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Clock Tower

Developer - Human Entertainment
Publisher - ASCII Entertainment
Release date - October 1, 1997

Clock Tower
is a survival horror point-and-click adventure game developed by Human Entertainment. 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 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.


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.

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."

Development history

Clock Tower can be considered one of the pioneers of survival horror games. It was also one of the first to incorporate multiple endings. It contains more endings than most modern day games. Clock Tower was later released only in Japan on PlayStation, WonderSwan, and Windows 95. Other games in the series have been released in other countries since.


It has been stated by the producers of the game that the game design was inspired by Dario Argento's Phenomena (known as Creepers in the US). This is likely because the film and the game share similarities, including the name and basic appearance of the leading character (Jennifer), a deformed killer child and a deranged mother. There are some additional comparisons to Argento's other supernatural thrillers that may be seen in Clock Tower's presentation. Also in Suspiria, the opening death scene is of a woman falling though a red rosette-window in a manner which is almost identical to one of the opening death scenes found in the game. Some of the character traits and actions, particularly those of Mary Barrows, also share similarities with those in Argento's 1975 movie "Profondo Rosso".

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