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Proto:Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers.

Hmmm...
To do:
  • Find any additional differences I might have missed.
  • Also, get some clean-up and more descriptions here.

Released by a cracking group named "The Humble Guys" a few months before the game's initial floppy release, this prototype lacks a lot of dialogue and contains several bugs.

General Differences

Unsurprisingly, many of the finishing touches are absent from this build. These include, but are not limited to...

  • The score is always a "0 out of 69" in this build. There's no way to raise this score.
  • Death dialogue boxes don't have unique pictures and just appear over gameplay.
  • Several music stings and sound effects are missing in this build.
  • Several Easter eggs are missing. Cutscenes in which to see these are usually locked off from player input in this build.

Debugging Abilities

As this is a prototype version, debugging material is available instantly. For starters, the player can teleport to any room in the game as soon as they boot up the game.

Be careful about this though, as several of the game's scripts are unstable and going to these rooms can sometimes crash the game. Also, a really detailed set of debug controls are available in this build.

Keys Action
Alt + A Show cast (info about all on-screen objects)
Alt + B Removed; Game crashes
Alt + C Show control layer
Alt + D Internal debugger on room change (crashes due to removal)
Alt + E Show information on Ego
Alt + F Show stats for allocation of memory
Alt + G Set/Clear Global variable
Alt + I Get item
Alt + J Justify text on-screen
Alt + M Give yourself 20 buckazoids
Alt + N Create a QA log entry
Alt + P Show priority map
Alt + R Show room info
Alt + T Teleport to a room
Alt + W Feature Writer (crashes)
Alt + Y Adjust vanishing point
Alt + Z Quit the game
(Source: HWM, ScummVM Wiki)

Room Differences

Xenon

  • No warning about taking the unstable ordinance, though the text is in this version. You also cannot place the ordinance back into the tank.

Sewers

  • No warning that no backtracking can occur after going into the sewers.

Estros

  • Roger's dialogue appears on the top of the screen during his first encounter with the Latex Babes, instead of the bottom-left.

Mall

  • Ms. Astro Chicken is not implemented in the build.
  • No option to not play the Monolith Burger making game.

Ulence Flats

  • No warning as to when the bikers are coming toward Roger.

Cutscenes

  • There's a line connecting "Uh, yeah." to Roger in the opening.
  • No special fanfare (or false fanfare) when using the Timepod.
  • The sequence where Roger Jr. is taken to Vohaul is in Script 150 in the prototype, but Script 153 in the final version.

Graphical Differences

  • The titles for the sections of the game are displayed as color text on a black background. It's consistently black text on a grey background in the final game.
  • Some graphics in the mall sections are corrupted - most notably in the Arcade and the Radioshock/Hz So Good store.
  • The icon of the Two Guys from Andromeda in the quit box is not drawn yet; instead, a placeholder graphic with "View 946" is shown.
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Space Quest IV-timepod-proto.png Space Quest IV-timepod-final.png

Roger's shirt is all pink inside the ship in the prototype. More importantly, the buttons are more visible in the final version.

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SpaceQuestIV-617-proto.png SpaceQuestIV-617-final.png

The time pod's in-game sprite has a yellow highlight removed from the final version.

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SpaceQuestIV-340-Proto.png SpaceQuestIV-340-final.png

Zondra is missing her boots in this scene. Her position is also changed with in-game sprites to make it seem slightly less lopsided. Also, a single purple pixel hiding behind her arm was fixed.

Strangely, this scene was kept intact in the EGA floppy version and even re-used in "Take A Break! Pinball".

v1.000.342 v1.052
SpaceQuestIVProto-Pic611-v.png SpaceQuestIVFinal-Pic611-v.png

This scene of Ulence Flats is a little unfinished in the prototype, notable in the background barriers and the crevices in the Droids'B'Us building. The gate was also redrawn to make it clearer the player can't enter in there.

Unused Graphics

SpaceQuestIVProto-View700-0-3.png

While the keycard's cursor icon survived into the final game, it has an inventory image that was scrapped.

Text Differences

v1.000.342 v1.052
As we rejoin our friend and semi-hero Roger Wilco
we find him rocketing back toward his home planet
of Xenon which he hasn't seen since Space Quest 2.
Having worked hard to rescue those two ingrates from
Andromeda he decides a pit stop at a little 
watering hole on the planet Magmetheus is in order.
We rejoin our friend and semi-hero Roger Wilco
as he rockets back toward his home planet, Xenon,
which he hasn't seen since Space Quest II.
Having successfully rescued those two ingrates from
Andromeda he decides a pit stop on Magmetheus is in order.

