"Meet Larry. He's just turned 40, and he's still single. If you can get past the glow of his Grecian formula, you can see his hairline beginning to make a hasty retreat from his forehead. Larry's leisure suit is of the highest quality (100% manmade material, permanent press, too!) He wears at least 11 gold chains and his freshly-capped teeth could blind you in a bright light! Down at the singles bar he tells the chicks, "Sure, I'm single... I got in a fight with my ol' lady and she threw me out." He doesn't tell them the "ol' lady" was his mom, or that he was 38 at the time!"
— Official product description, Leisure Suit Larry in The Land of the Lounge Lizards
In the early Eighties, an up-and-coming programmer named Chuck Benton decided to test his programming skills by churning out a small, text-basedAdventure Game for the Apple II by the title of Softporn Adventure. After the title received runaway success, its publisher Sierra decided that since the game was the only text-based game they'd published, the game was due for an upgrade, so they decided to delegate the task to in-house Disney game developer Al Lowe who, after taking a look at the game, figured the game was so outdated it might as well be wearing a leisure suit.From thereon sprung Al Lowe's idea to take Softporn Adventure and remake it from the ground up, rewriting its script completely into something much funnier, and replacing its formerly anonymous protagonist with Larry Laffer, a computer programmer in his early 40's who decides to get a life and go woo some women and lose his virginity by the end of his nocturnal visit toLost Wages. Being a big fan of The Seventies, he loves disco and wears a leisure suit (which he and only he thinks is cool) from which the newly reborn Leisure Suit Larry took its name.At its time of release, the game became widely known for its raunchy content and surprisingly varied level of world interactivity (thanks to being the first Sierra game to be publicly tested). The game was followed up by two sequels before the famed fourth game in the franchise failed to ship and Al Lowe decided to skip straight to the fifth game and keep going until the seventh. The franchise was then left to Sierra's hands to pass around to different developers.The focus of the series strayed from Larry Laffer to his similarly dorky nephew, Larry Lovage. The results are considered lackluster, and differed greatly in gameplay, leaving out the adventure-gaming and consisting mostly of either mini-games or a Grand Theft Auto-like interface.The series currently counts the following titles:
Leisure Suit Larry: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards (1987); got an "enhanced" point-and-click remake in 1991; a second remake subtitled Reloaded was released on June 27, 2013.
Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (In Several Wrong Places) (1988)
Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals (1989)
Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust (2009) Developed by Team 17.note Developers of Worms and Alien Breed
Leisure Suit Larry: The Laffer Utilities, a simple gag application.
Al Lowe and fellow Sierra On-Line adventure game alumnus Paul Trowe have announced that the first few LSL games will be remade with new artwork and HD graphics, and created a Kickstartercampaign to fund it. It has since been released.
Animated Actors: One of the chat scenes between Larry Lovage and band geek Harriet in LSL 8 has Larry break character to harangue his agent for most of the scene about how lousy this storyline is; if you lose the minigame, Harriet storms off to her trailer at the end.
Apathetic Citizens: Everyone in Leisure Suit Larry 2. They don't care if you are drugged, choking to death, drowning, or dying of bad food. In fact, they ALL WANT YOU TO DIE! Except for the hairstylists, that is. For instance, during the airport segment of the game, you find a suitcase with a ticking bomb in it and you decide to get it out of there before it kills everybody. You shout that you have a bomb and that everybody should get to safety, and they all ignore you. Even the guard seen in the way out (a local who knows just basic English) is informed of the bomb and replies "Have a nice day".
Art Evolution: If not mentioning the obvious technological improvements, Larry was "realistic-looking" in LSL 2 and 3 but became shorter and much more cartoonish starting from LSL 5, while the women became more and more realistically drawn. All characters became more cartoony starting in Larry 7.
Artifact of Doom: The onklunk from the second game, arguably. Once you get it, everyone wants you dead. Seriously.
