Maniac Mansion: Wikis

  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Maniac Mansion
The artwork for Maniac Mansion
The cover artwork depicts five of the playable characters.
Developer(s) Lucasfilm Games
Realtime Associates (Nintendo version)
Publisher(s) Lucasfilm Games
Jaleco (Nintendo version)
Designer(s) Ron Gilbert
Gary Winnick
Engine SCUMM
Platform(s) Apple II, Atari ST,
Amiga, Commodore 64,
DOS, NES
Release date(s) October 1987 (Commodore and Apple), March 1988 (PC), 1989 (Amiga, Atari ST, PC rerelease), 1990 (NES)
Genre(s) Graphic adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Media Floppy disk
2-megabit cartridge
Input methods Keyboard, mouse, Joystick
Gamepad

Maniac Mansion is a graphical adventure game originally released in 1987 by Lucasfilm Games (now known as LucasArts). Maniac Mansion has become known among gamers and programmers for its highly-acclaimed gameplay and its introduction of new ideas into gaming, including multiple possible endings, multiple user-selectable characters with significantly different abilities, and critical clues contained in numerous cut scenes. It was the game for which the SCUMM ("Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion") engine was created and named after, which went on to be used by LucasArts for ten more years to create 13 original titles. It is the first game to feature Chuck the Plant (who is found in the library). Some of the characters appear in other LucasArts adventure games, notably the sequel, Day of the Tentacle.

Contents

Plot summary

It has been twenty years, to the day, since a mysterious purple meteor came hurtling out of the sky and made a large crater in the front lawn of a huge Victorian-era mansion belonging to the Edison family. Dr. Fred, his wife Nurse Edna, and their son Edward "Weird Ed" Edison were reclusive people who left the house very rarely, but the meteor's arrival brought about a strange change in Dr. Fred and the family were seen even less, and even their mansion has fallen into disrepair. Lately, patients from the local hospital have begun to disappear without trace.

Now, a local teenage cheerleader, Sandy Pantz, has been kidnapped. Dave Miller, her boyfriend, saw her being carried off to the Edison's mansion and has gathered a few of his college pals on a rescue mission to invade the mansion and save Sandy. The player could select the friends from a group of six, and the game would play somewhat differently depending on which friends were selected. The game was a parody of the horror B-movie genre, featuring a secret lab, disembodied tentacles, and an evil mastermind.

Gameplay

Maniac Mansion was notable for its multiple possible endings, depending on which characters the player used (and which ones survived) and what those characters did. For instance, you can send the adversary off into space, or have him arrested by the Meteor Police, or make him famous by having his autobiography published, or, in some versions, feed him to the mutant plant. Unusual for Lucas games, it is possible to get the player characters killed, and the loss of all characters also ends the game.

The game was somewhat notorious for featuring red herrings, such as a chainsaw for which there was no fuel, despite many wishful rumours to the contrary. In one of the in-jokes that are a hallmark of the LucasArts adventure games, the second SCUMM game, Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, contains some fuel "for chainsaws only", but no chainsaw. Another red herring is the staircase in the library (with a sign reading "staircase out of order") that appears to be a puzzle, but in fact there is no way to fix it or cross it. It was originally planned to have a room there, but it was left out due to a lack of disk space.

Cast

Playable characters

Maniac Mansion has a total of seven possible player characters. The player controls Dave, the main protagonist, and two other characters, chosen from six additional characters, each of whom has their own distinct skills and quirks:

  • Syd, an aspiring New Wave musician. He specializes in musical instruments.
  • Michael F. Stoppe, an amateur photographer, aspiring to be a professional photographer. He works for the college newspaper and is able to develop film.
  • Wendy, an aspiring novelist with writing and editing skills.[1]
  • Bernard Bernoulli, a nerd suffering from cowardice (he runs away from Green Tentacle until another character makes friends with it). He has the most skills of any character in the game, as he can disassemble the radio in the den, fix the HAM radio, the torn wiring in the attic, and fix the telephone in the library. His presence in the game, although optional like the rest of the kids, is significant (and perhaps canonical) because he reappears in Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle as the main playable character.
  • Razor, a female punk rocker. Her talents are identical to Syd's. She was based on Gary Winnick's girlfriend.[2] Her band, Razor and the Scummettes, is referred to in Zak McKracken. She reappears as a member of "The Vultures" biker gang in the 1995 game Full Throttle.
  • Jeff Woodie, a "surfer dude", is the least talented character of the group after Dave, as his only ability is to repair the telephone, which Bernard can also do. However, the game is still completable with Jeff in a player's party.
The character selection screen.

The Edisons

The titular mansion is owned by Dr. Fred Edison and his bizarre family. Most of the Edisons pose a threat and will throw the player into the dungeon (or kill them, in some instances) if they are spotted. The exceptions are Weird Ed, who under certain circumstances can be convinced to side with the player, and the relatively harmless Green Tentacle.

