Sunday, 31 May 2015

Space Quest IV: Part 2: Babes, Burger Time and Back to the Future

Last time, on Space Quest IV...

So we've arrived in the past. Well, it's the future to Roger, but the past compared to where we were and oh no I've gone cross-eyed. Best not to worry about that too much and instead lets just get on with the game. We've arrived on a desolate looking planet, but thankfully it seems free of both cyborgs and other futuristic dangers so lets go and take a look around.

A brief wander leads to us meeting some local wildlife, and this avian fellow has brought us home, presumably to meet the family. How nice. The other guest, a Sequel Policeman (officer?), fared less well and has been impaled on a stray branch. A quick search of the dead (?) police officer gets us a piece of paper with some gum in it. These cyborgs don't seem to have the capacity to chew gum, so where did he get this from? Either way, it contains half a time code so we'll keep it next to that dangerous ooze for later.

There's a hole in the nest, so obviously we decide to fall to our deaths. Alas, our fall is broken by one of the deep watery pools on this planet and we survive yet again, only to be greeted by a bunch of swimsuit wearing women with spear guns. A rather attractive blonde woman claims I'm her ex, and that I ran out on her! This time though, I won't escape and I'm forced into the submarine and back to their underwater base.

It seems I've made them rather angry, which is understandable because Roger isn't exactly the most suave or dependable bloke in the galaxy, but I think torture is a bit uncalled for. But before they can "shave my legs clean off", we're interrupted by a huge sea monster. Phew! Roger's quick wits here get him out of a jam, and using his knowledge of Jaws he remembers that sea creatures don't like to get a mouth full of pressurised gas, so he throws an oxygen canister down the sea slug's throat. Once again, Roger is a hero and as a reward we're treated to a trip to the mall! Um, thanks?

The space-mall is a temple to futuristic capitalism, so not much has changed. There's a rather limited selection of shops, but enough that I can replace my trousers and find myself a job at the local Monolith Burger. This involves a classic Space Quest tradition, the arcade sequence. The burgers arrive on a conveyor belt, and require a selection of toppings to finish them off before they can go to a lucky customer.

Crisp lettuce, sour pickle, creamy mayo, spicy mustard and sweet ketchup topped by a soft bun. Easy, especially with the speed setting turned all the way to the lowest setting, but as you complete each burger the conveyor belt speeds up (as does the music), and you only get paid a buckazoid for fully complete burgers. Three bad burgers, and you're kicked out of the door, but by that point I've got an extra $94 in my pocket and I can search the rest of the mall (and pick up the half-smoked, half-chewed old cigar that was thrown at my head my my former employer).

Next I decide to poke around in a computer software shop, and although I'm told that all the good stock has gone, the bargain bin turns up a Space Quest IV hintbook which is surely the best 5 buckazoids you're ever likely to spend. The information doesn't quite tally with my experience so far, but I guess I've been in SQXII and SQX so it's not exactly relevant. It does have half a time code though, which hopefully pairs with the gum wrapper.

A trip to the arcade next, and after a score of 238 on Ms. Astro Chicken, I find the Sequel Police have tracked me down. Time to do a runner! I leave before they can shoot me, and try to give them the slip through the Skate-O-Rama anti-gravity rink. It's an awkward task, as they chase me through the mall but eventually I find my way back to their time pod and steal it. I pop the two halves of code into the keypad, and make my way to Ulence Flats - back in Space Quest I!

It seems I've arrived not long after the old me had left (back when I had brown hair), and looking around reveals there's still not much to do here. Before leaving, I check out the bar and find myself thrown out by three monochrome bikers. Time to teach those bullies a lesson, the Roger Wilco way, by kicking over their bikes and then running and hiding. After I'd lost them, I headed back to the bar and picked up a matchbook left on the counter. I avoided the barman, knowing he was still annoyed that I'd broken his fruit machine, and made my way back to the time pod.

One of the monochrome biker bullies tried to run me down, but I easily dodged him (on the second attempt, anyway), and climbed back into the time machine. The only place left to go was back to Space Quest XII, and to try and finally stop Vohaul. At this point I should really have made the most of the mall, by accessing my ex-girlfriends bank account from the ATM card she dropped, but alas when the Sequel Police arrived the appropriate stores I needed to visit closed and never re-opened (a bug, but thankfully not one that will impede my progress, merely prevent me from gaining maximum points).

Arriving in Space Quest XII again, the police dispatch is quiet, and the music tense. This will be the end-game...

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