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Maniac Mansion

Maniac Mansion is a graphical adventure game originally released in 1987, published by Activision and LucasArts. Maniac Mansion is highly acclaimed by many video game players and programmers as one of the most innovative and well-made video games ever, pulling together several then-novel design techniques together into a single game with a well-written plot and excellent gameplay. It was one of the first video games to feature multiple possible endings, multiple user-selectable characters with significantly different abilities, and critical clues contained in numerous cut scenes,

Plot Overview At the start of the game, the hero - Dave - finds that his girlfriend, Sandy, has been abducted by Dr. Fred, and sets out to save her, with two of his friends. The player could select the friends from a group of six, and the game would play somewhat differently depending on which friends were selected. The game was clearly a parody of the horror B-movie genre, featuring a secret lab, leftover tentacles, and an evil mastermind.

Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers. Skip the next paragraph if you'd rather be surprised by certain minor gameplay elements.

The game was somewhat notorious for featuring a chainsaw for which there was no fuel, despite many wishful rumours to the contrary. In one of the in-jokes that are a hallmark of the LucasArts adventure games, the second SCUMM game, Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, contains some fuel, but no chainsaw. In another reference, the entire game is contained within its sequel, Day of the Tentacle, on a computer in the bedroom of one of the characters.

Technical details The game was originally released for the Commodore 64. It was the first game to use the SCUMM engine, allowing relatively quick ports to other platforms.

Maniac Mansion was ported to the PC with EGA graphics in 1988. The project leader was Ron Gilbert, and the game was designed by Gilbert and Gary Winnick. Versions for the Apple II, Amiga, and Atari ST computers were also released.

In 1990, Maniac Mansion was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System, although the game was somewhat censored (i.e. "brains sucked out" changed to "brains removed", graphic of nude sculpture removed, etc.).

The game also spawned a TV series of the same name, featuring several of its characters - notably the Edison family, descendants of that Edison, headed by the mad scientist extraordinaire, Dr. Fred Edison.



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