Klonoa

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Klonoa
Klonoa series logo.png
Genre(s)
Developer(s)
Publisher(s)
Platform(s)PlayStation, WonderSwan, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Wii, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
First releaseKlonoa: Door to Phantomile
December 11, 1997
Latest releaseKlonoa
December 4, 2008

Klonoa[a] is a platform video game series created by Namco starting in 1997. It stars Klonoa, an anthropomorphic creature who explores dream worlds. The series was launched with Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (1997) for the PlayStation, which was followed by two other home console games: Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil (2001) for the PlayStation 2, and a remake of Door to Phantomile titled Klonoa (2008) for the Wii. In addition, there have been five spin-off games for the PlayStation, WonderSwan, and Game Boy Advance. Remasters of the Wii version of Door to Phantomile and the original Klonoa 2 are planned for the Nintendo Switch in 2022, and for other platforms at a future date.

Series elements[edit]

Gameplay[edit]

The games are set in different worlds, though the primary and known ones are Phantomile and Lunatea. It revolves around Klonoa and how he, the Dream Traveler, must save whatever world he is in from peril. Along the way he makes new friends and enemies, some of them becoming recurring characters. The game is an early example of a side-scrolling 3D game. It is an adventure and puzzle type of game. The main gameplay feature involves using Klonoa's ring and "Wind Bullets" to inflate enemies, which can be thrown at other objects or at the ground, giving him a boost upwards allowing him to double jump.

Character[edit]

Klonoa as he appears in Namco × Capcom

The series stars the titular character, Klonoa, who has features of a dog, cat, and rabbit but is not explicitly any particular animal.[1] He is described within the games and manga as a "Dream Traveler", who is fated to travel to various places where the state of dreams is in danger, but he himself is not aware of that. His traditional voice actor is Kumiko Watanabe, and he is voiced by Eric Stitt in the English version of the remake of the first game. He has Namco's mascot Pac-Man on the side of his blue hat. Wanting to be a hero, he is young and good-hearted and is willing to go against all odds to make sure justice is served. He is easily able to befriend characters along the way who support his cause. His attitude is innocent and even a bit naive, as shown in Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil.

Klonoa was designed by Yoshihiko Arai. Arai's first design, "Shady", had a shadow-like appearance. However, he felt that the lack of color did not seem tasteful, and dropped the design. His next design was created with characteristically animal eyes and long ears, as Arai felt that a person's eyes and silhouette are the features noticed when they are first met. He added a large hat with a Pac-Man emblem on it and collar to give the character a childlike and energetic quality. The design was kept and used for Klonoa.[2]

History[edit]

Release timeline
1997Door to Phantomile
1998
1999Moonlight Museum
2000
2001Empire of Dreams
Lunatea's Veil
2002Beach Volleyball
Dream Champ Tournament
Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal
2003–2007
2008Klonoa (Wii)
2009–2021
2022Phantasy Reverie Series

The first entry in the series, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (1997), was developed by published by Namco with director Hideo Yoshizawa.[3] The Klonoa character and other game characters were designed by Yoshihiko Arai.[4] The game released to a positive critical reception. Critics labeled it as Namco's first notable 3D platformer and a bid for creating a gaming mascot.[5][6][7] The game has been renowned for its blend of 2D gameplay with 3D visuals.[8][9][10]

After Door to Phantomile, Namco developed two follow-ups simultaneously: Klonoa: Moonlight Museum (1999) for the WonderSwan, and Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil (2001) for the PlayStation 2.[11] Moonlight Museum was released exclusively in Japan, and set the design standards for future handheld Klonoa games.[11] Lunatea's Veil was released to critical acclaim but weak commercial performance.[12][13]

Namco published three Klonoa games for the Game Boy Advance in the early 2000s. The first two, Klonoa: Empire of Dreams (2001) and Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament (2002), are platform games which continued the 2D gameplay used in Moonlight Museum but with a new cast of supporting characters. The third game, Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal (2002) was an action role-playing game released exclusively in Japan. Also during this period, Namco published Klonoa Beach Volleyball (2002) in Japan and Europe.

