Triple Fine: Day Of The Tentacle Special Edition Announced

Double Fine have announced that their Remastered re-release of fine point ‘n’ clicker Grim Fandango will launch on January 27th, then completely overshadowed that with a casual mention that they’re also working on a ‘Special Edition’ of Day of the Tentacle. Crumbs! Whatever ‘Special Edition’ means, the classic LucasArts adventure game will have one next year. Day of the Tentacle was a fine game, but one I got stuck on in my idiotic youth and never finished; here’s my chance. What’s so special about this version is a mystery for now, as it’s announced and little more, but a mystery we can jab and guess at.

Double Fine are bringing Day of the Tentacle: Special Edition to PlayThings too, so one imagines it’ll have a new user interface at least. The original had the classic SCUMM big list of selectable verbs – Give, Pick Up, Use, Open, Look At, Push, Close, Talk To, and Pull – that I know some remember fondly but I wouldn’t miss. The big question for me is what they’ll do to the graphics.

When LucasArts made ‘Special Editions’ of the first two Monkey Island games a few years back, they redrew them entirely in a painterly style which sorta worked (I’d prefer them more colourful) and put in an option to switch between new and old with a button’s press. Perhaps this might do something similar. Heck, rumour had it they started on DotT and were almost finished when LucasArts closed; I wonder if this is related.

Crumbs, while I’m at this remembering lark, DotT is the sequel to Maniac Mansion – and MM creators Ron Gilbert and Garry Winnick are currently crowdfunding a new “spiritual successor” to MM of their own. With ten days to go, they’re sitting awfully pretty on Kickstarter.

If you have no idea what all this tentacle nonsense is about, well, it’s a game about children travelling through time to stop a purple tentacle from taking over the world. It is very funny. Here, John wrote a retrospective for Eurogamer a few years back and gave us nice load of screenshots. And here’s Schafer playing DotT and chatting about it in 2012 as part of the ‘Double Fine Adventure’ documentary:

And here’s a new Grim Fandango Remastered trailer to go along with that word of a release date. It’ll bring improved lighting and textures, director’s commentary, new control schemes (hooray!), and the ability to buy it at all without trawling for used copies on ugh physical media.

48 Comments

  1. melnificent says:

    Grim fandango and DOTT. That’s a well needed blast from the past,

    But I’m still smarting from Spacebase, so it’s a no until they really finish the game.

    • Paul B says:

      Aren’t the games already finished – all Double Fine are hopefully doing is updating the graphics and the interface – so hold tight, I’m sure these versions will eventually see the light of day – I sure hope so. (And someone start a petition for that Full Throttle remake we all need).

      • melnificent says:

        Yeah, that’s what I figure too.

        What I meant though was that after Spacebase I don’t intend to give Double fine money for anything until they finish it properly. As that’s extremely unlikely to happen, I’m not buying..

        • TheTingler says:

          I’m not sure what you’re on about. DOTT and Grim are finished games, they can’t possibly unfinish them. They just need a touch-up and a re-release.

          And while sadly Spacebase and Hack N Slash were released unfinished they were both Early Access games so you knew the risks. The vast majority of Double Fine’s games have been perfectly fine and completely finished, including their most recent game Costume Quest 2.

          • balinor says:

            It’s painfully obvious what he means. Until Spacebase is a proper finished product he will be abstaining from purchasing any double fine product. Merely stating “you knew the risks” in no way makes this any less of a moral choice and fair play to him/her for standing by their principles.

            Personally I didn’t buy Spacebase as I was holding off, but after the way they basically stuck two fingers up at their fanbase I can say I fully intend to do the same thing and not buy anything from them until they actually go back and finish their other games fully. Again, this is a moral choice for myself also and you are free to disagree.

          • KestrelPi says:

            Hack ‘n’ Slash was finished! It was pretty good, too! Definitely a niche title, but that was always true. I thoroughly enjoyed it and they delivered exactly what they said they would.

    • Yachmenev says:

      I’m just going to assume that your post was a troll post, because it’s really that silly.

  2. OctoStepdad says:

    Glad they are re-releasing these games. I never had a chance to play them back then so hopefully they get to full throttle if these do well.

  3. LionsPhil says:

    It’s hard to imagine how you could really redo DOTT without, y’know, a big, proper budget. Which would be better spent on making a new game with DOTT’s virtues, honestly.

    Haven’t we seen enough classic adventure games put through the wringer of badly [re-]recorded voice acting and ugly five-minutes-in-photoshop high-resolution art to learn this doesn’t work? DOTT may have pixels the size of (insert metaphor), but they’re stylish, well-animated pixels. Skilled people worked hard on those pixels. Just because you can shovel more of them around now doesn’t mean an intern can do it, and if you listen to pixel-loving indie devs you’ve now increased the workload since the original was made.

