In Dark Seed the player assumes the role of Mike Dawson, chairman of an anonymous firm, who has just made one of the biggest deals in twenty-one years. As writing is his calling, he thinks he needs a quite place to write, and he decides to buy a fully furnished house in Victorian style, situated on Ventura Drive in Woodland Hills, California. As soon as he moves into the house, he is troubled by daily headaches and nightmares. In the intro of the game a clue is given: it is shown how something nasty (a "Dark Seed") is implanted in his head. Dawson finds messages of the old owner and discovers a portal, that gives access to another, Dark World, a parallel world that is inhabited by an alien race called the Ancients, who are trying to take over the Normal World. Later in the game a helping hand, called the "Keeper of the Scrolls," reveals that indeed an alien embryo was implanted in his head, which will eventually destroy not only Dawson, but the whole world. So his mission is clear: he has to save himself, and save the world.
Keeper of the Scrolls
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. The Dark World was entirely based on Giger's work, but he didn't contribute any new artwork to the game. All scenes were composed of selected parts from works from Giger's artwork library. In accordance with his wishes, the game used a high resolution VGA graphics mode (640x350, 16 colors).
Cyberdreams's own Mike Dawson played his namesake in the game. He had put his own name as a placeholder in a concept document and was stuck with it. Various other team members were casted as well, and Joby Otero brought his girlfriend Heidi Marendi to the office in order "to be digitized" as librarian.
With Dark Seed Cyberdreams presented itself as a company who took special interest in the design of the game boxes and their contents. The package design was done by Bright & Associates. The package is a box that is smaller at the top and bigger at the bottom, and that could be opened at the sides. It has a diamond shaped cut-out in the front, holding a removable small box, which - originally - contained the disks. The picture of the front of the small box is a portrait of Giger's beloved life partner Li Tobler, who committed suicide in 1975 (work no. 251 'Li II,'' 1974. The portrait includes a number of elements symbolizing death. The over sized head is decapitated and fed intravenously.)