Episode 3: Secrets & Gems

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So, the third episode of the Space Quest Historian podcast dropped today.  Yeah, I said “dropped.”  You can’t tell, but I’m also throwing down and gettin’ jiggy with it right now.

Anyway, this episode gave me a chance to go back and explore what I used to do as a bored teenager: go through game files to see what secrets I could uncover and, possibly, how I could break the game.  The Space Quest IV CD-ROM was a treat because the voice files of the game were just one long, uncompressed wav-file.  I’ve already made good use of the sound effects from the game in previous episodes, and some of you may have wondered where I got the “commercial break” soundbites of Roger Wilco reading the items in the Hz So Good store in the Galaxy Galleria.  Well, here’s where you can find out.

Oh, and seriously: that “blue frogs” line really is a stumper.  We’ve been trying to figure that one out for ages!

Also, it really warmed the otherwise icy cold cockles of my heart to be able to highlight Brandon Blume’s excellent “A Greatly Exaggerated Tale of Adventure” metal medley of the Space Quest IV soundtrack.  It’s no secret I love metal music and Brandon’s rendition is just fucking stellar.  It was great to have Brandon get on the mic and talk about his love of the soundtrack, which I, of course, share — so thank you so much for that, Brandon!  Brandon’s gonna be back to talk about the other bits that make up his medley in future podcasts and I’m really looking forward to that.  Horns up!

I recorded my own stuff on Saturday and had already gotten all the parts for the podcast assembled, except for one — and for the longest time, it appeared that Mr. Ken Allen, the original composer of the Space Quest IV soundtrack, wasn’t going to get his bit in in time.  I had asked him if he would want to provide insights on the bits in Brandon’s medley alongside Brandon’s own commentary, and he readily agreed (Ken is a very, very cool guy).  But we had a few issues where Ken originally thought we were going to do it live, Bill O’Reilly-style, as a recorded Skype conversation, and for the longest time it seemed like he wasn’t going to get in front of a mic and do a pre-recorded spiel.  I even recorded an alternate line after Brandon’s spiel where I said that Ken was supposed to appear but couldn’t make it because of his commitment to awesomeness as the composer and sound designer for SpaceVenture.

But then, Monday morning, I woke up to an e-mail from Ken with a Dropbox link to a … get this … 20 minute long running commentary on the entire Space Quest IV opening sequence!  At first I thought he had done Brandon’s entire medley in one go and I would have to cut up his bit, but listening to it on my way to work that day, I realized, nope — it was all about that one opening sequence!  And for a minute I almost panicked because, irrationally, I thought people might be turned off at the idea of having a 20 minute bit in the middle of the podcast of just one guy talking.  But after hearing what Ken actually had to say, I realized I couldn’t cut a single second out of it.  It was all great info; even some exclusive stuff, like which Count Basie song he ripped the Magmethean Cantina music off of.

I had already done a rough cut of the episode where I had Ken’s absence in there and it was already running 45 minutes; longer than any of the previous episodes.  With Ken’s 20 minutes added, the podcast jumped to 55 minutes — almost a full hour of juicy goodness.  I hope the poor guy doesn’t think I expect him to deliver 20 minutes for each of the music bits we’re going to cover in future episodes, but man — what a treat.  So thank you so much for that, Ken— er, Mr. Allen!

A similarly, if not identical, big thanks to LordKat, who came through and delivered in spades.  Without directions, I had simply asked him to do a “Lewis Black-style bit, like on The Daily Show” about, well, anything Space Quest related, really.  Now, the “glowing gem” is already a meme with LordKat’s following, the Mafia, and — yeah, I should’ve known he’d go there. 😉

LordKat used to be one of the old heads at the Subspace Channel, the message board for the Virtual Broomcloset (the first Space Quest fan site), before he went on to internet stardom with “Until We Win” and it was really great that he wanted to support a silly little podcast like mine.  And it really pained me to have to go through his rant and cut out all the “fuck’s” and “shit’s”, so that’s why those of you with the stomach to handle it can now enjoy his rant uninterrupted with this post.

I hope to have LordKat back as a semi-regular character for future episodes, like Professor Jess and Peter Toleman.  In my mind, he really is the Lewis Black of the show.  Every once in a while, he’s gonna poke his head in and go nuts on something that bothers him, in that inimitable way that only he knows how to do.

So, yeah, that’s my little “behind the scenes” about this episode.  Listen to it in full hereand subscribe to the RSS feed at http://feeds.feedburner.com/SpaceQuestHistorian. Thanks to everyone involved in this show!  You sure make my life so much easier.

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