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Game for Sex Vol. 1

Chi Kong Lui's picture

Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix Screenshot

Sex. Making love. Intercourse. Humping. Shagging. Getting laid. Da nasty. The old in and out. Whoopie. Popping the koochie. Ahhh… I apologize for that outburst. No I wasn't trying to improve our popularity rankings in Google. In my four plus years of writing about videogames, I rarely get to talk about what goes on in the bedroom (or anywhere else for wild and adventurous ones), so I have plenty of pent up frustration on the topic. Videogame characters are a rather ultra conservative and puritanical repressed bunch (i.e. virgins and Republicans). This feature is a celebration of sex in videogames. It's going to excavate and document those lucky digital few who managed to get their swerve on.

Before we begin, there are a couple of ground rules. 1. Sex appeal, teasing, kissing and romance don't count. The characters must clearly engage in oral or penetration sex—either on or off screen. 2. Non-mainstream underground X-rated (Japanese or otherwise) games aren't eligible because they aren't accessible to the mainstream and consequently their cultural influence is nominal. 3. This article is by no means meant to be complete historical listing. This first volume is based entirely on my most memorable videogame experiences through out the 1980s to present day with platforms ranging from the PC to most console systems. Hopefully with the assistance from others, future volumes of this feature will be more comprehensive. If you know of any other games that should be included in this feature in the future, click here to email Chi.

Leisure Suit Larry: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards
Leisure Suit Larry: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards


Leisure Suit Larry: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards

Released: 1987
Developer: Sierra On-Line
Publisher: Sierra On-Line
Platform: PC

Leisure Suit Larry: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards is the father of modern "mature" videogames and probably holds the record (that will go unbroken) for the only videogame to start with self-titled protagonist "questing" to lose his virginity. In addition to that record, Leisure Suit Larry, despite being a screwball comedy at heart and the ancient 16-color EGA visual graphics, is one of the most realistic portrayals of sex in any videogame.

The game is set in the town of "Lost Wages," which isn't some medieval fantasyland or futuristic post-apocalyptic wasteland. It's more or less like any other urban town in the United States circa 1987. The object of

Leisure Suit Larry: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards
Leisure Suit Larry: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards
Larry's initial desire/urge also isn't some princess that needs rescuing or some ass kickin' babe in tank top and short shorts. It's actually a skanky nameless hooker who conducts her business on the second floor of the dive bar Lefty's.

In addition to having to jump through various hurdles and puzzles to gain access to the second floor of the bar, Larry must also make a quick detour to a convenience store to purchase a condom for use. Failure to put one on before devirginizing himself with the hooker leads to shockingly grim, but ironic death by STD. Failure to remove the condom after use naturally also leads to disastrous results.

Surprisingly, Larry losing his virginity isn't shown with static art or with a movie cut-scene. It does take place on screen and in real-time, but is masked by a black box with the words "CENSORED" completely enveloping the pair in the act. During the sex, the black box rises up and down in an accordion-like motion.

The only other occurrence of Larry getting "lucky" occurs once the player completes the game and is rewarded by having sex with the much more attractive and girlfriend-worthy, Eve. The portrayal is identical to the previous encounter with the hooker.

Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode/The Mafat Conspiracy
Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode/The Mafat Conspiracy



Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode/The Mafat Conspiracy

Released: 1988 (Top Secret Episode)/1990 (The Mafat Conspiracy)
Developed: Vic Tokai
Published: Vic Tokai
Platform: NES

For many pubescent gamers weaned on the 8-bit NES console in the late eighties, the James Bond wanna be super spy (who was actually a popular manga hitman character in Japan) Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode was probably one of the earliest "they didn't just do what I think they did" shocking moments in console gaming.

Through out his lengthy mission, Golgo 13 encounters many female operatives who not only offer intelligence, but also themselves. The actual depiction of sexual consummation takes the shape of two small and primitive

Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode/ The Mafat Conspiracy
Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode/The Mafat Conspiracy
shaped silhouettes briefly coming together—voyeuristically viewed from a distant wide-angle shot of hotel room window. In a strangely comedic twist, the player's energy is restored in the morning.

It's hard to say what's more surprising. The aggressive amount of times Golgo 13 has sex with multiple willing partners or how a notoriously stringent Nintendo content approval system at the time, which had complete quality control over all games released on the NES, allowed such sleaze to slip through and gain its famed seal of approval.

In the sequel The Mafat Conspiracy, Nintendo's watchdogs seemed asleep at the wheel again as the game ups the bedroom shenanigans up a couple of notches from Top Secret Episode. Golgo 13 only unleashes the beast once early on in the game when he hooks up with a female agent contact, but it's an extremely memorable moment due to the beautiful old school Ninja Gaiden-like storyboard sequences. The images featured dramatic close-ups of the pair vibing each other as well come-hither foreplay dialogue that ends with much more recognizable silhouettes (you can tell which one is the man and which one is the woman) embracing and falling to the ground against a vibrant and romantic nighttime cityscape.

