The Neverhood – Klaymen’s Theme (Terry Scott Taylor)

A game with a “legend” status already attached to it. Released on the peak of CD-ROM era, 1996, by DreamWorks Studios, although the lead creator Douglas TenNapel should also be mentioned here. The uniqueness of the game was based on several factors – the crazy dixieland music and sound effects, pure-nonsensical humour and finally, the fact that whole game world and its characters were made of … clay. That’s right. The studio used tons of clay to produce hand-made world and sculpture many figurines that were then meticulously animated using stop motion techniques. Klaymen’s adventues involved figuring out what’s his place in the Neverhood, who’s the main adversary, what happened to the World Creator and what’s the color of local sheep’s puke. Apart from the regular gameplay, Klaymen collected “videotapes” in random order, playing them in many tv sets found across the place (the “movie” would look something like “La Linea” french animation). Merged together, they would reveal the hilarious and somewhat dramatic story of Klaymen’s origins. The music in this game was a very integrated and central part of experience and narration – it wasn’t just a soundtrack playing in the background, it was created to boost and support what’s going on on the screen. It’s also one of the first games with extensive “creating of” video section, which was actually very entertaining. In the words of Mark Lorenzen, main storyteller of the game : “Two questions to ask yourself when you’re designing a new character are – is he funny? Or is he scary? And in case of all characters of Neverhood – Klaymen, Willie – they’re funny. But in the case of Klogg (the main antihero) … they’re very funny :)”. It’s this kind of innocent, beautiful and cheerful game that you should just show your kids – they’ll love it. I know I did – and I was about 10 years old back then.

Original copies of the game box and the separately sold soundtrack are now very rare pieces, valued higly among enthusiasts.

More about The Neverhood –


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