Jet Set Willy

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Download Jet Set Willy Remake

Ever since the Spectrum classic Manic Miner took the nation by storm, excitement has been mounting over the promised follow-up. It took ages to come. But it’s here at last. And it’s sensational.

Jet Set Willy doesn’t simplify offer more of Miner Willy’s whacky exploits, it brings an entirely new game idea to world’s micros.

Just suppose that after gaining fabulous wealth from his mine, Miner Willy decides to build himself a fabulous seaside mansion featuring no less than 60 rooms and other locations.

Suppose that each of these locations was a kind of obstacle course filling the entie screen and featuring platforms, swinging ropes, conveyor belts and a large number of bizarre creatures to be avoided at all costs.

And just suppose that Willy has to move round this mansion collecting objects from each room.

Yeas, you guessed. That’s the scenario of Jet Set Willy online.

The game starts with Willy in the bath after a mad party. You’re told that all he wants to do is to go to bed. But there, barring the way to the bed stands Willy’s houskeeper Maria.

What a vast and marvellous creature she is. She stands there tapping her foot, and if Willy moves toward her she raises one arm in a gesture whose meaning is unmistakable: “You may not pass.” Why not? Because the mansion is in a mess after the party.

So before Willy can get to the bed he must go round the entire place collecting all the dirty glasses and other objects littering the rooms. Off he sets on a task which turns out to be rather a lot to expect from a chap suffering a hangover.

The major criticism of Manic Miner was that, despite its 20 different fun-packed screens of action. you could get frustrated by having to work through the screens in the same order each time. You would reach a new screen, rapidly lose your lives, and then have to spend 20 minutes getting back there again.

Jet Set Willy‘s brilliance is that you can take the action any which way you like. Most of the locations have several different entrances and you can wander into and out of a room without necessarily risking your life to collect the objects it cointains.

Of course all the objects have to be collected in the end, but you can decide in what order you collect them. There is one exception to this, caused by a program bug. Entering the attik will make it fatal for you to try to enter certain other locations. You can still complete the game by reserving the attic until last – but it remains a significant blemish which Software Projects should have corrected.

I was able to find 50 of the 60 rooms without too much difficulty, and they’re linked to each other in a logical way which makes it possible (indeed essential) to draw a map of the mansion.

Another feature whick makes the game superior to Manic Miner, is that the action in each location is not necessarily self-contained.

For example there is an object in a location called the Banyan Tree which seems impossible to reach, until you realise that to get it, you must use a different entrance. By looking at the map of the house which you’ve been drawing, you can see that the entrance must be reached through the ceiling of the West Kitchen.

Sure enough the West Kitchen does have a platform from which you could leap through the ceiling – but it’s impossible to reach. To do so you have to go firts to the Main Kitchen. And so it goes on.

In fact, what programmer Mathew Smith has done is to produce the first game which combines tha zany action of the platform games with the complexity and intrigue of an adventure.

When you take a walk trough the mansion he’s created you’ll see why it’s been months in the making. Not all of the 60 locations have the same complexity as the screens of Manic Miner, but the place is astonishing nonetheless.

Moving downstairs and east you will come across a ballroom, hall, front door, security guard drive, a mega-tree, bridge and eventually an of-licence. To the west lie kitchens, a cold store, a tool shed, and eventually a beach and yacht. Elsewhere in the mansion you will find a swimming pool, wine cellar, attic, chapel and a series of roofs and battlements.

The action on the battlements is a take-off of the game Hunchback, complete with guards armed with spears, flying arrows and swinging ropes.

Special mention must be made of these ropes, which also appear in several other locations. They swing in the most realistic way you’ve ever seen and as well as jumping on and off them, you can also climb up and down.

Incidentally, all of Willy’s stupendous daredevil feats are achieved with the use of just three control keys – left, right and jump. No knotted fingers here.

In order to fit the program into 48K, the same creatures appear in several different locations. But they are still a remarkable collection, including chefs with waggling knives, rolling eggs, birds, grimacing faces, scorpions, rotating, razor blades and a vacuum cleaner.

With this crew protecting the various objects, it’s not surprising that Software Projects are offering a large ammount of champagne and a helicopther encounter with Matthew to the first person who can collect them all and retire Willy to bed.

Enter Willy’s mansion. And begin the whackiest, craziest adventure of your life.

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