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Book Reviews > There are books published about Space Quest throughout the years. This page contains reviews of almost every Space Quest book there is.


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Book Reviews
- The Space Quest Companion
- The Official Guide to Roger Wilco's Space Adventures
- The Official Player's Guide for Space Quest 6

- Hackers - Heroes of the Computer Revolution

- Die Space Quest Story
- The Grote Space Quest Boek (Dutch translation of "Die Space Quest Story")
- Sybex Space Quest IV Hintbook
- Sybex Space Quest V Colour Hintbook
- Het Complete Space Quest Boek
- Space Quest I - III Völlig Aufgelöst

The Space Quest Companion - first edition

The Space Quest CompanionWritten by Peter and Jeremy Spear
Copyright 1992 Peter and Jeremy Spear
Sold for $19,95
ISBN: 0-07-881814-1
Dimensions: 19 x 23 centimeters

316 pages
2 color printing, black and green

The Space Quest Companion - second edition

Written by Peter and Jeremy Spear
Copyright 1993 Peter and Jeremy Spear
Sold for $19,95
Dimensions: 19 x 23 centimeters

436 pages
2 color printing, black and green (FAR better quality now)

Both released by Osborne McGraw-Hill, the Space Quest Companion is written by Peter Spear and his son Jeremy Spear. Peter Spear is known throughout the Sierra Universe for his Sierra-authorized hintbooks, like the Police Quest Casebook, King's Quest Companion and of course The Space Quest Companion. The Space Quest Companion is the most wanted Space Quest book out there. Much harder to find than "the Official Guide to Roger Wilco's Space Adventures", I might add. The book starts with an introduction of the writers and "a read me first". A very weird story, indeed. The book continues with "The 12 Spear Rules for Playing Computer Games (version 2.0)", helpful hints how to play your Space Quest adventure. Great and helpful for the beginner, and also useful for the die-hard adventurer, as time-waster™. The book continues with "A Message From Beyond Space and Time", written by our beloved Roger Wilco himself. The following part is right from the book:

"Here's a big, big hello from the future. Your future. And while a lot of the future is already my past, a lot of my past is still my future. And I'd like to keep it that way. Time travel can sometimes be so confusing, especially when you really don't know what you're doing. There is an old saying, ancient beyond galactic reckoning, that asserts that some beings strive to attain greatness, while other have greatness thrust upon them. I'm Roger Wilco, Space Ranger, hero of Xenon, rescuer of the galaxy, savior of the universe - and probably all of Time and Space as we know it."

Amen! Our great friend continues giving a small insight of his adventures (Space Quest 1 to 4). And after that, the book really starts with what it's designed to do. Giving hints as a hintbook. But I don't think this book is a mere hintbook. All four Space Quest sections starts with the famous "Roger Wilco On-Shift Nap Day Dream", in which Roger dreams of greatness, Introductory from the real Space Quest stories. The stories are written in first person, (we read what Roger tells us). It will become clear why this book is the most popular Space Quest book out there. The jokes are great, in the famous "Two Guys Style". The stories give great new insights of Roger's life. You might want to strap yourself to your chair before reading, as you'll fall from it, laughing.

After the story, you'll find a "Cruising Through Space Quest" part, which is of course the walkthrough chapter. This time illustrated with screenshots. I must say the walkthroughs aren't the best I've seen, but they certainly are complete and acquired. In the chapter "Keeping your Bearings in Space Quest", you'll find high quality maps, although I found the Space Quest 2 maze somewhat hard to understand, but that could be me. Each Space Quest chapter is followed with "Point of Interest in Space Quest"; complete pointlists for your Space Quest game.

The Second Edition also covers Space Quest 5. The second edition's overall printing quality has greatly improved.

What are the downsides of these two books? Well, just like most Space Quest books out there, you'll find no cheats and secrets. For $19.95 per book, the quality of the binding is poor (the pages are glued together rather cheaply, like a paperback). My guess is that these books won't last 2 years if they are used Intensively. Be sure to handle them with extreme care. That is, if you don't want to have pages falling out from everywhere and stuff like that. Both books are almost impossible to find these days. Found a copy? Seize it!

