Wednesday, June 29, 2011

THEPLAYGAMER3: CLOCK TOWER 3











Clock Tower 3 (クロックタワー3 Kurokku Tawā 3?) is a survival horror video game co-developed by Capcom Production Studio 3 and Sunsoft. The fourth installment in the Clock Tower series, it was released in Japan on December 12, 2002, in North America on March 18, 2003 and in Europe on June 25, 2003. Clock Tower 3 is the first game in the series to incorporate direct control over the protagonist, as opposed to the point-and-click mechanics in the previous games. Clock Tower 3 is also the first game in the series not to feature multiple endings. This was the first and only game to be directed by renowned movie director Kinji Fukasaku.

Story

Alyssa Hamilton, a 14-year old girl living at a boarding school, receives a strange letter from her mother, Nancy. This letter tells Alyssa to hide until her fifteenth birthday passes. Alyssa is naturally worried, and so decides to go against her mother's wishes and return to her childhood home, a boarding house. When she arrives, her mother is missing-in fact, the only other living person in the house is a mysterious stranger, known as the Dark Gentleman. He offers Alyssa cryptic warnings and clues as to her mother's fate.

Though frightened, Alyssa becomes determined to find her mother. She explores the house and finds a vial of holy water, along with strange symbols on doors that only the sacred water can break. Eventually, her search leads her into her mother's room, where a piano begins to play Chopin's "Fantaisie-Impromptu" wildly. Terrified, Alyssa dashes from the room and is transported back in time, to London, circa World War II. While there, she begins to explore the city, which is constantly bombarded. Her search leads her to a tailor shop, where she witnesses the gruesome murder of a young girl. The crime is perpetrated by a mysterious man wielding a sledgehammer; he notices Alyssa, and begins an obsessed search for her. As Alyssa evades him, she runs into other angry ghosts; by returning particular items to each spirit, she is able to placate them and lay them to rest. Eventually, Alyssa pieces together the mystery: May Norton, a 12-year-old piano-playing prodigy, was brutally murdered on Christmas Eve by a madman with a sledgehammer. While still exploring the tailor shop, Alyssa sees memories from the past; when May's father tells her that he is going to war, she gives a Pocket Watch to her father, as a reminder of his wife and May. While in battle, he is hit by an explosion and lands on a row of barb wire, killing him. Alyssa then decides to free May, but on her way to do this, she is confronted by the Subordinate. Her vial of Holy Water becomes a longbow, and she destroys the villain in a shower of golden light. Alyssa gives the pocket watch to May's spirit, who proceeds to play the piano once more, after a short while, May is reunited with her father, and the two thank Alyssa before ascending into Heaven, at that moment, Alyssa faints. Alyssa also claims a small portion of a pendant.

She then wakes up in her room, lying on the bed, believing it was a dream until her childhood friend, Dennis knocks on the window while hanging on to the windowsill. Alyssa then helps him up, in anger, wondering why he would try to enter her residence, and then, Dennis gives the key to the room of Dick Hamilton to Alyssa, handed from her mother.

While searching through her Grandfather's room, she learns about a surprising secret about her family. The girls in her lineage are known as "Rooders", young women with the supernatural ability to communicate with the dead. She also learns of a ferocious dark power-called an "Entity"- that can infect certain humans and drive them to acts of crazed murder. The agony and despair of the souls of the murderer's victims feeds their dark power, and grants the villain-now known as a "Subordinate"-immortality. The Rooders are fated to find and free those tortured souls, breaking the Subordinate's magic and allowing them to be destroyed. These powers peak at the age of fifteen, and wane afterward; therefore, the women in Alyssa's family marry young and quickly bear a daughter.

Alyssa realizes that she is a Rooder, and that Sledgehammer was a Subordinate, feeding off of young May's soul. With new knowledge, she moves back in time again. She enters a house with a blind elderly woman and her son. After being blown away by a gust of wind in the house, maybe caused by the woman. Alyssa looks at the memory when the two people were being murdered by the Corroder, a frightening man, who murdered an elderly woman and her son by throwing them in a vat of sulfuric acid, during the struggle, the shawl that the son made for his mother drops into a sewer. Files reveal that the Corroder was related to the two, the younger man being his cousin. Alyssa finds an old shawl that proves to be the key to freeing the mother and her son, and destroys the Corroder.

