Day of the Tentacle
Day of the Tentacle is my favourite humourous adventure of all time. Just the way Laverne walks is enough to send me into fits of laughter. It also has some of the cleverest puzzles ever built into an adventure game. Enough said. It's an absolute LucasArts classic! Experiencing this classic, though, is a little more difficult with the advent of modern operating systems like XP and Vista. So I'm going to take a little detour prior to my ubiquitous Tips section, and show you how to get this game up and running using either ScummVM or DOSBox.
If you don't already have it, you can download the latest version of ScummVM from here:
The following instructions will assume you're running on a Windows platform. If so, then just double-click on the .exe file you downloaded to install ScummVM. I recommend installing to
C:\ScummVM (not case sensitive).
Next, you need to create a folder to put your saved games in. You will also need to launch ScummVM from this folder, so that your saved games always go in the same place. So in Windows Explorer, create a folder called:
In this folder, I also recommend creating a batch file to run ScummVM. The main reason for doing this is that the command line you will use to run the game in ScummVM is quite hairy, and you don't want to have to type it in every time you want to play. So... open Notepad, or whatever your favourite text editor is, and copy and paste the following command line right into it:
c:\scummvm\scummvm.exe -f -g hq2x --aspect-ratio -n -pD:\dott tentacle
(the above assumes that you installed ScummVM to the place I recommended, and that your physical CD-ROM drive letter is D. Adjust accordingly if otherwise. The '-g hq2x' and '--aspect-ratio ' parameters are graphics settings that blend all the otherwise blocky pixels together nicely on today's larger monitors. The '-n' instructs ScummVM to display subtitles for the voices. I always find these games to be more enjoyable with subtitles)
Save that command line (Save As...) to this file:
Then, to run Day of the Tentacle right off the CD, just open a Command Prompt via:
Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt
Change to the 'dott' folder via:
And finally, run the batch file you just created by entering:
That's basically it :-)
If you don't already have DOSBox installed on your PC, or if you have a previous version, I recommend obtaining the latest version which is DOSBox 0.70 at the time of writing. It has some nice settings that automatically determine the value of the cycles= parameter that is appropriate for a particular game according to your PC's processor speed (those of you using previous versions of DOSBox know what I'm talking about). You can obtain the latest version of DOSBox here:
Get the Win32 installer, and just double-click on the downloaded .exe file to install. I recommend installing to
C:\DOSBox-0.70 (not case sensitive). Then go to where you installed it to, and use a text editor like Notepad to edit the
dosbox.conf file and save it. First, change the following two parameters:
fullscreen=true (false by default)
cycles=max (auto by default)
I also recommend changing the parameters that determine how the 300 x 200 graphics of yore are anti-aliased (smoothed out) for today's larger displays:
aspect=true (default is false)
scaler=supereagle (default is normal2x)
Then at the very bottom of the file, replace the empty [autoexec] section with the following:
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
mount D D:\ -t cdrom -usecd 0 -ioctl
mount C C:\
It's a real good idea just to copy and paste that [autoexec] section right out of this document and into the file. Computers get a bit confused when you replace zeroes with ohs, etc. :-)
Note that my CD-ROM drive's physical letter is D. If yours is E or F, then replace those two letters in the cdrom mount command accordingly.
Now you can bring up a Command Prompt via:
Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt
And start up DOSBox by changing to the folder you installed it to, like:
And then entering:
When DOSBox comes up, change to your CD drive by entering:
(or whatever your CD drive letter is). Then enter:
And that should get you up and running :-) Use Ctrl-T at any time to toggle through the voice and subtitle settings. I always find these games to be more enjoyable with subtitles.
There's a huge time-saving measure built into this game, and thus it belongs first in the list of tips. It's no secret that you can pass objects between different time periods by literally flushing them down one of Dr. Fred's inventions. But instead of both characters involved having to walk all the way to the 'convenience' devices to use them, you can instead pass objects by clicking on the object you want to transfer, and then clicking on a character portrait. Neat, huh?
It's very important to think 'out of the box' in this game. Remember especially that what you do in the past can affect what happens in the future. That may sound kinda obvious, but it's the key to a lot of the puzzles!
