In the late 90’s, there existed a survival horror adventure game in which players controlled a stereotypical female character fleeing for her life from a madman wielding a giant pair of scissors. It was, at the time, a modern game of cat and mouse, as she never used combat to take down the killer, but rather used the old run-and-hide to live and see another day. Hiding spots couldn’t be used often, as Scissorman would eventually catch on and acknowledge your existence by impaling you with his oddly sized weapon of choice. Needless to say, it was terrifying.
Clock Tower went on to spawn two sequels in North America, but the latter’s release on Playstation 2 was a far departure from what made the series unique. However, developer Hifumi Kouno hopes to bring back the intense fear of the original with the upcoming Vita and mobile spiritual successor, Night Cry.
In a First Look feature recently published by Polygon, it’s detailed that Night Cry stars another female character running from a murderer wielding a giant pair of scissors. Sound familiar? So far, we’re on the right track.
The main difference here is the yet-to-be-named protagonist. Kuono chose another female character, but as he mentions in the interview, what he created originally with Clock Tower was based on what he perceived as likeable in his 20’s. “When I made Clock Tower, I was in my 20s, so I kind of always reflected what I thought was society’s idealized version of a woman — to be docile, ladylike and all that stuff,” he says in the interview.
Now in his 40’s, he’s approaching Night Cry with a stronger, more confident female lead, as he’s learned over the years that women are definitely stronger than he had imaged two decades ago, stating “And that might have been my ideal type at that age too. But then, as I got older, I realized, actually no — women are pretty tough.” The game will also feature multiple playable characters, but so far we’ve only see screenshots of the unnamed female in the cocktail dress exploring the cruise ship and chatting with the staff.
Another difference between Clock Tower and its spiritual successor is its antagonist, Scissor Walker. While visually similar to Scissorman, its origin story is completely different. According to Polygon, it “includes a mother and child who were burned together, so when the Scissor Walker chases the player, they can hear a baby crying.” This is actually where the title Night Cry comes from. That’s… pretty damn creepy.
As of now, Kuono is definitely releasing Night Cry for the Playstation Vita and on mobile devices, but he’s extremely interested in bringing the horror title to PC as well. Unfortunately, that decision may cause him to not only rely on crowdfunding through Kickstarter, but dip in to his own pockets as well. Night Cry’s Kickstarter isn’t available quite yet, but Kuono is worried that we may have forgotten about Clock Tower, or that maybe some of us have never heard of it to begin with. After all, the series’s last entry, Clock Tower 3, released in North America almost 12 years ago.
As a huge fan of the first two games, I can’t wait to see where Night Cry takes the series. With more modern horror games like Outlast and Neverending Nightmares adopting the survival-over-combat approach that Clock Tower introduced to me on the Playstation, I’m hoping Night Cry builds on that a bit and reminds us all how terrifying a horror adventure game can be.
I highly recommend checking out the original interview at Polygon, as it gives a lot more insight in to the development of Night Cry and its potential gameplay style. Until the Kickstarter goes live, here’s a few screenshots to whet the ol’ appetite.
Bradley Keene is the Executive Editor here at What’s Your Tag?, generally handling reviews, public relations, and our social media communications on Facebook and Twitter. He’s an aspiring video game journalist, Baltimore native, and an aficionado of bizarre indie games. If it’s weird and pixely, he’ll like it. If he’s not writing, he can usually be found glued to his OUYA and Xbox One, or knee-deep in an MMO. Get in touch with him by e-mail at the address above, or follow him on Twitter.