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 Post subject: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:15 pm 
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This is something I always wondered about. I don't mean this to be offensive, but if you are at all squeamish about, well, things that rightly make people squeamish, then I suggest you stop reading.

In the intro to what I think has to be LucasArts' best game, the brilliant DOTT (amazing storytelling, funny cutscenes, clever puzzles), there's a point when Laverne, referring to a red hamster, asks, "friend of yours, Bernard?"

Here's the video (relevant part begins around 1:35 or so):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vJioAZ1oIY

I remember first playing this with friends when I was little, and they would always snicker at that line, as if it were something kind of dirty. Is Laverne's question a wink-wink, joking suggestion that Bernard's relationship with the red hamster was something of an unmentionable nature? (think: Richard Gere, gerbils) That's what I kind of assumed the question to mean when I first heard it way back then. Watching the intro again today, I still think the line is funny, but it stands out to me as something that seems a step just beyond the rest of the humor in the game, in terms of what might be considered appropriate for players of all ages. So, does that joke really hint at what I think it hints at?


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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:17 pm 
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actually no, this references instead a maniac mansion puzzle where bernard (or any of the kids) microwaves Ed's pet hamster. if you talk to him in his room he'll talk about his hamster that something happened to but he never found out why.

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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:19 pm 
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Unless you show the microwaved hamster to him, in which case he kills you.

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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:23 pm 
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Quest For Glory Fan wrote:
actually no, this references instead a maniac mansion puzzle where bernard (or any of the kids) microwaves Ed's pet hamster. if you talk to him in his room he'll talk about his hamster that something happened to but he never found out why.


And here I thought LucasArts was being so... edgy? 8)) I guess I just have a dirty mind. :o


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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:46 am 
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I figured the comment implied that Bernard is such a nerd, he doesn't have any human friends. But the explanation above seems to better explain it.


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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:22 pm 
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the scene can be found five minutes into this video and explains Weird Ed's stamp collection. I might have been a bit off on my description as I haven't played this game extensively

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8yQBeK_yFQ

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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:49 am 
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Quest For Glory Fan wrote:
the scene can be found five minutes into this video and explains Weird Ed's stamp collection. I might have been a bit off on my description as I haven't played this game extensively

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8yQBeK_yFQ


I like how they refer back to jokes from the original game. When Bernard says, "hands off that hamster!" leading to Laverne asking, "friend of yours?", I can't help but interpret it in a dirty way. :o It's like she's reacting in a teasing way to the interest Bernard is showing in wanting to protect the hamster... and that's before the hamster's connection to Weird Ed Edison is mentioned in the intro. If someone were to ask me, especially right after I showed interest in a particular gerbil-like creature, if the gerbil-like creature was a "friend" of mine... my mind would immediately think the person "went there"... I guess it's because when gerbils come up in jokes often dirty insinuations are involved.


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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:58 pm 
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I never selected Bernard to begin with.

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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:06 pm 
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He's talking about DOTT. There's no way not to select Bernard.

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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:47 pm 
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Of course there is. You just won't get very far in the game. :lol


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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:15 pm 
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MusicallyInspired wrote:
He's talking about DOTT. There's no way not to select Bernard.


Like duh. Of course he was. However, in this thread, we also started talking about the connection between DOTT and MM (see QFGfan's post). DOTT assumes the Maniac Mansion story having involved Bernard, which can seem kind of odd when you've never played through Maniac Mansion with Bernard (like me).

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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:54 pm 
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Slightly off subject, but does anyone know about an official Maniac Mansion 3? Sorry if this has been discussed elsewhere. I know there was some kind of DOTT2 fan project, but what about Tim Schafer's game company making a new adventure for LucasArts? Seems like LucasArts isn't really in the adventure game business at the moment, so I realize there's probably little chance of anything official on the horizon right now, but what have the rumors been over the years? Did he ever talk about plans or ideas for a third game? I read that he has been busy with Psychonauts and Brutal Legend (which I read almost got published by Sierra Entertainment, funnily enough). Some of you probably already saw the little classic adventure game-style flash minigame starring Tim Schafer (http://www.doublefine.com/games/host_master/), released when he was hosting an awards show. Hopefully that's not the last adventure game he writes!


