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Sam & Max Episode 204: Chariots of the Dogs
Box artwork for Sam & Max Episode 204: Chariots of the Dogs.
Developer(s)Telltale Games
Publisher(s)Telltale Games, GameTap
Distributor(s)GameTap, Steam, Xbox Live Arcade
Release date(s)
Genre(s)Adventure
System(s)Windows, Mac, Xbox 360, Wii
Mode(s)Single player
Rating(s)
ESRB: ESRB T.png Teen
OFLC: OFLC PG.svg Parental Guidance
Preceded byEpisode 203: Night of the Raving Dead
Followed byEpisode 205: What's New, Beelzebub?
SeriesSam & Max
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Sam & Max Episode 204: Chariots of the Dogs is the fourth game in the second season of Sam & Max episodic content, created by Telltale Games and published by GameTap. The episode was released on March 13, 2008 on GameTap, with a Windows release the following day. The episode is contained in the Season Two compilation Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space, which was released on May 16, 2008 on Steam, October 14, 2009 on Xbox Live Arcade, and March 9, 2010 on the Wii.

Chariots of the Dogs finds Sam and Max teamed up with their private eye colleague Flint Paper, as he investigates the disappearance of local shop owner, Bosco. Their sleuthing soon takes an unexpected turn, and Sam and Max will need to travel through space and time to protect Bosco and perhaps the fate of the entire universe.

Chariots of the Dogs is the only episode in Season Two without a car driving segment, so no car upgrade is available in this installment.

Getting Started[edit]

Sam & Max is a point-and-click adventure game, for multiple systems. You navigate around the game world by moving the cursor to a spot on the screen and selecting that spot. Around the world are "hotspots", with which the characters can interact. When the cursor is over a hotspot, it will become hilighted and its name will appear if known (names can be disabled in the options menu). You solve puzzles during the game by interacting in a (somewhat) logical way with the environment, talking with other characters and collecting items that are held in your inventory.

New to Season Two is a hint system, better driving controls, and optional driving tasks that reward you with decals for the DeSoto and car upgrades. In the game options you can set the hint level for varying degrees of help during gameplay. If you have hints enabled, Max and other characters may give you verbal clues if you spend too much time attempting to figure out a puzzle. A new feature, car upgrades are won by collecting all decals in the optional driving game. Decals appear on the trunk of the DeSoto, and obtaining them all unlocks the episode's car upgrade, which is solely a visual enhancement to the car.

Windows / Mac Xbox 360 Wii Action
PC Mouse Left Click.png (Hold) Neutral lstick A button (Hold) Move to cursor
Double-click PC Mouse Left Click.png (Hold) Double-click A button (Hold) Move more quickly to cursor
PC Mouse Left Click.png A button A button Interact, make selection
PC Mouse Right Click.png B button B button Skip conversation
 ↑   ↓  Neutral lstick Driving controls
Click box Click box or Y button Click box or Minus button Open inventory
Click gear or Esc Click gear or Start button Click gear or Plus button Menu
Space Start button N/A Pause
F5 N/A Autosave
F8 N/A Load autosave

Bosco's Inconvenience[edit]

Sam and Max begin the episode by breaking into Bosco's Inconvenience with their next door neighbor, Flint Paper. Flint has been working a case left to him by his late partner, who first took the job of watching Bosco some 40 years ago. You're looking for any clues that might lead you to Bosco's secret hideout, where you assume he's fled to after being contacted by T-H-E-M in Episode 202. It soon becomes apparent that your first order of business will be getting through the laser barrier guarding the bathroom.

Go to the bathroom
Sam & Max Season Two screen go to the bathroom.jpg
  1. With Bosco gone, try looking around where you've never been able to go before.
  2. You should find the toy Moai head behind the counter.
  3. There is nothing special about the Moai head, so if it has any secrets they must be hiding on the inside.
  4. Use the toy Moai head on the x-ray machine.
  5. You'll need to find a bright light to put behind the xray to read it.
  6. Use the xray on the x-ray reader above the counter, then use the keypad to disarm the lasers.

In the bathroom you'll find plenty of model volcanos, but no Bosco. He did leave his paranoid ramblings written on the walls, so maybe they can provide a clue. If you can recreate what Bosco was doing at the time of his disappearance, perhaps you could better understand where he went.

Volcanic eruption
Sam & Max Season Two screen volcanic eruption.jpg
  1. Note the clue on the wall which reads "Baking Soda + Vinegar = Eruption".
  2. There is baking soda right by the sink and vinegar in the stall.
  3. You'll need to use the industrial-sized baking soda to make a big enough explosion, but how do you open it?
  4. Shoot the industrial-sized baking soda and pour the vinegar into the hole.

