Game Center CX Season 7 – Back to Contents
The First Horror Game Challenge!! "Clock Tower"
After tackling almost every type of action/adventure game under the sun, what’s next for GCCX? How about survival horror? While they’re not lost on Arino — the first Resident Evil is one of his favorites — for the show, this is something special; it’s just too bad this didn’t air anywhere near Halloween. Anyway, for the first horror game challenge, Arino is up against the Super Famicom point-and-click adventure, Clock Tower. It’s by Human, who also made Septentrion.
Arino takes the role of Jennifer, an orphaned young woman taken with a group of other girls to their new home by the creepy old lady Ms. Mary. Arino seems ready for this, and even the narrator is prepared, his speech taking on a slower pace. To make Arino feel even more shut-in, the staff has shut the windowblinds! The game begins and Arino watches the opening scenes.
He talks to some of the other girls, then walks into another room. A few seconds later, a scream! After running back in, everyone’ s disappeared. Arino checks out the now-empty, dim mansion. He checks out the upstairs, only to have the balcony collapse in front of him — yipes. He checks out some other hallways and rooms, but they seem to be dead-ends so far.
Eventually Arino steps into a bathroom, and checks out what’s behind the shower curtain — the body of Laura, Jennifer’s orphan sister! And then right after that, out of the water emerges the Scissorman! Arino panics and tries to get Jennifer to rush out of the bathroom, but since she so casually opens doors, Arino almost doesn’t make it.
He exits, then runs down the hall, only to encounter the Scissorman again! Arino tries running off, but Jennifer goes into "panic" mode and grasps the shears, trying to hold Scissorman off. It’s not enough, though, and Jennifer collapses, and the game fades to the "DEAD END" screen. Arino’s kicked back to the main menu and is forced to continue. This time he goes the other way down the hall and enters the garage. He checks it out, then decides to climb up to the hay bales, as soon as Scissorman walks in! He watches as Jennifer runs to the end of the ledge and then back down the ladder, clomp back to the foreground and stand right in front of Scissorman. Arino panics, but manages to slip right by the stalker.
Shortly thereafter, Arino reaches the kitchen. He gets some ham from the fridge, then checks out the meat locker, where a bunch of bugs come flying out! Arino exits the kitchen and back into the hall. Another scream! What’s up this time? Arino checks out the hall, but it seems he needs a key before getting anywhere. More exploring follows, including one dark room where he manages to push a chest in front of a cabinet to try and get over it. A second chest in the back hides a rope.
And then it’s back to the kitchen, but little happens other than getting rid of the bugs. Still not much progres being made. But soon after, Arino finds a new room. A phone inside rings, startling him. But no key here, either. He then returns to a previous bedroom, and inspects a mirror when all of a sudden, hands come out and start strangling Jennifer!(?) Arino ends up losing again. He checks the manual, which tells him about the panic button. He goes for the mirror again and presses the button, which saves him.
Arino then goes back to a pile of debris, but checking out the wall nearby lets Jennifer hammer out a weak patch of the wall that leads out to the backyard. Arino then finds a shed and enters. Inside, a cage; a cell, with a scraggly man inside. Arino puts out the ham he got earlier. The dude turns out to be Simon Barrows, the elder statesman of the mansion.
Time jumps forward to where Arino enters yet another new room with creepy paintings on the walls. Books on a desk have apparent clues, and Arino notes them down on the whiteboard. He then discovers the bookcase can be pushed over. But then what? He decides to look elsewhere for hints.
He finds another creepy room — this one has dolls hanging from the ceiling, and one of them starts spinning around on its own! It then floats around the room, and tries to ram into Jennifer, but Arino’s quick to miss it. He hits the panic button and busts the doll down. Arino then moves into the piano room. Just when he touches the doorknob, a tile falls from the ceiling. It’s Scissorman, again! He drops down onto the piano. The staff laughs as Arino has Jennifer run out. The suspenseful music continues as he tries to find a way through the halls, but he eventually gets back outside to the yard where things calm down.
But then Scissorman surprises again when he jumps out of a crate, and Arino once again has to find solace. He’s chased into another room, and it almost looks like this is the end — but Arino uses the panic button at the right moment to knock Scissorman on his ass. The chase doesn’t end, though, until Arino passes over the plank that he set to step over a hole, has Jennifer yank it up and send Scissorman falling to the ground below.
Is he dead? Maybe… At any rate, Arino continues. He finds a room with paintings on the wall similar to the earlier room. He uses a staff and puts it in a nearby flower vase to reveal a hole in the floor! Now he can use the rope for real, allowing Jennifer to climb down.
As Jennifer climbs down the ladder, Arino hums part of the Spelunker theme. At the bottom, a shadowy figure is spotted, and they just happen to have an extra robe nearby. Arino grabs the robes and puts them on, disguising Jennifer and getting past the guard dog safely. In the underground cavern, Arino finds a… stage? He pulls the giant curtain open, only to discover–!!!
One big, ugly, stupid monster. Arino tries running away, and Jennifer has no choice but to run across the stream and try and get up a rocky slope. It doesn’t work at first! She’s slipping! And the monster is closing in! Arino eventually gets her up top, and an explosive canister slides down from the top and incinerates the monster.
Safe, for now! Arino moves on and then finds an elevator in the cave. He enters, and the door closes. A scream, and then… a pool of blood. Seconds pass, and then, the staff roll. Arino got a bad ending. And that won’t fly — as the producer says, he’s going have to get one of the good endings to complete the challenge. To complicate things slightly by making the challenge even creepier, the staff turns out the lights and leaves Arino alone in the room, with only a glow from the floor and candles on the table.
