clock tower rewind screenshot
Image via Limited Run Games

Rare Clock Tower Commercial Sampler will be included in Clock Tower ReWind

The obscure demo files will be preserved forever.

Team C.U.T.S., a Clock Tower series and related games preservation group, has confirmed that the elusive Clock Tower Commercial Sampler demo will be included in developer WayForward’s upcoming Clock Tower ReWind release.

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The Clock Tower Commercial Sampler demo is one of three for the original Clock Tower that has received little to no coverage online until now. Team C.U.T.S. managed to acquire a copy of the demo when one finally came up for auction again, paying 92,000 Yen/$584.37. The team has since taken its time to explore everything in this unique build of Clock Tower for the Nintendo Super Famicom, dissecting exactly what it is. The team has worked with Limited Run Games and WayForward to ensure all Clock Tower fans can enjoy its contents forever.

Clock Tower ReWind will include all three demo levels from the Commercial Sampler, thanks to Team C.U.T.S.

Understanding the Clock Tower Commercial Sampler requires some background information. Thankfully, Team C.U.T.S. has published a 17-minute video explaining how it acquired the cartridge, the rumors about it before it got a copy, and exactly what’s in the files.

Interestingly, the Clock Tower Commercial Sampler isn’t an early build of the original game; it’s a custom build designed to give fans a taste of what they can experience in the full game. It features three demo levels with randomized elements that help convey the horror the full version can instill in a player.

Team C.U.T.S. dug quite deep and found that this version can access car endings and other main game files. So, despite it being a stripped-down version of the game and having a few variances in background images and music, it’s effectively three vertical slices of the final product.

The really great news from this discovery and subsequent delving through game files from the mid-90s is that all three of these demo levels will be included in Clock Tower ReWind. Published by Limited Run Games and developed by WayForward, this version of Clock Tower has been completely translated from Japanese to English for the first time.

Clock Tower is widely regarded as one of the progenitors of horror in video games, and it’s wonderful to see that these files, no matter how similar to the final release they are, have not only been preserved but are being distributed to fans worldwide. It’ll be interesting to see how these demo levels hold up against the originals once you can play them one after the other within the same ecosystem.

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Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp
Jamie is a Staff Writer on Destructoid who has been playing video games for the better part of the last three decades. He adores indie titles with unique and interesting mechanics and stories, but is also a sucker for big name franchises, especially if they happen to lean into the horror genre.