Monday, 11 February 2013

Game 29: Leisure Suit Larry III - Introduction


Al's Attack of the Awesomely Amazing Alliteration!

It doesn’t feel like much time has passed since I played the second Larry game, and here we are at Leisure Suit Larry III: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals. I enjoyed part two quite a bit, but there were some serious parser issues that made it much more difficult than it should have been and adversely affected its rating. I also remember noting how far removed from the original Leisure Suit Larry game the sequel felt, having more of a parodied James Bond-ish storyline as opposed to the highly sexual escapades that one would normally associate with the series. I had more sex in Codename: ICEMAN than I did in Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (in Several Wrong Places), which shows how far from the nest the game flew. Whether it’s a good or a bad thing, Larry III returns to the original’s themes. Before I expand on that comment, let’s take a look at the technical side of things.


Apparently this cover art was made by Mark Crowe of Space Quest fame

Larry III is the sixth game to utilize Sierra’s SCI0 engine (version 0.000.572 to be precise). As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not playing the games in the order they were released, so while I’ve played four of the five previous SCI0 games (King’s Quest IV, Larry 2, Police Quest 2 and Hero’s Quest), I’ve not yet played the fourth release (Space Quest III). Codename: ICEMAN was released about a month after Larry III, which shows why in future I need to pay more attention to actual release dates rather than just the year they hit the shelf. The game was developed for DOS, Atari St and the Amiga, and once again Al Lowe was the brains behind it, handling all design and a fair bit of the programming. His partner in crime on the programming front was Juan Carlos Escobar, whose only previous credit was porting the first Leisure Suit Larry to Apple. The graphics were handled by Roger Hardy and William Skirvin (with the latter having already cut his teeth on King’s Quest IV and Larry 2) and the music and sound by newcomers Mike Dana and Robert Atesalp.


William Skirvin and Roger Hardy: I never get bored of seeing eighties photos of computer geeks. You just don't get mullets like this anymore!

As I mentioned earlier, Larry III has much more in common with the first game than the sequel. Gone is the linear progression found in Larry 2 in favour of an open ended environment that can be explored right from the start, and the “dating sim” aspect of the original has also returned. Probably the only major element of the sequel to remain is Nontoonyt Island, although the island has since been transformed into a resort. Even the title’s Passionate Patty went by a different name when she first appeared in Larry 2, being called Polyester Patty at the time. I recently purchased the Leisure Suit Larry Greatest Hits and Misses collection off GOG, which contains Larry 1 through to 6 (4 was never released). This pack included the manual for part III (which resembles a tourist manual), as well as a hint book (which I won’t be using obviously), a postcard, and wallpapers of various resolutions. One thing I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned is that I always make my laptops wallpaper the game I’m currently playing, partly to get in the mood, but mostly just to remind myself to play or write instead of being distracted by the endless other things that fascinate me. It's handy when GOG includes them in the package!


Some of the ads in the tourist manual are very amusing indeed, especially when you realise the team behind the game are posing for them all.

Ilmari commented recently about the potential of running into some issues when playing Larry III and it’s very interesting to read about how these problems arose. I’m aware that there is one section of the game that makes the player repeat an action multiple times, with the repetitions necessary being directly proportional to the clock frequency of the player’s processor. This could obviously become a big problem on modern computers, but I don’t yet know whether using SCUMMVM will avoid the problem or not. I assume I can tinker with my settings at the time if necessary, but we’ll have to wait and see. Before I start (and before anyone makes any predictions), I should state that I definitely started playing Larry III when I was a kid, but I’m certain I didn’t get very far. I never had the manual for starters, which appears to act as copy protection, and recall getting stuck very close to the start. Well, it’s time for me to put the suit back on and go and find Larry a woman! Should be humorous, regardless of my success rate.


The postcard that came with the game

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've recently written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. As this is an introduction post, it's an opportunity for readers to bet 10 points (only if they already have them) that I won't be able to solve a puzzle unassisted (see below for an example). If you get it right I will reward you with 80 points in return (it's going to keep going up until someone beats me)! It's also your chance to predict what the final rating will be for the game. Voters can predict whatever score they want, regardless of whether someone else has already chosen it. All correct (or nearest) votes will go into a draw, which I'm yet to figure out the form of (we'll cross that bridge when we get there).

