Anyone who grew up playing adventure games is likely to recognize the name Al Lowe. A former employee of Sierra (employee number 20, as it were), he created Leisure Suit Larry and coded several other games, including The Black Cauldron. Now decades later, he’s selling some of the original source code from his days at Sierra.
For several years, Lowe designed, wrote, and programmed music, games, and various other things (like utilities) for Sierra Entertainment, which was a major force in the PC gaming landscape in the 1980s and early 1990s. By the time Lowe left the company, Sierra had grown to around 1,200 employees, he recalls, with several iconic franchises under its belt—Leisure Suit Larry, King’s Quest, Space Quest, Quest for Glory, and so forth.
Sierra would wither over time and exists today only as a licensed brand name. However, Lowe stashed the source code for many of the projects he worked on during Sierra’s heyday, because as he notes in a meetup with the folks from YouTube channel MetalJesusRocks, “I backed everything up because I knew that Sierra didn’t.”
“Everything is in these disks, I believe, to make a game if you have the right tools. A lot of the things we wrote were in regular text files,” Lowe says. “So they’re certainly readable nowadays.”
They’re also going for sale. Lowe dug up his collection of Sierra artifacts from his attic and is putting many of the items up for auction on eBay. Currently, for example, he has listed for sale the source code for Leisure Suit Larry 2 and the original disk that he used to create one of the early Sierra Christmas Cards that were originally sent to friends and family of the company, and later made available to the public.
At the time of this writing, the source code for Leisure Suit Larry 2 has drawn a bid price of $425, and will undoubtedly go up by the time the auction ends in nine days. According to Lowe, these are the only copies of the source that exist, making them unique collectors items.
Check out the video above for some interesting insight on all this stuff, and if you’re interested, keep an eye on Lowe’s eBay page for more items.