As I have been discussing horror games (and movies,stories, etc) with my friends, one game series keeps coming up: Clock Tower. We can discuss the more solid and interesting entries into this series at a later time, but right now, I want to talk about Clock Tower 3.
When the original company that made the first two Clock Tower games, Human Entertainment, fell through in 1999, the license for the series was sold to Capcom, who in turn made Clock Tower 3. In the first two games, orphan Jennifer Simpson is pursued by deformed adolescent Bobby Barrows, who is better known as Scissorman. The gameplay was rather unique in that Jennifer is mostly defenseless, and thus forced to use her surroundings to hide from the scissor-wielding psychotic who is out to get her. Both of these games featured interesting stories involving multiple endings and fun plot twists. Clock Tower 3 is also about a young girl, Alyssa Hamilton, who is living at a boarding school. Alyssa is warned by her mother to go into hiding until her 15th birthday passes. Like any proper young lady, Alyssa completely ignores her mother’s wishes and goes back to her childhood home to make sure her mom is safe. All a good set-up for a fantastic story involving a Victorian-style murder mystery, right?
Well, it is about this point in the game that you find out the Alyssa is the newest in a long line of women who can speak to the dead and travel through time to put the souls of murder victims to rest. These victims (along with Alyssa) are hunted by a dark force known as “The Entity,” which takes over people’s minds and forces them to commit horrific murders. Ultimately, each murderer must be put to rest by Alyssa, who can use her powers to turn a vial of holy water into a magic bow and arrow, which is the only weapon which will harm “The Entity.” Alyssa’s powers will weaken by the age of fifteen, so it is normal for the women in her family to marry young, have little girls, and groom them to take over the family business.
If at this point, you (the reader) are confused and a bit put off by this story, you are not alone! The game did not sell well, and was generally disliked by fans of the Clock Tower series. I was particularly underwhelmed by this lackluster title. But, there is one thing I did take away from playing this poorly written game. One of the murderers you must lay to rest is known as the Evil Chopper, who attacks his victims with a pair of hand-axes. Take a look at this fellow and see if he reminds you of anyone.
Really? No one is coming to mind? Hmm, how about with a side-by-side comparison?
For those of you who are interested, Clock Tower 3 came out in the Year of Our Lord 2002, whereas God of War came out in the Year of Our Zeus 2005. Makes one wonder where the inspiration for Kratos really came from…
Maybe from Outworld? Laura has reminded me that both Kratos and the Evil Chopper resemble, “that guy from Mortal Kombat who makes you break your own neck and throws those lame green skulls.” Quan-Chi debuted in Mortal Kombat: Mythologies way back in the Year of Shao Kahn 1997. So I guess that settles this mystery.