Example Bet:
Nyy V jnagrq jnf n infr
Naq abj V zhfg cebgrpg zl nff
Juvpu vfa'g nf vg hfrq gb or
Ohg tbg zr va guvf one sbe serr

Jub nz V sbe 20 PNCf?

Extra Note: Once again, Lars-Erik will gift the next readily available game on the list to the reader that correctly predicts what score I will give this game. So, if you predict the right score (or are closest), you will get 10 CAPs and a copy of Tex Murphy 1 & 2 from GOG! Good luck!

55 comments:

  1. Yay, new game!

    You can skip the adult questionnaire by cerffvat Pgey+Nyg+K nsgre ragrevat lbhe ntr.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look at you! Earning more CAPs already!

      Thanks for this. I only got 2 out of 5 on my first attempt, so I might actually need it!

      Delete
    2. If you want a free 20 you can fill out the What's Your Story? questionnaire.

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    3. I'd especially like to know the story behind your name.

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  2. BTW, I played through the game in DOSBox a couple of years ago and don't recall having any problems with the default 3000 cycles.

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    Replies
    1. Nice to know. The GOG version automatically cranks up SCUMMVM, but there's no reason I can't use DOSBox if need be.

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  3. From what i understand, Al Lowe said he would never make a Leisure Suit Larry 4, so when he eventually wanted to make another sequel, he kept to his word and made LSL5 :)

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    1. Hmm and I might just make a bet on this one. I'll guess 58.

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    2. I'll go with 59.

      Also: You missed the Kickstarter I posted up, Trickster. Point and click and everything!

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    3. Although, jr jvyy frr gur qrinfgngvat rssrpgf bs Yrvfher Fhvg Yneel VI jura jr ernpu Fcnpr Dhrfg VI!

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    4. @Canageek: If you mean Homesick, then I didn't miss it. The rules clearly state that I will only give CAPs for games that require $50000 or more on Kickstarter. There are just too many little ventures out there that could be considered adventures, but are not particularly noteworthy.

      If you're after CAPs, I think Steam is an untapped market. In fact, I might just go there today and check it out.

      Delete
    5. Oh, right, I forgot about that:
      Trine 2 is on sale: http://store.steampowered.com/app/35720/

      Thats all I can see on Steamalerts right now.

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  4. Is the person in the riddle (in ROT13:) Erk Arohyne?

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  5. I'll be pessimistic and say 55

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  6. I'll play an optimist and guess 62.

    The game has a lot of optional stuff, which you might easily miss. Thus, my challenge to Trickster: how many women can you charm?

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    Replies
    1. I bet Trickster is going to miss gur ynjlre jbzna (whatever her name is..)

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    2. What, you mean it's not reasonable to jnyx nebhaq va jbzna'f pybgurf?

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    3. I suppose to Larry it's completely reasonable - not his first time anyway.. :) But to Trickster.. I don't know.. It's a bit similar to the ortvaavat va Pbqranzr Vprzna & trggvat gb gur ornpu ibyyrl rcvfbqr

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    4. Just read these. Yes, it is a bit like the volleyball scene. Walking around the island in that outfit never occurred to me, and even if it had, I didn't see any hint in either the game or the manual that Suzi would be into that!

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    5. When you are travelling in Cherri costume all buildings are closed except lawyer's office. The same happens for native outfit (+ Casino). If the game allows the Player to walk around certain locations it may mean something.

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  7. 61 seems available. Also, Larry got buff in this one. I'm actually looking forward to getting through some of the lesser known titles, but I'm glad you get a couple of good games to wash your palate. Wow, only 6 more games in 1989.

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    Replies
    1. That means, only few more games and we get to spend our CAPs.

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    2. And there will be plenty of opportunity too. Quite a few Borderline and Disregarded games in 1990.

