Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within, known as Clock Tower: Ghost Head (クロックタワーゴーストヘッド) in Japan, is a PlayStation point-and-click survival horror game and the third installment in the Clock Tower series. It was developed and published by Human Entertainment on March 12, 1998 in Japan and later published by Agetec on October 31, 1999 in North America. It was released as a PlayStation Classic on the Japanese PlayStation Network for PlayStation 3 on May 9, 2012.
The game is a spin-off story with little to no connection to the story of the Barrows/Burroughs family or Scissorman, nor is there an actual clock tower in it, nor was Clock Tower director Hifumi Kono involved with it. Instead, it was made by the development team without his input.
It is not set in Europe as many of the other Clock Tower games are; it is set in Osaka, Japan. In the North American version, the setting was changed to Salinas, California for unknown reasons, possibly because Agetec felt that Americans couldn't handle the Japanese "culture clash". The characters were given Westernized names. However, untranslated Japanese can be seen in the hospital entrance and even in the intro, there are Japanese-styled buildings, including a Shinto shrine, leading to odd suspension of disbelief. The game also contains various Japanese-styled rooms and samurai armor.
- This plot summary follows the canon Ending A. The story is set in Spring of 1999.
Born in 1982, as Lynn Maxwell, Alyssa Hale was one of twins to the Maxwells. Her biological father, George Maxwell, buried them alive because every few generations believed that the "Cursed Twins" are born. At the same time, Allen Hale, Alyssa's would-be adoptive father, wished to bring down George. He dug up the Maxwell grave with his friend, Philip Tate, and they both found Alyssa alive while also uncovering a statue.
To Allen's horror, Alyssa had an alter ego, a male personality came to be known as "Bates." This personality was cold, cruel, and ruthless but kind to Alyssa. When she was a young girl, Allen bought her an amulet at a Mikoshi shrine, which helped Alyssa keep Bates dormant.
Sometime during Alyssa's high school life, she was sent to a mental institute because Bates had murdered some boys who were bullying her while she was walking in the hallways.
Alyssa was sent to a mental institute because Bates had unexpectedly became dominant during a school day and murdered three of her fellow students and a teacher.
Shortly after arriving at a train station in Osaka but before heading to the Tate House, Alyssa engaged in a conversation with an old man shortly before he left for the next train.
Chapter 1: Cursed Yellow Doll
Philip and Kathryn Tate are waiting in their dining room at their house. Philip tells his wife that their niece, Alyssa Hale, will be arriving that night, and attempts to comfort her by saying that their daughter Ashley Tate will be home soon. A noise is heard at the door, and Kathryn gets up to check it it's Ashley. Philip mumbles to himself about the Maxwell Curse before Kathryn's scream is heard at the door, and he rushes over.
Alyssa arrives at the house that night. As no one answers when she announces her entrance, she begins to look around and finds several oddly green body parts in yellow blood around the house, including a still-moving arm. She ventures upstairs and, around this time, awakens the samurai armor. She reaches Ashley's room to find her severed head on the ground, which is also a sickly green. Alyssa's trauma upon finding her cousin's head causes her second personality, Bates, to emerge.
As Bates, who is now controlling Alyssa's body, returns downstairs to the breakfast nook he finds the Amulet, allowing Alyssa to come back into control. When she enters the kitchen, she encounters her younger cousin, Stephanie Tate, who attempts to stab her with a kitchen knife. Alyssa flees and eventually reaches the master bedroom, where she finds her aunt about to be stabbed by Stephanie. Alyssa pushes Stephanie over and Kathryn escapes; because Alyssa put down the Amulet before, Bates takes over Alyssa and kicks Stephanie before leaving and locking Stephanie in the room.
Alyssa enters the storage room where she finds Kathryn. Kathryn tells Alyssa that the "Maxwell Curse is going to kill us all!" Alyssa returns to the bedroom where Stephanie was locked in, but Stephanie is not there. On the nightstand, Alyssa finds a letter from her adoptive father, Allen Hale, addressed to Philip, detailing how he is leaving the Golden Statue in his possession; the letter is postmarked sixteen years ago. Alyssa returns to Stephanie's room to find the statue missing, and goes downstairs where she finds her uncle, who tells her to hide in the den. She does so and descends the stairs to the basement, where Philip attempts to throttle her. She escapes and rushes upstairs. Soon after, she finds him collapsed in the den, yelling for her to burn the statue. Alyssa takes the Golden Statue on the table.
