Setting and gameplay
The games are set in different worlds, though the primary and known ones are Phantomile and Lunatea. It revolves around Klonoa and how he, the Dream Traveler, must save whatever world he is in from utter peril. Along the way he makes new friends and enemies, some of them becoming reoccurring characters. The game itself was originally the first side scrolling 3D game. It is an adventure and puzzle type of game. The main gameplay feature involves using Klonoa's ring and "Wind Bullets" 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 (クロノア Kuronoa ): Klonoa, the protagonist, is described as a "Dream Traveler", who is fated to travel to various places where the state of dreams is in danger. His traditional voice actor is Kumiko Watanabe, though he is voiced by Eric Stitt in the English version of the remake of the first game. It is worth noting he has Namco's mascot Pac-Man on the side of his blue hat. Wanting to be a hero, he is young and good-hearted, and is willing to go against all odds to make sure justice is served. He is easily able to befriend characters along the way who support his cause. His attitude is innocent and even a bit naive, as shown in Klonoa 2.
- Huepow (ヒューポー Hyūpō , named "Hewpoe" in the remake of the first game and in the webcomic): A small round sprite 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. Closer to the end of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, he reveals that he is a prince and that he sent Klonoa into his world to help Lephise give the Song of Rebirth. They part ways when Klonoa is sent back to his world, though he makes appearances in the spin-offs in his sprite form. Official art and in-game CGI cutscenes showed his sprite form with hands and a halo beneath him, though in all other instances, he is generally shown without them. They were scrapped altogether in the remake of the first game.
- Grandpa (じっちゃん Jicchan ): Klonoa's grandfather and only known relative in the series. In Door to Phantomile, he is a kind old man that helps and gives advice to Klonoa and Huepow, but ends up being killed by Joka. At the end of the game, Klonoa discovers that his Grandpa was just a stranger pretending to be his relative, as Klonoa's life on Phantomille and all of his memories were just a lie, fabricated by Huepow as a part of a big plot to save Phantomille from the ultimate Nightmare. However, Grandpa's love for Klonoa was genuine, and the entire charade was a heavy weight on his conscience. He makes another appearance in Klonoa Heroes, continuing to show either the lack of a storyline or Klonoa dreaming in the series.
- Balue: like Klonoa, Balue is a resident of Breezegale with long, fluffy ears and dog-like features who first appeared in Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and its Wii Remake, had a notable role in Klonoa Heroes, and a cameo in Klonoa Beach Volleyball. At first it looks like he's mean and scary, but Balue is really nice and willing to help whoever needs it. He also has a major crush on Lephise, building a statue and a entire tower just to reach her, as she lived in Cress, the moon kingdom. One notably ability Balue has is the capacity to jump much more higher than others characters and can jump down safely from the higher heights without hurting himself. When Nahatomb was resurrected at the end of Door to Phantomile, he took part in the final battle against the nightmare entity.
- Karal: a fishlike creature with the ability to fly and is the young son of Pamela. A very caring son, Karal always asks Klonoa to save his mother, which has become evil for some reason, because he himself is not able enough to fight his own mother, but is brave enough to sacrifice himself for her. He, however, provides great help to Klonoa, transporting him to places difficult to reach. Karal made appearances in Door to Phantomile and Klonoa Heroes
- Pamela: a large, fish-like creature who appeared in Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and the Wii remake as well in Klonoa Heroes. Pamela is the mother of Karal. In all her appearances she is a under the evil influence of something and must be defeated to return to normal. Very concerned of others, Pamela cares deeply for her son, Karal. As shown in Klonoa Heroes, while struggling to gain her free will in her corrupted state, Pamela pleaded for Karal to run when Guntz, who was convinced that Pamela couldn't be returned to normal, threatened to kill Karal if he didn't move away from his mother. Like her son, she has the ability to fly
- Chipple (チップル Chipuru ): A boxing kangaroo who uses gloves and a head guard that covers his eyes. He usually displays a positive attitude and encourages others to do the same. Despite is usual jovial attitude; he himself doesn't have much confidence in his abilities, becoming sad and insecure when he fails to achieve a goal. He makes appearances in Dream Champ Tournament, Klonoa Beach Volleyball and Empire of Dreams, where it's revealed that one of his dreams is to be stronger. In Empire of Dreams, he was transformed in a monster while dreaming, and only after Klonoa defeated him that he returned to normal, starting to idolise Klonoa and becoming his friend. In Klonoa Heroes it's revealed that he has younger brothers. Klonoa and his friends later enter one of his old dreams in the webcomic, where Chipple ends up turning into his boss form from Empire of Dreams as a result of anger (similar to the Hulk).
