|Clock Tower character|
Scissorman as seen on the cover of Clock Tower
|First game||Clock Tower (1995)|
|Created by||Hifumi Kouno|
|Designed by||Kuniomi Yoshida|
Scissorman is a nickname of a series of fictional character antagonists in the Clock Tower horror series. Each Scissorman is a serial killer, constantly in hide-and-seek type pursuit of the protagonist, whose trademark weapon is a massive pair of scissors or garden shears that he uses to stab and cut his victims. Scissorman has first appeared in the 1995 video game Clock Tower and since then is widely regarded as one of the scariest characters in gaming history.
Scissorman is introduced as Bobby Barrows, the young son of Mary and Simon Barrows. He is the twin brother of Dan Barrows, and they were both known for their murderous tendencies amongst the locals, however it was in fact Bobby who was the Scissorman. Throughout the game, he chases Jennifer Simpson through the Barrows mansion in an attempt to kill her. He seems to take some childish delight in playing with his victims before he kills them, as he can be seen dancing for a short while if he knocks Jennifer to the floor. It is heavily implied that he is a demon, as it is discovered that his mother Mary was a cultist, and in the opening cutscene the baby Bobby's eyes are completely white. Bobby meets his fate as Jennifer activates the clock tower bells, and the chimes disorient him enough so that he falls off the clock tower to his presumed death.
In Clock Tower 2, Scissorman returns with a blue overcoat, a mask and an exaggerated limp. Scissorman appears in each scenario, and his appearances are mostly triggered by the player's actions. Scissorman appears to be immortal, therefore the player must either try to hide until he is gone, or use an object to knock him out. In one of the levels, he can be found resting in a rocking chair and watching cartoons on TV. It is revealed that the Scissorman in this game can be a variety of people, depending upon the choices the player makes within the game. However, no matter who the fake Scissorman in this game turns out to be, the real Scissorman is always Edward, the only survivor of the original Clock Tower murders apart from Jennifer. It is revealed that Edward is actually Dan Barrows, the twin brother of the previous Scissorman, Bobby. In the port of the original Clock Tower for the PlayStation (renamed The First Fear), an Easter egg is added after Dan's apparent death during the explosion: Edward can be seen rising from Dan's charred remains. Edward's role as Scissorman comes to an end as Jennifer and Helen find a spell to open a massive door, which sucks the Scissorman in.
According to the second game of the series, another Scissorman (also known as Little John from the Big Castle) prior to Bobby and Dan had lived a long time ago. He had been stopped from murdering people by his father, Quinten Burroughs. His corpse can be found in the Burroughs Castle (in England) in a stone coffin.
Scissorman does not appear in Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within, which is named Clock Tower Ghost Head in the original Japanese and greatly disconnected from the main series in terms of plotline, but makes a brief cameo in the Clock Tower: Ghost Head loading screen. Furthermore, the main characters, Alyssa and Bates, were theorized by their parents to be reincarnations of the previous Scissormen, Bobby and Dan.
The Scissorman in Clock Tower 3 is not related to any of the previous incarnations. In fact, he is not one but two people: the twins, Scissorman and Scissorwoman. Both look like circus performers, and both wield a pair of knives that they can put together to create makeshift scissors. Their true names are Ralph and Jemima (Rudy and Janis in the Japanese version of the game), and both were servants to Lord Burroughs, acting as his executioners. After the death of Burroughs, they were stoned to death by local villagers in retaliation for their murdering ways. However, both were resurrected, sharing a single entity between them.
The posters for the announced live-action film Clock Tower show the Scissorman extensively. It appears as he will be wielding two knives that can join together into a makeshift pair of scissors (similar to the Scissorman/Scissorwoman duo in Clock Tower 3) rather than his trademark pair of shears.
The character was positively received by many publications as one of the most horrific characters in video game history. Blistered Thumbs wrote that "Scissorman is perhaps the first singular, named character to personify what a slasher movie villain should be; an apathetic, unstoppable force," comparing him to "unstoppable foes like Pyramid Head or Nemesis," who later "have become iconic characters in their own right," and praising "the essence of horror that his design and mechanics represents."
In 2008, GamesRadar ranked Scissorman as the fourth scariest video game villain ever, stating that "he looks a little silly now, but back when Clock Tower first appeared on the PSone, Scissorman was the most frightening thing we'd ever seen." In 2010, Joystick Division listed him among the top ten scariest characters in video game history, adding that "he will always be regarded as one of the most nefarious and horrible antagonists in all of video gaming." UGO.com featured him in their 2011 list of the 25 scariest characters in video games, calling him "beyond terrifying." In 2012, Retro Collect named him as one of the top five most disturbing chasing enemies in video games, while FHM included him on their list of ten scariest game characters ever, adding that "merciless stalking and murdering isn’t the most disturbing thing though; it’s how he’s not really a man–but actually a nine-year old boy."
PlayStation Universe ranked him as eight on their 2009 list of the scariest monster "to infest a Sony platform", commenting: "What an iconic figure from one of horror’s most underrated classics." PlayStation Universe also included "Scissor Man snapping at my heels" on their 2010 list of ten "pant-wetting PlayStation moments", adding that his "ubiquity instills a nerve-shattering sense of vulnerability about the player—perhaps more so than any other major foe in horror gaming history." In 2012, PlayStation Official Magazine included him among the PlayStation’s top ten scariest characters, calling him "an unstoppable and insensate force that recalls the best (and worst) 70s slasher flicks."
- Human Entertainment (1995-09-14). Clock Tower (in Japanese). Super Famicom (vFan translation to English by Aeon Genesis, on 2001-09-10). Level/area: Secret Room. "11.10.1986 - This is the third day I, Dr. Walter Simpson, have been in here. I'll not last long. Before I die, I will record this...There are twin children who are a blemish on this world. When the lady was to give birth, I was called to this house. She gave birth to two chil...no, demons. When they were born, they ate my right hand. They were ill, their bodies deformed...they should have died. But they lived...I should have tried to...Breathing is painful. The air in this room is already gone...They are in a cradle under the star..."
- Human Entertainment (1997-09-30). Clock Tower (in English). PlayStation. Level/area: Prologue. "Barton: "I'm expecting another survivor of the Clock Tower murders. He is supposed to be a young boy about ten years old..."
- Human Entertainment (1997-09-30). Clock Tower (in English). PlayStation. Level/area: Jennifer's Scenario 3 - Barrows Castle Caverns. "Jennifer: "So it was you, Edward." / Scissorman: "I guess the secret is finally out, Jennifer. But my name isn't Edward. It's Dan." / Jennifer: "You don't mean...No!" / Scissorman: "So you remember me now. Let's play again, Jennifer!"
- "Characters with Character: Scissorman". Blistered Thumbs. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- Mikel Reparaz, The scariest villains ever, GamesRadar, 2008-06-16
- James Hawkins, Top Ten Scariest Characters in Video Game History, Joystick Division, April 1, 2010
- Marissa Meli, Pee Your Pants At The Scariest Characters In Video Games, UGO, June 21, 2011
- "Top Five Creepiest Enemies You Want To Avoid Who Chase In A Video Game". RetroCollect. 2012-01-12. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- Gelo Gonzales, 10 Scariest Game Characters Ever, fhm.com.ph, November 2, 2012
- "The top ten scariest monsters to infest a Sony platform - PlayStation Universe". Psu.com. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- "Halloween Special: 10 Pant-Wetting PlayStation Moments - PlayStation Universe". Psu.com. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- "10 of PlayStation's scariest characters - Page 2 of 10 | Features". Official PlayStation Magazine. 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2013-08-01.