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Video Game / Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within

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That Hannya mask isn't there for theatrics...

Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within (released as Clock Tower: Ghost Head in Japan) is a Playstation game released on March 12, 1998 in Japan and on October 1999 in the US and Canada by Human Entertainment (Japan) and Agetec (NA) with the game released again in Japan via the Playstation Network. It's the only Clock Tower game known to be made without the involvement of Hifumi Kono, nor with any connections to the other games.

While the Japanese version is set in Osaka, the English release was known to have changed the setting from Osaka to Monterey in California for unknown reasons, though some critics assumed that it was in order to have the game appeal to non-Japanese/Asian gamers, all the characters were given new American names and the script is slightly different in certain areas.

The game revolves around Yu Midoshima/Alyssa Hale, a 17-year old high school student with a Split Personality disorder. Whenever she gets frightened, her bloodthirsty alter ego, Mr. Bates (whose English voice acting is provided by none other than Roger L. Jackson), emerges. Who's come to Osaka/Monterey in Spring 1999 to see family friend Hajime Takano/Philip Tate as his family. However, when she arives, she finds that someone has Hajime and left him to die, someone who is still in the house and now stalking her as well. Given a strange statue by Hajime, Yu is tasked with burning it to put an end to what he calls the "Saidou / Maxwell curse."

However, even after Yu manages to accomplish this... her nightmare has only begun, as Yu is soon drawn into conflict with other killers as she attempts to get to the bottom of the "Saidou curse", and how it is linked to her own Dark and Troubled Past.

This game has examples of:

