Written by  :  *Katakis* (38325)
Written on  :  Dec 28, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
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You're in deep plasma this time, Roger Wilco!

The Good

Space Quest 6: Roger Wilco in the Spinal Frontier is the sixth and final game made by Sierra, and made solo by the other guy from Andromeda, Scott Murphy, and he did a good job at making the game pretty colorful. But in case you have forgotten about the previous five games, let me refresh your memory. In Space Quest I (EGA & VGA), Roger sabotaged the Sarien's plans to use the stolen Star Generator to blow up the universe, and set it to self-destruct on-board their ship; In Space Quest 2, Roger defeated his arch-nemesis Vohaul, along with his plans to infest Xenon with genetically-engineered life insurance salesman; In Space Quest 3, he released two guys held captive on Pestulon, home of the evil pirate company ScumSoft, and the guys he rescued just happened to be "The Two Guys from Andromeda"; In Space Quest 4, Roger time-warps all over the place going between past, present, and future, and ends up defeating Vohaul again; Finally, in Space Quest 5, Roger and his crew of the SCS Eureka stopped mutation from spreading, causing normal human beings to turn into Pukoids.

Now, we find Roger standing before a tribunal just for committing a number of heinous crimes against StarCon in his previous adventure. As a result, he is demoted from Starship Captain to Janitor Second Class, and left to continue his duties on-board the SCS DeepShip 86. However, there is some good news. Apparently, as a result of the performance of the entire crew during a play, Kielbasa, the DeepShip's commander, offers the entire crew a little shore leave on the populated planet of Polysorbate LX. This is where Roger's adventure gets a bit interesting. Once he gets himself up on his feet after an error with the transporter, he is eventually asked to track down an endrodroid, and play a game with someone and win to get a heap of buckazoids by means of cheating. However, Roger's shore leave ends abruptly when he gets kidnapped by two goons, who are asked by someone called Sharpei to kill him. Sharpei is the witch who doesn't want to die, destroying lives in order to save her own.

Unlike previous adventures made from Sierra, where they used their own SCI0 and SCI1 engine to create adventure games, Space Quest VI is designed using their new (at the time) SCI32 engine, which was capable of doubling the resolution from 320x200 to 640x480, and used SVGA graphics that required a VESA-compatible video card, and this caused the graphics to be a lot colorful and detailed. But, SQ6 wasn't the only game to use this engine. Gabriel Knight, King's Quest 7, and Police Quest IV used it, too. Due to the fact that SQ6 required lots and lots of hours to create, the game was released only for CD-ROM, so if you did not own a CD-ROM drive at the time, then you were urged to get one, or miss out playing this game. As usual with any other SQ game, Sierra didn't forget the humor. I believe that there is a lot of humor in this game, starting off when some kind of monkey enters one of those photo booths, only to be eaten him, and there's plenty more where that came from. My personal favorite is when you play Stooge Fighter 3 (a spoof on Street Fighter 2). You get to choose one of three characters: Lar-Man, Coily Joe, and Big Mo. When you beat your opponent, you can use some bizarre attacks, which depend on the character you choose, and I always get a good laugh at how your character attacks. For example, Big Mo attacks by either throwing a custard pie in his opponent's face, or chops his head off, whereas Coily Joe tickles his opponent and bonks them on the head. Lar-Man,on the other hand, uses his crowbar to do some serious damage.

Roger's quest is mainly centered around the DeepShip, where he must talk to people, do things, and much more. He can navigate through the DeepShip by using the ComPost to travel to the Shuttle Bay Entrance, Bridge, Brig, 8-Rear, HoloCabana, Transporter Room, and sickbay, as well as his quarters. However, there are other things to do with the ComPost besides traveling. With it, Roger can perform DNA sequencing and find out about known races. However, besides the DeepShip 86, he can travel to Delta Burksilon V, where he can go into cyberspace to dig up dirt on the doctor's affair with Sharpei. As a janitor, he also must continue committing crimes, but these are crimes that are required to be carried out if Roger wants to complete his quest. For example, at the Shuttle Bay Entrance, there are two guards. He must inject one guard's favorite food with Morphin, and use "The Vulgar Nerve Pinch" on the other to knock him out, grabbing his keyring, and escaping in his shuttle.

All the characters in SQ6 have their own personalities. Some are willing to help you, while some are quite nasty bastards. Fester Blatz and Elmo Pug from SQ3 both make a return to SQ6. The sound effects are more realistic and sound much more like the one in cartoon shows. Sierra did a good job, incorporating the finest voice actors. I was glad that Gary Owens makes a welcome return as the game's narrator, the same job he did back in SQ4, and in this games, he says this dialogue that is sometimes hilarious. My favorite bit is when he says "Your words are so unspectacular, nature doesn't even see fit to grant it an echo" whenever you talk to inanimate objects. There is a fan-based project called Space Quest 7, made by fans of the SQ series who plan to release their game with optional voices. If there is a voice for the narration, I do hope that Gary will read out the narration bit. Tom Chantler also makes a good impression of the Endrodroid, and what he says is even included in two separate WAV files on the CD-ROM.

There is DOS and Windows versions of SQ6 on the CD-ROM. You can play either version, but the DOS version has support for many sound cards like the Roland MT-32 and Sound Blaster.

The Bad

Unfortunately, whether you play the DOS version or not, you are still faced with timer problems. At least there are very little problems than the CD-ROM version of SQ4. The puzzles are a little bit hard, especially the Datacorder part.

The Bottom Line

A note to Sierra's development team: I like to thank each and every one of you for your fine perform during your recent project "Space Quest VI: Roger Wilco in the Spinal Frontier". So, thank you ... thank you ... Thank you. thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, tha... oh, the hell with it. You know the rest. ****