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Video Game / Space Quest VI: Roger Wilco in the Spinal Frontier

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So this is how it ends. Not with a bang, but a squeegee.
Space Quest VI: Roger Wilco in the Spinal Frontier (also simply known as Space Quest VI) is the sixth and last game in the Space Quest series, released in 1995. Roger Wilco returns to Starcon headquarters after defeating the Pukoid mutants in the last game. However, for his recklessness and breaking Starcon regulations, he is demoted back to a second class janitor and is relocated on the SCS DeepShip 86. As he settles into his new surroundings, he is pursued by a new villain named Sharpei, who is connected to a secret project that may prolong life indefinitely using nanomachines.

Initially headed by Josh Mandel with Scott Murphy acting as a creative consultant, it was the last game Mandel worked on for Sierra, having left the company midway through development after a contract dispute with Sierra's higher-ups.

This video game provides examples of:

  • Guide Dang It!: The infamous homing beacon puzzle. In order to get off Polysorbate LX, you need to fix a homing beacon in order to contact Stellar. Originally Roger could pick up a comic book CD-ROM that contained the information needed to assemble it correctly, but the comic book was never added into the game and the information was added to the game's manual as a cheap method of copy protection, despite the game being made in a time when the practice had since stopped due to CD-ROMs being harder to copy off of.
  • Happy Ending Override: After saving the Star Confederation in the previous game, Roger is stripped of his rank and thrown back to a simple janitor.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Sharpei's plan hinges on her belief that she can implant her mind seamlessly into Stellar's body. And she's so obsessed with preserving her brain she makes the stupid decision of eating a rotten fish because it's "brain food", killing her instantly.
  • Idiot Ball: In the finale, the normally diabolical Sharpei eats a rotten fish Roger offers her and immediately dies.
  • Indy Escape: From a rolling kidney stone, no less.
  • Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: Done in the introduction to help assert that Status Quo Is God. It's taken to extremes as Roger is stripped of his uniform, his gloves and boots, a set of prosthetic muscles, and his jockstrap.
  • Interactive Narrator: Roger actually reacts to things the narrator says throughout the course of the game. There was even a time he had a direct conversation with the narrator, but it was cut from the final game.
    Narrator: I've got to admit, it's interesting the way you've managed to accomplish some... things. I mean, I thought this gig was up sequels ago!
    Roger: Yeah... Thanks for the vote of confidence.
    Narrator: No, really, I thought you'd bite the big one games ago! Even cost me a few buckazoids down at the Game Narrator's Guild.
    Roger: You know, there are other narrators who wouldn't mind hooking up with this series.
    Narrator: Touchy, eh? Well, anyways, I've got a contract! If I were you, I'd get back to playing Joe Spacehero so both our checks will cash.
    Roger: Okay! I heard you!
  • Jerkass Has a Point: As snarky as he is, the Narrator does drop in hints and warnings throughout the game, and his reactions to some of Roger's more ill-advised decisions can be understandable.
    Narrator: (after finding the "churlish" mod) Better look up the word "churlish" before you do anything "stupid."
  • Literally Shattered Lives: How Roger deals with the endodroid though being made of liquid metal, it recovers.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: Aside from process of elimination and Rule of Funny, there's no real reason why you would think to give Sharpei a rotten fish in the finale. But believe it or not, that's what kills her.
  • Mundane Solution: In the Information Superhighway, your number doesn't match the one shown on the Number Changer and Sis Inny doesn't let you into the file room because of that. You're supposed to use a screwdriver found a construction site and change the number so it matches yours, but you can also just wait until it ticks over, though the latter solution takes a while and doesn't give points.
  • Neural Implanting: Moddies, microchips that can alter someone's behavior when plugged into a neural socket. They were understandably outlawed some time ago.
