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Maniac Mansion Uncensored

Hack of Maniac Mansion


The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion for the Nintendo Entertainment System lists several changes that were made prior to the game’s final release.

The prototype version of Maniac Mansion includes many things which were later removed but a few censored details are still missing. This hack restores those details and improves many of the graphics as well.

The following changes are included:

  • Change the arcade game name to the name suggested
  • Improve the look of the text scrawled in the shower
  • Restore the pennant graphics in Weird Ed’s room
  • Restore several lines of censored text
  • Improve the various portraits in the game
  • Fix glitched room under the house
  • Many other improved graphics

The visual changes in this hack were very tedious and time consuming due to the compression used for both the graphics and room layouts.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Maniac Mansion (USA) (Prototype)
  • Database: No-Intro: Nintendo Entertainment System (v. 20180803-121122)
  • File SHA-1: EA68E251BAD98CC492E5B88B27F19CFA0D981B3E
  • File CRC32: BBA3EF7E
  • ROM SHA-1: 2E18EBB1E0DAE649818A1D42B38F99FB3A0824E8
  • ROM CRC32: DE0C29A9




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User Review Information

Misses the point of an "uncensored" NES Maniac Mansion.

Reviewed By: Mr. Pennington on 06 Dec 2020

Even censored, I think the NES port of Maniac Mansion easily remains the best version. I’ve been hoping a hack would one day pop up which gives us the experience Douglas Crockford and the NES conversion team originally intended. Since this hack’s description directly invokes Crockford’s blog, I presume that was the goal, and I feel it almost entirely misses the point.

Crockford’s blog states up front that the game’s dialogue was VOLUNTARILY toned down with the INTENT of making it accessible to a younger audience. In no alternate universe would we have seen a NES Maniac Mansion in which the Meteor “is going to be pissed” or Bernard’s a “smart ass.” Whether or not one finds that language offensive is irrelevant; if we’re going for a ‘Director’s Cut’ of sorts, that simply was not the intended dialogue for this particular iteration of the game. (Even the C64 original calls Bernard a “tuna head,” which I’d consider an iconic line.) The blog makes what I find to be a pretty clear distinction between lines they expected would change and lines which were begrudgingly altered. The hack treats it as though we were meant to get the C64 version on NES.

One can reasonably assume Crockford was being facetious when he said he thought changing “Kill Thrill” to “Muff Diver” was a “pretty good idea,” because the latter is clearly a more explicit title. He follows that remark with a rail against Nintendo’s blatant double standards in deeming “kill” a dirty word when the objective of Nintendo’s own, most popular games was to kill things. The title should be “Kill Thrill.” On that note: how, how, HOW did this hack not think to replace Edna’s line about implied sexual assault of a minor – which the blog states that they FULLY EXPECTED to get nailed on – to Crockford’s jab at Nintendo’s double standards: “You deserve to die, but I believe it is wrong to take any life.” ..? Missing that one, to me, is like making a hack of Tengen Tetris which adds “Licensed by Nintendo” to the title screen.

That’s a good segue into: The graphic changes. It’s a shame that they were, according to the description, tedious and time consuming, because they were almost 100% unnecessary. Precisely ONE graphical addition was necessary for an as-intended experience, and that’s the SCUMM U pennant in Ed’s room. As far as I know, we have no indication that the other graphical “improvements” were intended, nor do they objectively improve anything. The one that most awkwardly stood out to me was the text, “Gzip 2020″ inscribed near the water valve beneath the house. Cutting Room Floor doesn’t have anything on that one.

Finally, I’m not sure why all of this effort went into correcting the PROTOTYPE instead of simply uncensoring the final build. The prototype contains several glitches which I BELIEVE were corrected in the final ROM, although I very well might be mistaken on that one. I think the question stands regardless: Why not put all that effort into correcting the final product once and for all?

So, alas, the NES conversion team’s original vision has yet to be realized. Should whoever one day undertakes that project happen to read this, there’s been an excellent song sitting unused in the NSF all these years, the ending theme is just a reprise of the opening theme, and no one’s yet put two and two together for an optional “good ending” song patch.

Version 1.0 Recommended - No

User Reviews
Misses the point of an "uncensored" NES Maniac Mansion.Mr. Pennington06 Dec 20201.0No
Does what it says.ZeroJanitor28 Nov 20201.0Yes