The Neverhood (released in Japan as Klaymen Klaymen) is a 1996 PC CD-ROM adventure video game created by animator Doug TenNapel and released by Dreamworks Studios. It features claymation graphics and music by composer Terry Scott Taylor. The Neverhood received positive reviews, but was not a commercial hit, its release coinciding with the mid-1990s decline of adventure games that also caused the failure of other critically acclaimed games such as Grim Fandango. A sequel to The Neverhood was released in 1997-98 for Sony's PlayStation video game console entitled Skullmonkeys. It was not an adventure game like the first installment, but rather a platform game.
Klaymen is the protagonist. The game follows his adventures through The Neverhood, solving puzzles and getting out of difficult situations in order to discover the Neverhood's mysteries. He is a curious and cheerful being. He saves the creator of the Neverhood, Hoborg, from his deep sleep and ruins evil Klogg's plan, or, depending on the player's final choice for the ending, takes over the throne. He never speaks at all throughout the game, until he reawakens Hoborg and introduces himself.
The Neverhood Chronicles (written by Douglas TenNapel and Mark Lorenzen) tells the story of the creation of the universe in which the Neverhood exists. It contains eight separate books and occupies 38 screens within the game. While reading it isn't necessary to complete the game, traversing the 38 screens it occupies is.
The game's soundtrack was composed by Terry Scott Taylor.
Reception and legacy
The Neverhood was selected by Microsoft as an "underrated game". The game sold about 42,000 copies before being discontinued.
A June 25, 2007 Variety article confirmed that The Neverhood would be one of the first projects of the newly formed Frederator Films, a company formed for the purpose of creating animated feature films budgeted under $20 million. The IMDB entry of the film suggests that it will be released in 2011. Recently, a screenplay was released under TenNapel's name. This may or may not be the actual draft for the film.
A PlayStation port of the PC game dubbed Klaymen Klaymen was made and released to Japanese audiences only. The Japanese release of Skullmonkeys, in turn, received the appropriate name Klaymen Klaymen 2. Following the sequel, another Japanese PlayStation game set in the Neverhood universe called Klaymen Gun-Hockey was made. A Japan-only sports action game, it was based on the characters of the Neverhood, but was not developed by the designers of the original games; it also did not feature the previous releases' distinctive Claymation design techniques. The game is a variation on air hockey, only played with guns instead of mallets.
Klaymen is featured as a secret fighter for the PlayStation game Boombots, developed by The Neverhood, Inc.
- 'The Neverhood' at MobyGames
- The Neverhood official site archive
- Hardcore Gaming 101: The Neverhood / Klaymen Klaymen
- The Neverhood at the Internet Movie Database
- The Neverhood TV
- All About the NeverhoOd