  • No Fair Cheating: Going directly to the Project Immortality file without properly completing the scavenger hunt indicating its existence and relevance results in a message where the narrator chides you for cheating and subtracts two hundred points as punishment. Though you get them back a few seconds later.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The game opens with a very brutal instance of this trope. Even though Roger managed to save who knows how many planets from a genetic apocalypse in the previous game, he is court-martialed and demoted to janitor (presumably to enforce Status Quo Is God, but it also shows how much of a Crapsack World the Space Quest universe is).
  • Noodle Incident:
    Roger: Sorry, I guess I'm a little grumpy. I had a real day. I had to clean the Captain's Log entry container. Then, somebody got a nice buzz in 8-Rear and decided to take a wormhole ride in the HoloSuite. They hit a few wrong buttons and the next thing I know I'm cleaning Vergon Nebulasets and hors d'oeuvres off every wall and ceiling. Apparently, they truly did make the room spin. Boy, they spackled everything! Had to use a putty knife to chip loose some of the chunks of...
  • Overly-Long Gag: At the beginning of the game, Commander Kielbasa addresses his crew and says that he wants to thank "each and every one of [them]" for their good performance . . . and then proceeds to do exactly that.
    Kielbasa: Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you . . .
  • Pixel Hunt: Not required but examining the door to your shuttle after arriving inside Stellar will have Gary insult that Pixel Hunt.
  • Punny Name: DeepShip 86 puns on the terms "Deep Six" and 86, both slang for getting rid of something. And that's exactly what StarCon does to Roger by assigning him there.
    • There's also Sis Inny (SysIni) in the Information Superhighway Office.
    • The shuttle's autopilot is named "Manuel Auxverride", a reference to the phrase "manual override", which is what you do for malfunctioning systems.
  • Put on a Bus: The entire supporting cast from Space Quest V. Although Beatrice does at least get a name check.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Stellar Santiago. She looks like she might be human, but her eyes and forehead don't quite look it. That and she had the eating habits of an Extreme Omni-Goat.
  • Running Gag: "Hey! You forgot your fish!" Pays off at the very end of the game, when the fish turns out to be what you need to defeat Sharpei once and for all.
  • Screw the Electric Bill: Checking one of the activated lamps in the laboratory will have the narrator remark that the light has a motion detector that automatically turns on when someone enters the room, indicating that it turns off when the play doesn't see it. The narrator then continues that it was also cheaper to animate that way.
  • Self-Contained Demo: The game's demo had its own separate storyline, involving an invasion by a parody of the Borg, with unique puzzles not featured in the main game.
  • Sequel Hook:
    Narrator: As Roger and Stellar warp off into the nebulaset, many questions remain. Will Roger and Stellar become an item? How will Beatrice Wankmeister react when she hears about this new friend in Roger's life? Will Roger's voice be a few octaves higher as a result? Would they dare to make another one of these things? Only time, and money, will tell.
  • Series Continuity Error: The scene in which StarCon commend Roger for returning the SCS Eureka. The same SCS Eureka he blew up to kill the Big Bad in the previous game, it was the SCS Goliath he managed to save. Considering it happens during a clearly humiliating and one-sided court martial, this could be waved as proof that The Federation is just another hopelessly corrupt and incompetence-riddled entity in Roger's life.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Song Parody: Roger does this if you use the mouth icon on the ceiling of the lift.
  • Take a Number: Roger takes a number and gets 3. However, the current number being served is 4, and it counts up from there.
  • Take That!: When you find a game in the arcade on Polysorbate LX, FWIW:
    Narrator: What are you going to do? Play more Dull Combat 3?
  • Terminator Impersonator: Yet another one, but this one is a much more direct parody of The Terminator and Roger is hired to get it instead.
  • That Poor Cat: A feline yowl is part of the cacophony that accompanies Roger trying to get to the front of the room at the trial.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Nigel.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Djurkwhad, Nigel, the manager of the Dew Beam Inn, and several background aliens.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?
    Narrator: Would they dare to make another one of these things?

Alternative Title(s): Space Quest VI