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Space Quest 6: Roger Wilco in the Spinal Frontier

aka: SQ6
Moby ID: 145
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

Roger Wilco, the brave interstellar janitor who has already saved the universe from many great dangers, is now in a very embarrassing position. His commanders show no respect for his courageous actions in the previous game. Instead, he is being accused of all kinds of violations against the galactic law, is deprived of all the honors he got in the previous game, and as a token of mercy, is allowed to return to his old job - cleaning closets... But those unfortunate events are just the beginning of much bigger troubles Roger will get into. Once again, the future of galaxy depends on him!

Space Quest 6 is the first game in the series to be released exclusively on a CD ROM. The game continues the humorous tradition of the series and is especially inclined towards parody of popular sci-fi movies. It features SVGA graphics and voice-overs for conversations and text descriptions. The interface is slightly different from icon-based system used by Sierra in many other adventure games: the player chooses verbs from a menu that appears at the bottom of the screen, similarly to earlier LucasArts titles. Unlike all previous Space Quest installments, the game allows the player to retry immediately in case Roger dies, without the need to restore a previously saved game.

Spellings

  • מסע בחלל 6 - Hebrew spelling

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Credits (DOS version)

62 People (57 developers, 5 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 73% (based on 21 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 90 ratings with 6 reviews)

Goodbye, old friend. It's been nice knowing you

The Good
Janitor Roger Wilco had some great adventures over the years. He retrieved the stolen Star Generator from the hands of the Sariens, dealt with Sludge Vohaul twice, rescued the Two Guys from Andromeda, and even commandeered a garbage scow. Now he's back in the sixth and final chapter in the Space Quest series. After being demoted to Janitor Second Class, he is granted shore leave on Polysorbate LX where things get a bit interesting for Roger.

The Spinal Frontier was made at a time when Sierra developed their games using the SCI-2 engine. SCI-2 was capable of delivering high resolutions, and it was the same one that powered Gabriel Knight, King's Quest VII, and Torin's Passage. The graphics are far more colorful than the previous SQ offerings. There are also 3-D renderings of the spaceships which look damn impressive. When the subtitles are turned on, the green text always stand out against the black background. SVGA cards were the norm back in 1995, so the only way to play the game is by getting one.

There is a lot of humor as well as references to popular culture. I enjoyed playing “Stooge Fighter 3” as one of the three characters who perform amusing special attacks. I also liked Roger executing the Vulga Nerve Pinch on a guard so that you can grab his keys and steal his shuttle. Having Roger walk through a virtual Windows 3.1 desktop is also a nice touch.

Death can come to Roger in a variety of ways. Sierra altered the dialog boxes so that instead of the usual three buttons – Restore, Restart, and Quit – you are given the option to go back to the point where you died. This saves you from saving the game before doing a thing that will lead Roger to his death, so there's no excuse not to die when you have the opportunity.

All the characters you meet have their own personalities, and some of them are willing to help you. My favorite characters from Space Quest III make a return. Elmo Pug has gone from controlling attacking robots to selling cheat sheets, while Fester Blatz has set up the same sort of business on Polysorbate LX. I also like the Endodroid, a take on Schwarzenegger.

The music is just great if you use a General MIDI device such as the Roland SC-88, and if you only have a Sound Blaster, you don't know what you're missing out on. There is some good voice acting in the game. Gary Owens returns as the narrator, delivering the same style as in Space Quest IV. Just examining everything on the screen and doing the impossible generates a hilarious response. Actors voice multiple characters, and they did a good job as well.

The Bad
Roger has made a few enemies during his adventures, and the games which introduced them gives an explanation as to why they want to take revenge on him. Vohaul, for example, plans to infest Roger's home planet with life-insurance salesman as Roger thwarted Vohaul's plans to use the Star Generator for his evil purposes. Having said that, Roger is introduced to Sharpei, his main antagonist he meets early in SQ6, but we have no idea why she is out for Roger's blood since the game provides no explanation why.

Some of the puzzles made no sense to me at all, with the worst one being the Datacorder puzzle, in which you need to flip switches and move things around to turn it into a homing beacon. Not only was it an annoyance, but it is also serves as copy protection which has no place in a CD-ROM game of that era.

Major game companies like Sierra did not foresee what would happen if people tried to run the game on a machine higher than those listed on the box. In this case, if you try to play the game on a Pentium machine, you will encounter timer-related issues like the endodroid hunter ignoring you and the crashes in sickbay. Grab yourself a 486 or use DOSBox if you encounter these.

The Bottom Line
SQ6 has it ups and downs, but the game is pure entertainment at its best. It boasts superb graphics and an excellent soundtrack. As mentioned in the introduction of this review, SQ6 is the final installment of the Space Quest series. Every SQ game is very good, and I have some fond memories of all the games. I enjoyed tip-toeing around Vohaul and listening to his life support in SQ2 (the Apple IIGS version); exploring each of the planets in SQ3, SQ4 and SQ5; the way the game encourages cheating in SQ5; and listening to the excellent soundtrack in SQ6. There was going to be a seventh game, which was going to be in 3-D and would feature characters from past adventures. However, by 1998 when this would be released, more and more game companies started to lose interest in the adventure genre, and the game was officially canceled.

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43093) · 2017

Unfortuantly the last of a line of great games.

The Good
Well there were great moments in this game that made me laugh so hard. (Mr souent commerical) (First Beam Down) (Boot Liquor) (Stoge Fighter 3) (The rejection note from Ken Williams) The opening sequence was classic Space Quest. (Note to future designer of SQ. Should you be so blessed as to be able to do another sequal please keep Gary Owen, without him this game would have been a total mistake.)

