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Space Quest: Chapter I - The Sarien Encounter (1986)

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Title Screen

Space Quest: Chapter I - The Sarien Encounter

Developer: Sierra On-Line
Publisher: Sierra On-Line
Platforms: DOS, Apple II, Apple IIGS, Amiga, Atari ST, Mac OS Classic
Released in US: October 1986

DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.


Say, there's a bunch of junk on here from Space Quest 1!

Strange, you don't recognize most of this. This conglomeration of curious content was clearly cut from the completed game.

Either that, or you've taken one too many whiffs from cleaning solvents.

> _


Press Alt+D to enable some debugging functions. These features are disabled upon entering a new room.

Here's the complete word list:

  • TP: Teleport to the appropriate room.
  • POS: Set Roger's X and Y positions.
  • GET OBJECT: Puts the appropriate object by ID in the player's inventory.
  • OBJECT or SP: Gives status on the appropriate object.
  • SET VAR: Sets a chosen variable to a given value.
  • SHOW VAR: Displays the value of a variable.
  • SET FLAG: Sets the appropriate flag.
  • RESET FLAG: Resets the appropriate flag.
  • SHOW FLAG: Displays info on a flag (Can be either set or not set).
  • CASH: Allows the player to set the number of Buckazoids they have.
  • DRINK CLOTHES: Changes Roger's outfit to his excursion garb.
  • BE ALIEN: Changes Roger's outfit to the Sarien disguise.
  • DRINK JET PACK: Equips Roger with the jet pack.
  • NO HELMET: Changes Roger's outfit to the Sarien disguise, sans helmet.

Here are some numbers that you don't care for.

  • SHOW MEM: Displays info on memory use.

Space Quest 1 for the Atari 2600.

  • SHOW PRI: Displays priority settings on the current room.


Code that's never called anywhere in the game.

Logic 4

One of the earliest pathfinding bugs...
If you return to the room you start in (logic 2) on the upper level, there's a 21% chance that three guards show up marching on the lower level. The same code exists in logic 4, but due to a coding bug they never show up (you'd have to enter from the right side with an Y coordinate less than 80; and in that room the exit is placed lower than that; and repositioning the player occurs after this step). It is possible to get them to show up anyway with the debug mode, by repeatedly teleporting from room 4 to room 4; at this point, they'll promptly get stuck behind one of the corpses.

Logic 118

This appears to be an early version of the wandering Sarien logic used on the Arcada. There are only two messages in this logic compared to the final logic's five. Notably missing are the footstep messages that are used to alert the player.

This logic was removed from the game's resources in Version 2.2.

Message 3 Message 4
Unable to see anyone here,
the alien leaves to search
The Sarien crewman stands
over you radiating a chill
you can no longer sense. His
unblinking stare searches for
confirmation of the kill.
(Source: Original TCRF research)


Three Guys From Deltaur.
Three static Sarien guards. Their design here is a lot beefier than their finalized look.

He ate Pop Rocks beforehand.
The first three frames of Orat swelling up from eating the can of dehydrated water aren't used. It's a little animation of Orat actually examining the can before eating the thing. Apparently, at one point, you could GIVE CAN instead of throwing it at him.

Note the yellow eyes on Orat. He has green eyes in the final game, but these frames were never updated to match.

Old (Picture 63) Final (Picture 65)
My Enter key isn't working. My Enter key still isn't working.

Picture 63 -- removed from Version 2.2 -- is an older version of the Star Generator keypad. The only difference is the lack of an enter button.

Wow! Exciting stuff.

(Source: SpaceQuest.net, Original TCRF research)


None of these items have descriptions or graphics. They're just kinda there.

Life Detector

Item ID: 01 (Versions 1.0x & 1.1a only)
This item was removed entirely from version 2.2. There's no code in the game that references it. All that was ever done (or is left in the code) is the object name and ID.

Own 1 Used Ship

Item ID: 0D (Versions 1.0x & 1.1a), 20 (Version 2.2)
Presumably this would be given to the player when they bought the correct ship. This is referenced once in the back lot of Tiny's Used Spacecrafts, where it would remove Tiny from the screen if it was obtained.