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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:04 pm 
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Spikey wrote:
Like duh. Of course he was. However, in this thread, we also started talking about the connection between DOTT and MM (see QFGfan's post). DOTT assumes the Maniac Mansion story having involved Bernard, which can seem kind of odd when you've never played through Maniac Mansion with Bernard (like me).


.....okay then. Sorry if you thought I was rude. You're reply just didn't make sense in the context of anything to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:52 pm 
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I didn't think you were rude, so sorry if you thought I thought you were rude. I just thought it was obvious that I wasn't talking about DOTT. Here's the context:

Quest For Glory Fan wrote:
actually no, this references instead a maniac mansion puzzle where bernard (or any of the kids) microwaves Ed's pet hamster. if you talk to him in his room he'll talk about his hamster that something happened to but he never found out why.


Spikey wrote:
I never selected Bernard to begin with.


I will elaborate on some of the sentiments behind this sentence.

Let's timewarp back to the glory of the late 80s and early 90s floppy disk age. Starting within a week of having a pc in the house, mysterious diskettes started to appear all over the house. My father's colleagues, my brother's friends, everyone seemed to be sharing games with each other on those good old blue, green or black coloured, with handwritten pencil titles on them (quite essential these handwritten titles, because that's what everybody was calling the games), some wildly popular among kids at school, like 'prince' and 'keen2' or some less famous like 'Dave' (Dangerous Dave), 'comic' (Captain Comic), 'kq2' and also 'maniac'.

While other people had to translate a lot of english for me at that time, I had this period I was totally obsessed about 'maniac'. Selecting characters and not having a clue what to do, I was stuck outside. While a boy who lived down the street was convinced the way to get into the mansion was by ringing the bell, waiting for Ed and saving while he was at the front door. Upon reloading, Ed would be gone and the door would still be open. It didn't take long before I found out the simplistic solution of finding the key under the doormat. I was so proud of myself. This must have been my very first step towards solving and loving adventure games.

Choosing the characters seemed kind of essential for the whole point of the game to me at that time, even though I was too young to even play / understand it correctly. Years later, well after the introduction of CD-ROMs, 7th guests, Mysts and voiced versions of King's Quest, I curiously was handed a floppy disc copied game by someone who said to me 'this is just the game for you, I can't believe you don't know it'. The handwritten title was 'dott'. Didn't take long to figure out this was the sequel to Maniac Mansion. I remember being very disappointed by the fact I couldn't choose my characters, and that the least favourite of my characters was in the lead.

Of course, the greatness the game made well up for that. I liked it so much, that when I realised there was a CD-ROM version of it I immediately started looking for it (didn't take long to find it, even though it was out for a few years).

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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:34 pm 
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Quote:
actually no, this references instead a maniac mansion puzzle where bernard (or any of the kids) microwaves Ed's pet hamster. if you talk to him in his room he'll talk about his hamster that something happened to but he never found out why.


Although I can't check right now, I'm pretty sure Bernard will refuse to microwave the hamster whilst the other kids will do so. I guess that shows Bernard does have a sentimental attachment to the hamster, but nothing sexual... or that he just isn't sick minded like the other kids.

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DOTT assumes the Maniac Mansion story having involved Bernard, which can seem kind of odd when you've never played through Maniac Mansion with Bernard (like me).


Bernard to me is the staple character of the Maniac Mansion series. I always select him when playing MM as he always has a different approach and opinion when playing as him as opposed to other characters who pretty all do the same thing. Firstly, he'll refuse to go into the mansion before Dave forces him, he can talk to Green Tentacle whilst the other characters just feed him and he doesn't kill animals. If you select any other characters besides him, you'll have the same character but a different style of dialogue. DOTT doesn't assume Bernard was involved in MM but he was the most memorable character in the game so using him as the main character for DOTT was the best option. Obviously you may have just played through it once and not selected him but if you ever selected his face at the start up and seen his shocked face after clicking on him you knew he'd be a fun character to have on the team. Dave was a pretty basic character and I can't even remember the rest apart from Sandy.

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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:36 am 
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Spikey wrote:

Of course, the greatness the game made well up for that. I liked it so much, that when I realised there was a CD-ROM version of it I immediately started looking for it (didn't take long to find it, even though it was out for a few years).


