- ClayFighter 63⅓
Box art of ClayFighter 63⅓
Developer(s) Interplay Publisher(s) Interplay Series ClayFighter Platform(s) Nintendo 64
Release date(s) Genre(s) Fighting Mode(s) Single-player
- ESRB: T (Teen)
ClayFighter 63⅓ is a fighting video game released for the Nintendo 64 by Interplay in 1997. Its title is a parody of other games released for the Nintendo 64 at the time, many of which were popular franchises with "64" suffixed (such as Super Mario 64). A later version of the game, ClayFighter: Sculptor's Cut, released for rental only, is one of the rarest and most expensive N64 games.
Like its predecessors ClayFighter and C2 Judgement Clay (both released on the SNES), Clayfighter 63⅓ uses stop motion animation and claymation as opposed to traditional computer animation to produce a unique effect. Its title was a play on the fact that many of the titles for the N64, at the time, had been labeled with the number 64 after the title (Pilotwings 64, Super Mario 64, etc.). It is also an homage to The Naked Gun movie series titles, particularly Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult.
The arenas in ClayFighter 63⅓ are unique in that each one, with several exceptions, houses multiple rooms; during fights players can punch or kick their opponents into different rooms and the fight will then continue in that room. Originally planned for release on 3DO's M2 console, the game initially had a much darker tone. Also there are 26 different rooms to fight in.
The game itself parodies other fighting games. It uses a 3-level bar for super combos like in Street Fighter Alpha and uses parries like Street Fighter III, and many of the super attacks are noticeably variations of attacks from the Street Fighter series. It also features a combo system similar to Killer Instinct, although it makes fun of the combo names (for example, "Itty Bitty Combo", or "Triple Brown Betty Combo", even as high as a 234 hit combo, which is known as "Insane Combo"). It also parodies Mortal Kombat's fatalities with silly sequences (they are called Claytalities). Michael Buffer, the announcer, begins each match with a variation of his famous catchphrase: "Let's get ready to crumble!", a play on "Let's get ready to rumble". During battle you can use many different attacks which have their own strengths and weaknesses.
The Isle of Klaymodo is the resting place of "Bessie," the purple meteor that came crashing out of the sky onto Klaymodo Island. Bessie has the essential ingredient, Bawk Choy, necessary for Dr. Kiln's world dominating Mutagen. Klaymodo's chief baddies are the devious Dr. Kiln and local voodist Happy Harry Houngan. With a combination of laboratory experiments and voodoo spells, they've created an "interesting" assortment of hooligans to help them take over the world. These hideous henchmen include Bonker, a clown gone bad, and Ickybod Clay, the wonder from down under. Dr. Kiln is putting on the finishing touches on his top secret mutagen code named "Clayotic Claymorphisis" as Houngan walks through the lab door. When Houngan finds out about Dr. Kiln's secret formula the clay hits the fan. As the fight breaks loose the vial containing the mutagen breaks in Dr. Kiln's hand and begins to take on a life of its own. The condition begins to spread rapidly and Dr. Kiln has no choice but to amputate his own hand. As the hand hits the floor it scurries out of the lab and into the dense jungle of Klaymodo. Houngan quickly exits the lab in pursuit of the Hand as Dr. Kiln writhes in pain. Mean while, as Dr. Kiln deals with his new found stump, a ship on a 3 hour tour capsizes just off of Rubbage Reef. The ship contains a lively crew of characters, each with their own agendas. There's Bad Mister Frosty®, a one time bad guy who's turned his life around and Kung Pow, a Wok cookery Chef Boy R' Clay. Taffyman and Blob round out the castaways of the SS Manure.
There are 12 bizarre fighters in ClayFighter 63⅓, some from previous games in the series, but most debuting in this game. The first nine are available for play immediately, and the latter three are hidden characters (shown below) that can be unlocked with cheat codes. Nevertheless, all appeared in the re-release of the game, ClayFighter 63⅓: Sculptor's Cut.
- Bad Mr. Frosty The Fighting Snowman (voiced by Jim Cummings)
Once again reformed, Bad Mr. Frosty is a grouchy snowman who seeks to halt Dr. Kiln's sinister plot, and reclaim the North Pole from Sumo Santa. Frosty battles by transforming his frozen body in various ways, creating snow balls, ice picks, and other such weapons. Frosty tends to punch and kick his opponents by leeringly growling "Call me Daddy!". He's one of the few characters to appear in all three games in the series, though his appearance has changed greatly in each game. He appears to be a parody of Frosty the Snowman.
- Blob (voiced by Frank Welker)
An amorphous green blob with a dopey grin, the Blob may not look like a skilled fighter at first glance. In actuality, Blob is a master of morphing, transforming his body into cannons, sledgehammers, boxing gloves, and many other weapons. Blob also has an appetite for living clay, and thinks nothing of gobbling up a downed opponent for a quick snack. Blob has also been in all three games in the series. In previous games, the Blob had a high-pitched voice and a sadistic grin, but for this outing he's been given a Quasimodo-like voice and a dopey expression.
