Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter

<SQ1 Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter SQ2>





Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy



Release date





Single player




DOS, Macintosh, Amiga, Atari ST


3.5" Floppy Disk or 5.25" Floppy Disk

System Requirements

8088/8086 CPU; 256KB RAM; Video: CGA, EGA, Hercules, or Tandy/PCjr; Sound cards: PC Speaker or Tandy/PCjr


Joystick (Analog) or Keyboard

Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter was the original space quest game released in 1986.

General Information Edit

Space Quest 1 (EGA as its often referred to in collections, though there is an EGA version of the SCI remake that is much rarer) was released in October of 1986 and was a big hit, selling in excess of 100,000 copies, believed to be around 200,000 to date, not including the many compilations it was packaged in. The game was programmed using Sierra's AGI and featured a pseudo-3D environment, allowing the character to move in front of and behind background objects. The game, like many other AGI games, was operated by a text parser, with the Amiga and Mac versions offering basic mouse support for movement. The game had a 160x200 resolution displaying 16 colours. Sound cards were not available in 1986, so sound was played through the PC's internal speaker; owners of Tandy 1000 and PCjr computers would hear a three-voice soundtrack.

Players of the original game are never told the hero's name, but are instead asked to enter their own. The default name of "Roger Wilco" became the de facto name of the hero in the later games of the series.

Synopsis Edit

Roger is a member of the cleaning crew onboard the scientific spaceship "Arcada", which holds a powerful experimental device called the "Star Generator" (a thinly-veiled reference to the Genesis Device from Star Trek 2). Roger emerges from an on-duty nap in a broom closet to find the ship has been taken over by the sinister Sariens. He must make his escape, survive a crash-landing on the desert planet Kerona, and ultimately sneak aboard the Sarien starship Deltaur to stop the vicious aliens from using the Star Generator against Roger's home planet of Xenon.

At the end of the game his efforts are awarded when Roger receives the Golden Mop as a token of eternal gratitude from the people of Xenon and becomes an instant celebrity.

Easter Eggs Edit

  • By pressing the "Don't touch" button in the escape pod, Roger ends up inside another Sierra adventure game, King's Quest. Unfortunately it's not possible to continue the game from there, you have to restart/restore instead. (See Image)
  • You can step around the left side of Droids B Us. Walk as far north from there, and then step partially behind it. Type "take leak" and you'll get one of three funny messages. Sorry, no graphics. There are also 5 buckazoids for you there. The buckazoids aren't there in version 1.0X though.
  • Try typing "scott" in the game. This will work in any screen. The game will output: "Hello Roger Wilco, I've been expecting you. You're obviously a person of dubious taste. Drop me a line at Sierra and let me know if you've enjoyed playing." Looks like this does not work in version 1.0X. (See Image)
  • From the escape pod screen, go East, East, North, North, East, East, then stand in the middle of the screen and wait. A meteor will crash-land exactly on top of your head. (See Image)

Apple IIGS version Edit

This version was the same as the PC version but it contained an improved music score and sound effects, including new music not present in the original game. The colors are different.

This was the first Space Quest game to contain digitized voice in the form of the alarm system at the beginning of the game, blaring out "battle stations" as Roger awakens.

References Edit

  • In the game, the player has to buy a droid in a store called "Droids B Us", obviously a parody on "Toys 'R' Us". In the very first release (Version 1.0X), it was called "Droids R Us", before Toys 'R' Us sued and Sierra changed the name. Incidentally, in the remake the sign for Droids B Us uses a balloon font similar to Toys R Us and a drawing of the store's mascot Geoffrey Giraffe can be seen on the side of the building.
  • One of the alternating bands in the bar is a take-off of ZZ Top, another is a take-off of John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as the Blues Brothers. ZZ Top are playing their hit song Sharp Dressed Man. Madonna also appears, dressed in her Like a Virgin three-breasted outfit. These artists were replaced in the remake with a generic alien band after the three artists sued.
  • The name of the planet Kerona is based upon the name of a Mexican beer called "Corona", which was the favorite beverage of the Two Guys back in 1986.
  • When you approach the Deltaur, the inside view of the ship with your droid resembles the rebel attack on the Death Star from Star Wars.
  • The weapons droid aboard the Deltaur is a ripoff of Marvin the Paranoid Android from Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy. The weapons droid is, just like Marvin, always depressed and saying the same stock sort of lines.
  • The name "Sarien" sounds a lot like "Aryan". You know, the blond ubermenschen from the Nazis.
  • Another reference to the Hitchhiker's Guide are the Sariens, who seem to resemble Vogons quite closely.
  • The Sarien Spider Droid is actually derived from the Imperial Scout Droid from the Empire Strikes Back.
  • The building of Tiny's Used Spaceships at Ulence Flats has a similar design to Luke Skywalker's home on Tattooine.
  • The mugger at Ulence Flats is one of the headhunters working for Jabba, who tried to kill Han Solo in the Mos Eisley cantina in the first Star Wars film.
  • You can actually kiss the Sarien guard aboard the Deltaur, who happens to be a King's Quest fan. Besides his mention of King's Quest 2, which awards you bonus points, you can talk with him about King's Quest 3. Yes, he just bought it for a mere 128,000 buckazoids at Tiny's Holodisk Shop. Not to mention his favorite massacre was the Great Daventry Rout. Turns out that Ken Williams (CEO of Sierra at that time) programmed this into the game. Scott Murphy: "Kissing the Sarien was all Ken Williams' doing as were the KQ2 references. We let him do some programming and just because he runs the company (not anymore -ed) he thinks he can do whatever he wants. Go figure."
  • A movie from 1983 with Eddie Murphy and Jamie Lee Curtis is called "Trading Places". "Beek Security" is mentioned in the movie. It is some kind of security company. The Two Guys used this as a spoof in SQ1 for the keycard description.
  • In the VGA version, when Roger has to get past the dripping acid, if any of the substance touches him, he will melt with a voice file saying "I'm melting!". This is a reference to the classic film The Wizard of Oz, in which the Wicked Witch of the West dies by melting.

Credits Edit



  • Sol Ackerman
  • Scott Murphy
  • Ken Williams

Interpreter/Development System

  • Chris Iden
  • Jeff Stephenson


Mark Crowe


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