With her amulet with her, Alyssa goes to the dining room where she throws it into the fireplace as Stephanie emerges from the next room. As she prepares to burn it, Stephanie lunges at her, knocking off the amulet. Bates once again awakens and stabs her, then picks up the amulet again, causing Alyssa to come back into control. Alyssa throws the lighter into the fireplace, igniting the statue, and both she and Stephanie collapse.
Chapter 2: Noisy Monsters Cage
Alyssa wakes up in Memorial Hospital where Alex Corey explains that he took both her and Stephanie there after getting a call from Kathryn. A man's scream interrupts them, and he goes outside to check, leaving Alyssa alone in the room.
Alyssa begins to encounter zombies as she explores, in addition to hearing a mysterious female voice in certain places. She meets Doug Bowman, a newspaper reporter interested in the situation, and eventually finds Alex upstairs, with growing a suspicion of the missing Philip.
Alyssa finds nurse Jessica Cook hiding in the storage closet, but is only able to get any information out of her with Bates. She tells him the information on the zombies is in her office, and he goes there to discover that the zombies' weak points are their parasitic brains.
Later, Henry Kaplan tries to strangle Alyssa in his office, but he is shot dead by Shannon Lewis. Alyssa attempts to thank her for saving her life, but she states that she only did it because she wouldn't let Alyssa "die so easily." In addition, Alyssa finds Jessica in her previous place, preparing to hang herself, and manages to convince her to go on living, and meets back up with Doug, who heads to the Memorial Pharmaceuticals Research Lab.
Alyssa attempts to escape out the back door, but finds it locked. Alex appears and shoots it open with his pistol, and a crowd of zombies attempt to get inside. Alyssa then faints to the ground as he kills each of them with a shotgun.
Chapter 3: The Fathers
Alyssa wakes up in the Memorial Pharmaceuticals Research Lab with Alex, who came there after seeing Philip go inside; the two then part ways. Alyssa soon finds George Maxwell, a bloodied, hatchet-wielding man who begins to chase her.
Afterwards, Alyssa finds Shannon who introduces herself to her. She asks Alyssa if she came there to die, but lets her go so that she may "have a bit of fun" with her in the events following. Alyssa then comes across Alex again, who has also seen the killer.
Later, Alyssa finds Maxwell in the lab, claiming she wasn't "supposed to have been born." She flees again, and soon comes across her father handcuffed to a pipe. After setting him free, the two go to go into Philip's office after encountering Maxwell again. She begs Allen to explain, but he rushes her inside. There, she finds Philip claiming he has finally discovered the secret of the Maxwell Curse.
Downstairs, Alyssa finds Shannon angrily claiming that she ruined her life, and promptly tries to strangle her. Bates emerges and throws Shannon away, who then leaves the room, astonished. Alyssa reaches the graveyard where she finds the dying Philip. He explains to her that the curse never really existed, and warns Alyssa with his last breath.
Later on, Shannon catches up with Alyssa, and Allen enters the room and tells her to kill him instead of Alyssa. Unable to have her revenge, she takes a supposed cyanide pill, suiciding in their presence. As Allen exits the room, he reveals to Alyssa that Shannon was his daughter. In the next room, Alyssa sees Alex Corey, who states that his investigation is over. He offers to escape with her, but she refuses, claiming she can't just leave things the way they are.
In the shrine, Alyssa finds Allen confronting George Maxwell. He explains that he envied him, and reveals to Alyssa that she is not his biological daughter, but instead the daughter of Maxwell himself, and was buried alive due to being cursed with an alter ego. As Maxwell tries to attack Alyssa, he is shot by Allen and falls to the ground. Allen continues to explain that he loved her, and because of this, infected the statue with the toxin in order to make Maxwell go insane. He then says goodbye and tells her to leave, as the building is about to explode, and collapses. Maxwell rises and attempts to kill Alyssa once more, but she is saved by Alex, who shoots him. The two then escape.
Outside, Alyssa and Alex are seen watching the building in flames. She laments over her adoptive father's death, claiming she should have died instead. Alex states that it's not like she died there once already, and claims he has to leave in order to take care of the remaining zombies. Alyssa looks up and smiles. During this scene, Bates' voice can be heard whispering, "I'm not going to die!"
- Ending A: A flashback shows Philip Tate and Allen Hale in the graveyard digging up baby Alyssa and a statue. Back to the present, Alyssa and Alex Corey are in front of the laboratory which is collapsing due to the explosion ignited by Allen Hale. A distraught Alyssa mourns everyone's deaths, thinking her existence is the cause of the tragedy that took place. Thinking of how things could have turned out if she had died all those years ago, Alex tries to comfort her by saying, "It's not that... you died there once already, you know." After that, Alex continues to eliminate the zombies that are still roaming the area. Alyssa smiles after realizing the meaning behind his words of consolation. During this scene, Bates' voice can be heard whispering, "I'm not going to die!"
- Ending B: Meeting up with Detective Alex Corey again, they realize that the situation is getting out of hand and that they need back up so they try to escape together. Alyssa then asks Corey if her father is safe to which he answers that "It's a miracle to survive...".
- Ending C: After managing to survive Shannon's attack, Alyssa stumbles upon Reporter Doug Bowman. Realizing their mistake in coming to the laboratory they attempt to "jet out" of there. But even though they realize the dangers inside the lab Alyssa is not sure if it's right to just leave but Mr. Bowman assures her that they can't be of much help.
- Ending D: Alyssa stumbles upon Shannon who blames her curse befalling her saying she will never forgive her for that. Then, Shannon kills Alyssa by strangling her to death. Shannon laughs at Alyssa's foolishness.
- Ending E: Bates finds Allen Hale on the floor and blames him for everything that has happened. Allen then tries to shift the blame on him saying he is cursed. Bates shrugs and asks why it even matters. Allen then continues saying his existence was a mistake. Bates then kills Allen with a survival knife. (The final words heard depend on the version. In the Japanese version it's Allen Hale. In the English, it's Bates saying "This is the end!")
- Ending F: Bates finds a man covered in blood with a big hatchet. He asks if he is Maxwell to which the man replies muttering about Bates not supposed to being born. Bates then tries to threaten him but to no avail. The man then kills Bates using his hatchet. The man continues his onslaught saying "Everyone must die!".
- Ending G: This ending can only be activated if the player does not examine Michael's armor in the 1st chapter, and so, Michael is found dead in his bedroom. In the 3rd chapter, Alyssa walks into a courtyard and examines a puddle of blood on the ground. George Maxwell then throws Michael's armor from the roof and it lands on her, killing her.
- Ending H: Bates finds the mysterious woman in one of the office rooms inside the laboratory. She says her name is Shannon and tells him she can help him achieve death. Bates threatens to send Shannon to meet her maker but before he can do anything Shannon shoots him in the stomach killing him. Shannon then stands up and says "Good riddance you cursed girl!" then she declares that her grudge will last forever.
- Ending I: After Alyssa throws the statue and the kerosene in the fireplace, she dodges Stephanie's attack, and Bates takes over and steals her knife and stabs her. After this, if the player does not pick up the amulet, Stephanie gets up and stabs Bates.
- Ending J: Finding his way to the basement, Bates finds Philip Tate holding the cursed statue. After realizing his meddling caused the Maxwell curse to doom his family and Alyssa, Philip strangles Bates in the basement. His last words, before going insane were, "Let's end it all... Death is the only way... for cursed people like us."
- Ending K: After Bates meets Philip on the first floor in the house's lobby, Philip enters the dining room and screams. Alyssa/Bates enters the dining room, only to find Philip's dismembered arm holding a key, and uses it to unlock the reading room where she/he finds an armless Philip sitting in a chair in the den. Stephanie enters by the window and stabs them both.
