Prerelease:Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle
This page details prerelease information and/or media for Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle.
There's quite a wealth of media available regarding early versions of Day of the Tentacle. This page attempts to document all the differences present between pre-release material and the finished game, such as early trailers, screenshots, concept and even the Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle Design Document.
- 1 Sub-Pages
- 2 Story Differences
- 3 Puzzle Differences
- 4 Cutscene Differences
- 5 Animation Differences
- 6 Other Differences
- 7 References
| Item Differences|
Lots of items that didn't make it to the finished game, and some items that changed a bit during development.
| Character Differences|
Some characters changed over time, and some didn't make the final cut at all, including three(!) player characters.
| Room Differences|
All sorts of differences between rooms visible in pre-release material, including a few that were removed completely.
A few story differences are mentioned in the original design document.
General Story Differences
- There are mentions of cows singing and a large squirrel smoking a cigarette during the introductory cutscene.
- Green and Purple Tentacle were going to be held together in a single jail cell, instead of simply tied by rope.
- Dr. Fred was going to initially suggest going back in time to prevent the character's parents from meeting in order to stop them freeing the tentacles, before yielding to the simpler solution of travelling back to yesterday to stop the toxic mutagen from entering the river.
- The Novelty Salesman's Convention was to be actively occuring, rather than something that had happened the night before. There would have been numerous characters walking around with joy buzzers and whoopee cushions.
- There was going to be a looming threat of Laverne being sent to an obedience school.
- The game was possibly going to be finished by adding even more toxic waste to the river, in order to kill the tentacles.
Laverne Doesn't Get Stuck In The Tree
Laverne was going to immediately get captured by Tentacles, rather than getting trapped in the tree first. There are still some remnants of this version of the story in the finished game.
This version of the story is described in the design document: "Another Chron-O-John™ arrives high in a tree in a bleak future about two hundred years hence, which we quickly realize is controlled by tentacles as they capture and imprison this last kid" ... "The kid is immediately caged and is to be put into obedience school" ... "The kid must also get the Chron-O-John™ down from the tree it's stuck in"
There is also some developer commentary in Day of the Tentacle Remastered which mentions that all three characters being playable at the same time was too overwhelming for players: "Yeah, you could play all the characters from the very beginning and we had our first pizza orgy where we tested the game out and people were like 'ugh, there's so many options' and they were overwhelmed so now we unlocked it so you have to play as Bernard for a little while and then you do something that makes so you can play Hoagie and then Laverne's the last."
According to the original design document, some of the puzzles were going to have different solutions.
- There were potential plans for a "competency test" to make the game a bit more difficult, after getting hired as an assistant by Red Edison.
- The Battery Plans were originally going to put on Red Edison's bulletin board, rather than simply handed to him as in the finished game. Putting the Plans on the Bulletin Board in the finished game still automatically makes the player hand them to Red Edison.
- The Can Opener was meant to be found in the Kitchen (presumably in the Past). In the finished game, Hoagie starts with this item already in his inventory.
- The Contract was going to require a Tupperware Container to safely transport it through time.
- The player was to trap the Chattering Teeth using Dead Cousin Ted's Bird Bath, rather than the conveniently placed Grating in the final game. There was also a plan that the player might be required to put something sticky in the Bird Bath.
- The Disappearing Ink was going to be given to you by a man in a trenchcoat at the Novelty Convention reception, rather than just found on a table as in the finished game.
- The Squeaky Mouse Toy was to be procured from the Novelty Convention in the Present, rather than taken from the Cat in the Past.
- One of Laverne's goals was going to be getting the Chron-O-John™ down from the tree, which would have been solved in exactly the same way unlocking Laverne is in the finished game.
- The "hair" in the Human Show was going to be Silly String rather than Spaghetti. It would have been styled with Tentacle Styling Gel and a comb, rather than a Fork.
- The teeth in the Human Show were going to be Wax Lips from somewhere in the Present, rather than the horse's Dentures from the Past as in the finished game.
- The laugh in the Human show was going to be provided by a Bag-O-Laughter from a Novelty Good Salesman in the Present rather than the Box O' Laughs taken from Oozo. The tentacle judges were going to slap him on the back, triggering the laughter, rather than it luckily happening at the right moment as in the finished game.
- The Tentacle Judges were going to give out blue (first place) ribbons and red (second place) ribbons during the Human Show, rather than just declaring a winner of each category vocally.
- The player was to use keys to unlock the cell door after getting rid of the guard. In the finished game, there is no cell, and the player can simply press the Switch on the wall to disable the Forcefield.
"I don't think you should drink that..."
A screenshot found on the back of the game box shows some differences to toxic river seen during the opening cutscene. The animated water hadn't yet been added to the scene, showing the original illustration beneath instead. This version of the river can still be seen in the files for the demo of the game. The spew coming from the pipes is unique to this screenshot, being significantly less foamy and using a simplified palette to match the animated river in the finished version. The silhouette seen to the bottom left recieved an update too. Originally the tree branch in the foreground at the bottom left was larger, but this was changed at some point before the demo was made; it was probably cut back to avoid having it protrude upward past the interface during gameplay.
Untying The Tentacles In The Lab
There are some rather interesting differences to note in a screenshot found in the July 1993 issue of Video Games and Computer Entertainment magazine, of the moment Dr. Fred announces he has a Time Machine. The most obvious difference is the presence of Hoagie and Laverne to the left of the scene, staring on blankly. The other big difference is that it's actually daytime outside, and the lighting in the lab near the window has been adjusted to match. The finished game takes place entirely at night, in the Present. There's also some missing detail in the shadowed area to the very far left of the image.
