Star Trek Guide

Seaman: A Look Back at One of Sega’s STRANGEST Games

Since video games were created, some of them have been weird -- even the Mario games are a bit bizarre. Strange games can be a breath of fresh air from all the ultra-realistic titles that are popular today. One video game company that’s built up quite the reputation for releasing weird games is Sega. Whether it's Samba de Amigo or Super Monkey Ball, Sega seems to have embraced obscurity. However, one Sega game takes the cake when it comes to weird and bizarre. This, of course, is Seaman.

Seaman is a unique virtual pet game that launched back in 2000 for the Sega Dreamcast. Players take care of these strange half-fish, half-man things called Seaman as they evolve into different forms. As each Seaman grows, players can interact with them in different ways. The Seaman will start communicating, interacting with their environment, and even have intimate relations with each other.

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This extremely bizarre game was one of the few to use the Dreamcast microphone. Players would attach the microphone to their controller in order to talk to their Seaman. Every Seaman can hold a conversation better than most people might expect. Most of the game is talking to the Seaman and getting to know them better. Players can ask it questions, curse at it, and even talk about relationship issues. The Seaman listens and responds to almost everything in an intelligent way. It even gives advice on improving players' lifestyles.

Seaman has a surprisingly deep backstory. The game explains that the Seaman originated during the third Egyptian Dynasty. A priest asked the Egyptian God Thoth to turn a man and his daughter into two creatures after he catches them in an affair. Thoth turns the man into a fish and the priest’s daughter into a bird. The animal-human hybrids run off shortly after being transformed.

Thousands of years later, Seaman are discovered and scientists begin studying the weird specimens. After much testing, the scientists link the Seaman origins to ancient Egypt. They also find evidence that more Seaman are settling along the Nile River. The game then jumps to the present time (early 2000s), where players take the role of a new scientist examining the Seaman in order to learn more about the bizarre creatures. Seaman’s plot/backstory might be the strangest of any video game.

Another strange but cool aspect of Seaman is that the game is narrated by famous Spock actor Leonard Nimoy. The first thing players hear when they boot up Seaman is the smooth voice of the legendary Star Trek actor. He has somewhat of a God-like presence within the game. It's almost like he is an all-seeing eye looking over the player's every move. He will tell players when they have been playing the game too long, the status of the Seaman’s health, and much more. Nimoy’s presence in the game gives it a bit of a soothing tone.

Sega definitely had a taste for the bizarre at the turn of the millennium and there is no better proof of this than Seaman. The game's obscure premise and abstract nature made Seaman one of a kind. A sequel came out for the PlayStation 2 in 2007 but it never released outside of Japan.

Seaman is more fun than people might think. Having conversations and taking care of your Seaman can be an enjoyable experience. Sometimes it is fun to get off the main road and step into the weird world of strange and unusual video games.