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Video Game / Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude

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Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude is a 2004 video game and the seventh entry in the Leisure Suit Larry series. The game introduces a new main character — Larry Lovage, Larry Laffer's nephew.

Like many other current games, 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".

The main character, Larry Lovage, is a student at Walnut Log Community College whose purpose is to get on a dating TV show called "Swingles". Uma Yasmine, the hostess of the show won't allow Larry in the show until he proves his seductive wits by obtaining "tokens of affection". Sixteen college girls will conveniently be at his disposal. His aging uncle Larry provides brief advice and appears at a local bar. Larry also must outsmart a sorority house and a fraternity house known as Delta Iota Omicron.

This game provides examples of:

  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Barbara Jo.
  • Alliterative Name: Barbara Jo Bimbo and Bridget Bimbo, Barry Blew, Bertha Boulders, Bradley Boysulay, Brett Burke, Fanny Funbags, Kenny Katz, Luba Licious, Maria Maracas, Roadhouse Rumble, Rodney Ramjet, Vance VanVeld, Zanna Zuzanna, and Zena Zeppelin.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Zanna.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The player needs to buy special clothes in order to get in some places.
  • Animated Actors: One of the chat scenes between Larry Lovage and band geek Harriet 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.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If you fail at a minigame enough times, the game will let you skip it — albeit at the cost of some secret tokens, meaning you won't be able to buy things like artwork or Nude Mode.
    • If you fail at a minigame repeatedly, the game will offer to lower the difficulty for your next attempt.
    • If the player makes multiple consecutive attempts at a conversation minigame, Larry's drunkenness level will be reset in between.
  • Anything That Moves: Luba is described as the school bicycle.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Larry has Bilzarbra, an aspiring film student, read lines from a script in his attempts to seduce her. Her delivery is completely flat and uninterested.
  • The Baroness: Tilly.
  • Brawn Hilda: Zanna.
  • Butt-Monkey: Larry. Everyone hates him.
  • Camp Gay: Almost everyone in the Spartacus nightclub. A few are Straight Gay and the rest don't get enough lines to have a personality anyway.
  • Camp Straight: Lucius works as a bouncer at a gay bar and has the stereotypical "gay accent", but ironically he's straight and it's his brother Julius who's gay, who works as a bouncer at Fat Sam's Titty City.
  • Canon Discontinuity: As far as series creator Al Lowe is concerned, this game isn't part of the series.
  • Dance Party Ending
  • Dean Bitterman: Assistant Dean Abrahamson fits the trope to a T.
  • Does Not Like Men: Ione becomes a rather hateful lesbian following the traumatic events of her initial encounter with Larry. She eases up by the end of her second arc, but she's still quite androphobic and shrieks in terror upon seeing his penis again.
  • F--: After his failed attempt to woo her, Beatrice gives Larry a FFF-, a grade so bad it'll bring down his grades in other classes.
  • Freudian Excuse: Larry tries to invoke it when the newly-lesbian Ione starts chewing him out for the behavior that turned her away from men, he tries to claim that he's gay and was trying to see if he could "get better".
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Jerk Jock frat is named Delta Iota Omicron, usually just called DIO; tying in with this, all their dialog is lyrics from Black Sabbath songs.
  • Gamer Chick: Morgan, one of the three final girls, is an avid player of laser tag and the game's resident Dungeons & Dragons clone, and she even has her own website.
  • Gasshole: When you manage to talk Luba Licious, the bisexual, slutty, Hard-Drinking Party Girl, out of the bar, and after you complete the minigame to get her out of the bar, she lets out an unapologetically loud and long belch before leaving, as a result of chugging three shots of tequila.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: When attempting to give Ione a makeover, Larry starts with this, mentioning that it always works in movies. Then he puts them right back on. Apparently her squinting is rather bad.
  • Granola Girl: Charlotte's scenario is focused on her efforts to free the science department's lab monkey.
