Clockwork Knight 2
From Sega Retro
Clockwork Knight 2, known as Clockwork Knight: Pepperouchau no Daibouken Gekan (クロックワークナイト ペパルーチョの福袋フクブクロ) in Japan, is a side-scrolling platformer video game released for the Sega Saturn in 1995. It is the sequel to Clockwork Knight, a launch title for the Sega Saturn that also was released in that year.
Clockwork Knight 2 builds on the offerings of the original game (it is often labeled as "Part 2", symbolising the fact they are essentially two halves of the same game). Both share much of the graphics and music and have identical gameplay, however the original Clockwork Knight is often considered to be the lesser game, mostly due to the fact it was rushed to become a launch title. Clockwork Knight 2 had a much healthier development cycle, allowing for much improved graphics and levels set on Pepperouchau's steed, Barobaro.
This and the first Clockwork Knight game were later released as a value pack on one single disc known as Clockwork Knight: Pepperouchau no Fukubukuro. The US version of Clockwork Knight 2 is based on this version with Part 1 removed.
There was a second sequel, Clockwork Knight: Pengin War, which never made it past the beta stage. Another possible sequel, titled Knight 'n Knight and scheduled to appear on the GameCube as an RPG, was never released.
The game focuses on Sir Tongara de Pepperouchau III ("Pepper" for short). He is the lovable (but clumsy) toy soldier (one of many in the house) that is owned by the members of the household. He is fiercely in love with the Clockwork Fairy Princess, Chelsea, whose voice wakes up the toys of the house, every night at midnight on the dot. However, his aforementioned clumsiness can sometimes make him something of a laughing stock, especially when compared to his friendly rival Ginger, who is also after Chelsea's heart.
However, as fate would have it, Chelsea was stolen away in the previous game by an unknown force, which had also hypnotised some of the lesser toys into fierce minions on a mission to stop anyone from rescuing her. Naturally, if there's no voice to wake them up anymore then the toys will never live again, so Pepper and Ginger head off to find Chelsea before it's too late.
The last game had a happy ending as they had found Chelsea, but there was one major unresolved problem; Chelsea was safe and sound, but wouldn't wake up! As the toys not under the spell ponder just what to do, some toys that are mind-controlled kidnap her once again and fly off into another room for the household. Ginger and Pepper quickly come up with the plan: Ginger will deal with the TV (the final boss of the last game), still somewhat active from its fight with Pepper, while Pepper himself continues on his quest to find Chelsea. Thus, the game begins again...
Sir Tongara de Pepperouchau III ("Pepper") - the main protagonist and sole playable character in the main game. He's brave, he's dashing, but he's also quite clumsy. At the end of the game not only does he save Chelsea but also finds his missing grandfather and marries Chelsea too.
Barobaro - Pepper's nearsighted but ever-faithful donkey-for-a-steed. Apparently he consists of a wine bottle on a wheeled basket. Pepper rides on his back in a few stages of the game. He also has a crush on Soltia...
Prunchau - Pepper's valet and close buddy, this top is also very consciencious of Pepper and sometimes treats him like a little boy. He leads the way in one segment of a level, and gives suggestions in the Soltian Roulette.
Sir Ginger - Pepper's chief rival and something of a showoff, but works with him in saving Chelsea. At the end of the game he discovers from Pepper's grandfather that Chelsea is really his sister and that his key can wake her up again. He is also playable in the "Bosses Galore" mode as well as Part 2 via a cheat code.
Silver - Ginger's steed. A horse-shaped clothesbrush, he's quite snobby in thinking he's the perfect horse for the perfect warrior.
Le Bon - Ginger's valet. This bouncy ball will sometimes race Pepper in-game; succeeding gets you a Gold Key, while failing gets you a measly Imperial Crown. Like Prunchau, he also gives suggestions in the Soltian Roulette.
Sir Oneon de Pepperouchau - Pepper's father. He's a bit overly dramatic; he thinks, for whatever reason, that his family has forsaken him.