- Ending L: Bates takes over Alyssa's body and kicks Stephanie, saving Kathryn, but fails to lock Stephanie in the bedroom. Depending upon whether or not the player picks up the Amulet, Alyssa/Bates goes on the balcony to see a dead Kathryn. Stephanie appears and stabs Alyssa/Bates to death.
- Ending M: Alyssa pushes Stephanie, telling Kathryn to run and leave the bedroom. If the player does not put down the amulet before entering the bedroom, the player will obtain this ending. Stephanie then gets up and runs to Alyssa, stabbing her.
The player controls a cursor to direct and give commands, such as investigating objects, to Alyssa/Bates. Putting the Amulet somewhere, such as in a drawer, vase, sink, etc, helps to trigger Bates, while keeping the Amulet represses Bates. The interface is akin to point-and-click adventure games, but simplified to work better with a gamepad. The cursor color symbolizes Alyssa's/Bate's panic.
Cheat codes include:
- Alyssa's sailor fuku costume: At the title screen, hold L1 + R1 + Select + Triangle
- Alyssa's monkey costume: At the title screen, hold L1 + R1 + Select + Square
- Alyssa's default school uniform: At the title screen, hold L1 + Select + Triangle + R2 + Start
- Milicana: At the title screen, hold L1 + L2 + R1 + R2
- Sound Test: At the title screen, press Left, Circle, Down, Triangle, Right, Square, Up, X, L1, R2, L2, then both R1 + Start at once
To unlock character biographies, unlock all thirteen endings, then select Pamphlet mode. A new Guide option will be available.
To unlock Time Attack and Score Attack Modes, beat the game with Ending A to access the ??? option in the pamphlet menu. This reveals a new Extra Mode, which contains selections for Time Attack and Score Attack mini-games.
- Main article: Clock Tower 20th Anniversary Sound Collection
An official soundtrack, Clock Tower 20th Anniversary Sound Collection, was released in 2016.
Clock Tower Ghost Head Drama CD is an additional Japanese audio drama released on July 23, 1999 in Japan, published by Nihon Crown.
It details Yu/Alyssa's past, and the lead-up to events at the start of the game. The ending is also different to what was used in the game.
Excluding Yu/Alyssa's in-game voice actress, the other voice actors are not the same as the game's.
Generally regarded as being the worst installment in the series, the game had received poor reception, mainly due to its poor graphics (even by 1998 standards), gameplay which has been viewed by many as frustrating, average voice acting, and non-scary atmosphere, exemplified by the well-lit rooms in the game, in addition to its outdated blocky graphics.
Despite the bad reception, the game has a small fan base, who feel that the plot and characters are interesting (especially Bates who became a fan favorite), although this is one of the few positive aspects about the game. Many recommend that those interested in the game and its story would be better off watching a movie version (or perhaps a Let's Play if someone prefers commentary) of it instead, in order to avoid the gameplay which is often viewed by many as an "exercise in frustration." Clock Tower II is often considered a "great idea but poorly executed", with some unfriendly interface and poor game design choices. The gameplay can be very frustrating and unforgiving, almost as if the developers made the game with the idea that the player knows exactly where to go and what to do.
Some examples in which the game unfairly punishes the player:
- In Chapter 1, if the player forgets to examine something (such as using a key to lock Stephanie in a bedroom) or examines something in the wrong order, they will automatically be given a bad ending. Also, if the player talks to certain characters as Bates (Philip, Shannon, Maxwell, Allen), they may be given a bad ending, despite there being no warning. Saving after obtaining a bad ending means restarting the entire game, but the game never tells the player this
- This is even worse if the player fails to activate the samurai during Chapter 1, since they are forced to die in Chapter 3, meaning they doomed their save file and wasted hours and must restart the entire game.
- After talking to Philip in the basement, he attempts to strangle Alyssa and she shoves him against a wall and runs back upstairs. The player is required to leave the area and then go back to the area and find Philip on the floor, despite there being no prompt and indication to return to the area, and common sense would be to stay away from the area where a man literally just tried to kill her.
