Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist

aka: Freddy Pharkas, Apotheker im Wilden Westen, Freddy Pharkas, le Cow-Boy Pharmacien, Freddy Pharkas: Cowboy Apotheker, Freddy Pharkas: Cowboy Farmacéutico
Moby ID: 1785
DOS Specs
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Description official descriptions

Freddy Pharkas was one of the fastest guns in the American West of the 1880's. However, in one particular gunfight with an outlaw named Kenny, he was outgunned and had his ear shot off. This traumatic experience caused Freddy to give up his pistols and enroll in the school of pharmacology. Blocking out the memories of his past, Freddy arrives in the town of Coarsegold with the dream to own and run his own pharmacy. Working with the town's doctor, Freddy is able to fill prescriptions, mix concoctions and diagnose simple symptoms. Business among the townsfolk is brisk however, the good times are not to last as suddenly townsfolk are run out of town and businesses are being foreclosed and boarded up. Freddy must deal with the town's problems, and discover the larger plot, or risk having a fancy shop in an empty town and losing all his customers.

Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist is a humorous point-and-click adventure game bearing many similarities to other Sierra titles in the same genre, in particular Leisure Suit Larry series. Players use the command bar at the top of the screen to choose a verb command that is combined with locations and objects visible to the player. Freddy can walk to new locations, look at particular objects, attempt to use objects, talk to people and enter his inventory to access items that have been picked up. Like other Sierra games, successful actions add to the player's score, judging the player on 1000 points.

Spellings

  • הטוב הרע והרוקח (The Good, the bad and the pharmacist) - Hebrew spelling
  • 多情藥師酷牛仔 - Chinese spelling (traditional)

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Credits (DOS version)

80 People (71 developers, 9 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 78% (based on 13 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 67 ratings with 7 reviews)

Sierra mix more good medicine

The Good
Freddy and his entourage of in-game characters are likeable and believable and the dialogue (including a dirty old man Whittling Willy who acts as a narrator) is entertaining and funny.

In my view its this aspect of the game that makes it a good game, as the gameplay and graphics are mediocre really.

The Bad
The first quarter of the game is boring, and much of it is spent mixing medicines to a recipe at the pharmacy. This feels like nothing more than an elaborate copy-protection system.

The game-world - a small Wild West town - although 'nicely' depicted is a bit small and uninspiring.

The Bottom Line
If you like big complex adventure games with lots of difficult puzzles this is not for you. For most of the rest of us ordinary mortals this is a pleasant and likeable adventure, and one to seek out.

DOS · by jossiejojo (37) · 2005

Novel adventure with flawed implementation

The Good
Freddy Pharkas, a classic Sierra adventure designed by Al Lowe and Josh Mandel, provides a pleasant departure from the usual settings of other adventure games. Freddy, a pharmacist and former gunslinger, must discover who is behind the rash of incidents driving the townspeople from western town of Coarsegold. The characters and locations in this game, while limited, are well fleshed out and entertaining. The VGA graphics are generally good and the sound is excellent. The story itself is entertaining and well written.

The Bad
The major downfall of Freddy Pharkas is the result of a number of timed puzzles within the game. About one third of the game consists of puzzles, that when not solved in an unspecified time limit, results in Freddy’s death. While this may add a sense of urgency to solving these puzzles, it also forces the player to reload many times in an effort to beat the clock. In some cases there is barely enough time to solve the puzzle when one knows what to do let alone when the player doesn’t. This leads to the player being forced to rush through the game and not experience the entertaining characters, locations, and situations that make this game shine.

The Bottom Line
Overall, Freddy Pharkas is an example of a potentially great game that did not live up to its potential. It weaves a tight, albeit short story in a novel setting with a number of entertaining situations. Unfortunately, the way the game was designed does not allow for the player to experience the small details that make the game shine. As a result, it is reduced to a mediocre adventure.

DOS · by pogalogen (9) · 2007

Okay, it's funny. But those puzzles are grotesque!

The Good
Having been written by the experienced designers and acknowledged gods of humour, Al Lowe and Josh Mandel, Freddy Pharkas is guaranteed to keep you laughing. The plot -- told in episodes -- is amiably crazy, good storytelling and lots of hidden gags reward you for solved tasks. That is, if you don't give up halfway in the game, driven to insanity by the most confusing and probably worst puzzles in the history of Sierra adventure games. You need an example? How about this: To get a pie from the cafe's excentric cook, you've got to scare him away by dropping horse plop on the floor. Sounds logical to you? Then try figuring this out in the game!

The Bad
It's nearly impossible to solve the game without a walkthrough. This is a pity, as the bad puzzles spoil a lot of the otherwise nice atmosphere of the game.

The Bottom Line
Funny, but not always fun to play. A solid Sierra adventure game, although it's not one of the all time favourites.

DOS · by -Chris (7766) · 2000

[ View all 7 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Playing really old games Shelly Dowdle Sep 5, 2014

Trivia

CD version

This game was first released on 3.5 disks but Sierra later offered a version on CD which featured voice acting and an improved soundtrack. Some of the bugs and continuity errors were also removed.

Demo version

There was a demo version of Freddy Pharkas on a Sierra sampler CD. When you wanted to access a new area or use a special item, a little window would pop up and contain a FMV with Al Lowe that explained that if you want to use this, get the full version. If you continued trying to use the item, you would get hauled off to jail by a sheriff.

Continuity errors

  • During Act II the player comes into the possession of the church key that disappears from the inventory at the end of Act III. At the beginning of Act IV the key can be taken again awarding the player with another extra point. This way the player can complete the game with 1001 points. This bug was removed in the CD version of the game.

References

  • In the Saloon, switch the music by talking to the piano player and ask "Zircon Jim's Theme". It's the Leisure Suit Larry theme.
  • In Chester Field's store there is an ad signed by K. Graham of Daventry, announcing that he is not responsible to any debts incurred by Valanice, Alexander and Rosella. This a clear reference to King's Quest series. Further investigation of the poster reveals that it ends with "c/o P. Patti" - refering to the Passionate Patti - Larry Laffer's true love from one of the installment of Leisure Suit Larry series.
  • In Chester Field's store there is a wanted poster of Al Lowe.
  • In Act IV in the saloon the player can meet "Zircon" Jim Laffer - Larry's great-great-granduncle which is another reference to Leisure Suit Larry series.
  • In Chester Field's store there is an ad written by Dr. Olympia Myklos - reference to the Dr. Olympia Myklos - one of the suspects in Laura Bow 2: The Dagger of Amon Ra
  • In Freddy Pharkas' pharmacy one of the items on the shelf is "Vester's Guaranteed Pumice Acne Treatment" - Claus Vester is the translator of the German version. The reference was added by developer Josh Mandel.

Sounds

By using the Keypad keys with activated NumLock, you can play goofy noises found in the game. A lot of them are from puzzles in the game.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) –#13 Funniest Computer Game

Information also contributed by Arson Winter, Itay Shahar and Julien LC

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by ROFLBLAH.

Windows added by Cavalary. Macintosh added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: RKL, Jeanne, Kohler 86, Xoleras, Iggi, Crawly, 6⅞ of Nine, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa.

Game added June 26, 2000. Last modified January 23, 2024.