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Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle

aka: DOTT, Den' Schupaltsa, Der Tag des Tentakels, Il Giorno del Tentacolo, Maniac Mansion 2, Maniac Mansion II: Day of the Tentacle
Moby ID: 719
DOS Specs

Description official descriptions

Purple Tentacle, one of the crazy Dr. Fred's creations, drinks contaminated water from Dr. Fred's Sludge-o-matic. He mutates into an insane genius and grows arms, and now he's plotting to take over the world. In an effort to stop him, Dr. Fred sends three friends, Bernard, Hoagie, and Laverne back in time to yesterday, in order for them to turn off the Sludge-o-Matic and stop the sludge from spilling into the river, thus preventing the whole incident. Naturally, the cheap doctor uses a fake diamond over a real one in his time machine, which blows up sending Hoagie 200 years into the past and Laverne 200 years into the future.

Now the player must bring back Hoagie and Laverne, with the help of the time machine's ability to move objects between time periods, and then stop evil Purple from taking over the world.

Day of the Tentacle is a point-and-click adventure game and a sequel to Maniac Mansion. The player controls Bernard, and later also Hoagie and Laverne, being able to switch between them at any time. By using the commands at the bottom of the screen, the character can pick up items, use them on other things, talk to people, and more. Any of the three friends can also send his items across time to another friend.

The game takes place in the same area, but in three different eras, and thus affecting history takes a vital part in some puzzles. For instance, Hoagie can hide an item in the 18th century, and Laverne discovers it in the 23rd century - but by then, the item may have been affected by time and changed its properties.

The CD version of the game contains voice-overs for all the dialogues.

Spellings

  • День Щупальца - Russian spelling
  • יומו של הטנטקל - Hebrew spelling
  • 瘋狂時代 - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Credits (DOS version)

134 People (121 developers, 13 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 93% (based on 37 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.2 out of 5 (based on 395 ratings with 8 reviews)

perhaps LucasArts' best, right up there with Monkey Island...

The Good
Well, to me the most important aspects of a game - especially an adventure game - are the storyline, plot, fun factor, etc; graphics and sound are not as vital. However, when a game has it ALL, like Day of the Tentacle, it's definitely an added bonus.

The game is chaotic and hilarious, but also logical (if a little abstract). I often tire easily when in an adventure game I play for hours without making progress - this was never the case in Day of the Tentacle. The difficulty was just right - not too challenging, not too easy. I only needed to consult the walkthough once, less than in most other games :)

The plot is sheer genius too. If you do something in the past, the future might be affected accordingly. Also, the graphics are beautiful even now (8 years later) and the characters are all loveable.

The Bad
It was too short! Give me more!!

The Bottom Line
Highest, highest recommendation. Even non-adventure freaks would enjoy this.

DOS · by Gothicgene (66) · 2001

The funniest computer game ever, and one hell of a game!

The Good
Day of the Tentacle is unique. There has never been anything quite like it, nor will there ever be - nothing can come close. Day of the Tentacle has a reserved place among classic, immortal games like Loom: it is ageless. I will never tire of playing it. It is simply the funniest adventure game I've ever encountered, and my limited English vocabulary doesn't include enough words to properly describe Day of the Tentacle's glory... but I'll give it my best shot.

So what makes The Day of the Tentacle one of the best adventure games ever written?

  • It is hilarious. The best yet implementation of a story in an adventure game. It plays more like a classic Warner Bros. cartoon: everything makes sense in a twisted, preverted kind of way. The twisted logic you have to use to acheive your goals just makes the game that much better. Sticking a hamster in a microwave!
  • Day of the Tentacle features some of the best graphics and animation in a computer game to date, very similar in style to Warner Bros.' Road Runner: while everything looks "kind of" realistic, it all looks twisted: the house is built all wrong, the river doesn't curl but rather break, the rooms are impossibly big and oddly built. Just take a look at these screenshots - see how outright ludicrous the in-game graphics are, and just how well they're drawn!
    As for animations, they are equally ridiculous and add just as much to the atmosphere of the game. The game has the feel of a bizarre cartoon (again, look at the screenshots: the picture of the Edisons screaming in tandem).
  • The interface is the best ever, even better than the wonderful Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and far beyond anything Sierra ever accomplished. It is easy to use and makes perfect sense, and the keyboard shortcuts (along with the mouse rightclick) makes things even easier.
  • Outright terrific music: the best heard in any adventure game to date. The spectacular MIDI soundtrack sounds as ridiculous as the plot it accompanies, and the terrific tracks are best experienced with a wavetable-enabled MIDI card (being that it's a DOS game, I would recommend the easy to obtain AWE32), but is extremely good even with a standard AdLib-compatible FM card.
    The sound effects are equally terrific, and add a great deal to the game's cartoon-like atmosphere: thinks sound just as you would expect them to in Animaniacs. Spectacular execution.
  • The best voice acting ever heard in a game. It couldn't have been better. I wouldn't want them to try and improve it. It's perfect.
  • Best ending in an adventure game, ever!
  • And last, but not least, the addition of the original Maniac Mansion in the CD-ROM version. A very nice touch indeed!



The Bad
It ends. :-(

The Bottom Line
I don't envy anyone who has never experienced the fantastic Day of the Tentacle. Get it, no matter how. Play it. Enjoy it. Love it. Get hooked. Sell your house and go to live in a cave with the CD and your laptop.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4535) · 2000

LucasArts strikes again!

