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

aka: LSL2, Larry 2, Leisure Suit Larry 2
Moby ID: 409
DOS Specs
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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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Critics

Average score: 77% (based on 22 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 85 ratings with 6 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

Larry, don't you have anything better to do besides looking for love?

The Good
The first game of the Leisure Suit Larry series, In the Land of the Lounge Lizards, had quite a rough start. Many game stores refused to stock it due to little or no advertising, but in the end over 250,000 copies were sold. A year later, the game received an award by the Software Publishers Association. In it, Larry Laffer walked the streets of Lost Wages, looking for the girl of his dreams. He eventually set his eyes on Eve, a young woman who he had a one-night stand with.

Larry thought that if you are in love with another woman, the natural thing to do is move in with her. But Larry thought wrong, and Eve immediately kicks him out. (I wouldn't be surprised if this happened in real life. It would be rude to just move in without asking for permission.) Meanwhile, a tropical island populated by beautiful native women is under threat from disappearing, and an evil doctor, by the name of Nonookee, is using its volcano to do something with Los Angeles, and it isn't pretty at all.

The first thing I saw was the game's copy-protection screen, where the game asks you to enter the phone number of the girl that appears. Get it wrong, and you are dumped back to the DOS prompt, similar to what happens in King's Quest IV. The girl in each photo is not quite as attractive as the ones you meet in the actual game. You can cheat by entering Al Lowe's birthday, which is a great way if you don't want to see the introduction again before you have a chance to load a saved game.

A big plus for the game is its improved engine, capable of the bigger resolution of 320x200. I could see from the introduction that Larry is less chunky and the quality of the graphics overall has improved. Los Angeles, your starting point, looks stunning. You can go into the different buildings and check out various sites like Disneyland, downtown LA, movie studio, and one of those big sky-rise apartments Larry ought to live in. Sound cards are introduced in a Larry game for the first time, offering users the option of using the Adlib, Roland MT-32, or the Game Blaster. The introduction itself sounds amazing, especially coming from the Roland. But the highlight is the jungle on the tropical resort.

Larry's adventures take you through Los Angeles and on a boat, tropical resort, a plane, and Nontoonyt Island itself. Highlights include participating in a dating show and a lottery show, as well as the fantastic ending, which I'm not going to tell you about. For the first half of the game, looking at women shows you a picture of what they look like. (My favorite is the hot Italian from Molto Lira.) Speaking of women, there are a few that you shouldn't be messing with, but if you do, you will be awarded with a nice death scene. It's as if it comes straight from a James Bond movie, except that it is an epic fail!

There is some humor in the game, wherever you go. On the tropical resort, for example, Larry has to wait his turn while couples, dressed in exactly the same outfits and have stupid names, are seated, and Larry doesn't look very happy about it. Also, you can choose to do a very bad thing with the hotel maid and get killed for it, but it is funny what happens.

The Bad
There are a few things I don't like about the game is some of the features. The trite phrase, for example, lets you make up a sentence and nearly every character you meet says it. Although it is fun, it's also boring. You can adjust the game's filth level, but this seems to be useless. Having Larry walking through the jungle in a non-interactive scene is pointless, and it takes five minutes for him to get out. Finally, unlike LSL1, if you forgot to do one thing before proceeding to the next location, you cannot go back and fix it. You'll have no choice but to load your last save.

The Bottom Line
LSL2 is more advanced than the original, due to the use of Sierra's new SCI engine which boasts a higher resolution, fancier graphics, mouse support, and support for common sound cards of the time. The game follows on from the original, and there is more to do besides chasing women everywhere you go. You must also stop an evil doctor from destroying Los Angeles. There is not much humor in the game, except for the situations I outlined above. However, there are some useless features such as the filth level and the trite phrase, as well as the pointless trek through the jungle. If you enjoyed playing the original game, then you should enjoy this one.

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43093) · 2013

More Like Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Fun in Several Wrong Places

The Good
The graphics, music & sound effects are all improved from the original thanks to Sierra's SCI engine. Some of the jokes & visual effects are funny & clever.

The Bad
The biggest problem with this game is WHY is Larry doing any of the things he is doing? In the first game, the objective was simple: get Larry laid. All the actions & jokes stemmed from that. In this game, Larry has no idea what is happening. SPOILERS Larry goes into a shop & gets an onklunk (?) which holds secrets wanted by the KGB. The KGB chase Larry for the rest of the game & many of the puzzles or traps involve getting past their agents. Larry never has any idea why they are chasing him. He never finds out about the macguffin that he carries. So the whole game is just a bunch of stuff that happens. Any time he tries to 'score' with a woman it's a trap so the sex comedy feel of the first game is gone as well. Many of the puzzles are of the 'die until you know what to do' type. There are also sequences where you must have certain items or you will die later in the game. This all becomes very tedious very quickly as the player must save-scum his way to the end.

The Bottom Line
Leisure Suit Larry was a hit because it was simple & funny. The sequel tries hard to be bigger & better in every way but poor puzzle design & tedious sequences make it a chore to get through, with little of the sex comedy vibe of the original. Once again don't believe the hype of the sequel.

DOS · by Grumpy Quebecker (612) · 2024

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KIXX version Edwin Drost (8782) Jul 31, 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.

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

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

Game added November 10, 1999. Last modified January 20, 2024.