The first and most infamous
of the fan-made adventures of Roger Wilco
, The Lost Chapter
is a little side story, or gaiden
taking place between Space Quest 2: Vohaul's Revenge
and Space Quest 3: The Pirates Of Pestulon
. Written by the engimatic Vonster D. Monster
, it is surprisingly large, complex, difficult adventure.
Roger ended Space Quest 2 by jetting out of Sludge Vohaul's burning asteroid fortress in an escape pod. Dwindling oxygen forced him into the hibernation chamber. As the pod drifted, it was hit by the shockwave from a weapons test and sent crashing down to the surface of a nearby jungle planet.
Automatically revived by the impact, Roger finds himself stranded, and sets about exploring the environment. Meanwhile, the starship performing the weapons test has monitored Roger's pod crashing and has entered orbit over the planet.
The aliens aboard the mysterious starship, the Vercotron are interdimensional beings developing a temporal distortion bomb, and don't need Roger around lousing it up. Roger, meanwhile, has stumbled across several spaceship wrecks, and while investigation the largest discovers a mysterious underground lab inhabited by hostile aliens. Dedicated exploration and the careful theft of a minisub leads Roger to a huge, highly advanced underwater city.
Stealing a disguise from an alien museum, Roger teleports aboard the Vercotron and discovers several sinister experiments in progress involving time travel. This cannot be allowed to pass, so Roger sets to work foiling the aliens' plans. Having irrevocably spoiled experiments, Roger is captured and is sent to spend the rest of his life in captivity.
However, the ship's computer reveals Roger has a very important future ahead of him, and to remove him now would severely damage the course of history. The aliens have no choice but to erase Roger's memory of these events, repair his pod, place him inside, and send him on his way to Space Quest 3.
The Lost Chapter is very different from the other Space Quest games in that it's set in a universe far removed from the other games. There's almost no opportunity for sci-fi parody and Vonster's wit takes a little getting used to. So, instead of giving you the usual fun facts I usually offer at the end of my SQ nodes, I've prepared a mini-review for you to enjoy.
This is without a doubt the hardest adventure game I've ever played. When you enter the jungle planet, you are given no indication as to where you should be going or what you should be doing. Some of the puzzles are extremely hard, and others extremely obscure. Items are completely hidden from view in some cases.
If you thought the root monster in Space Quest 2, or the Sequel Police in Space Quest 4 were hard, you will suffer a heart attack from the giant squid puzzle in this game. Neogotiating a one-pixel wide path with instant death and your character hidden from view? No thank you!
Vonster de Monster spent a lot of time on the graphics, and Roger is much better defined and animated than he ever was. Unfortunately, there are also far too many empty screens serving as padding, and too many areas where you are fatally attacked upon entering. This is truly a game for hardened adventurers, and even then you're bound to get stuck.
Almost realizing this, Vonster has programmed in a help system where you can ask about the puzzles and objects in the game, and be told if you have everything you need to solve the puzzle. You are not likely to stumble across it (it's ironic this function is as obscure as most of the puzzles), so to save you tearing your hair out: TALK to the crashed blue ship.
The story ties up a few loose ends, like why Roger sometimes had blond hair, what happened to all the inventory he had at the end of Space Quest 2 but didn't have in Space Quest 3, and other interesting stuff.