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Hardest Space Quest

Hardest Space Quest Game  

33 members have voted

  1. 1. Hardest Space Quest Game

    • Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter - EGA
      0
    • Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter - VGA
      0
    • Space Quest II: Vohaul
      10
    • Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon
      1
    • Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers
      13
    • Space Quest V: The Next Mutation
      0
    • Space Quest VI: The Spinal Frontier
      11


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I recently got the new Space Quest Collection, and just finished SQ2. I have played and beaten all of them previously except for SQ5, which I look forward to playing. I was wondering what everyone considers to be the most difficult in the series. I think that SQ2 has the most dead ends, but the mall escape sequence in SQ4 is brutal.

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I agree, that SQ 4 has an epic feel to it. It is my personal fav in the series. I also personally find it to be the funniest, but I know a lot of others think III is funnier. I think I recognize you from the telltale forums ;) - GuybrushWilco

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In retrospect, Space Quest 4 doesn't seem nearly as hard as Space Quest 2.

 

My logic is that Space Quest 4 lacks the "dead-end" puzzles that can stop a player dead in their tracks for failing to pick up an inventory item of absolute vital importance yoinks earlier in the game. I'm not saying that Space Quest 4 lacks these puzzles... but they are in full force in Space Quest 2. Did you climb down the gorge without the whistle? Sorry, you'll be brought to a halt on the screen with the impassable stone wall. Did you forget to pick up the Cubix Rube at the very beginning of the game? You'll never be able to tame the Terror Beast.

 

Oh, and don't forget to free the little pink dude hanging from a tree. Or rub the berries on your body. Or put the gem in your mouth.

 

When you think about it, it's surprising that this game isn't more notorious for just how insane the puzzles can get. At least with Space Quest 4, you can still get through the game even if you miss one or two items (apart from the chewing gum wrapper, perhaps), and the game is structured in such a way that you can return to the previously explored area if you may have missed something.

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I don't know, when my brother and I played SQ2 we had no trouble figuring things out. Sure we died several times before we got the solutions, but it wasn't ridiculously hard. Maybe we still had our attention spans back then, before the introduction of the FPS genre. And UHS. Heh.

 

For instance, we must have died about six or seven times trying to get the gem before we realized you had to HOLD BREATH. And maybe four times in the caves before we realized you had to PUT GEM IN MOUTH. Terror Beast? Psh. Exit the screen and go back, he's gone. Puzzle? Useless item. Throwing rocks at the ape man? No need for a jockstrap, just a bit of smarts!

 

Sure there's a few things that you have to do that will result in dead ends, but that's part of the fun in my opinion. It's definitely a bit more logical than say...Leisure Suit Larry.

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Since SQ4 is the only game in the series that really drove me to the brink of madness before I discovered online walk-throughs, I'll go with that one based on the following five points:

 

1. Sierra always tells us to "pick up everything that isn't nailed down." Yet one of the first things you can do in this game is pick up an explosive shell that will kill you when you hop into the sewer. They even gave me points of picking it up! For months, I thought that sewer was booby-trapped, and I spent ages exploring the same nine screens and dodging cyborgs and droids.

 

2. On Estros, how the heck am I supposed to know the exact order of screens I have to visit before the bird grabs me? There's so many places to explore on this planet, and it's all red herrings designed to keep me busy until the Sequel Police arrive.

 

3. While the mall kept me consistently busy, it was waiting for the Sequel Police that drove me nuts. There's no clue that I have to stand in that exact spot in the arcade before they appear - especially when I don't even know they're supposed to appear. I'd rather pixel-hunt than make Roger stand in every obscure corner of the mall.

 

4. Skate-O-Rama. Faster machines. You know the deal. Even with a walkthrough, this can be a pain.

 

5. Then there's the laser puzzle. I still haven't figured out the logic on that one yet. I just enter random digits until everything lines up.

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Since SQ4 is the only game in the series that really drove me to the brink of madness before I discovered online walk-throughs, I'll go with that one based on the following five points:

 

1. Sierra always tells us to "pick up everything that isn't nailed down." Yet one of the first things you can do in this game is pick up an explosive shell that will kill you when you hop into the sewer. They even gave me points of picking it up! For months, I thought that sewer was booby-trapped, and I spent ages exploring the same nine screens and dodging cyborgs and droids.

