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The Weekly WTF: Just What in the Name of Balls was the Deal With ‘Seaman’?

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bill-swift - April 11, 2014

The world was not ready for this.

Remember N64‘s Hey You, Pikachu? No, no you don't, because it was shit. Suffice it to say that it featured a ball-achingly bad voice recognition system, via an add-on for the console. A peripheral which was compatible with only two games and sucked righteously. Still, it was a tentative step into a brave new era of microphone-enabled games.

It was either that, or Seaman. And Seaman is all kinds of effing crazy. Hold on to your butts, we've hooked some freaky fishtastic.

This Dreamcast novelty was released in 1999. It's a virtual pet game, which came in a spangly bundle with Sega's official mic attachment (y'know, the one that looks like a futuristic sex toy). In the game, Leonard Nimoy instructs you in the care of mutant man-faced fish beasts. So... that's what we're dealing with, right here.

Don't draw attention to that penis-y protuberance on its head. This is bizarre enough as it is.

From the egg-hatching stage to the developing-into-a-freaky-ass-frog-dude-with-a-human-face stage, this thing is your companion. You interact with it, marvel at its human-ish mannerisms, breed it, and admire just what a weird slice of weird effing weird this all really is. After all, when was the last time an anthropomorphized carp asked for your birthday, before regaling you with tales of other events that happened on that day? Never, that's when.

The Seaman proceeds through five stages of development: Mushroomer, Gillman, Podfish, Tadman and Frogman. Loosely speaking (loosely enough to damn well drop right off, but still) these are the game's levels, as each adds further elements to the interactivity on offer. You start with the freshly hatched slimy wang-looking dude, which can do little, but later on you'll be 'conversing' with this thing.

And you will be evolving it in this way. It's a needy little bastard, and will die if it isn't tended to a daily basis. Seaman, in short, is like a complex, deeply trippy Tamagotchi. Make what you will of the below footage.

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