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Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon

aka: SQ3, Space Quest 3, Space Quest III: Die Piraten von Pestulon
Moby ID: 142
DOS Specs
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Description official descriptions

Narrowly escaping the events of Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge, Roger Wilco's escape pod floats through space. As just another metallic item of junk, it's soon picked up by an interstellar garbage hauler. Waking up in a pile of trash, quite familiar for this janitor-turned-hero, Roger Wilco must somehow escape. Once given access to the rest of the galaxy, he'll soon find himself having to avoid a collections cyborg for payments overdue, dealing with the corporate prison of software company Scummsoft, and having to digest the greasy food from the galaxy's finest hamburger joint.

Space Quest 3 is a graphical adventure. The mouse is functional for movement and inventory access, however the game primarily relies on a text parser for specific commands and manipulation of objects on screen. In addition to the regular gameplay, there are also various mini-games, such as a simple non-scrolling arcade game Astro Chicken, as well as a radar screen representation for ship-to-ship space combat.


  • מסע בחלל III שודדי החלל של פסטלון - Hebrew spelling
  • שודדי החלל של פסטלון :III מסע בחלל - Hebrew spelling

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Credits (DOS version)

13 People



Average score: 81% (based on 25 ratings)


Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 126 ratings with 12 reviews)

Not quite the classic it's remembered as

The Good
The very best part of SQIII comes as it first loads up. For many people, the opening theme was the first time they ever realised that a PC could actually make music.

SQIII is light, cheesy fun. Roger Wilco, your eternally hapless alter ego, fumbles his away around the galaxy and becomes a funnel for increasingly tacky jokes from his creators, the Two Guys From Andromeda. The graphics are good, the sound is magnificent, and the endless sci-fi injokes will keep you chuckling across the stars.

The Bad
SQIII's episodic structure makes it a very linear game. A very EASY linear game. Once you've marched through it, periodically saving because of the endless ways to suddenly die, there's not much more to do. And even people with a high cheese tolerance may find themselves challenged by the relentless dumb laughs.

The Bottom Line
To steal from Stephen King, SQIII is the computer-game equivalent of a burger and fries. It's fun. Many people have extremely fond memories of it. But people who somehow missed out, who are wanting an intro to Sierra-style gaming, should check out Hero's Quest instead.

DOS · by Colin Rowsell (43) · 2002

Roger's back, with a vengeance

The Good
While Space Quest II didn't really deliver something as interesting as the first of the series, the third installment came back with new ideas and a better storyline overall, but it was on the technical side that is was the most astonishing.

Let's start with the storyline. Not everything was explicit on-screen; sometimes you really had to "look around" to find objects, and looking around every new room quickly became a habit. Some references to the previous episodes were interesting, such as a Terminator which comes to take care of you since you never paid for the whistle you ordered from Gippazoid Novelty (sic) in Space Quest II. It also looks like being sued by Toys 'R Us didn't scare Mark & Scott as they didn't hesitate to put a McDonald's parody within the game. Although I don't remember the whole storyline, it involved space travels as usual and less time spent walking around in solo on a lonely planet as it was the case in the first two episodes. More encounters meant more fun.

One thing that was great was the fact that the game wasn't as hard as the previous ones. I was actually able to get through it in a few weeks without a hint book. Some might have disliked the fact that it was easy, but I preferred that style of gameplay.

Technically, it was the first to use the Script Interpreter with its 16 color 320x200 resolution and full sound card support. Sierra was slow to upgrade their graphics engine, but they finally did it. The artists used enough dithering techniques to make the overall graphics pleasing. As for the sound, it even supported the digital output of the Tandy 1000TL series to squeak occasional digital sound effects. That was great!

1988 can be remembered as the year when video game producers started using professionals instead of programmers to make music. The producers hired a once-star member of Supertramp to make the music and while I can't say he had an extraordinary talent for composing video game music, he was good enough with percussions to make it sound good.

The Bad
[spoilers] The ending was so lame!

Bringing back the two guys to earth was okay but landing in Sierra's parking lot and seeing Ken Williams hiring them wasn't funny. Fantasy must remain just that: fantasy. What was the pertinence of going back to the real world? It's like if DOOM ended with the hero falling in a timewarp, showing up to ID software's office, cleaning off the blood on his hands in the executive bathroom and receiving a medal from John Carmack. Give me a break.

The Bottom Line
a) A sequel that is better than Space Quest II. b) The last SQ adventure before the point-and-click interface. c) Humorous as usual. :) d) Never mind the ending.

DOS · by Olivier Masse (443) · 2001

Space Quest isn't the same without Xenon

The Good
The graphics are good, though I reckon another Space Quest game in the AGI format would've been fine. I like most of the problems/solutions, the planets are good, Ortega is especially atmospheric with its deadly heat and lava surrounding you. Bob Siebenberg's new Space Quest theme is very good also.

The Bad
I felt that Space Quest isn't the same when you're not protecting Xenon, no matter how Xenon dissed Roger in SQ2 by sending him back to his janitor job. Xenon was the serious part of Space Quest, in the first game its sun was dying and in the second game Vohaul was going to destroy it(in a silly sort of way). I felt the idea of rescuing Scott and Mark and taking them to Sierra was ok, but kind of "sub-plotish". I wanted to get back to Xenon even if they dissed me again.

The Bottom Line
It's a good text-adventure, looks and plays good, just has a silly story.

