Try not to dwell on the fact that your projected life expectancy is now exceeded by the amount of developer interviews that are streaming on YouTube -- it might cut into the time you could be spending with Aric Wilmunder. Four hours worth, to be exact.

In his mellifluous, vaguely Nicolas Cage like voice, Aric mentions possessing “three grocery bags of design documents” (you may recall his regrettably halted efforts at scanning them for his long-404’d web site) that are currently on loan to Lucasfilm itself for some vague anniversary doings. Hopefully they’re ever seen again. It would be difficult to catalog all his other great stories, ranging from misadventures in SCUMM maintenance, the hiring of Aaron Giles, and the development of Indiana Jones and the Iron Phoenix, so you just as soon tear up those tickets you had for a repertory screening of Abel Gance’s Napoleon and get a-watchin’.

I believe there are fewer specks of dust in Thimbleweed Park than installments in this series. And who’s complaining? The author of DREAMM steps forward for a second turn at the merry-go-round, and not all sequels are diminishing returns. The considerable advancements of DREAMM since the last chat are discussed, and some time is even spent playing the games it supports.

No one cares that you’re still digesting the last one -- it’s time to spend an hour with Denny Delk, voice actor extraordinaire best known in these parts as Murray from Monkey Island, Purple Tentacle from Day of the Tentacle, and about a billion others. This guy has helped or hindered Guybrush, Ben, Indy, Bernard, the Freelance Police, and the Rebel Alliance to an extent few other resumes can claim.

This time, Daniel Albu is joined by his collaborator Paul Morgan Stetler, and their interview opens with a helpful bit of background about how this “Conversation with Curtis” series came about in the first place. In the process, the unfortunate implication is made that Paul was exposed to The Secret of Monkey Island through the Special Edition, but power through the pity and enjoy their exploration of the career of Denny Delk.

Don't be a tuna head. There's even more Maniac Mansion NES romhacking news.

A ROM hacker known as gzip managed to decompress Maniac Mansion for the NES and expand the ROM. This allows the graphics and room layouts to be easier to edit.

Using this decoded ROM, gzip made an uncensored NES version of Maniac Mansion that is closer to the Commodore 64 version than ever before. Even the infamous uncensored beta ROM doesn't go as far as this one does. It even changes the dungeon layout to match that seen in the C64 version, skeleton and all.

It also fixes some bugs, namely the glitched graphics under the house and on the coin box in the arcade room, and the tape text that was assigned to the current kid rather than to Green Tentacle.

There are also a few patches included if you want to mix-and-match things. One changes the graphics on Ted's calendar to be closer to the original, a second uncensors the text on said calendar, the third changes the pennant to read "L.F.L.U. Rah!", and the fourth brings life to Douglas Crockford's Muff Diver arcade joke.

Oh, and HonkeyKong's mouse hack is also included, making this the ultimate version of Maniac Mansion for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

You're only a month and change away from a new Indiana Jones movie, but if a video game is more your speed, you're going to want to find a comfortable chair. Though announced at the start of 2021, word on the upcoming Indy console title by MachineGames/Bethesda/Microsoft/Exxon has been almost entirely absent, which doesn't bode well for any hopes that it is particularly far along, even now.

But you can always hope that the Xbox Games Showcase, scheduled for June 11th, will offer some new info. With Dial of Destiny in theaters later that month and Indy promotional dollars being at peak expenditure, it would be a tactical time to refresh the public's awareness of the project, though even if that comes to pass it would be wise not to anticipate an imminent release date. Ah, for the days when Ronzo, David Fox and Noah Falstein could turn around an Indy game in seven months.

Daniel Albu continues to expand his labyrinthine warehouse of LucasArts developer interviews with Noah Falstein. The preposterously prolific game designer more than justifies the two-hour chat, and naturally where his LucasArts tenure is concerned he is pumped for insights on the Indiana Jones graphic adventures as well as The Dig.

This has been a long time coming. Little girl me would have gone crazy for this in 1992.

A hacker named Ryan Souders, aka HonkeyKong, has released a patch for Maniac Mansion for the Nintendo Entertainment System that allows it to have real mouse support through the SNES Mouse via a Super Nintendo Entertainment System to Nintendo Entertainment System controller adapter.

The project's Romhacking page mentions this patch is for the North American NTSC release of Maniac Mansion. So, hamsters in the microwaves are in, but classical statues are out. The project's forum thread states this patch also works with the prototype version.

No word on whether the hamster cruelty-free European PAL version or the censorship-free prototype version is, or will be, supported, but I'll keep you posted (or most likely Jason will since I'm as common as the Nintendo PlayStation around here nowadays).

