Captain Claw, also called “The Surveyor of the Seven Seas”, is an infamous and successful pirate. The feats of Nathaniel Joseph Claw are legendary as is his ability to slip out of situations and find treasure. Frustrated, the Cocker-Spaniard Kingdom issues a gigantic reward of one million gold pieces for the Captain’s capture. This attracts legions of bounty hunters to Claw’s tail, and eventually he is captured by Captain Le Reux and imprisoned at La Roca. However, even in prison, Claw’s luck continues to work, as he stumbles across an old letter from Edward Tobin containing the location of the “Amulet of Nine Lives”, a mystical item said to grant near-immortality. Inspired by this new challenge, Captain Claw manages to break out of his prison cell and embarks on a perilous journey.
Claw is a side-scrolling platform game in which the player must complete a linear set of stages, some of which culminate with boss battles. Environments include indoor and outdoor areas – city streets, forest, a large ship, underwater, and others. Each stage has two save points. Claw can move left and right, jump and stab his sword directly in front of him. His offensive arsenal includes, beside the sword, a pistol with expendable ammunition, dynamite bombs, and a special ability called “Magic Claw”, which allows the feline hero to hurl projectiles at the enemies. Many hazards await the Captain on his journey, including traps, spikes sticking out from the floor, bottomless pits, and others. Overcoming these hazards often requires the player to time the protagonist’s jumps, hop on moving or disappearing platforms, swing on vines and ropes, etc.
Additional power-ups may be found, such as invincibility, the ability to fire projectiles from the sword, and others. Along with power-ups, various treasures are scattered around the levels and can be collected for points, which eventually increase the amount of the player character’s lives. The most valuable treasure and power-ups are usually located in places that are hard to access, requiring the player to overcome particularly challenging hazards.
A variety of enemies will seek to defeat Claw and end his quest. Many of them serve the Cocker-Spaniard crown and are, as such, canine warriors of different types. Others inhabit the areas Claw traverses and will usually attack him on sight. Certain enemies, such as most of the dogs, use weapons similar to those wielded by Claw, and will duel him. Boss battles often require figuring out a specific way to defeat the foe and may include puzzle-solving elements.
Animated cartoon-style cutscenes tell the story between levels, setting the stage for Captain Claw’s adventure. A level editor is also included, which allows players to create their own levels and import new ones that others have made.
- Genre: Arcade
- Publisher: Monolith Productions
- Year: 1997