Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle
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.
- День Щупальца - Russian spelling
- יומו של הטנטקל - Hebrew spelling
- 瘋狂時代 - Traditional Chinese spelling
Credits (DOS version)
134 People (121 developers, 13 thanks) · View all
|Music / Sound Programming|
|Interpreter / Development System|
|Graphics / Artwork|
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Average score: 93% (based on 37 ratings)
Average score: 4.2 out of 5 (based on 392 ratings with 8 reviews)
Lucasarts proved they couldn't be beaten to the top in the adventure genre when they released this baby. Generally regarded as one of the best adventure games ever made, DOTT managed to overcome it's "being the sequel to" stigma (in this case the legendary Maniac Mansion) and instead managed to become a killer game in it's own right, surpassing the original in many aspects.
Ron Gilbert may not have leaded this particular game, but Tim Schafer proved that if someone could beat ol' man Gilbert at his own game was him, and designed a magnificent adventure game that follows the wacky tradition set by the original. Years have passed and after a typically cooky event (toxic waste turns purple tentacle evil!!!.......snif.... Ed Wood would be proud) all hell breaks loose and the green tentacle asks for the help of the only member of the original Maniac Mansion gang still around: super-geek extraordinaire Bernard, whom with the aid of new friends Hoagie (total asskicker) and Laverne (kind of a letdown) journeys to the Edison's mansion to see what's cooking. Once in the mansion you'll get zapped in a time-travelling plot which leaves each character stranded in a different time period and from that point on it's typical adventure gaming goodness as you switch from each of the 3 characters in standard MM-fashion trying to solve deduction and inventory-based puzzles and teaming-up (and I do mean teaming-up!) for a grand finale against Purple tentacle.
So far we have a typical adventure game, sure there's the wacky B-movie plotline that spoofs ol' sci-fi flicks but aside from it there's nothing super-duper about it. What sets DOTT appart from other games is that the technology finally catched up with the narrative in terms of wackyness. Taking it's cues from classic animated works, the artists of DOTT crafted a bizarre visual world in par with the one the script called for. Thus, all the characters are wildly distorted to cartoony proportions, and the backgrounds and items are drawn in wild perspectives, with lots of jagged lines and distorting stuff which gives it a distinct graphic look similar to the Ren & Stimpy cartoons in their graphical surreality. Heck, even the font used in the SCUMM interface is all twitchy and wacky!!
However the real genius of DOTT is that the cartoony look is not just a graphical gimmick, it's a core aspect of it's design thus it's present in it's storyline, graphics and gameplay, making for a tightly designed package that never lets you down. Because the graphics and story may be as wacky as you can imagine, but if the puzzles are all "use hammer on nail" then we have a problem. Fortunately the puzzles in MM follow equally weird rules and include washing a car to summon rain (loved that one!) for example, thus providing a gameplay experience on par with the story and graphics.
Plus it includes the complete original masterpiece Maniac Mansion in it!!!
Pretty much the only thing I missed was the fact that Bernard was the only returning character from the old MM gang, and while Hoagie is an excellent addition, Laverne was far lower on the "cool-o-meter" for me. And I also would have loved to have some good old cheesy horror spoofs as in the original. DOTT is more of a "just" sci-fi game.
So yeah, I'm bitching. But I would have Killed to be able to play as Bernard, Syd an Razor!! And Hoagie of course!!
The Bottom Line
Incredible game that has to be played to be believed. Another masterpiece by Lucasarts, another milestone in the world of adventure games. Both honors it's tradition and surpasses it. Memo to the powers-that-be: make Day of the tentacle a worldwide holiday!
DOS · by Zovni (10502) · 2001
Where to start? The three-way storyline was a big plus; working in three different time periods opened up all kinds of possibilities for humor and puzzles. The puzzles themselves were definitely challenging and occasionally had VERY abstract solutions, but I was never stumped on any one puzzle for too long. You get stumped, but eventually you figure out the crazy logic and move on--the difficulty level is right on the mark. Voice acting is superb, and I will NOT say that about many games. I can hear Laverne's voice in my head now, years after playing the game. Lots of little jokes throughout the game, and three separate but connected, and COMPLETELY absorbing settings put this one among my favorite games of all time.
It doesn't work very well on newer systems. Ran like a dream on my old 486, and on everything since the sound has been buggy and the animation is choppy. It would be nice to get an updated release that will run on newer versions of Windows for those of us who stupidly sold our old computers.
The Bottom Line
Undescribeable. You have to play it to believe it. One of the few games worth forcing newer PCs to run in DOS mode for.
DOS · by hikari_no_tsubasa (9) · 2002
without a doubt - here´s an example that shows you the sum of all pros that games has got:
Every now and then I meet people who are playing computer games for quite a while. Often I meet people who are also talking about LucasArts golden-age of adventure gaming and - in an average time of 2 milliseconds - about Day of the Tentacle. And from that moment on it´s only about one thing: sharing quotations from that wonderful, crazy, strange, hilarious piece of entertainment.
Did I mention the ScummVM open-source project? Thank god for that bunch of programmers who did that work: ScummVM is a wonderful emulator for all kinds of adventure games so that they can be run (with all that wonderful midi sounds and voices) on today´s operating systems - so there is no excuse anymore for enjoying that game on today´s machines :)
That there isnt any sequel planned...:(
The Bottom Line
Despite the fact that it is over 10 years old now this is one of those very, very rare games that still hold up till today - although it uses just standard VGA resolution at 320x200 pixels the game´s humour, dialogue, story, character-design and of course the game´s design in general are timeless
keeps people laughing from the age of 8 to 99, thanks to ScummVM even nowadays
DOS · by silent_driver (12) · 2005
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.
The CD version of the game features speech and no copy protection.
At one point during DOTT's development, the artists consulted with legendary animator Chuck Jones.
Contains the original Maniac Mansion as an actual computer game (on a computer) inside the game.
The music playing during the intro is the ouverture to the opera Wilhelm Tell by the famous 19th century opera composer Gioachino Rossini.
- 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!
- 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
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
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
- MobyGames ID: 719
- Wikipedia (en)
Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!
Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Tomer Gabel.
Macintosh added by Jason Savage.
Game added January 10th, 2000. Last modified October 17th, 2023.