A long away in a galaxy far far ago (yes I did mean to type that) two games creators named Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy created a small series that, in my personal opinion, revolutionized sci-fi. The two creators called themselves The Two Guys from Andromeda.
I am old. I admit it. I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s and it was the best era of gaming for me. My fondest memory is when my father brought his old IBM XT home from work.
He also brought home 2 video games I remember vividly and love these series to this day. Kings Quest and Space Quest. Both mean the world to me and always will. Kings Quest has luckily had a resurgence and is even being brought back for a new game! While I haven’t gotten play the new game just yet it is on my “to play list”. While Space Quest had a large audience, it fell to the wayside and slowly was forgotten.
Why haven’t you heard of this series before you may be asking me? Or why am I writing about an old forgotten game? The answer to both those is extremely easy. This game is part of our history as gamers. We have notorious short memories and very much a “What have you done for me lately” mentality. Unfortunately that includes forgetting the predecessors who might never be given their due. I am hoping that this article may in small part help rectify that problem.
So, Space Quest is a classic. It’s a sci-fi comedy following our “hero” Roger Wilco who has the terrible luck of being thrown into 6 official adventures of saving the universe from an evil baddy by the name of Sludge Vohaul, cloned insurance salesmen, an evil game developer, Sludge again in virus form, a Captain Kirk rip-off, and several more I can’t remember off the top of my head.
Can you see as a child how this could and would captivate me so much? I grew up as a small child when syndication was just becoming a real thing. I saw re-runs of Star Trek the Original Series at the same time I watching The Next Gen. I saw the original Battlestar Galactica long before the reboot. Sci-Fi was everywhere and now it was invading my computer.
This invasion was different then the evil aliens attacking earth we saw in every other game though. This time it felt a lot more interactive. It wasn’t just “Save the world, save the princess, get cake” idea. It was engaging to a degree I never thought would come back (luckily I have been proven wrong several times over since then).
As a Janitor Junkie, Space Quester, and Fanboy 3 different games (fan games) got released. One was a VGA remake, and 2 original games to try to give us what we always wanted. To see our hero once again fight the enemy and make us laugh.
Know this my dear readers. Back then PC games didn’t have a ton of merchandise like we do now. We didn’t get collectors editions (well not until later years anyway) but what we did get was hint books. But our hint books where much different than what you get now online. We got things like this.
What are these you may be asking? This is one of the best parts of gaming in the 80’s and 90’s my friends. It is not only the walk-thoughs of each game (including maps for the looping areas you would encounter). But full novel versions of each game. Can you believe that? For 15 dollars we could not only cheat but be rewarded with the ACTUAL STORY!
I cannot tell you how many nights I would just sit and reread the story of these classics. Letting my imagine take over as I read them. And fell in love with them over and over and over again. This was the beauty of these games. Not only could they make me laugh, but they let me imagine this world where not only can we go off in a spaceship and save the world. But even in the future the fate of the universe could be saved by an unsuspecting klutz janitor who really had no clue what he was doing. He just managed to luck out (with our help that is).
Space Quest is not a serious series, it never will be. How could you even try when the hero of the series is a janitor? But we loved him always. And after waiting years upon years we finally got him back. And we got it back in full glory.
Now we have had a couple fan games for the series but never, in my opinion, have we had a game like the one I am going to mention. I am talking about Space Quest Incinerations. Just looking at the trailer gave me Goosebumps. I can’t even begin to tell you the feeling I still get when I boot it up. Now, I have finished the game and want this to be a tribute to the awesomeness that is SQ Incinerations. I want to not only spread the word but thank the creator.
Now the game will look a little older then you would want a modern game to look. You just need to remember this is a fan game made for a series many have already forgotten about. It felt like the end we really needed and didn’t get. When the last game came out it left us wanting more, almost hopeful for the future of our hero. We never got that future.
He not only got the humor right (which is hard to do.), but it felt like a genuine Space Quest game. I say if the Two Guys from Andromeda ever see this game, not only would they be impressed but touched by how much fans love the series still. Not to spoil anything but just know this game is the closest you will get to the Space Quest of old back. So be sure to lean back, enjoy, and laugh.
And to that I must again take time out to say thank you. Thank you to the Two Guys from Andromeda. Thank you for the hours of love you put into these games that to this day years later I am still in love with.
Thank you for making a return to game development together and for trying to give us back what was lost. Thank you for developing a new game called “Space Venture”. I may have missed the Kickstarter but I will be preordering. I do believe this is the perfect time for them both to bring their special blend of comedy back to gaming. I wish them nothing but luck that is nothing more but perfectly deserved. Make us proud and go out and own it. Get the credit you deserve as the some of the pioneers of gaming, of storytellers, and entertainers.
So to close out this article, please everyone do yourself a favor and go to http://www.boxofmystery.com/games/incinerations/ and download it. It is free and so worth the effort. And enjoy it because not only is it the best fan game I have ever played but it can expose a new generation to Space Quest for them to love as much as I do. I truly believe it will relaunch the series. Always remember: In Space No One Can Hear You Clean.
Pictures taken from Wikipedia, Box Of Mystery, and my own collection.