  • Abandoned Hospital: The game's first chapter starts in the Memorial Hospital.
  • Alien Blood: Zombies have yellow blood instead of red. Alyssa doesn't recognize it initially.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The game feature unlockable outfits for Yu to use.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: Just like in Clock Tower 2, if the player is killed while at 0 stamina, they can continue from the same room they died in with their stamina raised by a point. This allows the player to use the panic button to fend off their attacker and escape, preventing them from becoming trapped with no way out.
    • The game now has an "Event Cut" option, which allows the Square/Circle in the Ghost Head version to be used to outright skip cutscenes instead of clicking through them one line at a time as well as being able to skip all animated scenes. (Such as being able to skip the animation of incapacitating/hiding from a Stalker.)
    • The timing for running is easier and Alyssa/Bates will keep running even if the player only taps once unless Alyssa/Bates stop moving so running away is less awkward and the Panic/Action buttons were merged into both doing the same thing. (though the Panic button will perform Event Cuts if enabled.)
    • Almost all Guns/First Aid Kits respawn, preventing the player getting trapped as they'll always have at least one firearm for Bates and one First Aid Kit available in the stage that will keep respawning. (Though Guns often are downgraded.)
  • Artificial Stupidity: Most enemies will never figure out a way to counteract that one weapon Alyssa can pick up, and they can never figure out the hiding spots they can use. Fine with zombies, but almost inexcusable with Chinatsu and Fushihito.
  • Chekhov's Gun: That suit of armor you see? If you don't examine it at a certain point, it will come back to bite you, hard!
  • Cultural Translation: The game had its title changed, characters were given American-sounding names, and the location was changed from Osaka, Japan to Monterey, California. Interestingly, this is completely irrelevant to the rest of the series: it didn't take place in America or Japan, it took place in Norway.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: A few parts, like the flashbacks where Alyssa and the statue are dug up as well as the bad-ending pictures, are displayed in monochrome.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Almost every ending (save for A-C) involves Alyssa being abruptly killed with no forewarning, more akin to a Non Standard Game Over. Most cases are a result of the player talking to an NPC with the wrong personality and often involve Alyssa/Bates dying in situations they can survive in gameplay or even other scenes in the game.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Ending G, by way of a suit of old samurai armor. To make matters worse, it's not even important to the plot, save for who may be inside it. Also, if you saved at any point after the part where you are supposed to examine it, you are locked into this bad ending! Time to start over.
  • Fake Longevity: The Japanese version has a special Gag mode you can unlock called Buyo Buyo Mode, in which all the characters ceaselessly bounce up and down at all times. The requirement for this? Obtain every single ending in the game. This requires several playthroughs of a game that's already infamous for requiring you to do a bunch of random things just to prevent your character from dying at times.
  • Genre Shift: About halfway through the game goes from creepy supernatural thriller to purely scientific zombie invasion. It honestly feels like they slapped two wildly different games together.
  • Guide Dang It!: While the manual explains that a green target means the shot is ineffective and a Red Target is, Zombies act completely differently before/after you find out about the brains, before, they will "Die" when shot in a green zone (With the Red Zone being hidden as a green one due to not knowing about the brains yet.) and you'll flee the room like when incapciating Maxwell/Saido or Stephene/Chinatsu temporarilly, while a Red Zone shot will make them fade and you won't leave the room, however once the brains are discovered, Green shots will only make a zombie do a flinch animation (Regardless of how many rounds you put into them) and Red Zones will kill them, completely changing how they react to gun fire, while Maxwell in contrast, has every Target be a Red Zone and simply needs shot enough times to put him down. (3 Revolver Shots, 2 Shotgun Blasts, 1 Shotgun Blast and 1 Revolver shot or one SMG Burst.)
  • Hints Are for Losers: The eighth hint is a no-hint that tells you to help Alyssa on your own.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The Submachine Gun, it downs Maxwell and kills all Zombies in one burst, you get 20 Bursts per Pick-up, however the game is nearly over by the time you obtain it unless you find the hidden one early on in the final chapter.
    • First Aid Kits will never show up if you aren't already hurt, so you have to search every examine spot again to find them once you're hurt, especially since some of them are placed in the same interaction spots as Guns.
  • Limited Loadout: You can only carry one gun at a time and will have to use up your current gun in order to grab another one, with no option to discard the one currently in your inventory.
  • Market-Based Title: The game's known as The Struggle Within in English. In Asia, it's Ghost Head.
  • Meaningful Name: The English title The Struggle Within makes more sense if you know more about Yu's history and her split personality troubles with Sho.
  • Reincarnation: A theory is that Bobby and Dan become Yu and Sho some time before the events of the game. As to which is which, well, Yu and Edward (Dan with a fake name) both wear something resembling a school uniform and are shy yet determined, and Sho and Bobby are both murdering psychopaths. Apparently, this is a regular thing for the Saido family.
  • Palette Swap: The Milicana is a cheat-code exclusive weapon that looks like the amulet, only it's blue instead of orange.
  • Summoning Artifact: The Demon Statue is implied to be this. Possibly subverted by the Golden Statue, it may just be a cheap ornament. It was Takashi's/Allen's excuse to poison his colleague.
  • Thinly-Veiled Dub Country Change: The game attempts to do this by changing the setting from Osaka to California... despite the fact that everything else in the game was left intact. Not only is the first house you explore very Japanese-influenced, Japanese Kanji can frequently be seen on many different areas throughout the game as well as the guns being based on Japanese Firearms.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: There really is no way of knowing whether certain actions will get you killed; having Alyssa or Bates in charge can determine if certain conversations end in violence, usually resulting in a sudden bad ending. Not examining the samurai armor is probably the most infamous example. If you didn't examine the armor twice in part 1, it will crash through the ceiling and crush Alyssa in a cutscene later in the game. This counts as an ending, meaning the player has to start over. There is a hint in the game that the statue has some sort of significance, but good look finding a player who could predict that outcome, even with the correct personality, certain scenes will kill you if Alyssa still has the Amulet.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Chief Nurse Kishi/Nurse Cook has gotten suicidal during a zombie outbreak in the hospital. You will have to use Sho/Bates to talk to her in order to advance, only making her more depressed — enough to want to commit suicide. Come back to the area as Yu/Alyssa after completing a certain event and she'll stop her from committing the act. The next time you see her (if you explore a bit in the next area), she will give you a shotgun or a reload for your current weapon for your troubles (not that it's necessary, since there is a spot where you will always get a shotgun either way).
  • "Which Restroom?" Dilemma: Alyssa / Yu will refuse to enter the male restrooms. Bates / Sho (Alyssa / Yu's alternate male personality who shares her body) similarly will refuse to enter the female restrooms. You can make Bates / Sho examine the urinal to have him just sort of stare blankly at it for a moment. (This can be subverted if clever players lay down the amulet in the women's restroom and get attacked to force Bates inside. Not that it accomplishes anything, though.)
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Sho/Bates can kill Yu's/Alyssa's father, who is completely helpless. Doing so will simply give you another bad ending.
  • The Unreveal: The game vaguely implies that Bobby and Dan are the reincarnated Alyssa and Bates. Alongside the ritual Mary did in The First Fear to summon them. Your only clue is the golden statue and the mention of George Maxwell's magic powers in Allen's letter to Phillip. This game actually makes sense if you ignore the zombies.