Manhole, Anyone?

12 Jul

As part of my research for an upcoming article, I would really like to beg, borrow, or buy a copy of the 1989 CD-ROM version of The Manhole for the black-and-white Macintosh. Note that this means neither the 1988 floppy-disk release nor the 1994 Masterpiece edition or any other re-release. If you happen to have a line on this rarity, I’d hugely appreciate it if you could contact me and let me know. I’d be equally happy with a digital or physical copy, and am willing to pay for the latter.

Thanks a million, and see you in a few days with my next proper article!

Update: Reader Casey Muratori knows the folks at Cyan, and put me in touch with them. They’re going to send me a copy, so problem solved. My huge thanks go to Cyan and to Casey, who has just provided yet more proof that I have the best readers in the world.


12 Responses to Manhole, Anyone?

  1. Helper Monkey

    July 12, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Here you go

    It was also ported to iOS.
    The Manhole: Masterpiece Edition by Cyan Worlds

    • Jimmy Maher

      July 12, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      Thanks, but… well, I’m afraid your first link is to the 1988 floppy-disk edition and the second is to the Masterpiece edition. In other words, just what I said I don’t want. ;)

      Contacting Cyan is a possibility, however. Hadn’t thought of that.

  2. Helper Monkey

    July 12, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Cyan is still around and would probably be willing to help if you can’t get the abandonware link I sent to work.

  3. Alexander Freeman

    July 12, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    This may meet your criteria:

    If you scroll nearly all the way down, you’ll see a download link for the Mac version.

  4. Marcus Johnson

    July 12, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Wow, that seems to be a really hard version to find. I wonder if it didn’t sell many copies, being such an early CD release?

    Interestingly the PC Engine version seems to be a pretty straightforward port of the original Mac CD-ROM, although it’s in color and the voice work was re-recorded in Japanese:

  5. Eric Lundquist

    July 12, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    “Hey baby!” “Have a biscuit, baby!”

    I remember playing the 1988 floppy-disk version on my Mac Plus back then while interning at Microsoft doing Mac product support.

  6. AguyinaRPG

    July 13, 2016 at 12:19 am

    I didn’t realize that this edition of the game is difficult to find. Cyan are cool for helping you out!

    Thankfully I only really need to play the floppy version for my research, but I certainly understand why you’d want to play the CD version. I do recall that the CD version of Street Fighter on the PC Engine is actually the *very* first CD game (unless you found something else).

  7. Blake Patterson

    July 13, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    In my experience, contacting Cyan? A good idea.


  8. Helper Monkey

    July 15, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    It was a very early CD-ROM game, back when $300 was a good price on a single-speed unit. God I’m old

  9. William Volk

    July 28, 2016 at 4:27 pm


    I’m the technical producer of The Manhole, CD-ROM … circa 1989 Activision (and later the DOS, FM-TOWNS and NEC 9801 versions).

    This is technically the first CD-ROM game ever published (early 1989). At one point we had more sales than Apple did of the very pricey CD-ROM drive (around $800).

    I did the scripting to allow for the ‘streamed’ digital music from the CD. The late Russell Lieblich, did the music, hiring the string section of the San Francisco Opera company to do the performance.

    The CD is basically the original HyperCard version with the streamed music that appears in some scenes and the opening credits.

    I MAY have the original in a package, will be looking for it.

    Note, the game engine built to run this under DOS, evolved to be the game engine for The Return to Zork.

    • William Volk

      July 28, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      I found an original, still in the heat shrink.

      • Jimmy Maher

        July 29, 2016 at 9:14 am

        Thanks! Email coming…


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