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Clock Tower 3

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Clock Tower 3
Clocktower 3.jpg
North American cover art
Developer(s)
Publisher(s) Capcom
Director(s)
Producer(s) Tatsuya Minami
Programmer(s) Masahiro Imaizumi
Artist(s) Keita Amemiya
Writer(s)
Composer(s) Cozy Kubo
Series Clock Tower
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Survival horror
Mode(s) Single-player

Clock Tower 3[a] is a survival horror video game co-developed by Capcom and Sunsoft for the PlayStation 2. Released in 2002, it is the fourth installment in the Clock Tower series, and the first and only video game directed by Japanese film director Kinji Fukasaku. The plot and characters have very little relation with the previous Clock Tower games. The story follows 14-year-old Alyssa Hamilton who is part of a family lineage of female warriors who travel through time to defeat evil spirits. Alyssa travels from her time in 2003 London to the 1940s and 1960s in order to defeat these "Entities" and bring peace to troubled souls.

As opposed to the point-and-click gameplay used in the previous games, Clock Tower 3 is the first game in the series to incorporate direct control over the protagonist. Alyssa is given no weapon for the majority of the game, and must evade and hide from her pursuers. These enemies, known as "Subordinates", are fought at the end of each level, during which Alyssa is armed with a longbow. The game received mixed reviews and was a commercial failure, selling considerably less than anticipated. The presentation, writing, and graphics were positively received, with many critics praising the cutscenes and Fukasaku's direction. However, the gameplay was criticized for its repetitive mechanics, and the game itself was felt to be too short.

Gameplay[edit]

Clock Tower 3 is a survival horror game played from a fixed third-person camera perspective in which players control 14-year-old school girl Alyssa Hamilton. Clock Tower 3 is the first game in the series to incorporate direct control over the protagonist, as opposed to the point-and-click gameplay used in the previous games.[4] To progress through the game, the player must find items to unlock new areas, solve puzzles, and flee and hide from enemies ("Subordinates"). Eventually, each Subordinate must be defeated in battle. Throughout each level, the player also encounters the spirits of innocent people slain by the Subordinates. These spirits will attack Alyssa if she approaches them. In order to pacify them, an item of sentimental value must be found and returned to the spirit's corpse.[5][6]

Alyssa is given no weaponry during the majority of the game, other than a limited supply of holy water, which can be used to temporarily stun pursuing Subordinates.[7] Within each level, the Subordinate can appear in any location after a set period of time, but also randomly or if Alyssa makes noise. They also appear in certain set locations.[8] When one appears, it immediately begins to chase Alyssa, attempting to kill her. The player must either hide from or evade it. Evasion can only be accomplished in certain places, and each evasion point can only be used once. Using an evasion point does not kill the Subordinate, but instead renders them unconscious for a set time. The primary means of eluding one, however, is by hiding. There are multiple hiding points throughout each level, and each one can be used multiple times. However, hiding places are ineffective if the Subordinate sees Alyssa enter them.[9]

Alyssa stumbles as she runs away from Sledgehammer in "Panic mode".

Throughout most of the game, Alyssa has a "Panic Meter" visible on screen. If she is scared by a Subordinate, attacked by a spirit or simply frightened by her surroundings, the meter will begin to rise. If it fills, she enters "Panic mode". In this state, the screen starts flashing and Alyssa becomes difficult to control and begins stumbling and falling over. She is also unable to use holy water and cannot enter hiding spots. After a few seconds, she will momentarily freeze, covering her ears. Panic mode only lasts for a certain amount of time, and its duration can be reduced by using "Lavender water". However, if she is hit by a Subordinate while in Panic Mode, she will die instantly.[10][11]

After the majority of each level has played out, Alyssa must confront the Subordinate who has been chasing her. At this point, her holy water bottle transforms into a longbow, allowing her to fight back. Each battle is confined to a single area, and both Alyssa and the Subordinate have onscreen life bars. During the fight, Alyssa must dodge attacks while firing arrows. In order to inflict any real damage, she must power-up her attacks. However, while powering-up, Alyssa cannot move or re-adjust her aim. This leaves her vulnerable to attacks, and makes it possible for her enemy to move out of her line of sight. A fully powered-up shot will tether the Subordinate to the ground. If it is transfixed with multiple powered-up shots, Alyssa can perform a highly damaging "Super attack", killing or severely wounding it.[12][13]