Some rewording here, making sure that the two guys from Andromeda were actually rescued.

v1.000.342 v1.052
We have confirmation of his
current position, sir.
We have confirmation of
his position, Master.

Sludge becomes a master.

v1.000.342 v1.052
Proceed to Magmetheus! Our
unworthy prey awaits.
Off to Magmetheus with you then!
It is time for Wilco to meet the fate
which I have crafted for him.

Sludge calls Wilco "unworthy prey", but restrains from this in the final game.

v1.000.342 v1.052
**Looks like a cross between a praying mantis and E.T.
It looks like a cross between a praying mantis and Richard Nixon.

Despite going unused in the final version, this description was changed to avoid a reference to E.T.

v1.000.342 v1.052
Hey, what the...

Listen! There's no time to explain! They've
got a bead on our coordinates!
Hey! I wanna know what the...

Listen! I can't explain it all to you now!
They've got a bead on our coordinates!
We've got to move fast!

The dialogue is expanded in the final version.

v1.000.342 v1.052
** You discard the worn rope
as it has frayed to uselessness.
The stress placed on the rope 
during the bunny snatching was too much.
You cast the useless fibers aside.
v1.000.342 v1.052
*** The door's locked from the other side.
This hatch opens from the other side only.
v1.000.342 v1.052
*** Smells like your common
variety of green slime.
What were you expecting, Lime Slime?
You notice a burning sensation when you
get a strong whiff.
v1.000.342 v1.052
*** Be patient... it's almost
in the right position!
Not quite yet... wait until it's
in the right position!
v1.000.342 v1.052
I'd be staying clear of that slime
puddle at all possible opportunities.
You scoop up the slimy secretion.
Better get away now before it scoops you up!
v1.000.342 v1.052
*** You ran out of time
You took a little too long.
Now it's slime time!

The messages for dealing with the slime were slightly reworded.

v1.000.342 v1.052
*** You look at your puny piece of rope
and realize that it wouldn't be strong enough
to hold this puppy to the ground.
You examine your puny piece of rope 
and realize that it wouldn't be 
strong enough to hold this puppy to the ground.
v1.000.342 v1.052
*** There is no way you can budge the 
landing gear on this monster.
You can't budge this.
v1.000.342 v1.052
*** If you took the ship you would
have no way of carrying it around.
Your pockets aren't big enough.
v1.000.342 v1.052
*** You can't do anything with the ship from here.
If you can do anything with the ship you certainly can't do it from here.
v1.000.342 v1.052
*** It looks like a little shuttle has arrived.
You look at the finely-sculpted ship. 
It looks to have been designed for atmospheric operation 
- probably used solely for patrol excursions.
v1.000.342 v1.052
You are in the southern area of a rare clearing
in this destroyed cityscape. All around you inanimate victims
of war litter the streets. Your home as you remembered it
does not exist in this period of Xenon's time.
A huge boil of a structure clogs the horizon.
It looks like a graphic referenced repeatedly
in a product use brochure for a line of foot care aids.
Speaking of foot care, you haven't changed your socks
in a couple of sequels. It conjures an unpleasant
olfactory image.
v1.000.342 v1.052
** Your head is flattening out
very nicely.
Your head is unusually well suited
to serve as a manhole coaster.
v1.000.342 v1.052
A sleek ship
occupies the area presently.
A sleek patrol transport
occupies the area presently.
v1.000.342 v1.052
*** Worrying about your hair is about 
the last thing on your mind right now!
Your hair is the last thing on
your mind right now (even though it is
on top of your head)!
v1.000.342 v1.052
*** The policeman has no distinct smell,
but in a week things might be different.
At this moment the Sequel policeman has no 
distinct smell other than that of someone with 
less than exemplary personal hygiene habits.
Give him a few days or so and he'll be quite aromatic,
not to mention pumped up like a ball park frank!

There's a much more expanded description upon smelling the sequel policeman's corpse in the nest.

v1.000.342 v1.052
*** Please, this is a family oriented game!
Take it from someone who knows sick.
Licking corpses is going way beyond just
pushing the envelope of dementia.
Grab the reins, pal.
v1.000.342 v1.052
*** You get the feeling that your not alone.
A mysterious shadow quickly moves from your view.
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**Restraining belt.
**Man strapper restraint system.
restraint
It's a Mantrap restraint system.
v1.000.342 v1.052
**The slug's mouth.
It's the slug's intake orifice.
Looks pretty disgusting, don't you think?

