Sunday, 31 May 2015

Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers (1991)

Here is a game for which I have a lot of fondness for, a classic Sierra adventure game and one of my all-time favourites. It's a wonderful blend of comedy and science-fiction, as well as being a tale of an otherwise unremarkable person achieving great things against all the odds. Having an ordinary working slob as a hero is continued in space-comedies such as Red Dwarf and Futurama, of which I'm also a big fan!

Roger Wilco is a hero that is very easy to relate to, he's just an ordinary man who finds himself in extraordinary situations. He begins the first game as a janitor, but at the start of this game he has managed to foil Sludge Vohauls plan to destroy Xenon, escape the clutches of Sludge Vohaul's revenge, help the Two Guys from Andromeda and salvage a half-decent space-worthy ship. Now he finds himself at a seedy bar, taking a rest on his way back home, and regaling the locals with tales of his impressive feats.

This relaxation is short-lived though, as Roger is approached by two stern-looking cyborgs with rather large rifles. Escorting him outside, they reveal they are working for Sludge Vohaul who is somehow both still alive and rather angry! Thankfully our hero is saved by the efforts of two strange men, who open a rift in time and space for Roger to jump into. With no time for a proper explanation, Roger has nothing else to do but jump, but where will this strange portal lead?

It seems a dystopian nightmare is the answer, and a quick look up at the status bar reveals it to be Space Quest XII! Xenon, Roger's home planet, looks to be in a rather sorry state. Why were we sent here? What should we do? How do I stop Sludge Vohaul, once and for all?

Time travel certainly looks trippy
 Well to begin we have to find a way off this desolate street, and away from the roaming zombies and murder-bots. The poor former citizens of Xenon now roam the streets searching for survivors, before screaming and alerting their robotic masters. There's also a Duracell bunny here, for reasons best left to history.
Space Quest XII? What happened?
This entire area can be returned to later, so we'll ignore the bunny, the rope, the suspiciously similar to Star Wars speeder with pocketpal terminal, and the unexploded ordinance until they're more relevant. To the north, there's a loose sewer grate which allows us to drop into a hidden room, so we'll do that instead.

Basil Exposition tells us about their doomed supercomputer project
This hidden room (beneath a sewer grate, for some reason), contains a glass jar, which we take, and a button to give us the general gist of the story. Turns out the citizens of Xenon built a huge supercomputer, and then infected it with a virus thanks to a dodgy copy of Leisure Suit Larry 4. As with most supercomputers, it then turned on its creators and tried to kill them all. Well, it's no time to cry over spilled milk, so lets just ignore the deaths of millions and try to move on. The door leads to the sewer proper, which is infested with some sort of living acidic ooze. Needless to say, we take a sample of this ooze for future use in our handy glass jar - because the best place for a fragile glass jar full of deadly acidic ooze is in our pocket.

The journey through the sewer is a brief one, as we exit on the far side of the street. Bit of a waste, but we do notice some sort of aircraft land and some of those laser-wielding sequel police marching out. Thinking quickly, or at least as quickly as Roger does, we move towards the aircraft and hide in the landing gear just in time for it to take off to the mysterious tower in the distance.

For some reason they're searching for me in all my previous adventures!
It turns out the tower is the headquarters for the sequel police, and they have some rather fancy looking time-travel pods. Why not go for a little joyride through time and space? It's not like I've got anything better to do. I take note of the starting coordinates, then punch a few random codes in until I get somewhere, and that somewhere is Space Quest X!

Typing random codes gets you here, I think always the second one you try.

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