February 5, 2021 at 10:54 pm #4127
Because Day of the Tentacle is the sequel to Maniac Mansion, and Maniac Mansion is also included with Day of the Tentacle, I think it makes sense we look at that game too during this month.
In case people want to get it separately, instead of playing it inside Day of the Tentacle, it might be worth knowing there are actually two versions of this game: the 1987 original, and the 1988 “enhanced” version. In terms of content they are the same, I think? But the graphics of the enhanced version are a little better.
What also might be interesting to know: the game by default doesn’t support mouse input and requires you to use the arrow keys to move the cursor around. But you can actually enable mouse support by pressing shift + M. Makes it a lot easier to play 🙂February 6, 2021 at 8:57 am #4129
Makes sense to do that actually. I’ve already finished DotT twice this month.
That being said, I tried playing Maniac Mansion years ago, and it was too hard for me haha!
PixParticipantPodcasterFebruary 6, 2021 at 10:17 am #4130
There is also a fan remake, Maniac Mansion Deluxe for Windows which is probably the best version of the game (albeit not running in DOS). There is another fan remake in the works as well at https://meteormess.de/
I know DOTT inside out already but never really spent much time on it’s predecessor so I thought I’d have a good go on Maniac Mansion this month. Had two playthroughs with different characters so far, one on the EGA enhanced version and one on Deluxe.
There is surprisingly little story in this first game, beyond a few cutscenes. It’s more of a pure puzzler. I tried Lucasfilms first adventure game Labyrinth a year or two back and it feels like a halfway house between that and their later games.
There are some pretty tricky puzzles and numerous potential dead ends to make life difficult. It’s certainly more intimidating than their later games. That said, the house isn’t too big and you can replay the game very quickly once you start learning your way around. I’ve noticed there are multiple solutions some of the time which is pretty neat. The idea of having different characters is cool as well but it only seems to make a limited amount of difference in the game. Without giving anything away I’ve only found one difference for each character where their skills can be used to solve a particular puzzle. It does give a bit of replayability that isn’t typical of adventure games. The game was really short with Bernard in my party, possibly why he was included in part 2?
I’ll try another playthrough with some different characters this weekend. So far I’ve relied on Bernard’s technical and Michael’s photography skills to get me through, so I’ll see if I can solve it without either of them next time. I figure I may as well try a different version each time so it’s either NES or C64 next.February 6, 2021 at 7:10 pm #4131
I’ll also be mainly focusing on Maniac Mansion this month since I could play through DOTT in my sleep at this point. For anyone interested in playing it through DOTT, you can do so after the initial sequence by simply heading up to the 3rd floor (with the two doors) and entering the right one. There’s a crazy looking dude (Weird Ed) looking at a stamp book. Simply use his computer and you can start playing.
I have fond memories of playing MM as a child on the NES version. It has a GREAT soundtrack that unfortunately I think is exclusive to the NES version. However I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo removed a few things not deemed child appropriate.
Look forward to reliving some childhood memories and beating it again! Maybe this time without a Nintendo Power guide. 🙂February 6, 2021 at 7:32 pm #4133
“However I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo removed a few things not deemed child appropriate.”
Yeah, it was ported by Douglas Crockford, who wrote a little article about his experiences porting the game to NES, which mainly involved jumping through Nintendo’s hoops in order to comply with their guidelines. It’s a pretty funny story really: https://www.crockford.com/maniac.htmlFebruary 7, 2021 at 2:35 am #4138
Ha! Nice article Tijn. 🙂
Here’s an important tip for anyone that wants to play the game. The game will NOT highlight or list interactable items as you’re mousing around. I believe this is another difference from the NES version.
You’ll want to select the “What is” option upon entering a room and when that’s selected, you’ll be able to hover around looking for items. The game was basically unplayable for me until I figured that out!February 10, 2021 at 7:29 am #4152
Wow, I just realised that GOG sells Maniac Mansion seperately to DotT – even though the full game exists inside it haha!
brezhtnevParticipantFebruary 11, 2021 at 8:31 am #4156
I remember playing Maniac Mansion as a kid, but not getting very far because of insufficient knowledge of the English language (and intelligence in general). At least I got to enjoy the awesome opening music on the C64 🙂
I played it again as an adult, and I think was able to finish it. I really enjoyed the game. The fact that you control multiple characters gave the game an extra dimension compared to other adventure games. Especially because the characters have different skills and you also need to make them work together.
If I remember correctly, the different ports of the game were slightly different. I think in some ports the central door on top of the stairs had an electronic lock, where in other ports it was a plain door. Or maybe that depends on which characters you choose at the start of the game?
About the version included with DOTT, I recall reading that it doesn’t include save functionality, making it difficult to complete unless you already know what to do. Is that correct?
firefyteParticipantPodcasterFebruary 11, 2021 at 8:35 am #4157
The version in the dott remaster has multiple save slots, can’t remember about the dos version.
PixParticipantPodcasterFebruary 11, 2021 at 12:30 pm #4158
The door at the top of the stairs was used for copy protection in the original computer versions. There is a Nuke’m Alarms disarmament guide in the box you have to use to look up a code.
