The Space Quest series prided itself on making available to the player many gruesome and hilarious ways in which to kill its hapless protagonist Roger Wilco. It was almost like a sci-fi version of Gary Gygax’s Tomb Of Horrors D&D module. With the recent Kickstarter from the The Two Guys from Andromeda, the brains behind Space Quest, I couldn’t help but reminisce over Roger Wilco’s many, many deaths.
I’m not sure why, but Space Quest III is the one I remember the most clearly. Maybe because the graphics were a step above the previous two titles, allowing for some fairly hardcore images (for the time). Falling would result in a squashed, bloodied pair of legs while failing to activate the shields on your ship delivered a tiny shot of an eviscerated Wilco. Hundreds of unsightly fates awaited the player and even playing cautiously, being twisted into a meat towel by a metallic robot terminator with the ability to turn itself invisible was always, always possible.
Today it seems a lot of games simply block your path or stick you on rails, eliminating curiosity from the equation. Space Quest — actually, most of Sierra’s titles — made no attempt to protect you from your own stupidity — or genius. Hilarity, as well as some of my most memorable gaming moments, were the delicious result.