With no home console release in the series since 2001, Namco sought to revive the franchise with Klonoa (2008) for the Wii, a remake of Door to Phantomile. The game featured revised graphics and voice acting, as well as new unlockable bonuses not in the original. Despite receiving positive reviews, the game was a commercial failure and plans for a remake of Lunatea's Veil as well as a third main line installment were scrapped.[14][15]

In September 2019, a trademark filing under the name Klonoa of the Wind Encore was discovered.[16][17] Further trademark filings for Wahoo Encore and 1&2 Encore were discovered in September 2021.[18] In December 2021, a trademark for Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series was filed in the United Kingdom.[19] Phantasy Reverie Series, which features remasters[20] of the Wii version of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and the original Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil,[21] was officially announced in a Nintendo Direct in February 2022, and is scheduled for a July 8 release for Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.[22][23] The game is titled Kaze no Klonoa 1&2 Encore in Japan, making it another entry in Namco's Encore series of remakes.[24]

Reception[edit]

Aggregate review scores
Game Metacritic
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (PS1) 87%[25][b]
Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil (PS2) 91/100[26]
Klonoa: Empire of Dreams (GBA) 85/100[27]
Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament (GBA) 78/100[28]
Klonoa (Wii) 77/100[29]

The Klonoa series has been mostly critically well received. It was praised for its gameplay, graphics and story.[25][26] It also received several awards including Lunatea's Veil winning GameSpy's PlayStation 2 "Platform Game of the Year" in 2004.[30]

However, the series saw disappointing sales commercially. Lunatea's Veil only sold 133,401 copies in Japan during 2001, making it the 85th best-selling game of the year,[31] while Klonoa on Wii only debuted with 5,800 copies sold in Japan, making it the 33rd highest-selling game in the region in its first week.[32]

Other media[edit]

The character Klonoa has made cameo appearances in other video games developed by Namco. He is playable in Namco × Capcom, Moto GP,[33] Alpine Racer 3, Smash Court Tennis 3, Pro Baseball: Famista 2011, and Taiko no Tatsujin.[citation needed]

Shippuu Tengoku Kaze no Klonoa is a two-volume long comedy/slapstick manga that, unlike the somewhat more serious tone from the video games, feature Klonoa as a good natured, clumsy and dim-witted kid obsessed with being a super hero. His attempts to make good deeds tend to fail or cause the opposite effect, due to his being overly enthusiastic, his habit of jumping to conclusions and, sometimes, just because of bad luck. The volumes were released in 2002 and 2003.[34][35]

Klonoa: Dream Traveller of Noctis Sol was a webcomic series published by ShiftyLook, written by Jim Zub and drawn by Hitoshi Ariga. It began in September 2012 and lasted for two seasons with new pages being released every Wednesday, later Wednesdays and Fridays, before abruptly stopping in mid-late 2014 with the closing of ShiftyLook, resulting in the story to be unresolved.[36]

A Klonoa anime film adaptation was under pre-production at Henshin.[37] Hideo Yoshizawa joined the project as executive producer. Ash Paulsen, a former GameXplain member, also joined in as an associate producer.[38][39] After two years with no updates, writer Hitoshi Ariga confirmed the project was cancelled on January 4, 2019.[40]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Known in Japan as Kaze no Klonoa (風のクロノア, Kaze no Kuronoa, lit. "Klonoa of the Wind")
  2. ^ GameRankings score

References[edit]

