Video Game / Starship Titanic
Fancy a free cruise?
"Bing-Bong! We regret to announce that the ship is hurtling out of control through hyperspace. All passengers with insurance queries, please contact your ticket vendors."
The ever-helpful announcer

"Well, the ship has lost its mind, and so has most of its crew, including me..."
Edmund Lucy Fentible, DoorBot

The brain child of Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), Starship Titanic is a point and click adventure game set aboard an intergalactic cruise ship. The game opens with the ship crashing into your house, and before you know it, it turns out someone has lobotomised the main computer, the ship is adrift in space and it's up to you to fix things.

There is still a functional website that can be found here. There is also a novelization of the game by Pythonite Terry Jones, who claims to only having agreed to Adams' proposal to write said book if he could write it in the nude. Which he supposedly did.

Not to be confused with two other starships named Titanic.

See this post if you're trying to run the game on windows 7. (Though be aware that the patches for versions 1.00.42a and 1.00.42b will no longer be available on Starship Titanic's main site. They can still be accessed through their archived versions here for a and here for b) Also available at if you don't like the hassle.

This game provides examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: The Maître d'Bot has one, and it must be prodded repeatedly before he will let you look at Scraliontis' corpse.
  • All Up to You: True, you occasionally persuade the bots to help, but it's an uphill struggle. Fentible tries to justify this in the intro, saying that because Titania was dismantled, the side effect made all of the robots unable to figure out the problems on board the ship.
  • Arc Words: "Nobody likes a smart-ass."
  • Blood Sport: Nib. The BarBot is an especially big fan - he'll go on about it at length if you ask him, and the In-Flight Magazine also has an article on the subject written by him.
  • Brain Uploading: People who have donated their personality, like giving blood in America you get paid for it, with better personalities getting more money. The robots onboard all have these, thankfully they can be adjusted.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: After the titular ship reduces your house to rubble, what choice do you have but to to answer Fentible's Call to Adventure?
    • But Thou Must!: In fact, if you type "no" (or indeed anything besides "yes"), the only acknowledgment your refusal gets is "An odd way to spell it, but I suppose it will have to do."
  • Chekhov's Gun: Both the picture of the night sky above your house, and the 3D glasses that came packaged with the game itself. These two items are completely useless until you gain access to the Titanic's navigation systems at the very end of the game.
  • Control Room Puzzle: With a pretty star field.
  • Cool Starship: It's a hotel In Space.
  • Creator Cameo: Turn on your television at the beginning, and Douglas Adams himself will appear on the screen and tell you to get on with the game. He also voices the Succ-U-Bus, the ship's artificially intelligent pneumatic-tube system. And plays Leovinus, the Titanic's designer, in a recording near the end of the game.
  • Dilating Door: The ship has two, the one visible in the intro and the door to the arboretum, which 'grows' open and closed.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Which allows a ship from the other side of the galaxy to crash into your house.
  • Featureless Protagonist: We only have the Robots' assurance that we're even human. Nobby addressing you as 'Sir' may imply that you're male.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Personal Electronic Thing, a combination of keyring, Bag of Holding, remote control, staff pager and conversation log.
    • Also Spontaneous Massive Existance Failure. The ship sailed from its space dock with great fanfare and promptly vanished.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The game spanned multiple CD-ROMs. Some batches went out with the final disc in the set missing. Okay, not technically a bug, par se, but certainly game-breaking.
    • This is due to there being an ACTUAL game breaking bug on the final disk in the first printing that was missing a file that had the game's interface with their Personal Electronic Thing which is necessary to do anything with your inventory or even save/quit the game!
  • Gargle Blaster: The BarBot asks for your help in making a fairly nasty one. Interestingly, if you ask him for an actual Gargle Blaster, he replies "Nobody likes a smart-ass".
    • This is, in fact, a hint.
  • Ghost Ship: You are the only living thing on-board, however there are two dead things...
    • and one very living (and vocal) parrot.
    • The flock of starlings are alive - at least, to start with...
  • Guide Dang It: One review dubbed the game's difficulty "Impossible unless you're the author or telepathic".
  • The Key Is Behind the Lock: In order to obtain a hammer, you need to press a button with a long stick. However, in order to obtain a long stick behind glass, you must break the glass with a hammer. Fortunately, there's a parrot perch that you can use in place of the long stick.
    • Unfortunately, the perch isn't quite long enough to get the lemon. You can, however, use it to get the hammer you'll need to break the glass and get the long stick.
  • Law of Conservation of Detail: Played with throughout the game. Whenever an item can be taken that turns out to be one of Titania's body parts, a new one instantly grows back.
    • Brobostigon handwaves this in one of his emails: Each body part has a security chip called the "Metamor" that causes the item to change shape when removed from Titania's core.
  • Magic Countdown: Parodied. The bomb, once armed, would begin to audibly count down, get distracted and lose its place and have to start over. A lot.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: Of course you need to cover the chicken in mustard sauce before you send it...
  • Old Soldier: The LiftBot. Shout-Out to real life - ex-servicemen lift operators used to be a common sight in the UK.
    Nobby: Between ourselves I'd rather be trotting up the ha'aqa bin-j'Jabbli in my p'narma hat, heading for the rebel headquarters with a grenade under my q'jinjan.
  • Polly Wants a Microphone: There is a talking parrot on board, located in the unfinished ballroom. It belonged to one of the people building the ship.
  • Recycled In Space: Starship Titanic: Titanic IN SPACE!
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Mostly averted, many of the robots look like furniture or art work.
  • Robot Girl / Spaceship Girl: Well, woman, whom her creator is in love with; also the main computer.
  • Rube Goldberg Machine: Though there aren't any actual machines on board, the puzzles often follow the logic of Rube Goldberg's contraptions.
  • Sanity Slippage: The Barbot after a particularly powerful cocktail and the Doorbot at random times during conversation.
  • Scenery Porn: The Art Deco inspired locations are mostly static, but wonderful to look at.
  • Schizo Tech: In a giant spaceship that can travel faster than light there is a pneumatic tube delivery system and phonograph cylinders for music.
    • In the novel, Leovinus made the Succ-U-Bus system that way for safety reasons, although because corners were cut, they're not as smart as they were supposed to be.
  • Sidenote Full Story: The whole story began as a footnote in Life, the Universe, and Everything, the third book in the Hitchhiker's series.
  • Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb: There is a bomb on board, in Titania's chambers. The button labeled "Press to disarm bomb" actually arms the thing. If you don't disable it before beating the game, the ship blows up in the ending.
  • Spoiler Cover: It had a strange twist on this: one particular puzzle, in the Music Room, can be easily solved by looking at the back of the game box, where the screenshot of that room shows the puzzle completed. However, this isn't a spoiler... it's the correct, and only, way to complete the puzzle.
  • Starship Luxurious: Of course, since it's a cruise ship in space.
    • Played with. You have to work your way up to First Class Passenger in order to solve the mystery, and your surroundings become increasingly luxurious as you advance through the game.
  • Stop Poking Me!: Repeatedly clicking on the bomb after arming it will cause it to become increasingly annoyed, eventually screaming at the player that "NO! MEANS! NO!" before breaking down sobbing. You can annoy it even further by hitting the glass-shielded button with a hammer you pick up later. Also, prodding the Maitre d'Bot's "Achilles' buttock" results in this.
  • Surfer Dude: The personality of Krage the bellbot.
  • Tempting Fate: Starship Titanic, The ship that cannot possibly go wrong.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Marsinta, the sarcastic, deliberately unhelpful DeskBot becomes extremely kind and gentle once you recalibrate her off-kilter personality settings.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: One of the ingredients for the Titanic Titillator is Puree of Starling. You get it by sucking a flock of starlings into a giant ventilation fan.
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?
  • What Does This Button Do?: It arms the bomb.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?
  • Variable Mix

