Link: The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion / Maniac Mansion Deluxe

Douglas Crockford managed the NES port of Maniac Mansion. Modifying the original game to Nintendo’s strict family standards at the time (1990) was a challenge in itself:

In the course of converting to Nintendo, we had to redesign all of the art in order to conform to Nintendo’s screen geometry. We also made some changes to adapt the game to a younger audience.

The bad words we removed, meaning that “The meteor is going to be pissed” was changed to “The meteor is going to be mad.” Howie Rubin of Jaleco (the company that was going to publish the game under license) advised us the that the baddest bad word is Kill. The central activity in most Nintendo games is killing things. The image and the act are good, but the word is bad, even if the word does not suggest the image or the act.

The Lucasarts team changed a whole lot of art, including removing a nude statue, to make Maniac Mansion kid tested and mother approved. But you could still microwave the hamster.

Maniac Mansion was very popular in Germany. So popular, in fact, that German fans recreated the game in 2004 for Windows.


Photo by: josesj. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.