Reception

Maniac Mansion was well received by critics. Computer Gaming World praised the game for being "composed in the best comic horror tradition".[3]

References in other games

Numerous other games have referenced Maniac Mansion. Some of these include:

  • The Meteor reappears on a shelf in the office of Indiana Jones in the 1989 SCUMM game Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure.
  • In another reference, the entire game is contained within its sequel, Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle, on a computer in the bedroom of one of the characters. Also, one of the playable characters (who is stuck in the future) has to put a frozen hamster in a microwave in order to thaw it, after which she breaks the fourth-wall by making a warning about what happens to children who put hamsters in microwaves (a direct reference to the incident stemming from the concept of the practice that was left in the early NES cartridge version of the game as described below). [1]
  • Purple Tentacle appears in a hidden bonus level in the SNES game, Zombies Ate My Neighbors.
  • In the VGA-Enhanced PC version of Maniac Mansion released in 1989, the heroes can read a poster of the Zak McKracken game in the arcade room, upon which they will comment, "Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders. What a great game!! I never did figure out what to do with the can of gas on Mars." (The gas could be used in the original Maniac Mansion game with the chain saw in the kitchen.)
  • Quite a few games have gone on to reference Chuck the Plant, a recurring joke object in LucasArts games. In Bethesda Softworks' The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, for example, players can find a potted shrub named "Charles the Plant" which contains a unique alchemy ingredient called "meteor slime".
  • A Vampyre Story features a set of stained glass windows in the study resembling green and purple tentacles, upon inspection Froderick the bat will comment on how he hates purple tentacles and the green ones are much nicer.
  • The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition features a tentacle statue outside the giant monkey head, replacing one of Sam & Max from the original version.

Versions and ports

Screenshot from the Commodore 64 version

The game was originally released in October 1987 for the Commodore 64 and Apple II. It was the first game to use the SCUMM engine, allowing relatively quick ports to other platforms. The project leader was Ron Gilbert, and the game was designed by Gilbert and Gary Winnick. The game was scripted by Gilbert and David Fox. The following spring, it was ported to the PC using an improved version of the SCUMM engine. In 1989, Maniac Mansion was released for the Atari ST and Amiga with improved graphics, and was also released for the PC with the updated graphics. The original Commodore and Apple versions of the game had a disk-based copy protection, but the other computer ports had a security door that required the player to enter codes to open it (the codes were actually Commodore graphics characters). If the player enters the wrong codes three times, the mansion blows up, ending the game. The codes were left out of the Commodore and Apple versions because of a lack of space (the game completely filled up both sides of a floppy disk).

In 1988, Jaleco released a version of Maniac Mansion in Japan for the Nintendo Famicom, which was substantially different from the computer versions. The game had non-scrolling screens with very simplistic backgrounds and the characters were given an anime look. It was not censored, as Nintendo had no such requirements in Japan. The game did not have a battery-backed save, and instead used huge passwords up to 104 characters long.

There was a sitcom of the same name, very loosely based on the game, which aired from 1990 to 1993 on YTV in Canada and The Family Channel in the United States.

In 2004, fans released a remake called Maniac Mansion Deluxe, which runs under Windows, features enhanced graphics, music throughout the whole game (borrowed from Day of the Tentacle), and fixes some bugs and inconsistencies found in the original release of the game. Furthermore, some changes were implemented, such as a slightly harder puzzle to remove the paint blotch on the fourth floor.

NES version

In 1990, Lucasarts began developing NES games, and their first one for the system was a port of Maniac Mansion. Originally, the programmers contemplated bringing the Famicom version to North America, but then rejected the idea and instead made a completely new game. It used a battery save instead of the passwords in the Famicom Maniac Mansion, and also added a theme song for each character. A customized version of the SCUMM engine was written for the NES Maniac Mansion.

In the early 1990s, Douglas Crockford, the programmer in charge of producing the NES Maniac Mansion, wrote an essay entitled The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion, discussing the challenges of porting the game to the NES and having to contend with Nintendo of America's censorship policies. As NES games were not allowed to have any profanity, religious, political, or sexual content, some material, such as Nurse Edna's dialogue and the Playboy calendar in Dead Cousin Ted's bedroom, had to be cleaned up or removed. Crockford said that this was perfectly understandable, as console games are targeted more towards children than computer games, but he added that some of Nintendo's policies made no sense whatsoever. In particular, he did not understand their policies on violence in NES games (an arcade machine in the game named "Kill Thrill" was changed to "Tuna Diver" because of this). Crockford argued that most Nintendo games contain violence, including the Super Mario games, “and the only motivation [for killing enemies] is that they are there.”, but apparently it was acceptable so long as blood or the word kill were not used. "For Nintendo, the baddest bad word is 'kill'". He also documents how he justified keeping in a nude statue in the Edisons' art gallery by claiming that it was modeled on a real Michelangelo sculpture; NoA acquiesced, on the condition that Lucasarts remove non-existent pubic hair from the statue; because this could not be done, they were ultimately forced to remove the image. Nintendo also insisted on the removal of a poster in Ted's bedroom featuring a fully-clothed mummy in a sensual pose.[4]

On the other hand, the programmers included the ability to microwave the hamster in the NES version, which initially slipped by unnoticed, but was eventually found out. An infuriated Nintendo demanded its removal, but as the first 250,000 copies had already been sold, it was not removed until the game's second run in North America[5], only these early NTSC cartridges of Maniac Mansion allow the hamster to be microwaved, although no PAL cartridges do.

