Classic PC Game: Freddy Pharkas, Frontier Pharmacist

Classic PC Game: Freddy Pharkas, Frontier Pharmacist


I came across a title of a game I haven’t thought about in a while and when I saw it, a smile came to my face. The game was Freddy Pharkas, Frontier Pharmacist. This game would have my friends and I in stitches. This game was released in 1993, but I didn’t discover it until 1998 or 1999. I was in Staples looking for some blank CD-ROMS and found a pack of 20 that included this game. “SWEET!”, I thought to myself. Never heard of the game, but I knew Al Lowe and Sierra On-Line made some good stuff. There wasn’t a physical manual, but it was on the disk. So I printed it out. The manual was entitled “The Modern Day Book of Health and Hygiene.” Without this manual, you wouldn’t be able to complete this game, but this is more than a manual, it’s a book of hilarity. Not everything in the manual is necessary to play the game. Much of what’s in there is just to make you laugh. To give you an idea of what’s in the book, here is what it says about curing acne:

Acne was once thought to be an eruption of bad yellow bile. Technically, while it still appears to be an eruption of bad yellow bile, we know it to be caused by foreign goods, such as the French food pommes de terr frites, Swiss chocolate, etc. Curiously, acne appears to subside with the cessation of the process known as “pubescence,” but upon examination, this is logical: during pubescence, there is a craving for exotic foods and the need to “break away” or “rebel” from more proper foods such as corn meal mush, cactus and buffalo. Until these urges abate post-pubescence, a return to the basics will go a long way to alleviate most serious acne. And occasions facial scrubbing with lye soap and a pumice stone is also recommended to remove those annoying pustules!

Funny, right?

As for the game play, your mouse is your main tool. There are some keyboard shortcuts, but for the most part, you’re using your mouse. This game requires a sound card to hear to dialogue, though I do believe there is an option for captions, but the different voices add to the humor.

I assumed from the title that you would know what the game is about, but to be safe, you play Freddy, a pharmacist in the old west. That’s it. Watch the following video to understand Freddy’s back-story.

Justin M. Salvato

Seeker of 1980s nostalgia, rummager of vintage computers and player of retro video games. When not writing posts of The Retroist, I'm converting Retroist audio podcasts to Retroist video podcasts. My own videos can be found at

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