The Official Guide to Roger Wilco's Space Adventures - first edition

First edition
Written by Jill Champion and Richard C. Leinecker
Copyright 1991 Compute Books
Sold for $14,95
ISBN: 0-87455-237-0
Dimensions: 15 x 23 centimeters
266 pages
Black and white

The Official Guide to Roger Wilco's Space Adventures - second edition

Second edition
Written by Jill Champion
Copyright 1993 Compute Books
Sold for $16,95
ISBN: 0-87455-281-8
Dimensions: 19 x 23 centimeters
344 pages
Black and white

There are two versions of this book. The first version covers Space Quest 1 to 4 and the second version Space Quest 1 to 5. It's a novel in Roger's own words and it also includes walkthroughs, maps and screenshots for all the games. The book starts with a great interview with everybody's favorite anti-hero, Roger Wilco. The Roger in the book really looks like the Roger we all know from our computer screens. He talks the same and acts the same. Most importantly, he thinks the same. The book let us see Roger's life from a different view. You'll read the thoughts of Roger while he goes through his adventures. The writers introduce Gladys, Roger's crush. She works as a communications officer at Xenon Orbital Station 4 and it seems that Roger just can't forget about her as she is constantly on Roger's mind...

"Hi, there, Gladys? I don't believe we've actually met before, but I've seen you around a lot. I'm Roger Wilco. You, uh, may have heard of me... Well, don't be shy now.... Uh, well, I guess you are shy. Okay, uh, I was wondering if you would be interested in going out to dinner with me. I thought we could go over to the Monolith Burger and.... uh .... Gladys? Ahem. Well, I'll definitely take that as a no. Okay, well, see you later. Maybe some other time, huh? I'll check back with you when you're not so busy... I have to get back to work now. See you later... Holy cow, I just made a fool of myself! That girl didn't even look up from her post!"

Good thinking, Roger! It is a very original concept by telling us know how Roger thinks in his adventures. There is a great BUT, though. Reading this book for too long at a time gets boring. There aren't many conversations. And because you only read Roger's thoughts, it's pretty monotonous. (we all new Roger is really an empty headed human piece of waste, didn't we?). Just to demonstrate what I mean with "there aren't many conversations", read the encounter of Roger and Arnoid the Annihilator:

Ahhhhh! Wh-at's go-ing on?... Haaaalp! Some-bod-y.... help... me.... ahhhh.... (cough cough) .... uhhhh (gasp)... ahhhggg.... I h-hea y-you!... Y-you're ch-oking me-e... (cough cough) Whew! I don't believe it! I knew he looked familiar! That was Arnoid the Annihilator, and he IS after me! Vending machine fraud! I never cheated any vending machine - well, maybe just a little bit , that one in Ulence Flats - but still, is that a reason to annihilate a person? He's the guy I saw in the spaceship - the one who flashed by on the way to this planet. That jerk followed me here. He's been looking for me... (gulp).. the entire time!

The style of "Some-bod-y.... help... me.... ahhhh.... (cough cough) .... uhhhh (gasp)... ahhhggg...." etc, is found throughout the book, which gets old rather quickly. Besides the novel/walkthrough style stories, this book has maps and screen shots. The maps are acquired and complete. I personally love the maps for the subfloor tunnel system in the Goliath (Space Quest 5). No more wandering around! Too bad that the quality of the screen shots are very poor.

I think the writers did everything to make sure that their story matches the game's. But they made some huge mistakes. I'll start with an common mistake in the Space Quest Universe. The planet "Phleebhut" is not spelled "Pleebhut", nor "Plheebhut"! They call Fester Blatz "Festus". That sounds like some kind of disease! Also, they tell us that the glowing gem was from Kerona. But any hard-core Space Quester knows that the glowing gem came from Labion. Flo have had 4 husbands, but I recall her having 14 or so. How could they made such a big mistakes?

Just like any other Space Quest book, this is a collectors item. But I don't think this is a good Space Quest book.

Space Quest 6 Official Player's Guide

Written by John Sauer
Copyright 1995 Infotainment World
Sold for $19,95
ISBN: 1-57280-035-6
Dimensions: 19 x 23 centimeters
147 pages
Black and white

This is the official hint book for Space Quest 6 (duh!), authorized by Sierra. This is the most complete walkthrough you'll ever find. It starts with explaining how to install the game, which system requirements you'll need to play the game, and other technical stuff. Next is a chapter that tells us what Space Quest is all about. A small summary for the new Space Questers, so to speak. This includes words of Scott Murphy (one of the creators of Space Quest 6):

"He's a guy without an agenda. He wishes that he could be a superhero. Roger will always do the right thing when the situation demands - even though he would rather be back in his quarters taking a nap."