 

2. On Estros, how the heck am I supposed to know the exact order of screens I have to visit before the bird grabs me? There's so many places to explore on this planet, and it's all red herrings designed to keep me busy until the Sequel Police arrive.

 

3. While the mall kept me consistently busy, it was waiting for the Sequel Police that drove me nuts. There's no clue that I have to stand in that exact spot in the arcade before they appear - especially when I don't even know they're supposed to appear. I'd rather pixel-hunt than make Roger stand in every obscure corner of the mall.

 

4. Skate-O-Rama. Faster machines. You know the deal. Even with a walkthrough, this can be a pain.

 

5. Then there's the laser puzzle. I still haven't figured out the logic on that one yet. I just enter random digits until everything lines up.

I think modern adventure games, or at least newer ones, have spoiled us ;) It wasn't until I started playing through the SQ collection that I realized how many frustrating arcady parts there are in SQ4. Still, I consider my fav in the series.

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Nice to see that this forum has some life left in it!

 

SQ4 is probably my favorite game of the whole series, but for hardest I lend my vote to SQ2. I was stumped for months on "rub berries on self" - - so much so, that I finally had to break down and beg my parents to buy me the hintbook. I also hated the asteroid sequence, so that's yet another reason why 2 gets my vote.

 

I can understand the points about needing to walk every square inch of the mall in SQ4 to find out what happens next, however I guess I spent so much time simply wandering around the mall to explore every little detail canceled this part out as a difficulty factor for me.

 

I guess if you pirated the game, SQ6 would be next to impossible, considering you need to have the included PDF to figure out the logic with the Datacorder (but if you're going to take that route, then the copyright protection in SQ1VGA and SQ4 could easily apply as well).

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5. Then there's the laser puzzle. I still haven't figured out the logic on that one yet. I just enter random digits until everything lines up.

It's the number of degrees that it will rotate. EG 360 will rotate to exactly the same position, 180 halfway, 90 a quarter, etc. I started with random numbers at first, but I figured out what it was shortly after learning about degrees and rotation in math class. ;)

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Great story man, brings back fond memories of my brother and I begging our dad to call the Sierra hint line for us. Ah, good times.

 

It's funny, but I really can't remember how exactly we figured out those puzzles in Space Quest 2. I think the berries was the result of us looking at the creature when we walked onto the screen. Holding the gem in Roger's mouth was the result of much trial and error...I think we must have tried "going it alone" in the dark five times before we figured it out. :D

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I'll go against the flow and vote for SQ6. When I finally played it, I was pretty much unable to accomplish anything without a walkthrough and was constantly being frustrated at apparently unable to meaningfully interact with anything when not solving a puzzle. So I ended up just playing it through windowed with the walkthrough open next to it, which made the game feel like a complete chore.

 

I have to admit not having finished a Space Quest without a walkthrough, but in all the others I made my way some way into the game before needing one...

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I'll go against the flow and vote for SQ6. When I finally played it, I was pretty much unable to accomplish anything without a walkthrough and was constantly being frustrated at apparently unable to meaningfully interact with anything when not solving a puzzle. So I ended up just playing it through windowed with the walkthrough open next to it, which made the game feel like a complete chore.

 

 

Right, most of the Space Quest games (the official ones, anyway) tend to have a difficulty curve, but Polysorbate LX chucks at you possibly one of the most difficult puzzles in the series involving the hookah hose setup. And in order to even get started on all of this, you need to show the ID card to the barman, to which end the game gives you no indication as to why you should do this nor what effect it produces to help you solve the puzzle. The rest of the game is comparatively very easy.

 

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I love @Datadog's list, but I have a hard time picking the most frustrating SQ game. From a technical standpoint, at least, it's an easy toss-up between SQ4 and SQ6, and both for the same reason: the timer. (Yes, the sickbay bug in SQ6 is technically a timer issue. I know, it makes no sense.)