Attractive Bent-Gender: Larry just needs to remove his body hair, have long blonde hair and wear a bikini with a stuffed top to pass as an attractive woman near KGB agents, although he is not so lucky at the airport. Oddly enough, one of the things you can stuff your top with is a handful of bars of hotel soap. One would think that would make for a distinctly misshapen bosom...
Between My Legs: The box art of Larry 1 depicts Larry smiling at the camera, framed by two legs in net stockings.
Big Applesauce: Although Lost Wages seems like the run-down little brother of Las Vegas otherwise, the only cabbie in town drives a clunky yellow Checker cab, and the pimp speaks with a Brooklyn accent.
Bill Clinton: In LSL 7, there is a robotic stand-up comedian called Willy who looks like Bill Clinton and makes classic jokes where the characters are people related to the Clinton administration. You get points for sitting through the whole damn thing.
Blatant Lies: The store clerk in all versions of LSL 1 claims to be discreet about customers buying condoms, which he keeps stocked behind the counter. He asks a questionnaire about what kind Larry wants... then shouts out the "answers" while calling Larry weird, causing a crowd to appear out of nowhere from behind the display shelving and yell out "What a pervert!".
Boring but Practical: In LSL 3, Larry has to do exercises such as push-ups in order to buff him up. Problem is, he has to do it like a hundred times for each exercise and that means the player too has to command each move in real time. Maybe the developers wanted to convey the feeling of body exercises: it's boring, repetitive but it works out in the end? Not so much for gameplay...
Even worse is the fact that the number of repeats you have to do in this section is determined by your CPU speed. Playing on anything faster than a 486? Have fun!
Yes, originally it wasn't that bad. When the game first came out and you played it on the average machine from that era, you only had to do 25 of each exercise...
Clothing Damage: Once Patti begins her search for Larry in LSL 3, by the time she finds him, her dress has been reduced to rags from all her adventuring. What's left of her dress is barely enough to cover up what's necessary, conveniently enough.
Collection Sidequest: Love For Sail has the 'Where's Dildo?' sidequest, which involves finding all the red-and-white-striped dildos scattered around the ship.
Completion Meter: The earlier games had a counter with your current score and the total number of points available (e.g. 5/20). Your score was based on how many puzzles you had solved.
Copy Protection: Some of the Sierra games required information from the manual and Feelies. More memorably, the first and third games required players to answer trivia questions to "prove" that they were old enough to play, while the second game was relatively family-friendly. LSL 3 even adjusted the level of fanservice depending on your score. A generation of horny teenage gamers was driven to research old Seventies pop cultural references for the sake of 8-bit nudity.
There is also the simple Ctrl + X + C to skip the questions.
As a Call Back to the old days and the fact that it was released unrated, Reloaded has the "proof of age" quiz, but with the questions more in line with more modern pop culture.
Creator Cameo: Al Lowe inserted lookalikes of himself and many other Sierra staff members in the games:
The disco in the first game is full of Sierra employees.
Ken Williams makes an appearance in every game. Larry even calls him out on that in LSL 7. In Lounge Lizards: Reloaded, he gets an additional cameo:
Narrator: "He looks like someone from your distant past, but you just can't put your finger on him!"
Ken Williams: "Good thing, too!"
Lampshaded in LSL 3 where Larry can find Al Lowe and Ken Williams hanging out in a club, say any short phrase to the two, and then hear the two of them talk about putting themselves in the game, having Larry say whichever phrase the player just typed, and concluding that it was a lame idea and then vanishing out of existence.
The third game ends with Larry and Patti falling into a dimensional rift and appearing at Roberta Williams' place.
Narrator: All right, you asked for it. In fact, you've asked for it twice! Here we go...
While it takes some extra effort to accomplish, using the lotion bottle together with the resort pamphlet while on the toilet in the bathroom in Larry 6 results in Larry literally dying of embarrassment, as the entire cast of the game lines up outside the window to catch him in the act.
