Dark Seed manual
- Dark Seed
- darkseed manual
On the screen, you will see an arrow-shaped cursor that you control.
When your cursor is over a connecting doorway which leads to another
room or location, this single arrow cursor changes to four
inwardly-pointing arrows. To make Mike Dawson move, position the
arrow cursor wherever you want him to go and press the left mouse
button. Mike will walk to this new position. If there is an
unavoidable obstruction in his path, he will stop at the closest
possible point. If you press the left mouse button when the multiple
arrows are displayed, Mike will walk to the doorway. The game will
pause while the new location is loaded from disk, and an hourglass
cursor will be displayed.
Clicking the right mouse button cycles the cursor shape through a
"?" (look/inquire) shape, a "hand" (touch/manipulate) shape, and the
"arrow" (move) cursor shape. When the "?" and "hand" cursors are
placed over items which have more information available, or which
Mike can pick up or use, the cursor changes shape. The "?" shape
changes to an "!", and the "open hand" shape changes to a "pointing
finger". To examine or manipulate an object, select a "?" or "hand"
icon using the right mouse button, place it over the desired object,
and press the left mouse button to activate it. If you use the
"hand" icon to pick up an object, it is added to your inventory.
Regardless of the input device you chose (keyboard, joystick or
mouse), the "T" key can be used during the game to advance the clock
to the beginning of the next hour; this is useful if you find
yourself stuck in a situation with a lot of time to kill. Also, you
may skip past the introduction at the start of the game by pressing
the space bar. Hint: make sure you 1QQk at everything in each room.
To view your current inventory, move the cursor to the top of the
screen. A row of icons will appear at the top of the game window.
The first icon, a floppy disk, is used for setting game options (see
GAME OPTIONS). The second icon is the money icon, useful (and
necessary) if you want to take Mike Dawson shopping. Other inventory
item icons will appear as you accumulate them.
To examine an item in your inventory, place the "?" cursor over the
inventory item and press the left mouse button. To manipulate
something in your inventory, use the "hand" cursor. To use an
inventory item, select it using the arrow cursor and the left mouse
button. The cursor will immediately change to the "hand" shape to
indicate that you are holding an inventory item. You may then place
the "hand" cursor over any object or position on the screen, and
press the left mouse button to use the item. To de- select an
inventory item after you have selected it, press the right mouse
button. This item remains in your inventory. If you have more items
in your inventory than will fit at the top of the display screen,
scrolling arrow icons will appear next to your inventory icons.
Selecting these arrows allows you to view and select from your
You may access the game options screen by selecting the floppy disk
icon at the top of the screen. Use your left mouse button to select
it. The game options screen can be used to save your current game
position, load a previously saved game, turn the sound on or off,
exit to DOS, or return to the game. While you are on this screen,
the game's time clock is suspended. Select the appropriate action
button on the left-hand side of the screen by positioning the cursor
over the item and pressing the left mouse button. When you save a
game, you will be prompted to enter a filename, which can be up to
eight letters long (the .SAV extension will be added automatically).
If you re-use an existing name, you will be prompted before the old
save file is overwritten. When you load a previously saved game, a
list of filenames is displayed on the right-hand side of the screen.
If there is not enough room to display all the filenames, select the
MORE box to display additional names. Up to 75 saved games can be
viewed this way. If you exceed this limit you will have to exit to
DOS and delete some old .SAV files first! Prom the available list,
choose the name of saved game you would like to load and press the
left mouse button to select. There are two special filenames:
"RESTART" and "EXIT". Selecting "RESTART" starts the game over from
the beginning. Select "EXIT" if you change your mind and don't want
to load a saved game. To return to the game without loading or
saving a game, select "RESUME".
If you are experiencing difficulties with DARK SEED and are a
registered user, you may call technical support for assistance at
0260 - 299401 for UK. Outside UK 010 - 44 260 299401 between 10:00
am and 5:30 pm GMT. Please see the background manual for additional
customer support information.
DARK SEED and CYBERDREAMS are trademark of CYBERDREAMS, INC.
1992, CYBERDREAMS, INC.