 

But gameplay-wise, it's a different story. All the games had some elements that drove me up the wall. Let's have some fun with those, and our "spoiler" tag, shall we? :)

 

Oh, and if Scott or Mark is reading this, then by no means is this a list of "bad design decisions" that the Two Guys beat themselves up for on a regular basis. Rather, it's a list of things that happened to me while playing the games that made me feel stupid for not paying better attention. ;)

 

Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter (EGA)

 

  • I think Jess "DecafJedi" Morrissette will agree that glass shard on Kerona was a bitch.
  • How was I supposed to know that universal translator was off? Yeah, I know, "look at all your inventory items" ... bla, bla.
  • Most of Ulence Flats is just random coincidence. How many times do you blow off the skimmer salesman? How many beers should you have? What droid should you buy, and what ship won't fall apart around you? There's no way to know unless you try, try, then try again.
I WILL, however, step up to bat for the "obvious" griveances that instantly come to mind, but really are absolutely fair -- such as the acid drops, the skimmer arcade, the Deltaur shoot-out and the fact that you have to write things down to progress in the game.

 

 

 

Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter (VGA)

 

  • Boy, let's double up on the copy protection, shall we? Not just once shall we fucketh with you; we shall do it TWICE! Because, damn, those alien symbols are just so adorable.
Otherwise, SQ1VGA is actually pretty solid, gameplay-wise, in my book. Probably because the icon interface babies you through the whole thing. ;)

 

 

 

Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge

 

  • Greatest dick-move of ALL TIME: the kissing alien in Vohaul's fortress! For a game series that delights in repeated homicide, this is by far the cruelest joke ever played on us players: let us live UNTIL THE END GAME, and THEN yank the rug out from under us. Oh, you Two Guys, you ...
  • While we're on the subject of aliens, that root monster on Labion can go to hell.
  • So can the squid monster, now that I think about it. And the entire underground maze, for that matter. I HATE mazes.
SQ2 does get a lot of flak, though, so, again, I will defend some of the more egregious examples usually thrown at it:

 

"Put gem in mouth" made perfect sense to me. You're on a ladder; you already know the gem illuminates. What are you gonna do; jam it in your forehead? Stick it in your ear? No, you hold it in your mouth. Simple; makes sense.

 

The controls in the shuttle make perfect sense if you care enough to look at the control panel. Also, there are only three things you can jab at (the thruster, the power button and the autonav). This is FAR from rocket science. But for some reason, just looking at that screen with all the flashing lights make people shit their pants.

 

Also, I just remembered the self destruct code for Vohaul's asteroid spells "TITS," if you go by the "reverse HAL > IBM" trick. Not a coincidence. ;)

 

 

 

Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon

 

  • Astro Chicken. There's a secret message in that thing?! Wait, it explains the entire plot?! What the hell is it doing in there?
  • Oh, and while we're on the subject: Thanks for assuming we were clairvoyant enough to order the correct meal off the Monolith menu -- you know, one that wouldn't outright kill us -- and have that decoder ring ready when completing Astro Chicken.
  • I just want to bring special mention to the ScumSoft corridors. It was fun banging Roger's head against the wall the first couple of times, but that thing got on my nerves fast.
  • So did the trash vaporizer, by the way. But that one's technically fair. Cruel, but fair.

 

 

Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers

 

See Datadog's list. :)

 

Space Quest V: The Next Mutation

 

  • That crest cleaning sure was fun, huh? Yeah. Miss one pixel and you're toast. Thanks.
  • Has anyone figured out the rules behind the cloaking device booby trap? I haven't.
  • Oh, and pardon my French, but F%#%# the Goliath crawlspace maze! Just thought I'd get that in there. ;)
I really can't think of any horribly unfair puzzles in SQ5, though. Docking at the Goliath could be frustrating if you didn't do your homework, but that one's fair. So is the EVA rescue of Cliffy (unless you have a fast computer, in which case it's not really the puzzle's fault). Even WD-40's banana-in-the-jetpack sequence gives you time to think and places to hide.

