Battle of the Ports – Clock Tower (クロックタワー) Show #295 – 60fps


Clock Tower is the result of game style exploration
from the game development school, Human. Well, they did have their own label as well however
many of their games were developed by students of the school. Clock Tower is just one such
experiment that went on to become a cult classic. Released in 1995 for the Super Famicom, Clock
Tower has you taking the role of an orphan named Jennifer Simpson who is in fact based
upon the character Named Jennifer from the Italian horror movie, Phenomena who was in
turn played by Jennifer Connelly. Yes, the girl from Labyrinth or maybe for you younger
people, the bad woman from Battle Angel Alita. Anyway, you and your fellow orphans move to
a new place of residence for some reason. The game starts as each character talks about
how creepy the play is. You then go in search of your teacher who has gone to fetch someone.
While you are away you hear screams. Rushing back to the main hallway you find all of your
friends are missing. What has happened to them? That is for you to find out. The main aim of the game it to find your friends
while avoiding the scissor man. This evil munchkin type fiend walks around the home
with a massive pair of shears waiting to slice his next victim; you must avoid this mad man
by solving clues in a point and click fashion. The game may seem a little dull watching this
video but it is quite intense while playing. You never know just where the scissor man
will strike. But when he does, you’d better have a way to escape otherwise you’ll meet
your end. In 1997 Clock Tower was brought over to the PlayStation
under the name of Clock Tower: The First Fear. Just like the Super Famicom game, it was never
released outside of Japan. In fact no version of Clock Tower was released outside of Japan
but there are fan translations as you could see from the Super Famicom footage. This release featured a new dagger weapon,
a new room, and minor scenario additions as well as added FMV scenes. The behaviour of
Scissor man is also slightly altered to make him a more of a threat than what he was in
the Super Famicom original. Jennifer herself is also slightly more agile although this
can become annoying at times as she runs past what you want her to interact with. As you can see, the graphics are very close
to the original game but have been touched up here and there. I do find a few scenes
to be a little too dark mind you. Still, even with this slight annoyance, Clock Tower on
the PlayStation is pretty solid. The next port came to Windows ’95, again like
the PlayStation original, in 1997. This is very much like the PlayStation version but
with some improvements. The game now runs at a higher resolution which gives everything
a much cleaner look. The overly dark areas on the PlayStaion version have been fixed
as well as a few other little minor tweaks here and there. We even get a brand new intro
and some midi tunes. So far the platform of choice for playing
Clock Tower is on windows. Looks better and controls better thanks to the mouse controls.
But this is not the last port. Oh no. One more came out in 1999. And here is that final port of Clock Tower
running on the Wonder Swan and man, is it a bit of a disappointment.
The Wonder Swan is a pretty powerful gaming device that runs of one AA battery for hours
upon end. It should have been able to handle Clock Tower with ease however the team who
ported this version clearly had no clue what they were doing as the game is awfully slow.
So slow in fact that I was falling asleep playing it for this review. This is such a
shame because the core game is here. It looks and sounds pretty good too but man, it’s just
too slowly paced to be entertaining.

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69 thoughts on “Battle of the Ports – Clock Tower (クロックタワー) Show #295 – 60fps

  1. Top notch game & video Mark, I (sadly) don't own either of the first 2 games however I do have the 3rd game on PS2, guess i'll have to crank it up this weekend 🙂

  2. I never knew there Sufami version I only knew PC version but never play it coz i never like horror game btw did you actually plan to release these at Halloween Mark ? Coz you miss the date.

  3. This wasn't a game I expected to be shown on here, but I'm glad it is! One of the few horror pieces of media I actually enjoy.

  4. Did you know that the movie Phenomena is also known as Creepers? Phenomena is the uncut version whilst Creepers is a heavily cut and re-edited version. Creepers is the one I remember watching on VHS when I was growing up in the UK in the 1980's/1990's. The uncut Phenomena version was not available in the UK until the early 2000's when it got released on DVD. I remember the artwork on the UK VHS cassette box front cover of Creepers: https://www.filmonpaper.com/posters/creepers-video-uk/

  5. And the game has fair amount of randomness regarding location of items and certain jump scares. For example, the West Wing Key at the beginning of the game can normally be found in a box, or maybe in a bird nest.

  6. I'm guessing they made the Wonderswan version slower because of the motion blur the screen was plagued with. Having played one for myself, I could see that being a problem.
    I'm surprised the Super Famicom version didn't support the mouse, it would be perfect with it.

  7. I've been interested in Human titles for years and never – in my whole life – had I heard they were a school.
    That explains so much! Thanks for the info!

  8. its a perfectly fine horror themed Japanese exclusive. I have been used to the point and click style in western pc offerings in the 90s (mostly educational)

  9. Hate to break it to you but Clock Tower WAS released outside of Japan for the PS1, it was published by ASCII Entertainment. My friend back in high school had it and brought it over to my place which was how I first experienced it. I was surprised when about two years later I learned it was actually a SFC game when emulation got a lot better and we started seeing the first fan translations.

