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YMMV / Dark Seed

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  • Anticlimax Boss: The Behemoth. Aside from its underwhelming design, all it does is roar a couple of times and gets one-shotted by a ridiculously wimpy thrust from Mike.
  • Awesome Art: H. R. Giger does not disappoint with the characters and landscapes he designs.
  • Awesome Music: The main theme for Dark Seed II is actually pretty good, keeping an eerie, haunting tone. Being that it was composed by Mark Morgan (of Fallout fame) this is hardly surprising.
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Late in Dark Seed II, Mike gets interrogated by an FBI agent. The agent accuses him of being a killer, Mike punches him out after he pushes Mike's Berserk Button...and it never comes up again.
  • Complete Monster: The Shapeshifter, aka Jack, Mike Dawson's Dark World counterpart, is a follower of the Ancients who participates in their plan to awaken the Behemoth to Kill All Humans. Murdering the members of the Other World cult—including Rita, Doc Larson, and Mayor Fleming—and decapitating them to power the Behemoth with their heads, the Shapeshifter frames Mike Dawson for the murders, before later killing Mike's therapist Dr. Sims and Mike himself.
  • Contested Sequel: On one hand, Dark Seed II marks a number of improvements over the original: The puzzles aren't brutally obtuse as in the first game, the technology leap opens up for effective, creepy artworks from H. R. Giger, and the plot has clear direction thanks to giving more involved dialogue and characters. However, expanded narrative comes with even sillier moments than before (most of which involves making Mike Dawson look clumsy and pathetic), and the ending just goes completely bonkers, which ruins much of experience. So which one is better? You decide. Somewhat controversial in that both games had about the same critical reception at the time of release.
  • Cult Classic: The first game is one among fans of lesser known Adventure Games.
    • As is the second to some (partially ironic) extent.
  • Designated Hero: In Dark Seed II, even though Mike is probably suffering from mental trauma, he is still difficult to sympathize with. He comes off as being whiny, childish, and astonishingly incompetent in several situations. He also becomes more and more of a Jerkass as the game progresses (dialogue options can amplify this), and makes a few questionable decisions throughout the game.
  • Ear Worm: The carnival music in II is pretty hard to get out of your head.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Jack in the second game, for at least trying to help Mike unlike everybody else in town, who just treat him like shit for next to no reason. Also thanks to his affable, Fonzie-esque demeanor.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Dark Seed II's plot twist is remarkably similar to a book that was later made into a popular movie. The plot twist is so famous that just naming the work tells you what it is. It's Fight Club. Jack is, apparently, just Mike's subconscious, the cooler person he wishes he could be. Or something.
    • Apparently Gru's took Mike's advice on how to win at rigged carnival games.
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  • Just Here for Godzilla: A lot of people play these games just to see H. R. Giger's artwork.
  • Memetic Loser: Mike's already portrayed as something of a loser in the second game, but the Retsupurae fandom take it to another level. The man fails to locate a portal to the Dark World behind an unlocked closet door in his house, apparently because he had never once in his entire life opened that particular door, how much more comedically incompetent can you get?
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Just do a YouTube search for Mike Dawson and you will see many videos for the ring toss and unrelated Mike Dawson videos flooded with Dark Seed Retsupurae comments.
      • The comments in this video are especially hilarious, when the unfortunately named Mike Dawson takes the comments seriously and starts talking about how his heart goes out to the deceased Rita and her family while frequently explaining that he did not, in fact, kill anyone named Rita.
    • "It turned out to be Dark Seed. Oh no, not him."
    • TV Tropes, did you kill Rita?
      • What was your relationship with Rita?
    • Ehhh, ya missed, pal!
    • Here TV Tropes, this will explain everything. (Quack)
    • Oh no, not the hall of tropes again! The only way out of here is tropes!
    • I would bow, but I'm too embarrassed...
    • I don't think Ik and Uk are going to molest me anymore.
    • Everybody had sex with Rita. Except Mike Dawson.
  • Narm: A lot of what happens in the sequel (particularly the way it makes Mike dumber than a sack of hammers and afflicted with the worst luck in the known universe) feels less like Gigeresque horror and borders on Self-Parody.
    • The first game's cutscenes used hand-drawn graphics and were quite effective. That's more than can be said for the sequel's full motion videos.
    • The Behemoth in particular. With all the hype it gets about being able to destroy the world, you'd expect something more menacing than a giant snake with a skull for a head wearing a buzzsaw like a sombrero.
    • The Deranged Animation for the digitized characters in Dark Seed II, namely, when they are walking. Or talking. Or doing anything...
    • A lot of the game's sound effects are ridiculously goofy.
    • Mike using Dark World tools to cheat at carnival games. You know your horror game is in trouble when the first Despicable Me movie can use almost the exact same plot point as a gag fifteen years later.
    • Oh no, not the hall of death again! The only way out of there is death!
    • The carnival in the second game is decorated with H. R. Giger artwork. Who would visit this carnival?!
    • The reveal at the end of the sequel (that Mike was unable to locate the Dark Portal because it was hidden behind an unlocked door in his house that he had never once in his entire life attempted to open) turns the whole story from badly-done horror into outright farce.
  • Nausea Fuel: The descriptions Mike Dawson uses in the Dark World.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The artwork alone contributes around 90% of this for the first game. Courtesy of H. R. Giger.
    • Strangely, the bad compression that goes on sometimes when people are talking ends up being this.
  • Porting Disaster: The original version of Dark Seed was considered a very scary game with a good atmosphere despite the moon logic puzzles and Guide Dang It! moments, thanks to the H. R. Giger art and a creepy soundtrack. The port to CD, however, suffered from audio issues and added Dull Surprise voice acting, which pretty much wrecked the atmosphere.
  • The Scrappy: In Dark Seed II, Mike himself is this, both in-universe and out. His whiny voice, idiotic actions, Jerkass moments and general incompetence are the main reasons. And he's the main character.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Notably in Dark Seed II, mainly because of Mike's dialogue and some other bizarre elements.
  • Special Effects Failure: A lot in the second game. Largely due to the original game's elaborate pixel art being replaced with digital FMV art, failing to realise that FMV art simply looks like crap, which is why it didn't last.
  • Uncanny Valley: The second game has the human characters sometimes look and move like they came out of a Rankin/Bass stop motion movie, making them sometimes look even creepier than the aliens
  • The Woobie: Goth in the second game. Not only is he basically stuck in place forever, but he risks everything to help Mike out only to learn that he just did all that to help Mike win a children's carnival game. Needless to say he's understandably upset over this. And then he gets murdered by the Ancients for his troubles.
    • Jerkass Woobie: In a way, Mike himself in II, despite doing some really dumb things and being kind of a Jerkass. Everyone treats him like crap and belittles him, even his own mother. This is despite him having some serious psychological issues and being the prime suspect of a crime he didn't commit, the murder of a woman he was either dating or at least cared a lot about. He doesn't even get a happy ending, as Jack, his only friend/Dark World self/split personality/hallucination kills him by stabbing him in the back. The police end up blaming Mike for the murders that have been committed throughout town while the real killer, Jack/The Shapeshifter, goes free.


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