- Bonker (voiced by Rob Paulsen)
A former children's entertainer, Bonker went insane years ago and now seeks revenge on anybody who laughed at him in his life. With a perpetual scowl on his face and a somber tone of voice, Bonker's homicidal mania belies his flamboyant dress and makeup. Attacking with cream pies, mallets and a portable cannon, Bonker has many ways to make his enemies suffer. He's a returning character from the first game, with a completely different design: the original Bonker had a manic grin and a cheerfully goofy voice.
- Kung Pow (voiced by Jess Harnell)
Rather resembling a bucktoothed Bruce Lee, Kung Pow is a Chinese chef who is also skilled in the martial arts. He wears a white gi, and his dialogue is peppered with bland tidbits of dubious "oriental" wisdom. Most of Kung Pow's attacks are named after Chinese food (like Egg foo young, chop suey, etc.), and he uses utensils such as chopsticks, woks and meat cleavers as weapons. His name is a reference to Kung Pao chicken.
- Houngan (voiced by Jim Cummings)
An evil Jamaican witch doctor and master of voodoo, Happy Harry Houngan has a sinister set of abilities to aid his quest of conquering the world with his black magic. Houngan's main weapon is his rubber chicken, which he has transformed into a zombie. Houngan also sports a juju staff, and a wooden tiki mask to use as a bludgeon (or a snowboard). Some of his attacks cause rotting zombie hands to reach out of the ground and grab his opponent. When he enters the Battle Stage he then rotates his head around which is parodying The Exorcist.
- T-Hoppy The Battle Bunny (voiced by Charlie Adler)
A cyborg rabbit, T-Hoppy was created as a living weapon by Doctor Kiln (by combining an unexplainably disfigured Hoppy from Clayfighter 2 with mechanical implants) until he rebelled against his creator. Now T-Hoppy fights to destroy Kiln and regain peace of mind. In addition to great physical strength and cybernetic implants, T-Hoppy is also an accomplished stage magician. In ClayFighter 2, Hoppy had an Austrian accent, poking fun at Arnold Schwarzenegger (Even though he didn't have his implants at the time), and the T in his name refers to Arnold's role as The Terminator, but Adler chose to go with a generic drill sergeant-style voice to fit his new design. Hoppy is also the only new character from C2 Judgement Clay to return, all of the other 4 were cut.
- Taffy (voiced by Tress MacNeille)
A former circus freak and partner of Bonker, Taffy is a bizarre creature made entirely out of, fittingly enough, taffy. This gives him incredible flexibility and agility. Taffy also carries gumballs as throwing weapons and carries a pair of six-shooters. He frequently imitates Curly Howard of The Three Stooges, especially Moe's "Oh, a wise guy, eh?" line. This vocal similarity was more noticeable in the original Clayfighter, where Taffy originated.
The mightiest worm in all creation, Earthworm Jim is vacationing on Claymodo Island when he hears of Doctor Kiln's mad scheme. Never one to let evil have its way, Jim springs into action, showcasing all the head-whipping, raygun-blasting, cow-dropping action his fans love. He's a guest character from his own series of games and Dan Castellaneta reprises his role from the cartoon series. In Sculptor's Cut, Jim was only playable as a secret character.
- Ickybod Clay (voiced by Frank Welker)
Ickybod Clay is a withered ghoul with a mushy Jack-o'-lantern for a head. Icky resides in his own haunted mansion, although his squeaky voice and rather geeky personality do not make him the terrifying fiend he aspires to be. Among his many attacks, he can throw his own head as a weapon, has a parody shoryuuken called the Boo-Hoo Ken, and can teleport. He also appeared in the original ClayFighter, but with a more whispery and creepy voice. His name is a parody of Ichabod Crane.
- Sumo Santa (voiced by Jim Cummings)
An evil duplicate of Santa Claus clad in little more than a loincloth. Megalomaniacal Sumo Santa has conquered the North Pole as his own, and only Frosty stands in his way. Grotesquely obese but surprisingly agile, Sumo Santa enjoys using his ponderous girth to smash the competition flat.
- Dr. Kilnklein (often referred to as Dr. Kiln) (voiced by Charles Adler)
Dr. Generic Kiln is the main villain of the piece. After being indirectly responsible for the chaos in Clayfighter 2 (he's mentioned in the Clayfighter 2 manual, but doesn't appear in the game itself), his latest scheme is to transform the entire world into clay, which he can then mold into whatever he wishes. The Clayfighter 63 1/3 manual explains, " Dr. Kiln is putting on the finishing touches on his top secret mutagen code named "Clayotic Claymorphisis" as Houngan walks through the lab door. When Houngan finds out about Dr. Kiln's secret formula the clay hits the fan. As the fight breaks loose the vial containing the mutagen breaks in Dr. Kiln's hand and begins to take on a life of its own. The condition begins to spread rapidly and Dr. Kiln has no choice but to amputate his own hand. As the hand hits the floor it scurries out of the lab and into the dense jungle of Klaymodo. Houngan quickly exits the lab in pursuit of the Hand as Dr. Kiln writhes in pain.". His hand has been replaced with a piece of clay. This new hand can transform into a propeller, a machine gun, a chainsaw, jumper cables, a scalpel, and other dangerous weapons. Meanwhile, his lost hand grew, gained sentience, and became High Five, a hidden character in Sculptor's Cut. With his opaque eyeglasses, hunched back and thick Germanic accent, Dr. Kiln is very much the consummate mad scientist.
