Sam & Max Hit the Road

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Sam & Max Hit the Road
Video game
Hit the Road - cover.jpg
Developer LucasArts
Publisher(s) LucasArts
Designer(s) Steve Purcell
Sean Clark
Collette Michaud
Michael Stemmle
Villain Conroy Bumpus
Musical number King of the Creatures
Release date November 1993
Video Games
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"Sam & Max Plunge Through Space"

Sam & Max Hit the Road is a graphical adventure game, originally developed and released by LucasArts in 1993 for DOS and in 1995 for Macintosh computers, being their ninth game to use the SCUMM adventure game engine. A Windows version of the game was later developed by Aaron Giles and released in 2002. On October 28, 2014, a digital version of the game was released for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux on using the ScummVM fan interpreter. It was written and designed by Steve Purcell along with Sean Clark, Collette Michaud and Michael Stemmle and commonly applauded for its substantial amount of humor.


[edit] Synopsis

The story follows Sam and Max across a kitsch, tourist trap pastiche of America (featuring such locales as The World's Largest Ball of Twine and the Mystery Vortex) in search of an escaped bigfoot.

[edit] In-depth Synopsis

On returning to the office after dealing with a "marginally volatile hostage situation", Sam and Max dispose of a time bomb by throwing it out the window. Then the Commissioner calls, announcing that "due to the arbitrarily sensitive nature of the mission", he's sending his instructions by courier. After literally getting the orders out of the courier, they head over to the Kushman Brothers' Carnival.

There they learn that the case is about the disappearance of their main attraction, Bruno the Bigfoot, and their second main attraction, Trixie the Giraffe-Necked Girl from Scranton. They find out from local mole man Doug that the two have fallen in love and that Flambé the fire-breather has set Bruno free so they could run off together. Doug also tells Sam & Max that his uncle Shuv-Oohl might know where Bruno and Trixie are off to, but he doesn't know where Shuv-Oohl hangs out these days.

[edit] Finding Bruno and Trixie

A score card in Trixie's trailer points the way to the Gator Golf Emporium course in Rheumy Eyes, Florida. They find out that the Gator Golf used to have a bigfoot for a star attraction as well until it escaped recently. Then they run into Conroy Bumpus, who seems to be after a bigfoot for his own reasons. The fight with Bumpus' assistant Lee-Harvey doesn't end well, but afterwards they find a clue leading to the next tourist trap: The Mystery Vortex.

At the Mystery Vortex Sam and Max finally meet Shuv-Oohl. After they fetch his mood ring for him, he instructs them to use his mystic mole man powder and fur samples from three Bigfoots at Frog Rock. When they do, a mole man ufo arrives and points the way to the next stop: Bumpusville, home of Conroy Bumpus.

At Bumpusville they soon discover that Bumpus has captured Bruno and Trixie and is forcing them to play supporting instruments for his King of the Creatures act. They free Bruno and Trixie and follow them to the Savage Jungle Inn.

[edit] Finale

Sam and Max use a disguise to sneak into the bigfoot gathering at the Inn, where they run into Conroy Bumpus and his assistant in the kitchen. However, Sam manages to fool Bumpus and Harvey into donning their bigfoot disguise, and Max locks them in the inn's kitchen freezer. The bigfoot chief, in recognition of the pair's actions, makes the Freelance Police members of the bigfoot tribe and tells them of a spell that will make the world safe for bigfoots again, preventing their capture by humans.

They eventually decipher and gather the spell's four ingredients, causing large trees to spring into existence, destroying towns and cities and covering the bulk of the western United States in forests. Content that their work is done, Sam and Max take the frozen ice block containing Bumpus and Harvey to the carnival. Believing that Bruno has been returned to them, the owners give a large reward of skee ball tickets to the Freelance Police, who then spend the end credits shooting targets at a carnival stall with real firearms.

