Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers

Released: 1991
Published by: Sierra Online, Inc.
Developed by: Sierra Online, Inc.
Author(s): Mark Crowe, Scott Murphy, Oliver Brelsford, Juan Carlos Escobar, Brian Hughes, Mike Larsen, Randy MacNeill, Doug Oldfield, Raoul Said, Jerry Shaw, Jane Cardinal, Eric Kasner, Jeff Crowe, Desie Hartman, James Larsen, Nathan Larsen, Suzi Livengood, Cheryl Loyd, Michael A. Milo, Gerald Moore, Jennifer Shontz, Cheryl Sweeney, Willis Wong, Jon Bock, Ken Allen, Robert Atesalp, Mark Seibert.



System Requirements

System Requirements 8088/8086 CPU (80286 required for 256-colour version), 640 KB RAM, DOS 3.3.
Graphics support for EGA/Tandy (sold separately) or MCGA/VGA
Audio support for PC Speaker, Game Blaster, PS/1 Audio Card, Tandy/PCjr, Ad Lib, Sound Blaster, or Roland MT-32/LAPC-I.
Mouse optional (but recommended).
Original Media Six 1.44 MB (HD) floppy disks, or CD-ROM
Installed Size (MB) 6 MB

 

Introduction

SQ4 was Sierra's first game to use their new SCI (Sierra Creative Interpreter) with icon-driven controls and 256-colour graphics.

From where can it be run?

The original floppy disk versions of Space Quest IV must be installed to hard disk. The later CD-ROM release allows you to install all files to the hard disk except the audio files. This saves space, but will mean the game CD-ROM will need to be in the drive whenever you are playing the game.

Game Audio/Video

MT-32 "Old" Intro
Sound Blaster (CD "talkie" version) Intro 


Copy Protection

The game has no initial copy protection to start playing, but throughout the game you are required to enter codes into the navigation computer to get to different places. These codes are found in the original manual (Space Piston) - see further down for a PDF of this.


How to Setup

To configure the game for your hardware, run the provided INSTALL.EXE utility. You have the following options:

1) Intro and Main Menu:

2) Select graphics and music card:

5) Select speech/sound effects card and joystick:

7) Select mouse:

8) Use extra memory (EMS or XMS):

10) Memory advice and warranty:

12) End of setup:

To abort the setup and return to the command prompt, press ESC from the main menu.

Once installed, type SIERRA and hit enter to start the game.

Choosing the Roland Sound option requires an "Intelligent" mode interface such as the MFC-IPC or equivalent. Simply connecting it to your sound card's MIDI/Game port will not work. It also does not work with SoftMPU.

Official General MIDI Patch

Sierra Online released a late patch that added support for General MIDI to SQ4 and other SCI0 games. You can download this here.


Problems

Issue:
Cause:
Resolution:

Issue: I have chosen Roland MT-32 for audio, but I only hear music - no sound effects.
Cause: When SQ4 was released users simply did not have more than one sound card in their computer. As such, this game only supports a single sound card being driven at any one time. This means that if you choose Roland MT-32 as the audio option you get the glorious music but no digitized sound effects in the game.
Resolution: Vogons user NewRisingSun created a patch for the "talkie" CD version of SQ4 fixes numerous issues including allowing simultaneous text and speech. Simply extract the contents of the .ZIP file to your SQ4 installed directory, re-run the Sierra INSTALL.EXE program and select the option called "Roland MT-32 Plus SoundBlaster" when prompted for the audio option. Vogons user Tikalat added a further fix on top of NRS' patch to set voice and text both to enabled, and restore some missing dialog. His version is here.


To Quit the Game

Press Ctrl-Q in-game and hit Enter to return to DOS.


Supporting Documents

Here are the original documents that came with the game:


Save Games

By default, save game files are stored in the game directory, though you can choose "Change Directory" to select another. Each save stores data to a file called SQ4SG.000, SQ4SG.001, SQ4SG.002, etc. In addition the descriptions of the files are all stored in a single file called SQ4SG.DIR. None of these files are text-readable/editable.

You can backup your save games simply by copying all SQ4SG.xxx files in the directory to another location. It is unlikely save games from one version of the game will work on a different version of the game.


Versions of the game known to exist

Version Date Comments
  ? The first public release for the 16-colour EGA version. SCI version was 1.000.744
1.052 3rd Apr 1991 The first public release for the 256-colour VGA version.
  1992 CD version that ran on DOS or Windows 3.1. Copy protection was removed.
  1995 The first 5 Space Quest titles were bundled together on a CD-ROM release called "The Space Quest Collection: Roger Wilco Unclogged", which also included a special "Inside Space Quest" video. Installer version 3.681 was included for SQ4, which was the CD-ROM version of the game.
GOG 2017 In 2017, Good Old Games acquired the rights to package up Space Quest IV, V and VI for resale with the use of DOSBox for running on modern PCs. SQ4 here is the full "talkie" version, and runs SCI interpreter version 1.001.064. SQ5 is not a "talkie" game and runs the 1.001.068 interpreter.


Patches

The most comprehensive patch is from NewRisingSun. This comprises the following:-

  • Floppy version graphics (better than the CD version)
  • Simultaneous speech and subtitles
  • Corrected timing
  • Various bug fixes
  • Added room of "stuff removed for legal reasons" (no speech there).
  • Readded removed Radio Shock products (no speech there).
  • Adds "Stunt Flyer" and "Dacron Danny" bargain bin games.
  • Adds priority information to sound resources.
  • Orbs now emit sound during captiveScript sequence.
  • Removed volume change during speech output. If the music is too loud, lower the volume in the game's control panel.
  • Fixed scrolling in the video driver.
  • RESOURCE.000 is no longer PKDCL-compressed. This means shorter loading times for DosBox users and yields better compression ratios for the .zip archive as a whole.