Back yet again, the Two Guys From Andromeda (except not, Scott Murphy overslept and was replaced by David Selle) bring us the seemingly endless adventures of Roger Wilco. Published by Sierra On-line in 1993, this game unfortunately suffered without speech until Sierra's strange experiments in selling you a game on disk, and then selling you a CD with all the voices on it. It's also the last Space Quest game I could be bothered playing, after hearing how bad Space Quest 6: The Spinal Frontier was.


Roger, apparently at a bit of a loose end after finally getting home at the end of Space Quest 4 (and changing his clothes - my friend and I used to speculate about the amount of toejam in his boots given he'd been wearing this grey and purple XOS4 uniform since Space Quest 2!) decides to enrol in the Starcon academy. His dreams of being a captain are cruelly shattered by Captain Quirk, who shuts down the bridge simulator and orders him back to class for his SAT.

Rather than revise, Roger just cheats his way through, and then as punishment for being tardy has to get all janitor-like and polish the huge crest on the floor. As he finishes scrubbing, Roger is approached by the ludicrously square-jawed Captain Quirk and a lovely blonde chickie called Ambassador Wankmeister (whom Roger recognizes as Beatrice Wankmeister, his future wife as was revealed at the end of SQ4). Upset at Bea's interest in Roger, Quirk tries to scuff the polished floor but instead falls on his ass and loses his toupee.

Meanwhile, a little space-rat creature scampers into the SAT computer and scrambles Roger's result. The paper comes up as a perfect score, and Roger is promoted directly to Captain. Sadly, Captain Quirk is in charge of assignments and Roger is made captain of a garbage scow called the SCS Eureka. His crew consist of:

  • Subcorporal Droole, his helmsman. A blobby red alien with no mouth and two thumbs (on each hand)
  • Flo, his communications officer. Sorta like Uhura, only green and with an attitude.
  • Cliffy, his chief engineer. Cigar chomping slob, who I'm told had a Scottish accent in the talkie addon. As long as it was better than Mike Myers' in Shrek...

    As Roger and his crew head off on a standard waste collection mission, Quirk and Bea are investigating claims of illegal waste dumping in Bea's home sector. Roger doesn't have time to ponder his future love, however, when an unknown life form is detected in the garbage hold. Awwww, it's a baby facehugger! Roger names it Spike, and has to feed it antacids to stop its wee burning a hole in the hull. Meanwhile, a strange transmission is intercepted by Flo. Trouble a-brewin'!

    As the Eureka arrives at the final collection point, it is ambushed by WD40, yet another robot sent by the Gippazoid novelty company to collect for the Labion Terror Beast whistle in SQ2 (I feel I have to point out that the order form said 'FREE', so the fact they've used this plot device TWICE now is a bit desperate). Roger has no choice but to beam down to the surface of the planet and battle WD40. Defeating her, he and Cliffy steal the cloaking device from her ship and take it and her remains aboard the Eureka.

    Their mission complete, the Eureka heads for the Space Bar (in sector 90210 no less) for a little R&R. Quirk shows up and challenges Roger to a game of Battlecruiser (although Derek Smart is nowhere to be seen), and Roger has to bust Cliffy out of the detention centre for starting a fight.

    Fresh orders arrive for auxiliary garbage collection, and the Eureka arrives to find no beacon, and also no response from the colony on the planet's surface. Roger and Droole beam down to investigate and find the colony abandoned and in disrepair. Roger is attacked by a hideously deformed mutant. Droole kills the mutant, and it returns to a human form. A little investigation into the colony's log reveals the truth.

    A survey team from the colony vanished, as did the search party. Sightings of strange creatures increased, and soon the colony was attacked by a group of mutants. They were unable to defend themselves, and all were mutated. All but one, who had yet to mutate and was left behind when the mutants stole the colony's shuttlecraft. Roger also discovers a strange canister of mutagen on a ridge overlooking the colony, and notes the sector number on the side.

