Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (In Several Wrong Places)

aka: LSL2, Larry 2, Leisure Suit Larry 2
Moby ID: 409
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Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (In Several Wrong Places) is the second game in Al Lowe's Leisure Suit Larry series. Continuing the plot of the previous game, the swinging single Larry Laffer has finally found his true love and is happily living with her. Right? Wrong!.. Because Larry is mercilessly thrown out by his great love and is left all alone, penniless, and womanless, in Los Angeles. Accidentally, Larry comes into contact with KGB agents who will pursue him all over the globe from now on. And there is also the evil doctor Noontonyt plotting evil schemes on a remote tropical island... Looks like Larry will have to forget about his women-related problems for now... or is it so?

The second game in the series introduces an improved engine (allowing for full-screen graphics and mouse control for movement). As opposed to the first game, which relied on exploration of one large area, the sequel has a more linear progression, the player being continuously taken to new locations as dictated by the plot. There are less puzzles in this installment than in the previous game; however, the number of ways to die has increased, danger awaiting Larry in most places he visits.

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Average score: 77% (based on 21 ratings)

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Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 84 ratings with 5 reviews)

A hilarious but seriously flawed entry in the series

The Good
Leisure Suit Larry has always thrived on being a satire of the dating and sex obsessed society that we live in, and while in many ways that society has changed dramatically since those days (and especially in the past 10 years as of writing this review) many of the tropes and the jokes found in the game still ring true today. The game starts with Larry who thought he has found love in the previous game with Eve, who he made passionate love with in the previous game. Only he has (as the game title loves to remind us) sought love in the wrong place. As Eve considered the encounter a one-night stand and barely even remembers Larry and demands that he leaves or else.

Thus, Larry is all alone in Los Angeles, which is an interesting departure from the previous game, which took place in the fictional city of Lost Wages (a clear reference to Las Vegas). Through sheer luck and… dubious moral methods, Larry comes into a large amount of money by winning (what would be then) the biggest lottery in history, and ends up getting accidentally dragged to what is potentially the funniest parody of a dating show ever made.

The satirical display of even the simplest aspects of life like shopping at a convenience store or a pharmacy is taken to a ludicrous level. The full shallowness of many people in society taken to absurd levels (the restaurant section on the island resort is taken to such an extreme that I still consider it one of the finest examples of snobbery ever shown in a video game).

The jokes and incredibly poor attempts at flirting by Larry have only held up even more today as shown in the past few decades by the rise of dating sites and certain online communities that try (and fail hilariously) at dating. Even some of the jokes that might rub people the wrong way still hold up as it openly mocks such practices (spoilers! I’m referring to the airline joke where Larry is asked if he wants ‘stewardess groping privileges’ which only riles Larry up even more…)

But the jokes and the satire are really the only good points of the game, however…

The Bad
For all its satire of society and catchy zingers, the game unfortunately is the weakest of the Leisure Suit Larry games. The reason for this is the story. Not so much the story itself mind you, but how it is presented.

In 1990 Graham Nelson wrote ‘The Craft of Adventure’, a guide on making adventure games of the era. While dated it does still offer great advice to game developers today, notably where it lists the Bill of Player’s Rights (updated somewhat in 2013 by Laralyn McWilliams at her blog). Two of the rights listed are that the player should be able to win without knowledge of the future or the benefit of past lives.

You might say that Sierra is quite notorious for its dead-end situations and rather bizarre puzzles (I’m looking at you, Gold Rush!) but Leisure Suit Larry 2 is actually a far worse offender than any other Sierra game I have ever seen and I’m going to explain why (spoilers ahead).

While the game starts out normal enough, Larry wins the lottery because he lies about the number on his ticket and for some reason, the entirety of the studio doesn’t bother to check what number he actually has on his lottery ticket, they just let him win the million dollar a year for life without any questions. This is actually fine, both in-universe and from a story telling perspective, but that’s where it ends.

The story really starts when Larry, through a hilarious coincidence, gets an instrument containing a top-secret microfilm that the villain wants to hand over to the KGB. The KGB then notice this and decide to go after Larry and pretty much the entirety of the game is Larry trying to evade the KGB and Dr. Nontoonkee’s flunkies.

So where is the problem? Larry has absolutely no idea he is being chased by anyone. He does not understand the significance of the instrument he has due to the language barrier between him and the woman at the music store, and the game goes out of its way to say that he did not notice the KGB agent following him. Quite simply there is no reason for him to want to go on the various hijinks that he did in order to evade Dr. Nontoonkee’s flunkies or the KGB or even know they’re after him.

During multiple sections in the game, Larry is approached by multiple very beautiful women who express clear interest in him, and the only reason why he is not captured is because Larry doesn’t follow them. Since he has no way of knowing he is being pursued, this is actually very out of character for Larry, who frequently tries to get with women whom he has no chance at all with. Why would he just turn away women who seem like they really want him?

In one part of the game, there is a very elaborate disguise that Larry must obtain that he cannot know he needs unless Larry has been captured multiple times by the KGB at the beach. Again. Not only is it really not possible to know without dying, but there is no way Larry could possibly have known. Because there are no hints at all in the game about what he must do to evade them.

If you played the game without dying (usually by looking at a walkthrough and knowing exactly what to do), the flow of the plot almost seems that Larry just wants to run away from nothing in particular since he would not know who is after him. This is the major problem of the story. It only makes sense towards the absolute end when Larry wants to save the villagers because… well, he met the love of his life and wants to get married. It makes sense for him then and there to want to stop Dr. Nontoonkee, but before that he would have absolutely no idea who the guy is.

