Day Of The Tentacle Remastered’s First Trailer

In a Double Fine double-bill, look, it’s the first trailer for Day of the Tentacle Remastered [official site]! Yes, yes, the main feature of Double Fine’s weekend announcements was Full Throttle Remastered, but that’s not due until 2017. DotT Remastered, however, will be coming in March 2016, sez this trailer. Here, check out how the redrawn art looks in motion:

It’s… sure, okay? Ah, I don’t know. I’m delighted that Day of the Tentacle will be readily available again thanks to this remaster, but I’m not sold on the new art. The original pixel art had more personality, and I’m no pixel art nostalgiahead – you can ask Pip. Ah, but it’s not a massive deal, as it’ll have the option to use the older art if you want. I suppose you can get worked up over it if you want, though.

“The only way I’d forgive them is if the Maniac Mansion on Ed’s computer was remastered to look like 1993 DOTT,” John screamed in the RPS treehouse this morning, pounding on the rickety walls (fence panels pilfered after the Great Storm of ’87), filling his fists with splinters and sending the assembled crows scattering into the skies. Yes, the Maniac Mansion easter egg is still in.

Also, I guess I’ll casually mention it here because I don’t know if it’ll ever come to PC: Double Fine are also making a Psychonauts for PlayStation VR. On top of currently crowdfunding Psychonauts 2. What a busy bunch they must be!

41 Comments

  1. rustybroomhandle says:

    Love it or hate it, I feel the new art represents what they wanted to achieve at the time. Had home computers of the day supported higher resolutions, DoTT would have looked a lot differently. Stating the obvious, I know.

    • Troubletcat says:

      Totally agree. The new art is very similar to the old, except higher res. I think this is what the game would always have looked like if there had been more computing power available when it was made.

      There’s a certain charm to pixelation though….

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        Yah. With the pixel graphics, having three non-synced frames of talk animation does not seem out of place, but with the higher res, it does.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Yep. Consistency is important! This is the same reason why the art looks more barren and “amateur Flash animation” than the old; what the resolution limit hid and implied, the new art makes explicitly into flat, blank spaces.

          • laggerific says:

            Thankfully, having played the original many times, the lo-res hurky jerky animation feels very “natural”, even in hi-res.

        • deiseach says:

          That’s a good point. Bernard’s Ministry of Silly Walks thing might not work so well. Then there is iMuse. Might the hitch between scenes, or the lack of one, blunt the effectiveness of it?

      • Pazguato says:

        About: “this is what the game would always have looked like”.

        They worked with constraints (like all artists in any time) and precisely for that reason the constraints are an integral part of their work. Just like Jack Kirby with the first comic books, or the stop-motion of Ray Harryhausen or the first Tron.

    • Pazguato says:

      It’s like adding colour to a black-and-white old film. Unnecessary, and probably, in the future, it will be seen as disrespectful with the original art ans artists, and a trend of these years to resell games.

      • ooshp says:

        Speaking of constraints of technology, I do remember reading that System Shock 1 was originally going to have a whole bunch of friendly NPCs on the station. It was only when Spector (or Church? I can’t remember) resigned themselves to the fact that there was no way to make the game run on current hardware with the complexity they had in mind, that they decided to tweak the story so the player character is always alone.

        Also, just a general SQUEEEEEEEEEE for this, DoTT was one of the first games I played in full SoundBlaster glory.

      • unraveler says:

        You know that originally Snow White was Black-and-White in theaters, right?

        • Ben says:

          Snow White was made in colour (Technicolor, in fact). Perhaps some theaters played it in black and white, but that’s hardly the point. Those theaters probably played The Adventures Of Robin Hood, Gone With The Wind and Wizard Of Oz in black and white too.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      Yep. They weren’t going for ‘pixel art’ in the original, they were going for a cartoon look.

  2. Spacewalk says:

    It’s tough getting it to look right, cementing two takes on the one style together would give it a big seam.

  3. knele says:

    Looks like a ScummVM Eagle interpolation uprez. Not impressed. The detail amount is basically the same.

  4. PearlChoco says:

    I think the major benefit is wide-screen support. Everything else can stay as it was.

    • ooshp says:

      The importance of this cannot be overstated. I feel like my pupils have evolved with display technology, watching anything in 4:3 or similar feels unsanitary, like using a full longdrop on a summer day. With my eyeballs.

  5. Ooops says:

    The new art seems competent (my personal taste favors the original pixel art, tough). The problem is that the low framerate and choppy animation looks completely artificial in modern graphics.

  6. drinniol says:

    It’s too detailed! It’s not detailed enough! I want pixels! I want no pixels! You’re a heathen! You’re a luddite!

    – every comment thread on this game.

  7. gbrading says:

    I think the art looks perfectly fine (and as with Monkey Island SE you’ll be able to switch between new and old style graphics) it’s the voice-acting I’m slightly concerned about. It sounded rather flat in that trailer. This is of course the very first time the game will have voice acting, and in people’s minds some characters may sound very different to voice actors.

    • gbrading says:

      EDIT; I’m incorrect, Day of the Tentacle did have voice-acting already. I was thinking of Maniac Mansion and Monkey 1.