- Lolo (ロロ Roro ): A slightly clumsy but courageous 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. Additionally, she makes appearances in Dream Champ Tournament and Klonoa Beach Volleyball. In Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil, she is invaluable help to Klonoa by allowing him to use his ring ability, and as motivational support. She appears to have feelings for Klonoa. During Klonoa 2, she shows that she is very insecure about herself and her powers, as the other priestesses will mock and laugh at her (as dramatically revealed at the end of the Maze of Memories level). In time she gathers the strength and courage to show that she isn't as weak as they thought.
- Popka (ポプカ Popuka ): Lolo's talkative friend who resembles a dog with pointed features and a pair of green jewels for eyes. His first appearance is in Klonoa 2, and also appears in Klonoa Heroes and Dream Champ Tournament. He is the opposite of Lolo, being loud-mouthed, pushy and even willing to steal, though he is a very caring and loving friend. He has the ability to fly when he stretches out his arms, and can be used as a playable character on the second controller who gives Klonoa a jumping lift when needed.
- Momett: a Jolian who appeared in Lunatea's Veil and Klonoa Heroes. He is the “Showman of Memories” of the Momett House, which provides extras, like time attack against bosses and unlocked pictures and stages. Momett is the creator of the Memory Dolls and asks Klonoa if he can bring them back, as they ran away wanting more memories. He also appears in Klonoa Beach Volleyball as the shop manager that refuses Joka's money in his ending, which he believes to be fake due to Joka mistakenly stretching his prize money.
- Gantz (ガンツ Gantsu , Guntz in Japan & Europe.): Called the "Golden Killer" or "Shinigami Guntz", he is an adventurer and bounty hunter who wields a large handgun and rides a motorcycle. He is Klonoa's ultimate rival, and will constantly compete against Klonoa. Though they are about the same age, Gantz is a lot more collected and mature than Klonoa. His attitude is a lot more serious and even a bit cold, though he isn't an actual villain, as he ends up befriending Klonoa and they work together in later games. He has a rough past with Janga, who killed his father, and will stop at nothing to make sure his enemy is taken down. He later appears in the webcomic, where Klonoa and his friends end up in one of the bounty hunter's old dreams.
- High Priestess (大巫女 Ōmiko , named "Shrine Maiden" in the Japanese versions): The High Priestess (real name unknown) was the teacher of Lolo and former priestess Leorina. She first appeared in Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil as a major character and again in Klonoa Heroes. She is the one responsible for issuing Hero Medals for those introduced by an owner of another Hero Medal and granting a priestess-in-training who succeeds in ringing the Spirit Bell the rank of a full priestess, giving priest symbols to represent it. She is considered "The Current Claire", a kindhearted Goddess who appoints missions to the priestess and possibly the one who adopted the King of Sorrow after he was reborn into a baby.
- Zweegle (ズィーグル Zīguru ):A short, rat-like vampire with horns who appeared in Dream Champ Tournament and Klonoa Heroes. One of the many competitors of the Dream Champ Tournament, Zweegle competes against Popka and Lolo during the first round, but has to retire early due to being anemic. He is presumably made into a gear by Garlen, but reverts after Garlen's defeat. He can also be seen in the illustration of World 2, drinking a Moo's blood and in the picture Chipple takes during the end credits. He makes another appearance in Klonoa Heroes, in Gantz's epilogue.