The novelization has the further examples of:

  • Alternate Continuity: Rather obvious for the story itself, but one of the glaring points different from the game is how Scraliontis died: Where here he falls down the Central Well, in the game he died in a bowl of food in the 1st class restaraunt during the fight with Leovinus.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Nettie wears a Gap shirt which exposes her midriff.
  • Disney Villain Death: Scraliontis falls to his death when he makes the mistake of leaning on a railing when attacked by the parrot, as they were poorly made due to cutting corners in the starship's development to "finish" it.
  • Heel Realization: As he is unable to communicate with Earthlings, Levonius can only pass time in his cell in Oxfordshire police station by pondering his life, and comes to realization about how much of a bad person he has become.
  • Hero of Another Story: The Yassaccan who looks over the captured protagonists is revealed to be a leader of Yassaccan smuggling ring, who joined the others to board the starship in hopes of securing loot afterwards. As soon as this is revealed, the book notes that this is "an another story" and he isn't mentioned again.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": By an ancient law, Blerontinian journalists are deemed to only go by as "The Journalists", in order to make sure that a "cult of personality" doesn't build around them.
  • In My Language That Sounds Like: When Lucy tells her name to The Journalist, he tells her that in his language her name is really funny, but refuses to tell her what it means.
  • Insurance Fraud: Starship's investors Scraliontis and Brobostignon arranged the ship's disappearance and upcoming detonation to collect its insurance money, as its massive scale proved to be a financial failure. This is also hinted at in the game's emails.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: When Lucy meets The Journalist for the first time, she finds him covered (in his own) blood and investigating Scraliontis's corpse. She comes to conclusion that he is murderer. The fact that he ties her down after she tries to run away from him doesn't help matters.
  • Planet of Hats: Yassacca, which hat is building and repairing things. When a group of them attack the starship, they fire on it, and fix it immediately afterwards.
  • Pre-Climax Climax: Thinking that the ship is about to blow up, Lucy jumps The Journalist's bones.
  • Reverse Mole: In the end, the parrot is revealed to be an undercover agent working for the Yansaccans.
  • Similarly Named Works: Used In-universe. While being interrogated by Bolfass, The Journalist tells him that he can only give him his name, rank and number. Bolfass then tells him that "this isn't The Great Escape". A footnote regarding this statement tells that he refers to similarly named and plotted Yassaccan film. Which also stars Steve McQueen.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Early in the book, Nettie is held as a blonde bimbo. Then it turns out she is really smart, and gets even smarter when she is sucked into the black hole in the starship's engine room.