Upon returning home, though, Alyssa begins to wonder as to why her mother wanted her to stay away. Soon, she realizes that the mysterious "Dark Gentleman" hopes to gain immortality by becoming an Entity using the Ritual of Engagement. That dark ritual requires the "heart of a Rooder". When the Clock tower begins to form, Alyssa is sent to the top of the tower, confronting her grandfather who throws her down the tower, sending her to the valve room. Regaining consciousness, she confronts the Chopper. After temporarily escaping from him, Alyssa looks back at the memory when she was just born, hearing a scream at the stair balcony, Alyssa runs to find her father struggling against Dick, and her father is thrown off the balcony onto an axe head, splitting his head vertically in half. Alyssa is in denial that her grandfather truly killed her father, and engages into a battle with the Chopper, but fails and is sent to a graveyard. When she finds her way into a graveyard, she meets the spirits of other Rooders who lost against the Subordinates. Alyssa fights the Chopper again, with the help from the Rooder spirits, is able to vanquish Chopper.

After completing this mission, Alyssa is warped back in time once more-to the home of the mysterious Lord Burroughs, who lived on the very land that the boarding house stands on in the present day. Now, though, it is the location of the titular clock tower. Burroughs, obsessed with the secrets of the Entities and Subordinates, hires two to murder people for him-the homicidal twins, Scissorman and Scissorwoman. Burroughs plotted to become an Entity himself; however, his daughter died on the eve of her fifteenth birthday, ruining his plan and driving him insane. He dies crushed in the clock tower's gears, swearing revenge. With the help of Dennis, Alyssa overcomes the twins.

Once Alyssa returns to the present day, she discovers that the villain behind her mother's disappearance is her own grandfather, Dick Hamilton, who lived with the pair since Alyssa was a child, and performed extensive research on the Rooder powers. However, he was descended from Burroughs, and was eventually driven insane by the "connections" between his and his ancestor's situations and allowed Burrough's evil spirit to fuse with him. He destroys Alyssa's mother and plots to fulfill Burrough's plan with Alyssa's heart; however, Nancy transfers what is left of her own Rooder power into Alyssa, granting her the strength to destroy her grandfather and Burroughs. After she defeats him, she immediately reunites with her mother, then the tower collapses, and the evil spell of the Subordinates Alyssa destroyed is finally lifted forever. However, as Entities still exist, the Rooders' fight is far from over.

The final scenes shows Alyssa waking up in a field of flowers clutching her clover pendant, as she then runs over to hug Dennis nearby. Smiling, her voice says, "We did it. We did it, Mum."

Gameplay

Players assume the role of Alyssa, a schoolgirl approaching her 15th birthday, on her quest to find her mother and save herself from the Subordinates (the boss characters). Progress through the game entails finding items to unlock new areas, fleeing and hiding from Subordinates and eventually defeating each Subordinate in battle.

Innocents slain by the Subordinates haunt each stage and will attack Alyssa if she approaches them, sending her into panic. In order to pacify these spirits, an item of sentimental value must be found and returned to the spirit's corpse, which always lies near the area being haunted.

After each scenario, Alyssa must confront the subordinate who has been stalking 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 the player must defeat the subordinate in order to progress. The health of both Alyssa and the subordinate is measured by two life bars which appear on-screen. Alyssa must dodge or duck attacks while firing arrows at her attacker. In order to inflict considerable damage, shots must be powered-up. These shots tether the subordinate to the ground. While powering-up the shot, Alyssa must stand still and cannot adjust her aim, leaving her vulnerable to attacks and making it possible for her enemy to move out of her line of sight. If the boss is transfixed with multiple powered-up shots, Alyssa performs a highly damaging attack with her next shot, killing or severely wounding the subordinate.

Main characters

Alyssa Hamilton (アリッサ・ハミルトン Arissa Hamiruton?)
The game's protagonist. Voiced by Kirsty Dillon.

Nancy Hamilton (ナンシー・ハミルトン Nanshï Hamiruton?)
Alyssa's mother. The two are very close, but Nancy appears to be hiding something from Alyssa. Voiced by Andrée Bernard.

