Completing the first trilogy
of what are considered by fans to be the classic Space Quest
games, Space Quest 3
was published in 1989
by Sierra Online
, and was again written by The Two Guys from Andromeda
. Sierra's new SCI
engine was used for the game, which allowed higher resolution EGA
graphics, as well as sound card
Last time Roger Wilco was seen, he had just climbed into the sleep chamber in the escape pod after destroying Vohaul's asteroid fortress. It has been some time now, and the spent pod is drifting aimlessly through the stars. It is detected by a robot-operated garbage freighter. Having no regard for life, they bring the pod aboard and dump it with the rest of the scrap. The violent shuddering, however, causes the sleep chamber to deactivate, and Roger awakens.
Exploring the colourful scenery of wrecked robots and spacecraft, Roger eventually locates a way out in the form of the Aluminum Mallard, a small three-seater ship. Scavenging among the debris, he eventually locates a power supply and other neccessary parts to get the ship in working order, and then uses its weapons to blast his way out.
Penniless, he heads for the nearest planet, Phleebut. On his trail, however, is Arnoid the Annihilator, sent by the Gippazoid Novelty Company to collect payment for the Labion Terror Beast whistle Roger got in Space Quest 2.
On Phleebut, Roger comes across World o' Wonders, a tourist trap in the middle of nowhere (really, the planet is otherwise uninhabited) and makes a tidy sum of money selling the glowing gem from Space Quest 2 to the proprietor, Fester Blatz. Grabbing other choice items, Roger emerges from World o' Wonders to be captured by Arnoid, who decides to let Roger have a sporting chance to escape.
Roger manages to destroy Arnoid (NB: There were two ways of doing this, the first was to knock Arnoid into the gears of the giant Mog robot at World O' Wonders. The second was to lure him under the pulsating pods in the cave a screen left of your parked ship... this second method got you more points) and heads for the nearby Monolith Burger a few sectors away.
Ignoring the lure of such delicacies as the Big Belcher Combo and the Filet-o-Orat, Roger orders a Fun Meal and gets a decoder ring as a prize. While playing on the restaurant's Astro Chicken machine, he sees a coded message. Decoding it with the ring, he finally discovers the purpose behind the game. The Two Guys from Andromeda are real, and have been captured by tenth-rate software developers ScumSoft and forced to develop inane games (like Oni and Smuggler's Run, presumably).
Being the heroic type, Roger jets off to the volcanic planet Ortega in search of clues, and discovers a massive forcefield generator being guarded by Scumsoft soldiers. The beam from the generator is being projected around a small nearby moon, which Roger realizes is Pestulon, home of ScumSoft. Taking some thermal detonators from a Scumsoft depot, Roger destroys the generator, and makes a very narrow escape as the explosion destabilizes the surrounding ground.
Landing on Pestulon, Roger soon locates the Scumsoft installation and, using the invisibility belt he got from the destroyed Arnoid, sneaks in. Grabbing a pair of coveralls, Roger infiltrates the office of company owner Elmo Pug. Using Elmo's keycard and a photocopying picture, he gains entry to where the Two Guys are being held (encased in huge blocks of lime jell-o).
Unfortunately, Elmo gets wind of this and captures them. Held at Jello-gunpoint, Roger is forced to climb into a giant robot and battle Elmo. Defeated, Elmo's robot falls through the wall, providing a handy exit for Roger and the Two Guys to run to the hangar and escape in the impounded Aluminum Mallard.
Soon the ScumSoft baddies are hot on Roger's tail, and a huge space battle ensues where Roger successfully destroys wave after wave of enemy fighters (well, four of them). They're still not out of the woods, however, because ScumSoft disabled the light-speed drive. Just as Roger and the Two Guys are about to give up hope ("Now I'll never get any food! Some rescuer you are!" cries one), one of the Guys spots the access panel and fixes the drive.
Without a course laid in, the lightspeed drive kicks in and flies the ship into a black hole. Roger and the Two Guys emerge in our solar system and land on Earth, right outside Sierra's offices. Sierra's then president, Ken Williams, comes out and offers the Two Guys a job. He doesn't need a janitor, though, and so Roger, dejected, climbs back in the ship and blasts off for home.
This was without a doubt my favourite Space Quest game. I played it alongside my friend, and even my mother got in on the act (in fact, we both laughed ourselves silly during the excellent ending sequence). The game was very refined, with a cinematic presentation and stunning soundtrack (performed, fact fans, by one of the guys from Supertramp). You also had great freedom to fly your ship wherever you liked.
Some of those movie references, then:The shield generator bit is straight out of Return of the Jedi.
Arnoid is obviously Arnold Schwarzenegger, right down to when we first meet him in a parody of the first Terminator movie's poster where 'CSM-101' is reflect on his sunglasses.
The Skull Fighters are heavily X-Wing influenced.
The Jupiter 2 from Lost in Space is lying inside the junk freighter.
Aluminum Mallard - Millenium Falcon... geddit?
Monolith Burger is a McDonalds ripoff, featuring a huge yellow M on top of the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The original USS Enterprise undocks from the Monolith Burger when you first arrive.
The game featured several excellent mini-games, namely Astro Chicken, the robot battle (Nuke 'em, Duke 'em Robots), and the Skull Fighter battle. Also, whenever you died you've be given a picture of what your corpse looked like. Lovely. And it had a scorpion in it.