Item ID: 14 (Versions 1.0x & 1.1a), 15 (Version 2.2)
This item actually has a unique use message!
When the player types PRESS BUTTON or PRESS CONTROL BUTTON with this item in their inventory, and the player is not in the Deltaur's Star Generator room, the following message is displayed:

You press the button on the
remote control but notice
nothing different.

It's possible that this item was accidentally created in the object list. There's a Remote Control item in the game, and its only use is in the Star Generator room. It probably should have used this code.

Pocket Lint

Item ID: 23 (All versions)
Probably a joke item. On the room to the right of the starting screen, you can type GET LINT and get a special message, but this item isn't added to the inventory.

In Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, Larry starts the game with pocket lint in his inventory, with its description stating "why is this stuff in every adventure game?", so it was probably an inside joke at Sierra.

(Source: Original TCRF research)


ID Message Notes
General Logic
9 The can gives only one size
of serving, 10 gallons. I
don't think you're that
This message would appear if the player tried to drink the entire can of dehydrated water.
53 You just had a drink. You'd
better ration your supply.
This place is hot!
At one point, there was a limit on how many times you could drink from the can of dehydrated water.
The way it is in the final game, the player can drink from the can as many times as they want.
114 Sorry, you'll have to go back
into the bar to do that.
This would likely appear by inputting the command BUY BEER outside of the bar.
Logic 1 - Data Archive
4 The screen says "Type the
word `find` followed by the
first name of the desired
cartridge title."
This hints at an older version of the Cartridge Retrieval system.
The final system has its own screen and prompt, so the "FIND" command does nothing special in this room.
16 He certainly looks dead.
Do you get off on checking
out stiffs?
An earlier, alternate dialogue for typing LOOK BODY.
38 There is no time for that.
The alien attackers are on
their way.
An unused warning for trying to insert the cartridge into the computer?
49 I warned you, but noooooo!
Did you listen?!
And here's the narrator mocking you for not obeying said warning and getting shot.
Logic 2 - Starting Screen
2 You recognize this as your
sanitation supply closet. You
have spent many hours
sleeping in it.
At one point, LOOK CLOSET might have had a different response than "LOOK DOOR".
9 The doors here are not
particularly interesting.
An alternate message for "LOOK DOOR".
19 The door is closed, fool! Possible response from typing "LOOK CLOSET" while the door is closed.
Logic 7 - Room Before Flight Prep Room
8 <word1> <word2>?
I'm sorry, <name>.
You can't do that. I question
your mental fitness.
A humorous error message that could have been used for a multitude of things.
Logic 8 - Vehicle Bay
5 Sorry, <name>. You
can't enter the Escape Pod
when the Vehicle Bay doors
are closed.
It's impossible for the escape pod to even be in the room while the bay doors are closed.
7 The Vehicle Bay Door is quite
A rather bland message that was replaced with a different bit of descriptive text.
Logic 9 - Flight Prep Room
12 Your sight isn't what it once
was. Maybe mom and dad
weren't kidding. Anyway,
you'll have to get closer.
An amusing message that might have been prompted by typing LOOK SIGN a significant distance away.
33 The elevator door opens
automatically and the others
open by pushing buttons.
This was split into two messages in the final version. The message displayed depends on where the player is in the room.
Logic 19 - Mesa Center
This is one of the electronic barrier stations encircling
Ulence Flats. Its force field keeps out anything or
anyone traveling on or under ground.
This room shares some of its logic with Ulence Flats, i.e. a call to logic 107. This contains a number of default responses, including this one to "look barrier". Obviously there is no barrier at the mesa.
Logic 23 - Mesa Southeast
Fortunately for you, the path here is not far above
the ground. Your suffering is limited to a dull pain
in the hindquarters.
This room contains logic for falling off the cliff, which is lethal in other rooms but only embarrassing here. However, due to the room layout, it is not possible to fall off the cliff. It was likely possible in an earlier version.
Logic 26 - Grate Room
1 rock taken Given their blandness and lack of capitalization, these are very likely placeholder or test messages.
No messages are displayed for these actions in the final game.
2 geyser plugged
4 geyser unplugged
Logic 28 - Laser Machine Room
9 You are in a large room in
the cavern. There is a level
area below. Standing toward
the bottom are two
odd-looking units emitting
beams of light.
This is displayed with the command "LOOK AREA" on the upper path with the laser machine intact.
This is impossible, since the player can't reach the upper path without destroying the laser machine.
Logic 30 - Pod Crash Site
8 Hold your breath! Unknown. Probably response to inputting some stupid in the parser.
Logic 34 - Tiny's Used Spacecrafts
5 "So whaddaya think? Is she a
diamond in the rough, or
what? And only 129
There's no ship that Tiny sells for 129 buckazoids in the finalized game.
Logic 35 - Outside of Bar
26 Ulence Flats is a typical
example of some of the
frontier settlements that
sprang up in the early days
of the Outer Zone exploration
several years ago.
Unfortunately, this attracted
many unsavory individuals
looking to make a quick
buckazoid. Caution is
Unlike most of the messages on this list, this is rendered unused due to an oversight.
There are meant to be two descriptions: One for "LOOK AREA", and one for "LOOK CITY".
However, the check for the first message includes both "LOOK AREA" and "LOOK CITY".
So, because the first check catches both inputs, the first description is always used.
Kind of a shame too, since this description gives the city more character.

