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Space Quest, featuring Roger Wilco

Space Quest is a series of six comedic science fiction computer games that follow the adventures of a hapless janitor named Roger Wilco, as he campaigns through the galaxy for "truth, justice and really clean floors".

Initially created for Sierra On-Line by Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy (who called themselves the "Two Guys from Andromeda"), the games parodied both science fiction properties such as Star Wars and Star Trek, as well as pop-culture phenomena from McDonald's to Microsoft. The series featured a silly sense of humor heavily reliant on puns and wacky storylines. Roger Wilco, a perpetual loser, is often depicted as the underdog who repeatedly saves the universe (often by accident) - only to be either ignored or punished for violating minor regulations in the process.

Contents

Origin of the series

Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe, who had already worked together on the Sierra game The Black Cauldron, wanted to create a funny science fiction adventure game. They also wanted it to star a janitor (a choice possibly inspired by the mop-wielding main character from Infocom's humorous sci-fi text adventure Planetfall[citation needed]).

Scott Murphy comments that "Sierra was in a mindset where everything was medieval and it was all fairly serious. I wanted to do a game that was more fun. We even liked the idea of 'fun death'! I mean, if the player is gonna die or fail, they should at least get a laugh out of it. So we came up with the idea of making death amusing. Let's face it, most adventure games involve a good deal of frustration for the player. But we felt that if we made failure fun, to an extent, you might have players actually going back and looking for new ways to die, just to see what happens!"

Mark Crowe notes, "We wanted to do two things for the player. One, we wanted him to feel as if he were in a movie, where he could just sort of kick back and enjoy the scenery. We also wanted the player to feel as if he really was the character on the screen."

Although skeptical, Ken Williams gave the idea a shot. Scott and Mark created a short demo, which ended up becoming the first four rooms of Space Quest I, at which point Ken gave the project a green-light.

Both Space Quests I and II were developed in Adventure Game Interpreter, Sierra's own programming language. Space Quest III was written in Sierra Creative Interpreter (SCI), which had 3-D capabilities. Space Quest IV marked an evolution in terms of graphics by increasing the number of colors from 16 to 256 colors.[1]

Games

Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter

Roger Wilco escaping the Arcada

The original Space Quest game was released in October 1986 and quickly became a hit, selling in excess of 100,000 copies (sales are believed to be around 200,000 to date, not including the many compilations it has been included in). It was remade and re-released in 1991 as "Space Quest I: Roger Wilco in the Sarien Encounter".

Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge

Released in 1987; Roger, with his newfound status of Hero, is transferred to the Xenon Orbital Station 4 and promoted to head (and only) janitor. All is quiet until he is abducted by Sludge Vohaul, who was behind the original Sarien attack of the Arcada. As Roger is being transported to the Labion labour mines as punishment for thwarting Sludge's original plan, the prison ship crash-lands in a nearby jungle upon the planet. Our hero manages to escape his pursuers and the dangers of the Labion jungle and soon reaches Sludge's asteroid base. Once again, it's up to Roger alone to stop Vohaul's evil plan: to eradicate sentient life from Xenon by launching millions of cloned insurance salesmen at the planet.

Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon

Released in 1989; Roger's escape pod from the end of SQII is captured by an automated garbage freighter. He escapes the robot-controlled scow by repairing an old ship, the Aluminum Mallard (a play on Howard Hughes' "Spruce Goose" and Star Wars' Millennium Falcon). He eventually discovers the sinister activities of a video game company known as ScumSoft run by the "Pirates of Pestulon".

Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers

Released in 1991; in this installment, Roger embarks on a wacky time-travel adventure through Space Quest games both past and future. A reborn Sludge Vohaul from Space Quest XII chases Roger through time in an attempt to finally kill him. Roger also visits Space Quest X: Latex Babes of Estros (whose title is a parody of Infocom's game Leather Goddesses of Phobos) and Space Quest I; in the latter, the graphics and music revert to the style of the original game and Roger is threatened by a group of monochromatic bikers who consider Roger's 256 colors pretentious.

Space Quest V: The Next Mutation

Released in 1993; in Space Quest V, Roger is now a cadet in the StarCon academy. He graduates (or rather, cheats through the final exam) and is appointed captain of his own spacecraft (actually a space garbage scow). The main plot is to stop a mutagenic disease that is spreading through the galaxy by discovering its source, and fighting everyone that got infected. In the end, the disease infected the crew members of the SCS Goliath, a powerful warship, whose commander, Raemes T. Quirk (a rather blatant spoof of Captain Kirk, as portrayed by William Shatner), subsequently attacks the Eureka. In the end, Roger sacrifices his ship to get rid of the plague - and suddenly, if temporarily, becomes the commander of the fleet's flagship.

