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Cock A Hoot: Leisure Suit Larry HD

I miss the square face.

As Andrew mentions below, HD remakes serve to make games look like your rose-tinted, 1920×1080 memories of them. Trying to play through the original MDK2 now is a tough feat, so having it remade for modern, hi-def eyes is a splendid thing. But the original Leisure Suit Larry? That looks like a pile of pixels even in my most optimistic memory. EGM are reporting that Replay Games and Larry creator Al Lowe have the rights to the games and plan to give them new life. As well as start on some new adventures.

That’s most interesting, because it means that neither the defunct Sierra (now Activision) nor Codemasters will be producing any more terrible, terrible sequels without Lowe’s involvement. Sierra got High Voltage Software to create 2004’s despicable Magna Cum Laude (in which Larry’s nephew sexually molests mentally ill women), while Codies hired Team 17 in 2009 to look away from Worms for a few minutes to crap out the utterly dreadful Box Office Bust. It’s not as if Lowe’s Larry games were all masterpieces – in fact, it’s reasonably impressive that the ghastly post-millennial sequels managed to make the original six games seem respectable – but it’s hard not to remember them with fondness.

A certain type of fondness, that ignores the inherent sexism and shockingly bad jokes.

That first one, The Land Of The Lounge Lizards, was an excellent guilty pleasure of my youth. Literally feeling guilty, at age 11, when I really shouldn’t have been playing it (pressing Alt-X to skip past the age checking questions, if I remember rightly). It was a berserk game, existing during a time when Sierra’s adventures were primarily about avoiding incessant death. And in the first Larry, that death would arrive if you hadn’t finished the game in two hours, at which point Larry would commit suicide.

I’m guessing the remake will avoid that element.

Of course, it’s not the first time the game’s been remade. As was Sierra’s wont in the early 90s, it saw a 1991 remake which removed the original game’s text parser and put in the ubiquitous adventure gaming cursor. It went from this:

to this:

And it will be remade again in 2032. With LASERS.

Fortunately, Replay and Lowe don’t only intent to update the older games, but also start creating some new stories with the license. Lowe must be as happy as a pig in shit, to have his creation back. Let’s hope he still has the old, weird magic.

Which all leaves one question: WHY IS NO ONE REMAKING SPACE QUEST?!

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John Walker

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One of the original co-founding robots of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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