Sir Garluch de Pepperouchau - Pepper's highly-respected, if somewhat misguided, grandfather. It turns out he too was under the dark spell like the other lesser toys too. Pepper saves him at the end of the game after defeating the dragon boss along with Chelsea and tells his grandson that Ginger is really Chelsea's brother that only he can save her with his key.
Pa Zur - Ginger's lord and mentor. All the toys think that the sliding puzzle is a wise old mystic.
Soltia - A hot-tempered perfume bottle who loves music, cards, and games of chance. She even has a big crush on Pepper himself, considering Chelsea to be a rival for his affection. She hosts the Soltian Roulette mini-game that occurs between worlds, also giving suggestions to players like Prunchau and Le Bon do.
Clockwork Princess Chelsea - This young, beautiful doll's voice has the power to wake all the toys every night at midnight. Both Pepper and Ginger compete for her heart. It is her kidnapping that sets both this and the prior game off. At the end its discovered that she and Ginger are brother and sister. She is awaken by her brother's key and then she marries Pepper.
The game acts as the second half of the original Clockwork Knight. The US version is based off of Clockwork Knight: Pepperouchau no Fukubukuro which features additional modes not seen in other versions. There also exists hidden, additional modes and features as well.
Effectively, this game is a side-scrolling platformer, much in the vein of the Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog video game series. However, unlike the aforementioned titles, the game has full 3D graphics, and doesn't just sit on that fact with numerous segments taking Pepper all over the back- and foregrounds, the paths sometimes having full 90° turns, and fully-polygonal bosses to fight (most of the in-game objects are pre-rendered sprites, much like Donkey Kong Country).
Pepper doesn't go head-bopping like many other video game stars do, but rather attacks them with his key. A quick tap of the button (usually B) will thrust it out horizontally at any would-be enemies. He cannot do this vertically. Likewise, repeatedly tapping the button over and over will cause him to twist the key around and around. This makes it a bit more powerful (e.g.: an enemy could be knocked out temporarily with a simple jab, but running into the key when twisting it will instantly take it out with a satisfying pop and lots of... confetti...). In addition to all this, he can also pick up unconscious enemies or even the various speckled eggs that've been scattered here and there, and toss them at things (in this case, yes, vertical attacks are possible).
The goal is simple: just get to the end of the stage alive and well, before time or your hit points (typically three, though Gold Keys can increase that maximum) run out. Unfortunately there aren't any checkpoints to aid players here, so finishing a level has to be done in one go. To mix up the fun, Clockwork Knight 2 has various things that its predecessor lacks. For instance, there are 32 cards scattered around the game, four per level. Collecting all four cards in a level gives players a Gold Key; collecting all 32 gives them a secret code. Beyond that, the levels are fairly large, with numerous areas to check out and get the treasures out of, so exploration is anything but unadvised.
There are also some horseback levels to keep things somewhat fresh. These are also 2D in nature, but in them Pepper is continuously going to the right on the back of his steed Barobaro. If one wants to collect something, then they'd have to be fairly quick about it as there would be no going backwards outside of Pepper committing suicide quickly to revive back at the beginning of the stage.
Then come the boss levels. Every third level, Pepper must face off against a large, fully-polygonal enemy in a one-on-one battle. Each of these have a weakness to them that must be exploited, which is easier said than done at times. For instance, the first boss is a rockin', floating snake made up of wooden blocks and spiked balls with a microphone on the tip of its tail that doubles as its weak spot. It weaves around the tower Pepper is on, stopping to pose with the microphone up to its mouth every now and then. Most of the boss fights share this uniqueness to them, ranging from said snake to a piece of paper that morphs into various animals to an entire toy castle that's watched too many Transformers TV shows.
Ultimately the main game is only 13 levels long, so it's not terribly long (which is good, as the game doesn't save your progress in the main game). That 13 levels hosts four different rooms with two normal levels and a boss each, plus a final boss that can only be fought when playing it on Normal or Hard; if you tried Training out first, the game ends at the level just before, and you don't get to see the ending.