  1. ^ Arai, Yoshihiko (March 6, 1998). "今回のエッセイスト グラフィックデザイナー・荒井 佳彦: OUTER VISION 2:主役キャラを考えよう". Bandai Namco (in Japanese).
  2. ^ 風のクロノア/開発者リレーエッセイ Archived 2005-11-01 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Yoshizawa, Hideo (January 30, 1998). "今回のエッセイスト: 開発ディレクター・吉沢秀雄". Bandai Namco (in Japanese). Archived from the original on August 4, 2016.
  4. ^ Arai, Yoshihiko (March 6, 1998). "今回のエッセイスト グラフィックデザイナー・荒井 佳彦: OUTER VISION 2:主役キャラを考えよう". Bandai Namco (in Japanese).
  5. ^ "Klonoa: Nothing a little penicillin won't fix!". Game Revolution. 1998. Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  6. ^ "Klonoa of the Wind: Door to Phantomile". GameFan. Vol. 6, no. 2. January 1998. pp. 16, 52–55. Archived from the original on October 21, 2018. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  7. ^ "ProReview: Klonoa of the Wind: Door to Phantomile". GamePro. No. 104. March 1998. p. 95.
  8. ^ Hoffman, Chris (January 2009). "Klonoa: The Platforming Masterpiece Returns!". Nintendo Power. No. 237. Future Publishing. pp. 68–71.
  9. ^ "The 25 best PS1 games of all time". GamesRadar+. March 26, 2018. Archived from the original on April 4, 2018. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  10. ^ 電撃オンライン (December 11, 2017). "『風のクロノア』発売から20年。名作として語り継がれる世界観とアクションの秘密を振り返る【周年連載】". 電撃オンライン (in Japanese). Archived from the original on August 3, 2018. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Parish, Jeremy (2012-09-20). "Champion of Dreams: An Interview with Hideo Yoshizawa". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 2013-02-23. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
  12. ^ "Namco tries to deal with financial strife". Spong. March 1, 2001. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
  13. ^ "Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
  14. ^ IGN staff (2009-03-07). "IGN: Klonoa". IGN.com. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
  15. ^ Kemps, Heidi (27 March 2018). "INTERVIEW: Hideo Yoshizawa and Keiji Yamagishi". Gaming.moe. Archived from the original on 13 February 2019. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Bandai Namco has trademarked Klonoa of the Wind Encore". My Nintendo News. 2019-09-17. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  17. ^ "Klonoa Encore trademark now listed as Issued and Active". My Nintendo News. 2020-09-11. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  18. ^ "Bandai Namco trademarks Wahoo Encore and 1&2 Encore in Japan; miHoYo trademarks Honkai: Star Rail". 20 September 2021.
  19. ^ "Bandai Namco registers another Klonoa trademark, this time in the UK". 18 December 2021.
  20. ^ McWhertor, Michael (2022-02-09). "The classic Klonoa games are coming to modern consoles and PC". Polygon. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  21. ^ "風のクロノア1&2アンコール 公式サイト | バンダイナムコエンターテインメント公式サイト". 風のクロノア1&2アンコール 公式サイト | バンダイナムコエンターテインメント公式サイト (in Japanese). Retrieved 2022-02-13.
  22. ^ Minotti, Mike (February 9, 2022). "Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series Coming To Nintendo Switch on July 8". GameSpot. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  23. ^ Mateo, Alex (April 21, 2022). "Remaster of 1st 2 Klonoa Games Also Launches for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, PC on July 8". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 21, 2022.
  24. ^ 株式会社インプレス (2022-02-10). "「風のクロノア」がSwitchに! 「風のクロノア 1&2アンコール」7月7日発売". GAME Watch (in Japanese). Retrieved 2022-02-11.
  25. ^ a b "Klonoa: Door to Phantomile for PlayStation". GameRakings. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
  27. ^ "Klonoa: Empire of Dreams for Game Boy Advance Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 12 March 2005. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  28. ^ "Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament for Game Boy Advance Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  29. ^ "Klonoa for Wii Reviews". Metacritic. 2012-01-22. Archived from the original on 2012-03-04. Retrieved 2012-01-22.
  30. ^ GameSpy Staff (2004). "GameSpy.com - Game of the Year Awards - 2001". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 2009-02-03. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
  31. ^ "2001 Top 100 Japanese Console Game Chart". The Magic Box. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
  32. ^ "Famitsu Japan Game Charts 2008-12-1 to 2008-12-7 and Sales". Weekly Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain, Inc. 2008-12-08.
  33. ^ IGN staff (2000-11-06). "Go Speed Klonoa, Go!". IGN.com. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
  34. ^ 疾風天国風のクロノア 第1巻. ASIN 4091424562.
  35. ^ 疾風天国風のクロノア 第2巻. ASIN 4091424570.
  36. ^ "Klonoa: Dream Traveller of Noctis Sol". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on 28 June 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  37. ^ Schilling, Mark (2016-10-27). "Tiffcom: Henshin Developing Film Based on 'Klonoa' Video Games (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved 2019-02-03.
  38. ^ "Real Talk - Episode 45: Hidden Costs". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  39. ^ @AshPaulsen (2017-01-18). "As @rpereyda mentioned, I can now VERY proudly announce that I have been brought onto the #Klonoa animated film as an associate producer!" (Tweet). Retrieved 2019-02-03 – via Twitter.
  40. ^ https://twitter.com/ariga_megamix/status/1081353923137421312[bare URL]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]