Space Quest IV
|Space Quest IV:
Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers
Cover art by Terry Robinson
|Release||March 4, 1991|
Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers is a 1991 graphic adventure game by Sierra On-Line. It was released on floppy disks on March 4, 1991, and released on CD-ROM in December 1992 with full speech support and featuring Laugh-In announcer Gary Owens as the voice of the narrator. It featured 256-color hand painted graphics and a fully mouse-driven interface. It was one of the first games to use motion capture animation. The game cost over US$1,000,000 to produce and sold more than its three predecessors combined. An Atari ST version was announced via Sierra Online's magazine, Sierra News Magazine, but was later canceled.
In this installment, Roger embarks on a time-travel adventure through Space Quest games both past and future. An infomorph of reborn Sludge Vohaul from Space Quest XII: Vohaul's Revenge II chases Roger through time in an attempt to finally kill him. Roger also visits Space Quest X: Latex Babes of Estros (whose title is a parody of Infocom's game Leather Goddesses of Phobos) and Space Quest I; in the latter, the graphics and music revert to the style of the original game and Roger is threatened by a group of monochromatic bikers who consider Roger's 256 colors pretentious. None of the gameplay takes place in Space Quest IV. In fact, the "actual" Space Quest IV is only seen briefly in the introduction.
In contrast to the first three games, Space Quest IV uses a point-and-click interface, featuring icons for different actions. The icons are an eye, a talking head, a walking person, a hand, a mouth, and a nose, representing look, talk, walk to, use, taste, and smell, respectively. The last two almost never do anything other than provoke a humorous response from the game.
Ms. Astro Chicken
Ms. Astro Chicken: Flight of the Pullet is a video game embedded within the Latex Babes of Estros portion of the game, in a mall arcade. It is a sequel of sorts to Astro Chicken, an arcade game that appeared in Space Quest III. The game's name is a parody of the actual arcade game Ms. Pac-Man. The Astro Chicken theme music is a variation on the Chicken Reel, a traditional folk song best known for its use in animated cartoons.
In the game, the player controls a flying chicken, whose enemies include flying squirrels, windpumps, shotgun-wielding hunters and hunting dogs. Dropping eggs on enemies immobilizes them and increases the player's score. After playing the game for a while, the arcade cabinet explodes, though this has no effect on the player or broader game.
Originally, the time pod codes could only be found in the manual as a form of copy protection. In later releases, the codes were added to the game.
In 1991, Dragon gave the game 5 out of 5 stars. In 1992, they gave the Macintosh version of the game 5 out of 5 stars as well. Computer Gaming World's Charles Ardai stated in 1993 that "the CD-ROM version is even more filling than the original. It accentuates and improves all of the game's strong points", with Owens and others providing much better voice acting than in King's Quest V. While noting that the CD-ROM did not change the brevity of the gameplay, Ardai added that "there are better adventure games than Space Quest IV [but] there are few games that are more entertaining. Fewer still are improved so much in the transition to CD-ROM". He concluded that "Space Quest IV is the perfect multimedia game: it looks and sounds great and it offers an experience one could not get from a floppy-based game". In 1996, Computer Gaming World named Space Quest IV as the funniest game ever made. The editors wrote that it "transformed every sci-fi time-travel cliche with Gary Owens' voice ... providing the perfect comedic counterpoint."
Changes between original release and CD-ROM
In the original version of the game, the Galaxy Galleria features a store named "Radio Shock", a parody of electronics retailer Radio Shack. The store was renamed to "Hz. So Good" in subsequent versions.
- "Sierra Product Information: Atari ST" (PDF). Sierra News Magazine. Sierra On-Line. 4 (1). Spring 1991. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia & Lesser, Kirk (September 1991). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (173): 55–60.
- Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia & Lesser, Kirk (March 1992). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (179): 57–62.
- Ardai, Charles (April 1993). "Sierra's CD-ROM Version of Space Quest IV". Computer Gaming World. p. 34. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- Staff (November 1996). "Fifteenth Anniversary Special: The 15 Funniest Computer Games". Computer Gaming World (148): 113.
- Lendino, Jamie (February 3, 2015). "RadioShack Is On its Deathbed". PC Magazine. Retrieved September 30, 2015.