There are only a few spots where a particular conversation choice with one of the characters actually solves a puzzle, but it's still important to talk to characters until you exhaust all the topics. Not only are the conversations entertaining, but valuable clues can be gained this way.
This walkthrough is done in Q & A style, which is a departure from my usual method of presentation. It should allow you to look up the solution to a particular puzzle without spoiling other parts of the game. In ordering the questions, I tried to follow the 'natural' sequence that you would do things in to progress the game, but you don't have to follow this exact order. In fact, when you get stuck it's a good idea to break off that particular train of thought and tackle a different puzzle. Then come back to the original puzzle later, and you may think of a fresh approach.
Q. How do I find the secret lab?
Q. Where are Dr. Fred's secret plans?
Q. Where is Red Edison?
Q. How do I get Laverne down from the tree?
Q. How do I make it so Laverne can roam the former inn freely?
Q. Where can I find oil for Red Edison?
Q. Where can I find vinegar for Red Edison?
Q. Where can I find gold for Red Edison?
Q. How can I charge the super-battery?
Q. How can Laverne enter the human show?
Q. How do I get rid of Harold?
Q. Where can I find a smile for the mummy?
Q. Where can I find hair for the mummy?
Q. Where can I find a laugh for the mummy?
Q. How do I get rid of the guard in the kennel?
Q. How do I get rid of the guard at the base of the stairs?
Q. How do I plug in Laverne's Chron-O-John?
Q. How can I power up Laverne's Chron-O-John?
Q. How do I get the hamster out of the mouse hole?
Q. How do I get the combination for the safe?
Q. How can I rescue Dr. Fred from the IRS?
Q. How do I revive Dr. Fred?
Q. How do I get Dr. Fred to sign the contract?
Q. Where can I find a stamp for the contract?
Q. How do I post the contract?
Q. How do I buy a diamond?
Q. Purple Tentacle keeps zapping us with that ray gun! How do we get away?
Q. How do I get rid of the Purple Tentacles guarding the Sludge-O-Matic?
Q. Purple Tentacle won't let me turn off the Sludge-O-Matic. What do I do now?
A. Just open the grandfather clock.
A. Take the paper from the bulletin board. It turns out to be a patent application for a 'super-battery'. Dr. Fred flushes the patent application to Hoagie through the Chron-O-John.
A. Hey, these inventors all like to hang out in the same kinds of places. Have Hoagie enter the inn, open the grandfather clock, and walk into it. Give the patent application to Red Edison. Note that you will need to bring him: oil, vinegar, and gold in order for him to construct your super-battery...
A. Your first example of how subtly changing the course of history can affect the future to your benefit :-) Have Hoagie go to the attic of the inn. The easiest way to do this is to go through the fireplace on the ground floor to get to the roof, and then through the open window into the attic. In the attic (where the cat is playing with a squeaky mouse toy), pick up the red paint. Then go all the way back to the outhouses and use the red paint with the kumquat tree. Finally, go to the inn's main hall and speak to George Washington until you get the following dialogue option:
"I bet you've lost it. You couldn't cut down a tree to save your grandmother."
This causes him to look outside, mistake the kumquat tree that you used the red paint on for a cherry tree, and he chops it down... hey presto, the tree no longer exists in the future and Laverne is free!
Looks like it's going to be tough to get her out of the cell, but in fact there are two ways to get out by simply talking to the tentacle guard:
- If you say you don't feel so good, then Laverne is taken to see the doctor. After examining Laverne the doctor leaves, allowing you freedom... of the hallway :-\
- If you say you need to go to the bathroom, Laverne is taken out to where the Chron-O-John is located.
So start off by having Laverne say she doesn't feel so good, then pick up the tentacle chart from the wall of the doctor's office once he leaves. Then head through the door into... a room with some contestants in costume waiting for the 'human show' to start. The door behind them leads to the hallway. Notice that when Laverne tries to go anywhere she's not allowed, like up the stairs, she comments that it would be good if she had a tentacle costume. Hmm. OK, so try to go somewhere that results in you getting chucked back in the cell, and then ask the guard if you can go to the bathroom. Walk over to the right (a path) where the Chron-O-John is located, and use the tentacle chart with the toilet to flush it. Then take control of Hoagie.
