Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within

   Mansion? Check. Evil demons? Got that. Lone hero? Yup. Agetec's Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within has all the necessary ingredients for a "Survival Horror" game, but that's not to say it's without a few twists of its own.

   Somewhat of a thinking man's Resident Evil, the Clock Tower series puts the emphasis on puzzle-solving and suspense, not action and fighting. You control your character, Yutaka Midoshima, through a point-and-click cursor akin to that of Shadowgate or D. Her goal is to discover what lead to the mysterious disappearance of her parents, and escape the spirits that have taken over her house. Depending on how she does so, one of 13 different endings will close the game.

Run, run, or you'll be well done!

   Only one actual enemy haunts you through the adventure, a knife-wielding demon child named Chinatsu. As in the previous Clock Tower (where you battled Scissorman), you try to slow her down while you search for ways to escape. Dual Shock effects grace this second edition, giving you a warning when danger is near.

   A few more combat option are available this time, thanks to a new system under which your character has a split personality (warning: the bandwagon is over its weight limit). While under her normal personality, Yutaka can't fight, but can examine items otherwise invisible -- but when her Shoh personality takes over, she exchanges her perceptive powers for fighting ability.

   A niche game if there ever was one, Clock Tower II lacks the action and visual punch to stay afloat in the mainstream. However, gamers who don't mind venturing into the industry's tributaries will find an interesting, if unusual, take on the adventure genre.

Preview by Fritz Fraundorf, GIA
Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within
Developer Human
Publisher Agetec
Genre Adventure
Medium CD (1)
Platform Sony PlayStation
Release Date  Released
 Q3 '99
18 screenshots
North American box art