Commodore 64 was an incredible inspiration to so many game creators. The C64 versions of many games are still the best and most shining ones in all respects.

Maniac Mansion is no exception - the Commodore 64 version is the best. The only thing that can be considered lacking is the joystick-controlled cursor. But that's only until you develop the 'Joystick-Zen' that allows you to actually enjoy the joystick-cursor more than you could a mouse cursor. A mouse cursor is just a mundane thing, something you don't think about, a tool, taken for granted.

A joystick requires you to develop a skill to always being able to land the cursor exactly where you want it. Frustrating to the beginner, absolute joy to the seasoned veteraan.

The C64 version is the only one that has that magnificent, autumny atmosphere and feel to it. It's so mystical that it's almost cosmic. If you have a 'howling' disk drive, like Excelerator/OC-118N/Oceanic, there's nothing quite like playing Maniac Mansion in the autumn after admiring the stars for awhile first, and then the disk drive starting to 'howl' when the game gets more intense, making those 'long loading times' pass quickly and in an added mystical feeling.

All the other versions also have ugly graphics - the DOS-version isn't too bad, but Maniac Mansion was clearly meant to be enjoyed through the VIC-II and a bright CRT television, not with crisp and clearly defined, squarelike pixels on a dull EGA monitor.

The sound is beeper only, so the less said about it, the better for the peace of mind.

Though one must love the 'demo' where Dave and Sandy explain how the game works.  
NES-version does not contain even 10% of the glorious and mystical, atmospheric graphics of the C64-version - everything looks distorted and wrong. And the added 'jingles' for every player - what the heck was that all about? Not to mention the censorship, holy sucked brains!

The Amiga (and later PC version) are perhaps the most repulsive things that have ever happened to the visuals of a computer or video game conversion. How did they get away with that? Was there no quality control whatsoever? Not to mention it's pathetic, lifeless sound.

It's interesting that "Time Travel" is mentioned in the Maniac Mansion's design notes (can't remember, which ones). Back to the Future was my favorite movie at the time (also due to incredible atmosphere in the DeLorean-scenes, but also for other reasons), so I always thought that some sort of time traveling would have fit Maniac Mansion so well (but at least it has 'space travel', though not for the players).

And now I read that it WAS planned! Kinda 'blew my mind', as they say.. Maniac Mansion plus time travel would have been the best thing in the existence at the time!

Anyway, Commodore 64 has an incredible half-analog synthesizer whose sound can't be emulated accurately (partially because every individual SID chip sounds unique, though in practice, many sound very similar, and the later chips sound pretty much the same, because they 'fixed' the feature that gave the chip its soul, essentially killing its soul in the process of course..), and its graphic chip creates wonders together with a bright CRT television (there's an 'arfifact effect' and 'color blurring' that happens, that is nowadays called "PAL Emulation" in emulators like Vice).

And there's something esoterically exciting about the C64 - it's not just what we can see and touch physically, there lives a soul iin every C64 that comes to life when you use the computer for entertainment or creativity (making music with a real C64 is a bliss I wish everyone could experience, for example).

Long live the C64!

(I intend to keep my Commodore computers alive as long as possible, and they are in active use)