Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge
Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge is a comedic graphic adventure puzzle video game developed and published by Sierra On-Line on 1987-11-14 for Apple II, Atari ST, and DOS, and later ported to Amiga, Apple IIgs, and Macintosh. It is the second game in the Space Quest series and uses the Adventure Game Interpreter. The game was primarily designed by Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy who go by the moniker "Two Guys From Andromeda."
My cousin had Space Quest II back in the late 1980s, and we played it on his Tandy 1000. He first showed it to me to show off the cool title music, which I agreed was pretty awesome. He hadn't yet got very far in the game, just enough to get to the surface of Labion. Together, he and I started drawing up a map and trying various commands, and got about halfway through the game. Then, one weekend, when I came to visit, they had beaten the game. My cousin and I walked through the game again, so I could beat it too, and, with my uncle's help, we beat it with a score higher than before.
I own a digital copy of this game in the Space Quest Collection on Steam. I have beaten the DOS port with a perfect score.
Best Version: MS-DOS
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The game has a lot of hilarious dialogue. Much of it is laugh-out-loud funny.
- The rooms are very well drawn despite the halved horizontal resolution to be CGA compatible.
- The game's manual is also a well-made comic book describing the the events of Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter (through the self-serving eyes of Roger Wilco) and the interim between the start of this game. It even has funny fake ads.
- The title song, modified slightly from the first game, is still quite nice.
- Several of the puzzles are pretty clever and a couple offer multiple ways to solve them. And, following tradition, the more ingenious solutions award more points.
- The shrink ray sequence is really clever.
- Other than the wonderful title song, the game is pretty lacking in audio.
- The game suffers from the typical Sierra mentality of punishing the player with death for pretty much every action except the correct one. There are a couple rooms with nothing in them except ways to die. However, Space Quest II has such funny death messages, a lot of the time I didn't mind.
- On the ports to superior platforms, like the Amiga and Apple IIgs, none of the graphics are reworked to take advantage of the superior hardware. However, the Apple IIgs port does add some more music.
- The story's plot, that Vohaul is going to ruin the Earth with an army of insurance salesmen robots, is too silly for my taste.
- The hint book was written by Roberta Williams rather than Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy, and it is not very funny.
- The game has several ways to put the game into an unwinnable state. Two with the order form, though they're pretty difficult to miss, but the one regarding the gem is especially bad because it's very easy to pass up. You'll also be stuck if you fail to rescue the pink alien or miss the spore.
Space Quest II uses the same art for all ports just with minor changes to the layout to signify the platform or publisher. It uses a photograph of well-made diorama. I like the shape of the lettering, and the lighting is great, but the salesmen pods are kind of lame.
A non-playable demo of Space Quest II is showcased in Sierra AGI Demos 2, 3, 4, and 5.
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