    (I will cut it some slack if you can play the original DOTT on the in-game computer, within which you can then play Maniac Mansion on the in-game computer…)

    • Crafter says:

      I share your feelings on MI remastering : entirely uninspired and missing the art style of the original does not even begin to cover it …
      Double Fine has not announced that they will redo the graphics though. Personally, I would be perfectly happy to simply be able to run the exact same game on my 2014 computer (and as a bonus on Android & iOS tablets).

      • Barchester says:

        But the MI remasters had the original graphics intact underneath the new layer of paint, so you could change back and forth between the two versions. As long as they don’t fundamentally changed the basic game (like the Gabriel Knight remake), I’ll be fine with this.

        • LionsPhil says:

          But by that point, why remake it, rather than just re-release it bundled up with ScummVM?

          I mean, you might be able to say “voice acting”, apart from the voice acting (and music) in the MI remake being terrible too. They butchered the bones song, and threw off the timing to boot.

          • jrodman says:

            Indeed, I would prefer it bundled with scummvm. However, so long as the ‘remake’ lets me have the original experience, I’d buy that too.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Personally, I would be perfectly happy to simply be able to run the exact same game on my 2014 computer

        Open source to the rescue!

        • Crafter says:

          I am definitely very happy with ScummVM :) .
          For a game like DotT, I am not sure what kind of modification would be really needed. Even the pixelated fonts are part of the game atmosphere. If I remember well, the sounds were not that great, so that might use a revamp.
          On mobile though, I think the UX could use some changes. Pixel hunt on a tablet in particular does not seem that appealing to me, so they might want to implement glowing touch targets.

  4. Damn You Socrates says:

    You can move objects between characters in DOTT by dragging and dropping it onto their portrait. YOU DONT HAVE TO WALK BACK TO THE CHRONOJOHN EVERY TIME!

    • LionsPhil says:

      DAMN YOU, DAMN YOU SOCRATES!

    • Rymdkejsaren says:

      This was THE adventure game of my youth, closely followed by Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s revenge. Those were the days. Internet was not a thing yet (yes, I am that old), so if you were stuck you brought a friend over to help you or stalked the schoolyard looking for people who had played the game and could give you hints.

      Today information travels on a highway and no one has patience to sit back and think about something that is just a google away . So there will be some automated hint-mode that points you in the right direction whenever you have spent two minutes without making progress or the kids would just give up. Hell, the adults probably would as well. The result of the over-saturation of the video-game market is that if a game does not give you instant gratification you move on to a new one.

      Well this churlish cynic will not bite!

      • Rymdkejsaren says:

        Also, the trick with dragging the inventory saved me so much time when I discovered it. Which is why my rant ended up as a reply here. :)

      • anevilyak says:

        Heh, I remember when all of my classmates and I were playing this game, and we’d get so excited when everyone would get stuck on a puzzle, and the next day someone would come in having figured that one out so we could all move further. Can’t really get that experience nowadays any more.

      • Bury The Hammer says:

        I replayed Day of the Tentacle maybe a couple of years back – it still holds up pretty damn well. To be honest, the graphics are so timeless, it barely needs a remaster.

        Also the adventure game of my youth – this and Maniac Mansion. My friends called me Dave, after the main character, for almost all of my teenage years.

    • NonCavemanDan says:

      But why use a sensible interface when you CAN FLUSH ALL THE THINGS DOWN THE TOILET!? AND IN THE GAME!

  5. Pazguato says:

    Monkey Island Special Edition’s new art was horrid next to the marvels of Steve Purcell and Peter Chan.

    It was worst than that, it was sacrilegious.

    Tentacle’s cartoonesque artwork is beautiful.

    Here’s hoping they keep the option to play the original. Or better, sell both: original and new edition. Wish they did that with poor Monkey.

    • Pemptus says:

      The ability to switch between new and old art was one of the Special Editions’ main features. Not sure how you missed it.

      • Pazguato says:

        I haven’t missed it. But you can play only in english in old version, whereas in new version all the other languages are available. I would like to have that option. Besides that, it seems there are other differences.

        • HamsterExAstris says:

          SCUMM didn’t support such niceties as “multiple language support” – the other language versions were recompiled versions of the core game code.

          Other language versions would have required additional copies of the base game, which probably wouldn’t have been 100% compatible with the outer Special Edition wrapper.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      The style of DOTT should be easier to update to high-res than Monkey Island or Gabriel Knight, so I’m cautiously optimistic. (But they’d better not mess this up!) I wonder how they’ll deal with the animation, though. IIRC, a downside to the “switch at any time to the old version”-feature was that any animations had to match the old graphics frame by frame.