Plot[edit]

The story of Clock Tower 3 is set in London in 2003.[14] Alyssa Hamilton is a 14-year-old girl who has been living at a boarding school for three years. Her mother, Nancy, sent her there after her grandfather, Dick, disappeared. The game begins with Alyssa receiving a letter from her mother telling her to go into hiding until after her fifteenth birthday.[15] Alarmed, Alyssa decides to go against her mother's wishes and return home. However, when she arrives at the boarding house in which they live, her mother is absent, and the only person there is a man called "The Dark Gentleman". Determined to find her mother, Alyssa explores her mother's room. Suddenly, Frédéric Chopin's Fantaisie-Impromptu begins to play with no apparent source, and Alyssa is transported back in time to the streets of London during World War II.

She enters a tailor shop where she witnesses the murder of a young girl by a man wielding a sledgehammer. Eventually, Alyssa is able to piece together what happened: May Norton was killed on Christmas Eve 1942 by Sledgehammer, a stonecutter who went on a killing spree before being caught and executed.[16][17] Alyssa comes to realise that she must free May's spirit, which is trapped on Earth, by giving her her father's pocket watch. On her way to do so, she is confronted by Sledgehammer, whom she destroys. She then gives the watch to May's spirit, reuniting her with her father. At that moment, Alyssa faints and wakes up back in the boarding house. She explores the house further with her friend, Dennis Owen, and learns more about her past: the girls in her family are known as "Rooders", young women with supernatural powers. Rooders are the sworn enemies of "Entities", beings which can infect innocent humans and drive them to acts of murder, at which point the human becomes a "Subordinate". Rooder powers peak at the age of fifteen, and wane afterward, disappearing completely by the age of twenty.[18][19]

Alyssa fights Corroder in boss mode. She has tethered him twice, but three tethers are necessary to use the Super Attack.

Alyssa then travels to the 1960s, where she enters the house of Dorothy Rand, a blind elderly woman and her son, Albert, and sees them murdered by a man known as Corroder, who throws them into a vat of acid.[20] Alyssa destroys Corroder, and returns a lost shawl to Dorothy's spirit, freeing both herself and Albert. She then returns to the present, where The Dark Gentleman congratulates her on killing two Subordinates. He sends her to the top of a massive clock tower where he tells her that when her fifteenth birthday arrives they will be united for eternity.[21] He also tells her that her mother is dead. When she refuses to believe him, he flings her from the tower. Regaining consciousness in a sewer system, she is forced to confront another Subordinate, Chopper. She defeats him, but fails to kill him and is sent to a graveyard. She then learns of the "Ritual of Engagement"; if a human wishes to become an Entity, they must remove the heart of a Rooder to whom they are related on her fifteenth birthday and drink her blood.[22] Eventually, Alyssa fights Chopper again and is able to destroy him.

Dennis arrives, and he and Alyssa find their way to an abandoned hospital where they encounter Scissorman and Scissorwoman, who kidnap Dennis. Alyssa is then transported to a castle, where she sees Dick reciting a strange incantation. She learns Dick knew of the Ritual of Engagement, and had discovered that Lord Burroughs, the owner of the castle and from whom he is descended, also knew of the ritual.[23] She then sees an incident from the past of Dick asking for Burroughs' help to become an Entity, inviting Burroughs to enter his body and for them to complete the Ritual together. Burroughs' spirit takes possession of Dick, turning into The Dark Gentleman. Meanwhile, Alyssa is able to rescue Dennis from the twins, killing them in the process. The Dark Gentleman then tells Alyssa if she wants to save Nancy's soul, she must come to the top of the tower. There, The Dark Gentlemen turns into Lord Burroughs and begins the Ritual. However, Dennis distracts Burroughs, allowing Alyssa to fight back. Nancy's spirit transfers what is left of her own Rooder power into Alyssa, giving her the strength to destroy Burroughs. After she defeats him, she reunites with her mother's spirit. The tower then collapses. Alyssa awakens in a field, where she sees Dennis. She runs to him and hugs him as she says "Mum...we did it. We did it, Mum."

