(This is part of my journey going playing through 1995’s Space Quest 6: The Spinal Frontier. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
Confronted by the files on Project Immortality that Roger found inside the computer, the doctor admits that he’d been helping Sharpei (the old lady) pursue an unorthodox means of living forever. Namely, Sharpei is using nanites to take over the body of Stellar and transfer her mind into it. That’s not going to fly for Roger, so he agrees to get shrunk down and injected into Stellar’s body to hunt down the little robots.
Yes, it’s pretty much the plot of the 1987 film Innerspace, which was already eight years old at this point. Ancient history for anyone playing now to get the reference.
The nanites prove to be a wee bit aggressive — Roger is swarmed with them when he climbs down into Stellar’s stomach. As he is chewed to pieces, all he can think of is, “Why is there a feather down here?”
I’m sure all this made for great dinner conversations later on in life. “Hey Stellar, remember that time I was crawling around the inside of your body and removing all of the crap stuck everywhere in it? Man, you were gross!”
Pictured: Roger running from a rolling gallstone while looking like he’s trying to remember if it’s laundry day or not.
As a side note, I have to say that the music for most of Space Quest 6 has been downright horrible. Just a few lousy notes and ambient hum for most sections. The composer really phoned it in on this one. And even if you turn the music slider down to zero, it still plays ever-so-faintly!
This tapeworm right here might be the most horrifying thing I’ve seen in any of the Space Quest games, hands-down. This is probably how I’m going to die one day. Roger hitches a ride on the back of this thing, and that’s when the game gets really weird, with this folksy music going on and the announcer saying, “You like to ride the worm, eh? I let you ride the worm!”
After tooling around in Stellar’s digestive system for a while, Roger makes a trip up to her brain to deal with a pair of Laurel and Hardy nanites causing trouble.
Finally, Roger confronts Sharpei — who is now a disembodied floating brain thing. She’s only defeated when Roger feeds her this rotten fish he’s been carrying around for most of the game. Guess that brain food isn’t so good for you after all!
With that, Stellar is safe from the hostile takeover, and the two reunite on board the DeepShip 86. Their relationship status is intentionally left vague because, you know, Beatrice and all. But that’ll be the last adventure we’ll ever see with Roger, so it’s up to the imagination to contemplate what happened next.
And that’s it, apart from some mildly funny comments over the end credits. So what did I think of Space Quest 6? It was… OK. Not the best of the franchise but not the worst either (I think I’d put Space Quest II below this one). The narration was great, the voice actors really lackluster, the graphic style not so hot, the jokes hit-and-miss, and the overall locations and quests not too bad. I don’t regret playing it, but mostly so I’m able to put a cap on this entire series and be able to finish this epic space adventure that I began way back in the eighth grade. Later, Roger!