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Leather Goddesses of Phobos
text of the present article comes from the preview published
in the eighteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64
(street date: September 11th, 1986) and the review published
in the twentieth issue (street date: November 13th, 1986).
INFOCOM INTRIGUE IN LEATHER LOVERS SHOCK HORROR!
Whitey had hardly recovered from Brian Moriarty's
Trinity hitting the stands, when news of
Steve Meretzky's latest creation, The Leather
Goddesses of Phobos, arrived at my humble
abode. As the title suggests, this is like no
other Infocom game, though Steve's humour is obviously
at work. It's the first 'adult' game to have come
from this stable and, having seen a preview copy,
I'm intrigued. Very!
play the role of an average male or female human (your
sex is determined when you go to the toilet at the start
of the game -- I kid you not). Inexplicably, you are
kidnapped by aliens and taken to Phobos, the largest
of the two moons of Mars. There you discover the Leather
Goddesses. For some reason, they plan to turn Earth
into their latest sexual playground. It is your task
to prevent them (though why you should want to is another
for Infocom, the game uses three levels of play, though
these are not difficulty levels as such. They are Tame,
Suggestive and Lewd. Each level uses naughtier (more
atmospheric?) text than the last. Some of the language
becomes more explicit as well as more detailed descriptive
passages. Even then there are limits. One scene is merely
described as using a lot of lubricant, some rubber hosing
and a yak. It is up to you to imagine the rest . . .
long, you find yourself in more traditional settings,
wandering the ruins and canals of Mars in true John
Carter fashion. The sexual overtones are less obtrusive
here. Coming across the throne of King Mitre (otherwise
known as Midas) to discover that rather than change
things to gold, he turned them to forty-five degree
angles for some fetish satisfaction, proves that both
Meretzky's humour and the spicy nature of the game remain
deeply imbedded in the program. In fact, an interplanetary
tour takes place, littered with heated distractions.
you discover that the goddesses want you for experimentation,
even you agree that sexual freedom can go too far and
so, accompanied by your sidekick, you set about trying
to make an anti-leather goddesses machine to save Earth
from the imminent invasion. Other characters in the
game have their sex decided by your own choice at the
beginning of the game.
is always an important way of adding atmosphere in an
Infocom game, and some original ideas have been used
including a scratch 'n' sniff card and a 3D colour comic
showing off the 'finer points' of the goddesses. The
first in Infocom's new comedy series. The Leather
Goddesses of Phobos is sure to make its mark. It
does wonders for your whiskers, especially at £24.95!
adventurers may not necessarily be able to play Trinity
that easily. The game, which involves time travel
as you try to change the course of history and prevent
the Third World War, is the second in Infocom's Interactive
Fiction Plus range, designed for sixteen bit micros
and ported downwards where possible. As a result, only
owners of a Commodore 128, disk drive (any model) and
80-column monitor will be able to run the program. Ah
well, it looked nice.
IN WITH INFOCOM
the take-over of Infocom by Activision, the latter organisation
is now responsible for the marketing of their games.
This means that everybody should now be able to get
hold of their favourite titles via their nearest Activision
dealer. No doubt my mailbag will increase in size as
a result of the Infocom availability . . .
LEATHER GODDESSES OF PHOBOS
magazine publisher recently appeared via holographic
transmission in the White Wizard's cave to ask
his opinion about Leather Goddesses of Phobos,
the latest release from the almost Divine Infocom
company of Hitch-Hikers, Sorcerer
and Zork fame.
did I think, he timidly enquired, of this game? Had
I actually discovered any . . . RUDE . . . bits?? What
had I done with the Female Gorilla? Finally, and most
significantly, he asked whether I thought the game was
significant because people don't often wonder whether
Infocom games are any good or not. They just wonder
whether to give them 95% or 96% and try to decide which
superlative adjective to use -- 'Brilliant' 'Astounding'
or perhaps 'Scrotnig' if they read 2000AD. The fact
is that there is rarely any doubt about an Infocom title,
but in this case doubt emerged so the Wiz rushed out,
bought a copy and loaded it up. The privileged reader
of this Zarjaz Mag will now hear the Wise One's opinion
. . .
game is Brilliant, Astounding, and Scrotnig.
what it's all about. You -- and you can be male or female
in this game, thank goodness, so for once the Wiz can
address the whole population of the UK and not just
the men, as is unfortunately the usual case with UK
adventures -- have been captured by the Leather Goddesses
of Phobos who invite you to take part in their scientific
you've ever seen pictures of those unfortunate monkeys
in labs with horrible looking tubes coming out of their
ears, then you might get some idea of what the Leather
Ones have got in store for you, except that the tubes
come out of certain other places that we shall not mention
and the game, mercifully, only hints at. Obviously,
therefore, the aim of the game is to manfully (or womanfully)
resist the temptation to join in the fun and escape,
saving the rest of mankind in the process.