This is properly used, with a bit of minor rewording, in the SCI remake.
28 Turning the key does no good
since the skimmer was
programmed to get here and go
no further.
An alternate explanation for why turning the skimmer key does nothing.
The final game explains that the skimmer ran out of power.
Logic 36 - Behind Bar
34 "I warned you, but, did you
Probably intended to be said by the mugger, right before he shoots you for trying to get away.
Logic 37 - Tiny's Back Lot
20 It won't do you any good to
be in the ship without a
droid to operate it.
A message for a check that's never performed in the final game.
30 "Say what?" An unused generic response to giving an invalid sector to the pilot droid, perhaps.
Logic 57 - Deltaur Storage Room
10 You hear strange voices coming
toward you!
A line that would pop up before the trunk was picked up by the Sarien guards.
Logic 70 - Rocket Bar
9 You're not close enough to
Since you just have to walk up to the slot machine to play it, these aren't needed.
Perhaps at one point you had to type PLAY GAME to activate the machine.
10 Sorry, someone is currently
playing. Wait your turn.
43 "Whatever you say." A nondescript line for the barkeep.
Logic 73 - Daventry Zone
1 You have this strange sinking
This would be used after crashing into the Daventry moat.
Logic 100 - Death Parser
7 How about that darn
artificial gravity, <name>.
Just like the real thing,
A message for falling from a great height in one of the spaceships. That situation never comes up.
16 You've been mowed down by a
Deltaur crewthing.
Unlike the previous message this has a bit of coding associated with it.
If the death value (Var 130) was ever set to 24, this message would be displayed.
18 Not being a very smooth thief
you have been caught and
dealt with appropriately.
An unused death message for trying to steal from the Deltaur armory.
If the death value is set to 25, this text is displayed.
31 Alas, <name>, you have failed
in your attempt to save the
universe from the clutches of
the Sariens.
Out of three generic death messages, only one is used. This is one of the two that's not.
At one point, the generic death message might have been randomized like in Space Quest II.
32 Once again, you've
demonstrated your inability
to carry out a simple task
like saving all of humanity.
You quickly glance around the
room to see if anyone saw
your silly mistake. Thank you
for playing Space Quest,
<name>. You've been most
This is the other one.
Interestingly, this is very similar to two of the generic death messages in Space Quest II.
Logic 110 - Spider Droid Logic
2 Not many tales are told of
the spider droids due to a
lack of live witnesses.
This was replaced with a more interesting message that's stored per room.
Logic 119 - Pulseray Logic
5 Are you crazy? Possibly used for trying to shoot something weird. Like yourself.
Logic 121 - Trunk & Grate Logic
3 You slide the trunk just
beneath a wall vent.
This is done in the final game without text.
8 It won't do any good unless
you PUSH TRUNK to the wall,
so that you can CLIMB TRUNK,
This text, in all likelihood, was used for testing purposes. It gives away the entire grate puzzle!
23 With the chest open that act
would be highly ineffective.
An alternate message for trying to stand on the trunk while it's open?