Magna Cum Laude contains a masturbation minigame where success boosts Larry's confidence, allowing him to interact with certain female characters in the game.
Decoy Protagonist: You play as Larry for the first half of LSL 3. After that, Patti becomes the player character to the end, even going as far as to change the game's title bar to "Passionate Patti".
Disco Dan: Larry. The original concept of the series came from Al Lowe remarking that remaking Softporn Adventure would be difficult as it had ages so badly it might as well be wearing a leisure suit. From there, the game was retooled to be about the hopelessly out-of-touch Larry Laffer and his misadventures as he tries to get laid searches for true love.
Disney Theme Parks: When Larry is venturing through the city in game 2, he will at one moment see a theme park far away. If you look at the scenery, you get the message:
Narrator: "Hey! Is that Disneyland? Nah, not in an Al Lowe game!" (which is ironic as Al Lowe used to work for Disney).
Double Entendre: Just about anything Patti does in the games can be, and usually is, interpreted as such by the narrator:
Narrator: You mount a big piece of wood (an experience not wholly unfamiliar to you).
Another in Larry 2, in which you must pick the padlock holding an airplane door shut (don't ask) and the narrator states that "You feel yourself being sucked." The next line? "Out, unfortunately!"
And in the first game, if you try getting fresh with Faith, she responds, "Try it, and I'll blow your head off!" The next line: She is referring to her use of the gun, Larry.
Dungeon Maintenance: The Sierra studios labor behind the scenes, building the backgrounds, repairing characters.
Easter Egg: In LSL 7, when some specific non-compulsive actions are accomplished (such as "Milk the beaver"), the flashing image of an Easter Egg will appear on the corner of the screen and Larry will access some "sexy" extra scenes.
...forgetting to apply sunscreen while sunbathing and burning to cinders...
...failing to resist the temptations of several voluptuous women, who turn out to be Dr. Nonookie's henchwomen...
...not having enough provisions to last you through a month at sea on your lifeboat (including a gigantic amount of soda, a wig to protect your balding scalp and a makeshift fishing rod)...
...taking the spinach dip (which earns you points) and forgetting to throw it overboard when you reach the lifeboat, lest you automatically eat it and die of salmonella...
...not having a perfect disguise at the beach to fool the KGB (including both parts of a bikini, blonde hair, removal of body hair, and some, um, "padding") — and even then, It Only Works Once...
...eating a plate of food at the resort restaurant, probably because the maitre d' there is EVIL...
...eating a plate of food at an airport with a pin hidden in it, with no clue that the pin is even there in the first place...
...getting caught by KGB agents in countless other ways, and so on and so on.
Amusingly (or not, as many fans of the original were quick to point out), Larry's usual MO of trying to get laid works against him in Larry 2. In addition to the above deaths via KGB, one notable death involves talking a maid into bedding down with you... only to get shot by her overprotective brother. On the other hand, if you gotta go...
Notably subverted in Larry 5, in which it was impossible to die, despite at least one scene involving a plane on the verge of crashing where it sure looked like you could die if you didn't do something. Larry 6 moved on to purely jocular death scenes which can be undone with one click, and Larry 7 had none.
*Larry burns his hand trying to open a window* Larry's Internal Monologue: "Our night of passionate lovemaking must have overheated the frame!" Narrator: "Yeah, riiiiight..."
Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: After losing his virginity to a prostitute in the first game, Larry realizes that he wants something more meaningful. In fact, this trope's name is also part of the title of game 2: Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (In Several Wrong Places).
Lounge Lizard: The subtitle of the very first game is "in the Land of the Lounge Lizards". Larry dresses like one, but (thankfully) doesn't actually sing.
This is played with in LSL 7, when Larry slowly tries to look down (twice) on Drew's breasts while they are talking but he fails as she tells him to look at her straight in the eyes. Humorously, there's an Easter Egg way to get your money's worth here. Larry simply has to plug his ears, and he won't hear her.