It turns out what Bosco was doing in the bathroom was signaling T-H-E-M! In an unexpected turn of events, you'll be going after Bosco whether you like it or not.

On the spaceship[edit]

Welcome to the spaceship.

On the spaceship you'll see that things have not turned out well for Bosco, as he appears to be half cow now. He tells you that he used the elevator nearby, but got spooked and when he returned he looked as he does. You need to help Bosco by correcting his time line so he goes back to normal. In order to do so, you'll be traveling through time and space righting the wrongs of the past and hopefully not causing any more mishaps.

The way the elevator works is by using time cards to specify a time and place and going there. The only place you can go to start with is using Bosco's card, but you'll find a modified carbon dater there that will print time cards for people. You can use the carbon dater on any person, regardless of where they are in their time line, but no inanimate objects. If you try to scan the same person (such as when you see them in different times), you will be informed that you already have that person's time card. When you get a new time card, use it on the elevator to add it to the time card slots. To use the elevator, just pick a time card from the left side to go there, or press the red "Home" button to return to the ship.

Save Bosco[edit]

Bosco just isn't himself today.

When you first use the elevator you'll end up in a 1963 version of Bosco's Inconvenience run by Momma Bosco. She's a feminist shop owner selling baby needs and guns, as well as a scientist working on creating a baby through in vitro fertilization. At the back of the store is her baby-maker machine, where you'll see her sample and a donor father's sample. Unfortunately, the donor father's sample has been contaminated by milk spilled when Bosco was freaking out there, which explains his current bovine persuasion.

You can talk to Momma Bosco here and pick up anything that's not nailed down, but there's not much else to do here at this point.

Inventory items
  1. The modified carbon dater on the floor under the gun display.
  2. The chemical sampler on the counter by the baby-maker machine.
  3. The cork from the wine bottle in the bathroom stall.

Since you don't have anywhere new to go, use the carbon dater to create some new time cards so you'll have some new places to explore. Make sure to scan Sam, Max and Momma Bosco.

Before you can leave, you'll have a conversation with Momma Bosco that leads to her falling for Max. As the portable AI informs you, this causes a catastrophic time-space anomaly. When you use the elevator to leave, the AI will take you back to the ship to show you your handiwork as Bosco is now fading in and out of existence. If Momma Bosco is no longer interested in creating a test tube baby, that mean Bosco will never be born. But if Bosco was never born, then you have no reason to go back in time and make Momma Bosco want to be with Max. This is the paradox that Max's animal magnetism has created, so now you have another task: make Momma Bosco lost interest in Max.

Find Bosco's dad[edit]

If you talked with Momma Bosco a bit, you'll find out that she met the donor at the White House, the very same place her time card goes. That seems like the logical place to start, although it doesn't hurt to look around any of the other places you have time cards for on the way. When you get to the White House, you'll find Superball guarding the war room once again. He remembers Momma Bosco, but refuses to spit when you use the chemical sampler on him. Apparently he only spits when he's startled or under extreme distress. You'll have to find something that will shock even the normally imperturbable secret service agent.

Get Superball's sample
Sam & Max Season Two screen get superball's sample.jpg
  1. You should look around the areas you've unlocked for something relating to Superball or his job.
  2. Note the president's letter on display at Stinky's.
  3. Get the screwdriver by young Sam and use it on the letter display.
  4. Show the president's letter to Superball to make him spit.

You now have access to Superball's saliva, but when you check on Bosco after switching out the contaminated sample at Momma Bosco's, you'll see that it had an unintended consequence. Apparently Superball wasn't Bosco's father after all.

Find the real dad
Sam & Max Season Two screen find the real dad.jpg
  1. You'll need to look around for another place to get a saliva sample.
  2. Note that when Superball chucked the envelope the president's letter was in, it ended up on the desk.
  3. Use the chemical sampler on the envelope, then take the sample back to the baby-maker maker machine.

Now that you've returned Bosco to his normal appearance, you'll have to do something about his fading in and out of existence. Somehow you'll have to break Max's hypnotic spell over Momma Bosco.

Make Max less appealing[edit]

Speaking with Momma Bosco should let you see she's a feminist who is only interested in Max because he is so thoroughly uninterested in her. Although you don't get a flashback, Max does say that his disinterest started in middle school. It might be a good idea to talk with your younger selves to see if you can stop this behavior before it starts.

At Stinky's, you'll find your former selves playing with Bluster Blaster, who you should note is quite a bit kinder than you're used to from playing any of the previous episodes starting at Episode 105. Talking with the kids, you learn that there's a prom tonight, but Max is to wrapped up in the video game, which he loves because of it constantly praises him. If you can get Max to the prom, you might be able to change his view of the fairer sex and prevent the anomaly.