Early Final Notes
Logic 4, Message 11
Good grief, man! You are a
bit twisted, I must say.?
Logic 0, Message 65
Good grief, %s1! You are a
bit twisted, I must say.
The early text is actually coded in the game through KICK BODY in Logic 4.
However, it's overridden by the same command in the main game logic.
Logic 1, Message 7
You are suddenly startled by
the sound of the ship's alarm
coming from the hallway.
Logic 94, Message 1
You are startled by the sound
of an alarm. It is followed
by an urgent voice which
warns that the Arcada has
been boarded by unknown
intruders. It ends abruptly.
This description was beefed up considerably.
Logic 2, Message 18
Looking into the closet you
see nothing but darkness.
Logic 2, Message 21
It looks dark in there.
This description, however, was made more concise.
Logic 14, Message 8
You are inside the escape
pod. It appears that the more
fragile devices were damaged
severely by the impact of
landing. Got any bright
ideas, Edison?
Logic 14, Message 1
You are inside the escape
pod. It appears that the more
fragile devices were damaged
severely by the impact of
The early description has a joke that was removed from the final text.
Logic 34, Message 16
"We have a motto. You don't
mess with it - You don't die!"
Logic 37, Message 16
"We have a motto. You don't
own it - You don't mess with
it - You don't die!"
There's more to the motto in the main game.
Logic 36, Message 4
"<$> buckazoids? I guess it's
better than nothing. Here,
keep five for yourself. I
gotta admit you look like you
need it. Well, gotta run.
Later, pal."
Logic 36, Message 32
"<$> buckazoids? I guess it's
better than nothing. Here,
keep five for yourself. I
gotta admit you look like you
need it."
The earlier text implies that the mugger would leave after robbing Roger.
In the final game, it's the player who has to exit the screen.
Logic 50, Message 13
By pressing the button, you
have deactivated the force
field which surroundsthe
Logic 50, Message 45
Suddenly, the force field
protecting the Star Generator
The incorrect spacing of the earlier text has been left as-is.
Logic 50, Message 16
The gas grenade has done its
job. The guard is now
unconscious. Well done,
Logic 119, Message 15
The grenade drops to the
floor releasing its poisonous
gas on the unsuspecting
alien. Good shot <name>!
The guard's just unconscious in the early script. He's dead in the final game.
Early Final Notes
Logic 121, Messages 11-12
You climb into the trunk. The lid pounds shut above you.
The voices, muffled now, grow louder.
Logic 57, Message 11-12
You climb into the trunk. The lid pounds shut above you.
You hear voices, muffled, then louder."
Just some rewording for the first two lines of this message.
(Source: Original TCRF research)


The sounds in this game are programmed with three sound channels and a noise channel. In most computers, only the first two are heard.

Both the two-channel and four-channel (Tandy) versions of these unused sounds are provided here.

ID Basic Tandy Notes
06 N/A
Plays exclusively on the noise channel. Possibly used for Orat's death.
Something shrill and annoying.
32 N/A
Plays exclusively on the noise channel. Either a splash or an explosion.
An unused celebratory jingle!
(Source: Original TCRF research)


Do you want an exhaustive (bordering on obsessive) look at the changes between versions? Here you go.

Droids R Us

Versions 1.0X + 1.1A Version 2.2
Run, the lawyers are coming! Lawsuits B Avoiding

The shop "Droids R Us" was changed to "Droids B Us" after Toys "R" Us threatened Sierra On-Line with legal action.

