Water taps and fridges in Zak McKracken and Maniac Mansion

I remember having a great deal of fun in “pranking” the Edisons in Maniac Mansion by leaving the fridge open and the water flowing all the time; even though Ed would walk across the room, check for the cheese, close the fridge and walk away leaving the tap open as if it was always been like that. Loved it.

I couldn’t prank dear old Zak the same way as he would stop and care about it. I suppose it was for both the environment and the bills. Also, because he was the main character!

Nonetheless, I wonder: did @David think about it after seeing how it would work in Maniac Mansion, or was it his own, unprompted design?

Needless to say that whenever I see a water tap or a fridge in a videogame I try to leave them open.
Oh and, no, I don’t do that in people’s houses IRL!


I think I wired those scenes in Maniac Mansion. I definitely wired Zak’s and most of the sinks in TWP (Ransome’s, QuickiePal, Mansion). Remember that Zak takes place 10 years later and I predicted more awareness on environmental issues, so of course Zak wouldn’t leave his house with the water running or fridge open. In Thimbleweed Park, it’s back in 1987, and there’s unlmitied water and electricity. Not even Delores cares too much about all that.


Thanks for your answer, it is actually a very nice insight on how different “tax systems” would work in general on people’s behavior.

Being born in Italy, I probably don’t know about a time when you would not pay taxes for water and electricity.
Recently, though, I spent some time in Ireland, where water has not been charged for long ranges of time (I can’t remember the details, as it was - and probably still is - a very controversial issue, but internet has plenty) and I was there just as they started transitioning back to it being charged.

It felt strange in a way! Not that I would leave the tap open to waste, of course! It’s not like they had Tubes or anything!

I myself am pretty compulsive about turning lights off when I leave the room. And I’d never leave the water running! Playing Thimbleweed Park, it’s hard for me to not turn it off, even though I know it’s not using up real water/electricity. Funny.


If I ever place a water tap or usable lightswitches and similar stuff in a game, I could have a variable to calculate how much energy did the player waste at the end of the game. As a friendly reminder rather than a plain scolding, of course :smiley:


Also because it was his apparment, maybe? In Maniac Mansion they break into a foreign enviroment and steal stuff so it´s natural they could care less about running water or open fridges.

I always thought it would make sense for the characters of MM to prank the family and less sense for Zak to prank himself.

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I can appreciate how it might be annoying to some, but I personally love the mood it sets for the scene.


I have a feeling that

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Whoa - yep, how’d that get on this thread?

Feature requests (also @RonGilbert):

  • Add achievement: “∗beep∗ Mother Nature” (leave all taps running and fridge open)
  • Add achievement for leaving all toilet seats up! (that would be a lot of work :sweat:)
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Exactly :slight_smile: That’s what I meant with “Also, because he was the main character!”. I did explain myself poorly!

Was water literally free in the US in the eighties, or just so cheap not to matter? Closing the fridge door is also important to keep the food fresh, environment be damned…

That being said, I’m not complaining, having these details in would have been nice, subtle references to Zak, but I understand why it was left out.