Clock Tower (1996 video game)

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Clock Tower
Clock Tower 1 Game.jpg
North American cover art
Developer(s) Human Entertainment
Publisher(s) JP Human Entertainment NA/EU ASCII Entertainment
Director(s) Hifumi Kono
Series Clock Tower
Platform(s) PlayStation, Playstation Network
Release date(s)
  • JP December 13, 1996
  • NA October 1, 1997
  • EU February, 1998
PlayStation Network
  • JP February 22, 2012
Genre(s) Survival horror, point-and-click adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

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 developed by Human Entertainment for the PlayStation. It is the sequel to Clock Tower, which was only released in Japan for the Super Famicom. Two novels and a radio drama based on the game were created, but were not released outside of Japan.


In Clock Tower the player controls a cursor to direct and give commands, such as investigating objects, to the protagonist. The interface is similar to '90s era computer adventure games, but simplified to make the game run more smoothly when playing with a gamepad.

The game is separated into three scenarios. The first is the prologue, wherein the main character for the rest of the game is decided. In the prologue, the player controls character Samuel Barton. Depending on the results of the prologue, the player may control either Jennifer Simpson or Helen Maxwell in the first chapter of the game. The playable character for the second chapter can either be Nolan, Stan, or Helen. Between each chapter, there is an intermission, where the player can explore the town and gather clues using a "world map", before moving on to the next level.

The Japanese version of the game contains a secret mode that can be unlocked by playing 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.


Main article: Scissorman

Clock Tower was unique among adventure games of the era, having a sole stalker pursuing the main character. The stalker chased the player, forcing him to hide which often distracted the player from puzzles. The stalker was a stereotypical slasher villain named Bobby Barrows who wielded a large pair of scissors. He was better known as "Scissorman."


In the mountains of Romsdalen stood the Barrows Mansion, owned by Mary and Simon Barrows. Here, in 1986, Mary Barrows gave birth to 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 Bobby Barrows. However, Jennifer is able to kill them. She is the only survivor from the first game.

One year after the incident, Jennifer is adopted by Helen Maxwell, the assistant of a renowned psychiatrist. We find then that she has undergone treatment in Oslo to help her cope with her experiences in the Clock Tower case.

The plot revolves around a second unknown survivor named Edward, and the sudden emergence of a new Scissorman.


Depending on the player's actions, the ending may change from favorable to unfavorable. There are 5 different endings for characters Helen and Jennifer.

Jennifer Simpson

  • Ending A

After finding out that Edward (who also turns out to be Dan Barrows) 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. Helen and Nolan visiting her grave, and Helen hints that Jennifer might still be alive somewhere.

  • Ending C

Jennifer finds Scissorman in the cavern and recognizes him when he calls her. Before she has the chance to approach him, she is stabbed by Kay.

  • Ending D

Under the fountain in the courtyard, Jennifer finds Edward who tells her he has found a way out. She walks past him to the door, but before she can 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 idol was never found. She then hears a familiar metallic clanging outside her window and gasps.

Helen Maxwell

  • Ending A

Helen shoots Scissorman before he can 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 knows that Scissorman is still alive. She finds Scissorman under the fountain and traps him in a vortex using the Door Spell. Though Edward manages to grab Helen, Gotts shoots him before he can pull Helen in. Gotts then 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. Afterwards, we see a reporter covering the incident. The camera pans to a familiar pair of scissors lying on top of the rubble and Scissorman's hand rises 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 cutscene that follows shows Gotts visiting her grave.

  • Ending D

Helen shoots and kills Scissorman before he can 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 has been stabbed in the back with a small pair of scissors. She runs to Jennifer, not noticing Scissorman hiding behind the door. The screen then fades.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 71.72%[1]
Review scores
Publication Score
AllGame 2.5/5 stars[2]
EGM 7.6/10[3]
GamePro 3.5/5 stars[4]
GameSpot 5.8/10[5]
IGN 5.5/10[6]
OPM (US) 3/5 stars[7]

The game received mixed to positive reviews from various publications. Reviewers from sources such as Absolute PlayStation, Gamezilla, and NowGamer praised the game for its atmosphere, story, and gameplay, also calling 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[6] to a 5.8.[5] The game so far has a score of 71.72% from GameRankings.[1] In 2006 GameTrailers named Clock Tower #10 on the "Top Ten Horror Games".[8]


  1. ^ a b "Clock Tower for PlayStation". GameRankings. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ House, Michael L. "Clock Tower (PS) - Review". Allgame. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ EGM Staff (September 1997). "Clock Tower". Electronic Gaming Monthly (99). 
  4. ^ "Clock Tower". GamePro. October 1997. 
  5. ^ a b Rubenstein, Glenn (December 30, 1997). "Clock Tower Review". GameSpot. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Rignall, Jaz (October 13, 1997). "Clock Tower". IGN. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Clock Tower". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. 1997. 
  8. ^ "GT Countdown Video - Top Ten Scariest Games | GameTrailers." GameTrailers. N.p., 27 Oct. 2006. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.

External links[edit]

Official sites

Other resources and information