Development[edit]

Clock Tower 3 was officially announced on April 11, 2001, with Capcom revealing they had taken over the Clock Tower series from Human Entertainment and would be co-developing the new game with Sunsoft. They also revealed that acclaimed Japanese film director Kinji Fukasaku would be directing the cutscenes, Keita Amemiya was in charge of character design, Noboru Sugimura was writing the scenario, and Kouji 'Cozy' Kubo was composing the music. At the time of the announcement, the game was still in the casting phase; over two hundred actresses had auditioned for the motion capture of Alyssa.[24] The game was first shown at E3 in May 2002, where a non-playable demo was on show at the Capcom booth.[25] In November, Capcom announced the game would be released in Japan on December 12.[26]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 69/100[27]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 6/10[28]
Famitsu 33/40[29]
Game Revolution C[30]
GameSpot 7.3/10[31]
GameSpy 2/5 stars[32]
IGN 7.7/10[33]
OPM (US) 3/5 stars[34]

Clock Tower 3 received "mixed or average reviews," with an aggregate score of 69 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 28 reviews.[27] Commercially, the game was a failure. Capcom had projected sales of at least 450,000, but the game fell considerably short of that number.[35] By the end of 2002, it had sold 78,961 units, making it the 151st highest selling game in Japan across all systems.[36] In 2003, it sold a further 43,061 units, bringing its total to only 122,022 units sold.[37]

The game's presentation was strongly praised, with many pointing out the excellent cinematic style brought together by a strong script and well-directed cutscenes.[28][30][31][32][34] GameSpy's Alan Pavlacka felt the script was the game's strongest point, and wrote that the "excellent cinema scenes" and "distinct visual style" also contributed to the high quality presentation.[32] The graphics and atmosphere were also well received.[30][32][33] IGN's Jeremy Dunham noted that "Clock Tower 3 successfully captur[es] the dirty, musty look of England's serial killer underworld...[it] is straight out of a Mary Shelley novel."[33] The cutscene direction from Kinji Fukasaku was positively noted, with Eurogamer's Kristan Reed calling the cutscenes "exceptionally well-realised."[28] The camerawork and scariness of the game were both lauded and criticized.[28][31][32][33][34]

