Game Series Clock Tower (1995) Characters
This article is the second part of a series covering the 1995 Super Famicom release of Clock Tower. This post covers the characters you’ll encounter in the game. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
Clock Tower is a game released for the Super Famicom in Japan in 1995. It is remarkable for its beautiful graphics, great atmosphere, and for kickstarting the survival horror genre. Although this game has been re-released since on various networks, it’s never enjoyed a release in North America, which is unfortunate because it’s such a good game. In an effort to document one of my favorite series, I present Clock Tower information here. The next two posts in the series will cover the videos covering the standard ending walkthrough, and then all the variations on this theme.
Onwards to the characters in our sordid story:
Born in 1983, the main and only playable character in the game is the orphan Jennifer Simpson. She grew from the age of seven in the Granite Orphanage, along with her friends, ever since her parents died. Truly, her father, a doctor, hasn’t been verified as dead, but rather disappeared after a mysteriously untraceable house call. Jennifer has long black hair, and wears a blue skirt with a white shirt. She was always on the shy and quiet side. This kept her often on the sidelines at the orphanage, and not really any part of the ‘popular crowd.’ Seven years later, in September of 1997, a lady named Mary Barrows had a heart enough to adopt Jennifer and her friends, taking them home to a beautiful mansion. Could this finally be the happy ending she’s been looking for?
However one of my favorite descriptions comes from the walk-through by Master Kudo AKA Jonathan Lissick (http://www.gamefaqs.com/snes/563032-clock-tower/faqs/47944):
No relation to any Homer from what we know, and probably not from what is obvious. A young girl, 15 years, and without parents or a home. By the way she walks, dresses, looks, and talks, it seems she’d be the kind of girl who goes through highschool depressed, and with their long hair in their faces. Timid.
She is the Heroine, mainly because of her self-control and ability to remain calm at desperate times. She will not do stupid things out of impulse, does not shriek, and knows how to not run. Public pool lifeguards would love her…
It seems to begin that she is just another victim of this homicidal home, but the story soon reveals that she has a destiny, and previous connections to Miss Mary and her son, Scissorman.
Quality stuff. Also as a side note, Jennifer here is inspired by Jennifer Connely’s character in Phenomena, as discussed in the game overview post.
One of the three friends of Jennifer’s who was adopted by Ms. Mary (Barrows). She wears a green dress and has brown hair. Being more optimistic than her companions, she just wants to start her life and looks forward to meeting her new parents. Her cheery nature, and teasing of her friends, made her part of the more popular crowd in the orphanage. This kept her from being too close with Jennifer. Of all the friends, Ann’s the one who will be able to survive the horrible night if Jennifer plays it right.
One of the three friends of Jennifer’s who was adopted by Ms. Mary (Barrows). She has blonde hair. Of those present in the game, Laura is most like Jennifer. She is introverted, quiet, and very serious. This causes her to worry, sometimes too much, about things. Despite her personality she was part of the popular crowd at the orphanage and a friendship grew between her and Ann. If Jennifer arranges her ducks slightly differently, Laura is able to survive the horrible night in the mansion.
One of the three friends of Jennifer’s who was adopted by Ms. Mary (Barrows). Of all of Jennifer’s friends, Lotte has to be the most questionable. Maybe it has something to do with her red hair, or possibly her hard personality features. My first play through the game I thought Lotte was a boy, so maybe there’s some homosexual undertones in here, particularly in the end scenes? Anybody? Despite her hopes for the mansion, or her fears of not living up to the expectations of her new adopting parents, Lotte has a tough time staying alive throughout the night. It’s somewhat of a pity as Lotte was also somewhat of an outcast at the orphanage thus developing some closeness between her and Jennifer.
That Mary is married is initially shrouded from the adoption agency and the children. It’s quickly discovered however in the course of the night that Mary is indeed the wife of the children’s adoptive father, Mr. Barrows. She starts out seeming nice, and really kind of flat, but through the course of the game you realize that she’s quite evil, and insane. Jennifer eventually learns that Mary gave birth to two wicked and deformed children. Was it these births or their ensuing care that eventually drove her to the depths of insanity? What is truly behind the woman’s eyes? The head of a demonic family religion, or simply a caring mother stuck between a rock and a hard place?