A character database is also included. I think this database reveals too much of the game, so it would be wise to skip it until you've finished the game. Because it's inserted at the beginning of the walkthrough, people might read stuff they don't want to know yet! The book has several great looking maps, that will certainly be of help, especially the Stellar body maps. You'll also find an enormous amount of screenshots of possibly EVERY screen and of course pointlists. The quality of the screenshots are not extremely good. It looks like the printer could have used more ink; the screenshots are missing contrast. But they aren't nearly as poor as the screenshots seen in "The Official Guide to Roger Wilco's Space Adventures". The writer, John Sauer, has picked out several special objects or screens throughout his book and put them into a special column which I would like to call "Zoom-Ins". He will tell or explain about it in extreme detail.

The best part of this book is "The Making of Space Quest 6", which includes very cool design sketches. This book scores a big A+. It could use cheats and secrets, but I've noticed that almost no hint books have this. If you need a guide for Space Quest 6 than this is the one. And of course, this is a great collector's item. I actually got it with one of my Space Quest 6 copies I bought at Ebay. It shouldn't be to difficult to find this book.

Hackers - heroes of the computer revolution

Written by Steven Levy
Copyright 1984 Steven Levy
Published by Doubleday (1984), Dell Publishing (1994) and Penguin Books (2001)
Sold for $14,00
ISBN: 0-14-100051-1
Dimensions: 13 x 20 centimeters
455 pages
Text only

I call this one the "Sierra Bible"; it's one of my most precious Sierra items. This book was also my first online purchase, but who cares? The book is divided into three chapters: "True Hackers", "Hardware Hackers" and the part that we're interested in, "Game Hackers". This last chapter (a whopping 130 pages) is about our favorite company, Sierra Entertainment (once known as Sierra On-Line and On-Line Systems). It describes the early days (1979 - 1983) of Sierra Entertainment in full detail. It features well written "mini-biographies" of many people at Sierra. To name a few: Ken "more money, less problems" Williams, Roberta "adventure queen" Williams, Jeff "look at what I made this computer do" Stephenson, Bill "drugs after fame" Davis and John "jawbreaker hacker" Harris. People who formed the Sierra we know today. The book takes us back to the dawn of Sierra, before the time of Mark Crowe and his social unstable friend Scott Murphy. And yes, it is also before the time of King's Quest and Space Quest, and even the whole Adventure Game Interpreter (AGI) thing. You'll learn interesting things about AGI at the end of the chapter, though. Find out that Sierra's the road to greatness was far from easy: management problems, multi-million law suits, defecting programmers, missing floppy's (no, we are not talking about LSL4 here) and much more. Find a huge amount of information concerning old games like "Wizard and the Princess", "Mystery House", "Jawbreaker" and much more oldies.

Although I didn't mean to, this turned out to be my smallest review yet. You should really try this one out, that's all I can say. Get this book at Amazon now, start reading it, and you won't even stop for dinner (nor road-crossing children). Just read it! Every die-hard fan should have at least one copy (If you have more than one, give it away to a fellow fan). Did you know Ken Williams had a racquetball court with a full-color Apple Computer logo embedded in the wood?

Doug Carlston: "I don't care if everybody else gets rich... as long as I do."
Reply by Ken Williams: "I don't care if anybody gets rich, as long as I get richer."

Die Space Quest Story 1 - 3 edition

Written by Jürgen Darr
Copyright 1990 Data Becker GmbH, Düsseldorf
Sold for DM 19,80 (roughly $10,00)
ISBN: 3-89011-280-3
Dimensions: 15 x 21 centimeters
148 pages
Black and white

Die Space Quest Story 1 - 4 edition

Written by Jürgen Darr
Copyright 1991 Data Becker GmbH, Düsseldorf
Sold for DM 19,80 (roughly $10,00)
ISBN: 3-89011-280-3
Dimensions: 15 x 21 centimeters
160 pages
Black and white

Het Grote Space Quest Boek Dutch translation of version 1 - 3

Written by Jürgen Darr
Copyright 1990 Data Becker GmbH, Düsseldorf
Dutch translation is copyrighted 1991 A.W. Bruna Uitgevers B.V., Utrecht
Sold for UNKNOWN
ISBN: 90-229-3734-8
Dimensions: 17 x 24 centimeters
114 pages
Black and white

"Die Space Quest Story" is probably not very famous in the Space Quest Universe, mainly because it's a German book. From what I know, the only place where this book is mentioned is in the Space Quest FAQ. That's too bad because it's an extremely well done hint book. That having said, it was pretty popular in the old days, possibly being the "ultimate guide" for German Sierra fans. And we did had a LOT of those, let me tell you.