Roger's cheating is, along with Raemes T. Quirk, an homage to William Shatner's Star Trek character, who famously cheated on his own Starfleet exam by reprogramming a "no-win" scenario so that he could successfully complete it. In a typical twist of luck, however, Roger's exam scores are achieved by accident.

Space Quest 6: The Spinal Frontier

Released in 1995, this game was the last to be released in the Space Quest series. Having defeated the diabolical pukoid mutants in Space Quest V, Captain Roger Wilco triumphantly returns to StarCon headquarters - only to be court-martialed due to breaking StarCon regulations while saving the galaxy. He's busted down to Janitor Second Class, and assigned to the SCS DeepShip 86 (a parody of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), commanded by Commander Kielbasa, a Cowardly Lion look-alike whose name is taken from the polish sausage as well as being a play on the names of both the feline Kilrathi from the computer game series Wing Commander and of the character Mufasa from the animated motion picture The Lion King. His voice is a parody of Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. The main villain in the game is a wrinkly old lady named Sharpei, a pun on the dog Shar Pei, a wrinkly dog.

The game's subtitle comes from the final portion, in which Roger has to undergo miniaturization and enter the body of a shipmate and romantic interest. (This segment also provided the game's original subtitle, Where in Corpsman Santiago is Roger Wilco?, which was not used due to legal threats from the makers of the Carmen Sandiego products.)

"Future" sequels

In Space Quest IV, Roger travels into both the past and future of the game's timeline. Interestingly, even in-game characters are conscious of living in a computer game, and refer to eras with sequel numbers, not temporal units (such as years), even though specific years are named elsewhere in the Space Quest canon. Portions of the game took place in the time frames of the following "sequels":

These games were never actually created, and only exist within the plot of Space Quest IV. In August 2009 one fan from Russia created the demo version of his fan-game: Space Quest XII: Vohaul's Revenge II.[2]

Planned games

Space Quest VII: Return to Roman Numerals

Sierra has tried on several occasions to revive the series for another episode, with a working subtitle of "the Return to Roman Numerals", since the previous game was titled Space Quest 6, not Space Quest VI.

Development of Space Quest VII was underway in 1996 when Sierra released The Space Quest Collection, which consisted of Space Quest I through 6 and included a brief trailer of Space Quest VII (consisting of Roger strapping a giant rocket to his back and using it to push himself forward on roller skates). Little was released regarding story line, interface, et cetera, although there was speculation that the game would introduce a multiplayer aspect. Scott Murphy said during development that Space Quest VII would contain some 3D elements, but would not require the use of a 3D accelerator card. Due to poor sales of Grim Fandango, a high-profile adventure game by LucasArts, there was a perception that humorous adventure games were no longer viable, so when Vivendi Games took over Sierra, Space Quest VII was canceled.

This project was eventually restarted in 1999, and pitched to management, but ultimately did not have enough support to continue within the company. Few details are known about the SQ7 relaunch, save that there was one very ardent supporter, who later left Vivendi.[1]

Space Quest

Another Space Quest begun development by Escape Factory for the Microsoft Xbox video game console in 2002, entitled simply Space Quest.

This attempt at creating a new Space Quest was announced on February 7, 2002. Development proceeded for almost a year and a half before the project was cancelled. According to Space Quest 6 designer Josh Mandel, the SQVII designers were forbidden from using story elements from the original Space Quest games or from even playing the games. This is disputable, since other sources claimed the developers had played the games before. Website FYI.com, also claimed that this "gutted" SQVII would not have been an adventure game at all and would have been released only on game console platforms such as the Xbox rather than the PC. Since then the Vivendi's Product Manager Bruce Goodwill, has confirmed that the title was going to be released only on console platforms.

The game was planned as a departure from the main Space Quest series, rumors it starred a new character named "Wilger", although Roger Wilco was playable (as seen in a production video). Though it would have maintained a comedic theme in space, no plan was made to connect it to the original series. It was cancelled around 2003.

