DarkTek Soucebook (1991)

The DarkTek Soucebook (1991) is the Street Samurai Catalog/Chrome Book of Dark Conspiracy, a collection of weapons, vehicles, robots and other tech for use in the game.

Because Dark Conspiracy uses the Twilight 2000 system, the hardware source books for all three are interchangeable. Because of that, there is plenty of conventional hardware already available for DC, so the focus here is on getting weird. DarkTek does this in three ways: showcasing high technology developed by humans, futuristic technology developed by untainted aliens and horrific biotechnology developed by the Dark Ones.

I love this sort of book because they tell you a lot about not just the setting, but the thought that went into the setting (in this case, we get that not only through the items, but a number of color spreads that show various technologies in action). DarkTek is weird and disjointed in a way that matches up with my overall impression of Dark Conspiracy while also feel just…totally improbable. I kinda love it. There is so much stupid tech in here, exemplified, I think, by that heads-up eye piece. Cell phones and their corollaries are always fun to look at – DC has flip phones with two foot antennas, which is a beautiful absurdity.

The actual darktek is my favorite – totally gross, very squishy, often Giger-esque. In this, Dark Conspiracy was a bit ahead of the curve, taking a fusion of body horror and technology probably first seen in Videodrome and pushing them forward, anticipating a bio-aesthetic that wouldn’t start showing up on movie screens until later in the 90s (lots of stuff in here looks like it could be in Event Horizon or Existenz or even The Matrix). That’s kind of neat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *