Saturday, 15 August 2015

Leisure Suit Larry 5 – Be In My Video

Written by Alex

So here we are, with Larry having landed in New York and Patti en route to Baltimore. As you can tell from my last post, the structure of Larry 5 alternates between Larry and Patti, giving a nice symmetry to the two’s concurrent narratives, as well as to my play sessions. When will these plot threads meet? How will the game reconcile Larry and Patti’s amnesia and what happened in Larry 3 with the machinations of the mysterious and sinister Julius? With a plot this stupid, who really cares? On to the Big Apple!


Welcome to New York


When Larry gets to LaGuardia Airport in New York, he’s pretty sure it’s LaGuardia only because of the sign on the outside. As far as I can tell, it’s the exact same airport as L.A.X., but with different billboards and a can for charitable donations of change next to the entrance to the AeroDork Lounge.



Reading all of the barely-visible billboards, Larry eventually finds one for a limo company (1 point). I jot down the number, mainly because, given this game, I’m sure I’ll need to dial it . . . and I got a point for my efforts. If that’s not a dead giveaway, I don’t know what is.

The west end of LaGuardia has the same inoperable door and electrical outlet as L.A.X. did, while the east end has phones. Will they work? Let’s see! Clicking the “hand” on them until I find one that isn’t broken, Larry realizes he’s hard-up for change. Bummer. It’s a good thing that there’s that charity can on the other screen. Clicking “hand” on it somehow makes Larry swipe a quarter, the heartless bastard (5 points). So does Larry need to use the quarter on the phone to call the limo number he so helpfully found earlier? This is Larry 5: OF COURSE HE DOES (3 points). Now a limo is outside so Larry can leave the airport. Puzzles!



The limo and its driver look and operate exactly the same (the phone, TV, stereo and fax don’t work, Larry can’t take any alcohol, etc.), but the driver is now Bobbi Bangue instead of Bobbi Bang, and some poor schmuck left his or her DayTrotter appointment calendar behind! Taking it (12 points) and opening it (11 points) nets Larry a fat wad of cash, a stack of credit cards held together with a rubber band, and some Swiss bank account numbers. Where was this stuff in Lost Wages?


Another clue!

Getting the limo driver to take Larry to the Hard Disk Café is a simple matter of showing her the napkin Larry found in Michelle Milken’s resume.


Like I need to worry about saving in this game, Al! Still, cool feature.

The Hard Disk Café really wears its computer-based influences on its sleeve. There’s nothing to do out here, besides listen to the catchy music, unless Larry feels like wandering over to one of this nice plants, and . . . uh . . .


Yeah.

For some reason you get 1 point for peeing behind the trees. This isn’t the first Larry game where he has relieved himself in public, or otherwise, nor will it be the last. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that Larry has weak bladder control, or is just weird.



The Hard Disk Café is a computer-themed restaurant, complete with ancient machines, such as that archaic music cylinder in the lower-left. The rather large lady on the phone refuses to give Larry a turn when he tries talking to her, but there’s no need to use the phone just yet. And what snooty New York City restaurant would be complete without a snooty maître d’? I try talking to him, but he refuses to let Larry into the dining area.

From my last playthrough several years ago, I remember something with the big purple machine next to the door, so I give it a look. It takes me to a close-up of the screen, asking me, as a guest, to enter my membership tape, something I don’t have. I go back to the maître d’ and click “talk” a few more times, but get nowhere. Good thing I have that stack of (someone else’s) money! I click it on the maître d’, and am asked to enter an amount.




There was another way to get past that maître d’ in that game . . .

No matter how much money I put in, the maître d’ printed up some membership tape for Larry (3 points), but the money disappeared from Larry’s inventory. Hmm, I don’t know if I like that. I restore, and try talking to the maître d’ a few more times. Eventually, Larry regales him with a little of his upbringing, forcing the maître d’ to cry uncle and give Larry the tape to shut him up.


In the manuals to previous games, we knew Larry’s occupation,
but I think these are the first specifics we’ve heard about his childhood . .

And I get to keep my money, because screw that maître d’. Larry takes the tape (4 points) and puts it into the machine, gaining access to his crappy table, next to a couple modeled on Jack Sprat and his wife eating loudly. Next to the table is another purple machine with another door, leading into the more exclusive part of the Café.



Well, this is lame. The machine there tells Larry that, basically, his membership tape doesn’t have what it takes to get him into the inner sanctum of the Hard Disk Café where, hopefully, he will find Michelle. The maître d’ refuses to upgrade Larry’s tape; not even a bribe will do. Nothing left to do but take a seat and see what happens.



Larry, unable to use any icons but “eye” and “talk” sees Michelle walk by, insert some tape into the machine, and get through the set of double doors (3 points). Nothing I do stops her, and I still can’t get through those doors, so back to the lobby I go.

It is here that I remember the article from the AeroDork in-flight magazine I picked up during Larry’s flight from L.A. to New York from my last play session:

“[C]omputer punch cards are descendants of a long line of mechanical products dating all the way back to the music box?” Larry vows to remember this “in case [he] ever run[s] across a music box in a computer store.”

Could that music cylinder in the corner of the lobby be of any use? Say it with me again: This is Larry 5, so of course it does. I click the tape on the cylinder (12 points), making a new set of holes in Larry’s tape, which sounds kind of painful. For some reason, this upgrades Larry to a SuperUser named Gilbert Hyatt, granting him access to the ultra-chic Hermann Hollerith room (12 points). Gotta love adventure game logic!



The purple machine eats Larry’s fancy new membership tape, but at this point who cares? He has come face-to-face with the lovely Michelle Milken! Taking a seat at the nearby dessert cart, Larry plots how he is going to conduct her audition. I remember to go into my inventory and switch the hidden camera on. With only five minutes of charge, I had better be fast!



There’s nothing Larry can really do in the room but click “talk” on Michelle. She seems to dig his lines, and eventually invites him to join her at her private booth for desert.



Here we already have a more positive portrayal of a black woman than in the Larry 1 remake. Of course, while Michelle here is incredibly successful, attractive, smart, and rich, she is both a junk bonds dealer and, quite frankly, kind of a slut. But then again, so is Larry (a slut, that is, not successful, attractive, smart, or rich).

Social commentary aside, talking to Michelle reveals that she is totally into Larry, and even offers to do some investing for him. Good thing I have this money (5 points), these credit cards (5 points), and those Swiss bank account numbers (5 points) to give her! Forking over each item makes Michelle do something naughty with the ice cream, before she decides to go under the table and do stuff to Larry I’m not going to write about here, as Larry records the whole thing (20 points).



I don’t know about anyone else, but this is REALLY CREEPY. Although, thinking back to the introduction, Michelle, along with the other potential hosts of “America’s Sexiest Videos” have already sent in “audition” tapes to PornProd Corp., which one has to assume are sex tapes. So maybe this isn’t creepy, since all three of the girls Larry is checking out are clearly comfortable with baring all on camera. But here, they don’t know that they’re being filmed . . . I think? It’s such a stupid plot, I’m not going to worry about it.

Anyway, Larry staggers back to the lobby (40 points) and outside the Hard Disk Café. No limo. Heading back into the lobby, I see that the woman in the blue dress is off the phone. A quick call to the limo company Larry called from the airport makes a limo instantaneously materialize (2 points), so Larry hops in, shows the driver his AeroDork card, and is on his way back to LaGuardia.

The limo not being there is a great time for me to illustrate how easy this game is. Suppose you didn’t get the DayTrotter from the limo. Or suppose you gave the maître d’ the money to get the first tape, or gave him the credit cards for the second tape. Or didn’t even turn the camera on when “auditioning” Michelle. You can still complete the game! Just keep clicking “talk” on Michelle. You’ll get fewer points, but the game will go on, and there are no walking-dead scenarios in this game. It’s the anti-King’s Quest (or anti-Les Manley).