 

 

 

Space Quest 6: The Spinal Frontier

 

  • The hookah puzzle has already been mentioned. It makes sense in hindsight, but, as with many SQ6 puzzles, you have NO idea that's what you were supposed to do until AFTER you've done it.
  • Show of hands: How many walked aimlessly around the file cabinets, looking for the "End Game" file? Really; that's the best way you had of telling us to stop following the paper trail?
  • Another show of hands: How many walked through the cyberspace maze, like an idiot, every time you had to go to the file cabinet room, because you didn't know you could put the plank down over the precipice?
  • Jumping the brain chasm. Honestly, what was up with that? I think I got carpal tunnel syndrome just clicking like a madman on the other side of the chasm. Apparently, there's no real trick to it. You just have to click at exactly the right time. That's not fun; that's injury inducing.
  • "Fish! That's brain food!" Thanks for providing the hint AFTER we've solved the puzzle.
But, actually, I'll defend the Datacorder puzzle. It's just a simple logic puzzle, after all. And, yes, it's a bitch, and there's no reason for it to be in the manual. (Well, there is, but it's not a good one.) But in terms of making no goddamn sense, I say the cloaking device booby trap in SQ5 wins hands down.

 

 

 

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I struggled mightily with large chunks of Space Quest 6 -- and still do, as evidenced by my performance during the first Super-Fan Hangout.

 

Still, that accursed glass shard in Space Quest 1 may be the longest I've ever been stuck on an adventure game puzzle.

 

Jess

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I struggled mightily with large chunks of Space Quest 6 -- and still do, as evidenced by my performance during the first Super-Fan Hangout.

 

I remember you gave up outright. I mean, I had trouble with Space Quest 6 too, but wow... Rather surprising performance from the custodian of the Virtual Broomcloset. ;)

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I remember you gave up outright. I mean, I had trouble with Space Quest 6 too, but wow... Rather surprising performance from the custodian of the Virtual Broomcloset. ;)

Space Quest 6 came at a strange time for me. As I recall, I was rushing to finish the game in time for the Broomcloset's launch in November 1995. As a result, I didn't really take the time to fully appreciate SQ6 during my first play-through. I just wanted to finish it as quickly as possible so I could write a walk-through and launch my website. While I've definitely played bits and pieces since, I've never really gone back and given SQ6 the attention it deserves. My struggles during the Hangout are evidence of that. ;)

 

Jess

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It's really quite strange reading these lists, because a lot of stuff made perfect "sense" to me at the time. Cleaning the crest in Space Quest 5? Easy, why wouldn't I clean off all the grey pixels? Eating a happy meal at Monolith in SQ3? Sure, I ordered one of everything just for shiggles. The plank in cyberspace? That made perfect sense to me!

 

What didn't make sense were things like the glass in SQ1EGA. That was ridiculous, they expect you to pick up an item that isn't drawn on the screen. And figuring out the correct wording to look at the ground and see it was a pain in the ass. Kiling WD40 in SQ5? My brother and I spent a month trying to puzzle that out, to the point that we glitched ourselves inside the log with her on top of it. It never occurred to us to short out her cloaking device before clogging the exhaust port. And the launch sequence for the shuttle in Space Quest 6...That was just stupid. Not copy protection, just stupid. We wound up calling Sierra's hint line for that one. Made even sillier by the fact that I was a kid who knew the periodic table at age six and who's dad has a background in that sort of thing.

 

I don't know, maybe I'm just weird like that. 'course, I also seem to recall the solutions to just about every puzzle, and I haven't played a Space Quest game in approximately half my lifespan, so...Maybe I just have a good memory and a weird way of looking at things?

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... 5. Then there's the laser puzzle. I still haven't figured out the logic on that one yet. I just enter random digits until everything lines up.

 

Lol, Chris, I don't recall having had so much trouble with it. Though it's been a long time since I've played it, I remember I was able to notice a correlation between what was typed in and the approximate degrees that the lasers would then turn.

 

EDIT: The more I think about it, I believe I recall it had something to do with which column/row the buttons were in. Something about that correlates to how far the lasers turn.

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What didn't make sense were things like the glass in SQ1EGA. That was ridiculous, they expect you to pick up an item that isn't drawn on the screen. And figuring out the correct wording to look at the ground and see it was a pain in the ass.

Glad to know I'm not alone. ;)

 

Jess

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