Saturday, 11 February 2012

Game 10: Leisure Suit Larry I - Won!

Larry Laffer Journal Entry 2: “After being so close to getting laid on numerous occasions tonight, I finally succeeded in my task. It was totally worth too, as the girls got progressively hotter right up to my triumph with Eve, the sexiest woman I’ve ever seen in my 38 years on the planet! Fawn ended up being a greedy little man-eater, who only married me to get to my cash. I don’t think she ever intended to have sex with me, and left me tied to the bed in the honeymoon suite, naked and broke. I moved on quickly however (after cutting myself loose) and came across the stunning Faith working on the eighth floor of the hotel. Unfortunately she lived up to her name and after I successfully turned her on with a combination of inhuman charm and a bottle of stimulants, she quickly left to give her husband the night of his life. I still had confidence that my luck was going to change, and Faith’s departure was the break I needed to get where I wanted to go. A little button at her then absent desk gave me access to the penthouse suite, where I found Eve naked in a spa, clearly eager for some action. I was only too happy to oblige, and soon found myself in her awesome pad, getting it on until the sun came up. Life couldn’t be better and I don’t plan on letting Eve out of my sight...ever! If only I didn’t get married earlier tonight..."

If the above makes it sound like I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to get Larry to do the horizontal dance, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It took me exactly forty minutes to get from the honeymoon suite with Fawn, wondering where I could find a phone to order champagne, to watching fireworks while Larry and Eve have sex in the penthouse suite. Once I found the convenience store, everything else fell into place and at no stage did I not know what to do next. The man outside the store asks for him the wine rewards you with a pocket knife...using the phone outside the store allows you to get the champagne Fawn demands...drinking the champagne with her leads to her tying you to the bed, where you use the pocket knife...using the rope from the bed allows you to get to the pills at Lefty’s Bar...having the pills means you can seduce Faith (the game hints that a medical stimulant might help)...seducing Faith results in her leaving her desk unattended so you can gain access to the penthouse...entering the penthouse means you score with Eve. Each time I achieved one of the goals, the next goal became pretty obvious, and I went from having 78 points at the end of my last post to finishing the game on 172 points without any need to backtrack or even think really.

Actually Larry, it really, really is!

Of course all of this could only be achieved after I found the convenience store, and if you read my last post you’d know that I hadn’t yet figured out that you could ask the taxi driver for a rundown of locations that Larry can visit. Both Charles (and Ilmari, yet I didn’t decipher his hint until after I’d completed the game) hinted at this in the comments section of that post, but I can honestly say that I was planning to try asking the driver questions during my next play session (regardless, 10 points to Charles for getting in first, and 10 points to Ilmari for using the ROT13 encryption which I’d like to encourage). It did take a while to find the right question to ask the driver, as I couldn’t think of a way to discuss locations that the text parser would understand. In the end, “ask for directions” gave me the information I was looking for, and revealed that the convenience store was the only location I hadn’t yet visited. I think this is the only time I struggled with the text parser during the whole game, which is both testament to how well Al Lowe utilised it (I’m sure the beta testing would have ironed out some frustrations) and how experienced I’m getting with using it.

This is pretty much how it feels buying rubbers in real life. All of sudden everyone's looking at you!

So, where were the fifty points that I missed!? That’s by far the most points I’ve missed when completing a Sierra game for this blog, so I thought I’d peruse a walkthrough to see what I overlooked or could have done differently. I assumed beforehand that not having sex with the hooker would make up the majority of the deficiency, especially after I purchased a rubber at the convenience store which would have allowed me to do so without contracting an STD. I can now confirm that this must be the case, as the only two things I can see that I didn’t do otherwise are; calling the Sex Survey line and the Sierra hotline from the phone at the store; and using the inflatable doll that I found in Eve’s cupboard (10 points to the first person that can tell me what happens when you use the doll as I’m intrigued). I also remember that there’s a room in the Casino where a comedian stands on stage telling jokes, but I never stayed there for more than a few seconds. The walkthrough doesn’t mention it, so I assume it’s merely for entertainment value, and nothing of relevance ever happens there. Anyway, finished is finished, and I certainly won’t be going back into games trying to get full points, or I’ll never make it through the long list of games I’ve got to play.

My experience with the doll was watching it fly away after puncturing it accidentally

Leisure Suit Larry has got me thinking about what makes a great adventure game. On the one hand, there’s not a moment in the whole game that isn’t damn entertaining, with consistently hilarious descriptions and comments flying left, right and centre. The plot may be extremely shallow and unbelievable, but it’s difficult not to barrack for Larry to get lucky, and knowing what the world of women is really like (try walking uninvited into a gorgeous brunette’s penthouse, then get into her spa while she’s in their naked, and see what happens) makes it even funnier. On the other hand, it’s not very challenging, and is all over in just a few hours. The opening scenes of the game are the trickiest, as you don’t yet have any real goal and are wandering around trying to find something to do, but once you meet Fawn, there’s not much brainpower required to get to the end credits. I complained endlessly about how difficult Uninvited was, but I certainly felt a greater sense of satisfaction when I completed it than I did for this game. I think there’s a balance of greatness in adventure games, that toes the line between being too easy and too difficult, between making you think and simply entertaining you, and Leisure Suit Larry probably ventures a bit too far into the entertaining and easy categories to match the best of the genre.