The presence of Hoagie and Laverne possibly indicates it's from a version of the game which lacked the brief gameplay segment which separates the three kids from each other, as mentioned in the developer commentary of Day of the Tentacle Remastered. Dave Grossman: "So the original, original cutscene was like 7 minutes before we cut it?" "Tim Schafer: "Before we added that brief, brief, tiny introduction?"
Debut Of The Chron-O-John
According to a screenshot found in the July 1993 issue of Video Games and Computer Entertainment magazine and on the back of the game box Laverne once had some fancy lines coming off her Chron-O-John to indicate motion, during the sequence in which she falls through the Vortex.
This was possibly changed because the lines would have looked strange if they were static in the scene, and full screen animation was considered difficult to do at the time, as mentioned by Larry Ahern in the developer commentary of Day of the Tentacle Remastered. "Nobody had full screen animation in this days. And I think, what was the deal? It was like 20% of the pixels on the screen could move at once, no more than that."
Thomas Jefferson's jacket was seemingly once a brighter red colour, according to a screenshot found on the back of the game box. Minor shading diffences (such as George Washington's left arm) can also be seen.
"Hey, Look, A Skunk."
A screenshot found on the back of the game box, as well as in the July 1993 issue of Video Games and Computer Entertainment magazine reveals that the close-up when the three Future Edisons scream got touched up a fair bit at some point in development.
The whole scene has been shaded in and some shapes have been refined, Zedna's miscolored iris has been fixed, and the background gradient is more complex. Additionally, the characters are all looking to the right (where the Skunk would be), rather than directly downwards. Also, in the early version, Zed and Ved's prison outfits had light-blue stripes on white, while Zedna's had gray stripes on white; in the published version Zed and Ved's jumpsuits were changed to match Zedna's.
The Bird seen in the opening cutscene in Consumer Electronics Show (1993) footage shows a unique animation where it stops and grins at the camera, before continuing onwards to the right to choke and die. This animation is actually still present in the files of the finished game.
Some images of Purple Tentacle found at the top of a rough animation chart from The International House of Mojo and in Lucasarts Adventurer Magazine Issue 6, show him doing some poses which at first look familiar, but upon closer inspection have notable differences from the ones found in the final game. It's possible these were just edited at the time the image was created, sometime after the completion of the game, but they're interesting nonetheless.
This pose shows Purple Tentacle hitting his gun in his younger years, rather than as his 200 year older self.
Thise pose shows Purple Tentacle just before he grows arms, except in this alternate version he already has arms. His tongue is positioned differently too.
This pose also shows Purple Tentacle just before he grows arms, except in this alternate version he also already has arms.
This pose shows Purple Tentacle just before he announces he's going to "TAKE ON THE WORLD!!!". One of his arms is positioned differently and he has a different mouth position.
A completely unused pose of Purple Tentacle firing his gun into the sky.
Some images of Bernard found in an image posted at some point after the release of the game on The International House of Mojo show an unused pose of Bernard reading the letter and reacting fearfully. It's possible this was just edited at the time the image was created, sometime after the completion of the game, but it's interesting nonetheless. The animation of Bernard looking scared does actually appear in the files of the finished game, perhaps this is what it was intended for.
Facts about development that don't really fit anywhere else, mostly from the original design document.
- The game wasn't going to have copy protection.
- The dialogue quoted in the design document is all a little different from the dialogue present in the finished game.
- The Chron-O-John is referred to as the Chron-O-John™ throughout the design document. In the finished game, only the Sludge-O-Matic™ is referred to with a ™ symbol.
- Ben Franklin was going to say "OK" instead of "Now!"
- The Founding Fathers are said to be writing the Constitution in the Inn having lost the hall in Pennsylvania to a monster carriage rally. This isn't mentioned in the finished game.
- George Washington's teeth were originally planned to be taken away by a rat, rather than simply bouncing offscreen.
- The Motel is specifically stated to be a different building from the Mansion in the original game, being a run-down inn (the last remaining property of the once great Edison family estate). In the finished game, Bernard specifically states that he must go "Back to the mansion" and Dr. Fred says "We've had to rent out our mansion as a hotel just to make ends meet.", implying it's a different rendition of the same place.
- The effects the Time Machine uses are described a little differently. Smoke is mentioned.
- There was going to be more than one set of Chattering Teeth in the Vat Of Teeth, but you'd still only be able to get one in your inventory.
- Club Tentacle is referred to as Sardine's Wax and Slime Palace.
- A version of the game shown in a trailer reveals a potentially earlier version of the first Lobby cutscene, where Hoagie walks away silently without saying his usual dialogue "And I've got a show to set up later tonight. If I'm late, I don't get to test the drums." Bernard is also missing his "This is all too easy!" dialogue.
Apparently, the game was going to have an easy mode. The "Technical Issues" section of the design document mentions it in passing "Easy mode will make a triumphant re-appearance."
Despite only having one brief mention, there seems to actually be a very small leftover of this in the finished game.
- Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle Design Document - wilmunder.com, Feb. 24th, 1992
- Day of the Tentacle Remastered - doublefine.com, Mar, 22nd, 2016
- Day of the Tentacle (Cover Art) - mixnmojo.com, Jun. 1993
- Day of the Tentacle (1993) Box Cover Art - mobygames.com, Jun. 1993
- Video Games and Computer Entertainment, July 1993 archive.org, Jul. 1993
- Consumer Electronics Show 1993 - archive.org, 1993
- Day of the Tentacle (Concept Art) - mixnmojo.com, Date Unknown
- The Adventurer, Issue No. 6 (Spring 1993) - blogspot.com, Spring 1993
- Day of the Tentacle Trailer - imdb.com, Date Unknown