Dennis Owen (デニス・オーヴェン Denisu Ōven?)
A boy that Alyssa knew in primary school three years prior to the game's events. Dennis appears unexpectedly at Alyssa's home near the start of the game. He appears to have a crush on Alyssa, and is obsessed with staying as close to her as possible. He is the one who kills Scissorman by impaling him with a pendulum. Voiced by Dan Johnston.

Dick Hamilton (ディック・ハミルトン Dikku Hamiruton?)
Alyssa's grandfather, who took the task of raising Alyssa after her father died. He is revealed to secretly be incestuously obsessed with his daughter, and her daughter, his granddaughter, who looks like her mother. As a result, he hates his son-in-law out of jealousy and later secretly murders him. Three years before events of the game, Dick disappeared from the Hamilton household and has not been seen since. His disappearance depresses Alyssa, and she waits anxiously for his return. He is the main antagonist, along with his and Alyssa's ancestor, Lord Burroughs. Voiced by Paul Humpoletz.


Other characters

May Norton (メイ・ノートン Mei Nōton?)
May is a child dedicated to playing the piano. She entered a piano competition, hoping to win so that her music would be broadcast over the radio, and heard by her father, a soldier at war. May was bludgeoned to death by Sledgehammer after the competition, and it was revealed that her father died in battle.

William Norton (ウィリアム・ノートン Wiriamu Nōton?)
The father of May Norton, and a soldier at war. He cares a lot about his daughter, and is disappointed that he has to leave her alone at the tailor shop. Before Sledgehammer killed May, William was killed out at the battlefield, and May never knew he died because of her murder. Voiced by Nick Hutchison.

Dorothy Rand (ドロシー・ランド Doroshī Rando?)
Dorothy is a blind old woman, who is the mother of Albert. She is very caring, and is sick of people fussing over her health, and tries to give out the feeling that she is happy without sight, but she really isn't. She would give anything to be able to see again, and wonders what her son does all day in his shed making toys. Voiced by Richenda Carey.

Albert Rand (アルバート・ランド Arubāto Rando?)
Albert was also a victim of Corroder, and the son of Dorothy. He is very protective of his mother, and looks after her as much as he can. Dorothy believes he is too over protective of her. He is a man who gives and expects nothing in return by making children's toys for a living.

Philip (フィリップ Firippu?)
Alyssa's real father. Alyssa knows nothing about him as he died shortly after she was born. But later, it is revealed that her dad was murdered by her grandfather when he threw Philip over a balcony, causing his head to fall onto an axe, splitting his head. If Alyssa opens a sealed door in the house, she will open a bathroom with a rotting corpse in the bathtub along with an angry spirit. Whether or not this is her father remains unknown.

Linda Owen
Linda is a missionary nurse, currently positioned in Africa. She is also Dennis's big sister, who has raised Dennis ever since his birth. She has told Dennis she will not be back for at least six months, but mysteriously appears again during Alyssa's journey. However, it is later revealed she is only Scissorwoman in disguise.

The Dark Gentleman (闇の紳士 Yami no shinshi?)

This enigmatic character is dressed in dark clothes and has an unusually deep voice. He seems to know a lot about Alyssa, and carries a strong love for her. Alyssa does not know who he is, but assumes that he is one of her mother's lodgers. He is later revealed to be Dick Hamilton in disguise. Voiced by Paul Humpoletz.

Subordinates

Clock Tower 3 features several boss enemies/antagonists known as 'Subordinates'.

Sledgehammer (ハンマー男 Hanmā otoko?)

Sledgehammer is the first boss encountered in the game, found bludgeoning a twelve-year-old pianist to death on Christmas Eve 1942. Prior to becoming Sledgehammer, he was known as Richard Morris (リチャード・モーリス Richādo Mōrisu?, known in English version as Robert Morris), a stonecutter. Voiced by Robert Perkins.

Corroder (硫酸男 Ryūsan otoko?)

