Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within, known in Japan as Clock Tower: Ghost Head, is a horror-themed adventure game developed by Human Entertainment and released for the PlayStation in 1998. It is the third game in the Clock Tower series. The story follows 17-year-old Alyssa Hale who occasionally is possessed by an alter ego named Mr. Bates. The player must guide Alyssa through various environments, altering between her normal and twisted personality, to uncover the secrets of her and her family's past.
Clock Tower II was met with negative reviews. Journalists heavily criticized the gameplay which they found to be poor due to its slow and dated point-and-click interface, as well as its reliance on trial-and-error mechanics. The story was criticized by some but found to be mature and creepy by others. Critics ultimately did not recommend the game except to those looking for an experience similar to Clock Tower (1996) and those looking for a game that, like a cult film, is flawed conventionally but redeemed by its willingness to stray from the mainstream.
Clock Tower II moves away from the story and setting in the two previous Clock Tower titles, and therefore was not a numbered title in Japan and is considered a spin-off. In the Japanese release, the game is set in Osaka. This was changed to California for the North American release.
Alyssa Hale is a 17-year-old high school girl who, during the spring of 1999, is on her way to a distant town to visit her father's friend Phillip Tate. Previously, it was discovered that another person resides in Alyssa's soul named Bates. Alyssa underwent intense therapy because she lost control of him. Along the way to Phillip's home, Alyssa looks at her amulet, which she believes has some sort of power over her. As she stares at it, she realizes that it must somehow be related to Bates, as she remembers not having it when she awoke from Bates' invasion of her psyche. Meanwhile, at the house, Philip and his wife Kathryn hear a noise at the door, Kathryn goes to see if it is Ashley. Philip says something about the "Maxwell Curse", before Kathryn screams and he rushes over to see what is happening. When Alyssa arrives at the Tate's residence that night, no one appears to be home. She comes across her cousin's bedroom to find her cousin Ashley decapitated. Her other cousin Stephanie attacks her with a knife and stalks her around the house. She hears a series of odd noises through the home and eventually finds Philip, who requests that she burn a statue related to the Maxwell Curse. Stephanie tries to stop her but Alyssa turns into Bates and stabs her. Alyssa manages to throw the statue into a fireplace but loses consciousness.
She wakes up in a zombie-infested hospital and meets a detective named Alex Corey, who saved Alyssa from the house. She is later overrun by zombies as she tries to escape and faints. When she awakens again, she finds that Alex took her to a pharmaceutical lab. She soon finds a man armed with a hatchet and wearing an oni mask named George Maxwell, who begins to stalk her. She also finds her adoptive father, Allen. He explains that Alyssa is not his daughter, but rather, the daughter of George. The Maxwell Curse states that every few generations, "Cursed Twins" are born into the Maxwell line. To protect their family, they must be buried beneath the Maxwell tree as soon as they are born and left to die. Allen, jealous of George's wealth, dug up the children with Philip to spite him. However, Alyssa's twin had suffocated to death; Alyssa realizes that her twin was Bates, who transplanted his soul into her body. George tries to attack Alyssa, but Allen shoots him. He then requests Alyssa to go, explaining that the building is about to explode. Alyssa escapes and watches the building burn from the hillside. Alyssa mourns her father's death, claiming that she should have died instead.