Leisure Suit Larry

From Academic Kids

Leisure Suit Larry is the title character of a series of adult adventure games written by Al Lowe and published by Sierra On-Line from the 1980s to the present. The character, whose "actual" name is Larry Laffer, is a balding, dorky, leisure suit-wearing (but still somewhat lovable) loser in his 40s who spends much of his life trying (usually unsuccessfully) to seduce attractive women.

The "Larry" games were one of Sierra's most popular game series during the genre's heydays. As such, they remain well-known among fans of the type today. The series stands out among Sierra's catalog in that they are the only games the company produced that contain significant sexual themes and nudity.

In general, the games follow Larry's escapades as he attempts (and mostly fails) to convince a variety of young nubile women (rendered with increasing sophistication throughout the series) to have sex with him. A common link between the games are Larry's explorations of luxurious and cosmopolitan hotels, ships, beaches, resorts, and more commonly, casinos. One of Larry's trademarks is his manner of introducing himself: "Hi, my name is Larry; Larry Laffer."

The original game was based on a text-only adventure called Softporn Adventure, created by Chuck Benton in 1981 for the Apple II and published by Sierra (then named On-Line Systems). Benton is mentioned in the Larry credits, because the entire layout and the puzzles of the game are the same as in Softporn Adventure; the jokes, however, are Lowe's.

Because of the nature of the games, the first and third episodes of the series featured an age verification system, which consisted of a series of questions to which the authors reasoned only adults would know the answer. This frustrated some non-American gamers, and the multiple-choice questions in the third game and the first game's remake did little to deter adolescents with some patience and a notepad. (The verification system could be skipped by pressing Alt-X in episode one, or Ctrl-Alt-X in episode three.)

The series was inexplicably popular with women, perhaps because Larry is depicted as a complete loser and men in general are frequently the butt of jokes.


The games

Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards (1987, remade 1991)

Missing image
Screenshot Leisure Suit Larry 1 (Atari ST)

Released in 1987, this was one of the first completely graphical adventure games with 16 color EGA graphics. It used the Adventure Game Interpreter (AGI) engine. It ran on DOS and the Apple II and was later ported to other platforms such as the Amiga, Atari ST and Sega.

In 1991, Sierra released a remake that used the Sierra's Creative Interpreter (SCI) engine with 256 colors and icon-driven (as opposed to text-based) interface.

Larry Laffer is introduced as a geeky virgin swiftly nearing the age of 40. He resolves to explore the sinister streets of Lost Wages (a parody of Las Vegas) in a desparate quest to lose his virginity and maybe even find true love. (If the player fails to complete the first goal before "sunrise", Larry commits suicide.) Larry seems to finally find the girl of his dreams at the end of the game: he encounters a gorgeous woman named Eve relaxing in a hot tub and quite open to his clumsy attempts at romance.

A bizarre, unfounded rumor at the time was that if Larry had unprotected sex with one of the NPCs in LSL1, the player's computer would catch a virus. (In actuality, if Larry has sex in the game with a prostitute without using a condom, he contracts a particularly virulent sexually transmitted infection and dies within seconds.)

Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (in Several Wrong Places), or Leisure Suit Larry 2 (1988)

The first sequel used the new engine by Sierra called Sierra's Creative Interpreter (SCI), with 16 colors and MIDI sound. It introduced grand-adventure elements, including a number of diverse settings (a cruise ship, tropical islands, and so on). This is the only game of the series where Larry meets several girls but has no activity with them (except the final one). Whenever Larry meets a girl, the dialogue contains the running joke "You find x women sexy" followed by the comment "(but then, you find all women sexy)." For example, when Larry meets a female security guard: "You find armed women sexy! (But then, you find all women sexy.)"

Eve, the girl of Larry's dreams from the end of the previous game, has serious second thoughts in the light of day and casts him aside. Larry begins his exploration again, and a microfiche falls in his hands by mistake. He is then pursued by KGB agents as well as minions of the evil scientist Dr. Nonookee (a pun on "no nookie"), who both want to recover the film. His travels lead him to the tropical island Nontoonyt ("None tonight"), where he meets Kalalau, the daughter of the natives' leader Kennywauwau (who bears a curiously resemblance to Ken Williams). Larry enters Nonookee's lair in the heart of a volcano, where he accidentally defeats the evil doctor and wins the heart of Kalalau. (One of the final scenes included a piano-playing "Polyester Patti", who featured prominently in the next game as "Passionate Patti".)

Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals (1989)

The third episode in the series presented enhanced 16-color graphics. The package contained a humorous manual in the form of a magazine, which not only provided vital clues for the game but was a part of the copy protection system. The game action takes place on Nontoonyt, the tropical island from LSL2, and is composed of two parts.

The first part is very similar to the two previous games: Larry is dumped (Kalalau leaves him for a lesbian cannibal Amazon repairwoman) and is left free to explore and meet girls until he finds his "One True Love", which this time is Passionate Patti.

The second part of the game occurs after Larry and Patti break up because of a misunderstanding. The player takes control of Patti in her adventures to find Larry again.

Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Missing Floppies

The fourth installment of the series was never made for various reasons, but it is jokingly referred to by both Sierra and fans under the subtitle of The Missing Floppies (or The Case of the Missing Floppies). Many speculations and urban legends have been spread to explain this, like the one claiming that Lowe's dog ate the in-production floppies of the game.

Various "real" reasons have been given by Al Lowe at separate points:

  • The ending of the previous game was very definite (albeit extreme, showing them coming to the Sierra studios and making games based on their adventures, living happily in a mountain cabin in Coarsegold). This completed a relatively cohesive trilogy and no sequel was planned.
  • Sierra had tried to create an online gaming world, The Sierra Network, a precursor of today's MMORPGs. This failed due largely to technical reasons, and a planned multiplayer Larry game on the network was shelved.
  • The Leisure Suit Larry 1 VGA remake was the real Larry 4, as it was a complete remake of the game. This is unlikely because similar VGA remakes of Space Quest I, Police Quest I, and Quest for Glory I were not given new numerical titles.

Whatever the actual reason, Al Lowe eventually had new inspiration, and decided to skip the fourth part and intentionally introduced some plot gaps. This allowed him to begin freely a whole new adventure with Larry 5. [1] ( [2] (

The following events must be assumed to have happened between Larry 3 and Larry 5 in order to logically connect the two games:

  • Larry and Patti plan to marry
  • Patti leaves him at a Yosemite church to pursue her career, but Larry is gone when she returns
  • The villain of Larry 5, Julius Biggs, steals the game disks and Larry suffers amnesia

Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work (1991)

This was the first game that used the new icon interface and VGA graphics. It is also notable that unlike all other games, Larry can not die and the game cannot be placed in an unwinnable state. The player controls both Larry and Patti as in Larry 3, but this time in parallel (when one character finishes a mission, the scenario automatically switches to the other).

Amnesiac Larry, working for PornProdCorp, is sent across the US to find three sexy girls to appear in a new TV show. Meanwhile, Patti is assigned by the FBI to find incriminating evidence against two music companies. The action is broken by cutscenes showing mob personnel working to eliminate their porn competition: they donate money to a group called Conservatives Against Nearly Everything, who strive to television-regulation legislation (which would neutralize the threat that increasingly-racy TV shows pose to the porn industry).

The scenarios finally merge at the end when the two lovers meet again and Larry regains his memory.

Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out! (1993, CD version in 1994)

Larry 6 featured improved video and sound, and also returned to the earlier Sierra philosophy of "punishing" wrong moves with player death. However, the deaths were only for humor's sake, as a "Try Again" button allowed the player to reverse the mistake. In at least one case, however, the player could reach a dead end from which the game could not be completed. It was also the first game to be released the next year in a CD edition with voices, better graphics and higher resolution compared to the floppy version.

At the outset of LSL6, Larry is alone again wit no explanation of what happened to Patti. he visits a luxurious resort spa called La Costa Lotta. His aim is simply to meet and have sex with eight women. Each of these encounters leaves him with an object he can offer to Shamara Payne, a New Age enthusiast. (Shamara plays the "True Love" role in that winning her heart is the ultimate goal of the game.)

Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail! (1996)

Featuring more fleshed-out, cartoon style graphics and full voice acting, Love for Sail! was the sixth installment in the LSL series. The formula was much the same as the previous games: the "twist" was that Larry was a passenger on a cruise ship populated by parodies of famous people. Among the other cruise guests were "Drew Baringmore" (Drew Barrymore), "Dewmi Moore" (Demi Moore), "Victorian Principles" (Victoria Principal), "Nailmi" and "Wydoncha Jugg" (Naomi and Wynonna Judd) and "Annette Boning" (Annette Bening). Various other pop icons were parodied in the background, such as the Archie Comics gang playing nude volleyball.

Larry 7 was the first Larry game to include a minigame: by collecting hidden red-and-white-striped dildos (Where's Dildo?, a pun on Where's Waldo?), the player could unlock high quality pin-up desktop wallpapers of the ladies in the game. Players could also "appear" in the game by placing voice samples of selected dialogue and a digitized photo in a particular directory.