Word Groups

Group 58 "Being"
Words Added: Crew Man, Crew Person, Crewperson, Man's, Scientist, Technician

Group 76 "I.D."
Words Added: Sarien ID Card

Group 83 "Explore"
Words Added: Rummage

Group 87 "Scott"
Words Added: Scott Murphy

Group 233 "Belt"
Words Added: Belts

Group 251 "Box"
Words Added: Model DX Unit

Text Changes

Command V1.1A V2.2 Notes
Main Game Logic
SCOTT N/A Hello, <name>. 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.
This easter egg referring to co-creator Scott Murphy only appears in Version 2.2.
Scott's name appears in the word bank in the earlier revisions as well, but it's unused.
The message in this slot in earlier versions is "Don't snivel!"
Logic 8 - Vehicle Bay
LOOK IN CRAFT N/A You peer in through the open
door but are unable to make
out any detail.
One of a few lines added for Version 2.2.
Logic 26 - Grate Room
SIT GEYSER N/A Anything for a thrill, eh?
That's a pretty darn
interesting idea, but not the
correct one.
A joke exclusive to Version 2.2.
Logic 35 - Outside of Bar
(First arrival)
N/A Do not remove the key while
the skimmer is in motion.
Obviously this wouldn't make sense, would it?
Logic 57 - Deltaur Storage Room
LOOK TRUNK The trunk is not of interest.
It is only here because the
sloppy Sariens never pick up
after themselves.
There doesn't seem to be
anything special about the
Strangely, Version 2.2 removes a joke here at the sake of puzzle clarity.
Logic 61 - Deltaur Airlock
(None) "Bleep, Gurgle, Pop!",
apologizes the strange robot
as he pushes you aside."
"Bleep, Gurgle, Pop!"
apologizes the strange robot
as he pushes you aside.
Just some minor changes in comma placement.
TALK ROBOT "Snap, Crackle, Murphy",
responds the little robot.
"Snap, Crackle, Murphy,"
responds the little robot.
Logic 70 - Rocket Bar
LOOK AREA In the lower corner a
sweeper is standing silent.
You notice a sweeper in
the lower corner of the room.
Some random dialogue rephrasing.

Parser Changes

Version 2.2 adds some additional word combinations for certain actions.

Logic 24 - Orat Cave
Action: Trying to give Orat the Dehydrated Water.

Action: Throwing Dehydrated Water to Orat.

Action: Obtaining the Orat Chunk.
Version 2.2 Adds: GET CHUNK ORAT

Logic 28 - Laser Machine Room
Action: Using the shard of glass on the laser machine.

Logic 30 - Pod Crash Site
Action: Looking at the shards of glass.
Version 2.2 Adds: CHECK OUT GLASS

Action: Grabbing the shard of glass.
Version 1.1A: GET GLASS

Logic 36 - Behind Bar
Action: Reading the graffiti on the wall.
Version 2.2 Adds: READ WALL

Logic 57 - Deltaur Storage Room
Action: Looking at the trunk.
Version 1.1A: LOOK TRUNK
Version 2.2 Adds: LOOK CAN, LOOK BOX

Bug Fixes

  • In the Flight Prep Room, versions before 2.2 do not freeze the parser after a button is pressed. This allows the player to press the same button multiple times, which gives the error message "No action taken.".
  • In the Laser Machine Room, in what's probably a copy/paste error, the LOOK AREA description will always say that the laser machine is on if the player is on the lower level, even if it has been destroyed. This was fixed in Version 2.2.
It's supposed to be in the back. Silly droid.

  • When loading the droid in earlier versions, there's no check in the game to tell whether or not the droid is in the correct position. Loading the droid too soon leads to a minor graphical glitch.


HOLY FART also works.

Version 2.2 adds a way to cheat at the slot machine. Type in "HOLY SHIT" (You can replace Shit with any other expletive the game recognizes) to bring up a slot machine menu. This will configure the next pull of the slots.

The text for this menu was present in earlier versions, suggesting that this was a debugging tool that got added back in due to player complaints.

(Source: Original TCRF research)