See also

References

  1. ^ Sheri Graner-Ray. Gender Inclusive Game Design: Expanding the Market. p. 24, Charles River Media. September 1, 2003. ISBN 1-58450-239-8.
  2. ^ The Making Of...Maniac Mansion - Edge Online
  3. ^ Ardai, Charles (May 1988), "The Doctor is in: An Appointment with Terror in Activision's Maniac Mansion.", Computer Gaming World: 40–41  
  4. ^ The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion for the Nintendo Entertainment System
  5. ^ The First Quarter: A 25-Year History of Video Games, by Steven L. Kent, page 285

External links


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Maniac Mansion
Box artwork for Maniac Mansion.
Developer(s) Lucasfilm Games
NES
Realtime Associates
Publisher(s) Lucasfilm Games
NES
Jaleco Entertainment
Designer(s) Ron Gilbert, Gary Winnick
Engine SCUMM
Release date(s)
 October, 1987
NES
 September, 1990
Genre(s) Adventure
System(s) Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, NES, Commodore 64, MS-DOS
Mode(s) Single player
Followed by Day of the Tentacle

Maniac Mansion is a graphical adventure game originally released in 1987 by Lucasfilm Games (now known as LucasArts). Maniac Mansion has become known among video game players and programmers for its highly-acclaimed gameplay and its introduction of new ideas into gaming, including multiple possible endings, multiple user-selectable characters with significantly different abilities, and critical clues contained in numerous cut scenes. It was the game for which the SCUMM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion) engine was created and named after, which went on to be used by LucasArts for ten more years to create 13 original titles. It is the first game to feature Chuck the Plant (who is found in the library). Some of the characters appear in other LucasArts adventure games, notably the sequel, Day of the Tentacle.

It has been twenty years, to the day, since a mysterious purple meteor came hurtling out of the sky and made a large crater in the front lawn of a huge Victorian-era mansion belonging to the Edison family. Dr. Fred, his wife Nurse Edna, and their son Edward "Weird Ed" Edison were reclusive people who left the house very rarely, but the meteor's arrival brought about a strange change in Dr. Fred and the family were seen even less, and even their mansion has fallen into disrepair. Lately, patients from the local hospital have begun to disappear without traces.

Now, a local teenage cheerleader, Sandy Pantz, has been kidnapped. Dave Miller, her boyfriend, saw her being carried off to the Edison's mansion and has gathered a few of his college pals on a rescue mission to invade the mansion and save Sandy. The player can select the friends from a group of six, and the game plays somewhat differently depending on which friends are selected. The game is a parody of the horror B-movie genre, featuring a secret lab, disembodied tentacles, and an evil mastermind.

Table of Contents

Getting Started
Walkthrough
Appendices
  • Versions

Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Maniac Mansion

Developer(s) LucasArts
Publisher(s) Jaleco Entertainment (NES), LucasArts (PC), Lucasfilm Games (Amiga, Apple II, Commodore 64)
Engine SCUMM
Release date Amiga, Apple II, Commodore 64, PC: 1987 (NA, EU)

NES:
September 13, 1988 (JP)
1990 (NA)
October 22 1992 (EU)
PC: Maniac Mansion (Enhanced) 1988 (NA)

Genre Adventure
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) N/A
Platform(s) Amiga, Apple II, Commodore 64, NES, PC
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough


Maniac Mansion is an adventure game for multiple platforms, including the Nintendo Entertainment System and the PC. You use a pointer controlled with the D-Pad and the A button to move your character and pick options from a menu at the bottom of the screen. You play as three teenage characters that you can choose out of about ten. You switch control between them during the game. Depending on what characters you pick, you can complete the game differently.

You complete the game by breaking and entering into the house of Dr. Frank Edison, a mad scientist who lives with his strange family. By collecting everything that isn't nailed down into your inventory, and using various verbs to interact with your environment in a point-and-click approximation of the commands used in text adventure games, you open up different parts of the house and collect new items which allow you new possible actions and hopefully get you closer to completing the game. Maniac Mansion was the first of many games to use the SCUMM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion) system, used in such other games as Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders (1988), The Secret of Monkey Island (1990), Sam and Max: Freelance Police, The Dig, and the sequel to Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle (1993).

Maniac Mansion is most famous for a part of the game where you can obtain a hamster item and put it in a microwave, which will make the hamster explode.

Stub
This article is a stub. You can help by adding to it.

Stubs are articles that writers have begun work on, but are not yet complete enough to be considered finished articles.


This article uses material from the "Maniac Mansion" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message