    Arriving at the co-ordinates, Roger and the Eureka discover a sealed biodome spacestation with massive life readings. Roger beams down to investigate and is accidentally transformed into a fly (in exactly the same fashion as in The Fly, or more recently Fly vs. Fly in the Simpsons Hallowe'en Special). Roger eventually manages contact the crew and is restored to his normal state. Searching the base's records, they discover the base once housed two other domes which have been destroyed in a botched cover-up, and that the company, Genetix, manufactured the mutagen, called Primordial Soup, which they then paid Captain Quirk to dump for them when it was found to be dangerous.

    Back on the ship, Flo intercepts a distress call from Quirk's ship, the battle cruiser SCS Goliath. An unknown enemy is attacking through the shuttle bay! The Eureka rushes off to help, and arrives to find no Goliath. However, there is a distress beacon on the planet's surface. Roger investigates and finds an escape pod. As he searches the surrounding area, Bea jumps out of nowhere and attacks him. As they struggle, the slip over the edge of a cliff. Just then, a squad of mutants (aka pukoids) beams in and starts firing pus at them with SuperSoakers.

    Cliffy beams Roger and Bea to safety, but not before Bea is hit by the pus. WD40, reprogrammed to act as science officer, advises Roger to place Bea in the cryogenic chamber as the research from Genetix indicated extreme cold slowed the mutation process. With Bea on ice, Roger returns to the bridge just as Quirk and the mutated crew of the Goliath arrive and attack.

    The Eureka escapes into an asteroid belt, and Cliffy dons his spacesuit to effect some emergency repairs. Unfortunately, he falls off the side and Roger is forced to use the EVA pod to retrieve him. The Goliath has meanwhile left, heading for Starcon headquarters.

    Meanwhile, with Spike's help, Roger and Cliffy realize they can use the transporter to seperate the mutagen from Bea's body and cure her. She reveals she's disabled the Goliath's warp drive by removing their warp distributor cap. Cliffy fits WD40's cloaking device to the Eureka, and they sneak alongside, enabling Roger to board.

    After reinstalling the warp distributor cap, Roger uses crawlways to make his way to the bridge and deactivate the shield generator. He is found by the pukoids but saved by WD40. They then lure the crew into the transporter room, and use the transporter to seperate all the mutagen and beam it into space.

    Pukoid Quirk, however, has other ideas, and flies a shuttle directly into the floating mass of mutagen, creating a giant mutant blob. Roger uses the Eureka's waste retrieval system to suck up the blob, activates the autodestruct sequence, and then beams everyone aboard the Goliath for a quick escape. Everyone's happy, and Bea's finally fallen for Roger.

    This game was pretty much what Space Quest seemed to be heading for all those years, as the Star Trek jokes come thick and fast. The control system was also greatly refined.

    Some cultural references for you:

  • The two security guards in the Academy are playing Asteroids and Missile Command.
  • Elvis is walking around the Academy, and Darth Vader can be seen fighting Obi-Wan.
  • Roger says 'D'oh!' a lot!
  • The Genetix logo is a direct ripoff of the Dynamix logo (who developed the game, you may remember them from such quality stuff as Willy Beamish, Tribes 2, Mechwarrior, Heart of China, A-10 Tank Killer, Stellar 7, Red Baron, Aces of the Pacific... and yet Sierra dissolved them! Bastards!)
  • The whole sequence involving the rescue of Cliffy is straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    You might also notice all the Sprint logos everywhere. At the time of the game's release, there was a promotion going on involving Sierra and Sprint, although for the life of me I can't remember what it was. It wasn't anything special though. Also, the spacecraft in the game were all modelled in 3D studio to look extra nice.

  • Space Quest 5 (The Next Mutation) is a DOS adventure game, and the third in the series to use oil-painting style VGA graphics. The previous games produced in such a style in the Space Quest series were Space Quest 1 VGA Remake, and Space Quest 4, both of which were DOS games and shipped on disk and (full-speech) CD-ROM versions. However, Space Quest 5 shipped on disk, without speech only, rather than the Space Quest 4 distribution arrangement.

