Abandonware DOS title

Dark Seed manual

Dark Seed

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 
entire inventory.


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.


All other trademarked products are the trademarks of their 
respective companies.





ABOUT H. R. GIGER......................4


THE BEGINNING..........................9

HELPFUL HINTS..........................14

LIMITED WARRANTY.......................15

CUSTOMER SERVICE.......................16

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 
San Francisco.

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 
the one.

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 
its antiquity.

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 
entrance stairs.

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 
your environment.

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!