- Diglo: A large brown gorilla who appeared in Dream Champ Tournament and Klonoa Heroes. Making his living as a hired bodyguard, he was a contestant of the Dream Champ Tournament and felt his natural strength would help him win the title of greates hero, but lost against Gantz and was turned into a gear by Garlen. At the end of the tournament Klonoa saved him and the others contestants. In Klonoa Heroes Diglo appears as a traveling Merchant who warned Klonoa and Gantz that people who entered the Ruins of the Moon were missing and never came back, concerning that he doesn't want it to happen again. Despite Diglo's warnings, Klonoa and Gantz continued their journey towards the ruins.
- Joka (ジョーカー Jōkā , named "Joker" in the remake and Japanese versions): A maniacal and loud-mouthed round cat-like clown. In his older appearances he has no arms or legs, just floating hands and feet, similar to Rayman. In the remake, he is given thin black arms and legs that end up being removed without reason in his boss battle. He often resorts to cheating and other underhanded tricks in order to win. In the first Klonoa game, Door to Phantomile (as well as its remake), he is a loyal servant of Ghadius and does everything to help him fulfill his plan to revive Nahatomb, going as far as to kill Klonoa's grandpa. He was later destroyed by Klonoa. Out of all the characters in the series, Joka has the most transformations, being able to transform into "Beast Joka" during an eclipse and "Flower Joka", as well as being able to make a clone of himself. In other games, he is seen working for villains such as Garlen and Janga.
- Nahatomb (ナハトゥム Nahatoumu ): The perfect nightmare. Said to be a demon that was sealed away a long time ago from spreading nightmares throughout Phantomile and was defeated by Klonoa. He acted as the final boss of both versions of the first game, and was unique in being the only boss in that game to have three different phases. Also appeared in Klonoa Heroes as the final boss battle. Nahatomb had a different appearance in Klonoa Beach Volleyball were he appeared as a hidden character, as he was played for laughs: wearing a bow tie, smoking a cigar on his mouth, having feet and lacking the second pair of eyes he had in the first game.
- Bagoo (バクウ Bakuu )) appearing in Klonoa: Empire of Dreams and Klonoa Beach Volleyball, Bagoo is the adviser of Emperor Jillius. Bagoo is the minister who accompanies Jillius as they charge Klonoa of disobeying the imperial law of not dreaming. In the end, it's revealed that Bagoo is the cause of Jillius' chronic insomnia, which made easier to Bagoo to manipulate Jillius, and he is actually the King of Despair. Bagoo's true form is a large dragon-like beast that wears a mask. In Klonoa Beach Volleyball, in Tat's ending, Leorina and Tat tries to steal Bagoo's castle, butiInstead of being scared of Leorina and Tat attempting to steal his money, he burst with laughter when he saw that Leorina's face was painted in Tat's vertical black and white pattern as part of a lost bet.
- Tat (タット Tatto ): A cat-looking critter with a vertical black and white pattern and the ability to hover. Partnered with the sky pirate Leorina, Tat seems to be not entirely loyal, as she is seen aiding her opposition (Klonoa) in some levels. (Either that or she was just messing with him instead.) She also has the ability to split herself into two independent versions of herself, one is completely white and the other is completely black. To top it all of Tat has a certain `liking` of Klonoa which is why she helps him a bit when trying to escape with the element of the first bell which Tat stole. Tat is featured on Klonoa 2 and Klonoa's Beach Volleyball, where she makes Leorina adopt her same vertical black and white color pattern, much for Leorina's grief.
- Leorina (レオリナ Reorina ): The first introduced antagonist in Klonoa 2. 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. She manages to create a duplicate of Klonoa's ring and uses it to absorb the kingdom's elements to prove her superiority, but eventually she realizes she has been just a pawn for the King of Sorrow. She also appears in Klonoa's Beach Volleyball, where she steals Garlen's castle (literally) and tries to do the same to Bagoo. Unfortunately, a lost bet made her adopt Tat's vertical black and white pattern, which made Bagoo burst with laughter instead of getting scared of her.
