Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle: Wikis


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Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle
The cover artwork for Day of the Tentacle
The cover art for Day of the Tentacle, depicting the three protagonists being pursued by Purple Tentacle
Developer(s) LucasArts
Publisher(s) LucasArts
Designer(s) Dave Grossman (game developer)
Tim Schafer
Artist(s) Larry Ahern
Peter Chan
Composer(s) Clint Bajakian
Michael Land
Peter McConnell
Engine SCUMM (visual)
iMUSE (audio)
Platform(s) DOS, Mac OS, (Amiga)
Release date(s) June 1993[1]
Genre(s) Graphic adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) ESRB: Everyone
Media Floppy disk (6)
Input methods Keyboard and mouse

Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle is a graphical adventure game, originally released in 1993, and published by LucasArts. It is the eighth game to use the SCUMM engine. It was released simultaneously on floppy disk and CD-ROM. Day of the Tentacle was designed by Dave Grossman and Tim Schafer.

The game, a sequel to Maniac Mansion, is focused on Bernard Bernoulli — the only one of the three playable characters that was featured in the first game — and his friends Laverne and Hoagie, as they help Dr. Fred Edison using a time machine to prevent Purple Tentacle from taking over the world. The game utilizes time travel and the effects of changing history as part of the many puzzles to be solved in the game.



Day of the Tentacle follows the point-and-click two-dimensional adventure game formula, first established by the original Maniac Mansion. Players direct the controllable characters around the game world by clicking with the computer mouse. To interact with the game world, players choose from a set of commands arrayed on the screen and then on an object in the world. This was the last SCUMM game to use the original interface of having the bottom of the screen being taken up by a verb selection and inventory; starting with the next game to use the SCUMM engine, Sam and Max Hit the Road, the engine was modified to scroll through a more concise list of verbs with the right mouse button and having the inventory on a separate screen. This formula carried on to later games in the franchise, such as The Dig, Full Throttle and The Curse of Monkey Island. In Day of the Tentacle, the player can switch between any one of the three playable characters at any time, though two of the characters must first be unlocked by the completion of certain puzzles. The three protagonists can also share inventory items amongst themselves (at least, those items that can be stowed in a toilet), a feature that plays into many of the game's puzzles. Many puzzles are based on time travel and the effects of aging on objects and the changing of the past are used as part of the solution. For example, one puzzle requires the player to send a medical chart of a Tentacle back to the past, having it used as the design of the American flag, then collecting one such flag in the future to be used as a Tentacle disguise.

In Maniac Mansion, the playable characters can be killed by various sequences of events. LucasArts adopted a different philosophy towards its adventure games in 1990, beginning with Loom. Their philosophy was that the game should not punish the player for exploring the game world. Accordingly, in most of the adventure games released by LucasArts after Loom, including Day of the Tentacle, the player character(s) cannot die.

The whole original Maniac Mansion game can be played on a computer inside the Day of the Tentacle game; this practice has since been repeated by other game developers, but at the time of Day of the Tentacle's release, it was unprecedented.[2]


The Purple Tentacle, seen here shortly after his mutation in the opening cinematic, is the main antagonist in Day of the Tentacle.

The game, which takes place five years after Maniac Mansion, opens with Purple Tentacle becoming exposed to toxic waste spewing from Dr. Fred Edison's mansion. The toxic waste isn't the by-product of any experiment, it's a device designed specifically to pump toxic sludge out of the building, as it is all the rage with mad scientists lately. Purple's ingestion of it results in him growing a pair of flipper-like arms, vastly increased intelligence, and acquiring a thirst for global domination. Dr. Fred catches Purple Tentacle, as well as the friendly, non-evil Green Tentacle, and keeps them both in his basement before deciding that he will euthanize them. That evening, Green Tentacle sends a plea of help to his old friend Bernard Bernoulli — a stereotypical nerd and character from the first game — who heads off to the mansion to rescue him, accompanied by his friends, Laverne, a slightly psychotic medical student, and Hoagie, a laid-back heavy metal roadie. Bernard frees Green and Purple, only for Purple to inform him of his plans of world domination and resume his conquering of the Earth. Since he can't figure out a way to stop Purple now that he's begun his mad quest, Dr. Edison attempts to send the three friends back in time to 'yesterday' using his time machine, which consists of a central unit made out of an old car and three personal travel units called "Chron-o-Johns", made from portable toilets. By doing so, they can turn off the sludge machine which produced the toxic waste so that Purple never ingests the waste in the first place, hence pre-emptively stopping him from taking over the world. However, because Dr. Edison has used an imitation diamond as the power source, the machine fails, sending Hoagie 200 years in the past, where he learns that the mansion was the setting for the creation of the United States Constitution, and Laverne 200 years in the future to a Tentacle-controlled world where humans are treated as pets and Purple is revered as a hero, while Bernard remains in the present. Dr. Edison tasks Bernard with finding a real diamond to power the time machine to return his friends to the present so that they can try to travel to yesterday once again, while informing Hoagie and Laverne through the Chron-o-John that they must find power sources for their own units in order to bring them back. Fortunately for all involved (especially Hoagie, who has been sent back to before electricity was available), the three can send small objects back and forth in time through the Chron-o-Johns in order to complete these tasks.