DOS · by Andrew Fisher (695) · 2018

[ View all 12 player reviews ]



The "Two Guys from Andromeda" (Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe) made a special video-appearence in a humorous (and quite a bit silly) Space Quest III promotion film. The short clip was allegedly recovered in the year 2000, and is now downloadable from several sources on the internet.

Astro Chicken

The irritatingly awkward Astro Chicken game features a irritatingly catchy, dubbed by fans "the Astro Chicken theme" (imaginative, huh). But this piece of music wasn't actually created for this game; it first appeared in the first Police Quest game, when someone planted a chicken on Sergeant Dooley's desk.

After winning the Astro Chicken, you are given a hidden message, written in the Galactic Alphabet. For those of you who can't be bothered to decode it, here's what the message says.


                       TWO GUYS IN TROUBLE


When you retrieve the decoder ring and use it to decode the message, one would think that the game would automatically decode it for you.


Very early on in the game, in fact on only the second screen you come to (depending in which direction you walk), there is a piece of metal that, if you try and pick it up, causes you to cut yourself open and bleed to death, without any warning what-so-ever! This classic over-the-top death seemed to be nodded too in the literature to several LucasArts releases, with wording along the lines of "we don't believe you should die every two minutes for merely trying to pick up an object".

DOS version

The PC version of Space Quest III features digitized sound effects in the Sound Blaster or Tandy DAC (TL/SL) sound modes. The majority of these sound effects were actually recorded from the Roland MT-32 version (with a few exceptions such as the the brief speech in the opening sequence).

Supported music devices

The original version supports various music devices, with the most unusual being the Casiotone MT-540 and CT-460 MIDI keyboards. Space Quest III may well be the only game that ever used them. The keyboards feature MIDI input and output ports and can be connected to the PC just like other external synthesizers. The setup program for the game also contains instructions on how to set them up for playback. Support for these keyboards and some other devices was removed in later versions of the game.


If you eat the "Big Belcher Combo" at Monolith Burger, when you go to leave Roger will come back in, green in the face, and bring it back up.


Before performing this trick, be sure to save your game. Now, this is a neat little thing that I discovered. After you've killed the Terminator, go back into Fester's shop on Phleebut and WEAR HAT after buying it. After leaving his shop, before the computer automatically takes the hat off, begin walking in another direction. By doing this, you're stuck on this screen and can walk anywhere. For instance, attempt to walk off the right side of the screen. Once you disappear, go up and around Mog's foot. You should be able to walk on the sky, through the leg and on the roof of the shop. I'm guessing that this is just a glitch in the game. I've never been able to fix it once it happens.

Plot hole

The terminators in SQ3 and SQ5 come after you for not paying for the Labion Terror Beast Whistle. However, those of us who bought the game when it first came out know that the included coupon specified that the Whistle was free.


The soundtrack for Space Quest III was composed and arranged by Bob Siebenberg, former drummer for the popular band Supertramp.


This is the first Space Quest game to make use of digitized speech, although it's only in one small part of the game. During the game's introduction you can hear Roger say "Where I am?"


  • When you first arrive to Monolith Burger, the USS Enterprise (from the original series) warps out of there.
  • There's a TIE fighter (from Star Wars) in the garbage ship. However, it's been renamed to a bow-tie fighter from the cologne wars (the original movie mentions the Clone Wars).
  • Also in the garbage ship, the ship Jupiter 2 is from the old Lost in Space series.
  • Fester has a postcard from Arrakis in his shop. Arrakis is the planet from the movie Dune.
  • There's a small signature hiding in the introduction sequence. The pic where the droid is monitoring the escape pod - in the right lower corner, there's a signature reading "Crowe" (as in graphic artist, Mark Crowe).
  • "Monolith Burger" is also one of the places in Socket City, where you can work and eat, in Sierra's Jones in the Fast Lane.
  • Near the start try typing in "put gem in mouth" and you'll get a message that says "That's only helpful in SQ II" In Space Quest II, you needed to put a gem in your mouth in order to get through a certain section in the game.
  • The logo for Scum Soft is a spoof of the logo for Strategic Simulations Inc, which was a popular software company back at the time that Space Quest III was released.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • October 1989 (Issue #64) – Special Award for Achievement in Sound
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #2 Best Way To Die In Computer Gaming (the own body parts will be sold by a butcher after death)
  • ST Format
    • January 1990 (issue #06) – Included in the list 50 Games of the Year
    • January 1991 (Issue #18) – #5 Best Adventure Game in 1990

Information also contributed by B14ck W01f, Erik Niklas, Jayson Firestorm, Mickey Gabel, Philip Kuhn, Ricky Derocher, Stargazer, William Shawn McDonie, WizardX and theclue

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Related Sites +

  • Hints for SQ3
    These questions and answers will help you solve the game without spoiling it for you.
  • ScumSoft HQ
    The ScumSoft Headquarters
  • Space Quest Network
    One of the largest Space Quest pages in existance - with lots of trivia, tips, downloads and very much anything else you can ever find about Space Quest on the internet!

Identifiers +


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Andy Roark.

Amiga added by POMAH. Macintosh, Atari ST added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: OlEnglish, nullnullnull, Mirrorshades2k, Servo, Jeanne, Jayson Firestorm, Shoddyan, Stargazer, Crawly, 6⅞ of Nine, Patrick Bregger, Ingsoc, Jo ST, theclue.

Game added May 27th, 1999. Last modified November 4th, 2023.