More information can be found at Space Quest (Escape Factory) on the Space Quest Omnipedia, Space Quest 7 and Escape Factory articles on SpaceQuest.net and gameplay, design notes, and screenshots at Brett3d.com

Collections

The new box art for the Fall 2006 release
  • The Space Quest Saga (1993) – This collection contained games I (VGA remake), II, III and IV (floppy disk version).
  • The Space Quest 15th Anniversery Collector's Edition (1994) – Released for Sierra's 15th anniversary, this contained games I-V & Roger Wilco's Spaced Out Game Pack, plus a video featuring the Two Guys from Andromeda and a complete history of the game series. It also contained a few foreign language editions of some of the games.
  • Roger Wilco Unclogged (1995) – All the above, plus a humorous "Inside Space Quest" video, but without the Two Guys video
  • Space Quest Collection Series (1996) – All six games, plus a preview of episode VII.*
  • Space Quest Collection (Fall 2006) – Released by Vivendi Universal Games and contains all six games (only the VGA remake of SQ1).

*It should be noted that the Space Quest Collection Series has experienced a few bugs when run on modern computers. A certain test during installation will result in a runtime error, after which the game cannot be run until the computer is rebooted. Also, many have reported that the games run faster than usual, rendering some puzzles notably harder.

Fall 2006 releases

Vivendi Universal has re-released the Space Quest Collection (originally named Space Quest Compilation) that is compatible with Windows XP. The collection was released September 15, 2006.[3]

The Space Quest games were made compatible by the licensing of DOSBox, a free program that allows users to play old DOS games on Windows XP.

Steam release

Valve's digital distribution platform re-released the Space Quest Collection on July 23, 2009. Priced at $19.99, the download clocks in at 800 megabytes and is XP/Vista compatible. It is so far unavailable in Australia and New Zealand, for reasons yet to be specified by series copyright holder Activision.

GameTap games-on-demand

Space Quest 1-5 is available on GameTap's games-on-demand subscription service. The service costs $9.99/month or $79.95/year, and has hundreds of games.

Books and Comics

Two strategy guides were released that contained novelizations of the first five games from Roger Wilco's perspective.

The first of these included The Space Quest Companion by Peter and Jeremy Spear. The book is similar to Peter Spear's The King's Quest Companion and The Official Uncensored Leisure Suit Larry Bedside Companion. The first edition covered the first four games, and the second added the fifth game. It was written from the perspective of Roger Wilco sending journals on disks back into the past, so that his adventures could be made into computer games so that his great grand parents (x-times removed) would have a chance to meet each other and fall in love through their mutual love of the games. Thus by inspiring the game designers to create the games, he insured his own future existence. Each story began with Roger's daydreams and his fantasies of marrying Cornucopia Agricorp and later Beatrice Wankmeister.

The other was The Official Guide To Roger Wilco's Space Adventures by Jill Champion. It is similar to her The Official Book of Police Quest. It came in two editions as well. The book contains two interviews with Roger Wilco (one just after events of SQ4, and the other after SQV). The novels themselves are written as Roger's running monologues during his aventures.

Adventure Comics (a division of Malibu Comics) released three issues in 1992 of a comic based on Space Quest I under the name The Adventures of Roger Wilco. The first was written by John Shaw and was in full colour. The other two were written by Paul O'Connor and were black and white. The print run was very small and the books are very hard to find now.

Fan-made games

The series has remained popular with Sierra fans, and several fan pages are still active and maintain a community dedicated to the games. There have been several attempts to create a Space Quest fan game, such as the SQ7.org project, and two fan games using era-specific graphics have been released.

Finished games

Unfinished games

Games influenced by Space Quest

See also

References

  • The History of Space Quest, included with the Space Quest Collection Series.
  • SpaceQuest.Net by Frans van Hofwegen
  • "The Official Space Quest FAQ" by Troels Pleimert.

Notes

  1. ^ Champion, Jill; Leinecker, Richard C. (1991). The Official Guide to Roger Wilco Space Adventures. Compute Books. ISBN 0874552370. 
  2. ^ Space Quest XII official English site
  3. ^ More info can be found at Sierra's Space Quest Collection

External links


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter article)

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter
Box artwork for Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter.
Developer(s) Sierra On-Line
Publisher(s) Sierra On-Line
Designer(s) Scott Murphy, Mark Crowe
Engine AGI
Release date(s)
Apple II, Atari ST
MS-DOS
Commodore Amiga
Genre(s) Adventure
System(s) Amiga, Apple II, Atari ST, MS-DOS, GameTap
Players 1
Media
MS-DOS
3.5" Floppy Disk, 5.25" Floppy Disk
Apple II
5.25" Floppy Disk
Commodore Amiga
3.5" Floppy Disk
System requirements (help)
MS-DOS
8088/8086 CPU, DOS 1.0, 256KB RAM
Apple II
Apple IIe, 128KB RAM
Atari ST
520 ST, 512KB RAM
Commodore Amiga
Amiga 1000, Kickstart 1.2, 512KB RAM
Input Keyboard
Followed by Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge
Series Space Quest
This is the first game in the Space Quest series. For other games in the series see the Space Quest category.

