Maniac Mansion (NES, USA)
This game has a prototype article
This game has a prerelease article
This game has a bugs page
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 Famicom version, the NES version has less cartoony graphics and more detailed rooms.
Green Tentacle's "Disco Sucks!" poster, present in the C64 and DOS versions as well as this one's prototype (right) but cut from the final due to the obvious censorship issue.
Track #13 in the NSF is an unused song. According to musician George 'The Fat Man' Sanger, it was intended to be used as Dr Fred's theme. It can be played in ScummVM with the command imuse play 81.
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).
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 aforementioned 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
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.
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.
In the C64 and DOS versions, the characters Razor and Syd were able to put Ed's hamster in the microwave, leading to it exploding. If the exploded hamster was then shown to Ed, he would freak out and kill the one that showed him the hamster. This feature was surprisingly kept in the North American version of the game, but once Nintendo noticed the graphic depiction of hamster murder, it was removed from the European version. Most characters still respond with "How sick!" when attempting to use the hamster with the microwave, but Razor and Syd were actually given their own unique message as shown above: "No way, man, those things are just loaded with cholesterol!" The implication seems to be that Razor or Syd still have no moral reason for not cooking the hamster, and are merely concerned for their health. (It also seems to imply they would eat the hamster if it had less cholesterol.)
Some players (indeed even on this page's discussion tab) have also claimed to see this text in their North American version of the game, but thus far there has been no physical proof of a North American revision containing this change.
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.
A hidden message can be found in the arcade room by following a series of steps. First, open the coin box of the Tuna Diver arcade game using the small key from Edna’s room (make sure the Meteor Mess arcade's coin box is closed). Then, select the USE command and point to a spot just to the left of the doorknob. If done right, a message from Ron Baldwin will appear. It reads:
Ron Baldwin has done a killer job in adapting this game for use on the NES. So, please tell all of your friends to run out and buy it!
The Maniac Mansion series
|Maniac Mansion • Day of the Tentacle (Demo)
|Maniac Mansion (Japan) • Maniac Mansion (USA) (Prototype)
|Mac OS Classic
|Day of the Tentacle
|Day of the Tentacle Remastered