One of the obstacles in the conversation minigame in Larry 8 causes Larry's gaze to dip, reducing the player's chance at succeeding with the seduction.
A Man Is Not a Virgin: The goal of the first game. And just to make sure you actually do the deed, if Larry is still a virgin by sunrise (which takes a few hours of game-time), Larry will commit suicide.
The Maze: Actually subverted in LSL 2. About halfway through, Larry has to cross a long, narrow, winding path above a tall cliff to reach the airport. In a game where practically everything else will kill you, it's literally impossible to fall off in this scene; instead, Larry narrowly avoids falling off, and you actually gain points. You lose the extra points once you finish crossing, though.
Meaningful Name: Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust. It was unanimously named as the worst game of 2009.
Mini-Game: Comprises about 70% of LSL 8 by weight.
Multiple Endings: LSL 8 let the player choose one of three "final girls" at the end.
Mushroom Samba: Happens at least twice: First as a Nonstandard Game Over in LSL 3, where Patti can pick up some marijuana leaves and smoke up (and fall to her death), and in LSL 7, where one of the girls slips a hallucinogenic drug into Larry's drink.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In-universe example. Wang in LSL 7 is very obviously Chinese, but since he grew up in Ireland, he has an Irish accent, which gets him strange looks... so he resorts to using You No Take Candle, but unsuccessfully enough that Larry sees through it.
"Why, Mr. and Mrs. Rich/Famous/Gates/Leach/Williams," says the Maitre d'. "What a pleasure to see you again. Of course I have a table for you!" "Please, walk this way." Well, that was certainly rude! You were here before them. You feel yourself becoming perturbed/annoyed/indignant/incensed/enraged! "I hope you find this satisfactory, Sir," grovels the Maitre d' with his palm extended.
Larry: I've spent this whole night looking for a door I can open by sliding a newspaper underneath and poking the key out of the other side of the keyhole so that it falls on the newspaper. Every computer game character gets to do that except ME. It isn't fair.
Note that the door he's looking at when he says this is a sliding door, so it wouldn't have worked anyway.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Flat-out subverted in Leisure Suit Larry 2. You need a perfect disguise at the beach to fool the KGB there. If not, they will mock you as they capture you ("Only in Russia do women wear leisure suits to the beach!", etc.). And even then, it doesn't work once you reach the airport — the guards there think you are a cross-dresser and let's just say that YOU ARE DEAD.
The Peeping Tom: Done several times, including through binoculars at the beginning of LSL 3, a hole in the shower wall and a security camera aimed through the shower's air vent in LSL 6, and another hole in the sorority house shower wall in LSL 8.
Punny Name: Lots of them! Several from LSL 7 include nudist Drew Barringmore, (initially) prudish librarian Victorian Principles, and mother and daughter country music duo Wydoncha and Nailmi Jugg.
Recycled INSPACE: LSL 8 was at first supposed to be set in space, and called Lust In Space. It is even announced by characters in LSL 7.
Race Lift: In the 1991 remake of LSL 1, the prostitute and final girl Eve, who were originally White, have become Black. The shopkeeper, originally an Indian Sikh, became an Arab.
Reloaded has the hooker become Russian, Eve is Ambiguously Brown, and the Come 'n' Go Clerk is returned to being Indian.
Rhythm Game: Half of the mini-games in LSL 8 boiled down to this.
Running Gag: Among others: "Don't all barber shops look alike?" and "But then, you find any kind of woman attractive" in LSL 2.
A whole slew of double entrendes in LSL 3 followed up by 'a feeling not wholly unfamiliar to you!'.
Larry keeps returning to his cabin from his endeavors in LSL 7 naked. And there's always someone to spot him.
Scenery Censor: Particularly frequently seen in LSL 7. One of the best examples is the strip dice game with Dewmi once she's down to her underwear. The game takes place at a glass table. The player anticipates to see Dewmi topless. Instead, she takes off her bottoms first. However, before she does that, she empties her shot glass and puts it back on the table in the only position where it completely obstructs her crotch.
