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Maniac Mansion (NES)

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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 NES Attic.
Maniac Mansion NES In front of the mansion
Maniac Mansion NES I hope Dr. Fred's insurance covers craters left by flying Edsels.
Maniac Mansion NES In front of the mansion (Japanese version)

Alternate Titles

  • "MM" -- Common abbreviation

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

One Great Game, and the first of the SCUMM era of Lucasfilm/Lucasarts games Scott G (731) 3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars
When This Games A Rockin Don't Come A Knockin MasterMegid (900) 4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
A rare treat! ETJB (394) 4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars

The Press Says

VideoGame Jun, 1991 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
HonestGamers Jan 30, 2008 10 out of 10 100
Total! (Germany) Jul, 1999 1.25 out of 6 95
NES Center 2001 9 out of 10 90
GamesAreFun.com (GAF) Jun 10, 2005 9 out of 10 90
neXGam 2002 9 out of 10 90
1UP! Mar 02, 2002 86 out of 100 86
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) May, 1993 7 out of 12 58
GameCola.net Oct, 2002 5.5 out of 10 55
The Video Game Critic Oct 15, 2007 D+ 33

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Famicom version -- new entry? 4 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (52489)
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.))
  • 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.)
jeremy strope (126) added Maniac Mansion (NES) on Dec 02, 2002
Other platforms contributed by POMAH (31330), NGC 5194 (17267), Tony Van (2691) and Servo (55897)