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A Vegas MomentBy Russell Sipe, CGW Founder



"Just saw the two-page "spread" for the new Leisure Suit Larry game in the latest CGW. Whenever I see Larry in the pages of CGW or on the shelf in my local software store, a pleasant and humorous moment from my CGW days comes rushing to mind.

In January 1992, a number of industry folk attended an Interplay party held at the Excalibur during Winter CES. Following the event at an Oktoberfest style restaurant in the Excalibur, several of us discussed what kind of mischief we could get into for the rest of the evening. Johnny Wilson and I had an 8AM breakfast with one of the game companies so we needed to get to bed at a reasonable hour, no later than 3 or 4AM (those were the days). Through the hubbub and mill as the party was winding down, Johnny mumbled something about a hotel room break-in that involved an unannounced game product. Over the years I had learned that these communications were best left in the "don't ask, don't tell" category. Not wishing to risk hotel security myself, I decided to find another adventure to pursue.

Perhaps it was the quart or more of fine German lager I had drunk at the party, perhaps it was just poor judgment on my part, or some combination thereof, but somehow Al Lowe (Leisure Suit Larry) and I hooked up for what I thought might be a slightly safer escapade. From past experience I probably should have know better, but on this particular night I lucked out and arrest was never in the picture. However, it turned out to be one of the funnier moments I ever had in my years at CGW.

Al explained to me that he was trying to convince the somewhat young and "wet behind the ears" Damon Slye (Red Baron, Aces of the Pacific, Stellar 7, A-10 Tank Killer) to go gambling. Damon had never gambled before and Al felt it was his honor-bound duty to end this particular form of Damon's virginity. So, with a couple others in tow, Al and I more or less buffaloed Slye down to the casino to begin his education. After a brief recon of the floor, we felt that it would be better for Damon to learn to crawl before actually walking. So the slots were the obvious place to start. Back in those days, most designers carried around more dollar bills than $100 bills so we thought the quarter slots would be an okay place to start. So we pointed our young apprentice to a gleaming row of machines where a cacophony of wheel turning tones and clanging money trays filled the air.

Damon took a quarter and headed for one of the machines in the middle of the nearest row. Al stopped him telling him to play one of the machines on the end of the row. "The end machines have better payoffs" said Al, explaining that they were more visible to folks milling about the area. Damon turned to head for an end machine. I glanced at Al with a puzzled "Really?" look on my face. Al replied with a shrug and upturned hands, a signal that his BS was working well.

Damon put the coin in the slot and pulled the handle. Seven. Lemon. Cherry. Damon dropped another coin, pulled the handle, and got an equally disappointing result. He shrugged and began to move on.

"No wait." I said. "It takes at least three plays for any chance of a payout." Damon frowned but reached in his pocket for another coin. Al looked at me with the same puzzled look I had given him just moments earlier. It was my turn to give him the shrug and upturned hands.

Damon dropped the coin and pulled the handle. The wheels spun. After a few moments the first number locked in with a clunk. Seven. The second and third numbers quickly followed suit. Clunk. Seven. Clunk. Seven. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding�. clang, clang, clang, clang, clang, clang.

I forget if it was Al or myself that had to be picked up off the floor. It might have been both of us. I can't remember. We were all laughing so hard. True story."

Vegas night out: Al Lowe is second from the left, Johnny Wilson is right behind Al. Damon Slye (red tie) is standing next to Johnny. Russ Sipe is on the far right.


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