Arino starts from the last checkpoint underground. He does some running around and finds the body of Jennifer’s surrogate sister Lotte. This seemed to be the right move, though, as when Arino makes it back to the elevator, the scene fades to the inside, and he now has to pick a floor. He chooses "3", and the elevator hums. Just then, Scissorman drops in! The screen fades to black and Arino gets the credits again. Damn!
Fast-forward back to the elevator. Floor 2 this time… it reaches the floor, and Arino runs out to the hall. Soon after, he runs into Ms. Mary! Jennifer runs up to her, but gets stabbed. Another bad ending. Arino starts again, and this time heads back out to the backyard by the pool.
There he finds another girl, Ann, flailing about in the pool. Arino tries pushing buttons and moving the cursor to do something, but Jennifer just stands there. Ann sinks. And Scissorman bursts out! Arino runs, manages to knock Scissorman down again, then dashes back inside the house. He then heads back to the garage, where he finds the car key. Into the car we go, and away from all this insanity! Except Jennifer doens’t know how to drive, and keeps getting out of the car. On the third try, Arino gets her to start the car, and then she busts through the garage door. The credits roll! Arino celebrates, and when the credits finish, we go back to Jennifer. A pair of shears appear in the rearview mirror. Son of a–
Arino basically starts all over. He enters one room and runs into Ms. Mary again. Oh no! They keep talking and Arino gets more anxious. Jennifer’s not killed, but slipped a mickey and collapses. She wakes up in the cell in the shed, right alongside the scraggly old Simon. She’s attacked, and presumably munched on. Dead again.
Is nowhere safe?! Arino starts again and this time finds a dark storeroom. He has Jennifer pull a cart from the wall to reveal a crack. Jennifer then hacks away at the wall and reveals a passage. On the other side is what seems to be a padded cell. Jennifer finds the remains of Walter Simpson; her father. The pieces are now falling in place as it turns out Mary trapped Walter there.
Fast forward to the underground, where Arino repeats the same bad endings from before! A bit of help from the staff arrives in the form of… Tani?! The mixing guy? Really? He sits down with Arino and provides a few hints as he watches.Tani tells Arino how to trap the parrot in the bedroom and onto a new room with a crow flying around.
And then Tani leaves. OK, well, thanks. Back to the elevator — the laughing of Scissorman is heard just as Arino gets to the 3rd floor, where he escapes! Or not; Scissorman’s on the hunt! Arino runs towards a ladder and climbs up to… the clock tower. Arino has Jennifer fiddle with a control panel at the top as Scissorman inches closer. Jennifer then falls to her knees. Arino briefly panics. But then Scissorman goes a little batty from the ringing and pitches himself off the railing.
Mary then leaps out at Jennifer, but Arino’s there to push the panic button. Crows swoop in and start attacking Mary, pushing her off the ladder. Laura and Jennifer are both safe. They watch daylight come as the credits roll. And then the title screen. Arino’s distraught, but Tani comes in and tells him he did get the good ending! The lights come up and the horror of Clock Tower is now but a memory. The finale awaits!
Chiba’s Funabashishi is the stage of this TamaGe, where an arcade called Nakayama Game Corner lies. Looks pretty run-of-the-mill, but still kinda big for a small town.
Arino starts outside with a prize game pretty similar to Happy Pierro, the machine that cursed him twice with near-winning high scores. He plays a round and gets 960 points — still not close enough to winning! Then there’s a countdown — Arino wonders what it’s all about. After it ends, he reads the panel, which says the countdown is when you spin the spinner and get bonus points! Crap!
Following that, Arino heads inside, and the first thing to catch his eye is a fishtank. Huh. Then it’s over to a prize catcher. He gets a bag of candy, but it stops halfway and the machine makes its failure noise. Something’s up, so Arino gets the manager lady to open up the case and give him his prize.
Then Arino spots a classic game: Crazy Climber. He’s not very good at it, though, and leaves soon after. But then he spots Rygar, and sits down for a try at that one. He speeds through level 1, and almost gets run over in level 2, but escapes just in time. He goes all the way to level 4 before realizing that he shouldn’t spend all day with this one.
Next up is a classic from America: Super Sprint from Atari! Arino calls for a second player: AD Takahashi — or as he calls her, Takahashi-sensei. Arino starts out OK, but Takahashi immediately drives into the wall. The race continues, and soon Arino spins out and blows up! Takahashi speeds ahead, but then she explodes too — right at the goal line! Arino ends up getting more points and winning, and the two continue to play as we exit.
We come back to Indies Zero headquarters, where the team is figuring out how to tackle a new game in Arino no Chousenjou: an RPG! It’s called Guadia Quest, and as you might guess, it’s a lot like Dragon Quest.
We’re then shown some tricks for Haguruman 2 and Cosmic Gate, and some examples of how Arino’s voice is used in the game.
Game & Watch Hottokenai Yo
Arino tries out more innovative Game & Watch games — this time, it’s the Micro VS. System Series, the widescreen two-player units with their pull-out control pad pucks. Given that they’re two-player, Kibe joins in to challenge Arino!
The two start with Boxing. Arino ends up beating Kibe to a pulp, though it’s not exactly on par with Wii Sports.
Next is Donkey Kong 3. Arino plays the hero Stanley while Kibe controls Kong. The point is to push the enemy bugs over to your opponent’s side with the bug spray, but they can counter-spray and keep things going nigh-indefinitely.
Their going rates now? Boxing is 14,800 yen ($130) and DK is 18,690 yen ($160). Arino’s not buying; I mean, they do kinda suck!
Game Collections: 1988: October