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Old 02-10-2012, 02:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Retronauts Live Episode 39: Maniac Mansion with Special Guest Ron Gilbert

Though I am loathe to use the term "bucket list," interviewing Ron Gilbert would definitely land somewhere near the top of mine. As a console kid, the 1990 NES port of Maniac Mansion completely changed the way I thought about video games; though PC owners underwent years of exposure to experiences that didn't involve running, jumping, and shooting, the Nintendo generation had a much more myopic view of gaming. Instead of offering multiple worlds, levels, and weapons, Maniac Mansion simply tasked the player with exploring a house full of weirdos, all while using mechanics far removed from the expected. For most, this little taste of adventure gaming acted as a gateway drug to what would eventually become Lucasfilm Games' (and later, Lucasarts') greatest years. Of course, Maniac Mansion acted as a revelation to PC gamers for entirely different reasons, but you can (and should!) read my extensive retrospective on the subject for more on that angle. For now, I proudly present one of my favorite moments at 1UP thus far: an hour-long interview with Maniac Mansion co-designer Ron Gilbert on his very important creation. Enjoy!

Download episode 39 of Retronauts live here! Oh, and if you somehow missed reading them in the past, check out Old Man Murray's 2000 article on the death of adventure games, as well as Ron Gilbert's 1989 manifesto on why adventure games suck. Thierry and I also recorded a Maniac Mansion segment for Retronauts Lunch Break a few weeks back, where we successfully pulled off the ol' hamster Hot Pocket trick.

And then there's this. I'm sorry:

As always, If you'd like us to read your letter on the show and/or feature your envelope art on our blog, write to:

Retronauts c/o Bob Mackey
625 2nd Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94107

Track Listing for Episode 39

13:38 - Better Ed than Dead, Maniac Mansion - Team Fat, Dave Hayes
27:07 - Go See Mark, Maniac Mansion - Team Fat, Dave Hayes
40:00 - Comp-U-Nerd, Maniac Mansion - Team Fat, Dave Hayes
42:14 - Surf Face (original demo version), Maniac Mansion - Team Fat, Dave Hayes
51:09 - The Boys Are Still Back, Maniac Mansion - Team Fat, Dave Hayes
1:00:20 - Maniac Mansion Theme, Maniac Mansion - Chris Grigg, David Lawrence
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