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Maniac Mansion (NES, USA)

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Title Screen

Maniac Mansion

Developer: Lucasfilm Games
Publisher: Jaleco
Platform: NES
Released in US: September 1990
Released in EU: October 22, 1992


GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.


ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article
BugsIcon.png This game has a bugs page
PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article

The NES version of Maniac Mansion is a heavily-censored port of the classic PC point-and-click game where you go through a mansion of (mostly) crazy blue people and tentacle creatures to rescue a cheerleader from a sentient meteor. It's actually pretty fun, and had a kickin' soundtrack.

Compared to the Japanese version, the US game has less cartoony graphics and more detailed rooms.

Unused Music

Track #13 in the NSF is an unused song. Where it was intended to be used is a mystery: but since it's so long and repetitive, it's likely a theme for a character or location (rather than, e.g., an alternate tune for Syd or Razor playing the piano). It can be played in ScummVM with the command imuse play 81.

Keypad

Isn't that kinda counterproductive?The password is "5622927446278".

On the second floor, go through the Steel Security Door and point the cursor at the wall to the left of it, just above the floor. You should eventually find a Keypad there. Go to it, and your character will walk over and face the door to Dr. Fred's lab, even though it's four rooms away from this particular Keypad. Under most circumstances, using this keypad will start an irreversible countdown that ends with the mansion exploding (i.e., Game Over).



(Source: Gannio)

However, it is possible to put in a correct combination! When the Keypad is used, 4 bytes from 0x00-0x0B are set starting at RAM address 0x0613F. Inputting these numbers on the keypad (with 0x0A and 0x0B representing * and #, respectively), the door is opened. As there's no prompt, it's impossible for the player to know which numbers to press without a hex viewer. With keypad resetting these numbers on each use, this means a 1/20,736 chance of correctly guessing the combination.

This particular Keypad is a leftover from the DOS version of the game: as an anti-piracy measure in the days of floppy disks, game developers often forced you to enter a code at some point, which was usually present in the manual or other accessories that were packaged with the game. While the original Commodore 64 version of Maniac Mansion used disk-based copy protection (and as such had a regular wooden door in place of the Steel Security Door), the DOS version instead made use of the aformentioned code method and required you use the Keypad and enter a code from a "Nuke'm Alarms" booklet that came with the game to unlock the Steel Security Door, which is always unlocked in the NES version (which really doesn't make it too secure, does it?). Meanwhile, the Japanese Famicom version of the game instead handled this situation by simply reverting it back to a regular door as in the C64 version.

Beyond its redundancy in an NES title, the fact that the Keypad is on the wrong side of the door in the NES version, your character doesn't correctly face it when prompted, and the prototype has an immovable object blocking its use, all suggest it was left in by mistake.

Early Character Select

Early Final
Mmbetatitle.PNG ManiacMansion-NES-FinalCharSelect.png

Enabling the code 00AF:35 during the opening cutscene will cause what appears to be an early version of the character select screen to appear after it's done. The code must be turned off again while the screen is displayed to avoid continuing directly to the final version. It is located in room 53.

Of note is the fact that Dave is not automatically selected and the background palette is a brighter shade of blue. Also, Dave and Wendy are transposed with each other, Bernard's glasses are not colored in, and the title graphic seems to be subtly different in many ways.

Unused Graphics

Amen? Maniac Mansion (NES-USA-proto)-disco.png

Green Tentacle's "Disco Sucks" poster, present in the PC version as well as this one's prototype (right) but cut from the final due to the obvious censorship issue.

Invisible Pennant

RAH RAH RAH!!!

One of the more well-known oddities is the invisible pennant in Weird Ed's room. The pennant was removed due to Nintendo's dislike of the acronym "SCUMM". Although the pennant's graphics are missing, it can still be highlighted and says "SCUMM U. RAH!" when Read. What's especially odd is that the pennant is invisible in the largely uncensored prototype version as well, indicating that it was removed fairly early in development.

Regional Differences

The US version kept in the ability to microwave Ed's hamster to death, but the European version removed this.


(Source: Hardcore Gaming)

Capitalization Oddity

The text displayed during gameplay is in all capital letters; however, for the text inside of the ROM this is not the case. For example, the text "MANIAC MANSION" in the game is stored as "Maniac Mansion". It is important to note that the capitalization in the ROM is exactly the same as the DOS version.