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Nightmare Fuel / Clock Tower (1995)

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  • Clock Tower on the SNES is absolutely disturbing. The constant fear of the Scissorman ambushing you eats at one's nerve. But worse, finding your friends dead in the worst of places, like trapped in a suit of armour. Then there's the demonic fetus baby, which is on a level all its own. Throw in that all but a couple of endings result in you being killed later on anyway, and you've got a twisted game.
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  • Due to the lack of ambience in much of the mansion, you'll be exploring most of it with only your echoing footsteps, leading to a severe dose of Paranoia Fuel.
  • Quite a few of the rooms are unsettling to explore, for instance.
    • The Mannequin Room. Featuring nothing but a rotting room with 20 or so mannequins that may or may not do something...
    • The Child's Room, which features a doll that can kill you in one hit, complete with a creepy music with footsteps in the background.
    • The Cage room, which has a strange noise-like ambiance in the background with vivisected crows on the table.
  • The SNES game even uses an effective Jump Scare. When you jump on a shelf and kick down the ladder, Scissorman walks away since he can't get up there. However, what happens next is he suddenly jumps through the ceiling and then goes after Jennifer on the shelf. The reason this one is scary is because it outright tricks you. While you knew Scissorman could be anywhere, he never ambushes you by jumping through the ceiling during gameplay.
  • To elaborate on the bad endings in the SNES version:
    • You run into an elevator in order to escape from the caves. It stops mid-transit, you hear Bobby's laughter, and he then drops down into the very small, very enclosed space with Jennifer, scissors at the ready. Blackout and credits.
    • You run into the same elevator, and the doors close just as you find out that Bobby is already in there. Cue Jennifer screaming, that horrible sound of Bobby's scissors snapping, and a huge pool of Jennifer's blood oozing out under the door.
    • It seems like Jennifer has survived the nightmare. However, the very end of the text epilogue reveals that she was mysteriously found dead in her bed very soon afterward.
    • You get in a car and escape, leaving your friends to their fate. However, as Jennifer is driving, she glances up in the rear view mirror and notices two giant scissor blades rising from the backseat...
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    • After eliminating Dan, Jennifer finds Mary and, oblivious to Mary's true nature, runs up to hug her out of relief. Cue Jennifer getting stabbed in the chest and pitifully asking "Why?" before collapsing.
  • So many of the friend deaths in the first game:
  • The trophy room in the first game. Not just the room itself, with the bizarre sounds coming from the walls. You also find a human heart in a jar, which is still beating. And do you want to know who that belongs to? The mummified corpse that you find in the locker in the same room. Which, in some versions of the game, opens its horrible looking eyes, gets up, and tries to kill you.
  • Dan is creepier when you realize that, according to the second game and Word of God, he's somewhat of a well-meaning, but still evil being. And the "fetus" form he took in the first game? Just a shell made of the corpses of the previous victims.
  • The body you can find in the sealed room. It's actually the body of Jennifer's father, a doctor who was called to help with the boys' birth, only to get his right hand eaten. He was then sealed off in a room to die from suffocation because he knew too much.
  • At first, Mary seems like a sweet and maternal lady. That is, until you discover that she gave birth to Bobby and Dan. In one of the endings, you can find Mary upon returning to a room you've already been in. And she's just...standing there, with her hands pleasantly clasped behind her back. Then, all of a sudden, she pulls out a knife and starts walking very slowly toward Jennifer. It's easy enough to escape from, but...
  • The soundtrack helps add to the creep factor, such as the two Scissorman chase themes. When either of these kicked in after the relative silence and lack of music in the game, you knew you were in some deep shit and had better find a hiding place as soon as possible. The second one was used more as a jump-out-at-you type of scare, but the first one is arguably more frightening because it's the one that just starts up randomly after you've simply walked around for a while without encountering him, so you don't know exactly where he might be. And for that matter, the chase theme from the original game for the Super Famicom (released only in Japan, but there is a fan translation available) is just as scary.
  • The shower scene in the first game, which may be the first scary scene you encounter. It's the one that shows Laura tied up to the shower head, which is disturbing in and of itself, but then the Scissorman bursts out of the bathtub with his scissors opened wide. This scene is in first person, played to a horrifying musical sting, and has Jennifer's portrait zooming in on her eye to express her own shock at Scissorman's appearance.
  • Of course, the sound that announces the Scissorman's arrival: Shing, shing. Shing, shing.
  • In the SNES game, some of the cutscenes are shot in a photorealistic style. It gives the certain parts of the game an Uncanny Valley feel, especially the shower scene mentioned above...


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