The version in DOS DOTT does have a save slot but only the one.February 11, 2021 at 12:54 pm #4159
Yeah, I think the version of Maniac Mansion that comes with DOTT is the original release, which has more basic graphics & sound and only one save slot. You can take it out of DOTT and run it in DOS or ScummVM separately if you rename MANIAC.OVL to MANIAC.EXE.
The updated Maniac Mansion Enhanced version has more save slots, which is the version that comes with DOTT Remastered.February 13, 2021 at 12:52 am #4166
Man, this game is way more involved than I thought. I’ve been at it for *hours* now and I’m still not done.
I’ve also accidentally locked myself out of a few solutions, yikes. Luckily I think still one remains that I’m trying now.February 13, 2021 at 9:51 pm #4167
Ok, I beat it \o/
I got the proper ending this time. I’ve played it before, but then I went with Bernard and called the Meteor Police, which I feel is maybe a bit of a shortcut. This time I had to employ Ed to beat purple tentacle for me and then shot the meteor off into space. Aw yeah!February 16, 2021 at 9:57 am #4171
Quick question to everyone:
I went ahead and bought Maniac Mansion from GOG, but there’s no executable for the original 1987 version, and I want to play that on my 386 (instead of through ScummVM).
Does anybody have the original executable they can send to me?
Or does anybody know where the file is hidden?
(I think it’s OK to ask for this? I mean, I do own the game…)February 17, 2021 at 4:21 am #4172
I just found a Maniac Mansion Deluxe Edition with updated graphics for free download available. It’s a fan made remake, I assume made with Lucasfilm’s blessing. Unfortunately it seems to be from that era between DOS and modern gaming (eg. Win XP) where it is a huge hassle to get anything running. I’ve been trying for a half hour and haven’t had much luck.
I’ve also been playing the NES version. I feel like this is way more fun than the version within DOTT. It has great music, every character has their own theme song, and the characters don’t look like weird bobble head parodies. It also lists interactable items as you cursor over them which is my biggest frustration with the PC version.
I could use some more signposting. I beat the game as a kid but I don’t remember too much. It seems like I’m just wandering around trying to figure out what to do next.
firefyteParticipantPodcasterFebruary 17, 2021 at 7:13 am #4173
I got it to run, had to run the installer as admin.
This is the 1.4 version of the LucasFan MMD (which was the only download I quickly found).February 18, 2021 at 5:31 am #4175
Thanks Firefyte, I got it working with your encouragement. I also had to change the resolution running the included winsetup command. I think this is the way I’ll complete my first playthrough. It has music (although more like DOTT music than the NES MM) and much better mouse controls. It took me less than 10 minutes to pass where I spent an hour playing on the NES emulator moving the cursor around with arrow keys. It’s so awkward and often the commands don’t register so I repeatedly have to arrow the cursor back down to the bottom and then back up to the item to redo the command.
Tijn, if you’re reading this I’m curious which characters you took with you. I’m using Razor and of course Bernard. I found it amusing he runs away from the green tentacle the first time he runs into him. I’m also totally noticing that the NES version doesn’t have the naked statues or topless calendar after reading your article. And for some reason Nintendo changed “brains sucked out” to “your brains removed”.February 20, 2021 at 10:25 am #4181
Ha, I’m doing a second play-through right now of the original (I played the Enhanced before) with Bernard and Razor! It’s a fun combo. Did you know they planned on having Razor in DOTT too? The first idea was to have 6 kids and a selection screen, just like Maniac Mansion had, with both Bernard and Razor as an option.
On my first run I picked Michael and Wendy. They’re a bit more plain, but they do have some good skills. Especially Michael, who can use the photo development room. I was fascinated by that as a kid, so it felt kind of exciting to finally make use of it.February 27, 2021 at 10:20 pm #4203
Just completed my Bernard Razor playthrough getting 2 different endings 🙂 Dollarone helped me with one of the Meteor Police.
I’m even more excited that I was able to get the NES version working with the instructions from here.
ScummVM NES Maniac Mansion
Give this a shot if you’re interested, it’s pretty easy. You can just edit the .nes file in Notepad. Remove the beginning few characters that look like “NES aster” without the quotes and save it as a prg instead of a nes extension, and drag the folder that this prg is saved into ScummVM. Voila, you can play NES Maniac Mansion with its great soundtrack and mouse support!
dollaroneParticipantPodcasterMarch 2, 2021 at 11:53 pm #4224
I finally played through MM as well! I have tried playing it a few times (every time I play DOTT for example) but I always get stuck, get frustrated, and give up. This time I went to the dark side and used a walkthru. Without the frustration the game is pretty neat! There’s a lot of extra space with no items and empty rooms, but that’s not a problem when you know what you’re doing. I love the story and the characters moving around and catching you – it adds a great suspense to what is normally a chill genre. But I think it is heavily affected by being made in a time when people were ready to bash their heads and brute force all options in order to make progress…
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