Eventually, Bernard uses Dr. Edison's old family fortune to buy a real diamond, both Laverne and Hoagie manage to power their units, and the three are reunited in the present. Dr. Edison attempts to send them back into the past again, this time successfully. Upon arrival, they find that the Purple Tentacle from 200 years in the future has also used the time machine to bring several versions of himself to the same day to prevent them from turning off the sludge machine. Bernard and his friends successfully defeat all the Purple Tentacles, turn off the machine and restore the course of future events to normal order. The game ends with the credits rolling over a Tentacle-shaped American flag, one of the more significant results of their tampering in history.


Historical interaction

One of the aspects of Day of the Tentacle's plot is that it gives the game player the opportunity to interact with the comedic, cartoony versions of several figures from colonial America, like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and Betsy Ross; whose descendants (or at least characters that resemble them) can be spotted in the other ages. Harold, seemingly a descendant of Washington, appears as a transvestite in a future beauty contest organized by the Tentacles. An apparent descendant of Ben Franklin makes an appearance as a novelty toy salesman and a descendant of John Hancock appears as a depressed inventor named Dwayne.

Some of the more entertaining puzzles of the game involve these characters. In one sequence, Hoagie must give an exploding cigar to Washington in order to replace his famous false teeth with chattering novelty mechanical dentures, while in another he gives a drawing of a tentacle to Ross, who sews it into the American flag. In another scene, in order to coax Washington into chopping down a kumquat tree, Hoagie must paint the fruits red, as Washington insists that he only chops down cherry trees, referring to a legend concerning Washington's youth.


Day of the Tentacle was well received at the time of its release, and still features regularly in lists of 'top' games to this day. Adventure Gamers included the game as #1 on their 20 Greatest Adventure Games of All Time List.[3] IGN rated it number 60 on their 2005 top 100 games list[4] and CVG has it at number 30[5], it is also listed as one of the greatest games of all time on GameSpot.[2]

Adventure Gamers' review rated the game 5 out of 5, stating "If someone were to ask for a few examples of games that exemplify the best of the graphic adventure genre, Day of the Tentacle would certainly be near the top".[6]

The game was reviewed in 1993 in Dragon #199 by Sandy Petersen in the "Eye of the Monitor" column. Petersen gave the game 4 out of 5 stars.[7]


The game was originally intended to resemble Maniac Mansion more closely, with the player allowed to choose from among six characters (who would have included a male poet named Chester, a female hippie named Moonglow described as "a New Age girl with sandals", and Razor from the original game). This idea was dropped in preproduction to simplify the project. The art created for the character of Chester was eventually adapted for the characters of the sculptor twins in the final game.

At the 2009 E3 convention, it was revealed that both a special edition remake of The Secret of Monkey Island along with a new episodic series of games created by Telltale Games, Tales of Monkey Island, would be released in 2009. Telltale Games CEO, Dan Connors, when asked about the possibility of bringing back other LucasArts adventure titles, noted that an episodic game based on Day of the Tentacle would be "feasible", seeing it as part of a trilogy of LucasArts adventure games along with Sam & Max and Monkey Island. However, Connors cautioned that such an endeavor would hinge on the sales of the new Monkey Island titles.[8]


Original music for this game was written by Clint Bajakian, Peter McConnell, and Michael Land, who each respectively wrote most of the music for the Past, Present, and Future sections of the game.[9]

The soundtrack for the opening scene begins with the Ranz des Vaches melody, well-known for its inclusion in Gioachino Rossini's William Tell Overture. Among other familiar tunes included are an arrangement of The Battle Hymn of the Republic for the Edison mansion during Hoagie's gameplay portion (despite the fact the song was written well-after the game's setting) and Yankee Doodle for Ben Franklin's theme.

See also


External links

Strategy wiki

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Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle
Box artwork for Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle.
Developer(s) LucasArts
Publisher(s) LucasArts
Designer(s) Tim Schafer, Dave Grossman
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Adventure
System(s) MS-DOS, Mac OS
Preceded by Maniac Mansion

Generally known as simply Day of the Tentacle (DoTT), this was actually the sequel to one of LucasArts' earliest adventure games, Maniac Mansion.

Table of Contents

Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle/Table of Contents


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