I was a young teenager. Somehow I convinced Dad to purchase a modem I had seen in Wargames as some mechanism to further my education. He had no idea I was planning on either hacking into the NSA or finding a few pixels of the digitalized female anatomy.
“What the Hell do you need that for?” Dad grunted. The salesman seemed to mysteriously become aroused with the normal reaction I had to something I wanted — opening my mouth and rambling incessantly.
Looking back on it, I suppose caressing that black box of beauty might not have been the best signal to salesman. Me and my mouth. Now I understand that look he shot at me. He still does that. But, I love him.
Hook, Line, And Video Games.
My little brother was bothering me as I tried to set up the new computer Dad bought us in the guest room. Of course, the new computer needed to be bought to work with the new 1200 Baud Hayes Modem. That didn’t work on the Commodore 64. It was a beautiful IBM PS/2 Model 30.
It wasn’t too much longer I figured out how to get on to these B.B.S’s. Some dork from computer class gave me all the “cool” phone numbers to call.
Maybe I was a dork. I mean, that kid was just doing the same thing I was. Nevermind. It was him. Not me. He was the the key to my intellectual journey. And, I was cool.
“What’s this?” I say to myself. The amber list of video games scrolling down the monitor astounded me. One stood out. “Leisure Suit Larry In The Land Of The Lounge Lizards.” The game was “cracked.”
This brings me to cyberspace nowadays. What happened to the days of the simple wonders of CGA graphics and a character’s quest to get laid?
Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards is a computer adventure game game first released in 1987, the first part of the Leisure Suit Larry series. It was a completely graphical adventure game with 16 color EGA graphics. It utilizes the Adventure Game Interpreter (AGI) engine made famous by King’s Quest: Quest for the Crown. Originally developed for DOS and the Apple II, it was later ported to other platforms such as the Amiga, Atari ST, Apple IIGS and the TRS-80 Color Computer. In 1991, Sierra released a remake that used the Sierra’s Creative Interpreter (SCI) engine with 256 colors and icon-driven (as opposed to text-based) interface.
Set in the fictional city of Lost Wages, the story follows a middle-aged virgin named Larry Laffer who resolves to sleep with a woman before midnight. Land of the Lounge Lizards establishes several elements which recur in later games, including Larry’s out-of-date attire, perpetually bad luck with women, and penchant for double-entendres. The story and basic structure of the game are lifted from Softporn Adventure, an 1981 Apple II text adventure.
I began to play. First thing to do: look in the encyclopedia under “C” for crabs.
Now we have all sorts of viruses. And trolls. And other creatures of the night in cyberspace. It took that “cracked” link to remind me of the wonder years of cyberspace. I miss those times and wonder: will we ever get back to the bliss of “20 goto 10?” Sadly, I think I know the answer to that question.