Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon, the third game in Sierra Entertainment's Space Quest series, was released on March 24, 1989, and was developed using an early version of Sierra's SCI engine.
Roger Wilco's escape pod from the end of SQ2 is floating in space until captured by an automated garbage freighter. Roger's first task is to repair an old ship found there, the Aluminum Mallard (a play on the Millennium Falcon) and leave the scow. However he will meet some difficulties, as Arnoid the Annihilator (an Arnold Schwarzenegger-like android terminator) hunts him for not paying for a whistle in SQII. He eventually discovers the sinister activities of a video game company known as ScumSoft run by the "Pirates of Pestulon".
Pestulon, a small moon of the volcanic planet Ortega, is covered in soft, moss-like vegetation, and dotted with twisted tree-like growths throughout. Elmo Pug, the CEO of ScumSoft, has abducted the Two Guys from Andromeda and is forcing them to design their awful games. Roger somehow gets inside the supposedly impregnable ScumSoft Sea of cubicles and rescues the two programmers. In the process, Roger must fight Elmo in a game that combines giant Mecha-style combat with Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots.
Space Quest III featured music composed by Supertramp drummer Bob Siebenberg, and was one of the first games to support the new Sound Blaster sound card. PC versions of the game now supported mouse movement and a new, heavily improved text parser. Mouse movement was still in its primitive state at the time of the game, so Roger does not automatically find his way around obstacles in the game world (instead he just stops dead if he encounters a barrier). Computer mice were relatively new at the time, and Sierra's mouse movement would greatly improve in the following games.
Space Quest III also featured a minigame called Astro Chicken, which was not necessary to complete the game, but getting a high score revealed a hidden distress message that the Two Guys had programmed in.
Sound effects included digitized audio sampling, such as the voice of Roger Wilco speaking "Where am I?" during the introduction. The digitized effects can be heard in the Tandy, Amiga and Macintosh versions of the game. Though Space Quest III was designed to utilize the Sound Blaster's ability to play digital samples, the inclusion of an incorrect driver file left the effects unavailable to IBM PC users with the Sound Blaster card.