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Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Missing Floppies

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The fourth installment of the Leisure Suit Larry series was officially Larry 5. The actual fourth part of the scenario was never made for various reasons, but it is jokingly referred to by both Sierra and fans under the subtitle of The Missing Floppies (or The Case of the Missing Floppies). Much gossip and rumor have spread to explain this: most believed that the original production floppies of the game were lost (some rumors jokingly claimed that Lowe's dog ate them) and the team would not remake it from scratch.

The actual reasons are mainly two and have been given by Al Lowe at separate points:

  • Sierra began work on a multiplayer installment of Leisure Suit Larry that was to be played out over The Sierra Network. This failed due largely to technical reasons, and the planned multiplayer Larry game was shelved.
  • The ending of Larry 3 was very definite and somehow metafictional (showing Larry and Patti coming to the Sierra studios and making games based on their adventures, living happily in a mountain cabin in Coarsegold). This completed a relatively cohesive trilogy with no sequel planned; Al Lowe was in a dead end because he couldn't find a way to start it since the scenario had completed a story arc.

Note that the Laffer Utilities and the Leisure Suit Larry 1 VGA remake are each sometimes unofficially credited as Larry 4, as the first was the fourth ever Larry production, and the latter, the fourth game to be made. Of course, similar VGA remakes of Space Quest I, Police Quest I, and Quest for Glory I were not given new numerical titles.

MAD Magazine had proposed what the possibility of a Leisure Suit Larry 4 may look like in a 1990 issue spoofing video games. Their idea was "the after effect of Larry's screwing around with the time coming for Larry having to pay the piper". They proposed the idea of Larry in a maze game similar to Berzerk, where he must steer clear of out-of-wedlock pregnancies he has caused, as well as private investigators, case workers, and angry fathers wielding shotguns, making it extremely difficult for Larry to continue his infamous carefree attitude towards casual sex.

On April 1, 2009 the Abandonware site released an alleged "leaked copy" for download. This turned out to in fact be an elaborate April Fools Day prank: the screenshots were fakes, the review - fictional and the "game" archive actually contained 55 identical copies of scanned front casing of Xbox 360 version of Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust.

Leisure Suit Larry 5

Al Lowe skipped the fourth part altogether in order to surpass the problems of continuing the definite finale of Larry 3. This allowed him to introduce (intentionally) some grey plot points and begin freely a whole new adventure with Larry 5.

According to production notes (given by Lowe himself) the following events must be assumed to have happened between Larry 3 and Larry 5 in order to logically connect the two games:

  • Larry and Patti plan to marry
  • Patti leaves him at a Yosemite church to pursue her career, but Larry is gone when she returns
  • The villain of Larry 5, Julius Biggs, somehow steals the game disks and Larry suffers amnesia

The absence of the floppy disks was a plot element in the sequel since this is the explanation why Larry, as a computer generated character, came to suffer from amnesia.

Space Quest IV

Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers, another Sierra game, played with the idea extensively. Unbeknownst to the employees of Sierra On-Line, the disks were here apparently stolen by an agent of Sludge Vohaul, who used them to store his consciousness upon his demise in Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge.

Later, the floppies were found floating in space by scientists from the Xenon Super Computer Project. When the game was installed on the computer, Vohaul's consciousness was unleashed on the planet, and the events leading up to the fictional, future sequel Space Quest XII: Vohaul's Revenge II began. In Space Quest IV, Roger can erase the game off the supercomputer when he accesses its mainframe, but this is not mandatory to complete the game.

The package of Larry 4 also appears in a video game store of a space station.[1]


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