Maniac Mansion

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Maniac Mansion
Maniac Mansion cover
Developers
LucasArts
Engines
Original SCUMM
Re-release ScummVM
Release dates
DOS March 12, 1988
Mac OS (Classic) October 5, 1987
Windows (ScummVM) December 18, 2017
macOS (OS X) (ScummVM) December 18, 2017
Linux (ScummVM) December 18, 2017
Reception
IGDB 90
Taxonomy
Series Maniac Mansion
Maniac Mansion on HowLongToBeat
Maniac Mansion on IGDB
Maniac Mansion guide on StrategyWiki
Maniac Mansion on MobyGames
Maniac Mansion on Wikipedia
Maniac Mansion
Maniac Mansion 1988
Day of the Tentacle 1993
Maniac Mansion Deluxe (unofficial) 2004
Maniac Mansion Mania (unofficial) 2005
Day of the Tentacle Remastered 2016

Key points

Can be run under ScummVM.
Also playable in Day of the Tentacle and Day of the Tentacle Remastered by using the computer in Ed Edison's room
One of the first graphic adventure games to feature cutscenes, multiple protagonists and multiple endings[1]

General information

The International House of Mojo - In-depth article including developer interviews and game trivia
Hardcore Gaming 101 - Comprehensive feature on the series
GOG.com Community Discussions
GOG.com Support Page
Steam Community Discussions

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Prompts for answers from manual, code wheel, etc.
The game had two different releases: original ("Version 1") and enhanced ("Version 2"); See Version differences.
Manual-based copy protection.
DOS
Mac OS
GOG.com
DRM-free
Pre-packaged with ScummVM. Includes both original and enhanced versions.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Steam
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (notes may include more details)
Pre-packaged with ScummVM. Includes both original and enhanced versions.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux

Version differences[edit]

The original 1988 release ("Version 1") runs in 16 colors and uses the same resolution-reduced sprites as the original Commodore 64 version (with a slightly different color palette).[2]
The enhanced 1989 release ("Version 2") has moderately improved graphics and new character animations. It runs at a native 320x200 resolution with more overall colors.[3]
For the 2004 VGA fan remake, see Maniac Mansion Deluxe.

Easter Egg[edit]

The game was also released as a type of "easter egg", embedded in the sequel Day of the Tentacle. It can be accessed from a computer resembling a Commodore 64 inside the Day of the Tentacle game. Alternatively it can also be accessed directly from DOS by renaming MANIAC.OVL to MANIAC.EXE. This version is however somewhat broken. If you start it on a computer with Tandy graphics or EGA graphics adapter you will get a corrupted screen. But it will work fine with a VGA graphics adapter in EGA mode. This is not an issue normally when accessing the game through Day of the Tentacle, as that game requires a VGA adapter. But it means you cannot experience the 3-channel Tandy sound with this edition.

Essential improvements[edit]

Compatibility on modern systems[edit]

In order to run the game on modern systems, you'll need to use DOSBox or ScummVM.

Higher quality music (DOSBox and ScummVM)[edit]

The music in this game was composed for the Tandy 3-voice, which produced more advanced sound than the default PC speaker (beeper) found in most computers running DOS. To emulate this in DOSBox, set tandy=true under [speaker] in the configuration file. To emulate this in ScummVM, overwrite the global audio settings and set Music Device to IBM PCjr under the audio tab in the individual game options for Maniac Mansion.

Higher quality graphics in V2 "enhanced" version (ScummVM)[edit]

By default, ScummVM defaults to EGA visuals, which max out at 16 onscreen colors (out of a 64-color palette). While this is accurate to how it would be displayed on authentic IBM-compatible hardware, it results in a noticeable "sunburnt" effect on characters' skin-tones. This can be alleviated by changing the Render Mode in the individual game options to Amiga, which supports up to 32 onscreen colors (out of a 4096-color palette), allowing for more natural skin-tones, amongst other enhancements.[4][5]

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\PREFS
Windows
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X)
Linux
It's unknown whether this game follows the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux. Please fill in this information.

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\SAVEGAME.*
Windows
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X)
Linux

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud
ScummVM 2.1+ supports cloud saves on third-party cloud storage services. See the ScummVM user manual for details.

Video[edit]

Input[edit]

Audio[edit]

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Sound can only be toggled.
Surround sound
Subtitles
Game is text-based.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Russian
Fan translation by PRCA/Old-Games.RU download link #1 and #2

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
DOS video modes Hercules, CGA, EGA, MCGA, VGA
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)

System requirements[edit]

DOS
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 1.0
Processor (CPU) Intel 8088
System memory (RAM) 256 KB (original)/384 KB (enhanced)
Hard disk drive (HDD)
Video card (GPU) CGA

References

  1. Maniac Mansion history - Maniac Mansion Fan
  2. Classic Game Postmortem: Maniac Mansion - YouTube
  3. Maniac Mansion versions - Maniac Mansion Fan
  4. What are the best versions of each game? - ScummVM :: Forums - last accessed on 2019-10-10
    "I thought (and still think) that the Amiga version of MM was best.
    It had better music and the skin color was more natural, not that "sunburn" look as in the PC enhanced version.
    "
  5. List of 16-bit computer color palettes - Wikipedia