In the pre-CD days, copy protection was a big deal. Now that CD burners are the price of a gallon of gasoline, it should be again.
Actually, I always assumed most people are honest. I thought most people actually bought my games instead of stealing the food from my family's mouths! But if you did pirate software, that's probably why Windows crashes so much on you, causing you to spend interminable hours on the phone with technical support, sitting on hold, listening to those endless loops of Kenny G!
Here are the best hints I can give you about my games. I hope you find them helpful. If you want the real, original hintbooks, they are now available for (illegal but...) download here. Just don't read them all the way through; they'll spoil the games' puzzles!
Page Table of Contents
Leisure Suit Larry 1: Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards
Leisure Suit Larry 2: Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (in Several Wrong Places)
Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals
Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Case of the Missing Floppies
Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work
Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out
Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail!
Leisure Suit Larry 1
Trivia Quiz Age Check
While this isn't copy protection per se, it is a pain in the butt.
In the original, 1987 EGA version, you can bypass the trivia quiz completely by just pressing Alt-X.
In the remade, 1991 VGA version, I was much more sophisticated. There you have to add the Ctrl- key. Yep, you can bypass the trivia quiz by pressing Ctrl-Alt-X.
Don't you wish you had known these when you first played the game?
Oh, and just in case you'd like to see all the questions and all the answers, here they are, for both the original CGA version and for the VGA remake version. You should read them, if for no other reason than my eerie O. J. Simpson premonition.
VGA Copy Protection Questions
When we redid the original LSL1 in VGA, we added Copy Protection Questions about the supplemental materials that came in the game box. Written by Josh Mandel in his typically hilarious fashion, the originals still make me smile. You can read them here.
Leisure Suit Larry 2
Manual-Based Copy Protection
When I was testing the game, I quickly grew tired of looking up the telephone numbers of all those girls so I made my birthday a substitute for any or all of them: 0724. (Of course, you have to include the 555- prefix too.)
Note: This only works on the later version of Larry 2, version #1.002.000. It was released both on floppy disk and in the Larry Collections. If you have the original disk version #1.000.011, this cheat does not work. Click the thumbnail to the right to see a clear, easier-to-read blowup of the girls.
And now that you know my birthday, I expect a card!
If you access the game via the copy protection cheat (above), then you also can cheat in other ways. One is to obtain any inventory item at any time merely by typing "get object," where you replace "object" with whatever you need.
Why You Can't Finish the Game
You're at the top of the volcano. You've found the hold near the rear of the summit. You have the airsick bag, the hair rejuvenator, and the matches. You know you're supposed to create a Molotov cocktail to blow up Dr. Nonukee's evil lair.
But if you type "PUT BAG BOTTLE" then Larry just drops the bottle down the hole and it breaks at the bottom, making a mess but no explosion.
Why doesn't it accept "put bag bottle" and "light bag"?
Here's the full disclosure: The day before the game shipped, the system programmer in charge of "the parser" (i.e., the module that determines what you typed and coverts it to numbers the game can recognize) fixed a bug that I'd been complaining about for days. He assured me he changed nothing else. I foolishly added the new code to the game, and then played through the entire game, all the way to the end, including that last scene, without a problem. We shipped the game.
Why didn't you catch the problem I'm having?
Because at the time, Sierra's goal was to recognize full sentences. So when I tested the game, I typed the longest, fullest sentences I could come up with! They all worked: "put the bag in the bottle" and "light the bag with the match" work fine. But the new parser got confused because he defined "bag" as a verb. It could be used like that, but never was in LSL2.
But, when I typed the word "the", the parser knew I was using "bag" as a noun and not a verb. It thus interprets "bag" as a noun.
And that's why, 16 years later, I'm still answering emails about a bug I swear I didn't create!
What DOES work?
Adding the word "the" where it belongs! Sample:
"PUT THE [A] [B] THE [C]" where
[A] includes THE BAG, AIRSICK BAG, THE AIRSICK BAG, THE BROWN BAG
[B] includes IN, INTO, INSIDE, TO
[C] includes BOTTLE, REJUVENATOR, TONIC
PUT THE AIRSICK BAG INTO BOTTLE
PUT THE BAG INTO BOTTLE
PUT THE BAG IN THE BOTTLE
PUT THE BAG IN BOTTLE
PUT THE BAG INSIDE BOTTLE
PUT THE BAG TO BOTTLE
These do NOT work:
PUT BAG BOTTLE
PUT BAG INTO BOTTLE
PUT BAG INSIDE BOTTLE
PUT BAG IN REJUVENATOR
USE BAG WITH BOTTLE
USE AIRSICK BAG WITH THE BOTTLE
INSERT THE BAG
PUT BOTTLE IN BAG (winos only)
...and countless others!
