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Name: Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil ('Kaze no Klonoa 2' in Japan)
Developer: Klonoa Works
Publisher: Namco (Japan, US), Sony Computer Entertainment (Europe)
Platform: Sony PlayStation 2
Genre: Platformer (Techincally 3D, but is better described as 2.5D)
Regions of Release: Japan, US, and Europe
Year: 2001 (March 22, 2001 in Japan, July 24, 2001 in US)
Players: One Player (with a two player 'mode')
PlayStation Game Code (UK/Europe): SCES 50354

"There's a forgotten dream.

Was it a dream I can't remember?
Or a dream I won't remember?

Have I forgotten the dream?
Or has the dream forgotten me?

But surely there was a dream..."
- Klonoa
Klonoa's beautiful PS2 debut, created by Tsuyoshi Kobayashi and the rest of the Klonoa Works team, features fully 3D (no character sprites in this version), cel-shaded models, in a gorgeously detailed dreamworld, called Lunatea. Klonoa gets to try out some hoverboarding in this title, which also features a brand new storyline, new foes, and new locations.

The game begins with Klonoa entering another adventure, in the form of a dream, being swept up from The Sea of Tears onto the shores of the land of Lunatea. He is found by Lolo, a priestess in training, who is on a quest to save Lunatea from an impending doom, along with her partner, Popka. The world of Lunatea is made up of four kingdoms, each holding a Harmony Bell. These four Harmony Bells maintain the peace that exists in Lunatea. However, there is a Fifth Bell, which brings with it the threat of upsetting the tranquil balance of Lunatea. If this bell sounds, the land will descend into choas and madness. Klonoa's appearance in Lunatea was fortold by the Lunatean prophet, Baguji the Wise. He knew that a Dream Traveller would come in their time of need. He also divined that the traveller would bring with him a ring which will be the key to their salvation (Klonoa found a ring in the first game of the series). In order to save the world of Lunatea, Klonoa must help Lolo find and release the Elements from each of the Bells, by sounding each bell with the power of his Ring and the priestess.

There are a number of locations that Klonoa, Lolo and Popka travel to, four of which are home to a Harmony Bell:
  • The Sea of Tears:
    This is the sea in which Klonoa lands when he enters the world of Lunatea. In the heart of the stormy sea is the Island of Claire, where an ancient statue of this Goddess keeps watch over the choppy waters.
  • La-Lakoosha - The Kingdom of Tranquility:
    This is a quiet and peaceful country where the locals worship the Goddess Claire. On your travels through this level, you enter the Glowshroom Cave, which is filled with gigantic magic mushrooms.
  • Mira-Mira - The Kingdom of Indecision:
    Stuck in the season of winter, Mira-Mira is a cold country of snow and ice. The people who reside there are quiet and unsophisticated, and strangers aren't welcomed into the area. Even though the kindgom is beautiful and serene, a perpetual sadness hangs over the country.
  • Joilant - The Kingdom of Joy:
    This kingdom is one huge amusement park! Filled with circus tents and rides and attrations, you'll see hot air balloons and rollercoasters as you travel through. It's fun and happiness can be misleading though, there are many dangers to be weary of...
  • Volk - The Kingdom of Discord:
    The war kingdom, its inhabitants are constantly fighting, for a reason they can't even remember. Filled with buildings englufed in flame, deep sewers and oppressing power stations.
  • Ishras Ark:
    Baguji the Wise can be found on this Ark, which is situated on a lake between the kingdoms of La-Lakoosha and Mira-Mira. It is said the ship once travelled across all the lands of Lunatea...
The graphics are truly astounding. Using a combination of cel-shaded characters and cutesy detailed backgrounds, a world full of depth and beauty has been created. Call me a graphics-whore, but the gorgeous visuals add a lot to the game, something that is missing from the Game Boy Advance and WonderSwan versions. Although, like the rest of the series, the game is essentially a 2D platformer, the 3D visuals, with the dynamic camera angles and wonderful spot-effects, are visually arresting.

The game follows the lead of the other titles that have preceded it, sticking to the tried and tested platform genre. It retains most of the gameplay elements from Klonoa: Door To Phantomile, as well as adding some new moves, items and pick-ups. The most major of these is the addition of the hover board, which also features in Klonoa: Empire of Dreams. On certain stages, Klonoa can use this board to travel across levels at high speed. This feature also introduces some new viewpoints (from behind, like in a driving game, and from the front), which diversifies the usual left-to-right restriction of movement.