Moreover, what happened to the instrument, the microfilm, and the KGB pursuit is never resolved. This is a major plot hole since even though the evil doctor is defeated, the microfilm that the KGB wants is still intact. Why would it be a happy ending on the island when Larry is still being pursued by one of the most effective and dangerous intelligence agencies in the world?

The jokes were funny, but the game’s plot had many issues that needed resolving. Perhaps a fan remake might address them?

The Bottom Line
If you can get past the plot holes, the game is still really funny, and seeing Larry go through increasingly ludicrous situations just never gets old.

DOS · by Salim Farhat (69) · 2021

Not really a Larry game, but a good adventure game

The Good
Compared with Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, Larry II has a lot more humour, better puzzles and a more involving storyline (as if Larry I actually has one). The weird thing is that it really isn't about sex at all (well, the title of the game does state that Larry goes looking for love in several wrong places, and this is very true). Instead, it has a hilarious James Bond-type plot, although Larry himself remains blissfully unaware of this through most of the game. (Now that I'm writing this I actually realize how brilliant the plot actually is, and how well the character of Larry Laffer fits in - or vice versa.)

The hi-res EGA graphics are the usual Sierra quality, with nice animation and really funny visual humour at times (the barber scenes are one of the best running gags in Sierra games). There is also a screen where Larry has to navigate a narrow path running along the side of a cliff, but - lo and behold - you can't die by falling off! Parts where you can't die by falling off something are always worthy of notice in Sierra adventures.

The Bad
All right, so the plot is brilliant, but I remember, when playing the game, I was more concerned with the puzzles than with the plot, so this is a bit unbalanced (I guess if you wanted to be nice you could say it was a puzzle-oriented adventure). I can't say I didn't like the storyline, though.

The sound in this game is really poor considering what the AdLib card could do, for there is no music most of the time, and the sound effects are only so-so. (Larry III was a big improvement in this area.)

And if anyone was wondering, no, I did not like the fact that you can die in the game, but as with all older Sierra titles, I can't say this bothered me to any great degree back when I first played the game (and nowadays I can't die because I know the game too well).

The Bottom Line
This is by far one of Sierra's best adventure games, and if you don't mind the dirty jokes and "pixelated nudity" (for fellow Europeans, in the States bare breasts are perceived as nudity), this is certainly one classic game to check out.

DOS · by Late (77) · 2003

Much better than the original.

The Good
Outstanding storyline -- good job working a spy story in with Larry's normal pursuits. Puzzles that aren't too easy and aren't too hard. Decent graphics and sound. And... it's gosh darn funny. So many hilarious ways to die!

The Bad
Can't think of much... there are some parts where time (i.e. real-time) is a factor, and that can be kind of annoying if you're stuck somewhere.

The Bottom Line
Lots of fun... sort of a twisted version of "Forrest Gump".

DOS · by Mirrorshades2k (274) · 2000

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KIXX version Edwin Drost (7582) Jul 31st, 2017

Trivia

Copy protection

Al Lowe's birthday is on July 24th, and if you type in 0724 on the copy protection screen, you bypass this screen and continue with the game. Unfortunately, you won't see the game's introduction this way.

Ending

Al Lowe has said that he originally intended for the player to be much more in control of the action at the climax of the story, when Larry is in the hidden base in the volcano, but as shipping dead-lines drew near, was forced to go for a more "auto pilot" ending.

Passionate Patti

When Larry enters the volcano hideout for the showdown, he encounters a piano player named Polyester Patty. This is the same Patty that he'll court in the sequel, although her name has changed to Passionate Patty by then (cf. Leisure Suit Larry III: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals).

References

  • Rosella of King's Quest IV makes a cameo appearance in the game. She can be found tending the barbershop in the airport. In game when you type "look girl" it responds with:

    "You find Daventry Women Sexy. (But then you find any woman sexy!) followed up with the question, "By the way, have you played 'King's Quest IV' yet?"
    "Why no, I haven't," Larry replies, "is it good?"
    "Well I certainly think so,"she concludes, "maybe it's just me!"

  • At the beginning of the game, left from the Quikie Mart there is a trash container and a wooden fence with a hole. If you look through the hole, you will get the information about people on the other side playing "Police Quest".
  • At the airport, during the luggage retrieval, one of the cases contains a rifle from "Police Quest 2: With Vengeance".
  • On the plane, Larry takes place next to Ken from Lefty's Bar - a guy who was telling jokes in "Leisure Suit Larry in The Land of the Lounge Lizards".

Trite Phrase

The game contains a function called Trite Phrase - a sentence that the player could enter, which would then be used in various dialogues throughout the game. The standard phrase was “Have a nice day!”, and characters would usually use it to end conversation. You could make these farewells much more entertaining by changing the Trite Phrase to heartfelt comments like “And get out, freak!” or “By the way, you’ve got toilet paper stuck on your shoe.”

Shortly after the release of LSL2, Sierra organised a competition on CompuServe: Who could come up with the funniest Trite Phrase? The winning line was “Do you want fries with that?” The winner's name: Josh Mandel. The very same Josh Mandel that was subsequently hired by Sierra and worked on lots of Sierra games, most notably Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist together with Al Lowe and Space Quest 6: Roger Wilco in the Spinal Frontier together with Scott Murphy.

Awards

  • Power Play
    • Issue 01/1990 - #3 Best Adventure in 1989

Information also contributed by B14ck W01f, Jayson Firestorm and Michael Palimino

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MajorDad.

Amiga, Atari ST added by POMAH. Windows added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Trixter, -Chris, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Jayson Firestorm, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa.

Game added November 10th, 1999. Last modified August 17th, 2023.