Corroder is the second boss encountered in the game; he is seen blinding an elderly woman and her adult son before throwing them both alive in a drum of acid in 1963. Corroder's real name, John Haigh (ジョン・ヘイグ Jon Heigu?), as well as his modus operandi of killing his victims, is inspired by the real John Haigh, who was known in Britain as the Acid Bath Murderer. He disguised himself as a distant relative of Dorothy and Albert Rand in order to gain entrance to their house, presumably to rob and murder them. Voiced by Francis Stone.

Chopper (斧男 Ono otoko?)

Chopper is the third boss and head of the Subordinates. Born in 1655 as Harvey Powell (ハーベイ・パウエル Hābei Paueru?, known in English version as Harold Powell), he was a woodcutter who was seriously deformed at birth and as a result, was taunted and cursed for his appearance. When Powell was seventeen, he proposed marriage to Emily Dickins, the innkeeper's daughter, but was cruelly rejected. In turn, he dismembered Emily with his axe and continued to murder other women in the same fashion for two more years until he was later caught and put on trial. Voiced by Mike Hayley.

Scissorwoman (シザーウーマン Shizāūman?) and Scissorman (シザーマン Shizāman?)

Known as Janice (ジャニス Janisu?, known in English version as Jemima) and Rudy (ルディ Rudi?, known in English version as Ralph) respectively, they were sadistic, sought pleasure in torturing people to death and had a fascination with blades, scissors in particular. Their origins before being brought to Lord Burroughs's estate are unknown, though it is said in a file during the game that it is believed the twins came from the Orient, however the file also says that the theory is unlikely to be true. Both twins, Janice and Rudy actually share the same Entity. Voiced by Lucy Blair and Greg Burns.

Lord Dan D. Burroughs (ダン・D・バロウズ Dan D. Barouzu?)

British lord who had a sadistic side and enjoyed watching people die. He hired the Scissor twins (see above) to do most of his dirty work. He was a strong believer in the Entities and tried to gain power by using his daughter in the Ritual of Engagement, but she died in an accident just before her 15th birthday. Her death sent Lord Burroughs into a deep rage, resulting in him killing many. However, he was eventually overcome by his people who forced him over the clock tower of his castle, where he fell into the gears. He's not exactly a Subordinate as he came back to life by Dick, not by an Entity. He's the final boss of the game. Voiced by Paul Humpoletz.

Sacred weapons

Holy Water

The only weapon Alyssa is armed with, which she throws in a forward arc whenever necessary. The holy water is of limited use and can remove blue crests on doors, stun enemies and activate holy portals. The only way to refill it is to find a lion's fountain, or a jar of it. It will stun enemies upon contact with the splash. The amount of uses goes up by 1 with each boss defeated in battle. (excludes Scissorwoman)

Sacred Bow

Once the sentimental item belonging to the greater spirits whose misery is powering the level's killer is found, Alyssa gains the power to face off against the killer in battle, using a divine bow and arrow. This bow, when fully charged before striking the boss, will create a binding chain on the target. After several such chains are placed, Alyssa will launch an arrow into the sky that deals massive damage or a very small chance of instant kill. These attacks may need to be performed more than once, depending on the boss.

Repelling Arrows

Green repelling arrows do damage and knock enemies back, giving Alyssa some time to run back a bit and charge up a golden arrow.

Binding Arrows

These arrows are equivalent to charged golden arrows, and have the same effect. They bind the enemy with one golden chain.

Items

Lavender Water

Returns the player's Panic Meter to zero over a period of time.

Sigil Stone

Protects Alyssa from a single blow. They are used automatically when an attack would hurt or kill Alyssa, such as when in full panic mode. They are unavailable in boss battles, and do not prevent death by scripted events.

Invisibility Band

Makes Alyssa invisible for a short period of time.

Sentimental Item

Pacifies a murdered victim's spirit, preventing it from harming Alyssa and used to help the spirit find peace.


Music

The music of the game was composed by Cozy Kubo, Norihito Kudo, Reiji Matsumoto, Akihisa Murakami, Naoki Kakuta, Shingo Suzuki, Kazuhiko Mizoguchi, Sai Konno and Naomi Amagata. A soundtrack CD with the title Clock Tower 3 Original Soundtrack was released in January 2003 and contains 48 compositions of the game created by Kubo, Kudo and Matsumoto.

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