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Twenty Questions I Wish Somebody Would Ask Me About Space Quest (and the Answers I Wish I Had Thought Of)

by Josh Mandel, Guy from Andromeda

Josh Mandel, as drawn by Rich Powell
Caricature by Rich Powell
1. How does it feel to be sort of the bastard third guy instead of one of the original Two Guys?
      I cry myself to sleep every afternoon about 1:30, after a big lunch.

2. Where do you get your far-out ideas?
      The same place that MAD Magazine gets theirs: early senility.

3. How does it feel to be living in the shadow of great sci-fi comedy writers such as Douglas Adams?

4. Why did you become a game designer?
      To meet girls. It was a slight miscalculation.

5. Of all the designers at Sierra, who was your favorite?
      It's not like I can pick just one. In their own ways, they were ALL pretty cheesy.

6. What was the best thing about working on the Space Quest series?
      Working with a team of crack addicts. I mean, crack artists.

7. Who was your favorite character from Space Quest?
      Lefty the Nads-Eating Skwizmazoid from Space Quest 8, which…oh, shoot, you're not supposed to know about him yet.

8. Will you send me some free Sierra souvenirs?
      No, I'm hoarding all my Sierra souvenirs until their resale value increases to $0.

9. How do you explain the logical flaws and discrepancies that exist between various episodes of Space Quest?
      You have to figure that the narrator is a human being, just like you and me. (Well, just like you.) He is bound to make mistakes in reportage. Any discrepancies are due to his giving you the incorrect information.

10. Is it true that there were wild parties at Sierra, where people got naked and took mind-altering substances?
      Just at Al Lowe's, and only on Tuesdays, which was really inconvenient because we all had to get up for work the next morning as usual. So we were all in bed by 9. Only it was one big bed.

11. Whatever happened to (fill in name of Sierra personality here)?
      Oh, him/her? He/she left the company in the early 90's/the mid 90's/the late 90's/last week's firings, and is working happily/bitterly/occasionally in Oakhurst/Seattle/abject poverty.

12. What are the chances that Sierra will ever do another Space Quest again?
      Surprisingly bad. Sierra underwent a Jewish rite of mourning (called "sitting shiva") for its adventure game series quite some time ago. Now if you ask Sierra about this series or that series, Sierra will say, "That is dead to me now!". Thus to get one of these series produced again, there would have to be another complex Jewish ritual called the "P'Tach Brucha," or the reincarnation, and that can only be performed by Klingon Rabbis. Unlikely to happen anytime soon.

13. Which of the Space Quest games was the funniest?
      That depends on whether you want the "official" answer or the "off-the-record" answer. The official answer is 4. I'm not permitted to tell you the off-the-record answer.

14. How long does it take to make a Space Quest, from start to finish?
      I wouldn't know.

15. Why doesn't Sierra own the rights to the name "Space Quest"?
      That's a complicated question. I don't think I'll answer it.

16. Please?

17. Then I'll ask it again until you answer it. Why doesn't Sierra own the rights to the name "Space Quest"?
      I'm not sure, but Sierra was sometimes a little slow in the "checking copyrights" department. This is why they had to change "Hero Quest" to "Quest for Glory," why they had to change "Keeping Up with the Joneses" to "Jones in the Fast Lane," and so on. But hey, those were gonzo times, when the lawyers were freewheelin' and gay. Or so they told us in the employee manual.

18. Why did the Two Guys REALLY break up?
      They what?

19. What was the "work ethic" like at Sierra? Did you work really hard, or was it laid-back?
      It was grueling. You were expected to work 7 days a week, just like at Disney. In fact, we had a saying: "If you don't show up on Shavuot, don't even bother coming in on Simchat Torah." Of course, since there were only two Jews in the building, nobody knew what that meant except us, but everyone caught the drift anyway: "If you don't come in on Saturday, don't bother coming in on Sunday, because you will have been fired."

20. What does the Virtual Broomcloset mean to you?
      For me, I think it's a place where the broomcloset isn't quite real, but almost.

Comments, questions, suggestions...

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