Plain placeholder here.

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**A very dexterous mouth for a slug.
My, this slug has a very dexterous mouth.
v1.000.342 v1.052
**Sea slime slowly oozes down
the fin of this hideous creature.
Sea water and slug slime slowly ooze
down the fin of this hideous creature.
v1.000.342 v1.052
**Slug spit. Looks appetizing huh.
It's slug spit! Looks appetizing, huh.
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**Bulging bug eyed steaming slug head.
It looks like the internal pressure
of the slug is starting to exceed
its external strength
v1.000.342 v1.052
**Better take cover
slimy slug guts are gonna fly.
Better take cover.
It looks like slimey slug guts
are gonna fly.
v1.000.342 v1.052
Yep, it's that nasty slug tongue again.
Amazing what he can do with
that thing isn't it?
Yep, it's that nasty slug tongue again.
Scary to think of what he can do with
that thing, isn't it?
v1.000.342 v1.052
** you look, but by staring
may draw some unwanted attention.
You look briefly, careful not to
attract any attention. AS YOU CAN SEE,
they are clad in dark uniforms,
wearing helmets and carrying guns.
v1.000.342 v1.052
** dispatch building lookStr
It looks to be a sealed, reinforced
structure which houses dispatch
communications and monitoring equipment.
v1.000.342 v1.052
*** you need the Reveal-O-Matic Hint Revealer.
You'll need the Reveal-O-Matic Hint Revealer.
v1.000.342 v1.052
*** the Reveal-O-Matic is out of juice.
Sorry. Your Reveal-O-Matic seems to have exhausted its power supply.
You'll have to contact the now defunct supplier for a replacement.
v1.000.342 v1.052
*** Only half the answer showed,
must be a faulty hint.
Oh, great! Only half the answer showed!
It must be a defective hint module.
v1.000.342 v1.052
***Thanks to your janitor ingenuity,
the doorlock is now destroyed and
you may enter and leave at will.
Thanks to your janitorial ingenuity,
the doorlock is now destroyed and
you may enter and leave at will.

Slight fix here to add a suffix.

v1.000.342 v1.052
Hi there.  I'm Vohaul/Roger Jr., and you're not.
Hee, hee, hee! Hello again, Roger. 
It's me - your old friend Sludge Vohaul.
I've taken the liberty of borrowing your son's body.
I had to remove him first to make room for my mental self.
His is on this disk.  I must say, it is most enjoyable
to be in a young, healthy body -
even if it is from YOUR blood line.
v1.000.342 v1.052
*** Whew!  You were nearly thrown 
off the edge of the platform.
 Whew!  You were nearly thrown off 
the edge of the platform! Be more careful!
v1.000.342 v1.052
C'mon, ya yellow-bellied cheese head!
Is that the best effort you can muster?
All this space hero nonsense must be getting to you.
You're getting OLD, Roger! I, on the other hand
am enjoying the physical joys of youth.

The prototype dialogue is obviously a placeholder.

Hi, Dad.  Let's go somewhere near a dangerous, 
mind-boggling drop to certain death and exchange
insults about each other's looks..

Said by Roger Jr. before the game's ending sequence.

*** about screen
*** this thing can be anything  we want.  We can do line draws &
    draw cels, and all the stuff that could potentially make it look like the control panel.

At this point, the about screen is not ready yet, so this placeholder is here instead.

Mall

v1.000.342 v1.052
***1 Hey! Beats an inflatable 
pleasure droid
"Would stripes look good on me", 
you wonder? Those boots are attractive.

The mannequins have a singular description here, which is rather inappropriate.

Maebot is completely different in this version. Here, they're named Gaybot (yes, really) and speak in a very stereotypical manner of gays.

v1.000.342 v1.052
**Greetingss, I'm sssir Gaybot,
what can I do with... err for you?

***I.. uh.. well...

**Looking for the latest in high
galactic polyfiber fashion.

**Yeah I... uh.. guess so.

**Shopping for that ssspecial
sssomeone or is thiss for yoursself?

**Actually it's for... someone else..
yeah thats it, someone else.

**Mmmm I ssee, ssay no more I understand
perfectly.. this sspecial ssomeone has 
the same measurements, I presume?

**Uh yeah thats right, how did you know?

**Don't worry luv, I have a 
reputation for keeping a ssecret. 
Now I have just the thing, 
it's all the rage.
Hiya, hon. I'm Maebot, 
fashion consultant to the cosmos. 
What can we do with ya today?