The first impression of the book is a good one. A non-Sierra-made art work immediately springs out. The cover material kinda reminds me of a snake skin. Though the Dutch version doesn't have the snake look and feel (nor the cool art work), it has some neat looking foil stamping on the cover (an effect you can't see from the scan I'm afraid). I'll be reviewing version 1-3, but 1-4 is pretty much the same. An interesting side note: the ISBN number of both editions are the same because 1-4 followed up 1-3.

The book starts with explaining every function of the menu bar for all three Space Quest games. I was surprised to find a complete cheat list for Space Quest 1, which I've never seen in a SQ hint book before! The book continues with an introduction by telling us which words the parser can understand. These words are listed in the so called "Andromedan dictionary", which is pretty funny. It explains simple words, helping the not-so-English fans among us, but also some Space Quest specific things like "Star Generator" and "Glowing Gem". The dictionary also gives out some global hints.

Next are the hints (walkthroughs actually), starting with the Space Quest 1 introductory story. The hints are written in third-person view. Here's an excerpt from the book (loosely translated by yours truly):

"The road still is dangerous, so saving the game often is no luxury, but luckily Roger can take the familiar obstacles a lot faster now. He presents the proof of his successful mission to the strange alien."

The maps are acquired, but you really need to look at them closely before understanding them with the exception of the Space Quest 2 tunnel maze. This is the most acquired and most helpful Space Quest map I've ever seen in my entire life. It beats the hell out the Official Hint Book from Sierra AND the Space Quest Companion.

The book also contains various screenshots of decent quality to help illustrate the walkthough. At the end of the book you'll find a list of all the inventory/puzzle objects with information how to find those, followed by a point list. But that's not all; it also contains a chapter helping you installing the games on your computer. You could say this book is a hint book and game manual!

Apparently there's also a Dutch translation of the 1-3 version, called "Het Grote Space Quest Boek". I found it on some obscure Dutch auction site for 5 bucks. Some guys really don't know what they are selling. Die Space Quest Story is just one of the many "Sierra hint books" published by Data Becker. I highly recommend any of them to fellow German or Dutch Space Questers. That is, if you can find one.

Space Quest IV Hintbook

Written by Heiko Preuser
Copyright 1991 Sybex-Verslag GmbH, Düsseldorf
Sold for DM 9,80 (about 4,90 US dollars)
ISBN: 3-88745-956-3
Dimensions: unkown
71 pages
Black and white

Space Quest V Colour Hintbook

Written by Carston Borgmeier
Copyright 1993 Sybex
Sold for DM 14,80 (about 7 US dollars)
ISBN: 3-8155-6012-8
Dimensions: unkown
106 pages
Full Colour

These hint books might be part of a complete serie of Space Quest hint books. These two books are written by different people and one is in full color while the other is printed in black and white. This indicated the books are different style wise and do not look a like content wise. The review is about the Space Quest V book, thanks to Lorenz. I'll let him explain further:

Well, it's a full colour hintbook (which is unique) for Space Quest 5. It features 106 pages, complete with screenshots of important sections of the game. The book includes a complete game solution, background information and so-called "insider tips". The book begins with the usual message from the author, background information on Mark and Scott and a brief technical specification overview. The first "main chapter" of the book is titled "As Everything Began". This is a brief rundown of the Space Quest story, which discusses Space Quest 1 through 4, then ultimately on to 5. We are firstly presented with "The Arising Persons of Space Quest 5", with a brief introduction to the main characters of the game: Roger Wilco, Captain Quirk, Flo, Droole, Cliff, Beatrice and WD40. Then we go on to the SQ5 hints... After the hints for the different parts of the game, there is a rundown on the different inventory items found in the game, a shortened rundown of required actions in the game (along with points value), a troubleshooting section for certain puzzles and then lastly the maps for the SCS GOLIATH.