Find out what's wrong
Sam & Max Season Two screen find out what's wrong.jpg
  1. If Bluster Blaster wasn't so kind to Max, he probably wouldn't want to play it anymore.
  2. Speaking with Sam, you'll find that he needs another AI for the game.
  3. There is the spaceship's portable AI on the elevator, but it's stuck fast.
  4. Look around the Intergalactic Freelance Police office in the future for some clues.
  5. Reading the poster on the bulletin board, it seems present day Stinky has invented a super adhesive with a secret ingredient.
  6. If you can alter the past so she never makes the adhesive, then the portable AI might not be fixed so well on the elevator.

You now have an idea of what you need to do, although not exactly how to go about. You'll need to look around the places you've uncovered for anything helpful.

Execute the plan
Sam & Max Season Two screen execute the plan.jpg
  1. Old Stinky is working on perfecting his tar cake, which is the likely source of present day Stinky's secret ingredient.
  2. Talk with Superball to see if you can help you. You need a product and a unique ingredient for a patent.
  3. Use the chemical sampler on the tar cake, and try getting a patent for it at the White House.
  4. Remember from the poster in your future office that the secret ingredient is Bitumen-13.
  5. Show Stinky the patent to stop him from producing his tar cake.

You now have the tools necessary to get your younger selves off their lazy butts and out the door. Help Sam out with his work to hopefully repair the time line.

Restore Bosco's existence
Sam & Max Season Two screen restore bosco's existence.jpg
  1. Young Sam needs a new AI for his game, so give him the portable AI that fell off the elevator.
  2. You need an AI personality that is pretty mean (remember how Bluster Blaster normally acts).
  3. You can modify the ship's AI at the computer behind the captain's chair.
  4. Choose the abusive personality, and give the portable AI to young Sam again.
  5. With young Sam and Max off to the prom, you should note a change in Max.
  6. Go back and talk with Momma Bosco to show her the new Max.

Now that Momma Bosco is thoroughly disgusted with Max again, she'll go through with the in vitro fertilization and Bosco should be assured of his existence. Head back to the ship to check in on him and see if you can find a way off the space vessel.

Get rid of the crew[edit]

A lively band of mariachis!

When you get back to the spaceship and see you've successfully returned Bosco to his former self, you'll be able to venture out of that room and into another part of the ship. Here you'll meet the crew, a trio of mariachis, all the same person from different times. They love to sing and make music, and if you've played earlier episodes you probably remember them showing up anytime someone has a birthday. They tell their story with song, but poor Bosco can't take the surprise and has a heart attack. The mariachis are using the ship to go around and collect souls for the triangle vortex from Episode 202, and Bosco's soul heads out between the Moai heads to start the soul sucking process.

With this new development you objective is clear: rescue Bosco (again). You can't enter the platform where the Moai heads are crushing Bosco's soul, because the captain keeps overriding you when you press the button by Bosco's body. Actually, all the mariachis are willing to stop you from rescuing Bosco, because they need to send his soul through the vortex to meet their quota and finish paying off the spaceship. You'll need to get rid of the crew before you'll have a chance to save Bosco, and luckily they all dream of something more. You can use their hopes and dreams to make them leave by making them come true.

The birthday mariachi[edit]

Back on the bridge you'll find the middle-aged mariachi listening intently to the device by the elevator. He won't leave his post until he hears that it's someone's birthday. He listens all across time, so it can really be anywhere. You'll need to find someone who's birthday it is and announce it so he leaves the ship.

Make a happy birthday
Sam & Max Season Two screen make a happy birthday.jpg
  1. It turns out that everyone whose birthday it is has already been visited by the mariachi.
  2. You'll need to find someone who is not having a birthday, and make it their birthday.
  3. If you recall back to Episode 104, the president has the power to change the date.
  4. The only one in the White House time line is Superball, so you'll need to figure when his birthday is.
  5. When you use your office time card (scan Superball), you'll find it's the birthday of the Superball there.
  6. Try an decipher the numbers on the time cards and see if they're helpful.
  7. If you look on Superball's time card, you'll see 2008.0906—September 6, 2008.
  8. Change the date at the White House to Superball's birthday, then ask him if it's his birthday.
  9. Get out of there before the mariachi finishes his song!

With the middle-aged, birthday-singing mariachi out of the way, you just need to rid the ship of two more pesky crew members.

Captain mariachi[edit]

The captain longs to be a singer, and in fact he was inspired by your success on Embarrassing Idol back in Episode 102. If you recall, you were awarded a record contract without having a shred of talent. It so happens that the captain has set a course for the set of Embarrassing Idol to celebrate the Soda Poppers' birthday. The time card for the show was printed by the computer, and you can grab it from behind the captain's chair. You'll need to fulfill the captain's dream of following in your footsteps if you want him off the ship.