  • I Knew There Was Something About You: In the Ione L story, when Larry is confronted by several angry people over his earlier actions (see What the Hell, Hero? below), he panics and the only thing he can do is shout "I'M GAY!" After shocked reactions from those around, Larry's own penis says "I knew it!".
  • Informed Deformity: Ione is constantly referred to as being unattractive, but the only difference between her and some of the other girls is that she doesn't dress provocatively. Larry "fixes" her with a Makeover Montage, which ends with her dressing in a leopard-print tube-top, miniskirt, fishnet stockings, high heels and a lot of makeup, as well as removing her glasses.
  • Informed Judaism: Played for Laughs. Would you believe that Sally Mae, the Cowgirl/walking Southerner stereotype, is such a devout Jew that she won't sleep with a Gentile?
    Sally Mae: Oy, you're such a meshugana!
    Larry (thinking): Funny, she doesn't look Jewish...
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: Magna Cum Laude.
  • Intoxication Mechanic:
    • When the player is exploring the campus, Larry's degree of intoxication affects the gameplay. Any amount of drunkenness above a certain threshold will cause Larry to stagger slightly, and squeans to continually emerge from his mouth. Anything above a second, higher threshold will cause the screen to be covered in particle effects, and Larry will cover his mouth while walking to keep from vomiting. Certain characters will refuse to talk to Larry if his drunkenness is below a certain threshold.
    • The core mechanic is a unique Dialogue Tree, in which the player controls a sperm cell which they must navigate down a fallopian tube, hitting green targets (good dialogue options) and avoiding red hazards (which cause the player character to blurt out bad dialogue options, break wind or leer at the breasts of the woman to whom he is speaking). As the player character consumes more and more alcohol, the sperm cell's responsiveness will become progressively more and more sluggish, making it harder to avoid hazards.
  • It Was Here, I Swear!: Larry, while trying to nail his science teacher, Beatrice, accidentally switches his mind with Leopold the talking lab monkey. After getting switched back, he tries to tell the teacher about the machine, only to point to an empty space with dust and faded paint around where the machine used to be.
  • Last Het Romance: Larry's attempts to nail Ione results in her becoming lesbian, at least if you follow up on her in an optional storyline.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Walnut Log CC's mascot is a burning bundle of sticks named Twiggy, and there's a banner that says "Home of the F", with the rest of the name blocked by the Swingles van. At the very end of the game, the crew packs up and leaves, at which point we see the sign in full: Home of the Flaming Logs.
  • Legacy Character: Larry Lovage is the original Larry's inexplicably similar nephew.
  • Malicious Misnaming: In one of the conversation minigames, Larry refers to Analisa as "Anal-Lisa". Understandably, she's not happy.
  • Mercy Mode: This game lets you opt out of a minigame if you fail it enough times; however, doing so costs some the secret tokens you need if you want to purchase extras like concept art and Nude Mode.
  • Mini-Game: MCL is practically a Minigame Game:
    • Rhythm Game: Obviously the dancing minigame is this, but so is the trampoline game and the makeover game for Ione's subplot.
    • Time Management Game: One game is a straight-up clone/Homage to Tapper, with Larry throwing fliers to college students (for Charlotte's subplot) or feeding lab monkeys (for Beatrice's).
    • Dialogue Tree: Probably the closest thing the game has to a core mechanic. The player must navigate a sperm cell swimming through a fallopian tube, hitting the good dialogue options (marked in green) and avoiding the bad ones (marked in red), although the tutorial advises the player that the bad ones are often funnier than the good ones. Hitting alcoholic beverages will cause the sperm's reaction time to become more sluggish, hitting snowflakes will temporarily freeze the sperm cell in place, and bombs can clear upcoming hazards.
  • Mistaken Ethnicity: One of the girls in the All-Stereotype Cast is Analisa, who speaks in a broad Italian-American accent and whose father is The Don in The Mafia. Larry is so clueless that he initially mistakes her for Latina, then Amish. The second one is so stupid that it leaves her utterly mystified for a few seconds before she very firmly tells Larry that she's Italian.