game has you and your companion (a fellow escaped prisoner)
zipping about the universe, by means of some very convenient
black holes (which are just painted on the ground),
collecting objects and trying not to get killed or otherwise
ease with which one can move from planet to planet in
this fashion certainly makes for plenty of variety in
the landscape, but in fact the Wiz found this the weakest
aspect of the game. I like adventures that stick to
one geographical location and then go into it in great
detail, thereby helping to generate a compulsive and
vivid 'sense of being-there'. Not that the LGOP
locations aren't vividly described -- I just found being
on Mars one moment and a billion light-years away the
next rather unsettling. I'm sure that one of the strengths
of games like Colossal Cave and the Price
of Magik is their concentration on one overall geographical
framework with many parts, rather than many frameworks
with fewer locations in each one.
course the parser on LGOP is up to Infocom standard
with all the trimmings, including OOPS and complex input
parsing. No-one has yet matched this parsing system
-- I'm afraid it's still light-years ahead of our own
attempts in the UK, with the possible exception of The
Pawn. You won't have much trouble making yourself
understood in this game, that's for sure.
think what the Wizard found most impressive about Leather
Goddesses was that the author has not allowed the
temptation of being simply rude or risque to weaken
the structure of the game itself. The puzzles are every
bit as good as one would expect and there's enough logical
gameplay here to keep you busy enough to justify the
usual high Infocom price tag.
The Plot . . .
combination of an experienced and highly skilled game
designer like Steve Meretsky plus a rather risque scenario
makes for a game with a number of unusual twists, but
at heart LGOP is just another excellent adventure
un the traditional Infocom mode.
must locate eight different objects in the game and
1. A common household blender
2. Six feet of rubber hose
3. A pair of cotton balls
4. An 82 degree angle
5. A headlight from any 1933 Ford
6. A mouse
7. Any size photo of Douglas Fairbanks
8. A copy of the Cleveland Phone book
these objects isn't that difficult, but like in the
Scott Adams games, actually getting them into your possession
is extremely tricky. And then, perhaps they aren't going
to do you any good after all! Would YOU believe a moronic
keep-fit maniac who handed you a matchbox with those
items scribbled on it, announcing that with that equipments
he/she could save the world??
Sex . . .
so some of the passages in this game are just a tiny
bit naughty. But that really is as far as it goes and
there's nothing here that would shock my grandmother.
Whether that's a relief or a disappointment to you depends
on what sort of person you are.
three levels of play, Tame, Suggestive and Lewd have
two main effects on the game. The first is in what the
program will print out on the screen. TAME gets you
briefer descriptions and nothing that could possibly
be construed as rude (unless you've got a dirty mind).
SUGGESTIVE is practically the same as LEWD, but hesitates
a bit over the more intimate details.
gives you the full treatment (which isn't, in fact that
much) and often offers rather lengthier descriptions.
For this reason, even if you're a Vicar, I'd recommend
playing in Lewd mode all the time.
the second main effect on gameplay that changing levels
has is to increase the vocabulary accepted by the parser.
In TAME mode certain words will simply not be understood.
In LEWD they almost certainly will be, though whether
entering these (unspecified, in this family magazine)
commands will get you much excitement, is open to debate.
with this last point goes the fact that LEWD will also
change the INTERPRETATION of certain words. For example,
if you EAT the apple in TAME mode, no problem. However,
if you EAT the apple in LEWD mode, I would advise you
check that it is over sixteen first.
blurb at the beginning of the game suggests that the
program may raise some reaction from the Moral Majority.
Frankly, I think that that is highly unlikely. Quite
apart from the fact that I can't see what's wrong with
a bit of healthy sex in a game anyway. As it is, everything
in this game's healthy and there isn't any real sexual
activity to disturb the under-aged. Buy with confidence,
Humour . . .
is a lot of humour in this game -- inevitably, since
Mr Meretzky, author of Sorcerer and Hitch-Hikers,
is a man game for a laugh. I'm glad to say that much
of the humour does NOT rely on dirty jokes or innuendos
(although some of these, in LEWD mode are very funny).
For example, what other game would give you this variety
a good likeness of a pussy, but is it art?
That was just a rhetorical question.
You sound rather negative.
Who am I?
Where is the toilet?
But the brass bikini is so becoming!
this really absurd response:
Tie the hose to the switch
You've tied the rubber hose! In the third quarter,
with 40 seconds on the clock, the score is rubber hose
17, player 17!!! But seriously, folks, you can't tie
the rubber hose.
if you tire of the responses, you'll still find that
the continual tongue-in-cheek humour of the location
descriptions keeps you on the ball. One of the Wiz's
favourite bits is when:
You feel uneasy as the Mad Scientist locks the door
behind you and dissolves the key in a vat of acid.'
say you do!!
Gold Edition is also worthy of your attention.
It features an online hintbook.
you want a walkthrough, visit
Jacob Gunness' Classic
Adventures Solution Archive or
C64 Adventure Game Solutions Site
Kiminas (4 Dec 2004)
There were no screenshots in the original review.
"Games of the Week!"