Below are the characters in the game, and a brief description of their role in the mansion. Click the tips & tricks link to view spoiler information.
Dave Miller is the main character in Maniac Mansion. Whereas other characters are selectable, Dave must always be played. Dave is a college student who is dating Sandy. When Sandy was kidnapped by Dr. Fred, Dave gathers two of his friends to aid him in a rescue mission.
Dave has no useable skills in the game. He is a default character, and can not be unselected (unlike all of his friends)
Syd is an aspiring musician trying to start his own new-wave band.
Syd can play the piano. Record a song that Syd plays on the piano (using the cassette tape, found in the library). Give the recorded tape to Green Tentacle (when the tentacle is in his room). He'll share his demo with you, which you can mail to the publisher. You'll get a contract back. Give the contract to Green Tentacle, and he will help you get past Purple Tentacle.
Michael is an award winning photographer for the college newspaper.
After you give Weird Ed his package, a roll of film will appear outside the mansion. Get the film to michael and have him develop it in the dark room. Need developer, but you broke the bottle in the pantry? Get the sponge from the upstairs bathroom, and use the sponge on the puddle in the walkway beneath the house. Can get beneath the house? Use the lifting machine to get stronger. Once the film is developed, give it to Weird Ed, and he'll help you get past the Purple Tentacle later on.
Wendy wants to be a famous novelist and is waiting for a big break.
Get the manuscript from the desk in the medical exam room. Have Wendy use the manuscript on the typewriter (upstairs). When she's worked her magic, mail the manuscript to the publisher, and you will get a contract back. At the end of the game, give the contract to the Purple Tentacle and you will be able to pass. Then, give the contract to the Meteor - He'll be thrilled. This is one of my favorite endings.
Bernard Bernoulli is President of the physics club and winner of the college's Geek Award. He is a nerd who specializes in fixing electronics. He lacks guts and is easily terrified. He is the only one of Dave's friends to appear in the sequal, Day of the Tentacle.
Bernard Bernoulli Spoiler
Bernard is the only one who can remove the radio tube from the radio (in the room with the chandelier). Use the radio tube on the tube socket in the guest bedroom (beneath Green Tentacle's room). Read the poster for the police's phone number. Use the radio, and enter the number. Be sure to have the secret lab's door open, otherwise the police officer can't get in.
Razor is the lead singer for the punk band 'Razor and the Scummettes'.
Razor can play the piano. Record a song that Syd plays on the piano (using the cassette tape, found in the library). Give the recorded tape to Green Tentacle (when the tentacle is in his room). He'll share his demo with you, which you can mail to the publisher. You'll get a contract back. Give the contract to Green Tentacle, and he will help you get past Purple Tentacle.
Jeff usually hangs out on the beach, and responds to the name Surfer Dude.
Jeff Woodie Spoiler
Jeff has no useable skills in the game.
Sandy Pantz is a cheerleader and the girlfriend of Dave Miller. She was kidnapped by Dr. Fred and is somewhere in the Mansion. The rescue of Sandy from the mansion is the main plot of Maniac Mansion.
Sandy Pantz Spoiler
Sandy is locked in Dr. Fred's secret lab, in the basement of the Mansion. To get into the secret lab, you need to unlock the two padlocks (with the glowing key), use a security code (from Dr. Fred's high score in the Meteor Mess game), and get past the purple tentacle (dependent on which kids you play with).
Dr.Fred is the game's main antagonist (along with the Meteor) and Sandy's kidnapper. A retired physician, he is now an archetypal "mad scientist" under the influence of the Meteor.
Dr. Fred Spoiler
You will see Dr. Fred in various cutscenes throughout the game. You will not be able to interact with him until the very end of the game. When you enter his lab, he will set a self-destruct sequence. Ignore it. Open the locker, pickup the radiation suit, use the purple keycard in the door, and go into the next room to confront the meteor. Use the switch in the meteor's room to turn off the meteor's mind control of Dr. Fred. How you beat the meteor is dependent on the kids you choose.
Edna is Dr.Fred's wife and a retired nurse. She mainly stays in her room but is occasionally found in other parts of the house. If she catches you in the mansion, she will send you to the dungeon. Some of her dialogue hints that she is into sado-masochism and obscene phone calls.
Nurse Edna Spoiler
In the far right of Edna's room is a ladder (which can not be seen in any of the cutscenes). To get past her, you will need to sacrifice a kid to the dungeon. Have one kid enter her room, and she will take the kid to the dungeon. When Edna is downstairs, have another kid enter her room, grab her key and go up the ladder. Some people claim that you can have a kid sneak past Edna while she is on the phone, although this may only work in some versions of the game. This option supposedly only works with Jeff or Bernard, who are the only ones that can make the call.
