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Video Game / Dark Seed

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"My head feels like it's going to explode!"
Mike Dawson, Dark Seed

A Point-and-Click horror Adventure Game created by Cyberdreams (the same people that would eventually create the Mind Screw known as I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream) and released in 1992, Dark Seed is based on artwork created by H. R. Giger. The main plot is that of a man named Mike Dawson, a namesake and look-alike of the game's own lead designer, who has moved into a fancy estate in a small town. He soon finds out that it's not all it's cracked up to be, and he ends up trying to save the world in three days from a race of evil aliens called the Ancients. Oh yeah, did we mention he has an alien embryo in his head?

Dark Seed was followed by Dark Seed II in 1995, although this time Giger and Dawson weren't involved.

The trope list still works!

  • Ambiguous Time Period: The games are fairly vague on exactly when they take place, but II has an oddly "Fifties" vibe, with the design of Mike Dawson's mother and Jack's Fonzie-like shtick, along with the prominence of a carnival in the games plot, although pop-culture references made within the game do ground it in the early nineties.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Mike has to get past a huge quadrupedal monster on a bridge over a bottomless abyss. To get rid of the monster, he throws a stick into the abyss, and the monster jumps in to chase it.
  • Commonplace Rare: The only place you can find a shovel or a pair of binoculars is the Dark World, and let's not even talk about what you have to do to find a stick.
  • Dull Surprise: The CD version of the first game added voice acting, leading to Mike narrating everything in the same nonchalant voice, from washing up in the morning to wandering around a Dark World full of monsters.
  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: The opening cinematic shows Mike getting an embryo implanted in his head in a very Freudian way.
  • "Get Out of Jail Free" Card: A very literal one. Its use is required to win the game. Items placed in your real-world cell will transfer over to the Dark World jail's cell, and since your inventory is stripped when you're incarcerated in the latter, those items will be the only inventory you get to finish the game. However, staying in a cell overnight wastes one of your three days, so an early exit is mandatory.
  • Guide Dang It!: No thanks to extreme amounts of Fake Difficulty. Good luck figuring out how to Solve the Soup Cans without consulting GameFAQs.
  • Headache of Doom: Mike Dawson wakes up with a terrible headache, and discovers to his horror that the cause is an alien embryo that will burst out of his head and kill him if it's allowed to fully develop.
  • Informed Attribute: Mike, the attic isn't full of useless items. It isn't full of anything.
  • Magic Mirror: Mirrors serve as portals to the Dark World.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: So very many. For example, starting an old junk car by finding the car keys and filling the gas tank with a bottle of scotch.
  • Nintendo Hard: Oh yes. There's a strict three hour time limit, tons of death traps, many, many ways to make the game unwinnable, and most of the in-game hints are cryptic to the point of uselessness.
  • Old, Dark House: Mike's house. Emphasis on "dark".
  • Pixel Hunt: Searching for a safety pin on a wooden floor, among other things. The low quality of the graphics don't help.
  • Red Herring: A baby doll is delivered to your house, which turns into what is presumably its Dark World equivalent. It is never mentioned again.
  • Sleepyhead: If night falls in the Dark World, Mike will automatically curl up on the floor and go to sleep. Unsurprisingly, this nets you a game over.
  • Shout-Out: The names on some of the headstones in the cemetery:
  • Solve the Soup Cans: All over the place. For instance, to get the stick mentioned in All Animals Are Dogs above? You have to buy a bottle of scotch, so you can meet your neighbor who is throwing a stick for his dog to fetch. Give him the scotch, and he leaves with the dog, leaving the stick behind.
  • Title Confusion: Both this game and its sequel are often incorrectly referred to as "Darkseed" due to how the word marks for both games are designed. It's particularly noticeable in the sequel's case, where there's a space before the number, but not in "DARKSEED"...
  • Unwinnable by Design: A particularly cruel example. There's many ways to make the game impossible to beat, and most of them are not immediately obvious.
  • Violation of Common Sense: To solve a puzzle, you have to steal a gun from the police station after being released from jail, then walk into the Dark World police station with the gun. If you walk in without the gun, the guard shoots you, but if you have the gun, he locks you in jail.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Mike makes this claim in the first game if you don't get him some headache medicine (see page quote), although it never actually happens; if you waste enough time to let the embryo escape, it actually escapes through his mouth - and relatively cleanly, at that.


Video Example(s):


Dark Seed: The Intro

Pulling no punches, the game begins with Mike Dawson having an alien embryo implanted in his brain, complete with disturbingly sexual imagery courtesy of H.R. Giger.

How well does it match the trope?

4.83 (6 votes)

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Main / FaceFullOfAlienWingWong

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