- The player is then supposed to put the Golden Statue in the fireplace, but upon doing so using the Golden Statue, there may be a glitch in which Alyssa simply says, "This fireplace can still be used." If this glitch occurs, the player is supposed to examine the fireplace with no items selected on the cursor, causing Stephanie to appear. The player also needs the amulet in their inventory, but the game never tells the player this either.
- During Chapter 2, the player must examine four places in the hospital to trigger Shannon's voice and progress the game, or else Henry Kaplan will strangle Alyssa to death. Naturally, the player would assume the voice would have nothing to do with being strangled. While two of the four voices are rather obvious, the player must examine a sink and even a drawer, but only as Bates.
- During Chapter 3, the player is forced to backtrack through several rooms to use a fire extinguisher in order to get rid of zombies chasing them, a process which becomes incredibly boring and tedious, as seen in Nitro Rad's review. For example, in one playthrough of the game, a player had to deal with this eleven times:
- One time (George Maxwell)
- Second time (male zombie doctor)
- Third time (male zombie police officer)
- Fourth time (another male zombie police officer)
- Fifth time (male zombie doctor)
- Sixth time (George Maxwell, again)
- Seventh time (female zombie doctor)
- Eighth time (male zombie doctor)
- Ninth time (female zombie doctor)
- Tenth time (George Maxwell, again)
- Eleventh time (female zombie doctor)
The back of the game's cover boasts that it has 13 possible endings, however, every ending except Ending A is incredibly short and undeveloped, and with the exception of Ending B and C are more like glorified game over cutscenes. This can be seen as deceitful and misleading advertising.
The game was also criticized for its oddly wonky tone, as it often feels more like a strange comedy game than a serious/scary horror game with its quirky voice acting and random moments. It is unknown if many of the moments are supposed to be intentionally funny or not. For example, one of Alyssa's death scenes involved being crushed by a painting. This is at odds with the previous first two games which were often plain terrifying at times. The developers must have had some sense of humor as Alyssa has a monkey costume. The quirkiness seems to have continued with Clock Tower 3.
The plot also contains several holes, for example:
- Why didn't Philip try to burn/destroy the Golden Statue before strangling Alyssa? Philip should have known the statue is cursed.
- Why is Philip found lying on the floor in the den? Stephanie didn't seem to be in the area.
- Why did Alex feel the need to bring Alyssa to the research lab?
- Why is it that Stephanie can reenter the house after falling off the balcony but Alyssa can't open the door to leave?
- What is the truth of Bates's existence? If Bates is indeed Alyssa's deceased twin, the in-game database says the Maxwell Curse is related to twin girls, so why is Bates male?
- The truth of the Maxwell Curse is not really clarified either. Philip later claims the curse never exists, however...
- The first act tries to lead Alyssa/Bates and the players into believing the threats against them are all supernatural, but then subsequent acts reveal that most everything was due to cerebral toxin or a zombie plague and everything was a (relatively) more realistic sci-fi horror story rather than a fantasy horror story. This is undermined by the multiple instances of explicitly supernatural stuff going on, like objects floating around, or the golden statue having mysterious repelling energy when Alyssa tries to touch it (but not Bates), or the fact that Stephanie gets cured of toxin madness by burning the statue, resulting in a spooky ghost cloud billowing out of her. Is Alyssa just hallucinating? What is happening?
- In the ending, Allen inexplicably collapses, apparently due to some sort of stomach wound. It is unknown where he obtained it, and there is an odd lack of blood.
- The game is only partially widescreen hack via emulation. The environment is widescreen, but the cursor is glitchy when clicked. To fix this, there is a widescreen patch.
- Clock Tower 3 and this game share similar names. For instance, Alyssa Hamilton and Alyssa Hale. Alyssa's uncle in this game is Philip Tate and in Clock Tower 3, Alyssa's father is named Philip.
- The piano in Ashley's room plays Fantaisie-Impromptu, which returns in Clock Tower 3, played by May Norton.
- Despite the setting of the game is originally intended to be in Japan, the localized English game tries to pass it off as being set in California. This is similar to the Ace Attorney series, which is also obviously intended to be set in Japan, yet also tries to pass it off as being set in Los Angeles, California.