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Maniac Mansion (DOS)

73
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

The Edison mansion has always been a creepy old house on the edge of town. There have been rumors of strange experiments going on and of odd creatures living amongst the Edison family. There is even a story that a meteorite once crashed near the home nearly 20 years ago. More immediately, a girl named Sandy has gone missing from the local highschool and her boyfriend Dave swears that he saw Dr. Fred abducting her. Dave knows that he cannot do it alone and will need help from two other students if he has any hope of infiltrating the mansion and rescuing Sandy.

Players start by choosing two students to accompany Dave to the Edison mansion, and can then switch between these three characters at will. Most actions are carried out by selecting verbs on the screen and applying them to an object (such as "OPEN Door"). Each character maintains a separate personality and may have a different way to solve a problem from his classmates. Thus many of the puzzles can be overcome in different ways depending on the character being used. If any one of the kids are captured by the Edisons, they are thrown into the dungeon and must be rescued themselves by any character who still has their freedom.

Screenshots

Maniac Mansion DOS At the door of the mansion (Hercules Monochrome)
Maniac Mansion DOS The attic (Enhanced version, EGA)
Maniac Mansion DOS Your Friend is Locked
Maniac Mansion DOS Front door

Alternate Titles

  • "MM" -- Common abbreviation

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The adventure game that makes no sense *Katakis* (37823) 4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars
*CENSORED*!!! Maniac Mansion!!! Zovni (9355) 4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
A classic game, whose sequel I find a lot more appealing. Tomer Gabel (4380) 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
A Fantastic Game for Those who GET IT! X X (3) unrated
Classic, fun, what more do you want? C W (6) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Groundwork for some of the best adventure games of the '80s/'90s. tFX (25) 2.6 Stars2.6 Stars2.6 Stars2.6 Stars2.6 Stars
Great game...looking at some of these other reviews makes me very upset. Jason Harang (40) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Think of all the games you love, then thank THIS game for them. Toka (16) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Ahhh, those were the days... Don Lee (8) unrated
Wacked out Adventure, Insane Comedy, and a ton of really odd puzzles make this one game I will always be able to go back to. ROFLBLAH (352) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

The Press Says

Génération 4 Nov, 1989 94 out of 100 94
Power Play Mar, 1990 88 out of 100 88
PC Player (Germany) Oct, 1993 86 out of 100 86
Adventure Classic Gaming Oct 08, 1998 4 out of 5 80
The Games Machine (UK) Dec, 1989 76 out of 100 76
Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft 1993 74 out of 100 74
Adventure Gamers Oct 13, 2006 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
Aventura y Cía Nov 26, 2005 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
A Force for Good Oct, 2007 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars 50
GameCola.net Apr, 2008 4.8 out of 10 48

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Famicom version -- new entry? 4 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (58269)
Jul 21, 2012

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Maniac Mansion appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Chuck the plant

In the mansion's library, there is an un-useable plant called "Chuck the Plant" The plant also appears in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in Henry's room, and Day of the Tentacle in the lobby.

Copy protection

The computer versions featured an humorous copy protection scheme. In a new game a player entered the house, walked upstairs and are confronted by a giant iron bolted door which opens after entering four correct symbols on the keypad as shown in "Nuke'm Alarms - Nukes Burglars in their tracks: Owner's Disarmament Quick Reference Guide" included with the game. The wrong answer proved fatal!

Day of the Tentacle

Maniac Mansion is included as a bonus game inside Day of the Tentacle (on Ed's computer).

Hamster in the microwave

Players can microwave the hamster in any of the computer releases (but not the European NES version), but they have to use a sick-minded character (such as Syd or Razor) when doing it. Showing the exploded hamster to Weird Ed will make him kill that character.

NES version

The game was ported not once, but twice, to the NES. One version was made in America, while another one was made by Jaleco in Japan. The two versions look very different. It was one of the very few NES games to be translated into Spanish.

