Leather Goddesses of Phobos GamesK

Leather Goddesses of Phobos

Released July 11, 1986 · consists of 3 releases.

A work of interactive fiction from Infocom, putting a racy spin on 1930s sci-fi tropes.

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Leather Goddesses of Phobos

First release date July 11, 1986
Platform Amiga , Amstrad CPC , Apple II , Atari ST , Commodore 64 , Mac , Atari 8-bit , PC , iPhone , iPad , Amstrad PCW
Developer Infocom
Publisher Infocom
Genre Adventure , Text Adventure
Theme Sci-Fi , Comedy
Franchises Leather Goddesses of Phobos
Aliases

Overview

Leather Goddesses of Phobos was the 21st game released by interactive fiction pioneers Infocom.

Development

Long a company in-joke (obliquely referenced in Starcross and Wishbringer), Leather Goddesses of Phobos eventually became an actual Infocom offering. The game designer/programmer (or as the company called it, "implementor", or "imp") was, appropriately enough, the originator of the in-joke, Steve Meretzky.

Meretzky's previous work A Mind Forever Voyaging, a scathing critique of "Reaganomics", had proven to be less controversial than Meretzky expected... or wanted. The intentionally provocative Leather Goddesses of Phobos aimed to confront the attempts at media censorship that came to the fore in the mid-1980s. Infocom's marketing director referred to the game, approvingly, as "Hitchhiker's Guide with sex". Courting controversy apparently worked: Leather Goddesses of Phobos would become Infocom's last game to sell over 100,000 copies.

The game invokes many of the tropes of 1930s science fiction films, as well as later, more explicit sci-fi such as Barbarella.

Story/Gameplay

Set in 1936, the user plays as a resident of Upper Sandusky, Ohio. He or she is kidnapped by the Leather Goddesses of Phobos, who plan to conquer Earth and enslave all humans in a "pleasure world." The player escapes along with their sidekick, and then must visit Mars, Venus, Saturn, and Cleveland in order to find an incongruously ordinary collection of items and create the "Super-Duper Anti-Leather Goddesses of Phobos Attack Machine". (In a running gag, the sidekick repeatedly meets seemingly certain death, only to reappear later with an unconvincing explanation.)

The ending promises a sequel, Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2: Gas Pump Girls Meet the Pulsating Inconvenience From Planet X, which was indeed released in 1992.

Options

At the beginning of the game, the player chooses a bathroom. This determines the gender of their character. If they choose male, their sidekick during the game will be "Trent"; if they choose female, it will be "Tiffany".

Players also must choose "tame", "suggestive", or "lewd" mode. "Lewd" mode features the first uses of profanity in an Infocom game.

"Boss Key"

The IBM PC version of Leather Goddesses of Phobos contained a "boss key" feature that would, with a keypress, switch between the game and a screen from Infocom's (legendarily unsuccessful) database product Cornerstone. However, in a typically Meretzky touch, this "database", if examined closely, itself contained salacious material, e.g. orders for an "inflatable milkman".

In Pop Culture

Leather Goddesses of Phobos is referenced in the 2015 film The Martian (as is another Infocom game, Zork II).

"Feelies"

As had become traditional for Infocom, Leather Goddesses of Phobos's packaging contained collectibles (or, as they were referred to, "feelies") to help set the mood of the game. The game also used elements from the "feelies" as part of its copy protection. Leather Goddesses of Phobos's "feelies" were:

  • A "scratch and sniff" card, with seven options tied to particular points in the game. This aspect was emphasized in the game's advertising and packaging. Perhaps against implication, none of the "scents" were explicitly sexual in nature. They were: pizza, chocolate, mothballs, perfume, garlic, leather, and banana.
  • "The Adventures of Lane Mastodon: Lane Battles the Shameless Leather Goddesses", an 11-page-long 3-D comic book.
  • 3-D glasses, for reading said comic book.
  • A (deceptively unhelpful) map of the catacomb maze within the game.

Leather Goddesses of Phobos

Leather Goddesses of Phobos

Leather Goddesses of Phobos

Leather Goddesses of Phobos

Leather Goddesses of Phobos

Gallery

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Specific release details

Classic Text Adventure Masterpieces
Classic Text Adventure Masterpieces
Platform PC
Region United States
Developer
Publisher
Release date January 1996
Product code 0 47875 33640 7
Company code None
Rating
Minimum Players 1
Maximum Players N/A
Resolutions N/A
Sound Systems N/A
Single player Features N/A
Multi player Features N/A
Widescreen Support No
Notes N/A

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