Back in the limo, Larry’s ride is interrupted by a cutscene where his boss Silas is speaking with a “mysterious” person named Julius about something vague involving Larry.






Things Never Said in Recorded History – The Adventure Gamer Edition:
“Wow, I have no clue who this Julius person is!”

Back at the airport, Larry engages in more annoying copy protection to get his next boarding pass (4 points), this time to Atlantic City for a rendezvous with Lana Luscious. I make sure to switch tapes, recharge Larry’s camera in the airport, and head into the identical AeroDork Chartreuse Lounge and board the identical plane. There’s still no coffee here, the cheap bastards, so onto the plane.



Larry dozes off, and has another dream of him with the mysterious Patti. This time, Larry is a gondolier guiding his lover through the canals of Venice, when he accidentally gets his pole stuck in the canal. With no means of steering the gondola, he decides to take advantage of the situation in a low-tech version of the “Oops, I’m out of gas” trick.

As Larry’s dream gets steamier, back in Baltimore Patti is having a decidedly different experience with her limo driver.



Patti beats feet and finds herself outside of the Shill Building, home of des Rever records and her meeting with scumbag music engineer guy Reverse Biaz. We’ll pick up next post here.


I don’t see any rioting. Are we sure Patti’s in the right place?

Total Points: 325 out of 1,000

Inventories:
Larry: Hidden camera, charger, three blank tapes, three resumes, napkin from Hard Disk Café in New York City, AeroDork Gold Card, AeroDork’s in-flight magazine, matches from Tramp Casino in Atlantic City, business card for Doc Pulliam in Miami
Patti: DataMan, Reverse Biaz cartridge, P.C. Hammer cartridge, brasserie cannon

Session Time: 45 minutes.
Total Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes.

BONUS: Here are some funny gags:
Clicking things on other things:







Shout-out:


Are the number X’d out because the game knows, from my computer’s internal clock, that the number is no good anymore?



I wonder how many people actually did try to order Larry 4?



Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: There’s a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!

4 comments:

  1. "I don’t know about anyone else, but this is REALLY CREEPY."

    It is, and considering Larry is essentially giving Michelle money for sexual favours, it's even creepier.

    But I find it hard to believe that any broadcasting company (even of the adult variety) would consider filming people having sex, without the consent of all participants. Wouldn't they get up to their ears with lawsuits?

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    Replies
    1. It's sure to happen eventually, Ilmari. First, Japan, and then the world!

      (I don't find it very creepy - but that's only because I take literally nothing seriously in this game/franchise. We've already destroyed a volcano base, been tied to a bed for the crime of not paying for a bottle of champagne and managed to get into perfect shape by around about ten reps of a few exercises in a gym - the notion of America's Sleaxiest Home Videos sits right there with surviving a life boat ride with some waxed fruit and a 4 foot tall soda cup.

      Delete
    2. If you release the videos under a different studio registered in a 3rd world country, you're safe. Uh... Not that I did extensive research on that.

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  2. So, the puzzles in this section consist of 2 'find the item' challenges (finding that one of the signs you can barely see has a limo company's info on it if clicked on and finding the book in the limo), either repeatedly talking to or giving money to the maitre d', and the actual puzzle of getting into the special room by editing the membership tape with the music box.

    I'm making a bold (and perhaps premature) prediction that this game will score lowly in the final PISSED rating's puzzles category.

    I got in by bribing the maitre d' $500 - $50 didn't seem to work and it wasn't my money to care about, so why not throw it about carelessly. This was, of course, after I knew that this game doesn't have dead ends. Otherwise I'd have been reloading to get to the exact minimum amount he'd accept as a bribe.

    Interestingly, and at first I thought I must have clicked through it, but I replayed and I didn't get the conversation with Silas and Julius. I got the first screen where he's listening intently, but then it cuts back to Larry. Perhaps that's because I didn't creepily videotape my encounter with Michelle (not for any moral reasons, I just didn't have any battery power in my camcorder)

    ReplyDelete