Have Hoagie pick up the tentacle chart from the toilet, then head up to the second floor of the inn, and into the middle room on that floor where Betsy Ross is trying to stitch up the very first American flag. Use the tentacle chart with the patterns, and the flag in the future is replaced by a... red, white, and blue tentacle :-) But now we need to find a way for Laverne to get up there on the roof and get her tentacle costume off the flagpole. So take control of Bernard now.
Walk to the fireplace, and Bernard climbs through the chimney and winds up on the roof. Take the crank from the crank box at the base of the flagpole, then make your way back to the basement, flush the crank down the toilet, and take control of Laverne again.
Ask for permission to go to the bathroom, and retrieve the crank from the toilet. Let the guard take you back to the cell, then pretend you are going to be sick again. Go into the hallway and walk to the fireplace to find yourself on the roof. Use the crank with the crank box at the base of the flagpole to lower the tentacle flag, and now we have a tentacle costume! Just use flag (in inventory) to wear the tentacle costume.
A. Easy one. It's in the pantry of the kitchen in Hoagie's time.
A. Have Hoagie go to Ben Franklin's room (the one furthest to the right on the second floor). Pick up the wine bottle, and present it to Thomas Jefferson. He agrees to put it in the time capsule. Now go flush the can-opener to Laverne. When Laverne uses the can-opener to open the time capsule (located in the left-most room on the second floor) in the future, the wine has turned into vinegar.
A. You'll no doubt have noticed the gold-plated quill pen next to the draft Constitution. But we'll need to find a way to get the founding fathers out of the room so we can nab it. Have Bernard go to the room where the conventioneers had their party, and open the grating on the floor next to the fireplace. Then head over to the right and try to pick up the chattering teeth. On the way there, the novelty goods salesman pulls an exploding cigar trick on you. We need to find a way to get that gun-shaped lighter of his. Anyway, when you try to pick up the teeth they go onto the floor. Now keep walking up to the teeth (they move away from you each time), until you drive them into the hole under the grating you just opened. Then you can pick up the trapped teeth. Deliver them to the Chron-O-John, then take control of Hoagie.
Note that George Washington has a set of wooden false teeth. He won't accept the chattering teeth as a replacement as long as he already has a set he's happy with, so we need to give him a reason to ditch the wooden teeth. Have Hoagie go outside and collect the letter from the mailbox, it says:
"You're brilliant! What a novel design. Come to Baltimore at once."
Flush the letter to Bernard, and have him go to the middle room of the second floor, where a frustrated novelty inventor is trying to commit suicide with... a flag gun. Give the letter to him and he dashes right off to Baltimore. Now pick up the flag gun, and use it with the gun-shaped cigar lighter downstairs to make the swap. Talk to the saleman again, and ask him for another cigar. Of course, he can no longer light it so you wind up with it in your inventory. Go flush both the exploding cigar and the cigar lighter to Hoagie...
Now Hoagie can play the exploding cigar trick on Gerorge Washington to wreck his wooden teeth. Then give the chattering teeth to George, and that sets him to chattering away just like John Hancock. They decide to light a fire. Now take the blanket that John Hancock is no longer using, go all the way upstairs to the roof, and use the blanket with the chimney. That sets off the primitive smoke detector, and the founding fathers flee the room. Now you can go back down and collect the gold-plated quill pen.
A. Once you give the oil, vinegar, and gold-plated quill pen to Red Edison, he then assembles the super-battery and puts it on the shelf. You can pick it up then, but you'll need to charge it before you can use it. So... have Bernard go outside and into the parking lot, where a burglar is trying to break into the car. Have a look at the windshield, and Bernard comments:
"Some people think that washing one's vehicle will make it rain."
That's a pretty big hint regarding how we can cause a storm to brew up in the past! Take control of Hoagie now, and go to the second floor of the inn, first door on the left. Hey, George sleeps here. Use George's bed to mess it up, then pull the cord and the short-sighted maid comes in to clean up. Go out into the hall, close the door so she can't see you, then take the soap from the maid's cart. Down to the kitchen next, into the next room, and grab the bucket. Also open the cabinet there and pick up the brush. Back in the kitchen, use the bucket with the water pump to fill it, then go outside and use the soap on the bucket. Use the bucket full of soapy water on the carriage, and there is our thunder storm. Ben Franklin goes inside. Follow him up to his room, try to give him any object, and you discover that he's now looking for a lightweight, waterproof material for his new kite.
