Wednesday 28 September 2016

Remember David Bowie in Omikon The Nomad Soul?

Paul Mallon

Published 11/01/2016 | 09:44

David Bowie
David Bowie

On this sad day when we're mourning the passing of a music legend, remember one of his strangest appearances in a video game

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The world is waking up to learn the sad news of the passing of David Bowie, who died on the 10th of January surrounded by his family. He had been diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago and passed away two days after his 69th birthday.

It's a sad loss for millions of fans around the world and for the music industry which he moved through to his own beat for almost 50 years. He also flirted with film in that time, most successfully perhaps in Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth but probably most memorably to those of a certain vintage in 1986's Labyrinth as the Goblin King Jareth.

That wasn't the sum of his contribution to the entertainment world - did you know he was also in a video game?

Quantic Dream is a company which is now well known for titles like Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls but they were completely unknown in the late 90s when they started to develop a game called Omikron The Nomad Soul. It was a weird mix of adventure and first person shooting, with motion captured characters and a really weird story. And it also starred David Bowie.

More than that, the singer had a hand in the overall plot of the game and contributed several original songs, some which would later turn up on his Hours album with alternative lyrics. His motion captured face and voice appear in the game as a couple of characters, including the lead singer of a band called The Dreamers. Here's the weirdness in its full motion video glory.

The graphics may be crude by today's standards but the use of the captured faces is pretty effective, and you can see glimmers of where Quantic Dream was going in the future here. If you'd like to interact with a digital David Bowie, the game is available on GOG.com now and should work on all modern PCs.

David Bowie, RIP.

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