Is Larry a time traveler/Dimension hopper?

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Is Larry a time traveler/Dimension hopper?

Post by SierraDude81 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:10 pm

I was slightly buzzed the other night and had loads of free time...so I decided to google miscellaneous things about various Sierra games, series, and characters...

One bit of trivia I found intriguing was a discussion about how the Larry Laffer we play in 'Reloaded' is a mix of the Larry from the original Larry series, having been sent back in time, as well as the 'new/original/past' Larry who's never experienced the adventures of the series yet...

And also that as an Easter Egg in Reloaded, occasionally one will spot an aged Larry who's implied to be the Larry from the original timeline...

Has Al Lowe ever said/hinted at anything to this affect? If it's true the series just gained an awesome new level of mindf*ck trippiness in my book!!
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Re: Is Larry a time traveler/Dimension hopper?

Post by BBP » Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:23 pm

So cool! I did notice an aged Larry in Lefty's last time I played it... he even uses the same breath spray as young Larry!
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Re: Is Larry a time traveler/Dimension hopper?

Post by adeyke » Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:50 pm

I encountered that on the LSL wikia (though it's really written by a single user there). It struck me as very misguided.

There's a common issue in ongoing series that get new installments at a different rate than that at which the story progresses. For example, if a comic takes several weeks to cover the events of a single day, it'll quickly become out of sync with the real world time line. So they'd either have to just accept that what started out contemporary became historical (meaning any pop culture references would also need to be historical), or introduce time skips to bring it back into sync (so one week is very eventful, but nothing happened for the next few months), or just hand wave it all away (i.e. "just don't think about it too much").

Remakes are an even more extreme case of this. Here, two installments in a series take place at the same time and depict the same events but are released at different times. They also have general issues with regard the canon. If the two depictions are different, which one is canon? And what happens if some later games reference one version and others the other?

I think LSL is solidly in the "hand wave" category. The games are all just vaguely set in contemporary times. Even when specific dates are mentioned, that doesn't really nail down the series to that specific time. And LSL1 takes place simultaneously in 1987, 1991, and 2013. If this results in inconsistencies, so be it; it's not something you're supposed to be paying that much attention to. And things like easter eggs and cameos are just supposed to be amusing; they don't necessarily establish facts about the continuity.

So that whole time travel thing is, to my knowldege, just a fan theory. If you want to view the games through that lens, go for it. But I don't think it's something the designers consciously wrote into the work.

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Re: Is Larry a time traveler/Dimension hopper?

Post by Tawmis » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:18 pm

adeyke wrote: So that whole time travel thing is, to my knowldege, just a fan theory. If you want to view the games through that lens, go for it. But I don't think it's something the designers consciously wrote into the work.
See, to me - it seems like the developers making fun of LSL1.

Because we have LSL1EGA.

Then in (1991 or so?) we get LSL1VGA.

Then most recently we get LSL1R.

So I think they're poking fun at how many times a single game can be "rebooted." So it wouldn't surprise me if they had this thing - that we have seen 3 different versions of Larry.

And Al certainly has a wild sense of humor to do something like that.

I have only played LSL1R once - and never spotted an old Larry (or if I did, I missed the reference). Has anyone tried to talking to this "Old Larry" and seeing if his dialogue reflects any type of joke?

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Re: Is Larry a time traveler/Dimension hopper?

Post by adeyke » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:27 pm

I agree with that. There's plenty of jokes and not-taking-itself-seriously through the games.

The character in question is in the casino:
EYE:
Larry! That could be YOU in twnty years...
Or much, much sooner.

MOUTH:
L:"You don't look like you're having much fun."
OL:"I know. I should go back to my regular job."
L:"What's your regular job?"
OL:"I sell software. I'm just in Lost Wages to try to find true love."
L:"Tell me about it!"
OL:"I just did."

HAND:
You peer closely at the man's clothing, and finger it gingerly.
L:"Is this polyester?"
OL:"What's wrong with that? I've been wearing polyester for almost 50 years! It's great stuff!"
OL:"Doesn't stain, doesn't wrinkle! You throw it in the wash! There's nothing not to like about it!"
L:"You don't have to tell me, I LOVE polyester!"
L:"Sometimes I don't think women appreciate what a practical, sensible, AND STYLISH choice it is, and what that says about a man."
OL:"Listen, I spent my life being shot down by women for wearing polyester, and I don't care! It's a miracle fabric."
L:"Right on! Tell it like it is, Mister!"
OL:"Call me Larry. Hehe."
L:"That is so weird! My name is Larry, too!"

