|That classic 90s Sierra logo!|
Roger Wilco, our intrepid hero of both space and time returns... back to Space Quest 1! Again! Sometimes a location is so good you can't resist visiting it three times in five years. This time, we'll get to see the entire game in glorious 256-colour VGA, rather than just Ulence Flats. From what I remember from playing this not so long ago, other than the obvious visual and audio upgrades the game is basically the same as the original with a few minor changes. It's the first and only Space Quest game to get the official VGA upgrade, but there is a fan-made Space Quest 2 VGA game which I'm sure we'll get to in the distant future.
The Space Quest series is a firm favourite of mine, a wonderful mixture of science-fiction and humour that is not done often enough! (this series, Red Dwarf and Futurama being the most obvious examples I can think of, which have a number of similarities.) The game begins with an attack on the ship Arcada, of which Roger is perhaps the lowliest crew member. Woken from his slumber in a cosy janitorial closet by a rather loud alarm, he stumbles out to find the ship being boarded by Sariens, who are very much in the "shoot first, ask questions later" mindset.
In my early years, playing the original, I found this initial section punishingly difficult. Sarien soldiers would appear all too quickly if you lingered in many of the rooms and corridors, and figuring out where to go and what to do was particularly challenging (it didn't help that I didn't have a manual to give me any background information!). These days it surely shouldn't present too much of a problem for me, unless I've forgotten something since the last time I finished it.
The first major change from the original game: Roger now has bright blonde hair, rather than his muddy brown from before. I can't actually remember why this is, perhaps just an advantage of having the extra colours? I'm sure it was mentioned in another Space Quest post, so answers in the comments please! The rest of the graphics are very well done, bright and colourful and with a cartoon-ish quality that suits what is a comedy game at heart.
There's not a lot of music in this early section, the main audio being the alarm and the footsteps of approaching soldiers, but it's a vast improvement over the original (unless you're a fan of the rather limited sounds available to 1980s computers?). Sometimes less is more when it comes to game music though, and having no music and just ambient sounds can create a more tense atmosphere.
I'm playing this on the Steam version of the game (well, sort of, I've copied the game into my normal dosbox directory), since the GOG.com version doesn't come with the VGA version for some reason. Hopefully I shouldn't have any issues with game speed, there is an arcade section but I think it can be skipped if I have any issues.
So, beginning in the next post I'll see if I can get Roger out of this mess! No death count here though, I don't find it unfair to kill off the player character (most of the time), especially when you have the opportunity to save anywhere. I'll try and highlight a few of the more interesting death screens though.
Time for everyone to guess the score, and it will be interesting to see how the scores compare between this and the original, and also Space Quest IV which was released at a similar time.
Awesome! I will be playing along, just as soon as I complete a certain wall-crawling game that I'm working on.ReplyDelete
Ulence Flats in SQ4, of course, wasn't in VGA. That was really the whole joke. The mere existence of this game ruins a major SQ4 joke and I am not sure that it's worth it. Did you get any information in your research whether this game was before or after LSL2? Do we have any information from Sierra why they randomly revisited the first games in several respective series? It must not have been successful since they stopped, but it's a good question.
My guess will be 57: this will be another game joining the increasingly-misnamed "Top 10" list.
As an aside, I *might* be pulling together a special post on SQ1, similar to the one I did for SQ4. I have *three* hint books for this game and a comic book and perhaps I can make something interesting out of all of that...Delete
I'd certainly be interested in that sort of hint book/additional info post!Delete
I'll just point out as an official guardian of Joe's mental welfare (part of the admin duties) that he has his hands full of Marvel-related stuff now, so it's highly speculative whether he'll have time to do a SQ1 special also.Delete
Marvel-related? Is that a Venom game? Or a Carnage game? Damn, I love those guys (except Spiderman)!Delete
It's Joe's summer project of playing Questprobe games. Next one is Spiderman, and I think the game was published before Venom or Carnage became part of the mythology, so you are out of luck Kenny!Delete
Right. Whether or not I can do any bonus post is going to depend on how long it takes me to beat Spider-Man and document it. Plus, the summer semester just began and I am teaching again.Delete
Oh, and if it makes Kenny feel better, Venom is around at this point in the Spider-man story, but just. Peter has just recently shed the black suit after he discovered it was a symbiont.Delete
I think I'll make my prediction based on pure logic: IF LSL1/old = 57 & LSL1/new = 60 & SQ1/old = 55, THEN SQ1/new = 58. So 58 it is!ReplyDelete
I think this remake added some great visual gags, like in a certain death scene with something from Star Trek.
Also, wasn't Roger blonde in SQ4?
Roger is blonde in SQ4, and again here, but I don't know why it was changed. Surely someone must know? I'm sure I read a reason a long time ago, but I can't find it now.Delete
Darn I did the same math I guess I'll go 56 just to be orginal.ReplyDelete
I'm going to guess 99 for this. I just have this lucky feeling about the score. ;)ReplyDelete
I think guessing the score for a game you are scoring yourself is somewhat objectionable :PDelete
Now I'm tempted to guess 99 too.Delete
But I'll resist the urge and guess... 56. Just out of the top 12.
And I also hope to join in and be playing along soon.
Roger was brown-haired in Hoyle's Book of Games, the only EGA representation of his face that I can think of ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoyle's_Official_Book_of_Games#/media/File:Hoyle1.png ) - it seems that he changed to blond with the SCI interpreter.ReplyDelete
With 55 being the previous score for the original, I'm going to say that this will be about 61, with a point in both interface and graphics/audio upping its score. Obviously, this is against Trickster's rating systems, though, so that's hardly a guarantee.
*Places chip on 57* Spin it, my good man.ReplyDelete
I guess 59.ReplyDelete
By the way, the appearance of ZZ Top was censored in the remake's rerelase: http://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=5975600
But as they note on the page, "The censoring can be removed easily, though, by deleting the two files 433.v56 and 533.v56 from the game's folder, ZZ Top performs correctly after doing so."
Also, 1991 was the year General MIDI was introduced. Not many games supported it until 1992, but Sierra did provide after-market patches for many of their VGA MT-32 games, adding a General MIDI option. You can get them here. (Ctrl-F for "General MIDI Patch".)ReplyDelete
Looking forward to this playthrough, Andy! I'll say an even 60.ReplyDelete
I don't think it's likely to get higher than 58. Graphics only get you so far, and Trickster was pretty generous in his original ratings.ReplyDelete
I'm gonna go with .... 60! 'cause it's nice and round.ReplyDelete
55 for me.ReplyDelete
I'll guess 56.ReplyDelete
Wow, it is hard to keep all these games in my head at once. I'll see if it gets better as I go though.ReplyDelete
Yeah, it's the disadvantage of having multiple games being played at the same time. We are restricting it to three right now (two regular games and one Missed Classic).Delete
Glad I'll reach that point fairly soon if I keep running florescence spectra.Delete