      An updated live-recorded soundtrack would be nice, but the voices can’t be replaced. If the original recordings still exist in a higher audio quality than what was in the game, that’d be great.

  6. subedii says:

    Will I be able to use in-game computer to load up the original version of Day of the Tentacle, where I can then use an in-game in-game computer to load up Maniac Mansion?

    Oh yeah, recursive-style.

    • Bury The Hammer says:

      I’d actually way prefer an updated version of Maniac Mansion. That’s a game that hasn’t aged well in the slightest.

      Then they could put a computer in it so you could go back to Day of the Tentacle. Which has a computer in it that goes back to the original Maniac Mansion.

  7. Darth Gangrel says:

    You’ve written “Pull” twice!!! I never knew that game had such a strong *pull* on you that you would do something like that.

  8. kalzekdor says:

    It was kinda awesome to look in my RSS feed and see my own avatar staring back at me.

  9. P.Funk says:

    [About Grim] “new control schemes (hooray!)”

    Tank controls rocked. You people are crazy. They better let us use classic tank controls with the intended GUI-less interface or I’ma flip a table.

    EDIT. I also DEMAND that they retain that wonderful launcher that played a guitar strum when you opened it. DEMAND. Grim is like a classic film. You can’t change a single credit font without provoking a table inversion tantrum.

    • zapatapon says:

      I have to side with you on the launcher with the guitar strum. Just you mentioning it, and I can hear it my head. Such an effective and powerful mood-setter. Let’s start an online petition right now!

  10. captain nemo says:

    best. intro. ever. link to youtube.com

  11. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    DOTT is one of my favourite games of all time, and yet I’m not really excited upon hearing this, because…. well, the original still holds up fine. I can’t think of anything that really leaps out as needing to be fixed or updated (unlike Grim Fandango, because AIEEE TANK CONTROLS).

    Losing a few verbs (or all of them) would be nice and the 320×200 graphics are showing their age, but mess with that stuff and you risk losing the game’s original charm. The only thing I’d really want updated is the soundtrack, as the awful MIDI synths of the day are the only thing which really dates it for me.

    I’ll definitely check it out, but more out of curiousity for what they end up doing with it.

    • jrodman says:

      For any theoretical new players, a dynamic hint system (outside the game) would certainly be welcome.

  12. ResonanceCascade says:

    I’m actually a lot more excited about this than Grim Fandango. Don’t get me wrong, Grim is highly enjoyable, but DOTT might be my favorite comedic adventure game all time (and it’s easy to forget how crowded that genre used to be).

  13. Arbodnangle Scrulp says:

    Special edition = Oculus Rift support? Please?

  14. bill says:

    I guess this is nice, and might expose a new generation of players to the game, but as a few others have said, I’m not sure it’s strictly necessary. (at least visually)

    I played a fair bit of DoTT for the first time a year or two and, graphically, it held up fine. It might have big pixels (but many modern games do that intentionally) but the animation is top notch, it’s colorful, it’s detailed, it’s funny.
    I imagine it would cost millions to de-do the whole animation in higher resolution, unless they have some high res originals lying around. Even then, I think it’d lose some of the charm. Controls are fine.Etc.

    As others have also said, the thing which I’d update would be simplifying the verbs. I enjoyed the game a lot, but I guess I got about 1/3rd of the way through before getting fed up with the usual adventure-game nonsense of having to select exactly the correct combination of objects and verbs to do something obvious.

    I’d imagine the updates are more aimed at getting them on the mobile market, which might be quite nice. Scumm games play quite well on mobile devices.

    I just hope that bringing out the updated versions doesn’t mean removing the originals so they can bump the price.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      I’m not sure simplifying the verbs could work. While I generally like simple interfaces for new games, this one was built around the interface it has, and redesigning the puzzles of one of the games always mentioned when talking about good puzzle design in adventure games…

  15. Alexrd says:

    Grim’s remaster is looking excellent. Can’t wait to buy it (again).

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      I’d have hoped for a bit more cleanup on Glottis than what’s in the trailer, but it is good that they’re erring on the side of caution. Restauration of a masterpiece should be done carefully.

  16. emperor_nero says:

    Can only half-finish new games? Don’t worry, just re-release old games. Problem solved. Schafer is like that movie studio that made a few good movies, then released a literal ton of shit, then decided to remake those few good movies to shit-ify them.

    • Yachmenev says:

      You seem like an angry person that desperately need a hug.

    • Ben says:

      I don’t recall hearing about a movie studio releasing a literal ton of shit. Was it some sort of mass honey-wagon purge?

  17. snowgim says:

    I also got stuck in DOTT in my youth and never finished it. I got stuck playing Maniac Mansion on that computer, not realising that it was the previous game as an easter egg, and thinking it was just a particularly long winded puzzle.