiding.

Enough about Scissorman. Let's talk about the other characters in the game. The game takes place immediately following a mass murder. Only two people made it out alive. One was a young boy and another was a woman. The game begins with a doctor asking the woman questions about what happened on the night of the murders. No one really wants to admit that they believe her about Scissorman, but they are not discounting her story either. From this point, you will meet Helen, another of the main characters. Depending on your conversations, this will dictate who you will play the game as. Each of the characters has different stories and can visit different places.

And that is one of the cool things about this game. Every decision you make, from each of these points of view, will affect the outcome of the game. The game has a total of 10 different endings, depending what moves you make during the game. If you want, you can finish the game in about an hour, but you will have missed more than half of the game. This does two things. First, it forces you to search very carefully and make sure you have found everything. Second, it helps the replay value. If you end up with the fastest ending, you will want to go back and start from the beginning and find what you missed so you will see more of the game. This worked the first few times I came to an ending that was not the best ending. After that, I did not want to start over from the beginning again because it is all the same once you find everything. This got boring because all I wanted to do was to go on past the stuff I already had seen. The end result was that after playing three or four times, I had difficulty motivating myself to start from the beginning again and going through the same old stuff one more time.

I did have a small complaint about locating objects. Sometimes they were so close together that I could not tell if there was just one item to look at or two. This caused me great pains because I thought that I already had everything when actually, I had only looked at the top of the desk, but not in the drawer directly below. The cursor looked to only be at the desktop, but when slowly moved down to the drawer it would open.

Lastly, the levels had hints scattered throughout. These hints were in the form of paper and when found, you would receive the message "found hint #XX". The screwy thing was that there was no way to read the hint during the game. You had to quit the game and go out to the main screen to read your hints. That did not make much sense to me.

Graphics/Audio

Part of making this game work had to be creating an environment that was realistic and believable. The developers did a great job. From the long corridors to the torture room with the guy sticking up out of the meat grinder, everything was awesome. The details were clear except for the smaller objects. Sometimes, objects blended in with the backgrounds a little too well, but that just made you have to search even harder. All in all, the graphics were top notch and perfect for this game.

Bottom Line

Clock Tower is some good, scary fun. The mood is perfect, and the atmosphere will rival any horror movie made (and blows away any scary video game). This game doesn't really use weapons, but relies on resourcefulness for survival. I recommend turning down the lights and playing for a while.

reggie posted a review
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