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Space Quest II: Chapter II - Vohaul's Revenge (DOS)

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3.6
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Written by  :  *Katakis* (37797)
Written on  :  Apr 11, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
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Summary

The game that introduced me to my favorite villain of the series

The Good

Everybody loved the original Space Quest. It was original and humorous, and it contained lots of exploration and adventuring. Sales of 200,000 copies were enough to convince Sierra to release a sequel to the game. I got Space Quest II right after I completed the fourth game in the series, and I have to admit it was one of the favorite SQs, right up there with number five.

The game comes with a small comic which I enjoyed reading. It chronicles the events after the original game and, although I lost the comic ages ago, I think it also introduces Vohaul, the antagonist of the game and tells the story of Roger being interviewed on Letterdroid, which you get to watch in the remake of the game. People illegally downloading this game won't have the pleasure of reading it.

SQ2 follows on from the original game. Roger Wilco managed to steal the Star Generator back from the Sariens who were planning to use it for evil purposes. Here, we get to meet the mastermind behind the plan. As revenge, he plans to unleash deadly life insurance salesman onto Xenon and, to make sure that his plan proceeds, dumps Roger on Labion where he is doomed to spend an eternity working in the mines.

The game is slightly better than the original Space Quest, because it ups the ante a bit. What I mean by that that you have to perform unexpected things you never did in an adventure game before. For instance, right from the start - when Roger is on-board the XOS4 - the way you can make Roger walk sideways on the wall and upside down is a stroke of genius.

The majority of the game takes place on the planet of Labion. It is a jungle planet, which makes it all the more exciting. When I first played this game, I was always curious to see what is on the next screen I have to go to. SQ2 has a few puzzles here and there, but they are quite easy to work out. I think the most challenging one would be navigating through the vine monster without touching any part of it.

You can die many times in this game, and I enjoy doing so in this game just to see how Roger dies. The root monster in the aforementioned paragraph will devour Roger if he touches any part of its vines. There is probably a clip on YouTube that shows all of Roger's death, so if you are a fan of adventure game deaths, you should take a look.

Since the game is made in the mid-Eighties, Sierra still used their old AGI engine which displays graphics in a 160x200 resolution. Also, sound only comes through the PC Speaker and there is no mouse control, meaning that you have to type commands at a parser. You may think that this is crap today, but back then it was all we had. When it comes to graphics, I often ignore its chunkiness and just focus on what objects are on the screen, and its shape and color. I liked what Vohaul's asteroid looks like. It kinds of reminds me of that planetoid in Universe, with the lights coming out of it.

The sound comes through the PC Speaker only as soundcards weren't invented back then. It is improved if you own a Tandy Computer; you will be able to hear three voices instead of just one. Actions are performed by entering commands at the parser. This is great because you can experiment with different commands, and quite often the game will generate a funny response.

Finally, there are multiple solutions to some puzzles, meaning that SQ2 can be played again, allowing you to take a different path to what you took before. The only one I can think of has to do with the Labion Terror beast that you have to get past.

The Bad

Space Quest II can be quite short, depending on how well you go at the game. If you know what you're doing, it will take you well under three hours to complete. Also, I don't like the way that the cover reads "Space Quest II" in the usual SQ font, yet it reads "Chapter II" right underneath. So calling this game "Space Quest II: Chapter II - Vohaul's Revenge" is downright pathetic.

The Bottom Line

Space Quest II is the sequel to the original game, starring one of my favorite villains from the SQ universe, Sludge Vohaul, who dumps Roger on the planet of Labion while he plans to infest his home planet with life insurance salesman. The game may be short, but there are enough puzzles in the game to keep you occupied, and Labion itself also provides plenty of exploration. Why didn't I talk about the game's humor? Because there isn't any at all.