Klonoa is a video game series created by Namco and Klonoa Works, as well as the name of the titular character of the series.
Setting and Gameplay
The games are set in different worlds, though the primary and most well-known ones are Phantomile and Lunatea. The games revolve around Klonoa and the troubled dreams he is transported to. Along the way he makes new friends and enemies, some of them becoming recurring characters. Klonoa: Door To Phantomile was one of the first side scrolling 2.5D games. All of the games, with the exception of Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal, are puzzle platformers. The main gameplay feature involves using "Wind Bullets" fired from Klonoa's ring to inflate enemies, which can then be thrown at other objects or at the ground, giving him a boost upwards allowing him to double jump.
- Klonoa: Klonoa is designated as a "Dream Traveler", who is fated to travel to various places where the state of dreams is in danger. He takes it upon himself to help these unfamiliar worlds without asking why. Though not fearless or particularly clever, he has a kind heart and will do anything for his friends.
- Huepow: A mystical being that Klonoa found within the ring he discovered in the forest. He instantly became Klonoa's friend and became a source of power for his Wind Bullet. He first appeared in Klonoa: Door To Phantomile, and returned in many subsequent games.
- Grandpa: Elder of Breezegale, the wind village, as well as Klonoa's grandfather and only known relative in the series. He often worries about Klonoa and offers him advice and encouragement. His main appearance is in Klonoa: Door To Phantomile, though he returns for a minor role in Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal.
- Lephise: The songstress of the Moon Kingdom, treated like a diva by many inhabitants of Phantomile. She possesses the power to renew the world with her song, and is in need of rescuing throughout the story of Klonoa: Door To Phantomile.
- Lolo: A timid priestess-in-training who first showed up in Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil. Like Huepow, she can transport inside Klonoa's ring to let him perform the Wind Bullet. Throughout the story, she gains self-confidence and the courage to stand on her own. She later appeared in Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament, Klonoa Beach Volleyball, and Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal. She admires Klonoa's heroism and appears to have romantic feelings for Klonoa.
- Popka: Lolo's best friend, accompanying her in Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil.. Popka's quick-temper, talent for thievery and no-nonsense attitude seemed to clash with Lolo, yet the two are inseparable. Popka provides Klonoa support when it's needed, showing himself to be a good friend. He later appeared in Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament, Klonoa Beach Volleyball, and Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal.
- High Priestess: The High Priestess was the teacher of Lolo and former priestess Leorina. She is the one responsible for granting a priestess-in-training who succeeds in ringing the Spirit Bell the rank of a full priestess. She offers guidance to Klonoa & co at the beginning of their journey to gather Lunatea's elements.
- Tat: Partnered with the sky pirate Leorina, Tat is her loyal and protective sidekick, and antagonist-turned-ally to Klonoa. She's a cunning and snarky thief with the ability to split herself into two independent versions of herself, each one with opposite personalities. Tat is featured on Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil and Klonoa Beach Volleyball.
- Leorina: First introduced as an antagonist in Klonoa 2, with Tat as her loyal sidekick. She is referred to as a sky pirate and a clever thief, but later is revealed that once she was a priestess in training much like Lolo. Unlike her, she was never capable to master her training, turning to a life of crime out of spite.
- Guntz: (Gantz outside Japan & Europe.) Called the "Golden Killer", he is a bounty hunter who wields a large handgun and rides a motorcycle. He serves as Klonoa's rival, be it as a friendly one or a more ruthless one as in Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament. In Klonoa Beach Volleyball and Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal; Guntz's ultimate goal is to exact revenge on his father's killer, Janga.
- Pango: One of Klonoa's team members in Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal, he is a jovial and friendly man, and acts as the voice of reason for the group. He is on a quest to cure his son of a mysterious illness, and can be fierce when provoked, literally blowing his enemies away with his bombs.
- Ghadius: The spirit of Darkness. He was sealed away for attempting to rebel, but later escaped from this seal with the aid of Joka in order to exact his revenge on those who locked him away. He seeks to revive the perfect nightmare, Nahatomb. He is the primary antagonist of Klonoa: Door To Phantomile.
- Joka: A maniacal clown who often resorts to cheating and other underhanded tricks in order to win. When pushed to his worst, however, he can transform into a huge and powerful beast. Joka appeared in, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, as a devoted servant to Ghadius, and reappeared again as a villain in several more titles.
- Janga: Also called "Poison Claws Janga" or "Janga of the Poison Claws." A foul-mouthed, traitorous, insane bounty hunter, Janga has seemingly no morals or conscience. In the end he is a cowardly villain who will run off when he sees he's met his match. His only appearances were in Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal and Namco x Capcom, in both of which he is teamed up with Joka.
- Garlen: First appearing in Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament, as it's main villain. Garlen is a mad (though somewhat crackpot) genius who sponsors the Dream Champ Tournament to find out who is the greatest hero in the land. He teleports all the participants to his arena, and sends them one by to neighboring lands to take part in his competition. He returns as a villain again in Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal and Klonoa Beach Volleyball.
- King of Sorrow: The true antagonist of Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil and ruler of a kingdom that was supposedly ostracized by the other kingdoms in Lunatea. Losing his mind from isolation and grief, he summoned Klonoa with the intention of having him help return himself and the kingdom from obscurity. In the end however, the king decides to attempt to use Klonoa as a vessel for revenge instead.
- Nahatomb: The perfect nightmare, and the true final boss of Klonoa: Door To Phantomile. Nahatomb was sealed away a long time ago from spreading nightmares throughout Phantomile. He is born of evil, hatred, nightmares, negativity, and greed, and wishes to destroy Phantomile. He returns again as a major villain and hidden character in Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal and Klonoa Beach Volleyball respectively.
