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"Space Quest VI: Roger Wilco and the Spinal Frontier" is the first title of the series to be available exclusively on CD-ROM. There are over 600Mb of data occupied by SVGA graphics and voices from dialogues and narration which makes a release on floppy virtually impossible. The game can be played using the DOS and Windows environments, like most other new titles released by Sierra On-Line lately. However, it probably won't be the case for products in 96 as Windows 95 seems to have been adopted by game makers as the perfect gaming environment!
Space Quest VI starts shortly after where Space Quest V: The Next Mutation ended. The hero, Roger Wilco, was degraded from his rank of captain to the less glorious position of a space janitor, something he knows very well as this was his first assignment. StarCon authorities have sent him to the SCS Deepship 86 as a Janitor Second Class. The game begins when the vessel is on its way to a short leave on the planet Polysorbate LX (pronounced sixteen). The robot in charge of the teleportation made a small error, and Roger finds himself half way in the ground unable to move. Fortunately, you can easily find a way to get out with the unvoluntary help of one of the robots walking around. From this point, your are on your own and free to explore the beautiful planet of Polysorbate, where visitors are always amazed at how romantic this place here is, according to Popular Janitronics, Vol.2 Issue 1 which you will find in the game box. This magazine is really a must read, not only because it contains important information for the rest of the game, but also because you will have a lot of fun reading articles, classifieds and advertisements.
Space Quest VI is a comedy adventure with many references to science-fiction, adventure movies, and other video games such as the episode of "Stooge Fighters III". For example, you will see storm troopers from Star Wars, Aliens waving good-bye to you, a Vulgar executing a "Vulgar's Nerve Pinch" (like Spock), an Endodroid as in Terminator 2, etc.
The game has a classical point-and-click interface with nothing much to say about it, I'm afraid. You have a choice of four buttons that select different actions: feet to move, eyes to see, hands to take, give or use, and the mouth to talk or to blow for example. The inventory is selected by clicking on the pocket button and you can take a look at the objects with the eye icon. If you want to assemble objects together, place one on top of the other, and if there is something on one item you want to activate or take, use the hand icon. The controls allow you to modify sound and music levels, save and restore games, or just quit the game. Finally, the help icon provides you with information about the different buttons on the screen, but it is so obvious that I can't imagine anyone using it!
Thanks to the SVGA mode, Space Quest VI's graphics are very detailed and offer a larger playing field. Some of the screens even scroll horizontally or vertically which makes screen exploration very challenging. Many objects are present in the different screens and if you want to examine them, the narrator's voice will explain to you what they are. The voice is one of my favorite features of the game. The commentaries have a very unique sense of humour and they will accompany you all throughout the game, for your greatest pleasure.
Space Quest VI's soundtrack has nothing exceptionnal to mention about. Though, I would have preferred digital music instead of the midi music, but overall it is good enough to create some sort of atmosphere.
The Windows environment was the only solution I had to hear sounds because once more, the DOS version didn't support the Gravis UltraSound. I encountered minor problems like sound breaking up, slow animations and loading times, and as usual I attribute all these inconvenients to Windows itself. I also tried out the game using another sound card and noticed the the same problems even though I was using a sound card from Creative Labs.
Space Quest VI is definitively the most crazy episode of the series, and one of the most difficult. If you are stuck in the game, think of the craziest things you could do, it may help you to find the right action. This episode is surely the one that made me laugh the most and at the same time, gave me the hardest time to reach the end.
486 DX-33 MHz or higher,
Min 8Mb memory,
MS-DOS 5.0 or later,
Hard drive required,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
SVGA video graphic card,
Microsoft mouse and 100% compatibles.
Creative Labs Sound Blaster, Pro, 16 & AWE32; Adlib; Windows compatible
sound cards supported.
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