Rise of the Dragon
Rise of the Dragon

Rise of the Dragon

Released: 1992
Developer: Dynamix
Publisher: Sierra On-Line
Platform: PC

Despite how the title can be taken way out of context for this article, Rise of the Dragon, isn't overtly sexual in subject matter. Rise of the Dragon was high-profile PC adventure/quest homage to the sci-fi cult-classic Blade Runner film from Sierra On-Line second-party developers Dynamix.

Rise of the Dragon Screenshot
Rise of the Dragon

While Sierra's Quest titles were all the rage during this era, Rise of the Dragon managed to employ some unique gameplay conventions to the genre such as basic memories for non-playing characters players interacted with and a real-time clock that simulated a 24-hour day.

Early in the game, the main character Blade is in the doghouse with his long-suffering girlfriend, Karyn. If the player purchases flowers and takes them to her office, the two will reconcile and will go out on a dinner date later that evening. Assuming the player doesn't miss that date, the two consummate by having make-up sex.

The love scene is non-interactive and portrayed with graphic novel like panels consistent with the overall art direction of the game. There's some heavy petting and embracing, but nothing R-rated. The tone of the scene isn't played for laughs, but there's a moment of adult levity when during a deep kiss, Blade contemplates having almost having lost Karyn while she wishes he didn't have onions for dinner.

Ultima VII: The Black Gate
Ultima VII: The Black Gate

Ultima VII: The Black Gate

Released: 1992
Developers: Origin Systems
Publishers: Origin Systems
Platform: PC

The Ultima series is known for many things—most notably for establishing the conventions of the modern computer role-playing game (RPG) and giving players unprecedented amounts of freedom. In Ultima VII: The Black Gate, that freedom was well illustrated, as there were little stopping players from "gettin' it on." As "The Avatar," virtuous protector of the medieval world of Britannia, players were not only given the choice between being a hero or heroine, but the opportunity to swing either way… and I don't mean their sword.

Ultima VII: The Black Gate
Ultima VII: The Black Gate

In the land of Britannia, there's the memorable seaside, moderately sleazy town of Buccaneer's Den and its most infamous establishment: "The Baths." Players who paid the entry fee and ventured within found three attractive young "attendants" waiting (two women and one male): Martine, Wench, and Gilberto. Any of them were happy to give massages, or accompany clients to into the so-called "community room"—though, as Wench inevitably stated, "It really isn't a 'community room' at all. We shall be all alone!"

If the Avatar agreed to go to the community room with one of the attendants, the screen would fade to black. A title card appeared, reading thus: "A while later, after the woman/fellow has shown you more tricks than a mage on stage, you emerge from the community room a much happier Avatar."

One interesting fact about this potential encounter is that it didn't have to be heterosexual—male characters could go into the community room with Gilberto, and females could go with Wench or Martine. Consequently, Ultima VII may well be the first RPG to allow one the choice to play as a gay character and engage in gay sex. This was a bold move on the part of the designers, but it's only logical: if a game allows players the chance to customize their character's gender and race, why not their sexual orientation as well?

–Contribution by Caleb Hoffman

Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix Screenshot
Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix

Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix

Released: 2001
Developers: Kronos Digital
Publishers: Eidos
Platform: PlayStation

Publisher Eidos may have played up the girls-gone-wild lesbo angle by having the two female protagonists of Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix, Hana Tsu-Vachel and Rain Qin, straddling each other in their underwear for the print ads, but the actual game wasn't the promiscuous orgy that ads teased.

Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix Screenshot
Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix

The only two instances of actual sex take place off-screen in the opening introduction movie. Hana is shown showering in a hotel room while her latest assassination target lies dead and naked on the bed. The implication of Hana showering hints that the deathblow was delivered while in the throws of passion. The other instance of sex taking place involves one of the other main protagonists, Deke Decourt. Our first glimpse of Deke has him rising from a bed with a naked hooker lying beside him after she has serviced him.

As far as the hyped hot lesbo action goes, Hana and Rain do have a Madonna and Britney-like lip lock in an elevator to "distract" guards while breaking into a facility, but two never get past first base. The only other questionable S&M-like hook-up involves Rain and tentacle machine when she is captured early in the game. While the player is in control of Hana, she discovers and rescues Rain who is strapped upright to a platform with her arms crucified and her legs spread eagle. Gyrating pump-like contraptions are clasped on to her breasts and over her private parts. Is it interrogation, torture or rape? Even director Stan Liu isn't saying and says it's open to player "interpretation." Uh, I say "yes."

Category Tags
Key Creator(s): Al Lowe   Richard Garriott   Stan Liu  
Series: Fear Effect   Leisure Suit Larry   Ultima   Golgo 13  
Articles: Columns  
Topic(s): Sex & Relationships  

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You've got most of them...

Unfortunatly, I see you're missing a few such as "Vampire: The Masqurade - Bloodlines" and that "Cluster's Revenge" game I keep hearing about. The list is short, but there are few games that hint at sexual relations between characters. By the way, if you did list Japanese games we'd be here all day.

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