[edit] Characters

The Commissioner
Flint Paper
Conroy Bumpus
Kushman Brothers

[edit] Reception

Sam & Max Hit the Road received very favorable reviews in the gaming press, including a score of 9/10 in EDGE magazine. EDGE went on to say "Sam & Max is different. It's genuinely funny, and you find yourself experimenting more than you would normally just to see what the madcap pair will get up to next." They finish their review by stating "Sam & Max is destined to become a classic.". Adventure Gamers gave similar praise, giving it a score of 4.5/5 stars and describing it as "a must for adventure gamers", as well as picking it as 8th best adventure game of all time in a 2004 feature.

[edit] Availability and compatibility

Sam & Max Hit the Road is now available digitally for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux on for $6.

The original disc versions of Sam & Max Hit the Road are still available for roughly $8 to $15 on various places on the internet, including Amazon and eBay.

For those having trouble getting Hit the Road to run properly, ScummVM or DOSBox can be used to run it and many other LucasArts adventure games, even on a number of originally unsupported platforms. These also offer a number of optional filter settings for arguably improved image quality. Alternatively, the DOS executable can be replaced by the updated executable file from the Windows re-release, which also includes optional anti-aliasing. Simply unzip the file and run the included exe with the original DOS version in the cd-rom drive.

The full CD version of the game has also been re-released as part of the "LucasArts Classics" brand. This version has been made fully compatible with Windows(up to at least Windows Vista), and can also be purchased from Amazon and Ebay.

[edit] Notes

[edit] Trivia

  • The game introduced a slightly modified SCUMM interface - instead of the inventory and a panel with the control verbs appearing at the bottom of the screen, a right-click of the mouse cycles through a set of icons representing different control verbs, with the inventory as a separate screen. A similar interface was later used in The Dig and all SCUMM games that followed it.
  • Hit the Road was released on floppy disk and CD-Rom about a month or so apart, with the floppy disk version first and the CD-ROM following afterward; the "Full Talkie" CD version had voice-overs for all characters and four bonus CD Audio tracks, including a higher quality recording of "King of the Creatures," all of which were composed by Michael Land. The bonus tracks were not present in the Day of the Tentacle/Sam & Max Hit the Road double pack, but they were included with the Windows re-release of the game.
  • Despite loving to "collect things with grotesque features", Conroy Bumpus has no interest in Sam & Max.
  • If the player repeatedly tries to pick something up that can't be picked up, Sam will become increasingly annoyed, and eventually start to whimper, causing Max to threaten to "come out there and rip your [that player's] limbs off." If Max is absent, Sam will growl and threaten the player instead.

[edit] Errors

  • Sam and Max both claim to be color blind when discussing the paint by numbers kit. However, if this was the case they would not have been able to solve the Mystery Vortex magnets puzzle, as the three magnets and the doors are color coded.

[edit] References

  • In one of the pictures in the opening credits, Sam's gun reads "HOW'S MY AIM? CALL 1-800STARWARS.
  • In the Tunnel of Love scene, looking at the first display will have Sam quote the English poet John Milton: Better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven. Max then quotes musician David Byrne: Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.
  • The owner of World of Fish is a caricature of Woody Allen.
  • The background music of World of Fish is "Fishin' Blues."
  • The scene in which Sam and Max steal Conroy Bumpus' toupee parodies a well known scene from the opening of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is also referenced, at the Celebrity Vegetable farm if you look at the display next to the main booth.
  • To distract Conroy Bumpus towards the end of the game, Sam says "Look behind you! A three headed monkey!" This is a running gag in the Monkey Island games.
    • Other references to Monkey Island include a model of the giant monkey head seen at the Gator Golf Emporium, and a box of "LeChuck's Pizza" seen in the dress-up book.
  • Director Alfred Hitchcock's face appears prominantly in the foreground at the Celebrity Vegetable farm. This is in reference to his traditional "cameo appearance" in every film that he made.
  • In the Savage Jungle Inn, Evelyn Morrison is a refence to the character Norma Desmond from the 50's movie: Sunset Boulevard, you can see the cigarette holder used by her in the movie in Evelyn's hand and when Sam says "Action!" she responds with "I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. Corman!", that's a direct refence to the final line said by Norma Desmond in the movie.
  • When talking to Bruno at the Savage Jungle Max begins to sing the song Born Free by Matt Monro before Sam stops him.

[edit] See Also

Hit the Road locations

[edit] External links

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