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Seaman is a simulation/virtual pet game released on the Dreamcast in 1999. It is unique in that it is played with the Dreamcast Microphone.

Plot[]

In the 1930s, Dr. Jean Paul Gassé, a member of a special team of french biologists was sent to Egypt. He was determined to research a creature he deemed the 'Omnipotent Messenger of the Gods'. He met up with a local fisherman who had caught a mysterious looking fish with the face of a human.

Obtaining some samples of Seaman eggs, Gassé headed back to France whilst attempting to raise the young, but they died in his care. He wrote his thesis shortly after claiming that these strange fish were responsible for spreading knowledge during the Third Dynasty period, however with no live specimens, this thesis was written off by fellow scholars as a PR stunt, and Gassé discredited.

On February 15, 1999, parts of Gassé's journal and note entries were found in the Masuda family storehouse in Matsuzaka City in Mie Prefecture, Japan. Professor Kendare Takahashi, who was directing the Japanese branch of the ABARI, successfully managed to breed Seaman eggs in captivity. Soon after, Seaman was presented in aquariums across Japan.

Gameplay[]

The player starts the game with an empty aquarium tank where they must adjust the oxygen and temperature levels, after which they can drop their singular Seaman egg into the tank and providing the conditions are correct, they will hatch into several different organisms.

The first form of the Seaman life cycle is the "Mushroomer" in this phase they are parasite like eyeballs with a singular optic nerve strand which they can attach themselves to the side of the fish tank with. Players can get the Nautilus that also lives in the tank to devour these infant stages, of which they will overrun and kill from the inside, bursting into their next stage of evolution upon doing so.

The next form of the Seaman's life cycle is the "Gillman" phase. The Seaman now look like tiny fish with human faces and a tube like probe coming from the top of their head. In this phase they can interact a little more with the player. They can understand limited words and phrases, and eventually will go from babbling gibberish to speaking basic phrases themselves. In this stage they will begin to cannibalise one another, drinking each other's blood through that tube like probe until only two remain.

Upon two remaining, they will become adults talking in far more complex sentences, will remember memories from their past life including a memory which will unlock the cricket cage allowing players to grow their own feed for their Seaman.

They will also start asking the player questions about themselves such as their gender, age, their birthday month, what they do for a living, with which they'll begin to give trivia and life advice to the player on occasion. The player can now also name their Seaman, with which a gender will be assigned and their color will change.

Eventually the two Seaman will hit their "Podfish" stage, where they grow frog like hindlegs. At this point they will be able to mate. After the act of mating, the male dies and the aquarium becomes a terrarium. The female will go lay her eggs on the shore before dying shortly aftewards.

The eggs will hatch into a new stage; "Tadman", in which they resemble the Gillman stage but have tadpole bodies instead of fish ones. They will retain their adult voices and intelligence, before cannabilising their siblings until only two survive at which point they will go to live on the shore.

On the shore they are now "Frogman" and are capable of living on land and in water. However, just like real life frogs they require moisture to live so the player is given a sprinkler to keep them well watered. Eventually the player can release the Frogman into the wild having successfully completed the Seaman's life cycles within the game at which point he will give the player a sentimental speech and thank them for raising him as well as give some sage life advice.

Trivia[]

  • It was conceived and designed by Yoot Saito. Saito originally came up with the concept of a joke when one of his coworkers was creating a tropical fish simulator. When Saito informed the concept to his wife, she supported the idea despite considering it gross and strange.
  • Seaman's face is based off of Yoot Saito's own face.
  • The Gillman's baby gibberish is often words played backwards, including calling the player insults such as "You're an idiot".
  • The narrator is Leonard Nimoy who plays himself in this game.
  • Seaman's adult voice belongs to Jeff Kramer who also voices E-123 Omega.

Gallery[]

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