Oh, FYI, HonkeyKong made a Shadowgate mouse hack too.

How does four hours with Bill sound to you, other than that it’s about fifteen fewer than you’d like? Daniel Albu is here with his latest developer interview, and with it the remainder of your day is sorted out. And yes, A Vampyre Story 2 gets a status report.

We have the uncomfortable duty to remind you that Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, which was inevitably invited to the Limited Run dance, is available for pre-order through Sunday and no longer. Owning Zak McKracken boxed has until now been the exclusive privilege of billionaires. Thanks to Limited Run, you now merely have to be fabulously wealthy:

Embrace your inner German and pre-order now.

Back in the day, LucasArts included a trade-in form inside the box of The Secret of Monkey Island that allowed you to mail in your purchased version of the game (plus a nominal fee) to exchange it for another. So for example, if you had the VGA version on 3.5” diskettes but decided what your heart really desired was the EGA version on 5.25” diskettes, you could fill out the card and send it off along with a check and your diskettes. Within two business weeks, you’d find yourself with the replacement disks and, presumably, happiness ever after.

In June 2002, our own telarium wrote up a personal odyssey of redeeming that Monkey Island coupon a decade after the fact, to test the extent of the company's honor. When we undertook a mission to restore all our old features, we were never able to find the two photographs that telarium included in this particular one, which is kind of lethal given the premise of it.

In the end, the retired staffer said “eff it” and reproduced the photos, and now the classic feature rides again without compromise. While we were at it, we submitted a copy to the Library of Congress for reasons of redundancy. Weirdly, they only accepted it on the condition that we send them a $10 money order.

Because he likes breaking my heart, Steve Purcell’s official Sam & Max presence these days remains…a Facebook page. Though he often uses it to re-run vintage Sam & Max art, he’ll occasionally slip in a new piece.

Trouble is, you pretty much have to be as diligent as to notice such things in a timely manner, and who could be expected to be their equal? So if you keep up with them (as you should), you already know that Purcell rang in the new year with this gem:

Hey, why not? With the as-of-yet-undated release of The Devil’s Playhouse Remastered due out sometime this year, it will indeed be a noteworthy year for Max. It’s also the 30th anniversary of Sam & Max Hit the Road, so maybe someone out there should get cracking on the retrospective? We did ours 15 years in, so now it’s your turn. We’ll even host it for you.

Update: It's been brought to my attention that the Twitter account does a reliable job of posting any new art that Purcell puts out, so you may want to be keeping tabs on that as well.

The world has been awaiting a worthy follow-up to telarium’s twenty-two year old interview with Gary Winnick, the first artist hired by Lucasfilm Games as well as Ron’s creative accomplice on Maniac Mansion and Thimbleweed Park, and pundits are finally ready to say that a contender has emerged.

A highlight comes at 43:30 when Gary holds up his original character designs for Maniac Mansion. I’m sure if they had been left for Lucasfilm to vault they’d be landfill by now. Protect that binder, Gary.

At the close of the interview, Daniel Albu teases that his next interview will be with Bill Tiller. May the roster of LucasArts veterans at his disposal never tap out.

Twenty-four hours remain for you to decide whether you want to have electricity this month or own any/all of these from your rapacious friends at Limited Run Games:

Meanwhile, folks on the forums are reminiscing that it was a year ago today that Ron announced a new Monkey Island game as a vicious April Fools joke. Still can’t believe some of you fell for that. There’s a sucker born every minute, I suppose.

The latest DREAMM build from Aaron Giles is meant to be the final beta before the release of DREAMM 2.0 and the start of world peace. Download away and replay your favorite LucasArts classics all over again for the good of mankind.

Aaron’s apparently made of sterner-than-average stuff, as he hasn’t yet been scared away from the Mojo Forums (we’ll get there), so share your findings with the mad scientist himself in the DREAMM thread if Bernard starts talking like Dr. Fred or The Dig starts acting like a good game or something. And remember, DREAMM is beginning to expand to support a broader LucasArts catalog, so you can give titles like Afterlife, X-Wing, and Dark Forces a whirl on it these days. Don’t bother getting your beloved copy of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis: The Action Game out of hock just yet, though.

Comments: 1 / Source: DREAMM

It was only a matter of time.

LRG has announced its next money sucker: Zak McKracken. What will $75 get you? Seemingly quite a bit:

Physical Copy of Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders for PC
Original Soundtrack
Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders Collector's Edition Box
Zap'em II Exit Visa Security System Handbook
The National Inquisitor Newspaper
Novelty Nose Glasses
18" x 24" Poster
USB Stick - includes game
Logo Patch
Hint Book

Get ready to mortgage your house, sell a kidney, and/or get a second job, as sales start this Friday, March 10th. You got 'til April 23rd to cough up the dough. More information here.