Lately I've been replaying this game and an AGS title called 5 Days a Stranger. Both are great, and I think it has do to with the writing. In these kinds of games, I think good writing is like 80% of it (with art and especially great sound to set the mood). Even the voices in DOTT, while excellent and definitely adding to the experience, aren't THAT necessary to still love the experience... the writing is that crisp, without useless, throwaway exchanges that make conversations go on too long. I'm also coming to another realization... I think narration, pop-up text boxes and detached character portrait boxes overall detract from the experience and temporarily pull the player out of the story world more than they draw you in. Text (not boxed) over the character sprites, as it is in the two games I'm playing now, seems to blend the action and dialogue better, while having to click through boxes can make the game feel like it has been paused, no matter how beautifully rendered the character portraits look or how well their lip movements are in synch with the words they're speaking. I can't believe I'm admitting this... since I've always been an ardent Sierra fan... but I think, when it comes to text in adventure games, that less is often more. In a way it seems like all the extra work of writing narration and drawing character portraits and writing copious amounts of dialogue may be counterproductive. It's clear that a huge amount of hard work and research went into Sierra's games (which, in many ways, were a lot more ambitious than most of LucasArts' adventures), but I think all the descriptions may have been unnecessary and overkill (though LSL7, a definite high point, struck the perfect blend of great dialogue and narration, and benefited so much from the absence of character portrait boxes). I think a lot of Sierra's games were great for exploring scenes, wandering around and reading detailed descriptions of almost everything in sight... but in the end I think LucasArts' simpler approach, focusing on story and with limited throwaway dialogue, made for the more enjoyable experience (though I think LSL7 is as good or better than anything else ever made).


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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:14 pm 
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Broomie wrote:
Bernard to me is the staple character of the Maniac Mansion series. I always select him when playing MM as he always has a different approach and opinion when playing as him as opposed to other characters who pretty all do the same thing. Firstly, he'll refuse to go into the mansion before Dave forces him, he can talk to Green Tentacle whilst the other characters just feed him and he doesn't kill animals. If you select any other characters besides him, you'll have the same character but a different style of dialogue.


Yeah, but I attached myself to all the characters before I could even do anything significant in the game or understand the dialogue very well. The characters is what drew me to it. Also, there are variations solving the puzzles for all the characters of course, except for Razor & Syd, who have exactly the same way of finishing the game in combination with Dave, and Jeff, who can only do some of the things Bernard can do. Bernard is the only character that can solve everything on his own if I remember it correctly. But, Wendy & Michael can do things nobody else can do. Combining all these things is what I thought made it very interesting and replayable when I understood things better.

Broomie wrote:
DOTT doesn't assume Bernard was involved...


Yeah, it does, Bernard says in the intro something like "I have to go back to the mansion" or something in that fashion, I think. Also, Ed says things about remembering Bernard.

Broomie wrote:
...in MM but he was the most memorable character in the game so using him as the main character for DOTT was the best option. Obviously you may have just played through it once and not selected him but if you ever selected his face at the start up and seen his shocked face after clicking on him you knew he'd be a fun character to have on the team. Dave was a pretty basic character and I can't even remember the rest apart from Sandy.


Yeah, I selected him a few times of course, but at one point I just decided to not select him anymore.
Dave was boring as well, but he wasn't optional. I liked all other characters better than those two, and I had only two spots left two choose.

And by the way, initially it was the intention to have multiple characters to select, with Bernard & Razor the only ones returning if I remember it correctly.

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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 5:46 am 
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pbpb33 wrote:
Text (not boxed) over the character sprites, as it is in the two games I'm playing now, seems to blend the action and dialogue better, while having to click through boxes can make the game feel like it has been paused, no matter how beautifully rendered the character portraits look or how well their lip movements are in synch with the words they're speaking. I can't believe I'm admitting this... since I've always been an ardent Sierra fan... but I think, when it comes to text in adventure games, that less is often more.


Smart observation. I very much agree! I am working on my first original adventure game now and this has been a huge issue for me - whether to use portraits or dialogue on-screen as in LucasArts titles.

There's something beautiful about the interface design around character portraits and simply how aesthetically pleasing they are in the big picture... but there's also a simplicity and immersive quality about the dialogue "trailing" the character above their head on-screen as they walk around the environment - something I always loved about the LucasArts games.

I'm still fussing over this!

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 Post subject: Re: Day of the Tentacle Question - "friend of yours, Bernard?"
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 8:29 am 
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I like the Fate of Atlantis approach where the characters moved around and their in game sprite talked with the text. Of course it would be even more impressive with voices.

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