If you've played Maniac Mansion for both the Commodore 64 and Nintendo Entertainment System, you might have noticed that there are some notable differences between the two versions of the game.
In the Nintendo Entertainment System conversion, for instance, (which was released a few years after the 1987 original) Lucasfilm Games removed a ton of explicit and sexually suggestive dialogue from the game, as well as situations and graphics deemed too violent or gratuitous for Nintendo players. This included, among other things, a cheeky shower joke, "For a good time EDNA 3444"; the presence of a skeleton in the dungeon; and various depictions of nudity including the gym posters and the naked statue in the hall.
Well, now it seems that an industrious hacker named gzip has finally gone to the lengths to revert these controversial changes, allowing Maniac Mansion fans to play a version of the NES game that is more faithful to the C64 original (thanks MixnMojo).
This hack builds on another one of gzip's patches that expands the game's ROM and decodes its data, allowing people to more easily edit the graphics and levels within Maniac Mansion (NES). Using this, they themselves created a new "uncensored" version of the NES game that goes beyond their previous attempt from 2020 (which only altered the NES game's prototype).
It even goes to the effort of introducing a few bug fixes and incorporates HonkeyKong's recent Maniac Mansion Mouse Hack.
Here's a list of the restored content taken from romhacking.net:
- The skeleton is added to the dungeon and the dungeon layout is updated to match the original (never before seen in the NES version)
- The Kill Thrill arcade game is restored (never before seen in the NES version), with optional patch for Douglas Crockford’s Muff Diver
- The pennant is added in Weird Ed’s room (only seen in a previous hack)
- The surplus body parts are now in Cousin Ted’s room (never before seen in the NES version)
- The poster and calendar are back in Cousin Ted’s room, with optional calendar graphics and text patches
- The Disco Sucks poster is restored in Green Tentacle’s room
- The shower text, for a good time, is restored
- The statue in the hallway is restored
- Green Tentacle kills the player after hearing the tentacle mating call recording
- Edna: Dungeon dialog (should have tied you to my bed etc.)
- Edna: Phone dialog (heavy breathing etc.)
- Ed dialog: He hasn’t eaten in 5 years
- Dr. Fred dialog: getting your pretty brains sucked out.
- Dr. Fred dialog: The meteor is going to be pissed!
- Dr. Fred dialog: You’re going to piss off the meteor.
- Dr. Fred dialog: Don’t be a smart ass!
- Green Tentacle dialog: think I’ll kill myself!
- Purple Tentacle dialog: Kill him.
- Meteor dialog: Dr. Fred, release the women, all the women.
- Meteor dialog: Prepare to die!
- Player dialog: Damn! broke it! (for Ed’s piggy bank)
- Calendar text in Ted’s room
- Brain diagram’s Chewy carmel center
- SCUMM System and NES SCUMM version in credits
If you're curious about how these changes originally occurred, the process of converting the game was documented in detail in Douglas Crockford's popular 1993 post The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion (later republished in 2017 on Crockford's blog). Here the former Lucasfilm Games' employee goes into more detail about working with Nintendo on this version of the game, and the subtle pressure that the platform holder applied to get Lucasfilm Games to alter certain aspects after submitting a build.
You can download the new patch here. There you'll also find some instructions for patching the game.