Clock Tower 3 is a survival horror video game co-produced by Capcom and Sunsoft for the PlayStation 2. Released in 2002, it is the fourth installment in the Clock Tower series, and the first and only video game directed by Japanese film director Kinji Fukasaku. The plot and characters have very little relation with the previous Clock Tower games. The story follows 14-year-old Alyssa Hamilton who is part of a family lineage of female warriors who travel through time to defeat evil spirits. Alyssa travels from her time in 2003 London to the 1940s and 1960s in order to defeat these "Entities" and bring peace to troubled souls.
As opposed to the point-and-click gameplay used in the previous games, Clock Tower 3 is the first game in the series to incorporate direct control over the protagonist. Alyssa is given no weapon for the majority of the game, and must evade and hide from her pursuers. These enemies, known as "Subordinates", are fought at the end of each level, during which Alyssa is armed with a longbow. The game received mixed reviews and was a commercial failure, selling considerably less than anticipated. The presentation, writing, and graphics were positively received, with many critics praising the cutscenes and Fukasaku's direction. However, the gameplay was criticized for its repetitive mechanics, and the game itself was felt to be too short.
The story of Clock Tower 3 is set in London in 2003. Alyssa Hamilton is a 14-year-old girl who has been living at a boarding school for three years. Her mother, Nancy, sent her there after her grandfather, Dick, disappeared. The game begins with Alyssa receiving a letter from her mother telling her to go into hiding until after her fifteenth birthday. Alarmed, Alyssa decides to go against her mother's wishes and return home. When she arrives at the boarding house in which they live, her mother is absent, and the only person there is a man called "The Dark Gentleman". Determined to find her mother, Alyssa explores her mother's room. Suddenly, Frédéric Chopin's Fantaisie-Impromptu begins to play with no apparent source, and Alyssa is transported back in time to the streets of London during World War II.
She enters a tailor shop where she witnesses the murder of a young girl by a man wielding a sledgehammer. Eventually, Alyssa is able to piece together what happened: May Norton was killed on Christmas Eve 1942 by Sledgehammer, a stonecutter who went on a killing spree before being caught and executed. Alyssa comes to realise that she must free May's spirit, which is trapped on Earth, by giving her her father's pocket watch. On her way to do so, she is confronted by Sledgehammer, whom she destroys. She then gives the watch to May's spirit, reuniting her with her father. At that moment, Alyssa faints and wakes up back in the boarding house. She explores the house further with her friend, Dennis Owen, and learns more about her past: the girls in her family are known as "Rooders", young women with supernatural powers. Rooders are the sworn enemies of "Entities", beings which can infect innocent humans and drive them to acts of murder, at which point the human becomes a "Subordinate". Rooder powers peak at the age of fifteen, and wane afterward, disappearing completely by the age of twenty.
Alyssa then travels to the 1960s, where she enters the house of Dorothy Rand, a blind elderly woman and her son, Albert, and sees them murdered by a man known as Corroder, who throws them into a vat of acid. Alyssa destroys Corroder, and returns a lost shawl to Dorothy's spirit, freeing both herself and Albert. She then returns to the present, where The Dark Gentleman congratulates her on killing two Subordinates. He sends her to the top of a massive clock tower where he tells her that when her fifteenth birthday arrives they will be united for eternity. He also tells her that her mother is dead. When she refuses to believe him, he flings her from the tower. Regaining consciousness in a sewer system, she is forced to confront another Subordinate, Chopper. She defeats him, but fails to kill him and is sent to a graveyard. She then learns of the "Ritual of Engagement"; if a human wishes to become an Entity, they must remove the heart of a Rooder to whom they are related on her fifteenth birthday and drink her blood. Eventually, Alyssa fights Chopper again and is able to destroy him.
Dennis arrives, and he and Alyssa find their way to an abandoned hospital where they encounter Scissorman and Scissorwoman, who kidnap Dennis. Alyssa is then transported to a castle, where she sees Dick reciting a strange incantation. She learns Dick knew of the Ritual of Engagement, and had discovered that Lord Burroughs, the owner of the castle and from whom he is descended, also knew of the ritual. She then sees an incident from the past of Dick asking for Burroughs' help to become an Entity, inviting Burroughs to enter his body and for them to complete the Ritual together. Burroughs' spirit takes possession of Dick, turning into The Dark Gentleman. Meanwhile, Alyssa is able to rescue Dennis from the twins, killing them in the process. The Dark Gentleman then tells Alyssa if she wants to save Nancy's soul, she must come to the top of the tower. There, The Dark Gentlemen turns into Lord Burroughs and begins the Ritual. However, Dennis distracts Burroughs, allowing Alyssa to fight back. Nancy's spirit transfers what is left of her own Rooder power into Alyssa, giving her the strength to destroy Burroughs. After she defeats him, she reunites with her mother's spirit. The tower then collapses. Alyssa awakens in a field, where she sees Dennis. She runs to him and hugs him as she says "Mum...we did it. We did it, Mum".