Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within 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 CT 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 starts with Yu Midoshima/Alyssa Hale, a 17-year old high school student who's in Osaka to see Hajime Takano, who's a family friend during Spring 1999. However, her visit doesn't go so well once Yu/Alyssa realizes that someone had stabbed him and left him to die. Someone is stalking Yu/Alyssa with intentions to kill her. Not only that, Yu is Hajime that she need to destroy the statue he gave her to dispel the "Saido/Maxwell Curse".
And Yu/Alyssa does that... But it doesn't end there. And it's just the beginning of the least of her problems. Problems that may have something to do with her Dark and Troubled Past.
This game has examples of:
- Abandoned Hospital: The game's first chapter starts in the Memorial Hospital.
- 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.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: The game feature unlockable outfits for Yu to use.
- Bowdlerise: The disco bathroom stall isn't present in the Japanese version. Instead, it just looks like Yu is dragged in and raped.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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: 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.
- 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 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.
- 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 signifigance, but good look finding a player who could predict that outcome.
- "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 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 for your troubles (not that it's necessary, since there is a spot where you will always get a shotgun either way).
- 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.