klonoa as a series means more to me than i can properly describe. it's probably my favorite series of all time, but it also holds a lot of emotional significance to me for many reasons. i've loved klonoa ever since i was a child, starting with the wii remake and then going back to experience the other games as i grew up and got more savvy with emulation and the like.
for those unaware, klonoa is a series of 2d and 2.5d puzzle platformers with a few spinoffs. unfortunately, the games never sold well and the series effectively died until this year (2022) with the release of the phantasy reverie series, which includes both the main home console games, door to phantomile and lunatea's veil.
2022 in general has been kind of a revival for the series! right after the announcement of KPRS in february, two white whales of the klonoa franchise were finally translated after years of attempts: klonoa: moonlight museum and klonoa heroes. previously, these were the least accessible games in the franchise, one due to being released in japan only on a less than popular console, and the other being a lengthy action RPG.
the klonoa games are surprisingly deep and emotional once you play them. they aren't especially long or difficult, but they're just as long as they need to be to tell an amazing story.
klonoa is a dream traveler, someone who is able to travel between worlds helping people and solving problems. he can't stay in any world he ends up on, and seemingly can't control where he'll end up next. despite being in a situation where he can't keep any of the friends he makes on his journies, he still stays positive, determined and full of compassion to those he meets.
i look up to klonoa in a lot of ways. both door to phantomile and lunatea's veil are basically depression games for me. klonoa 1 is a super short game, so in the middle of a really bad episode i'll maybe end up playing it through twice over? if i have the energy, that is. the games are a major form of comfort, because no matter what, klonoa stays optimistic even in the darkest of places. i want to emulate that.
now, i want to tell you about
my favorite klonoa character
the king of sorrow is the main antagonist of klonoa: lunatea's veil. he rules over the kingdom of sorrow, the banished 5th kingdom of lunatea. him and his kingdom were banished before the events of the game, because in the words of the other kingdoms, sorrow is an undesireable emotion. people want to forget that sadness and sorrow are facts of life, and thus shunned him.
klonoa hears a voice calling out "save me, save me..." throughout the game, only to find out that voice belongs to the king. all he wants is to be accepted and allowed to return to lunatea. at the end of the game, he gets his wish. hyuponia, the kingdom that lunatea wanted to forget, is brought back and rebuilt, though the king is not around to see it.
he ends up mortally wounded in the final fight, but the end credits show he gets reborn into the church of claire.
i love the king of sorrow, like, a lot. he's an incredibly important character to me. i still have a lot of emotional problems, but back when i first played klonoa 2 i was in a pretty dark place. like lunatea, i hated feelings of sadness and depression. a lot of the world doesn't like to admit that it's ok to be sad, and it's even a good thing sometimes. depression is a greatly overlooked illness that i suffer from. it comes in waves, so i'm not always sad, but when it hits, i can barely get out of bed some days.
if you tell people you're depressed, you'll get at least 10 different responses. someone may tell you your life is great, so you have no reason to be sad. some may tell you to just go for a walk. some will outright think you're lying for attention. rarely will anyone whole-heartedly accept that sometimes things just aren't ok. there always has to be a reason, or a solution, or some magic trick to make you suddenly ok so you can stop bringing everyone down with you. nobody likes a sad sack, right?
klonoa 2, and by extension the king of sorrow, teaches how that's a harmful mindset. in the final moments of the fight against him, klonoa hugs the king, and promises that people won't forget him, won't forget sorrow. no longer will the people of lunatea shun emotions they don't like. neither should you, reader. it's ok to not be ok.
my klonoa collection
i have a small collection of things related to klonoa! due to a lot of the games being hard to find and expensive, i only have a few. klonoa wii i've had since i was young, and my friend helped me get this copy of klonoa 2! it was disc only, so someone at my local retro gaming shop made a case and cover for me. :) i found the copy of dream champ tournament at the same shop. the klonoa heroes copy is a reproduction cartridge i got here, with a custom label from this etsy store!
the figure of lolo was a random find on ebay from the "namco gals" series of figures. she comes with two different hats, one with her priestess feather and one without. popka is a seperate piece that is made specially to fit on her head!
i also have a collection of rare, fanmade music that was produced and released in japan! i was able to get them through the proxy service buyee, and as far as i am aware i am the first person to upload at least one of these online. all of them are remixes of the games music, and most can be found by searching "klonoa fan disc" on youtube.
the disc in the second image is called kubinoa; it is a collection of art and music by various contributors. i originally found kubinoa through an ebay auction (that i ended up losing) of a lot of klonoa fan works and materials. upon losing the auction, and after realizing that there was almost no record of anything about this project online, i sought it out. i ended up finding it, purchasing it, and putting the entire thing on archive.
as you can see, there are 2 discs inside the case, the music disc and the data disc. click below to be taken to the archive of each respective disc!
with the rise of attention towards klonoa in recent years it was kind of inevitable that bootlegs would spring up eventually. currently, there are 2 big klonoa bootlegs. (3 technically but i will get to that.)
klonoa 2 custom plush
the first klonoa bootleg showed up around the beginning of the buzz surrounding a klonoa remake in 2019. people had just found trademarks implying a new klonoa game was in development and the fandom experienced a bit of a boom. bootleggers took this opportunity to create a seemingly custom pattern of klonoa from lunatea's veil and sell it on places like ebay. at the time i couldn't afford the $30 they were asking for so i never ended up getting one, so i can't comment on its quality. i do eventually want to get one of these! i'm not really against bootlegs, especially if its for a fandom that has little to no official (or affordable) merch to begin with, and klonoa is basically that.
i actually own this! it came fairly recently as well. i ordered it on impulse a month back when a klonoa tumblr blog posted about it. sadly, the pattern was confirmed to be stolen from another custom popka plush i believe. surprisingly the quality is pretty good! it's made of a soft fabric, when these kinds of plush aren't most of the time. usually, a cheaper, rougher fabric is used in order to save money on production. i'm actually very happy with this plush, and it's still being sold if you want to seek it out. i'm not going to link it on my site, though. you'll have to find that yourself.
having basically the only other piece of official physical popka merch, i'm very happy with this! even if its not official, it genuinely has the qualities of one, even if the stitching is a little bad.
2022 promotional klonoa 1 plush
i actually came across this plush while researching for this section! it seems to be very new, and is undeniably based off the namco UFO catcher klonoa plush from around 1997? there is also a promo plush version from the same year i believe which is bigger, but the bootlegs size seems to match that of the UFO catcher version.
it arrived today, 9/6! i wish i could say nothing but good about this, but obviously it is a bootleg so it has some issues.
the main issue i have is the size of the collar, it's huge!!! i plan to cut it down a bit to look more accurate to the official plush since it takes up the majority of his body and makes his arms very hard to move. i noticed his arms are stitched in lower on his body to accommodate the collar, but it still ends up being way too big. i also noticed on mine that 2 pac-mans are glued to his hat instead of one, so i also plan to remove one of them. his ears are also much much smaller than the official plush.
the fabric feels the same as the popka plush, so he's nice and soft! he's about the same size as popka too. overall i do like this plush a lot, but i'll need to do some modifications to make it better.