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Video Game / Claw

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Old mighty Claw

Claw (also known as Captain Claw) is a 1997 PC platformer published by Monolith Productions. It tells the story of a certain cat pirate captain, named Nathaniel Joseph Claw and his quest to find the parts of the Amulet of Nine Lives. While the plot is mostly an excuse, the story gets interesting due to the characters in it, particularly Claw, whose snarky comments make it 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 that Catherine was kicked out of Claw's crew for unnecessary violence.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The original release features cover art of a more photorealistic Claw (see the page image). As for the Japanese one, it has him look exactly as he does in-game, 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 if it means making way to the amulet's stones.
  • Bottomless Pit: Always disguised as a liquid, be it water, brine, sewage or lava.
  • 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. Don't stand on the lower level of the arena no matter what, or you'll find out how he does it.
  • Captain Obvious: The male 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 occasionally cry out: "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. Functionally, they're the exact same: Sword Beams that go through enemies. 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 health.
  • 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 he can throw them a fair distance. Hitting another foe with the thrown mook is a One-Hit Kill for the one that gets hit.
  • 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.
    • If you want to go for 100% Completion (collect all the treasures throughout the level), be prepared for sheer and utter hell. There are often areas that must be accessed by a Leap of Faith, and it's not even apparent you're supposed to do that. Another area in Level 2 has clouds that are actually platforms you can jump on, but there isn't anything to make it apparent either.
  • 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: Claw will cross his arms and sway back and forth if you leave him idling.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: We never learn 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, Stephan Weyte, 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.
  • More Dakka: Despite it being a flintlock, Claw can somehow pull off fully automatic fire with his pistol.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Dynamite can be used to access some previously-unaccessible places at the 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 brine.
  • 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:
    • Gabriel can only be defeated by using his own cannon against him and hitting the switch that makes its aim go up.
    • Marrow. You have to fight his bloody parrot first and wait for the stony bridge to appear so that you can cross the spike hole to whack him a few times.
    • Aquatis is beaten by throwing dynamite into a barely visible hole in the wall behind her.
    • Omar's first phase has him impervious to all damage except for the Fire and Frost Swords respectively, depending on what his shield is made from at the time.
  • Spikes of Doom: Anything that falls or is thrown into a spike pit dies with a Sickening "Crunch!". Including Claw.
  • 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 of 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 Omar. And she's only the second boss.
    • If Catherine failed to deliver the message, the boss after her, Wolvington, won't. He'll straight up counter attacks when hit and block even more often than the Final Boss, and he's able to rack up large amounts of damage very quickly against reckless players.

Alternative Title(s): Captain Claw