Since you have a new time card, you should go explore the Embarrassing Idol set. When you get there you'll be treated to past Sam winning the show and getting the record contract before everyone leaves. When you go talk to them, you'll have a bunch of options for how to explain why you're there, but eventually you'll tell them you came for the record contract. They refuse to give it to you, since they need it for their own case, and after your conversation they jack your elevator and leave you stranded in time. A year and a half later, after creating another signal at Bosco's, you'll be abducted again to find your past selves looking around the ship. At least they brought the record contract with them.

Make the captain a star
Sam & Max Season Two screen make the captain a star.jpg
  1. Your past selves won't just give you the contract, and they're looking for clues to get to the moon.
  2. If you tell them what they need they'll ask you where to get it, and they'll go off and ask whoever you said about the item.
  3. You should send them somewhere to ask about something that will present an advantageous situation for you.
  4. Do you remember anything special when talking with the people scattered around time?
  5. Try talking to Superball at your office about time travel.
  6. Tell past Sam he needs a time traveling phone booth, and send him to Agent Superball in the future.
  7. When past Sam gets back with his memory wiped, you can trade the screwdriver for the record contract.
  8. Give the contract to the captain.

With his new singing career ahead of him, the captain will take off and leave just one crew member behind.

The old mariachi[edit]

The last mariachi is keeping watch on the soul sucking process out by the Moai heads. He is dedicated to the ship, as he believes with time travel he can eventually answer some big questions. He wants to know how he dies and which came first, the chicken or the egg. You'll need to satisfy his curious mind before he'll think of leaving the ship so you can rescue Bosco.

Start off with the easy question: when will the old man die. You have access to a time machine, so it can't be that hard to figure out. A good place to start looking would be the future, since he seems to be alive at present.

How the mariachi dies
Sam & Max Season Two screen how the mariachi dies.jpg
  1. At the Intergalactic Freelance Police office, note the obituary on the bulletin board.
  2. Unfortunately you can't read it, because of water damage.
  3. Note the model volcano below the bulletin board and remember how explosively they can erupt.
  4. You need to stop the volcano from erupting before the obituary was damaged.
  5. Go back to your present day office and put the cork in the volcano.
  6. Get the obituary and give it to the mariachi.

One big question answered, and one to go. Now that he knows he will die from inhaling ink ribbon fumes, he's no longer protective of the printer, if you've tried to mess with it. Now it's time to answer his last question: whether the chicken or the egg came first. You have a time machine but no time card to the beginning of time, so you'll need to find one.

The chicken or the egg?
Sam & Max Season Two screen the chicken or the egg.jpg
  1. You know the time cards are printed with a symbol of the place and the date, but what would before time look like?
  2. The only time card the central device will print is for Embarrassing Idol, since that's the last destination the captain gave.
  3. If you mess with the printer, you can dislodge the printer ribbon and the central device can only print blanks.
  4. If you've been exploring, you probably already have an egg. If not, grab the Boxing Betty control at your present day office.
  5. Use the blank time card and give the egg to Mr. Featherly.
  6. Back on the ship, show the last Pedro Mr. Featherly to answer his last question.

Now that the mariachi knows all of life's mysteries, he takes off and leaves you in command of the ship. Unfortunately, before you can figure out a way to get to Bosco's soul, Max accidentally hits the suck button and the soul gets drawn into the vortex. The plan has changed, and now you'll need to go after Bosco's soul and see if you can reunite it with his body.

Escape the ship[edit]

As soon as you hit the button by Bosco's body to extend the bridge out into the time vortex, the mariachis show up again in another elevator to warn you not to extend the bridge. Unfortunately it's too late and the ship goes into self-destruct mode and sets a course for the beginning of time. Don't bother trying to escape with your own elevator, as it gets hijacked by your past selves the minute you step foot back on the bridge. You'll need to get yourselves and Bosco through the triangle portal before you all die.

Follow that soul
Sam & Max Season Two screen follow that soul.jpg
  1. The suck button will get Bosco's body halfway up to the portal, but he stops in mid-air.
  2. The sucking action ends before you can run over to Bosco's body, but you can only stop time at the time controls while your finger is in it.
  3. You need something to make the time controls stick long enough for you to get over to Bosco.
  4. After hitting the suck button, use the tar cake sample on the time controls to stop time.
  5. Run over to Bosco before the time controls come unstuck.

You've gotten yourselves and Bosco's corpse through the portal to a destination unknown, but the ominous chanting that accompanies the trip doesn't bode well. Tune in next episode to see where Sam and Max land what this season's mystery is all about in Episode 205.