  10. Great video as always, as a fan of Dario Argento’s movies you can definitely see the influence in this game..even down to the music.
    The first clock tower game I played was the sequel on the ps1 which was just called clock tower in the west.

  11. I only knew the super famicom version of clock tower, did not play it much since I did not know japanese on that time. Now I know very basic, too basic. Jajajaja.

  12. I still love the Famicom version. I, personally, think they went a bit too heavy on the anti-aliasing on the PS1 and PC versions. While the improvements in gameplay are nice, the blurriness is a bit of a letdown IMO. Just love those crisp pixels.

  13. Some suggestions for the future releases: Battle Chess, IK+, The Last Ninja Trilogy, Defender of the Crown, Impossible Mission bilogy, Prince of Persia, Pitfall, B.C.'s Quest for Tires, Decathlon, Miner 2049er, Time Pilot, Congo Bongo, Gyruss, Jungle Hunt, River Raid, Zenji.

  14. I own the Wonderswan version of Clock Tower and I think it's bearable, but man, the screen of the original Wonderswan is garbage! I can barely see anything from it…

  15. Liked SOS on the SNES so will have to dig out that translated version and give it a go. It looks like a similar feel to it.

  16. Mark, isnt there an european release of this game for the psone? I am pretty sure there is but correct me if I am wrong
    Thanks for a great video 😊 👍

  17. I think the Wonder Swan has a 3MHz cpu and in this particular game you probably can't use in the traditional way sprites (if there are any).
    So I am right why it's slow or I am saying complete nonsense 😀

  18. Wonderswan port plays more like Game.com port….haven't play it myself, but i ve seen some playthroughs of it, very creepy music and there are some pretty disturbing scenes as well.

  19. One of these days I really need release the final version of my English Windows translation patch. It was almost ready to go, but I got fed up of of trying to work around some text bugs at the end of the game. With the slight amount of randomisation and no proper save system in the Windows version, it meant having to do complete runs over and over in order to get all the endings. I got bored and sidetracked and never finished it, though I probably should as there's not much I need to do.

  20. Great choice for Halloween!
    The PC version doesn't sound so hot due to the midi, it sounds like something from a low budget 80s kids TV show. Some may call the scenes better lit in the PC version, I call it missing shadows that were supposed to be there. Overall it leaves a lot to be desired.

  21. Very aproppiate for the date Mark! The first survival horror for the SFC is an amazing and very well made game. I choose this version because is the original and without loading times. Thanks!!

  22. Wonderswan, surprisingly, is x86. I wonder if that's part of the reason the port was shoddy – they were developing as if it were going to run on a 386 or 486 instead of a V30 which is basically a 186 in an 8086 pinout.

  23. There are certain minor details which are exclusive to the PlayStation version, like the corpse in the closet of the laboratory, which stays dead in the other versions but in this one awakes as a zombie and tries to get you. This isn't even present in the PC version (which is still my favourite and the version I own, boxed and all) despite being released roughly at the same date, as it's more similar in content to the original Super Famicom version. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6p-kclsU8w

  24. Quite sad this wasn't released anywhere outside of Japan. Us western gamers unfortunately had the misfortune to miss out on amazing Japanese only games like this.

    Also, when you began to mention what Jennifer was based off from, I was actually thinking you were going to mention the one from Splatterhouse. (I mean hey, they're both horror themed games :/)

  25. Great game. I got the SFC version some years back after seeing Arino play it. I've played it a lot and really enjoyed it. Wasn't aware that there were other ports of this version. I'll have to check some of those out.

  26. It's really puzzling me, why developer desided to release this game on SNES/SF (initially). I can imagine that audience for console Point&click adventure games was back then extremelly small (in fact, still is now). Well, good thing that there was made a PC port as well. I didn't heard about it earlier, but it certainly looks interesting, even if main protagonist is not someone I could take too serious. Have hope that one day it will be another title in GOG's library. It seems to be as climatic as Dark Seed dylogy (but without fatal flaws which had those games).

    On the other side, I've seen much weirder ports, like Warcraft II and first C&C released on PSX and Saturn (!), and even Starcraft on N64 (sic!). Last one is terrible, but outcome couldn't be different.

  27. Despite working on the Windows version's translation patch, I think my favourite version is the SFC original. I thought the PS1 version was a bit disappointing to be honest, and it mainly comes down to the music. While the music is technically higher fidelity on the PS1, I just don't like how it sounds as much as in the SFC version. Annoying save system (or lack thereof) aside, I think the PC version's good, but if they had to go the MIDI route it's a shame that they didn't include options to take advantage of superior MIDI devices like, for example, some of Falcom's releases did.

  28. only 4 versions? I thought this game had more ports on other non-Windows computers like the Amiga or the shark86000, but I see that I have some Mandela effect … the question this game could have come out in cartridge or Hubcard for MD or PCE?

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