All other trademarked products are the trademarks of their
ABOUT H. R. GIGER......................4
THE CREATION OF DARK SEED..............6
ABOUT H. R. GIGER
H. R. Giger was born in Chur, Switzerland in 1940. As a child, he
developed a powerful fascination with all things surreal and
macabre. His need to express himself and share the unique aspects of
his vivid imagination, drew him to the visual arts. Giger's own
dreams and the brilliant imagery of such fantastique geniuses as
Gustav Meyrink, Jean Cocteau, Alfred Kubin and H. P. Lovecraft,
combined to form a rich soil from which the amazing imagery of
Giger's art has come to sprout. It has grown into the vast canon of
exotic women, wondrously disturbing landscapes and frightening
creatures that has captured the fascination of millions of fans
Meticulously detailed, Giger's paintings are done on large canvases
and worked and reworked by this maestro of the airbrush. It was
Giger's popular art book, Necronomicon, that caught the eye of
director Ridley Scott as he was searching for the right look for a
creature in his upcoming film. That creature, of course, turned out
to be the Alien, and Giger's masterful designs for the film of that
same name garnered him a much deserved Academy Award.
Giger's fascinating-biomechanical style, that brilliant synthesis of
flesh and machine, has been realised not only through his paintings,
but also through sculpture pieces, elegant furniture, and
architectural and interior design projects. His paintings have been
displayed in galleries and museums throughout the world. H. R. Giger
has earned his place in the international art scene. THE CREATION OF
The creation of a ground-breaking computer game like Dark Seed takes
the time and talents of a team of creative experts. The talents used
to span a broad range of disciplines from programmers to artists,
from designers to producers, to a publisher like Cyberdreams,
willing to support the entire production endeavour until every
aspect meets the highest standard.
The original concept for Dark Seed was a collaborative effort between
Mike Dawson, John Krause and Patrick Ketchum. Later, Michael Cranford
joined Mike Dawson to do the actual game design. Mike's name was
eventually used for Dark Seed's main character (designer
As fans of the art of H. R. Giger, the team considered ways to
incorporate his artwork into their game. When the detailing of the
design and speci- fication was completed, Giger was approached.
After lengthy negotiations, two trips to Switzerland, dozens of
faxes and telephone conferences - along with the assistance of
Giger's U. S. publisher, Jim Cowan - Giger agreed to lend his
artwork, provided Cyberdreams used only high-resolution graphics
mode, in order to avoid the "square and jagged" look of
The actual development of Dark Seed from design to completed game
required the talent and experience of the entire Cyberdreams team.
Leading the group was senior producer Harald Seeley and junior
producer Mike Dawson. The programming aspects required two
programmers, Lennard Pedderson, who had been developing an engine
for this type of game since September, 1990, and John Krause who
constructed the promotional disk and the nightmare and title
sequences. The Art Department comprising Brummbaer, Paul Drzewiecki,
Joby-Rome Otero, Paul Ryan and Julia Ulano, each brought his own
skills and areas of expertise to the project. Ultimately, each
worked on Iocations, characters, game objects and animation.
Toward the end of production, Michael Cranford returned to the team
to work with Harald Seeley on fine-tuning the gameplay aspects.
Dark Seed consists of two entirely distinct locations: the Normal
World, whose creation involved combining imagery pieced together
from various architectural sources with original art, in order to
create that world's unique look - and the Dark World, which was
constructed from Giger's artwork. One of the significant steps in
the art design process was to create customised palettes for the
Dark World locations and finalise the colour selection for the
Normal World. Due to the precedence of bio-mechanical beings in much
of Giger's work, the Dark World's colouring was designed to reflect
the ominous mood of Giger's nightmarish imagery.
The determination of which pieces of Giger's work were to be
incorporated within Dark Seed involved extensive research through
Giger's artwork library - worth millions - to which Cyberdreams had
access. Some of the works selected and included in Dark Seed are:
Work No. 45 "N. Y. City III" (straight), Work No. 350 "Hommage a
Bocklin (1977), and Work No.251 "Li II" (1974). The various
background locations used in the game were created by first
selecting a portion of one of Giger's works. Then, using a scanner,
the image was captured and saved as a computer file. Next,
considerable time consuming work was done cutting out, cleaning up
and proportionately sizing each picture for use in the game.
Electronic Arts Deluxe Paint IIe and Newtek's Digiview 5.00 were
used extensively during the entire process. By using the perspective
tool an image could be manipulated to create doors, walls, floors
and even many of the characters which appear in the Dark World.
Detailing in the form of highlights, shadows and translucent
overlays were added to further enhance each picture. In creating the
animation of all Normal World characters, a video camera was
employed to record, frame-by-frame, the specific movements which
make up the animated sequences. Live actors were video-taped
performing each of the various actions which were to be used within
the game. These video images were imported to computer disk and then
cleaned up and sized according to their particular use within Dark
During production, a special trip was made to Switzerland to allow
Giger the opportunity to view the game and make suggestions. His
first comment upon sitting down at the computer and booting-up, was,
"It's beautiful" Giger, who possessed some previous knowledge of
computer graphics capability, was very impressed and interested. He
offered several helpful suggestions about scaling, placement and
other detailed comments. In addition, he elaborated upon many other
ideas for future computer games.