The Klonoa series began in early 1997 in Japan and was critically well received by numerous gaming publications and magazines. Klonoa: Door to Phantomile was not only Klonoa's first adventure, but also one of the first PlayStation platformers to feature two-dimensional character artwork on a rendered, three-dimensional backdrop. This led to the creation of the phrase 2.5D to distinguish it between other games that either relied totally on one or the other. Since Door to Phantomile, several other games have employed this method. A remake of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile by the same name was released December 4th in Japan for the Wii console. It features completely revised graphics and voice acting, as well as many unlockable bonuses that were not in the original. These include new costumes, Mirrored Visions, and challenge areas.
Klonoa's second appearance, Klonoa: Moonlight Museum was released solely in Japan for the Japanese-only WonderSwan handheld system in 1999. It is noteworthy for being Klonoa's first handheld appearance and his first fully two-dimensional one. Despite lacking the artful style of the first game, Moonlight Museum set the standard for the approaching Game Boy Advance titles like Klonoa: Empire of Dreams the following year. Though it was very similar in style and execution to the previous game, it was developed for the more sophisticated Game Boy Advance hardware and was also available in North America and Europe.
Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil was released for the PlayStation 2 with moderate success in 2001. It returned to the series' roots and had more in common with the original game than the other titles in the series. This game used a Cell shading method for the characters and also marked the first appearances of several prominent Klonoa characters, such as Lolo, Popka, Leorina and Tat. It has been stated in many game magazines that it is "The most underrated game of all time" and that it did not get as popular as it deserved. It is a very child friendly game, with a story line that they could easily understand, but at the same time had a lot more powerful message going through various points of the game which the older gamers would understand and enjoy. It's different types of gameplay includes a standard set of plat-former levels in the "2.5D" style, hover-boarding down snowy mountains and water-parks, time-attack challenges, puzzle solving, and epic boss fights, introducing the "360 degrees" system.
A third handheld title, Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament was released for the Game Boy Advance in Japan in 2002 with a heavily belated release in North America three years later. Utilizing the same game engine as Empire of Dreams, Dream Champ Tournament was a similar gaming experience that benefited from more sophisticated puzzles and featured a newer cast of supporting characters.
His sole sports title, Klonoa Beach Volleyball released for the PlayStation in Japan and later Europe, featured Klonoa and his friends in a unique version of volleyball. A North American version was never made.
Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal was released solely in Japan in late 2002. Taking a unique twist on the series, the game is an Action RPG, rather than a platformer and is played from a top-down perspective.
Other games and cameos
Klonoa and Guntz appear as a playable duo in Namco's cross-over RPG, Namco X Capcom. They retain similar moves from Klonoa Heroes. Joka, Janga and various varieties of Moos and Glibz also appear as a part of the game's enemies while Lolo and The High Priestess of La-Lakoosha appear as non-playable characters. A manga adaptation was also published.
Klonoa also appears as an unlockable character in World Kicks, Moto GP, Alpine Racer 3, Family Tennis Advance, Smash Court Tennis 3, Pro Yakyuu Famista 2011 and in Famista Dream Match. Famista 2003 features a Klonoa-themed stadium.
Klonoa also had cameo appearances in Point Blank 3, where his face appears as a shooting target, in Soulcalibur V as a keychain as DLC for Character Creation, in Tekken 7 as part of downloadable panel art along with other Bandai Namco characters, in Dragon Tamer Sound Spirit in the form of a dragon, in Taiko no Tatsujin during some songs from the Klonoa series and in Ridge Racer Type 4 and Ridge Racer 2 (PSP) as the icon of the track named Phantomile.
Klonoa also had a lot of cameos in the Tales of games, including Tales of Destiny 2, where a Klonoa plushie can be seen at the left side of the character Harold's room, Tales of Symphonia, where the character Presea could get a Klonoa costume, in Tales of Hearts and Keroro RPG: Kishi to Musha to Densetsu no Kaizoku, where Klonoa appears as a summon character, in Tales of Vesperia, where he appears in the form of a fellowship statue named (C) F Statue and as a DLC costume for Karol in the Playstation 3 version and in Tales of Phantasia as the Statue of Friendship.
Shippuu Tengoku Kaze no Klonoa is a comedy/slapstick manga that, unlike the more serious tone from the videogame saga, features Klonoa as a good natured, yet clumsy kid obsessed with being a super hero. His attempts to make good deeds tend to fail or cause the opposite effect, due to his being overly enthusiastic, his habit of jump to conclusions and, sometimes, just because of bad luck.
His patient sidekick is a Moo, who is the postman of Breezegale. Garlen is the main villain, trying to scam or catch Klonoa but failing every time, making a fool of himself in the process.
The manga borrows characters, villains and locations from most of Klonoa's games, but instead of following any canon personality or storyline, it simply puts Klonoa and Moo in lots of everyday situations that quickly snowball into huge confusions or spectacular (and painful) accidents.
The manga adaptation of Namco X Capcom, like the game, features many Klonoa characters.
Another comic called Dream Traveler of Noctis Sol came out. It tells of Klonoa fighting the army of a new enemy Tenebrae Hue who wants to conquer the dream world. It references several other games and has Klonoa traveling through other dreams with his allies.
Klonoa was designed by Yoshihiko Arai. Arai's first design, "Shady", had a shadow-like appearance. However, he felt that the lack of color did not seem tasteful, and dropped the design. His next design was created with cat eyes and long ears, as Arai felt that a person's eyes and silhouette are the features noticed when they are first met. He added a large hat and necklace to give the character a childlike and energetic quality. The design was kept and used for Klonoa.