Thanks to Mark Epperson for the examples above!
Leisure Suit Larry 3
Trivia Quiz Age Check
If you'd like to see all the trivia questions and all the correct answers, click here.
Think you've found a bug? Can't get past the weight machines? Check my Troubleshooting page.
Manual-Based Copy Protection
When a character in the game asks you to find a ticket number on some certain page, just use this table.
Geek Test: Note that no ticket number is greater than 65,535. Why?
After getting Suzi Cheatem's Fat City membership card, turn it over to discover the names of three island businesses. Look in your manual (or use the chart below) to find the page on which those businesses advertise. Write down those three numbers. They're the combination to your Fat City locker (which is, of course, locker #69).
9 Nontoonyt Community Center
Island Computer Center
Bippi’s Island Liquors
Freddi’s Feral Bar-B-Q
Panti of the Month Club
Chip ‘n’ Dale’s
Island Office and Voodoo Supply
Dewey, Cheatem and Howe
Witch Doctor Appearance Center
Piggi’s Coffee Shop
19 Nontoonyt Nectarine Advisory Board
Getting Through The Maze
While in the maze, you will get thirsty, but don't "drink the water" until you are literally crawling! When you see Patti on her knees, then drink.
The shortest possible path to get Patti through the bamboo maze is hidden in the manual, in the lyrics to the Nectarine Song on pages 14-19 of Nontoonyt Tonite (It begins, "Never, never, ever eat nectarines washed..."). The first letter of every word of that song tells you the directions to get through the maze:
Or, you can use the map to the left. This is the original map I drew (evidently on the back of something else!) when I designed the game.
Geek Alert: I was especially proud of the technique we used to speed up play here. The entire maze was made up of one (yes, "1") background picture that had an opening in each of its four sides, plus 4 smaller cells that were overlaid onto that picture. If there was an exit to the top, for example, we didn't add that overlay, thus you could exit out the top. So usually we added two, or sometimes only one overlay.
So why didn't the scenes all look identical then? Because every time you exited a scene, we reversed the cells and the background. It made everything go really fast, took up little memory and disk space.
The sad part is: no one ever knew just how cool a hack it was. Until now!
Leisure Suit Larry 5
Manual-Based Copy Protection
Use these ticket codes with the airports' Aerodork Airline's automated ticket machines. If you have trouble reading this version, here's a large-type, easy-to-read version. 323 KB
Leisure Suit Larry 6
By the time Larry 6 came out, we no longer worried about copy protection, assuming that CD-ROM burners would never be affordable. Once again, I was proved wrong!
Leisure Suit Larry 7
Sierra's Old Larry Pages
Sierra has taken down its Leisure Suit Larry web site, but before they did, I grabbed these two pages. I wouldn't bet that any of the links work, but here they are: the Love for Sail! Hints and the Love for Sail! Easter Eggs.
Cheat at Liar's Dice
Can't get past Dewmi Moore? I don't blame you. I couldn't either! (Or at least I never wanted to spend enough time while we were testing the game.)
So we put in a little cheat to make it easier for me (and I left it in for you): Dewmi's dice cup slides off so you can see what she sees! (But she can't see yours.)
Alt-Drag the lid anywhere on the screen and it will stay there. (Alt-Drag means "hold down the Alt key, click down on Dewmi's dice cup as you drag it.) You still have to know how to play Liar's Dice, but it's a whole lot easier when you can see her hand!
Dewmi's Liar's Dice Strategies
You have to learn to play Liar's Dice pretty well to beat Dewmi. She knows how to bluff, and plays pretty well herself. The rules are explained in the right side menu.
If you have a good roll, bet 1 or 2 higher in the number you have the most of. If Dewmi raises you, and you think she can't make it, go ahead and challenge her. If you think she can make it, put your good dice out in the open (the boxes between the cups), and then bet one higher. Reroll the rest of your dice. She may challenge you and lose, or she may raise again. If she does, it is probably good to challenge her.
If you have a lousy roll, raise her initial bet by 1. This is where lying pays off. Then, if she raises again, challenge her. She will often fall for this ploy. If you can see that she will make it, you will have to re-raise. Often going to the special dots bets is the only way to go.
Also, remember to save your game when you win and restore when you go down. But is that fair?