While the presentation was received positively, the gameplay received criticism from multiple reviews.[30][31][32][33] More specifically, the boss fights and repetitive hiding and chasing gameplay mechanics were cited as weak.[28][30][31][33] GameSpot's Brad Shoemaker argued the cinematic portions were underpinned by the gameplay, believing that players would more likely want to finish the game for its storyline than the fun they'll have playing it.[31] Game Revolution's AA White stated "Clock Tower 3 is ultimately one of those games whose cinemas are more interesting than the actual gameplay and from a gamer's standpoint, that's never a good thing."[30] Critics also agreed that the game felt too short.[28][30][32][33]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Clock Tower 3 (Japanese: クロックタワー3 Hepburn: Kurokku Tawā Surī?)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Clock Tower 3" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved July 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Clock Tower 3". GameSpy. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Clock Tower 3". Eurogamer. Retrieved May 2, 2015. 
  4. ^ Hwang, Kaiser (January 23, 2003). "Clock Tower 3 Preview". IGN. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Spirits". Clock Tower 3 Instruction Manual (UK). Capcom. 2002. p. 14. SLES-51619. 
  6. ^ Capcom Production Studio 3/Sunsoft. Clock Tower 3. Capcom. Gameplay 2: When you find a Sentimental Item that belongs to a person who died of unnatural causes, return it to its rightful owner [...] By returning these Sentimental Items, spirits are healed. 
  7. ^ "Game Screen". Clock Tower 3 Instruction Manual (UK). Capcom. 2002. p. 8. SLES-51619. 
  8. ^ "Stalkers". Clock Tower 3 Instruction Manual (UK). Capcom. 2002. p. 12. SLES-51619. 
  9. ^ "Stalkers". Clock Tower 3 Instruction Manual (UK). Capcom. 2002. p. 13. SLES-51619. 
  10. ^ "Game Screen". Clock Tower 3 Instruction Manual (UK). Capcom. 2002. p. 9. SLES-51619. 
  11. ^ Capcom Production Studio 3/Sunsoft. Clock Tower 3. Capcom. Gameplay 1: While in a state of panic, Alyssa's movements are restricted, and if attacked while in a state of panic, she will die. 
  12. ^ "Boss Battles". Clock Tower 3 Instruction Manual (UK). Capcom. 2002. p. 15. SLES-51619. 
  13. ^ Capcom Production Studio 3/Sunsoft. Clock Tower 3. Capcom. Gameplay 4: In order to defeat the enemy, Alyssa must first transfix it. By hitting the enemy with a charged arrow it is possible to fix them to the spot. Several strategically placed chains will transfix the target. While the enemy is transfixed, Alyssa is able to carry out a Super Attack. 
  14. ^ "Prologue". Clock Tower 3 Instruction Manual (UK). Capcom. 2002. p. 4. SLES-51619. 
  15. ^ Capcom Production Studio 3/Sunsoft. Clock Tower 3. Capcom. Scene: Opening. Nancy: It was after your beloved grandfather went missing three years ago that I sent you away to boarding school and told you not to come back for at least six years, without giving you any explanation. It must have been very painful for you, and I'm sorry, but it was for your own protection. Now your fifteenth birthday is approaching and I fear your life may be in danger more than ever before. Please go into hiding until your fifteenth birthday has passed. 
  16. ^ Capcom Production Studio 3/Sunsoft. Clock Tower 3. Capcom. Level/area: Chapter 1. News Article A: Christmas Day, 1942: Pall Mall - May Norton, aged 12, was found murdered in Norton's The Tailor. She was discovered by Norton family nanny Jane Stride, who returned home to find the victim unconscious, bleeding from the head. An autopsy has revealed that it was an instantaneous death, caused by a blow to the scull with a heavy, blunt object. No suspects have been named. 
  17. ^ Capcom Production Studio 3/Sunsoft. Clock Tower 3. Capcom. Level/area: Chapter 1. News Article B: 10 September 1941 - Robert Morris, 32, the man known as the Hammer Killer, has been hanged. Rumors regarding Morris' death are widespread. One witness reported: "He was hanging for a very long time, pulling on the straps and making unearthly noises, and blood was oozing through the black cap. The stench was terrible--some witnesses fainted and were carried out." Morris' first victim was Tony Flanagan, 35, a fellow employee at the Banbury stonecutting factory. On 6 June 1940, Morris suddenly struck Flanagan on the head with a hammer, killing him instantly. All five workers present were killed in the same manner. Morris disappeared thereafter. A string of similar crimes occurred until the time of Morris's arrest on 6th March in Arleton, Hampshire. Morris' victims numbered twelve, and no clear motive has been determined. Specialists continue to be baffled by the seemingly abrupt change in his behavior, as well as the extreme violence of his crimes. 