Many things had to be censored/changed to comply with Nintendo's policies:
  • Some of the language was toned down, for example: "The meteor is going to be pissed" was changed to "The meteor is going to be mad."
  • The "KILL THRILL" arcade game was changed to "TUNA"
  • "For a good time EDNA 3444" was changed to "Call Edna 3444"
A complete list of changes and more info can be found at http://www.crockford.com/wrrrld/maniac.html

In the European NES version, additionally the possibility to microwave the hamster was removed. In turn, at least in the German version, some linguistic points from the above list are closer to the original.

References

  • The name of Razor's punk band is "Razor and the Scummettes", a reference to the SCUMM graphical interface used by LucasArts adventures.
  • There is an X-Wing model in Ed's room.
  • The speakers in the green tentacle's room are "THX" sound speakers. THX is a high-quality sound technology developed by Lucasfilm.

Zak McKracken

Connections between Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken (based on Amiga version):
  • In the game room there's a Zak McKracken poster.
  • In Maniac Mansion there's a chainsaw that has no gas. In the game Zak McKracken there is a can of gas on Mars. The can reads, "For use with chainsaws only". When trying to pick it up the character says, "I don't need it. It's for a different game."
  • "Tuna head" is said in both games. One of the aliens in Zak McKracken is always saying, "Tum de dum." In Maniac Mansion when Weird Ed is walking through the kitchen to get his cheese he says, "Tum te dum."
  • It appears that Zak happens to be going out with Sandy from Maniac Mansion. In Zak McKracken, if players go away and come back home enough times and keep checking the answering machine they will soon get a message from Weird Ed from Maniac Mansion. He calls up about going to a monster truck show, and that he'll come by with Sandy at 6:00 in the Edsel.
  • In Zak McKracken, at the police station in Nepal: there is a wanted poster for the purple meteor.

Remake

The German LucasFan Games developed a freeware 256-colour remake called Maniac Mansion Deluxe.

TV series

The game spawned a comedy series on the Family Channel in the early 90's.

Awards

  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 03/2013 – One of the "Ten Best C64 Games“
  • Happy Computer
    • Issue 01/1988 - Best Game Idea in 1987
  • Power Play
    • 1987 - #2 Best C64 Game '87
Information also contributed by Игги Друге, Der.Archivar, Garcia, Jason Harang, kelmer44, Hitman23, Ricky Derocher, Tiago Jacques, whatt, Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe

Related Web Sites

  • Hints for Maniac Mansion (These hints by Kevin Carnes will get you through the game and help you solve the puzzles on your own.)
  • Howard & Nester do Maniac Mansion (A regular feature in Nintendo Power magazine, Howard & Nester was a comic strip about two game whizzes who would one-up each other, while disclosing hints and tips, in the settings of various recently-released games for the NES platform. In Volume 18's two-page installment, they explore Maniac Mansion with Razor, encountering Dead Cousin Fred, Green Tentacle, and Nurse Edna (the blue-skinned one, of course, from Jaleco's NES release.))
  • IGCD Internet Game Cars Database (Game page on IGCD, a database that tries to archive vehicles found in video games.)
  • LucasArts' Secret History (A multi-article feature about the game by the LucasArts news site, The International House of Mojo. The feature article includes an unscored review, short responses written by members of the site's community, trivia, easter eggs and other small details in the game, commentary from the developers, a transcription of the original hint book, a long feature article by one of the programmers, and an interview with one of the project leaders.)
  • ManiacMansionFan's complete Maniac Mansion reference page (A complete and extensive website about Maniac Mansion)
  • ScummVM (A useful program for playing old SCUMM games on newer operating systems (for example, Win XP).)
  • The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion for the Nintendo Entertainment System (an article about the censorship and the revisions the NES version of the game was forced to go through)
  • The Maniac Mansion Fan Site (Site that gives info on all versions of Maniac Mansion.)
Tony Van (2688) added Maniac Mansion (DOS) on Jan 10, 2000
Other platforms contributed by POMAH (34773), NGC 5194 (17313), jeremy strope (126) and Servo (55830)