Love for Sail! also provided a more-literal-than-usual interpretation of Easter eggs: when certain obscure actions were performed, a small icon resembling an Easter egg flashed in a corner of the screen. This usually indicated that a "seduction" scene could now be played featuring nudity that was normally obscured.

Installation program for Leisure Suit Larry 7 on Windows 2000 and XP (

Leisure Suit Larry 8: Lust in Space

Leisure Suit Larry 8, tentatively subtitled Lust in Space, was in full development in 1998 when funding was cut. Shortly afterwards, Sierra's adventure games department was disbanded and Al Lowe left Sierra on Chainsaw Monday. Like the canned Space Quest sequel, Larry 8 was to be in full 3D, but no more than a few test renders now survive.

Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude

In 2003, a surprising announcement was made by Sierra Entertainment, now a division of Vivendi Universal Games: the Leisure Suit Larry franchise was being revived with an eighth game, called Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude. This is the first game in which Al Lowe is not involved in any way.

The new Larry game does not star Larry Laffer, but a new character: his nephew, Larry Lovage. There are numerous homages to the earlier Larry games: Larry Laffer is the tutorial guide and giver of questionable advice for Larry Lovage; Larry's computer is playing Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Missing Floppies ("the best game of its time"); and secret tokens featuring the likeness of the Where's Dildo? character from Larry 7 can be collected. The loose storyline of the game is that Larry wants to appear on a dating TV show called Swingles, but he must prove his worth before he is allowed on air.

Like many other current games (such as the Grand Theft Auto series), Magna Cum Laude has a free exploration mode where Larry can walk about campus and interact with students and personnel on the premises. In this mode, Larry can search for hidden money or tokens, strike poses to impress girls, and take photos which can later be sold to collectors. At several locations on campus a minigame can be entered, usually by "activating" an object or a person (starting a conversation). The player must win most of the minigames in order to advance. Minigames started by a conversation usually increase the affection of one of the girls; other minigames can provide money or increase "confidence".

There are several different minigames, and variations on them:

  • Chat: the player must steer a sperm icon through a course of "hot spots." Green hot spots result in a good conversation, whereas red spots result in inappropriate and humiliating (but amusing) topics.
  • Dancing: a rhythm game similar to Dance Dance Revolution where the player must press the right buttons on time
  • Trampoline: a variation of dancing, where Larry is bouncing on a trampoline
  • Serve: a variation of the classic arcade game Tapper, where food or other items must be passed to each row before the queue reaches Larry
  • Quarters: a drinking game where coins must be tipped in a glass to get the other player drunk

Other minigames included are panty raids and evasion, where Larry must escape other people by running along a set course. Typically in order to "win" a girl, multiple of these games must be played in succession.

There are two versions of Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude. The "tamer" version has an ESRB Rating of M (Mature) due to its depiction of mature humor, softcore nudity, softcore sexual situations and alcohol use. The other version, entitled Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Uncut and Uncensored, has an ESRB rating of AO (Adults Only) due to its depiction of mature humor, hardcore nudity, strong sexual content and alcohol use. The uncut version includes more video and art than the censored version.

Reviews of the game and commercial sales alike were lukewarm. Al Lowe denounced Magna Cum Laude vigorously, emphasizing on his website that he took no part of its creation.

Game character "Luba Licious" appeared nude in the October 2004 U.S. edition of Playboy magazine as part of an feature called "Gaming Grows Up."

Other Larry products

  • The Laffer Utilities (1992) (a parody of the Norton Utilities package)
  • The Official Leisure Suit Larry Book (1994) (written by Al Lowe and Ralph Roberts, containing background information and hint guides).
  • Leisure Suit Larry's Casino (1998) (a standalone version of "LarryLand" from the ImagiNation Network and Lowe's last production ever)


Five collections have also been published:

  • Larry 3 Pack (1991): this collection included the three games that were available at the time.
  • Leisure Suit Larry's Greatest Hits & Misses (1994): this collection included all the Larry games up to #6, including both versions of 1 and 6, the Laffer Utilities, and the original Softporn game. A limited edition version of the Leisure Suit Larry book was also included.
  • Leisure Suit Larry: Collector's Series (1997): this collection included everything the previous collection contained, as well as Larry 7. The book and the Laffer Utilities were not included, however.
  • Leisure Suit Larry: The Ultimate Pleasure Pack(2000): this collection was identical to the Collector's Series, but also contained Larry's Casino.

External links

fr:Leisure Suit Larry nl:Leisure Suit Larry sv:Leisure Suit Larry


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