  • My Girl Is a Slut: Larry is downright excited at the idea of getting with the "campus bicycle" Luba. Until several other men come into his room to join them, including Russel and the Commisar.
  • Mythology Gag: Filled with them, some blatant and some subtle.
    • Most obvious is "Uncle Larry"'s references to his past exploits.
    • Lefty's Too is a duplicate of the bar from the first remake of LSL 1.
    • The sorority house has a series of plaques on the wall with EGA portraits of women from the older games.
    • The computer in Larry's dorm room is running the "lost" LSL 4.
    • The convenience store has a wanted picture of Mark, the La Costa Lotta plumber from LSL 6.
  • No, You: At the end, Uma announces the show will be moving on to another location "and who knows, maybe we'll be coming to your craphole town."
    Bar Patron: You think our town's a craphole?! You're a craphole! [throws a beer bottle at the camera crew]
  • Phoney Call: A common tactic Larry uses to try and intrigue (gullible) girls is having a one-sided phone conversation relevant to their interests; the classic dial error message can be heard playing under his lines.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Some of the incorrect dialogue choices will cause Larry to do this. One instance is when he learns that he has angered the mob boss father of one of the girls, and another is when he comes across Lesbian! Ione.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Analisa's storyline ends when her father threatens to kill Larry for insulting him. She tries to convince Larry to stand up to him, but while her back is turned he climbs out the window and runs away, which pretty well destroys all the good will Analisa had for him at that point.
  • Shout-Out: Swingles is an obvious parody of the trashy early 2000s dating show Singles, while hostess Uma Yasmine is named after actresses Uma Thurman and Yasmine Bleeth.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Charlotte's efforts to free the science department's lab monkey initially involve standing around and annoying passersby with a megaphone.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Leopold the monkey. He has some... interesting things to say in regards to Beatrice, including a poetic soliloquy that incorporates typical slang/euphemisms in regards to his private parts.
  • Sperm as People: Dialogue trees are represented as sperm cells with faces controlled by the player.
  • Straight Gay: Julius works as a bouncer at Fat Sam's Titty City, a strip club filled with women, but he's gay, while his brother Lucius is a Camp Straight bouncer at the gay bar.
  • Strip Poker: Strip versions of most of the minigames are available.
  • Tagline: "Help Larry earn a BA in T&A."
  • Technical Virgin: At the end of Ione's storyline she's willing to sleep with Larry, but still wants to save herself for marriage, so she asks him to use a strap-on. Larry gets her to close her eyes, then puts her teddy bear in the strap-on and has her hump that while he sits off to the side munching on snacks.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: In the "cheerleader ending", Barbara's previously-unmentioned identical twin shows up just for this.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Russell after his makeover.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Koko the troubled mime turns out to be a transwoman sporting a package large enough to make an audible *THUD* upon opening her fly, which Larry only learns immediately after she has performed oral sex on him. This revelation is enough to put Larry into the fetal position.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: This is a fully 3D entry is a franchise known for its 2D artwork. This is also a case where the change has been universally negatively received.
  • Video Game Perversity Potential: Obviously, the entire game is about sex, but one of the rewards that can be unlocked in the shop is "Nude Mode", which strips all the characters in the game naked. However, it costs so many tokens that you essentially have to play the game perfectly (earning maximum tokens and never once skipping a game) and pass over everything else in the shop just to be able to afford it.
  • Wacky Fratboy Hijinx: Pretty much the whole point of the setting.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The optional "Ione(Lnote )" storyline in Magna Cum Laude centers on Larry's behavior having "turned" Ione gay by putting her off of men; when you first meet her after this, she and her girlfriend immediately start berating Larry.
  • Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: The Spartacus nightclub.