Video Game / Claw
Old mighty Claw

Claw (also known as Captain Claw) is a 1997 PC platformer and overlooked Cult Classic. It tells the story of a certain cat pirate captain, named (can you guess it?) Nathaniel J. Claw and his quest to find the parts of the Amulet of Nine Lives. While the plot was mostly an excuse, the story gets interesting due to how interesting its characters are. Particularly Claw, whose snarky comments makes pretty obvious who you are dealing with.

The game was generally well received, being notable for its gorgeous looking graphics, great atmosphere and fun gameplay. Some even compared it to other great titles like Mario Bros. or Crash Bandicoot. It had quite a few hand-drawn cutscenes (about 18 minutes in total), giving it a movie-esque feeling. It's also worth noticing that it's HARD AS HELL.

The game can no longer be bought, but it can be obtained through other ways. Because it has a level editor, its fan base is still active even to this day, creating new levels and new challenges.

You can read more about it here.

This Video Game provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: There's a downloadable document called "Claw Design Document" which highlights a few things, for example why Catherine was kicked out of Claw's crew (for unnecessary violence, it says. You'd never tell judging by the game alone).
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The original release features a more photorealistic Claw on its cover art, seen above. As for the Japanese one, it has him look exactly as he should, while accompanied by other characters.
  • Badass Adorable: Captain Claw is a cat and looks kinda cute in his uniform and kitten look on his face. But he's one tough badass of a pirate who will hunt all the mooks and bosses down!
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: If you keep Claw waiting, at least bring him something from the kitchen.
  • Blow You Away: Red Tail can control the wind. There's a reason you don't stand on the lower level of the arena no matter what.
  • Captain Obvious: The mercat creatures like to point out that they are dying/dead with "I seem to be deceased" or "Well, I'm no longer among the living, am I?".
  • Charged Attack: Anything throwable (dynamite, gunpowder barrels, and enemies) goes farther the longer you hold the command key.
  • Crate Expectations: There are many crates with pieces of treasure you can collect, or with or healing drinks or food.
  • Distracted by My Own Sexy: In the under-the-sea-level, there are some strange male mermaid creatures who would occasionally cry: "Gosh, I'm handsome!"
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The Amulet of Nine Lives. Claw must find nine gems to assemble it.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: Even seagulls will tackle you. "Bloody birds" indeed.
  • Exploding Barrels: Gunpowder-filled ones at that. Claw can pick them up and throw them at enemies, or simply shoot them with his pistol.
  • Flunky Boss: Gabriel will sic Red Tail Pirates at you from time to time.
  • Fire/Ice/Lightning: Claw can find Power Ups that enchant his sword with Elemental Powers: The Fire Sword, Frost Sword, and Lightning Sword. Devs were planning to put Plasma Sword as well, but it never made it to the actual gameplay. An icon of it can still be found in the map editor, though.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Sort of when fighting Marrow. After chipping away his fourth part of health, he calls his parrot to transport him to the other side of the area, forcing you to facing this annoying bird three more times again.
  • Glass Cannon: Mice, who deal 15 points of damage (at the very start of the game, no less), but are very predictable and being breathed on them kills them. More seriously, Bear Sailors with their enormous damage over time and the toughness of wet paper and Peg Legs with their two-hit combo and two-hit dying.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: If you get closer than sword range, Claw will resort to his bare limbs (attacks vary among a straight punch, an uppercut, and a high kick). They do more damage than the sword and are unblockable. Often they're the best way to hurt bosses.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Claw can pick up enemies if he gets close enough to them, and throw them a fair distance. Hitting another foe with the thrown mook is a One-Hit Kill.
  • Guide Dang It!: Many people don't know that running for a longer time speeds Claw up. This is vital for collecting some treasures and can leave you wondering what should you do to get them. You can also jump on dynamite, jump on enemy's attacks... The list is long.
  • Guns Akimbo: Claw is sometimes portrayed like that. There are also Peg Legs and you'll hate them for that.
  • Hand Cannon: Red Tail's pistol is either this or magical in nature, because the projectile is huge.
  • Idle Animation
  • Inexplicably Awesome: We'll never get to know how Claw obtained his "Magic Claw" spell.
  • Lighter and Softer: For Monolith, and even marketed this way- it came out the same year as Blood and Captain Claw even shares Caleb's voice actor, but the game was marketed as being much lighter on violent content than many games of the time.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Furry Pirate Wizard.
  • Marathon Boss: Omar
  • More Dakka: Despite using a flintlock pistol, Claw can somehow pull off a fully automatic fire with it.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Dynamite can be used to access some previously-unaccessible places in expense of Claw's hp. This can lead to some amusing situations... It helps that the weapon itself is Awesome, but Impractical when used for actual fighting.
    • The "Catnip" power-up makes Claw run faster and jump higher, which is invaluable for collecting some trickier treasures. You can also use it to basically avoid a fight with Gabriel at the cost of precious points.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Half fish, half anthropomorphic cat. They can walk on dry land without a problem, and die when thrown into the water!
  • Palette Swap: Around half of the enemies are this.
  • Parrying Bullets: How Hook Monkey manages to block a pistol shot with a small dagger is a mystery, ditto with Tiger Guards. Applies to all bosses as well. There's also Gabriel who will block everything with his arm (sans grabs), calmly reminding you that this is not how you beat him.
  • Puzzle Boss:
    • Marrow (Level 10 boss). You have to fight his bloody parrot first and wait for the stony bridge to appear so that you can cross the spike hole.
    • Aquatis is beaten by throwing dynamite into a barely visible hole in the wall.
    • Gabriel and Omar have a catch.
  • Sword and Gun: Two bosses use this combo: Red Tail and Marrow (though they are daggers actually). Claw himself is seen using both at the same time, but only in cinematics.
  • Throw a Barrel at It: Claw can pick up and toss the Exploding Barrels around most levels as a substitute for dynamite.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Magic Claw one-shots everything in the game but bosses, including Tiger Guards, but the resources found are so scarce that you'll use it very rarely outside the last level.
  • Wakeup Call Boss:
    • If you think that after defeating Le Rauxe you'll fight someone with only slightly higher difficulty, think again. Some people actually put Catherine (Level 4) on par in difficulty with Final Boss OMAR. And she's only the second boss.
    • If Catherine failed to deliver the message, Wolvington won't. He'll straight up counter attacks when hit and block even more often then the last boss being able to rack up large amounts of damage very quick against reckless players.