- Boogerman (voiced by Dan Castellaneta)
Another hero from previous Interplay games, Boogerman joins the fracas to save the day and show up his old rival Earthworm Jim. Boogerman uses bodily emissions such as mucus, belches, and explosive flatulence against his foes. He can also summon a barrage of falling toilets.
ClayFighter: Sculptor's Cut
ClayFighter 63⅓ suffered many delays and was released almost a year after it had previously been scheduled. Nintendo Power even ran a cover story and review of the game in the spring of 1997, expecting an imminent release. In the end, the game was released in a fairly rushed state, with several previously-promised features being cut due to time restraints.
As a result, Interplay later updated ClayFighter 63⅓ with ClayFighter: Sculptor's Cut, which was released as a Blockbuster Video rental exclusive and contains a number of characters that had missed the deadline for the original release. In doing so, they also removed the Killer Instinct-like combo system, and while all the characters from 63⅓ remained, Interplay removed many of the original characters' special and super attacks (presumably due to memory limitations). The game also included an elaborate introductory sequence with an original song.
The Sculptor's Cut version of the game is one of the rarest North American Nintendo 64 games. It was released as a Blockbuster rental deal and got little distribution at an estimated 20,000 copies according to contemporary sources. Because of this limited distribution and the poor treatment games usually got at video rental stores, boxed copies are extremely rare and their value has exploded in recent years. The game has sold CIB (Cart, Inlays, Box) on eBay for up to $560, with loose cartridges generally starting at $45–50, making it one of the most expensive N64 games.
Characters exclusive to the Sculptor's Cut:
- Lady Liberty (voiced by Tress MacNeille)
The Statue of Liberty transformed by Dr. Kiln into a living clay creature. Like T-Hoppy, Lady Liberty turned on her creator and seeks to destroy him. Lady Liberty's main weapon is her famous torch, which can be used as a flamethrower.
- High Five (voiced by Tress MacNeille)
Dr. Kiln's severed hand, mutated by chemicals and transformed into a sentient being. High Five has a deep resentment for his former host, and despite his physical limitations, is a skilled "hand-to-hand combatant". It is unknown whether High Five is a right hand or a left hand, since the fighters are reversed when they cross sides of the screen during gameplay. In terms of gameplay, High Five appears to be unfinished, since he has no ducking Brutal Kick, only one super attack, and no Claytalities.
- Lockjaw Pooch (voiced by Frank Welker)
Although marked as killed in the production of the original Clayfighter 63⅓ ("This animal was severely injured during the making of this game"), Lockjaw returns to ravage the competition in the Sculptor's Cut. A vicious junkyard dog granted sentience by Dr. Kiln's experiments, the ever-loyal Lockjaw puts his powerful fangs to good use in battle.
- Zappa Yow Yow Boyz (voiced by Frank Welker)
Three little pygmy brothers who are the bane of Houngan's existence. Although short and squat, the Boyz are a force to be reckoned with when they climb onto each other's shoulders for battle, as well as summoning their pet goat. The Boyz are cannibalistic, and enjoy tossing defeated opponents into a boiling kettle for dinner.
In addition, there is a character designed for both versions of the game but was left out: Hobo Cop (a play on RoboCop). Hobo Cop was a homeless drunk who considered himself a vigilante, staggering into battle with armor made from trash cans. The character was ultimately decreed as too offensive and was disposed of.
ClayFighter X-Treme was to be released for the PlayStation at the same time as ClayFighter 63⅓ on the Nintendo 64. The PlayStation version was eventually cancelled for being behind schedule. According to GameSpot, both versions were derived from a planned ClayFighter 3 on the cancelled Matsushita M2 console.
ClayFighter: Call of Putty
Interplay had announced that they will update the ClayFighter series for the WiiWare and DSiWare services. It will feature improved graphics and gameplay from where ClayFighter 63⅓ and Sculptor's Cut had left off. All 16 of the original characters will be featured, and a release date is set for Summer 2011. As stated in the featured article on the Interplay website, "Clayfighter is planned for a Summer 2011 release via digital download through Nintendo's WiiWare™ and DSiWare™ services." The title of this installment is a parody of the Call of Duty series, a series of very popular first-person shooters.
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- ^ http://ign64.ign.com/articles/061/061805p1.html
- ^ https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/s720x720/317019_10150781988050710_650270709_20747481_7151147_n.jpg (price record set on September 4th, 2011)
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