Loyal reader, Jon, inspired today's post as I watched him deal with a communication breakdown at my local Vintage Stock with three teens who might have been building Yu-Gi-Oh decks. Let me stress that Jon was using something that I like to refer to as the English language while the teens were not.
So Jon, this post is for you, sir. For the rest of you readers allow me to explain, as I was picking up the Max Headroom box set in the store today we began to speak about how games these days are a bit easier to finish than those in my youth. Not all games of course but can you compare the difficulty of Halo to that of the original Castlevania? No, no you cannot.
Space Quest was originally released on October 1986 and by the end of 1995 had spawned five sequels. In the games you take on the role of, well, the first game doesn't actually name the hero it allows you to enter your own, but the default name is Roger Wilco, which became the hero's name starting with the second title. Roger is no ordinary hero, oh no, he is a janitor upon the starship Arcada. After waking up in a broom closet you find that the ship has been taken over by the hostile Sariens. Using a pass key from a dead shipmate you enter an escape pod and find yourself jettisoned on the planet of Kerona. The rest of the game finds you having to locate the Sarien vessel and destroying the "Star Generator", a device stolen from aboard the Arcade, a machine that is capable of creating a planet within a matter of days...that sounds familiar some how...and once he has done so he returns a hero and is awarded with a golden mop!
A lot of the fun of playing Space Quest was watching all the hilarious ways you could perish. The creators, Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy, decided to break the mold of graphic adventure games of the time when they pitched the idea.
From Scott Murphy over on Wikipedia: "Sierra was in a mindset where everything was medieval and it was all fairly serious. I wanted to do a game that was more fun. We even liked the idea of 'fun death'! I mean, if the player is gonna die or fail, they should at least get a laugh out of it. So we came up with the idea of making death amusing. Let's face it, most adventure games involve a good deal of frustration for the player. But we felt that if we made failure fun, to an extent, you might have players actually going back and looking for new ways to die, just to see what happens!"
While these types of graphical adventures still exist, Monkey Island, Sam and Max, etc. we could use a new Space Quest game to hit the shelves. Roger Wilco is missed. Of course if you have Gametap you can revisit the first five games...
Rylos - Craig Safan (The Last Starfighter)