Space Quest, or more formally Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter, is a video game released in October of 1986, which quickly became a hit, selling in excess of 100,000 copies (sales are believed to be around 200,000 to date, not including the many compilations it has been included in).

Space Quest was eventually remade using Sierra's newer SCI language, which allowed the game to upgrade from its original EGA graphics to VGA. This version was released on August 20, 1991; in addition to the new VGA graphics, which are drawn in 50's B-movie style, it now features digitized sounds. The game's interface was also changed, with text-entry being replaced by a standard icon interface which would be used by many SCI games. Curiously, the VGA remake features the taste and smell icons, which are rarely used during gameplay and are only featured in one Sierra game after Space Quest, namely Space Quest IV, where they were as rarely used.

The game was programmed using Sierra's AGI engine and features a pseudo-3D environment, allowing the character to move in front of and behind background objects. The primary means of input in Space Quest, as in many other AGI games, is through the use of a text parser for entering commands and use of the keypad or arrow keys for moving Roger Wilco around the screen. The Amiga, Apple IIGS, Atari ST and Mac versions of the game offer basic mouse support for movement as well. The game had a 160×200 resolution displaying 16 colours. Sound cards were not available in 1986, so sound is played through the PC's internal speaker; owners of Tandy 1000, PCjr and Amiga computers will hear a three-voice soundtrack, while Apple IIGS owners are treated to a fifteen-voice soundtrack with notably richer sound.

A precursor of this game is the interactive fiction game Planetfall, created by Infocom, whose player-character is a lowly "Ensign Seventh Class", who does the lowest form of labor aboard a spaceship and who appears on the cover with a mop. Just as King's Quest adapted the text-adventure puzzle games set in a medieval world to a visual display, Space Quest did the same for the space puzzle game.

Table of Contents

Getting Started
  • Controls
Walkthrough
  1. Arcada
  2. Kerona
  3. Deltaur
Appendices
  • Command Line Walkthrough
  • Items
  • Points
  • Deaths

Credits

  • Design: Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe
  • Programming: Scott Murphy
  • Graphics: Mark Crowe
  • Game Development System: Jeff Stephenson, Chris Iden, Robert E. Heitman

Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Space Quest is a series of six computer games that follow the adventures of a hapless janitor named Roger Wilco, as he campaigns through the galaxy for truth, justice and really clean floors.

Initially created for Sierra On-Line by Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy (who called themselves the Two Guys from Andromeda), the games parodied both science fiction properties such as Star Wars and Star Trek, as well as pop-culture phenomena from McDonald's to Microsoft. The series featured a silly sense of humor heavily reliant on puns and wacky storylines. Roger Wilco's perpetual loser was a popular underdog who repeatedly saved the universe only to be either ignored or punished for violating minor regulations in the process.

One of many deaths in Space Quest II

A trademark of Sierra adventure games was the possibility of death around every corner, accompanied by the familiar 'Restore, Restart, Quit?' message box, and the Space Quest series was no exception. Though frustrating if you hadn't saved recently, the deaths were always humourous, and in later games the option was added to 'Try Again', placing you back at the point before you died, making the game much more playable.


Sadly, there has not been a new Space Quest game for over a decade, much to the dismay of the many fans of the series. There have been multiple aborted attempts to follow up the franchise, but all have been cancelled soon after being announced, with little to no information released.

Space Quest games

  • Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter (1986/1991)
  • Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge (1987)
  • Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon (1989)
  • Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers (1991)
  • Space Quest V: The Next Mutation (1993)
  • Space Quest VI: The Spinal Frontier (1995)

Sources


Space Quest Series
Games
Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter | Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge | Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon | Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers | Space Quest V: The Next Mutation | Space Quest VI: The Spinal Frontier
Characters:
Roger Wilco

This article uses material from the "Space Quest" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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