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    3. Must earn more, I need enough saved up for Fatty Bear.....

      Anything that you are sweating bullets, hoping we don't make you play?

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    4. Like he'll admit to that after Emmanuelle.

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  8. Maybe a 54 for this one. I'm not in a very hopeful mood. No idea why though!

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  9. I think 60, it should be better than the second one

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  10. I say a completely randomized 63.

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  11. I'm going just ahead of LSL 1 with 58. Wild stab in the dark as I've only ever played the first one, plus every other score I thought I might go for had been taken.

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  12. Just a reminder: There's no reason why you can't pick the same score as someone else. It still gives you the opportunity to win the prize. You just get slightly less CAPs for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm only in this for the CAPS; I plan on donating my prizes to either someone I know who would like it, or the other person if not (Possibly if I win in the late 90s or for some cool cyberpunk game or something)

      Delete
  13. Increasing riddle reward to 30 CAPs.

    Nyy V jnagrq jnf n infr
    Naq abj V zhfg cebgrpg zl nff
    Juvpu vfa'g nf vg hfrq gb or
    Ohg tbg zr va guvf one sbe serr
    Naq juvyr vg zvtug fbhaq yvxr n jva
    Sbe rirel tvey gb jnag lbhe fxva
    V srry vg'f ernyyl sbe gur orfg
    Gb grzcbenevyl unir gurfr oernfgf

    Jub nz V sbe 20 PNCf?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Taking this to be a trick answer, then. E-c-k Arohyne.... (I'd say 60. The game's in that definite 'flawed but fun' category.)

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm...I think you might be onto something here, but are you sure you got that right?

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    2. Did the conversion by hand.. poorly. Ebk Arohyne.. e.g. what he's named when female. I never got very far in that game, but I certainly didn't think to mean 'Rnx'!

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    3. Correct! Rox Nebula is the answer. I was definitely being tough on Laukku though, so I'm going to give him 10 points anyway for guessing Rex Nebula. I don't think Rox was ever actually mentioned in the game either, but then I've never played it.

      Well done Aperama! 30 CAPs coming your way!

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    4. I was indeed very confused when Rex Nebular apparently wasn't the answer, and even more confused when the extended hint only seemed to confirm him! I've played through the game and don't remember his female form having an alternate name, but the again it was some years ago.

      Delete
  15. Final score: 61

    Good luck with this one, I think I only played the very beginning when I was younger (didn't have the manual or anything, and didn't really know what I was doing).

    I'll not be playing along this time, I really need to spend more time with X-COM so I can finish writing about it.

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  16. I'll go with 55 just because I've decided it'll be 5 better than the previous Larry game.

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  17. I'll pull the pseudo-random 58 out of my hat, looks as though all of the low 60's and upper 50's are already taken so I have to share.

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  18. I'm late for the score grab. I'm going with 56 here, I'm sure I'm sharing it with someone...

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  19. Here's a link showing the evolution of Larry.

    http://www.dr.dk/NR/rdonlyres/C1E44052-A461-4706-9AA7-CD958C88E683/385822/levolution.jpg

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  20. I say 59.. I think it's slightly better than LSL2, due to the non-linearity and Larry getting back to his roots. But some puzzles are quite far fetched in my opinion, especially towards the end.

    Waiting for the reaction on the svanyr..

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    Replies
    1. Oh, it was LSL1 that got 57, not LSL2.. But I'll keep my guess anyway..

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    2. I consider the svanyr to be one of the classic moments in Sierra history (then again, I also like similar moments in Oynmvat fnqqyrf and Fcnpronyyf so I might be a bit biased.). Especially the junyr fubbg cracks me up every time.

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    3. Glad you agree Ilmari! I really did love it!

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  21. Late to the party (like usual). I'm going to guess 60. I'm really looking forward to your playthrough, Trickster. I hope you like this one!

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  22. Going with 60 me too. Never played it :p

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  23. Hey everyone, first-time poster, and I would like to guess...57. (And now I should probably look up what that means.)

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  24. I'll join the rating-guessing and go with 61.

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