The Good
The whole darn thing! Humor, challenge (but NOT frustrating. This is crucial!), and some of the best music and voice to ever find its way onto a computer. File this one under "pure enjoyment."

The Bad
Well, it ends, and unlike the first game there are no other kids to use, so replay value takes a hit. I understand the space limitations, but why not allow for the player to choose which kid goes to which time period? This would have made an already fantastic game just that much better.

The Bottom Line
More fun than should legally be allowed by law. Heck, it even includes the first game as a bonus! Simply untouchable.

DOS · by Toka (13) · 2001

[ View all 8 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

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

CD version

The CD version of the game features speech and no copy protection.

Development

At one point during DOTT's development, the artists consulted with legendary animator Chuck Jones.

Maniac Mansion

Contains the original Maniac Mansion as an actual computer game (on a computer) inside the game.

Music

The music playing during the intro is the ouverture to the opera Wilhelm Tell by the famous 19th century opera composer Gioachino Rossini.

References

  • In the mansion 200 years in the past, a picture of Max from Sam & Max Hit the Road can be seen.
  • Check out the Darth Vader calendar in Dr. Fred's office! You can also spot the Stormtrooper helmet in Green Tentacle's room (above the stereo and a bit to the left).
  • The title for Day of the Tentacle has obviously been influenced by the novel titled Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. In this sci-fi novel, carnivorous, walking plants called 'Triffids', after waiting for the perfect opportunity, decide to end the reign of Humanity and take on the world.
  • Maniac Mansion is more than just a game within a game, it's also an integral part of the plot. Dr. Fred and his family (within Day of the Tentacle) licensed themselves into Maniac Mansion and should have become rich off the royalties. Well as luck would have it, the contract was never signed and so Dr. Fred lost out. During the course of the game's plot, you'll have to deal with this situation and get Dr. Fred reimbursed by the lawyers at Lucasarts.
  • Dr. Fred mentions the royalties that he lost from the 1990 TV Show based on his life, the YTV/Family Channel sitcom, Maniac Mansion, which takes great liberties from the source material.
  • The Couch Potato's Buying Network (shopping channel) within the game instructs viewers to call their operators at 1-800-STAR-WARS , otherwise known as the Lucasarts' hotline.
  • In DOTT, there is a reference to the Commodore 64 computer. The original version of Maniac Mansion was released for the Commodore and is the same version that can be played in Weird Eds room. Get Bernard to "talk to" the computer and he'll say something like "Hello computer, I still love you even though you have 64k of memory", This refers to the fact that Commodore 64s had 64k of RAM, and yes, Weird Ed's computer is obviously a Commodore 64
  • In the plot of the game, you are forced to use a microwave 200 years in the future to melt the frozen hamster left in the ice bin from 200 years ago. Laverne hopes that the microwaves aren't like the ones back in her time because they could really pop a hamster good. This is reference to the fact that you could microwave Ed's hamster in Maniac Mansion (causing the hamster to explode). Another reference to this is the fact that Ed's hamster used to be brown with white spots, now it is just brown.

References to the game

In The Secret Of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, Sam & Max can be seen outside of the Monkey Head Temple respectively in the Costume Store on Booty Island. In the Special Edition remakes of these games, the characters can still be seen in classic mode. However, when the games are hotswapped to the Special Edition modes they are replaced by Purple Tentacle!

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • June 1994 (Issue #119) – Adventure Game of the Year (together with Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers)
    • March 1996 (Issue #140) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #34 in “150 Best Games of All Time" list
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) –#3 Funniest Computer Game
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – Most Memorable Game Villain (Purple Tentacle)
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #32 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • PC Powerplay (Germany)
    • Issue 06/2005 - #3 Likeable Secondary Character (for Bernhard, Hoagie and Laverne)
    • Issue 11/2005 - #7 Game Which Absolutely Needs A Sequel
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1994 – Best Sequel in 1993

Information also contributed by Adam Baratz, Jason Harang, Paul Graves, PCGamer77, Rambutaan, Scott G, Tomar Gabel, Unicorn Lynx, WildKard and Ye Old Infocomme Shoppe

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Related Sites +

  • Day After Day of the Tentacle
    A (n apparently on hiatus) web comic strip dealing with day to day interactions between residents and guests in the Edison family mansion; all character and background art in the comic strip has been appropriated from the game.
  • Hints for DOTT
    Jason Strautman wrote this wonderful group of helpful hints. They are designed to give you nudges before the final solutions are revealed.
  • IGCD Internet Game Cars Database
    Game page on IGCD, a database that tries to archive vehicles found in video games.
  • Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle - FAQs & Guides
    Various files on GameFaqs.com
  • ScummVM
    Get "Day of the Tentacle", as well as many other adventure games, to run on modern systems by using ScummVM, a legal and free program.
  • The Making of Maniac Mansion
    a Word document which appeared in Edge magazine dated July 5, 2005

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 719
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

Macintosh added by Jason Savage.

Additional contributors: Trixter, PCGamer77, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Apogee IV, Pseudo_Intellectual, Dan K, Crawly, 6⅞ of Nine, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, Victor Vance, FatherJack.

Game added January 10, 2000. Last modified May 16, 2024.