TONGUE:
You give the man a good, hearty whiff.
L:"Mm! What IS that?"
OL:"Probably my breath freshener."
OL"Sometimes I worry that I use too much. Am I using too much?"
L:"No. You're using the perfect amount."
OL:"Thanks! So are you, by the way. Your breath smells great. It's a pleasure to speak to someone who really cares about their breath."
L:"I agree!"
OL:"Yeah!"
Get a room, you two!

ZIPPER:
OL:"Ah....a long, long time ago, I had one that looked just like that!"

So yeah, there is an old Larry in LSL:R. I think this is just meant as a funny reference.

Just to clarify my position a bit:

This comes down to Watsonian vs. Doylist thinking.

I think there are sometimes elements of a work that simply don't have an in-universe (Watsonian) explanation. They aren't part of the the world-building or narrative. They instead just have a real life (Doylist) reason: there for the audience. In these cases, trying to find the in-universe explanation is useless, since there isn't one to be found. It may be possible to create an explanation, but these would never actually be canon.

For example, in QfG2, in Keapon Laffin's shop, there's a toaster. From a Doylist perspective, we know why it's there: it's funny. However, there really isn't a Watsonian explanation for it, and any explanation we create wouldn't really add to our understanding or appreciation of the work.

And if you take the stance that everything must have a Watsonian explanation, and apply that to a comedy like LSL, filled as it is with references, cameos, and easter eggs, you'd tie yourself in knots. Even if you could reconcile everything as a single coherent narrative (insomuch as time travel is ever coherent), that wasn't the point. LSL1VGA and LSL1:R are remakes, not time travel stories.

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Re: Is Larry a time traveler/Dimension hopper?

Post by Tawmis » Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:24 pm

adeyke wrote: The character in question is in the casino:
EYE:
Larry! That could be YOU in twnty years...
Or much, much sooner.
Ah yes. Now I remember him in the Casino.
adeyke wrote: This comes down to Watsonian vs. Doylist thinking.
I think there are sometimes elements of a work that simply don't have an in-universe (Watsonian) explanation. They aren't part of the the world-building or narrative. They instead just have a real life (Doylist) reason: there for the audience. In these cases, trying to find the in-universe explanation is useless, since there isn't one to be found. It may be possible to create an explanation, but these would never actually be canon.
For example, in QfG2, in Keapon Laffin's shop, there's a toaster. From a Doylist perspective, we know why it's there: it's funny. However, there really isn't a Watsonian explanation for it, and any explanation we create wouldn't really add to our understanding or appreciation of the work.
And if you take the stance that everything must have a Watsonian explanation, and apply that to a comedy like LSL, filled as it is with references, cameos, and easter eggs, you'd tie yourself in knots. Even if you could reconcile everything as a single coherent narrative (insomuch as time travel is ever coherent), that wasn't the point. LSL1VGA and LSL1:R are remakes, not time travel stories.
That makes sense. :)

Now if we saw one of the things from SQIV in LSLR....

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Re: Is Larry a time traveler/Dimension hopper?

Post by SierraDude81 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:42 pm

That's another question..in Space Quest 4...are you visiting the 'games' in 'real time' or during their 'eras'? after watching Back to the Future it started bothering me that there was never a puzzle involving avoiding the other Rogers...That's right I just derailed my own topic! :p
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Re: Is Larry a time traveler/Dimension hopper?

Post by Tawmis » Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:22 am

SierraDude81 wrote:That's another question..in Space Quest 4...are you visiting the 'games' in 'real time' or during their 'eras'? after watching Back to the Future it started bothering me that there was never a puzzle involving avoiding the other Rogers...That's right I just derailed my own topic! :p
Honestly - I thought that was a missed opportunity in SQ4. Where you were in one of the other SQ games, and you see you and click on him, and have the narrator say something like, "Holy Jumping Orat Parts! Roger - that's you! You had best avoid being seen by you! It could disrupt the space/time continuum!"

And actually make it like that wandering guy at the beginning of SQ4, where you have to avoid running into yourself as a part of the game in the other Space Quest games.

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Re: Is Larry a time traveler/Dimension hopper?

Post by adeyke » Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:13 pm

SQ4 used time travel for its setting, but it never really explored the implications. It doesn't go into paradoxes, stable time loops, or any time-travel-based puzzles (e.g. needing to change the past to affect the present). Which is fine; it just isn't that sort of game.

I must say, though, that I never really understood that visit to SQ1. Who are the monochrome bikers? They obviously don't belong in SQ1, so I guess the implication is that time travel is so widespread that bikers use it to go to an EGA Ulence Flats of all places? And they mock Roger's VGA, even though they also have more colors than is appropriate for the setting. It all seems very random. I really like the idea of traveling to an earlier game in the series, and I like the gag that it's EGA (though disappointingly higher-res than the original SQ1), but they didn't really make good use of it. I'd have liked it if your actions there actually related to the game you were visiting.

