Space Quest IV: Xenon! You monsters!

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

x1“It looks more modern, with a dash of post-disaster seasoning.”  Oh Xenon, what happened to you?  And since you’ve really done nothing for me other than give me a lousy mop when I saved you way back in Space Quest I, why should I care?

The game gets bored with me just standing there and sends the Energizer Bunny along to tell me to get a move on.  The Energizer Bunny?  It was… a marketing mascot in the 90s.  Look it up.  It wasn’t that funny but people liked it, I guess.

x2Roger waits a little TOO long, and a zombie with a weird head contraption comes along and does the Body Snatcher point-and-scream at him.  That’s followed up by a floating droid that arrives to shoot Roger just because.

x3Roger begins to explore the area and I start to get a feel for the game.  As I said before, Space Quest IV moved to a completely mouse-driven interface, so instead of typing commands you right-click to cycle through action icons (look, talk, use, walk, smell, taste) and then left-click on areas.  That’s a lot simpler and I like it.  What I’m not so crazy about is Roger’s return to apathetic movement.  He’s just really slow again, and I don’t want to speed up the entire game in case the zombies come roaming back.

Xenon is an absolute dump (“That’s what a little war will do!” the narrator cheerfully says) and it’s drab on both the eyes and ears.  I really hate the shrill music here.  Guess it sets the tone, however.  Roger finds Luke Skywalker’s land speeder and nabs a pocket computer from the glove compartment.

x4It turns out that the Energizer Bunny is there for more than a nostalgic guffaw.  My pocketpal computer is out of power, and hey… that bunny has a big battery in it.  I use a rope to lasso it in, earning me rare praise from the narrator for my bunny snatching skills.

x5Well, dodging murderous droids and zombies has been fun, but it’s time to exit that scene!  And where else to go but down?  Roger’s never above a bit of sewer exploration!

x6Roger finds a hidden button that turns on an exposition hologram, who fills him in on the situation.  Xenon built a giant supercomputer (the huge building in the background) and let it run everything, which went all hunky-dory until some idiots found a Leisure Suit Larry game box in space, uploaded it into the computer, and triggered all-out war against the people.  The computer kept saying “Wilco must pay!” and uncovered the secrets of time travel, but a few of the resistance did as well.  So we’re right in the thick of the Terminator franchise, then?  Again?

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