The Bad
First of all The game was much shorter than a normal adventure game. I finished the game this weekend (started sat finished sun) (note that I cheated a little on some of the puzzels so it didnt take as long as it should, but even still there wasnt that much in the game) Basicly there was only 4 locations that the game took place in. (Pollysorbate 60, Deepship 86, sorbi's planet and then a surprisingly short period inside santago). I was very surprised that this game was over so soon. But also I though that the lines with Santago & Roger were horrible. I found myself clicking through the dialogue just so we could get back to the laughs. The ending with roger and santago was a great example of how they went off track in this game. I have loved the Space Quest series. I hold this game very dear to my heart because it was one of the first great adventure games that I ever played (SQ3). SQ6 didnt feel like a space quest though. It almost felt like that the orginal makers of SQ left after writing the Polysorbate 60 lines and then someone else took over to quickly finish the game so it could be sold. It is sad that Sq6 isnt as funny as the others. I hope that someone will give this series another try but I fear that the end has come. And if it has then SQ6 was a terrible way to go. :-(

The Bottom Line
No where near as funny as the other Space Quest's. I recommed only to experienced Sq players that havent played it yet. BUT not to players that have never tried any of the others. I would hate to give people the impression that all of the other SQ's are just like 6.

Windows 3.x · by William Shawn McDonie (1131) · 2001

Well, I like it...

The Good
I honestly like this game. It is definitely the funniest game in the series and one of the most humorous games of all time -- up there with Monkey Island 2 and 3 and Zork: Grand Inquisitor. The graphics are highly effective and, they evoke the proper feeling. The puzzles are definitely some of the series's most challenging and are highly involved; I found this to be a plus, although others may agree.

The Bad
Now, I like the involved puzzles, but a few are quite difficult. While many people complain about the homing beacon puzzle, it is really not all that hard if you concentrate. The puzzles that really gave me problems were the hookah hose problem and some of the puzzles inside Steller's body. Again, like Space Quest IV, there is a strange timing issue in the sickbay when you try to read the results of the DNA test. Disable your CPU's internal cache from the BIOS config and move speed all the way up and detail all the way down. Remember to turn the cache on again when you are finished (don't try this in Windows--trust me).

The Bottom Line
In my opinion, a great game. It has a good story, complex, involving puzzles, and hilarious dialogue and narration. One of personal favorites, I would like for it to get the attention it deserves.

DOS · by Mark Abrams (4) · 2000

[ View all 6 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Game crashes again Nowhere Girl (8680) Mar 16, 2016
Game crashes at the funeral Nowhere Girl (8680) Nov 4, 2014

Trivia

Demo

The demo for the game was not taken from the game itself but was a small independent game of its own.

Development

This game was originally written and designed by Josh Mandel, but he left Sierra for management reasons and original Space Quest creator Scott Murphy took over and put on the finishing touches. This partially explains the inconsistent nature of some of the puzzles, since Josh and Scott didn't get as much communication done as they should have and certain details in the game were overlooked in the transition.

References

  • When attending Santiago's funeral on the Holocabana check out the graveyard keeper... It's the same one from Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers.
  • After forcing Magnum (the bully guard to the Shuttle Bay) his medication, he morphs through various states until he's finally knocked out: among them the dancing frog from Looney Tunes' One Froggy Evening and an Elton John-esque abomination giving a impression of Mark Seibert's cheesy Girl in the Tower, the title song of King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow (CD-ROM version).

Title

The game was almost called Where in Corpsman Santiago is Roger Wilco? until Broderbund threatened to sue.

Vulgar Nerve Pinch

Can't work out what Roger is saying when he does the "Vulgar Nerve Pinch"? If you've set the game to display text, the dialogue provides no help; all it says is "O, mumble ... mumble ... mumble".. So here is what Roger is actually saying is:

"Ohh, boy I got you with my fingers and your Kurt Russell now you can't get awai gotcha now that you gotta ... Hard to believe this is a real job (inaudible sound) Oh, my (inaudible sound). So, how come you're not going tonight I got you with your mumbo-jumbo and your (inaudible sound) Whew, boy, I oughta ... If I only could I would, jeez. If you ... Why don't you step outside, pal? I got you with ... this and the ... Mmm, I think I broke a fingernail here."

Awards

+ PC Player (Germany)
    - Issue 01/1996 - Most Illogical Puzzles in 1995
+ Power Play
    - Issue 02/1996 – Best Adventure in 1995Information also contributed by

*Katakis*, Alan Chan, FnordPerfect, Istari and Zovni

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Related Games

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Related Sites +

  • Hints for SQ6
    These questions and answers will help you solve the game without spoiling it.
  • SpaceQuest.Net - Space Quest 6
    Extremely comprehensive site about Space Quest 6: Basic game information, hints, documentation, downloads and behind the scenes stuff, for example a downloadable PDF manual, scans of the official hint book, easter eggs, fun facts, cancelled stuff etc. etc. etc.
  • SpaceQuest.Net - Space Quest 7
    A comprehensive story of the events from 1997 to 1999 leading to the cancellation of the next Space Quest, as well as rumors of a new Space Quest starting in 2002.
  • Unofficial Space Quest 7
    Could be just a dream, but at the very least, a good one.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 145
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Andy Roark.

Macintosh added by Terok Nor. Windows added by Katakis | カタキス.

Additional contributors: WizardX, Unicorn Lynx, Katakis | カタキス, Jeanne, Stargazer, General Error, Crawly, Patrick Bregger.

Game added May 29, 1999. Last modified January 21, 2024.