Het Complete Space Quest Boek

Written by Wim G. Zefat
Copyright 1994 Sybex Uitgeverij, Soest
Sold for UNKOWN
ISBN: 90-5160-626-5
Dimensions: 15.5 x 23 centimeters
430 pages
Black and White

This is a very expansive Dutch hint book, published by the Sybex division in the Netherlands. It covers Space Quest 1 to 5 but is different from the hint book series published by Sybex Germany. The book is divided into two parts both containing information about the games. Part one is a hint section and part two offers walkthroughs.

It took me about 5 minutes to make up my mind about this book. I'd like to point out a few fine blunders. The author begins his inaccurate and unconstructive rants by calling Space Quest 1 a CGA game. To his opinion, the game is incredibly outdated. "It's almost unplayable when comparing it with a modern game. But luckily Sierra re-release the game with VGA graphics". Unplayable? I'm sorry. I didn't knew the best selling platinum awarded (over 250.000 copies sold, HUGE amount for that time) game called Space Quest 1 suddenly becomes unplayable because newer games happen to looks better. According to our lovely writer, who I deeply respect, Space Quest 2 did show some progress over Space Quest 1 technology-wise. The images, for instance, are EGA instead of CGA. A completely idiotic statement since both games are created using the same engine: AGI. The question whether or not the author used a CGA or EGA version of the game is complete irrelevant. AGI = AGI, which is based upon EGA, with an optional CGA option if you don't have the equipment. The guy should have had his facts straight before writing a book. The worst part is yet to come. He deliriously rants on by telling us: "Space Quest 3 is about the same image quality as SQ2". I can only feel Space Quest 3 has just been raped big time by some guy who really don't know what he's talking about. "This game features (although very limited) music and soundeffects." ... Excuse me? Very limited? Obviously, that's why the musical orchestra, created by Bob Siebenburg, is the best and most loved of the Series! And of course, we all know the manual supplied with SQ3 contains information you MUST HAVE to play the game. Well sorry Wim, but that's not true. SQ3 doesn't have copyright protection of any kind.

After the completely miss-put intro, he continues with a small article about the humor featured in the Space Quest games, explaining them in the same way the SQFAQ does. A pretty original idea, something I've never seen in a Space Quest book. But once again, I couldn't help to notice HUGE mistakes. According to Wim, our most beloved author, SQ2 featured Monolith Burgers. A typo maybe? Unlikely story. A little bit further on in his over-all SQ5-minded article, was a statement that made my bone marrow cook: "You can find some information how SQ5 was created in the Galactic Inquirer. It shows us how hard it is to come up with original idea's for a science fiction game. The article features a photo of Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe who are busy copying down the Star Trek Compendium". Mommy, I see black sparks in front of eyes. Three strikes! You're out pall!

When finally arriving at the hint section we have some time to cool off. The hints are pretty good and the quality of the screen shots is pretty darn good. He was able to attract my attention by mentioning Space Quest XXII - Attack of the Killer Cucumbers in his SQ4 hints. I thought this guy had found a time pod code I didn't know about... But what do you know?! It's an attempt to be humorous.

When having put Nelson Mandela on the boat, do use the pages of this book to wipe your behind. It's not worth it.

Space Quest I-III Völlig Aufgelöst

Written by Dieter Müller
Copyright 1990 by Systhema Verslag GmbH, München
Sold for $19,80 (about $10,00 US)
ISBN: 3-89390-334-8
Dimensions: 15 x 21 centimeters
192 pages
Black and white

According to the book our writer Dieter Müller is on Mars, living the newest Space Quest adventure with Roger Wilco. Glad that's out of the way. What captured my curiosity was the art on the cover of the book. Very cool indeed. The books starts with a big warning not to make copies of these great games. Something I appreciate seeing in hint books as many gamers buy such books in hopes to find copyright protection and other stuff you need to have to play the games. Next is an intro about the Space Quest Saga which closes with the invitation to meet at the Monolith Burger in Quadrant 4. Those guys are everywhere, aren't they?! You'll also find an installation guide and a chapter explaining the icons used in the solution chapter. The thing that bothered my was the HUGE title bar on top of almost every page, which takes up a good 1/5 of the entire page. There aren't too many screen shots but who need those anyway? The solutions are nicely complete. The usual point lists and maps are included too.


All original content (c) 2018 Brandon Blume & Troels Pleimert. All Space Quest related material (c) by Sierra Entertainment.