Clock Tower is a survival horror point-and-click adventure game developed by Human Entertainment for the Super Famicom that was released in Japan on September 24, 1995. Players must guide Jennifer Simpson through a secluded mansion, known as the "Clock Tower," while being hunted by the mysterious Scissorman.
Clock Tower was ported to the PlayStation in 1997, retitled to Clock Tower: The First Fear, to the PC in the same year and to the WonderSwan in 1999. The original Super Famicom version was made available on the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console in 2010 by Sunsoft, who also released the PlayStation Clock Tower games on PSN. All the ports and re-releases of Clock Tower never left Japan but an unofficial English translation patch was created for the Super Famicom version by Aeon Genesis on September 8, 2001. Since then fans have also created translation patches for the Windows and PlayStation ports of The First Fear.
Clock Tower would spawn an entire franchise with three sequels that would all see worldwide releases.
Jennifer Simpson is an orphan from the Granite Orphanage in Romsdalen, Norway. She and her fellow orphans, Laura, Ann, and Lotte, have been adopted by a wealthy man named Simon Barrows, who lives in a secluded mansion known as the Clock Tower. The girl's guardian, Mary, brings the orphans to the Clock Tower and leaves them in the Lobby to find Mr. Barrows. This seemingly-normal event soon turns bad when Mary and the other girls go missing. Things get even worse when a disfigured boy with giant scissors named Bobby begins chasing Jennifer throughout the mansion and the bodies of her friends begin to stack up. Jennifer has to save as many of her friends as she can and get out of the Clock Tower alive.
Clock Tower has 9 different endings depending on Jennifer's actions in the game. The endings are categorized as endings A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H (A is the best and H is the worst). There is also a secret ending which is called ending S. According to the events in the sequel, the only canonical endings are A, B, and C.
Clock Tower is a 2D point and click adventure, where Jennifer is controlled by moving a cursor across the screen. Throughout the game Jennifer is being stalked by Bobby, who randomly appears throughout the mansion and cannot be killed. When Bobby begins to chase Jennifer the player must either hide or attack Bobby with objects in the room. If Bobby attacks Jennifer she will go into panic mode, where the player must mash the panic button to escape. Jennifer can be killed in panic mode if the player does not mash the button fast enough or if her health is too low.
Jennifer's health bar is not based on her physical state, like most games, but is instead based on her psychological state of mind. The more frightened or tired Jennifer becomes the lower her "health" is.This is indicated by the color of the Jennifer's portrait in the bottom left of the screen. The color begins in blue, which is full health, and moves down to the color red, which is low health. When Jennifer's health is low the chances of Bobby finding you increase, as do the chances that Jennifer will trip while running away, so it is important to make Jennifer rest to refill her health.
- Dr. Walter Simpson: Jennifer's father.
- Anne, Laura, and Lotte: Jennifer's friends and fellow orphans.
- Mary: The girls' guardian.
- Simon Barrows: The owner of the Clock Tower mansion.
- Dan Barrows: Bobby's mutated brother.
- The story of Clock Tower is said to be inspired by the ending of Dario Aregento's film Phenomena (released in an edited form as Creepers in the US). The main character, Jennifer Simpson, even looks very similar to Jennifer Connelly in Phenomena.
- On July 21, 2011 the Clock Tower episode of Retro Game Master aired on Kotaku. Shinya Arino, the host, originally played through Clock Tower on the 53rd episode of Game Center CX and acquired the S ending. The episode is no longer available on Kotaku but it is included on Discotek's DVD release of Retro Game Master.