Near the end of development, in order to ensure that the best
product be created, an extra 6 months of development time was added
to produce additional locations, objects and programming to further
enhance the gameplay and look of the game. The entire Cyberdreams
team dedicated not only their time in creating Dark Seed, but
collaborated in joining to~ether their continuous creative energies
to bring into being a game that met their highest standard of
excellence. Their sole purpose; your gaming enjoyment. :
Gregg Cameron and I had just closed one of the biggest deals in our
combined twenty-one years at the agency, making the prospect of
staying with Cameron, Dawson and Tillich even more lucrative. I'm
Mike Dawson. Not only did I claim one third of the firm's name, I am
the Chairman of the Board. That kind of money is hard to pass up,
especially when you're the head of one of the biggest ad agencies in
But writing was my calling. And for writing, I needed a quiet spot
where I could collect my thoughts and be receptive to the ever
elusive blessing of inspiration.
The ad in the paper shattered all doubts - a large, fully fumished
Victorian- style house in Woodland Hills, California. "Seclusion"
was the first word that caught my eye. No noise, no competition, no
rat-race. "Bargain" was the second. In fact, it was dirt cheap. I
couldn't see how the owner could make any profit at the asking
price. Apparently, the property was just put on the market and it
was a steal. It was a killing. It was the ideal novel- writing
During a recent business trip, I flew by prop plane to a small
privately- owned airport just outside of Woodland Hills. I was,
through a series of embarrassing circumstances, delayed at the
airport. By the time I got to the house I only had enough time to
give it a quick walk through. The only impression I was able to get
of the house was that it was very large and dead quiet. This was the
only criterion that needed verifying, in my mind. I continued my
trip confident that I would own that house very soon.
My eagerness to purchase the house was obviously palpable, as the
real- estate agent, Beverley, commented over the phone. So palpable,
in fact, that the sellers offered to pay for the move. How soon? A
week. Not even enough time to give the house a complete look-over.
She even offered to activate the utilities and phone, which made the
offer almost too good to resist. Still, I had some reservations.
Frankly, the agent seemed a bit over-zealous. I asked her why the
previ- ous owner had wished to sell the house. Following a long
pause, during which her breath was ominously audible, she issued the
noncommittal excuse: "Uh, he had family obligations." This was
followed by a number of reparative statements obviously aimed at
mending any doubts I might have had regarding the quality of the
house. I then asked who the owner was. She stated he was located out
of state, desired anonymity and that the price was low because he
didn't want to be bothered by a lon& drawn out transaction. The
agent suggested that she would take care of everything and move the
sale along quickly. I was naturally curious, but still, the house
was in a great neighbourhood, and I had a feeling about it. This was
I hastily wrapped up my current business endeavours and notified my
partners of my plan. Grudgingly, they agreed to a one year
sabbatical; the exorbitant raises in pay they received helped
dissipate their objections. The few belongings I was planning to
bring with me and some of my favourite furniture would be picked up
by a moving van and delivered to the new house on the same day that
I planned to arrive. I was ready for Woodland Hills.
After arriving at the small airport, I called a taxi to take me the
rest of the way to my new home. Looking out of the window from my
back seat vantage, the rural setting was still and refreshing.
The cab driver and his taxi however, were relics from a long past
era. The sign on the door said "Andy's Taxi Service." The cab looked
as if it had seen its best days sometime in the 50's, its chrome
bumpers peeling and askew, the mohair upholstery threadbare and
unrelenting in its odour of antiquity. If the cab was old, the
driver, presumably Andy, was ancient. Thin, bent and balding, his
stained oversized seersucker slacks were held up by suspenders
safety-pinned to his tee shirt.
He seemed noticeably apprehensive when I asked him to take me to my
new home, the old Victorian house on Ventura Drive. I asked him what
was wrong. "Oh, just a bit of a migraine," was the feeble and
obviously emotionless reply. I hoped the rest of the town was better
cndowed in the hospitality department than Andy.
It wasn't. As we drove through the narrow byways of "downtown"
Woodland Hills, I was greeted by fleeting sideways glances and
suspicious demeanours at every street corner. Strange town. I
figured I was lucky to be in one of the marginally secluded areas,
because the small-town mentality which pervaded the heart of
Woodland Hills was a potential let- down. I asked Andy to speed up
as I was very excited about getting to my new home.
To my chagrin, I discovered that my new house was not quite as far
from the centre of town as I might have wished. It was, however, sur-
rounded on most sides by trees, which afforded adequate privacy.
