David Bowie’s Strangest Performance Was in a 1999 Dystopian Dreamcast Game

Bowie was fascinated by technology and the end of the world.

David Bowie was always fascinated by two things: technology and the end of the world as we know it.

It makes sense, then, that in 1999, Bowie contributed music to a dystopian sci-fi fantasy RPG for the ill-fated Sega Dreamcast called Omikron: The Nomad's Soul. In it, the protagonist wanders through an alternate cyberpunk universe controlled by a repressive, 1984-like government.

Bowie himself makes several appearances in the game, most notably as Boz, an anti-government revolutionary later revealed to be (spoiler alert) a computer program. It was a natural role for Bowie, who was long obsessed with dystopian ideas and technology. In an interview with Gamecenter, he said, "I saw in Omikron a place I could understand, come to terms with."

Bowie also appears in the game as the lead singer of The Dreamers, a rebel band—literally—that plays illegal concerts in the world of Omikron.

The songs are amped-up versions of tracks that would later appear on his 1999 album Hours…, and to be honest, I actually prefer some of the Omikron cuts; notably, the track "New Angels of Promise" gains a bit of welcome stomp and bluster in the game version.

The imagery of a polygonal Bowie gyrating in a loincloth in a dark cyberpunk club helps to elevate the music, too.