Sex Comedy: The first game fits the definition pretty directly.
Squirrels in My Pants: In LSL 3, Larry has sex with a woman called Tawni on a beach, but after a moment, he stands up and shivers because he has some crabs that have climbed in his pants. Larry announces "I've got crabs!", and Tawni calls it quits.
Stealth Pun: There are some cases, like when you make Larry talk to a bush in LSL 5, he will say:
Larry: "Hi, is by any chance your name George?"
Strip Poker: A variant of this is used in LSL 7, with Strip Dice.
Strip versions of most of the minigames in LSL 8 are also available.
Suddenly Sexuality: Ione from LSL 8 actually reappears later in the game — and she's turned into an out-of-the-closet lesbian from the trauma your first courtship of her caused.
The Police officer from LSL 8 as well.
You have to orchestrate one case in LSL 7. Replace the straightlaced librarian's book with a steamy sex novel, and she'll have a drastic change of personality and interests.
Apparently, Kalalau's time with Larry is so horrible that she goes lesbian between LSL 2 and 3 and cheats on him with the female electrician.
Subliminal Seduction: In 5, des Rever Records is suspected of planting subliminal messages in their records to get customers to buy porn. This is confirmed when you listen to the golden record backwards.
Super-Deformed: Larry's appearance in just about all of the games is very cartoon-ish. It's not very noticeable in the 1987 original, but as the graphics became more advanced, he became almost a head shorter than everyone. He's supposedly 5'10".
Take That: From Reloaded:note if you use the "Zipper" icon on the sign that says "LIQUOR" in the "Come 'n Go"
Don't try to pee on that sign, Larry. That's the kind of raunchy, humorless prank your idiot nephew would pull.
Tapper: One of the basic minigame types in LSL 8 is a Tapper clone.
Theme Naming: All of the women in LSL 3 have names ending in "i" (Tawni, Cherri, Suzi, Bambi, Patti ... and even Bobbi, the woman Kalalau leaves Larry for at the beginning).
All of the women in LSL 6 are named after varieties of wine.
The women in LSL 7 all have punny names based on Hollywood actresses: Drew Baringmore, Jamie Lee Coitus, Whydoncha Jugg...
Timed Mission: In the first game you have two real-life hours to make Larry lose his virginity before he is Driven to Suicide. You can either do this the hard way by advancing trough the story, or go for the easy option by buying a condom and hiring the prostitute who is available from the beginning of the game. Doing the latter removes the two hour limit, but as Larry questions the validity of losing his virginity to a prostitute, the game continues, although you are now allowed to Take Your Time.
Timey-Wimey Ball: Reloaded has Larry split between two versions of himself: the younger Reloaded Larry, who is 38 and still a virgin, and the original Sierra Larry, who is 64 and decides to make yet another attempt at finding true love. This isn't the first time this has happened: the 1991 remake of the first game is "cited" as the reason that Leisure Suit Larry 4 was lost, and both the old EGA games and the (then) new VGA games universes eventually "merged into the same universe" in 2004 with the release of Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude.
Took a Level in Jerkass: Larrys 2, 3 and 7 all begin with the woman Larry got together with at the end of the previous game deciding she doesn't like him any more and treating him quite badly. Justified with Eve, since Larry showed up at her house and moved in without her permission, which would probably freak out anybody in real life. But Kalalau first cheated on him with another woman, then locked him out of their house and divorced him, all just because she wasn't satisfied with his performance in the bedroom. She never told him that she was unhappy before she did these things, and never tried to work things out. At the beginning of Larry 7, Shamara decides that the new age lifestyle isn't for her after all and what she really cares about is money. So she ties Larry up and steals his wallet before walking out on him.
Totem Pole Trench: LSL 1. Larry can meet a trenchcoat flasher on the sidewalk by the hotel. When you look at the flasher, the narrator comments that it's really a little person standing on the shoulders of another. They're both still flashers, though.