- Garlen (ガーレン Gāren ): A dog-like mechanic villain, wearing a green lieutenant-like outfit, one hand replaced by a claw and an eye patch covering one of his eyes, Garlen is a round man who seeks to build his own mechanical empire. During the games, Garlen usually looks like a good intentioned host of some events, but the player learns that he isn't as kind of a host as he plays off to be, as he just wants to sabotage the competitors in favor of his own objective. At the end of Empire of Dreams he is arrested by Suiryu, but returns in Klonoa Heroes as the leader of the Moth Conspiracy, working alongside Janga and Joka to make sure Klonoa doesn't interfere with Nahatomb's plans. He, however, didn't expected his boss to eat him to absorb his energy, but he probably was freed alive after Nahatomb's defeat, as Lolo suffered the same fate and was alive in the end.
- Janga (ジャンガ): Known as "Janga with Poison Claws" or "Poison Claws Janga", he is a psychotic cat who killed Butz, Gantz father. He is dressed in a navy blue trench coat and a matching hat and has giant red-magenta colored poisonous claws in place of hands. Janga is fowl-mouthed, rude, an alcoholic, and in the end a cowardly villain who will run off when he sees he's met his match. He is by no means a character to be respected as he is also a betrayer against his own team. He ended falling down a pit to his death in Klonoa Heroes. His only appearances are in Densetsu no Star Medal and Namco X Capcom, which have not been released in America. In Namco X Capcom he shows an interest in the character Felicia from Darkstalkers, who finds him repulsive.
- Ghadius (ガディウス Gadeiusu ): The "King of Darkness" and primary antagonist of Door to Phantomile. He was sealed away for attempting to rebel, but later escaped from this seal in order to exact his revenge on those who locked him away. Ghadius believes that people should not forget about nightmares, and accept them as they do with dreams. Ghadius has been the 'evilest' character in the Klonoa series, and the only one who isn't working to achieve greater power, but only for the purpose of revenge. He is finally defeated, but not before shrouding the land in nightmares and reviving the perfect nightmare, 'Nahatomb' (His last words were [from the remake], "Hear me, strange dream! This world is coming to an end! And the perfect nightmare is about to begin!"). Ghadius is possibly the most evil character in the Klonoa series, and the only one who isn't working to achieve greater power, but only for the purpose of revenge. He is finally defeated, but not before shrouding the land in nightmares and reviving Nahatomb.
- Suiryu (スイリュ) A blue dragon who competes with Klonoa at the Southern Resort. Though he lacks any real formalities, he has actually been trained as a knight before entering the tournament. As an expert swimmer, he feels that he has a natural edge in the competition. In fact, he has another identity hidden from other competitors.
- King of Sorrow (哀しみの王 Kanashimi no Ou ): The tragic ruler of a forgotten kingdom ignored by the other kingdoms in Lunatea, and the true antagonist of Klonoa 2. He looks like a green, skinnier version of Klonoa and it was him who summoned Klonoa into Lunatea in order to get help. Because of his lonely existence, his personality is chaotic and extremely unstable, as he secretely manipulates Leorina do his bidding and at the same time he uses his powers to create a fake guru-like figure named Baguji to guide and aid Klonoa during his quest. Unfortunately, when Klonoa finally gets to meet him, the King of Sorrow loses his remaining sanity and states that he will use Klonoa as a vessel for the pain he suffered in isolation, forcing Klonoa to kill him in the battle that resulted. Klonoa did, however, activate the bell in the Kingdom of Sorrow so the King's legacy would live on, so people would accept sorrow as another part of everything and never ignore it anymore. In the credits a baby resembling him is shown in the arms of the high priestess, hinting that he was reincarnated. Also, it's worth to mention that while he was dying on Klonoa's arms, his face finally displayed signs of peace and relief.
