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Proto:Maniac Mansion (NES, USA)

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Maniac Mansion (NES, USA).

The prototype of the American Maniac Mansion is nearly identical to the final, except for some elements that were subsequently removed or altered at Nintendo of America's request.

Download.png Download Maniac Mansion (US, Prototype)
File: Maniac Mansion (U) (Prototype).nes‎ (256 KB) (info)
To do:
  • Investigate the line "Charles Tashiro was here!" It is found near the furnace text.
  • Document the mummy.

Removed Objects

"Disco Sucks" Poster

Nintendo apparently likes disco...

If you read the poster, you get this message:

Disco Sucks!...


Maniac Mansion (NES-USA-proto)-statue.png

The plaque reads:

Original Translation
Si trouve envoyez-le au Louvre, poste paye. If found, send to the Louvre, postage paid.

Title Screen

Prototype Final
Maniac Mansion (NES-USA-proto)-Title screen.png Maniac Mansion-title.png

In the final, the blood was modified a bit so the TM symbol could fit, and the logo changed from brown to red. The logo on the character select screen still has the brown palette, though.

Text Differences

Ed and Edna Cutscene

Maniac Mansion (NES) Prototype-Ed and Edna Cutscene Hasn't Eaten.png

The line "He hasn't eaten in 5 years" was changed in the final to "He hasn't slept in 5 years".

ED: Daddy's been acting very strange

with this secret project...
ED: Well, Mommy, I'm worried!
He hasn't eaten in 5 years...
ED: ...and he carries those bodies
to the basement at night.

ED: Never mind.

On Douglas Crockford's website, Crockford explains that this change was a request from Nintendo:

What was Nintendo's problem with the dialogue? Was it the brutal exposition of parental neglect in the disintegration of an American family? More likely, we thought they had a problem with the dead bodies in the basement...In fact, Nintendo's interpretation of the speech was that Dr. Fred was a cannibal, that he was eating the bodies. That was never our intention, so we changed Ed's speech to "He hasn't slept in 5 years," which helps to explain why Dr. Fred is never seen in his bedroom.

Dr. Fred and Sandy Cutscene

This piece of dialogue is used during a cutscene between Dr. Fred and Sandy:

DR. FRED: Well, my dear. Hope you're having fun!

Within minutes it'll all be over.
You'll be hooked up to my machine

getting your pretty brains sucked out.

Nintendo, according to Crockford, thought "getting your pretty brains sucked out" was too graphic for the younger audience and suggested changing it to "getting your pretty brains removed".


Prototype Final
Damn, broke it! Oops, broke it!

Phone Conversations with Edna

In the final, when you call Edna she assumes she's talking to her dead cousin Ted when in reality she's having a conversation with herself. In the prototype, there is some humorous dialogue where she assumes it's a prank call:

Prototype Final

Who's there?
Is this a prank phone call?
It doesn't sound like it,
there's no heavy breathing
Here let me show you
how to do it.

Is this you again?

If you're not going to do it
right then good bye!


Cousin Ted?
Is that you? I've been
waiting for your call.
I haven't heard from you
since your operation.
Let me tell you what's
been happening.
It was 2 years ago today...

Hello? Cousin Ted?
Blah, blah, blah...

Wait! I think I hear a

There's no inappropriate content to be censored here, but it was removed from the final version by choice because the porting team didn't want to come off as "promoting" prank calls (even though it isn't).

Edna's Lines


The lines that Edna says when she puts you in the prison were changed. They were obviously cut due to depicting intentions of underage bondage. (Not to mention implied rape!) The lines depend on the gender of the character that was caught:


Prototype Final
Lucky you're not a boy
or you'd be in trouble now!
You'll be safe here until
the police come, dearie.


Interestingly, the final is the only one to have two variants if the character is caught; these are shown at random.

Prototype Final
How silly of me!
I should have tied you
to my bed, cutie!
Just you wait until I
talk to your mother!
I have half a good mind
to talk to my husband!

She's still harsher on the boys in the final, but the implied tone is completely different.


This NES is SCUM!

In the prototype's credits, there are two places where "SCUMM" (an acronym for Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion) is referenced. According to Crockford, Nintendo was worried what players might think when they see the word NES with a word that looks like scum, so he took out the mentions of SCUMM.

Prototype Final
SCUMM System by Ron Gilbert
and Aric Wilmunder
Story System by Ron Gilbert
and Aric Wilmunder
Prototype Final
NES SCUMM system ported by
David Stifel
NES version by
David Stifel
(Source: The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion for the NES: The Untold Story)