Maniac Mansion birthday

And so, today October the 5th, Maniac Mansion is 30 years old, according to wikipedia for Commodore 64
source: “Retrodiary”. Retro Gamer. Bournemouth, United Kingdom: Imagine Publishing (120): 13. September 2013.

Happy Birthday!!!


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So, we need evidence?
This is Zzap Italy, usually published one month after Zzap UK.
In the number of December 1987, there was a review on Maniac Mansion:

So, if in Italy was published in December, in UK was published in November. We can assume that the game came out in October. But of the 5th there is no evidence :expressionless:

There was no “release date” back then. We would have made the masters sometime in Sept, it would have been sent off to the duplication place, they would have then sent it to the place assembling the boxes. The boxes would be assembled and shipped to various stores. The stores would have put it on shelves when they had time. It’s possible they started showing up in stores in Oct, but saying Oct 5th is silly.

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But isn’t that the official “birthday” of a game?

So, happy 30th anniversary, more or less, you silly game!

My copy of the book “1001 video games you must play before you die”, correctly states it was originally released in 1987.

That “5th” has still no reliable source but the month of October is not just an hypothesis but an official statement by LucasArts.

I have also found the source for that “5th”. It’s in the issue 120 of the magazine “Retro Gamer”:


Now somebody should ask them from where they got that “5th”. :stuck_out_tongue:

Looking at old magazines, it also seems they never had exact release dates for anything (possible because printing times for magazines were too long). So there isn´t even a contemporary source that can be double checked.

BTW Wiki says October 1988 for Zak but doesn´t give an exact day for that.

Also, the ONLY version of Maniac Mansion released in Oct would have been the C64, all the other ports didn’t come out for a while. Again, there were no release dates. There is the date we made the gold master (Sept sometime), but it would have slowly flowed out to stores after that. I’m not debating “Oct”, I’m only calling bullshit on the “5th”. People today get hung up on release dates because with embargos and such, there are release dates. There wasn’t back then.


Sure, I’ve understood that there were no release dates back then. That’s why I was curious about why that “5” was added by “Retro Gamer”.

The Apple II release month (and probably year) is wrong too then…
Also the October issue of a magazine would usually hit the stores mid-September.
Perhaps the writer of the original article received a review copy on the 5th?
In that case, the “release date” would be early 1988 to mid 1989, which is when most of us “got” our copy (of a copy, of a copy…).

Zak McKracken and The Alien Mind Benders was released in 1988 according to Wikipedia etc., but the review in Zzap! was in the March 1989 issue.

Even today, one could argue Thimbleweed park’s release date being Thursday, March 31st, 2017, for it was patched with extra content later on. We all know the Only Official release date is “soon, 2017”.

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No, the UK version was also published in December. See the link in my earlier post

From Wikipedia. :stuck_out_tongue: (A lot of magazines just copy the stuff published on Wikipedia.)

Why not adopt that date or name just another date (like the church did with the birthday of Jesus)? Then the whole world could celebrate this birthday of MM with big parties, where you will get free food and drinks. So it would be a win/win situation.

Easy to explain: In some cases the magazines got a review copy earlier, but in some cases after the launch of the game. Even if they had to buy the game in stores, they had to play the game, write the review, print the issue and ship the magazine to the stores. That took at least one month. (And in some cases the editors overlooked important games :wink: ). And at least in Germany the March issue was published in February. So: December release of the game, January writing and printing, February publishing (and the customers needed one day to read the test…).

No, I have checked before writing the post. :slight_smile:

The Wikipedia editor who added that detail, took it from the magazine.

The phenomenon that you cite does indeed exist, but not in this case.

I like the idea that we are currently living in the 30 A.M.M. (After Maniac Mansion)


Why not seek out for the oldest receipt for Maniac Mansion? Defining birth date by available in a store, that should be prove enough. The good thing, they were usually printed with an ink ribbon back then, or sometimes even hand written, so chances are very good that it is still readable.
The one who can provide the oldest one gets the title “official midwife for Maniac Mansion”.:wink:

Maniac Mansion. In ASCII (case sensitive, ignoring whitespace) it’s 77 97 110 105 97 99 77 97 110 115 105 111 110.

Sum it up, you get 1310.

Which, by European date standards, can be interpreted as 13/10, i.e. 13th of October.

Thus, the official birthday is still to come in exactly one week.


October is a good time to release a game like MM, with it being Halloween-ish and all.

Just google “c64 horror games”.

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So He wasn’t born on Christmas after all?