      • tomimt says:

        It did indeed have a fully voiced version and this remake uses the exact same voice recording with those original actors. It’s just remasterd to higher quality as they did find the original, uncompressed recordings.

  8. Yachmenev says:

    I think it looks pretty good, as good as it can when it’s being altered instead of being built from the ground.

    As charming as the old pixel graphics might be, they do look more like what it had to look like, because of constraints, and not what it wanted to look like.

    And when it comes to being charming, John’s role as the grumpy old uncle of RPS is exactly that. :)

  9. deiseach says:

    I’m not putting my lips on th…oops, wrong thread.

    I was all set to dismiss the makeover, but I think it looks great. As rustybroomhandle notes, the pixels were not an artistic choice but a consequence of the technology of the time. I probably won’t buy it though. The original has aged superbly.

  10. Stuart Walton says:

    The art style works well with the update. When I recall the original game in my head, it looks a lot like this. I can only say that’s a testament to how good the low resolution sprites and backgrounds are in the original.

    I expect most of the Full Throttle update will fare the same.

    • lokimotive says:

      And I think that “When I recall the original in my head, it looks like this” is exactly what they’re going for. That’s how the Grim Fandango Remaster worked, and it’s looking like it’s how this is going to work, too. It’s certainly a better tactic than how LucasArts re-released the Monkey Islands.

      The biggest issue with all of these is not that the art is inconsistent with the original intention, it’s that there’s a disconnect between how clean it is, and how jerky the animation is. It really doesn’t fit the new art very well, and highlights the artificiality (along with the non-synced lip movements, which become more and more awkward as the years go on). It’s why I think I’ll be replaying in the old, tried and true, pixelated way for the most part.

      • ansionnach says:

        I still think that the upscaled art doesn’t look right when static, but seeing it all move, the low frame rate animation is really betrayed by the updated graphics. It’s the big issue I see with the game. Even though the original floppy version had talking in the intro I’ve always felt that Full Throttle was Lucasarts’ first proper talkie and the games before it are much better without the voices. Lip syncing isn’t an issue without them, either. I don’t like the voices in this game or Sam & Max so it’d be nice if you could still disable them. Having a “floppy version” as an option would be nice. It was only 15MB, which is a really nice install size for all the good bits without the unnecessary nonsense.

        Lastly, the “I feel like I could… TAKE ON THE WORLD!” bit shown at the end of the trailer is wrong. Hopefully it’s been modified only for the trailer but it should be more like:
        “I feel like I could…”
        Purple shakes a little
        “…like I could…”
        The music changes, building in tempo while he goes into cartoonish convulsions of all kinds. After this, while doubled over, shivering:
        “…like…”
        “…I…”
        “…could…”
        The hands spring out. He looks at each of them, raises one and then in close-up with Green huddled shivering in terror behind him…
        “TAKE ON”
        “THE WORLD!!!”

        The trailer does show most of these stages cut in different ways so they’ve probably just made it shorter for the demonstration.

  11. shoptroll says:

    “RPS treehouse”. Wait, what? I knew it was bad times for games writers these days, but I never thought you all would have to leave Castle Shotgun :(

  12. supermini says:

    All other things aside, it’s a chance for people who maybe weren’t even born when the original came out to experience what is – in my view – in the top 3 of best adventure games ever made.

  13. EhexT says:

    There better be a version of the original game to play in this so you can play the original version of the first game in that. Game-inception!

    • Juppstein says:

      The original DotT had that already so I presume and hope they are able to keep that in.

  14. Juppstein says:

    I dunno I quite like the updated art an it looks better in motion than I thought. It looks a tad too clean at times but it is quite hard to get a good mix between clean line art and faux hand drawn style if you dont go and spend lots of money on it.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Andy_Panthro says:

    I think I’ll stick to playing the original again, and definitely without the voice-acting.

    The updated graphics don’t really do enough for me, which is odd because I didn’t mind the Monkey Island remakes so much.

    • ansionnach says:

      I modified my CD version to completely remove the voices but leave the digitised sounds intact. The resulting MONSTER.SOU file is about 900KB instead of 256MB. The floppy one with voices for the intro is about 3.7MB. Makes the game much better!

    • LionsPhil says:

      But how will you hear Hoagie saying “I don’t wanna” over, and over, and over?

  16. ansionnach says:

    One thing you can’t tell from the trailer is exactly what the music will be like. Playing the original, there are good things about the MT-32, GM and OPL soundtracks. My personal favourite is the OPL one for its zany synthiness. The trailer music is quite good and probably matches the GM soundtrack more than the others. The GM music really stood out in the intro, though. One issue with it and the MT-32 soundtracks was that different devices had different sets of samples so instruments could sometimes sound off. Judging by the trailer the instrumental soundtrack sounds good, so hopefully there’s a good chance of improvement here. Would be cool if they include a synth version as an option.

  17. Stevostin says:

    Issue it’s not the art, it’s not enough work. They needed to double frame for animations, and they needed music that does also sound remastered.

  18. Premium User Badge

    syllopsium says:

    Looks good, there’s none of the obvious layering as in the enhanced Monkey Island 2. However, the animation is definitely less fluid, and the sound effects are different – possibly worse.

    I’m probably nitpicking though, it’s likely to be well worth buying.