    Since Space Quest 5 was a Sierra game, it is notable for its humourous death messages aplenty. Fortunately, the situations in which you can die in the game are not excessive, unlike some previous games in the series and in other Sierra games.

    Space Quest 5 is the last game in the series I have fully completed (excluding Space Quest 1, EGA edition). I consider Space Quest 5 to be the best of the series.

    Bea and the Timeline

    Beatrice, the Ambassador, will be the mother of Roger Wilco Jr., who saves Roger Wilco's life in Space Quest 4 using an overdeveloped hairdryer with the power to open a time vortex, into which Roger escapes. At one point in SQ5, if Roger fails to rescue Beatrice, he as a result dies, since Bea is required to produce Roger Wilco Jr. who saves Roger's life and as such Roger dies since Roger Wilco Jr. never existed to save Roger's live in Space Quest 4.


    For the main part, gameplay is centered around the SCS Eureka. It consists of three rooms and a corridor:

    The player must beam down to planets on many occasions to investigate the unusual goings-on that happen along the course of gameplay.

    SCS Eureka Crew

    The bridge allows Roger Wilco, the hero, to perform a variety of orders. Droole, a red headphones-wearing alien notable for a mouth not completely unlike that of Zoidberg in Futurama, handles navigational issues. He is supposedly rather trigger happy.

    Flo, a green alien, handles communication issues. At one point in the game, the player has the option to Hail Starcon as a logical option. Forcing the player to take matters into their own hands, the player is served with a number of dialing tones and some jazz funk on-hold music. Music from the genre is also played in death messages.

    Cliffy, the engineer, refuses to wear standard StarCon uniform, and is somewhat slow in his walk. He is notable for starting a fight at the Space Bar, owing to the terming of the SCS Eureka as a garbage scow.

    • Cliffy: Cap'n, this guy called our ship a garbage scow! I couldn't sit there and let him get away with it.
    • Roger: But Cliffy, the Eureka IS a garbage scow!
    • Cliffy: Well, he doesn't have to go rubbing our noses in it.

    This is a reference to The Trouble with Tribbles (TOS) from Star Trek.

    Both Flo and Droole are somewhat cold and businesslike to Roger Wilco at first, but both warm to the apparent heroics of the captain.

    Eventually, Roger Wilco has Cliffy reprogram a WD40 droid to be the science officer of the ship. Previously, WD40 was sent for the purposes of terminating Roger for failing to pay for a "free" Labion Terror Beast Mating Call Whistle. Previously, an Arnoid terminator droid was sent to terminate Roger in Space Quest 3, but Roger made haste to dispose of the droid.

    As a result of such debt-collection attempts, Roger always reads the small print on "free" items from now on, considering that the word was printed in large letters on the order form for the whistle in Space Quest 2.

    Other SCS Eureka Operations

    Roger Wilco himself has just enough intelligence to be able to make use of the buttons mounted nearby his chair, which allow him to contact Cliffy the engineer, WD40 the science officer (if available), and activate the self destruct sequence, which involves an Astro Chicken egg timer.

    He can also head down to the Pod room, where he has the option of opening the (one-door) airlock and sucking himself into space (which is, apparently, how the last captain died. Guess those StarCon aptitude tests aren't so effective.)

    The intercom system of the Pod room is non-functional, accordingly due to Cliffy's rigging up of a voice activated toilet flush. However, when the crew tired only so much of having to shout Bombs away, the voice-activation system was rigged up to the teleporter instead. Other options involve using the EVA Pod to leave the ship, something which is necessary twice in the game, one occasion on which the puzzle involved is sadly vulnerable to the timing issues of modern computers with DOS games.

    Patrick Stewart

    Patrick Stewart, who played Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, apparently played the mutant colony leader in Space Quest 5. It is, therefore, supposed that many of the character sprites were composed by pixelising/painting over filmed actors, aka rotoscope.

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