Excitement for the rumoured Klonoa game remasters has surged following new trademark updates from Bandai Namco.
The Japanese publisher recently filed trademarks for “Wahoo Encore” and “1&2 Encore” in Japan, according to Gematsu. The site notes that Bandai Namco uses the name “Encore” for its remastered games released in this region – for example, the superbly bonkers Katamari Damacy REROLL was titled Katamari Damacy Encore in Japan.
So, how do these trademarks link back to Klonoa? Well, those who played the PlayStation platformers will know that “Wahoo” is the catchphrase of their titular hero. The “1&2 Encore” trademark is a little more vague though could refer to there only being two mainline games in the Klonoa series. These include Klonoa Phantomile and Klonoa 2: Lunatera’s Veil.
Over the years the massive-eared mascot has appeared in a number of handheld titles and spin-offs for platforms including the Game Boy Advance and WonderSwan. In 2008, Bandai Namco attempted to revive the series with a Klonoa remake for the Nintendo Wii.
However, despite the original PS1 game and its sequel being fondly remembered by fans, Klonoa never became platforming royalty. A lack of commercial success meant that a GameCube port of Klonoa 2 was canned, Namco Bandai choosing not to remake the game for Nintendo Wii.
Having lain dormant for well over a decade now, it’s hard to say whether there’s big demand for Klonoa remasters. As we know all too well, publishers will often register new trademarks though this doesn’t mean they necessarily have projects in the pipeline associated with them. With that said, the remaster trend has far from faded and game companies continually looking to repurpose older titles, sometimes using these remasters to gauge interest in franchise revivals.
It would be great to see Klonoa given a second chance, even if Bandai Namco wasn’t to follow up these potential remasters with a new entry in the series. At the very least, it would give platforming fans a way to experience the original Klonoa without needing to spend over £100 on a second hand copy of the PlayStation version.