Play as Ginger
A cheat code which was discovered in 2012 revealed that Ginger is also a playable character through the game's story mode. By pressing on the mode select screen, a chime will sound. Starting Part 2 will then start the game as Ginger. However a number of elements in the game, such as HUD, text and certain levels will still feature Pepper. This cheat code also works in the compilation Clockwork Knight: Pepperouchau no Fukubukuro
This mode lets you play as either Pepper or Ginger in fighting all the bosses of Part 1 and Part 2, in order. Essentially this mode is little more than a score attack, but doing well in it could tell you a code to enter a top-secret mini-game stash (the progress of which the game DOES keep track of, thankfully), or even a secret movie.
Hidden in Bosses Galore are several simple mini games. By pressing a chime will sound and the text "MINIGAME" will appear on screen. Selecting start on the menu will bring you to a list of the following mini games.
This mode showcases all the movies from Part 1 and Part 2. There is an option to view all the cutscenes at once as well as the Salsa de Pepperouchau that served as the Clockwork Knight 2 demo's intro sequence and the Cast of Characters video.
Items are scattered through the levels. They're often found inside eggs, enemies, scenery or out in the open.
Imperial Crowns - Essentially bottle-caps with pictures of crowns on them, these are used in the Soltian Roulette mini-game or to determine whether you get a continue or not.
Pocket Watches - Scattered around almost as much as Imperial Crowns, these give you either one or five seconds on your timer.
Keys - These wind-up keys will refill your health. They come in three colors; Bronze Keys refill a whopping one hit point, Silver Keys refill all your health points, and Gold Keys refill all your hit points while adding a new one to your maximum (this works twice per life, giving you up to five hit points total), unless you already are at full health with five hit points, in which case it just gives you an extra life.
Helmets - In a word, "lives". Blue Helmets are 1UPs, while Red Helmets are 3UPs (and much rarer, too).
Invincible - As it implies, this makes Pepper invincible for a short time.
There are four rooms in the game consisting of three levels each, with a final boss level at the very end.
This is something of a playroom; tons and tons of colorful toys around, with large towers made of blocks and some race car tracks to ride Barobaro on. The boss is a large snake made up of various wooden blocks.
This is much jazzier than the prior room, not only in music but in tone as well. Things are much darker as you go about the candlelit desktops, opening and closing books and launching toy rockets at enemies in the background that you'd otherwise be facing later on. The boss is a page from a book that likes to impersonate animals.
Moving back into bright areas for a while, most of this level is situated on or around the bath tub, with a few exceptions (such as one point where Pepper goes all the way up to the ceiling on the various plants hanging from it). Watch out for the hot water, it can really sting... The boss is a giant, soap-throwing toy octopus.
Gears, pipes and oily platforms abound up here, as the search for Chelsea nears its close. You can change the direction of how some things turn, but that may not always be beneficial... Plus, it being a tower, there's an awful lot of long drops to worry about. The boss is a large castle that transforms into a cruel beast.
This is the very end of the game - a final one-on-one battle with what appears to be the perpetrator over just who gets Chelsea...
After finishing the boss level of a room (save Clock Tower or the final boss), you can play this mini-game with Soltia, Prunchau and Le Bon. Essentially you bet your Imperial Crowns on the likelihood of your getting something from a roulette of various things (ranging from more Imperial Crowns, 1UPs, 3UPs, to clown faces, which gain you squat). After betting 5, 10 or 15 Imperial Crowns, the roulette boxes will reveal the contents (the amount of everything varies depending on how much you bet) then go for a quick spin, after which you choose which box you think has what you want. If you get something you can keep it, or spin again for a double-or-nothing round (this can be done four times, with the amount of doubles going down by one each time). It's certainly not a bad idea to play this, as the later levels can be pretty tricky.
Executive Producer: Mamoru Shigeta
Opening Theme (Salsa de Pepperouchau -Fiesta de los Amigos-)
Vocals By: Misumi Kosaka, Tomoko Tsuyama
Title Theme (Pretty Please Boogie)
Vocals By: Misumi Kosaka, Tomoko Tsuyama
Credits Theme (A Lullaby)
Vocals By: Misumi Kosaka