  18. ^ Capcom Production Studio 3/Sunsoft. Clock Tower 3. Capcom. Level/area: Chapter 2. Book of Entities 1: "Entities" have existed in the human realm since Roman days. These beings have been known to possess innocent humans, imbuing them with utter ruthlessness and cruelty and often driving the possessed to vicious acts of murder. In such cases, executing the murderer does not break the circle of evil-the possessed is resurrected to continue its bloodthirsty mission. Those who are thus controlled by Entities are known as "Subordinates". When a Subordinate kills a human, they take nourishment from the victim's soul, and their power grows. Subordinates may acquire an infinite amount of power in this manner. It follows, then, that Subordinates are sustained by human misery and suffering. Only certain humans are equipped to fight Entities and their Subordinates: the "Rooders". Rooders, who are always young women in their teens, have been battling against these shadowy enemies for hundreds of years. 
  19. ^ Capcom Production Studio 3/Sunsoft. Clock Tower 3. Capcom. Level/area: Chapter 2. Dick's Notes 1: 2nd February, 1978 - The Rooders who battle the Entities are scattered all over Europe. We, the Hamiltons, are also of Rooder stock; of this lineage I am proud. The Rooder blood is passed down to females; my wife, Francesca, was a Rooder [...] 13th August, 1984 - The Rooder powers first appear in a young woman's early teens, and peak at age fifteen. The powers then gradually diminish, usually disappearing entirely by the age of twenty. 
  20. ^ Capcom Production Studio 3/Sunsoft. Clock Tower 3. Capcom. Level/area: Chapter 2. News Article C: Family Tragedy! Mother & Son In Acid Bath Shocker. 23 November 1963. Crawley, West Sussex -- Two decomposed corpses were found in a house in Russell Street on Tuesday. The victims were Dorothy Rand, 65, and her toy-maker son, Albert Rand, 34. They were found in a drum filled with acid in the garage adjoining their house [...] Police are seeking the whereabouts of a young man who had been staying with the Rands a few days before the murder. Claiming to be a distant relative of Mrs. Rand, he arrived suddenly in the area and has since disappeared. 
  21. ^ Capcom Production Studio 3/Sunsoft. Clock Tower 3. Capcom. Scene: The Clock Tower. The Dark Gentleman: In two hours, the clock will strike midnight and your fifteenth birthday will arrive. When that happens, you and I will become one, and together we will obtain eternal life. 
  22. ^ Capcom Production Studio 3/Sunsoft. Clock Tower 3. Capcom. Scene: The Ritual of Engagement. The Dark Gentleman: If thy true desire is to become an Entity, there is no purer path than this: Remove the heart of a fifteen-year-old Rooder of the same bloodline, and before the beat of her heart is stilled, drink deeply of her blood. Thus will the Ritual of Engagement be completed and the dark power of the Entity shall be thine. 
  23. ^ Capcom Production Studio 3/Sunsoft. Clock Tower 3. Capcom. Level/area: Chapter 4. Dick's Notes 3: I have stumbled across an incredible document. An account of a ceremony called "The Ritual of Engagement"! It is written that by obtaining the heart of a Rooder on her 15th birthday and drinking her blood, a person can be transformed into an Entity, and receive the gift of immortality. I am disgusted by the nature of this ritual, of course. But at the same time, there is a part of me that cannot resist its allure. If I tore out Alyssa's heart with these hands and partook of her blood, I could be joined with her for all eternity [...] Yet another amazing discovery: the "Legend of Lord Burroughs". In the document is a mysterious triangular crest. It is said that the one who is able to decipher the secrets of the crest will be able to become an Entity. I suspect that too is related to the Ritual of Engagement [...] The answer is hiding out there, somewhere... 
  24. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (April 11, 2001). "Capcom and Sunsoft Announce Clock Tower 3". IGN. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Capcom: E3 Booth Report". IGN. May 22, 2002. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Clock Tower 3 Dated". IGN. November 13, 2002. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  27. ^ a b "Clock Tower 3 (PlayStation 2)". Metacritic. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  28. ^ a b c d e f Reed, Kristan (June 26, 2003). "Clock Tower 3 Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  29. ^ "プレイステーション2 - クロックタワー3". Famitsu. Enterbrain. 915: 84. June 30, 2006. 
  30. ^ a b c d e f g White, AA (April 1, 2003). "Clock Tower 3 Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  31. ^ a b c d e f Shoemaker, Brad (April 3, 2003). "Clock Tower 3 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  32. ^ a b c d e f g Pavlacka, Adam (April 12, 2003). "Clock Tower 3 Review". GameSpy. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  33. ^ a b c d e f g Dunham, Jeremy (April 3, 2003). "Clock Tower 3 Review". IGN. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  34. ^ a b c Baker, Chris (May 1, 2003). "Clock Tower 3". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Archived from the original on May 16, 2004. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  35. ^ Niizumi, Hirohiko (April 18, 2003). "Capcom declares losses, shelves 18 games". GameSpot. Retrieved April 17, 2015. 
  36. ^ "2002年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP300" (in Japanese). Geimin.net. Retrieved April 30, 2015. 
  37. ^ "2003年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP300" (in Japanese). Geimin.net. Retrieved April 30, 2015.