Take control of Bernard now, and get the help wanted sign from the front window. Flush it to Hoagie, and have him go downstairs to Red Edison. If you try to take the lab coat that's hanging to his right, he says it's only for employees. Just give him the help wanted sign then, and you are now (reluctantly on his part), an employee. Take the lab coat, give it to Ben Franklin, and you quite suddenly find yourself out in the field about to launch a kite. Quickly use the super-battery on the pocket in the kite, then wait till Ben gives the go-ahead and push the kite up into the sky. Don't worry if you don't get this sequence right on the first go, because you can keep trying until you succeed. Anyway, at the end of it all, Ben drops the battery on the ground as he's leaving. Pick it up, and you now have a fully charged super-battery. You can plug the Chron-O-John into it if you like, but you're not going anywhere yet until we get Laverne sorted.
A. Once Laverne has her tentacle costume, she's free to wander anywhere in the former inn. Go into the hallway then, talk to the tentacle there, and you wind up with a name tag. You also learn that in order to win the show, your pet human will be judged in three categories: best smile, best hair, and best laugh. Head up to the second floor next, and into the middle room. Pick up the roller skates. Then use the name tag on the mummy, and the roller skates. Push the mummy and he rolls down the stairs to literally bowl over the other contestants. The guard takes them all up to the top floor after that. Now we need to find a way to dress up the mummy so we can win the show.
A. Harold is a dead cert to win the human show, so we need to figure out how to get rid of him. Have Bernard go to the right-most room on the second floor. Chat with Green Tentacle there, and you learn that he's in a band... that can only compete on the basis of loudness. Right then. Use the stereo, and you see the fake barf on the ceiling below begin to peel off. Push the speaker onto the floor then, and that finishes the job. Go downstairs, collect the fake barf, and flush it to Laverne. Once she uses the fake barf on Harold that gets him disqualified from the show!
A. Have Bernard flush the textbook to Hoagie. Then visit the horse on the third floor, and use the textbook on him. This puts him to sleep, and you can now take his dentures and flush them to Laverne to use with the mummy.
A. As Hoagie, go the the kitchen pantry and get the spaghetti. When you flush the spaghetti to Laverne, it turns into wet soggy noodles, which is perfect for our purposes. Then have Bernard go into the kitchen, pick up the fork from the table, and flush it to Laverne. Now use the spaghetti on the mummy to give it some hair, then use the fork on the mummy's head to style it.
A. As Laverne, flush the scalpel to Bernard. Bernard then uses it on Oozo the Clown to burst him open and collect the box o' laughs. Use this item to give the mummy a laugh.
A. Once you have got the smile, hair, and laugh for the mummy, go over to the right and talk to the judges to get the show rolling. A bit labourious this, because all three categories are judged separately. Anyway, the mummy wins, and you wind up with a dinner certificate and a trophy. Present the dinner certificate to the guard in the kennel to get rid of him.
A. After you get rid of the guard in the kennel, use the switch to turn off the security system, and Laverne tries to get the Edisons to flee. They won't budge, but you learn that they're afraid of skunks. Hmm. Have Bernard go to the office behind the front desk at the mansion, open the desk drawer, and get the Booboo-B-Gone. Flush it to Laverne, and use it on the fence where the cat is rubbing its back. The cat gets a white stripe on its back, panics, and heads for the roof. Now we need to find a way to get it down from there.
As Hoagie, Go to the attic of the inn. Sit on the bed closest to the cat (Ned's bed). It squeaks, and the cat abandons the squeaky mouse toy and comes over (briefly) to investigate. Now use squeaky mattress with Jed's bed to swap mattresses, then use Jed's bed, which is further away from the cat. When he walks over to investigate this time, you can pick up the squeaky mouse toy. Flush it to Laverne, and when she uses it with the cat on the roof, she's able to catch it. Then go inside and use cat to scare off those pesky Edisons. Now you are rid of the guard at the base of the stairs, who goes off in hot pursuit!
