Space Quest V: A fly in the ointment, Hans

(This is part of my journey going playing through 1993’s Space Quest V: The Next Mutation. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

Well, there’s nothing like freezing your future wife to keep her from mutating to put a sparkle in your day! Roger’s life is nothing if not complex, a state that is exacerbated by the Pukoid-crewed Goliath coming around to attack the Eureka.

It is kind of cool that you get the opportunity to order your crew about as if you were an actual starship captain. Those asteroids give me an idea… an idea to watch Empire Strikes Back and learn from Han Solo’s approach to star destroyer evasion. Into the asteroid field we go!

The ship is safe for the moment, but she’s taken damage. Cliffy heads out on an EVA to make repairs, but then kind of loses his grip and goes floating away. Well, I guess it’s that time of day, the time of day when we have to keep rescuing our chief engineer. Comes around every 11:00 am, it does.

Roger heads out in the Eureka’s pod to snag the engineer. As I found out, if you run out of fuel or oxygen during this EVA, the pod is sucked down into the atmosphere and burns up. In one of the funnier game over screens, aliens on the planet below make a wish on Roger’s “shooting star.”

With the ship and Cliffy safe, the next priority is to find a cure for Beatrice. This means a trip to Genetix, the laboratory that made the toxic sludge that caused the Pukazoids. Unfortunately — and “unfortunately” is a word you use a lot with Roger in these games — when he beams down, Roger and a fly get mixed up. The fly gets Roger’s body, and vice versa.

While Cliffy works on getting the transporter straightened out, Roger pokes around Genetix and discovers a computer with all sorts of info. The toxic sludge is actually a project to help terraform nasty worlds, but somewhere along the line it started turning healthy critters into mutants. Also, there’s clear evidence that Quirk was taking bribes to offload the sludge and hide it around the galaxy. This is my surprised face.

Eventually, Cliffy figures out how to reverse the fly/human situation and separate the two. Not-at-all funny bug puns abound.

But the transporter mishap might’ve been a blessing in disguise. Spike, of all crew members, figures out that Cliffy might be able to remove the mutated DNA from Beatrice with the same technique he just used on Roger. But if you ever play this, don’t do what I did, which is to take Beatrice out of the cryo chamber before defrosting her. She literally fell apart in my hands. Fun fact: You can also cook her in the cryo chamber. Not that I did. Because I’m totally not a monster.

Beatrice is saved, information is retrieved, and the Pukoids’ extreme aversion to cold is revealed. It’s time to head back to the Goliath and see if Quirk and crew can’t be brought to heel.

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