Weird Ed is the son of Dr. Fred and Nurse Edna. He strongly resents the Meteor's presence in the house and is looking for a way to defeat him. He is extremely fond of his pet hamster. Weird Ed is initially hostile to Dave's party and will send you to the dungeon if he catches you. It is however possible to make friends with him.
Weird Ed Spoiler
To befriend Weird Ed, give him his commando package (which you should get from infront of the house, when the doorbell rings). If you are using Michael, develop the film and give Weird Ed the plans. Ed will help the characters get past the purple Tentacle.-
Dead Cousin Ted
Ted is a dead cousin of Dr. Fred. He died sometime in May 1972 and his mummified corpse can be found in the upstairs bathroom.
Dead Cousin Ted Spoiler
You can't talk or interact with Dead Cousin Ted. However, if you get the faucet handle from the garage, you can use the faucet in the bathroom to turn on the shower. Turning on the water will cause Ted's body to move. Turning off the water will reveal Edna's phone number.
Green Tentacle is a sentient disembodied tentacle who lives in Dr. Fred's house. According to the hint poster, he once belonged to the pet octopus of the college's biology department. He is originally neutral to you, but he resents the meteor's presence in the house and it is possible to make friends with him. His dream is to achieve success with his rock band, named "GT and the Suction Cups".
Purple Tentacle is a sentient disembodied tentacle who lives in Dr. Fred's house. According to the hint poster, he once belonged to the pet octopus of the college's biology department. He is Dr. Fred's henchman. He spends most of his time guarding the entrance to the secret lab, but Dr. Fred can also send him to investigate if you cut off the house's power or empty the swimming pool. He will send you to the dungeon if he catches you.
Purple Tentacle Spoiler
How you get past Purple Tentacle is dependent on which characters you use, and who's help you can get. Syd and Razor can befriend the Green Tentacle. Wendy can give the Purple Tentacle a publishing contract. Michael can get Weird Ed's help. Bernard can use the Meteor Police's badge.
The hamster is Weird Ed's beloved pet.
Weird Ed will not let you touch his hamster while he is in his room. To pickup the hamster, have someone ring the doorbell. When Weird Ed leaves, have another character enter his room and pickup the hamster. The purple keycard is hidden behind the hamster, which is needed in order to enter the meteor's room (in the secret lab). Razor and Syd can use the hamster in the microwave.
The Meteor is a sentient piece of rock who constantly oozes purple slime. He is wanted by the Meteor Police for unspecified "terrible acts of violence".
How you defeat the meteor is dependent on which character you use. If you have the publishing contract, from Wendy's edited manuscript, give the contract to the meteor. If you are using any other character, put on the radiation suit (in the locker, in the lab) and use the purple card key to enter the meteor's room. Flick the switch in the meteor's room (this will turn off Dr. Fred's mind control, and allow you to pickup the meteor). Pickup the meteor while wearing the radiation suit. Exit through the door to the right. Place the meteor in the trunk of the Edsel, and then use the yellow key on the car. Watch the end.
The Meteor Police are an alien police force who want to capture the Meteor for unspecified "terrible acts of violence".
Meteor Police Spoiler
You can only contact the meteor police if you are using Bernard. Have Bernard pickup the radio tube from the chandelier room (only Bernard can do this), and take it to the guest bedroom upstairs (beneath Green Tentacle's room). Use the radio tube in the high tech radio. Read the wanted poster to get the meteor police's phone number. Use the radio and enter the number, contacting the meteor police. The meteor police can only arrest the meteor if the door to the secret lab is open. When the meteor police enters the lab, look on the ground for the police badge. You can give the badge to Purple Tentacle and he will let you pass.
Mark Eteer is from "3 guys who publish anything, Inc.". You don't meet Mark in the mansion, but you can see his commercial when you use the TV in the music room. Mark claims to publish anything: books, music and video games.
Mark Eteer Spoiler
Mark's company is necessary to win the game with Syd, Razor or Wendy. Syd and Razor can mail him Green Tentacle's demo tape and get a music contract (getting Green Tentacle's help). Wendy can send Mark the meteor's edited manuscript, and get a publishing contract (which can be used on the Purple Tentacle and the meteor).
Wink Smiley is a talk-show host for "The Late Show with Wink Smiley". He is briefly featured in one of the game's endings.
Wink Smiley Spoiler
If you beat the game using the publishing contract (from Wendy's edited manuscript), you will see Wink interviewing the meteor.