A. As Laverne, go to the room where the mummy is and pick up the extension cord. Use it with the plug on the Chron-O-John, then pick up the end of it and use it with the basement window. Now enter the basement via the grandfather clock, and plug the extension cord into the outlet at the base of the generator.
A. Well, we obviously need to get that generator going. As Bernard, go to the third floor of the mansion and enter the room to the right, where Weird Ed Edison is examining his stamp collection. Pick up the hamster. Go down to the second floor and use the hamster with the ice machine to freeze the poor critter.
As Laverne, open the ice machine, look at it, then pick up the frozen hamster. Take it downstairs, put it in the microwave, and we wind up with a cold wet hamster. Then as Bernard, pick up the dime from the coin slot of the out of order phone in the mansion lobby. Go to the second floor, and use it in the FickleFingers coin slot next to the sleeping conventioneer. That almost does the trick, but he's still lying on the sleeve of the sweater and you can't budge him. Close the door of this room, and take the keys from the keyhole. Present the keys to the man in the ski mask outside, and he gives you the crowbar. Use the crowbar to pry up the gum with dime stuck in it in the lobby, then use gum (ugh!) to free the dime. Use this dime in the FickleFingers coin slot to get the conventioneer completely off the bed, and now you can take the sweater. Bernard comments that the sweater is soaking wet when he picks it up. It's also too big for our hamster friend, so we need to find a way to shrink it.
Go to the utility room next to the kitchen and put the sweater into the dryer. Hmm. We need quarters to operate the dryer. Up to the second floor then, and use the crowbar on the candy machine. Then use quarters on the dryer, and turn control over to Laverne. Open the dryer and take out the shrunken sweater. Use it on the cold wet hamster to get a warm toasty hamster. Now use our little friend on the generator in the basement to power up Laverne's Chron-O-John, and... oops. A boxing glove comes flying out of the wall, smashes Laverne in the face, and scares the hamster into a mouse hole :-\
A. As Bernard, take the flier from the rack for fliers in the lobby. Flush it to Hoagie, and have him put it in the suggestion box. Et voila, the fact that every household should have a vacuum cleaner in the basement is now written into the Constitution. Use the built-in shop vac with the mouse hole to retrieve the hamster, then open the hatch on the vac and pick up the dust ball (hamster). Now when you use the hamster with the generator, it is truly powered up and Laverne is good to go ;-)
A. There's a safe behind the picture in Dr. Fred's office. Go talk to Nurse Edna on the third floor, and you learn a few useful pieces of information concerning the safe, namely:
- There's a contract worth a few million dollars locked in the safe.
- Dr. Fred can only remember the combination to the safe when he sleepwalks. But something inside the safe frightens him so much that he closes it immediately after he opens it.
- Dr. Fred has managed to stop sleepwalking by giving up sleep entirely. To do this, he drinks a lot of coffee.
Right then... go to the kitchen and pick up the decaf coffee. Go to the basement and use it with Dr. Fred's coffee mug to get him sleepwalking. He's opening the safe alright, but too quickly for us to either grab the contract or note the combination. Go to the room where Green Tentacle is and take the videotape from the top of the stereo. Of course, we need to use this in the VCR that Nurse Edna is jealously guarding. Now... you can try pushing Nurse Edna so that she flies out of the room, but she grabs the arm of the statue at the last moment. Drat!
Take control of Hoagie, head for the basement, and pick up the left-handed hammer from Red Edison's workbench. Then go up to the third floor, and into the room across from the horse. When Ned puts the right-handed hammer down on the barrel, quickly use the left-handed hammer you just got from the lab with it to make the swap. Now Jed takes over the carving duties, the statue in the future becomes other-handed, and you can push Nurse Edna out the door to get rid of her.