- Emperor Jillius (帝王ジリアス Teiou Jiriasu ): The emperor of Leljimba in Empire of Dreams. He is a lavender colored sort of fox-feline character who suffers from chronic insomnia. He banishes dreaming from the entire empire, with Klonoa's adventure beginning once he is arrested for dreaming. He is not a bad person, but his insomnia has made him extremely irritable and easier to get manipulated by his supposedly trustworthy right-hand man Bagoo. Once he learns the truth and his insomnia is cured, he lifts the ban on dreaming and swears to dedicate his life to make his people's dreams come true.
- Museum (博物館 Hakubutsukan ): A mysterious living museum who serves as the true antagonist of Moonlight Museum. Museum is a large, selfish sentient museum that orders his four artist to take fragments of the moon itself and make arts with them, as it's said that the moon illuminates dreams. Museum believes that arts and dreams are the same thing, so he wants to make his own arts/dreams be illuminated by the moon, even if it means monopolizing it and taking away the dreams of others. Klonoa enters inside him (without knowing it's a living museum) to get the moon fragments back, as their sudden disappearance has made people stop dreaming. After finding out the truth and restoring the moon to the sky, Klonoa made Museum and his artists see their evil ways and wanting to be better.
- Tenebrae Hue: A new villain introduced in the webcomic. He is a tall, anthropomorphic lion who wears silver armor, along with a black and red robe with a cape. He commands an army of creatures called Nighty-Knights. He seems to rely on his minions to fight for him.
- Nightmare Klonoa: An evil version of Klonoa introduced in the webcomic, appearing in a nightmare that Lolo was having. One thing that distinguishes him from the real version is that his cap bears Clyde chasing a smaller Pac-Man, rather than Pac-Man about to eat a dot. His design in general resembles a more evil-looking version of Klonoa, with spikes on his shoes and collar, fur lining on his pants, and curly fur.
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 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 on December 4, 2008, 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. This version was released in North America on May 5, 2009, and in Europe on May 22, 2009, as Klonoa.
Klonoa's second appearance, Kaze no 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, which came out two years later. 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 cel-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, thus reflecting the first games premise of being appealing to children and adults. Its 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.
- Klonoa had cameo appearances in Moto GP, Alpine Racer 3 and Taiko no Tatsujin.
- Klonoa and Guntz appear as a playable duo in Namco's cross-over RPG, Namco × Capcom. They retain similar moves from Klonoa Heroes. Joka, Janga & various varieties of Moos also appear as a part of the game's enemies while Lolo & The High Priestess of La-Lakoosha appear as non-playable characters.
- In Tales of Destiny 2, a Klonoa plushie can be seen at the left side of the character Harold's room.
- In Tales of Symphonia, the character Presea could get a Klonoa costume.
- In Tales of Hearts and Keroro RPG, Klonoa appears as a summon character.
- In Tales of Vesperia, Klonoa appears in the form of a fellowship statue named (C) F Statue. There is also a Klonoa costume for the character Karol as Downloadable Content in the PS3 version.
- In Tales of Phantasia Klonoa appears as the Statue of Friendship.
Shippuu Tengoku Kaze no Klonoa is a 2 volume long comedy/slapstick Manga that, unlike the somewhat 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,such as Lolo who makes an appearance in almost every comic,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 first volume mainly takes focus on Klonoa's actions and morals as a (stupid) hero, which often turns out to be turned upside down, and the Moo's responsibility as he has to stop Klonoa from doing something idiotic.
However, the second volume's story is mainly about Popka who is looking for the "Legendary Hero". Baguji told him that the hero could be recognized by a "Hot Spring" icon somewhere on his body. Only the Legendary Hero can stop a disaster that may blow up the world!
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 characteristically animal 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 with a Pacman emblem on it and collar to give the character a childlike and energetic quality. The design was kept and used for Klonoa. Fans are frequently in debate on what Klonoa is. With the argument being whether he is closest to a cat or a long-eared dog, though presumably a cat as he REALLY doesn't like getting wet.
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