The girls’ adoptive father, Simon Barrows is one of the wealthiest men in Romsdaaren, Norway. However, he’s also one of the most mysterious. For the last nine years he has been living a reclusive life, barely if ever seen outside of his mansion. What could make a man so reclusive? And what is his motive in these adoptions? Could it be that a lonely man finally needs some companionship, or is there something darker at work here? So many questions, too few answers. Depending on how Jennifer goes about overcoming the night at the mansion she gets the opportunity to finally meet Simon Barrows. She finds he’s only a shadow of his previous self, as evidenced by the various paintings around the mansion. What did he do to deserve his new-found fate… and how long has he been there?
Once again one of my favorite descriptions comes from the walk-through by Master Kudo AKA Jonathan Lissick (http://www.gamefaqs.com/snes/563032-clock-tower/faqs/47944):
The hobo who hangs out in a jail shed and begs for meat, not at all resembling the many portraits he probably once did. He mutters something about his sons, but Marriage has taken its toll on his physique, and mind. I can only assume he’s a strong catholic, because people often times divorce before wives pull out the cage.
It’s theorized that Bobby has the soul of a demon. This is probably due to the family’s religion of demon worship, which has placed a curse on the Barrows family. Born to kill, and enabled by his mother, nine-year-old Bobby has taken up the giant shears as his weapon and shield of choice. The sequel to the game mentions that the killer wore a mask, though this particular game doesn’t really mention it. Showing that he can survive grandiose flights, Bobby can only be killed by being utterly destroyed, though he can feel normal pain as well. What is Bobby’s function? Perhaps he is a protector of what is contained in the house, of his mother and his brother. Perhaps he’s just a random thrashing of demonic evil. Who knows?
Another poor creature with the soul of a demon. His foremost characteristic is his grotesquely manifested size. He can crawl in an attempt to protect himself and to hunt for his prey. How did he grow to such a size? Perhaps his brother and his mother feed him their victims. Creepy.
There is more to Dan than meets the eye however. To quote an edited version of Mr_Mason_W3DS fabulous walkthrough (http://www.gamefaqs.com/snes/563032-clock-tower/faqs/13535):
Dan’s different appearance in the sequel (PSX) has raised many questions. In his return, he looks more like his brother, normal in size and form. Being grossly affected by the demonic deformities common to the Barrows family, in the original game Dan’s demonic spirit seems to have worked in a unique fashion. The demon used his human body for a core to form upon, growing it’s own physical manifestation around and engulfing his body. This would serve as protection for the demon, since, if it was ever destroyed somehow it could simply retreat from its own physical body and into its core. The core grew inside as a normal looking boy. Thus when the demon is finally burned in the original game, its outer flesh acts as a shield for the concealed body within. This would explain Jennifer’s mesmerized reaction to the burning mass shown in the opening to the sequel. […] What she sees may be what drives her over the edge and causes her to lose her memory of much of her plight. […] This would also explain the way Dan claims to have a memory loss. Just an excuse to learn correct speech, and figure out a world he’s never seen before as the instructors try to ‘restory his memory’. Despite […] being relatively new to his human body, he retains much of his former power in the sequel, such as being able to influence others to do evil things and his high resilience.
Walter turns out to be Jennifer’s father. He’s foremost a doctor, and he oversaw the birth of the two deformed twins. As a memo says in the game, one even ate his right hand in the process. They were already evil before they came out. Mary made sure that no one knew of the birth of these demonic children, which makes her possibly practicing the family’s demon worship even before birth. If she married in though, who would have helped her? She overpowered Walter and trapped him in a secret prison where he suffocated to death.
Now all the character profiles have been covered, stay tuned for video posts of the entire game from ending S to ending H. Thanks for reading!
This article is second in a series on the Clock Tower games.
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