Opened 6 months ago

Last modified 3 months ago

#14815 new feature request

Turn the "bad crack" fix into an optional enhancement

Reported by: mike-SpeedyAdventures Owned by:
Priority: normal Component: Engine: SCUMM
Version: Keywords:
Cc: Game: Maniac Mansion


Being able to enter any code lets you beat the game much faster. If this change was an optional enhancement, it would allow speedrunners to use up-to-date versions of ScummVM for their runs.

Change History (3)

comment:1 by eriktorbjorn, 3 months ago

I don't get it. Is it really a speedrun if the game has been tampered with? (I'm not trying to be flippant here, I'm genuinely curious.)

For context, I highly doubt that this crack originated with Lucasfilm games. The earliest reference I've been able to find to it was a list of various cracks posted to Usenet in 1996. The one for Maniac Mansion simply reads:

Maniac Mansion

iii) crack
Removing doc check:
File: 43.lfl
00000B79: FE FF

If I understand the game script correctly, it waits for each of the four symbols or digits, and if it's not the expected one a variable is set to 1 to indicate that the code you entered was incorrect.

The crack changes this so that if you get the last one wrong the variable is set to 0 instead, indicating that the correct code was entered. (Which means that even with the crack, there is a pretty decent chance that you will enter an incorrect code because if you get the last one right you have to get the first three right as well.)

Last edited 3 months ago by eriktorbjorn (previous) (diff)

comment:2 by mike-SpeedyAdventures, 3 months ago

This kind of question regularly opens up endless debates in all kinds of speedrun communities. I think we can skip all this and just look at the history of the speedrun.

The speedruns for the PC version of Maniac Mansion are separated into two categories: one that makes use of the broken lab door and one that does not. All of the runs, that make use of it are from within the first two years after the digital release of the game. I'm pretty sure, no one understood what was going on, they just recognized the door being broken from runs of the NES game (this is me guessing). You could say the category is "grandfathered in". Still, it is the most popular and shortest category for Maniac Mansion.

Now you could ask everyone if they are ok with their long-standing records being invalidated and only allow newer, more accurate versions of ScummVM for speedruns, but I can tell you from experience that you won't get far with that kind of endeavor. Doubly so, because the OFFICIAL RELEASE *fanfare* on Steam/GOG (SVM 2.0.0) clearly has the broken door codes.

On top of all this, the old ScummVM versions that have the broken door codes have less accurate timings for the game. So right now it's a bit of a dilemma where you can pick between accurate game speed and no door skips or wrong speed with door skips. Since we have separate categories already, a toggle for the door codes would solve this minor dilemma.

Maniac Mansion is a very niche game - almost nobody speedruns it. Making the old, yet most popular category playable on current ScummVM releases would make it that little bit more accessible, especially thinking forward into the future. Who knows if the official downloads will ever get updated with new ScummVM versions?

comment:3 by eriktorbjorn, 3 months ago

Doubly so, because the OFFICIAL RELEASE *fanfare* on Steam/GOG (SVM 2.0.0) clearly has the broken door codes.

The version included as an Easter egg in the remastered version of Day of the Tentacle does not have this crack, and it seems that DREAMM (at least the 3.0 beta version) will undo the crack if you install the GOG version.

But it would be interesting to know where Disney got these files. Because it seems to me that there's probably an "abandonware" site out there that could now legitimately add an "Endorsed by Disney" banner. :-)

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