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Clockworks Area

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Basil has to keep the gears turning.

"The gears meshed together in order to transmit torque. You see, they're finely tuned to make sure that the hour and the minute hands of the clock rotate at steady accurate pace. Also, they make convenient footholds."

When a character enters a factory or, more often, a Clock Tower, it usually results in the character riding on the moving gears and other machines to get through it.

May overlap with Clock Punk and Eternal Engine. May also be related to No OSHA Compliance if it involves workers riding around on the gears. See Ground by Gears for a lethal hazard of the area.


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    Films — Animation 
  • In The Castle of Cagliostro, during the Climbing Climax when the Count and his men pursue Lupin and Clarisse up the castle's clock tower. It leads to a fight amongst the clock-tower's gears which may be one of the most iconic in cinematic history.
  • Near the end of Cars 2, the Lemons all trap Mater, Finn McMissile, and Holly Shiftwell inside Big Bentley as an attempt to kill them all while they succeed in their evil plans. They eventually escape, however.
  • The Great Mouse Detective provides the page image, and has its climax in Big Ben.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Back to the Future, Doc strings the cable from the clock tower to power the De Lorean at 1.21 gigawatts. Unfortunately, the storm brought down a tree limb, making the cable too short. When he tugged on it, the end at the clock face became unhooked. He climbs through the clock's gears to get to the door on the face so Marty can feed him the cable to re-hook it.
  • The Charlie Chaplin film Modern Times features the Tramp working on an assembly line and riding the conveyor belt into the machinery, passing (harmlessly) among giant gears.

  • In Witches Abroad, Nanny Ogg and the dwarf romeo Casanunda sabotage the clock tower to prevent "Cinderella" hearing the chimes of midnight. There is also the cat Greebo's memory of chasing a mouse into a working windmill and realizing he is in a place of danger where one paw put in the wrong place will drag him to doom among all the turning gears and grinding wheels.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has the Clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus, where everything is on an orderly array of gears. Here the gears are representing the efficiency and rigidness of law.

    Video Games 
  • Ultimecia's castle in Final Fantasy VIII, especially its Dissidia: Final Fantasy iteration.
  • Batman (Sunsoft) game on NES has one of these as its final level. Players had to walljump between moving gears in order to ascend the bell tower of the Gotham City cathedral.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Scrap Brain Zone from the original Sonic the Hedgehog game. Its Working Title was even "The Clockwork Zone" (or "Clock Ork" as the W wasn't programmed into the title card).
    • In Sonic Adventure, Amy and E-102 Gamma's sections of Hot Shelter involve them moving across spinning gears in the engine room. There are even switches that change the directions of the gears.
    • Sonic Unleashed features Rooftop Run, which has a clock tower, but only the night stage has a major clockworks area, as the daytime stage is outside. This level returned in Sonic Generations, and both Sonics go up the outside of the tower this time.
  • The final level of Clock Tower 3 is a climb up the titular Clock Tower, including the gears.
  • Banjo-Kazooie has an area in Rusty Bucket Bay that involves a switch puzzle to control rotating gears. Falling off results in death by boiling oil.
  • Tales of Vesperia has Ghasfrast: the Tower of Gears as one of its dungeons. The party must use the sorceror's ring to restore power to the non-moving gears in order to reach the top of the tower, where Barbros awaits.
  • In Ragnarok Online, there is a dungeon which is actually called and is a Clock Tower, which features such gears as a motif in the entire dungeon.
  • In Sands of Destruction, Lacertus Rex hangs out in a clockwork mansion. You have to literally cross a giant clock to get to Lacertus Rex himself.
  • The level "The Shrunk Machine" in Duke Nukem Forever sees the Duke crawl through a electricity generator while shrunken to minuscule size.
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age has the monster-infested Great Gabomba Statue, where you need to climb on or manipulate several gears (by switching the way they turn or stopping them) to progress.
  • The second half of Act 6: Curtain 2 in Puppeteer takes place in a clock tower.
  • The climax of Mystery Case Files: Broken Hour takes place in an old Clock Tower that strongly invokes this trope.
  • Riku's battle against Young Xehanort in a dimension consisting of a giant gray clock with assorted gears all over it and off in the distance. As the battle progresses, it edges further into Amazing Technicolor Battlefield as several hourglasses shatter and release their colorful sands into the air.
  • Rugrats has a Game Boy Advance game subtitled "Castle Capers" and in it is a level where you climb inside a giant grandfather clock.
  • MapleStory
    • There is a dome-shaped clock tower underneath Ludibrium filled with corrupted monsters as well as monsters from another dimension.
    • MapleStory Gobal's continent: Masteria includes a clock tower named Bigger Ben, which was even built on top of ruins called MesoGears.
    • You fight the boss of Lachelein starting and ending on a clock tower.
  • In Master of Darkness, Act 3 of Round 3 takes place in a clock tower. You see spinning gears in the background and travel across pendulums, and at the end of the stage, you fight Count Massen atop clock hands.
  • Shovel Knight features a level quite literally called The Clockwork Tower, which is full of gears and cogs, all of which are being used to try and kill you, with the exception of the level's item, the ridable Mobile Gear
  • Wandersong: Act 4's Spirit World takes the factory theme of the chapter and runs with it, with elevators, gears, buzzsaws, and crushing spikes all serving as obstacles.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • One episode of The Batman has Batman fighting Catwoman and Ragdoll in the gears of a giant clocktower.
  • An episode of Batman: The Animated Series had Batman fighting the Clock King like this, in a clock tower.
  • In the Captain N: The Game Master episode "Once Upon a Time Machine", Captain N travels through time to different locations in a game world based on the Puss N' Boots NES game. This trope occurs partway through the episode when one of the time warp portals deposits him and his companions inside Big Ben and they have to run through its mechanisms and jump through holes in the bigger gears to get out of the building.
  • A variant is used in the Inspector Gadget episode "The Coo-Coo Clock Caper," where the insane Clock Maker (a M.A.D. Agent working for Dr. Claw) has Gadget fastened to the gears of inside the clock tower on top of his family. Too bad that the Clock Maker didn't count on the rigged watch he gave Gadget causing his gadgets to malfunction in the wrong place at the wrong time, resulting in the destruction of the factory and the Clock Maker's arrest.
  • The climax of "The Dog and Piggy Show" in Jackie Chan Adventures features Jackie, Jade, Uncle, and Hak Foo climbing the gears in a clocktower to get the Pig Talisman.
  • In the Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo episode "Night Ghoul of Wonderworld," taking place in a replica of 19th Century London, Shaggy and Scooby and Scrappy try to escape said Ghoul inside the clockworks of a working replica of Big Ben.
  • The Disney animated short The Clock Cleaners, with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and Goofy, has them doing this job (interior and exterior cleaning) at a clock tower. Hilarity ensues inevitably.note 


Video Example(s):


Super Mario 64

Course 14 is Tick Tock Clock, a giant clock in which Mario platforms on gears, pendulums, and clock hands.

Example of:

Main / ClockworksArea