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Re: Is Larry a time traveler/Dimension hopper?

Post by Tawmis » Sun May 01, 2016 12:46 pm

adeyke wrote: I must say, though, that I never really understood that visit to SQ1. Who are the monochrome bikers? They obviously don't belong in SQ1, so I guess the implication is that time travel is so widespread that bikers use it to go to an EGA Ulence Flats of all places? And they mock Roger's VGA, even though they also have more colors than is appropriate for the setting. It all seems very random. I really like the idea of traveling to an earlier game in the series, and I like the gag that it's EGA (though disappointingly higher-res than the original SQ1), but they didn't really make good use of it. I'd have liked it if your actions there actually related to the game you were visiting.
That might have proven difficult (not impossible) - because _everything_ would need to be EGA _except_ Roger Wilco himself, to pull off that gag.

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Re: Is Larry a time traveler/Dimension hopper?

Post by adeyke » Sun May 01, 2016 2:28 pm

I'm not sure I understand the problem. There's no technical problem with using EGA graphics (it just means using less of the available palette), and if anything, I'd think that SQ1-style graphics are easier to make than VGA ones.

I suspect the problem, rather, would be in the design. It's easy to think of general things one could do when time traveling to a previous game: give access to an item or location that was previously visible but inaccessible, show events directly that were previously only implied, give a different perspective on what happened, tie up loose threads in the plot, show what a character was doing outside the time you met them, provide an explanation for something that was previously inexplicable, and so on. I'm having real trouble thinking of something like that for SQ1, though, especially if it's supposed to just be a short visit. So they instead took the easy way out and just used SQ1 as a backdrop for an otherwise unrelated puzzle. I don't blame for this; I just think that if they had been able to come with some puzzle that really engaged with SQ1, that part would have been better and less confusing.

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Re: Is Larry a time traveler/Dimension hopper?

Post by Rath Darkblade » Mon May 02, 2016 7:07 am

Tawmis wrote:
SierraDude81 wrote:That's another question..in Space Quest 4...are you visiting the 'games' in 'real time' or during their 'eras'? after watching Back to the Future it started bothering me that there was never a puzzle involving avoiding the other Rogers...That's right I just derailed my own topic! :p
Honestly - I thought that was a missed opportunity in SQ4. Where you were in one of the other SQ games, and you see you and click on him, and have the narrator say something like, "Holy Jumping Orat Parts! Roger - that's you! You had best avoid being seen by you! It could disrupt the space/time continuum!"

And actually make it like that wandering guy at the beginning of SQ4, where you have to avoid running into yourself as a part of the game in the other Space Quest games.

Image
LOL! A similar sort of thing happens towards the end of Heroine's Quest, as well as Monkey Island 4. ;)

Why do these things happen? Because they're funny. Don't spend too much time analysing it. You'd just give yourself a headache. ;)

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Re: Is Larry a time traveler/Dimension hopper?

Post by Collector » Mon May 02, 2016 11:02 am

adeyke wrote:I'm not sure I understand the problem. There's no technical problem with using EGA graphics (it just means using less of the available palette), and if anything, I'd think that SQ1-style graphics are easier to make than VGA ones.
As long as you are just doing a *style* like that of the EGA game this might be true, but the AGI and SCI0 games were vector graphics, which can be more tedious to do than bitmapped Pics.
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Re: Is Larry a time traveler/Dimension hopper?

Post by adeyke » Mon May 02, 2016 3:40 pm

Well, since SQ4 is an SCI1 game, any graphics would have to be bitmapped, even if they look identical to something from an AGI or SCI0 game. So they could either use whatever vector-based tools they had and then convert the result to bitmap, or directly use bitmap-based tools and just mimic the style.

That's for backgrounds. The character sprites are always bitmap-based, so the only difference between making those in EGA vs VGA is how many colors you have available.

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Re: Is Larry a time traveler/Dimension hopper?

Post by Tawmis » Mon May 02, 2016 5:04 pm

adeyke wrote:Well, since SQ4 is an SCI1 game, any graphics would have to be bitmapped, even if they look identical to something from an AGI or SCI0 game. So they could either use whatever vector-based tools they had and then convert the result to bitmap, or directly use bitmap-based tools and just mimic the style.

That's for backgrounds. The character sprites are always bitmap-based, so the only difference between making those in EGA vs VGA is how many colors you have available.
I think it would have been more of a headache to do EGA graphics in a VGA game. Because everything - except Wilco - would have to be EGA. And I feel like that would have been tedious. (Funny, yes, but tedious)

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