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 wine...giving 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?!