I lost all doubt about outside distraction when viewing the house for
the first time in the daylight. It was solitary and incongruent with
its surroundings. It was almost alien. There seemed an apparent
vacuum l around it, an envelope of silence,which framed it, like a
painting. It was secluded, all right.
Visually, the house was an enigma. Strange mixtures of architectural
components and a bit of missing paint made it seem wanting at first
glance. It looked like it had not been inhabited for decades,
although apparently someone had been maintaining it enough to
prevent deterio- ration. But as I took in the sheer magnitude of it
I realised that, though a fixer-upper, it was utterly beautiful in
My pleasure was interrupted by the realisation that the moving van I
had expected to be there when I arrived, wasn't in sight. There was
no sign of the movers anywhere. Either they got lost, or they must
have been in a real hurry to finish.
Also, I had been expecting the agent to meet me to give me a tour. I
had already bought the house through a series of unbelievably
convenient overnight delivery transactions. (I meant to thank her
about that.) She must have been delayed somewhere else.
Oh, well, I thought, no harm in going in and exploring for myself, I
paid off the cab driver and walked down the driveway and up the
The massive oaken double doors yielded easily, revealing a large
entrance hall. One of the doors from the entrance led to an ornate
living room. Among many outstanding pieces of antique furniture and
decoration, one eerie portrait stood out. It was of a hauntingly
beautiful young woman - beautiful in an other worldly sense, anyway.
Dark tones and an obscure background highlighted a pale face with
piercing eyes. I won- dered who she was.
The fading sunlight filtered through the semi-curtained windows and
cre- ated yellow bars of light reflecting off thousands of turbulent
dust motes. I was marvelling at the immaculate but lived-in quality
of the room when the feeling came over me.
It wasn't a feeling, so much as a sound. A high, nearly imperceptible
whine, like someone somewhere was blowing on a broken dog whistle. It
so bordered on the inaudible that it was easier described as a
buzzing vibration emanating from the inside of my head. My eyes
glazed over and my mouth sagged open.
I was tired. Not just tired, but suddenly exhausted. My eyes felt as
if they were sandbags, my tongue felt like cotton. There must be a
bedroom somewhere in here, I thought. As I groped my way up the
stairs I wondered if I should wait for the agent. What was her name7
Just a nap, that's all.
Now, What was her name?
She had no name - I never asked.
No, I did ask, I just can't remember. That's odd. I must be sure to
ask her name when she gets here. But first, sleep. I must find a
bed. Where are my things? Where did the movers put them?
Nowhere. The movers never came.
I've got to remember to tell the agent about that, too.
After trying several doors, I discovered one of the bedrooms. I was
hard pressed to keep my legs from giving up their uphill battle for
support. I collapsed on the bed face first, my palms down. The down
comforter was cool and resilient under my cheek but unable to
conceal the bed's underlying lumpiness.
But now, I need sleep. I must remember to wake up soon for the
agent, but first, a short nap.
The whine suddenly crescendoed to a roar. It felt like a waterfall
had cas- caded, accompanied by a tremendous clangour, into my brain.
Sleep. A voice in my head that wasn't mine beckoned me to slumber.
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep...
1) Save your game regularly. This is not one of those wimpy adven-
tures where you can't come to grief! If you make a mistake and you
haven't saved your game, you will have to start over from the begin-
ning. Also, at the end of every day, it's a good idea to save your
game before going to bed - just in case you find out later that
there was some- thing you needed to get done that day, but forgot to
2) Pause your game if you have to step away from your computer.
Select the "Floppy Disk" icon to go to the load/save/game options
screen, where time is suspended. If you forget to do this, then time
will continue to pass, and Dawson doesn't have a lot of it left to
3) Look at everything. Sometimes you won't learn everything about an
object on the first look; you may have to look more closely a second
time. Don't forget to "look" at items you acquire in your inventory.
Also, some objects won't make their appearance until you have
obtained the necessary clues to their existence. Remember, it's not
what you know that counts, it's what Dawson knows that's important.
4) Dawson can think much better if he doesn't have a splitting
5) Pay attention to the changes in the cursor shapes as you move them
over objects and backgrounds, as they provide important clues about
6) If something works one time, don't be afraid to try it again.
Something different might happen the next time!
7) If a character seems to be too busy to talk to you, try tapping
him or her on the shoulder to get their attention.
8) Think things through logically. We have tried to make all of the
puzzles in the game make logical sense, although sometimes the logic
may seem a little hard to follow!
9) If you get stuck, then try everything in your inventory on
everything you can see. You just might get lucky!