One of the few puzzles in the game that required some thought

All that being said, Leisure Suit Larry was an absolute delight to play! Filled with sexual innuendos and laugh out loud humour, not to mention scoff-inducing controversial puzzle resolutions, the game put a permanent smile on my face for all three hours that it took to finish it. A few readers have mentioned that there’s a time limit in the game that kicks in if you haven’t had sex by midnight, but despite choosing to ignore the hooker at the beginning of the game, this limitation never caused me any trouble. I can only say therefore that the limit is not a game breaker, the way it was in the Déjà Vu and to a lesser degree Uninvited. I look forward to applying the PISSED rating system to the game and assume it will be up there in the vicinity of Space Quest, perhaps even sitting on top of the leader board. After all, you just can’t stop Larry from scoring!

Eve is hot and definitely worth the wait! What? Yes, I'm aware that she's not real. Huh? No, that doesn't make me creepy...does it?!


  1. The text parser is actually not all that picky in this game. You could have typed "talk to driver", "talk to man", or even just "talk" to get the list of destinations.

    If you were to "inflate doll", you would get a close up shot of the doll very similar to all the ladies you meet. If you "use doll", the game responds with "Jeeze Larry, do we have to?" You then have to type "use doll" again to consummate your relationship with your new inflatable friend. I don't kiss and tell, but let's just say it has the same outcome you got, with her flying away making flatulent noises.

    By the way, you didn't mention the death scenes. These are some of the best parts of the game. If Larry gets the STD, his crotch starts to glow before he dies and he ends up in the Sierra factory where his bits are recycled. Another good one is if you forget to remove the "lubber" after your encounter with the prostitute. Walking out onto the street ends up with a policeman arresting you for indecent exposure.

    1. Other memorable deaths occur when flushing a toilet (toilet overflows and Larry drowns) and when trying to smuggle liquor into the taxi (the driver drinks it and Larry dies in a car crash). A particularly gruesome death happens when Larry tries to go down on the prostitute - she wants to go first and then emasculates the poor fellow.

    2. I've got to save something fresh to talk about in the final rating post! ;)

      That being said, I didn't make Larry have sex with the hooker, so two of the deaths you mention above are total news to me!

      10 points to Chumazik!

  2. Congrats on finishing the game! As far as the lack of difficulty, perhaps the game was aimed at people who were too horny to think straight. Present company excluded, of course... or at least I assume so. :P

  3. The lack of difficult puzzles in Larry 1 is well explained by it being a faithful remake of Softporn (except that Softporn had some additional outlandish elements, like magic mushrooms that transported the player instantly to another room, that were removed from Larry). I am quite certain that you will curse many of the puzzles in Larry 2.

  4. Looks like this walkthrough tells you about all the points: (Just look at the point list)

    Congrats on completing another adventure. This seems like a light transition between Uninvited and Maniac Mansion. I hope you enjoyed the respite. Maniac Mansion has a lot of funny moments, but I do remember it being very difficult.

  5. Glad you had a "good time" with Larry! Unfortunately, I think the first game in the series was also its pinnacle. The puzzles got harder and the plots more contrived, but... well I don't want to spoil or influence your opinion, let's just say you may find LSL2 to be quite a different experience.

    Maniac Mansion is also funny, although it´s more of the situational kind rather than relying on a barrage of jokes. I agree with Zenic that it´s likely to punish you and leave you begging for mercy, though. :-)

  6. Hmmm, and now my review rating: I'm going to give this a 7/10 vs Uninvited's 8/10. I think part of it is that you write more on each game the longer it is (which makes sense) and thus give your readers more insight into its nature. I think this is where RPGs lend themselves to this format more then early adventure games, since they take longer what is the mapping and grinding and all.

    On the plus side, I think your writing is greatly improved since your early posts, and I feel this review, despite only having a few posts, gave a lot more insight then most of your early ones.

    Do Adventure games get longer over time? I think Myst was pretty long, but I don't know if that was a general trend, or just an aberration. If they do get longer then this is probably a self-correcting problem.

    1. I didn't realise my reviews and ratings were going to be reviewed and rated in turn! ;)

      Yeah, there's no doubt that the more challenging a game is, the more there is to write about. It's also worth pointing out that a lot of the early Sierra games are technically identical, meaning it's difficult not to sound like a broken record.

      I'm pretty sure games not only get longer, they get more varied also, which will make for more interesting reading...I hope!

    2. Opps, my comment below was supposed to be on this game.

      Anyway, you asked for feedback on your posts, so I thought I'd try and give it.

  7. I'm starting to get worried about Maniac Mansion, what with comments such as "likely to punich you and leave you begging for mercy".

    I'm still looking forward to it though as it's one of the most renowned adventure game classics that I've never played (along with Loom, Myst and the Gabriel Knight series)! Bring it on!

    1. I do think that one of the things that improved this review and the last was the example solutions and a summary of what you did. I'm really a plot-motivated person most of the time (Skyrim and Fallout being the exceptions for some reason) so I like hearing about the story, and suspect that as the plots get more complex that will also give you more to talk about.

    2. Haha, well I may have exaggerated a bit. It is, after all, one of the first adventures I played, so my memories are fuzzy. But I do remember it being very tough, and utterly blowing my mind (I have to credit MM for sparking my love for adventure games). As an accomplished adventurer, and with the help of our subtle hints, I doubt you'll find it half as hard.

  8. I concur with Charles that Maniac Mansion is not as difficult as it may have sounded. Many puzzles have alternative solutions and there are only few unpredictable dead ends. You can get your characters killed, unlike in later Lucasarts games, but the deaths happen usually for more logical reasons than in Sierra games. The interface might feel a bit cumbersome at first, because there's no mouse support, but it will become easier once you remember the important hotkeys.