Space Quest IV: Ripping time a new one

Sq4_boxart(This is part of my journey playing through Space Quest IV. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)

And now our retro gaming journey through the Space Quest series turns to Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers.  I am extremely excited about diving into this one, as not only is it the first Space Quest game that I’ve never played, but it’s the one with time travel (as in, hopping through installments in the series) that always looked really awesome when I read articles about it.

Space Quest IV was a monster hit when it arrived in 1991.  Its huge for the time budget ($1M) really cranked up the quality: The game was presented in full 256 colors, had voice work, a narrator, and a UI overhaul (which got rid of the text parser of the former games).  According to Wikipedia, it made more money than the previous three games combined and was a strong entry in the middle of the three best games in the series (III, IV, and V).

Let’s see if we can get through the introduction today, because there’s actually a lot of exposition to set up our adventures!

s1Just as Space Quest III was a major graphical improvement over II, Space Quest IV presents another big jump in visual fidelity.  I know I mentioned this before, but when I got my 386 in the early 90s, I was just overwhelmed by how good games looked and how detailed they could become.  Now, why didn’t I get this game?  Probably a lack of disposable income and trips to the game store.


It’s about time that Roger got a good vacation!  By the way, I am *loving* the narration here.  It’s got a nice movie trailer announcement quality to it while being very snarky.s3

Not shown: The alien here puking, then stepping in his puke, then being dissolved by it.s4

Inside the bar, Roger is buying drinks and regaling aliens with his adventures in Space Quest II (he even mentions *shudder* the root monster).  Suddenly, these armed heavies show up and yank him outside.s5

Who is behind this abduction?  It’s Vohaul, back from the dead!  Wait, how is that possible?  Roger suffocated him and then blew up his asteroid well and good.  The hologram head orders the soldiers to kill Roger, but fate intervenes.s6

Well, two mysterious allies intervene, at least.  There’s not time to explain — of course — as they shoot open a hole in time and urge Roger to dive through.s7

Here Roger is regretting many of his life choices that led him up to this point.s8As the omnipresent title bar states, Roger has jumped from Space Quest IV into Space Quest XII: Vohaul’s Revenge II.  He lands on the streets of his beloved home planet of Xenon, which is now an absolute dump.  Life sucks again, but at least it’s pretty interesting!

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