With Nurse Edna gone, you can use the videotape you got from Green Tentacle's room in the VCR. Then look at the monitor (large one on lower left) to get a close-up of Dr. Fred opening the safe. He's going too fast for you to note the combination, so we'll have to record and then play back in slow motion. So... use the red button to record. After the IRS take Dr. Fred away, use << to rewind. Then move the switch all the way on the right to its down position to get slow motion, then > to play. You note the combination is: 101, 999, 57. Finally, use the circular button to exit the close-up of the monitor. Now you can go down to the office, open the safe, and pick up the contract. Oh no... it's not signed yet, and the IRS are holding Dr. Fred upstairs in the attic :-\
A. Go to the roof via the fireplace, and then enter the attic through the window. Not only is Dr. Fred all tied up in IRS red tape, he's also tied up literally with a rope. Pick up the rope, then go out the window and use it on the pulley. Now go back through the chimney, head outside, and use the dangling rope with Dead Cousin Ted to secure it. Back up to the roof again, and pull the rope. You succeed in pulling Dead Cousin Ted all the way into the attic. Now we just need to figure out a way to swap him with Dr. Fred.
Have Hoagie flush the red paint to Bernard. Then go up to the attic and use the red paint on Ted to make him look just like Dr. Fred. Now use Dr. Fred with Ted to make the swap. Then use the end of the rope with Dr. Fred (who's now on the floor) to tie it to him. No go out the window, and pull the part of the rope that's hanging straight down. Bernard carries Dr. Fred into the lab, but he's out cold!
A. After you rescue Dr. Fred from the clutches of the evil IRS, you need to revive him. So head for the room next to the kitchen, open the cabinet there, and pick up the funnel. In the kitchen, pick up the coffee from the coffee maker. Use the funnel with Dr. Fred, then use the coffee with the funnel to revive him.
A. If you just try giving the contract to Dr. Fred, he refuses to sign it. So you need to trick him into doing it:
"Oh, forget it. I'll get rid of Purple Tentacle myself!"
"I guess I can't. Hey, did you join a record club lately?"
And there you go, one signed contract ;-)
A. Pick up the disappearing ink from the table just inside the door of the middle room on the second floor. Go to the next floor up, and enter the room where Weird Ed Edison is looking at his stamp collection. Use the disappearing ink with the stamp album to ruin it, then pick up the stamp from the floor outside. Also pick up the stamp album, and you can return it to Ed to make yourself feel a bit better (because the disappearing ink has now... disappeared).
A. Easy one. Use the stamp with the signed contract, then flush it to Hoagie. Have him use it with the mailbox outside the inn, and the Pony Express picks it up and delivers it into the future. Dr. Fred immediately gets a call from a LucasArts attorney informing him that $2 million dollars in back royalties has just been deposited in his Swiss bank account.
A. Also quite easy when you have $2 million dollars handy. After the money has been deposited in Dr. Fred's account, have Bernard pick up the Swiss bankbook from the desk in Dr. Fred's office, and then use the phone (presuming you've watched the TV in one of the rooms and know what number to call). Hey presto, one diamond swiftly delivered. Also presuming that both Hoagie and Laverne have their Chron-O-John's powered up, Dr. Fred brings them back. But Purple Tentacle is not so easily defeated as that...
A. Since Bernard, Hoagie, and Laverne were forced to use the same Chron-O-John to travel back to yesterday in, they find themselves in a Siamese triplets situation on the second floor of the mansion. Every time you get close to Purple Tentacle, he zaps you with that ray gun of his and shrinks you. So the trick here is... when you are full-sized, stand just in front of the candy machine where Purple Tentacle doesn't notice you. From there you can open the door to the middle room. He spots you and shrinks you then, but you can quickly run into that room, then head through the mouse hole into Green Tentacle's room. Now pick up the bowling ball and make your way to the basement (the coast is clear as Purple Tentacle has left for the moment).
A. Use the bowling ball on them.
A. You have to trick him into using his ray gun on Dr. Fred, who you've no doubt noticed is wearing a reflector on his forehead:
"You're pretty handy with that ray gun."
"I bet you couldn't hit your OWN forehead."
"Just what is it you have against humans anyway?"
"Sounds like that's all Dr. Fred's fault, really."
"Why don't you zap FRED with the ray gun for a change?"
And that pretty much does it for you. Now sit back and enjoy the epilogue :-)
See the metzomagic.com Review of Day of the Tentacle.
Copyright © Steve Metzler 2007.
All rights reserved.