Klonoa has grown up in terms of design. He's taller, sleeker. His ears have lengthened and filled out, his eyes changed, giving small black pupils, thin yellow ellipic irises, and large white sclera cut out by his black fur and white muzzle, differing from his original huge yellow cat-like eyes. He now has a tuft of hair sticking out from under his Pac-Man hat. All in all, he's looking awesome. As in the previous games, he's still full of energy and curiosity, always willing to help when his friends are in need.

Talking of friends, Klonoa meets a number of new characters in this game, both friendly and enemy.
  • Lolo:
    One day she hopes to become the priestess, but keeps failing the test for that right of passage. With the help of her friend Popka, she hopes to succeed. Although she wants to be seen as strong, she can be scared easily, and is a little shy. She has the power to be stored in Klonoa's Ring, giving it special powers.
  • Popka:
    Lolo's faithful friend, Popka is loud mouthed, pushy and insensitive to others. Although this makes he seem less than the ideal partner, he cares for Lolo deeply, and he's always there to offer support and advice. It is possible to take control of Popka during the game, by inserting a second controller, and pressing the Start button to summon him. He can help Klonoa jump higher than usual.
  • Leorina:
    Klonoa, Lolo and Popka's main enemy, Leorina is the female sky pirate is who trying to ring the Fifth Bell, which would bring chaos to the land of Lunatea. She's cunning, cool-headed and devious, and tries to make Klonoa's mission as difficult as possible, putting him constant peril.
  • Tat:
    This cat-like handpuppet is Leorina's sneaky sidekick, whenever she's around, there's usually trouble afoot. She's ying and yang incarnate; she can split into two, one white and one black, the former being a bit sweet, showing a little compassion towards Klonoa, the other being even more evil than usual.
  • Baguji the Wise:
    A mysterious prophet who Klonoa and Lolo meet up with at the beginning of the game, on Ishras Ark. He has forseen the troubles that face Lunatea, and sends the Dream Traveller and the to-be priestess to restore peace to the world.
  • Momett the Showman:
    Klonoa gets to meet Momett in Joilant. He comes up with ideas for new attractions, and is interested in Klonoa's aim in Lunatea. Momett asks you to look for his Momett Dolls as you travel through the game. In each Vision (level) there are six Momett Doll Bells, and if Klonoa collects all six, he receives a Momett Doll. If he aquires all the dolls, and takes them to Momett the Showman, a surprise will be given to him...
Klonoa encounters a number of new types of enemy in this game, which give him the chance to use a number of new abilities. Kiton, for example, can be used to allow Klonoa to fly, by grabbing the enemy with a Wind Bullet, and jumping repeatedly. Grab a Jetimo, and he'll rocket upwards, taking you with him, giving Klonoa access to new areas. Erbil harbours the power of electricity, and if Klonoa grabs him, and performs a double-jump, it will give Klonoa an electric charge (with a pretty visual effect) that allows you to defeat enemies by flying into them. Likuri is a strong enemy, and it can be used a number of times as a projectile, changing colour each time it is used, before exploding when it is too weak.

K2:LV continues the series' tradition of being accompanied by a beautiful musical score. Fitting with the gorgeous visuals, the music is just as enchanting and wonderful as the music from the original game, even more so, in fact. Particularly cutesy, it features some nice orchestral sections together with some ear-pleasing melodies (I'm hoping they'll bring out a soundtrack CD, like they did with the first game). Klonoa 2 also features a Dolby Digital option, to make the most of those cinema-style TV speaker setups.

Klonoa is without a doubt one of my favourite video games series, and Klonoa 2 is the greatest of the games based in the Klonoa universe. I bought this game even though I don't actually own a PS2. I only get the chance to play it when I'm at work, but, God, it's so worth it. The innocence of the characters, the beauty of the world, the involving story, and the immense playability captivate me, just like the other games, except now it's even more beautiful and better sounding, thanks to the next-generation hardware it is running on.

Similar games include Jak and Daxter, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex and Herdy Gerdy.

Sources: Game manual, and my own personal love of everything Klonoa.

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