144. Seaman

Seaman (2000, Dreamcast) by Sega

Current Speedrun.com leaderboard (Freedom%)

I remember reading about Seaman in the official Sega Dreamcast magazine back in the day.  I was one of the only people I knew that got a Dreamcast; my uncle bought one with NFL2K and the game completely blew me away.  I knew I HAD to get a Dreamcast, and I LOVED it.  And the concept of a game this self-aware, this deep, and this technologically ahead of its’ time, completely drew me in.  I really wanted to play and try this game.

I am so glad that I waited.  This would’ve been lost on me in 2000 or so; today, this game’s sense of humor and world views were much more relatable and understandable as a middle-aged adult.  Seaman is not a video game like you might expect; it’s a God simulator, pet simulator, and VMU (microphone) game.  You must train the little creatures to understand English, teach them about yourself, and listen to their stories.   This concept gets extremely in-depth as you explore the game.  As you take care of the little fish-men, feeding them bugs and pellets and taking care of them when they’re ill.  It’s a fun and relaxing experience.

The RTA speedrun?  A bit different.  You must rush through the game, which might sound counter-productive at first; you want to enjoy this type of game, right?  While I agree that Seaman is a much better game as a casual experience, played over a few days as intended, the RTA makes for a single-segment experience that I cannot say I’ve ever quite had elsewhere.  I was both disgusted by Seaman, and yet I cared for them deeply.  I cringed and I laughed, I was hurt and I nearly cried.  The little fishy fish was able to ask me questions enough that they seemed to actually know things about me I didn’t tell them.  Whether it’s A.I., magic, or coincidence, you be the judge, but I can say that it made me think introspectively during my attempts.

Seaman is such a unique game to speedrun.  I thought I was heading into a joke of a run in this Trial, but the joke was on me; I had a blast.  I highly recommend it to folks looking for an odd, different take on a speedrun.

Leave a reply