The book tie-in to Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings has been on quite the journey. LucasArts commissioned established Indy novelist Rob MacGregor to write the literary adaptation, which was, naturally, supposed to come out alongside the game.

Somewhere along the way of the game slipping its schedule, getting quasi-cancelled, and finally being published in the form(s) that it was in 2009, the completed companion book fell between the cracks, while legal constraints prevented the author from releasing the work himself in the absence of interest from Lucasfilm and a publisher. There was some plain old weirdness surrounding the whole thing.

The book was quasi-liberated a year or so ago when MacGregor gave a chapter-by-chapter reading in podcast form. Now, finally, the thing can be read in its intended medium. The details come courtesy of “ThrowMeTheWhip” on forums:

You mean to tell me your copy of Staff of Kings isn’t as beat up as mine? Maybe that’s because this is the first time in 15 years that everyone is able to read this long-lost book! Now available in ePub! (Link Below)

This book was forgotten by the publisher and left to languish for over a decade, until last year when @robmacgregor16 read the book as part of his podcast. Now I’m proud to present it in its original book form for the first time ever, featuring an all new Afterword by the author himself, and brand new back cover artwork by the talented @cg_illus!

The book has been formatted by me to match the classic 90s Indy novels in style.

This is a fan-made preservation. It is FREE for all to read and is NOT FOR SALE now or ever.

I hope you all enjoy!

For iOS: iBooks, Nook
Android: Kindle, Nook

NOTE— proper display cannot be guaranteed for apps other than those I’ve recommended. Kindle on iOS does not support SVG and will not display images correctly.[/

Good grief. But nice that the whole thing had a happy ending, eventually.

How about a making-of book for Day of the Tentacle? Well, you’re getting one from video game historian Bob Mackey, via publisher Boss Fight Books. Here’s the spiel:

Six years after helping the Edison family defeat the designs of a malevolent meteor in Maniac Mansion, college student and classic nerd Bernard Bernoulli once again finds himself at the front door of the infamous mansion. With two weird friends, Hoagie and Laverne, Bernard must stop the evil Purple Tentacle from conquering the world—by freezing hamsters, pushing old ladies down the stairs, abusing Swiss bank accounts, and ever so slightly changing some of the most significant moments in American history.

Dave Grossman and Tim Schafer’s 1993 time-trotting point-and-click adventure game Day of the Tentacle brought LucasArts' game design to a new standard of excellence with smart puzzles, hilarious characters, and an animation style that harkened back to classic Warner Bros. cartoons. And somehow, they fit it all on a fat stack of floppy disks!

In this definitive oral history as told by the game’s designers, musicians, and artists, writer Bob Mackey tells the inside story of Day of the Tentacle’s lightning-in-a-bottle production, and reveals how two first-time directors boiled down the lessons of past adventure games into a tight and satisfying experience, how their team grappled with evolving technology to achieve the coveted status of "multimedia" at the dawn of the CD-ROM age, and how a remastered edition brought Tentacle to a new generation of fans.

So there you have it. The book is being Kickstarted now, and it looks like the goal has been comfortably exceeded, so get that space on the bookshelf ready.

These reminders feel a bit tawdry and perhaps even irresponsible, but the time is upon us. The pre-order window for Limited Run’s multitudinous Return to Monkey Island offerings closes this weekend.

Good luck?

Next up in Daniel Albu’s mission to interview all SCUMM luminaries one at a time is his installment with David Fox. Noting that Ron and Gary didn’t seem to get one about the Maniac Mansion re-release, Fox mentions that he’d appreciate a holler from Limited Run Games if they should happen to like input on a hypothetical Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders box.

Of course, much more than that is discussed over the nearly two-hour conversation, so set aside the time, as challenging as that might be in a world where twenty-two hour Psychonauts 2 documentaries are a thing, and hear all the stories.

It’s worth noting that David Fox previously sat for an hour with this “Conversations with Curtis” YouTube channel just last year, chatting with the series’ other host, Paul Morgan Stetler, shortly before Return to Monkey Island came out. So if you didn’t get enough with this new one, rest assured that there’s more:

The following tweet from Lucasfilm Magazine (also known as the French Star Wars Fan Club) appeared last week:

The text, translated to English:

Last year, an Indiana Jones video game was proposed... and here are some of the many concepts that were explored by American artist Steve Chorney in collaboration with a Hollywood advertising agency. But alas the project did not see the light of day.

So, was this something that was being considered independently of the MachineGames/Bethesda project? Who knows, but anyway now you have some cool sketches to look at.

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