Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon is a 1989 adventure game developed and published by Sierra On-Line. It is widely regarded as the best game in the Space Quest series, and was selected as the 1989 Adventure Game of the Year by the Software Publishers of America.
When we last left Roger, he was floating through space in a cryogenic sleep chamber, hoping to get rescued. Rescue does come, but unfortunately in the form of a interstellar garbage hauler. Seen as just a piece of space debris, Roger and his ship are sucked up to be disposed of. Fortunately for Roger, this manages to activate his chamber's awakening function and he is able to make his escape.
Through Roger's weird luck, his escape finds him at the helm of a new ship, the Aluminum Mallard, which he decides to take on a tour of his current star system. Stopping at a nearby planet, Phleebhut, Roger makes his way to a local tourist destination. After perusing the knick knacks and while on his way back to his ship, Roger encounters the Annihilator droid, Arnoid the Terminator. Arnoid is there to collect an unpaid debt in Roger's name from the Labion Terror Beast Whistle he purchased from the Gippazoid Novelty Company's mail order catalogue back in SQ2. Unfortunately Roger doesn't have the money so Arnoid is forced to terminate him.
Through his sheer prowess, or perhaps dumb luck, Roger manages to defeat the droid and quickly leaves the planet. Shaken, and a bit hungry, Roger stops off at a Monolith Burger for a quick bite. After ordering the fun meal and obtaining a nifty decoder ring as the prize, Roger decides to play the new Astro Chicken Arcade Game from ScumSoft. Being pretty good at video games, Roger manages to obtain the high score and also unlocks a mysteriously coded message. Using his new decoder ring Roger discovers that the makers of the game, and the Space Quest series, are being held captive by ScumSoft and forced to write computer games.
Being the noble hero that he is, Roger sets off to free the Two Guys from Andromeda. Again, through his incredible skill, or perhaps just even more blind dumb luck, Roger sneaks his way into ScumSoft and frees the two guys. Unfortunately he finds himself trapped by the evil CEO who forces Roger to face him in a life size Rock 'Em Sock 'Em duel.
Yet again, Roger manages to prevail and escapes with the guys onto his ship. After a fierce but quick space battle, Roger escapes with the two guys and it looks like they're home free. Unfortunately Roger's luck catches up with him and they all get sucked into a black hole. Fortunately, instead of being annihilated, they are instead transported to some far off and strange galaxy. Landing on the only planet that can sustain life, they touch down and happen across a strange guy named Ken Williams who happens to own a software company himself. He immediately hires the two guys to make a game about their adventures with offers of riches and glory. Unfortunately they already have a janitor, so Roger gets back in his ship and sets off for sights unknown.
Space Quest 3 utilized Sierra's new SCI engine which brought an entirely new parser and updated graphics and sound card support. This game brought something new to the adventure game world: mouse support. Though you still interacted primarily through the arrow keys and a text parser, it was also possible to utilize the mouse for movement and inventory interaction.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for those hardcore gamers, this game still allowed many irreversible deaths and dead end puzzles.
Astro Chicken was a minigame included within Space Quest 3, that featured a hidden message randomly displayed when the player received a high score. The goal of the game was to land a chicken on a trampoline. Upon doing so the chicken would let out a resounding "Bacock!", and then you would repeat. The game has similarities to Lunar Lander but the chicken rebounds from the trampoline if it lands too hard.
The name of the game is considered a possible parody of the identically named thought experiment by theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson. A sequel to Astro Chicken (Ms. Astro Chicken) was included as a playable minigame in Space Quest IV. The Astro Chicken developer, Scum Soft, is almost certainly a reference to Sierra's adventure game arch rival, LucasArts, and their ScummVM engine.
The game received very good critical reviews from the various media at the time generally getting 4 out of 5 or around 80% mark reviews.
- 8088/8086 CPU
- 512KB RAM
- CGA, EGA, Hercules, MCGA, Tandy/PCjr, or VGA graphics
- Adlib, Game Blaster, IBM Music Feature Card, PC speaker, PS/1 Audio Card, Roland MT-32, Sound Blaster, Tandy DAC, or Tandy/PCjr sound card
- Keyboard, optional Mouse