In the remakes, you can actually see their silhouettes through the coat..
The bamboo forest in Larry 3. Similar to the desert in King's Quest V: Absence Makes The Heart Go Yonder!, it's a large area to explore, in which Patti will die of dehydration after a fixed amount of screens. It's also a lengthy maze, so if you don't know the layout, be ready to redo this segment many, many times until you've mapped out the exact path you have to take. The "Nontoonyt Tonight" magazine/manual that comes with the game does give you directions through the maze, but it's done in a way that is very easy to overlook. One of the many things in the book is a jingle advertising Nontoonyt Nectarines. If one were to look at it closely, they might notice that every word in the song begins with either N, S, W or E. So it tells you whether to go north, east, south or west and in what order, but lots of players will just dismiss it as a mildly amusing song at first glance and then forget about it.
Trilogy Creep: Al Lowe wanted to end the series with Larry 3, joking that he would never do Larry 4. When the third game came out and he decided to do another game anyway, he skipped directly to Larry 5 to keep his word.
Twin Threesome Fantasy: Appears in the cheerleader character's ending in Magna Cum Laude, where her twin comes in from nowhere simply for this trope.
Ungrateful Bastard: Some women in series are this, like Fawn in the first game and Gammie in the sixth. Fawn is a Gold Digger who dumps Larry after getting a lot of gifts from him, and in this case "dumps" means "leaves him tied up in their hotel room after stealing all of his money". Gammie tells Larry she'll go to bed with him if he repairs the liposuction machine so she can lose weight. When he finally does so and gives her the perfect body she's wanted for so long, she wants nothing more to do with him and walks away without so much as a "thank you".
In LSL 6: Shape Up or Slip Out, the dark-skinned makeup artist Shablee turns out to be a transvestite/male-to-female transexual, still sporting a sizable phallus. It's implied she/he rapes Larry if the player does go on a date with her/him, but this is a neccessary part to get through the game.
In LSL Magna Cum Laude (aka, LSL 8), Koko the troubled mime is a crossdressing boy.
Unusual User Interface: LSL 8 has the Dialogue Tree as a minigame where the player has to navigate around obstacles to reach the "right" conversation choice while the conversation goes on in the background.
Unwinnable by Design: As with most Sierra games of the era, it is entirely possible to paint yourself into a corner in the first three games. Leisure Suit Larry 2 is particularly infamous, with numerous dead ends that are easy to play into.
Verb This!: Uttered frequently by the narrator in Love for Sail whenever you try an action in the wrong place.
Video Game Remake: The original Leisure Suit Larry is a triple example. It was originally intended to be a graphical remake of Softporn Adventure, but ended up becoming its own game when Al Lowe decided it was too old to be remade without significant changes. Leisure Suit Larry was in turn remade in 1991 with upgraded graphics and a point-and-click interface, sporting a new title in the form of Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards. Finally, Lounge Lizards was remade and re-released in 2013 with the subtitle Reloaded.
Viva Las Vegas: "Lost Wages", the setting of the original, is a parody of Las Vegas, down to including a quickie wedding chapel.
You Can't Get Ye Flask: One of the most infamous cases in the series of an obvious action not being possible for no discernible reason is found in LSL 2. The player is supposed to make a bomb out of a hair lotion bottle and use an airsick bag as the wick. However, typing "bag" does not work; it has to be referred to as an "airsick bag". This was caused by a bug that was not caught in testing, as the bug was discovered only a very short time before the development deadline. A programmer had changed the word "bag" from a noun to a verb to fix an unrelated bug, and testing was done by inputting as complete a sentence as possible in the Text Parser used. By using the definite article the in front of bag, it was identified as a noun by the parser — something most people didn't bother with normally.
Zip Mode: In at least some of the games, double-clicking on an exit will make Larry walk at hyperspeed.