(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.)
Speaking of being down and out, Roger bumps into Elmo Pug. You know, the head of the ScumSoft Corp in Space Quest III and the target for Roger’s merciless beating vis-à-vis giant robots. Elmo’s fallen on hard times and become a drunk who sells cheat sheets for arcade games. Sounds like just the thing Roger needs to win at Stooge Fighter III!
Man, even E.T. is slumming it here? Roger needs to get off this planet ASAP.
Alas, that doesn’t look like it’ll happen — at least, not the way he’d want. Roger is kidnapped by a couple of beefy aliens and held in their dorky man cave. It takes a long time to figure a way out, but eventually Roger gets past the two dorks, activates a homing beacon, and is rescued by a StarCon crewmate.
Said crewmate is Stellar, a completely new character with a severely wrinkled forehead who seems to be infatuated with Roger (the girl, not the forehead). He’s interested but reluctant, fearing Beatrice’s wrath if he ever cheated on her. I don’t know how I feel about the game suddenly throwing this woman at Roger without any explanation as to… why… she’s interested in him or when they met, but at least he has an ally on the ship.
Meanwhile, the captain gets orders to go assist some craggy-looking crone with a project. I love the bridge of the DeepShip here, it’s packed with so many great details, like the SNES controls and the cat bed and cat litter for the captain.
Meanwhile meanwhile, Roger and Stellar start to try to figure out who tried to kidnap him. It’s here that we see — in what I think is a first for the series — Roger’s bedroom on the ship. You’d think that a janitor would be more sanitary, but no, it’s a dump. It’s good for several funny call-backs to previous games, as Roger has a lot of mementos from his adventures to date here — including his golden mop from the first game.
And speaking of mops, Roger gets a mission from the captain to beam down to another planet and clean the quarters of some old hag. This pulse-pounding action is exactly what people signed up for when they bought this game. Actually, it does get a bit more interesting, as the doors lock and gas starts pouring in through the vents thanks to the hag triggering a little remote under her blankets. I have to say that, so far, it’s really hard to die in this game, especially compared to earlier Space Quest entries. I had to wait like two minutes before Roger croaked here.
Stellar beams down to help Roger get out of the room, but she’s trapped and left behind. An explosion sounds and Roger lets out the predictable “STELLAR!” She’s assumed to be killed, and so the crew has a funeral for her back on the ship. I love that Roger reuses Kirk’s funeral eulogy from Star Trek II, albeit with a minor change (“Of all the souls I have encountered on my journey, hers was the most… scuff-resistant!”).