Well, uh, this is kinda hard to explain...

Oh, let me guess. You want something
for someone very special, somebody who'd
die to get the latest in
high-galactic fashion. Are we right
or are we right?

Uh...we're right.

Okay, what size does she take?

38.

Ooh, I don't think we're right about that.

Um, I'm...uh...I'm not sure,
but she's, um, built about like me.

Is she? A likely story. Good thing for 
you I can keep a secret, sweetie.
v1.000.342 v1.052
**Ssince you are the ssame ssize 
why don't you try these on, the changing room 
is here to the right.

**Ssay, why don't you try thiss on too,
it's one of my personal favorites.

**Oooh you look delicious, you'll...
I mean she'll be so pleased!
I'm sure this will suit that
'special someone's needs'. It's all the rage.

I suppose you'll want to try it on now.
Here, use this dressing room.

And honey, if your 'special someone'
needs a wig, this one should look
pretty good on you.

Very lovely, honey, it's made for you.
Would you like us to wrap it up,
or would that 'special someone'
prefer you to wear it home?

I think I'll wear it home.
v1.000.342 v1.052
**Ssay you should have your hearing checked,
I said it will be %3d buckazoids please.
Are you in need of an auditory exam or what?
I said it will be %3d buckazoids please.
v1.000.342 v1.052
**I think your cute too, but looks
won't pay for those designer duds.
I think you're cute too, but looks
won't pay for those designer duds.

A typical typo fixed for the final version.

v1.000.342 v1.052
Welcome, sir. How may I help you?
Pardon me, sir. You appear to be in
dire need of my services.
v1.000.342 v1.052
We have a nice line of apparel
for the generic space hero.

** Here you are sir. You may try
this on in the dressing room,
just to my right.

That will be twenty Buckaziods, 
please.
I see. Well, alright, 
let me get your measurements.

I assume you'll be wanting something
in the generic space hero line.

These will do for you. Try them on
in the dressing room here,
if you wish.

That will be 20 buckazoids, please
v1.000.342 v1.052
Yes. I've misplaced the
legs of my pants. My boots seem to
missing as well.
I'm sorry, I lost my boots
and the legs of my pants in a
deadly fight with a giant sea slug,
which I won in the nick of time
with my clever thinking and
my...uh...cleverness.

Roger gives a better-ish reason as to what happened to his boots and pants.

v1.000.342 v1.052
** lights are used to
brighten the display case.
Small fixtures emit rays
of visible light greatly aiding
the sighted shopper.
v1.000.342 v1.052
** lights are used to
brighten the display case.
Small fixtures emit rays
of visible light greatly aiding
the sighted shopper.
v1.000.342 v1.052
Ah, I see you've made a selection
from our box of shi..er, bargain bin.
Ah, I see you've made a selection
from our box of slop..er, bargain bin

The retail store clerk comes VERY close to saying "shit", which would have been quite a surprise.

v1.000.342 v1.052
*** The clerk was right, there is 
only boring applications software left.
The clerk was right. Only 
boring applications software remains.
v1.000.342 v1.052
** A bargain bin
contains discount software.
A bargain bin
containing discount software.

Removed Text

*** Gee, I guess that way doesn't go anywhere.
*** Well... here we are, Roger, what are you going to do this time?
You engage in a meaningful conversation with the %s.
I guess that just doesn't work with the %s.
You've smelled better.
You smell nothing of interest.
That's funny, no taste.

Generic placeholder lines for interacting with anything that doesn't have a specific dialogue.

You are in the northwest corner of a small 
clearing on the otherwise rubble-choked streets of Xenon.
You have no use for the skulls, vertebras, bone shards,
dried cartilage, jerkified tendons, and pecked-clean
ligaments strewn about the nest.

An additional message for trying to grab something off the sequel policeman's corpse in the bird's nest.

Your last name might as well be `Lindsley' now.

A possible reference to Sierra programmer Robert Lindsley. Found within Ulence Flats's text data.

HOOK - What you see out the window msg goes here.
It's a rerun of "I Love Lunacy"

A couple of extra messages for searching around the patrol ship. In the final game, it shows a still picture of a title card saying "I Love Lunacy" instead of telling you what should be on the screen.

Wasted and semi-wasted buildings fill
the view of Xenon from up here.
The battles waged here were fierce
and all-encompassing.
Ego falls off the edge and dies.

Placeholder message for when Roger falls off at the end.

 *** You are somewhere.

Found inside Script 355, which is otherwise empty in this build.