Jet Set Willy II
|Jet Set Willy II: The Final Frontier|
Cassette cover from ZX Spectrum version
|Developer(s)||Derrick P. Rowson|
|Series||Miner Willy series|
Jet Set Willy II: The Final Frontier is a platform game released in 1985 by Software Projects for a variety of 8-bit home computers. It was the only official sequel to Jet Set Willy, one of the most successful and popular home computer games ever released. Officially, Jet Set Willy II: The Final Frontier is the last of the Miner Willy series, although numerous unofficial sequels, remakes, homages and updates have been released, even up to this day.
Jet Set Willy II is an expansion of the original JSW rather than a new game unto itself. Its map is primarily an expanded version of the original mansion, with only a few new original elements over its predecessor, several of which are based on rumoured events in JSW that were in fact never programmed (such as being able to launch the titular ship in the screen called "The Yacht" and explore an island). In the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad and MSX versions Willy is blasted from the Rocket Room into space, and for these 33 rooms he dons a spacesuit.
Control of Willy also differs from the original:
- The player can jump in the opposite direction immediately upon landing, without releasing the jump button.
- Willy now takes a step forward before jumping from a standstill.
- The Willy character is mapped differently, so although Willy looks the same, some previous "safe spots" in Jet Set Willy are now hazardous to the player in Jet Set Willy II - the tall candle in The Chapel for example.
The ending of JSW II is also different. Once Willy has collected 150 of the 175 available items and goes to bed, the game takes control of Willy and guides him into the bathroom, where he falls into the toilet - and lands in a room named Oh $#!+! The Central Cavern!, laid out identically to and deriving its name from the opening level of Manic Miner. The screen is playable on the Amstrad CPC version, but there is no escape, save for the player intentionally killing off their remaining lives.
JSW II was originally created as an Amstrad version of Jet Set Willy (by Derrick P. Rowson and Steve Wetherill), but with expansions to exploit the 64K RAM of the Amstrad CPC range (compared with the 48K of the ZX Spectrum, the game's home platform). This version was subsequently ported back to the Spectrum. The porting across to Amstrad and porting back to Spectrum may also explain a number of other small differences, including the loss of coloured backgrounds in certain screens as the CPC version ran in a 4-colour display mode.
The game was subsequently ported to other platforms, including the Commodore 64, Commodore 16, BBC Micro, Acorn Electron and MSX. The BBC Micro cassette version has 2 rooms not in the ZX Spectrum version, and omits 60 of the rooms, rather than being a subset of it as are the CPC and ZX Spectrum versions. Unofficial ports to the Acorn Archimedes, Windows/DOS and UNIX/X environments also exist.
The C64 screen was a different format to the Amstrad, so the developers were unable to take the data used in the Amstrad and instead had to lay out again and reimplement all the screens and sprites. However, Derrick Rowson was able to use much of the data directly from the Amstrad, and hence the game was released sooner.
In November 2016 Derrick P. Rowson released JSW2+, being a re-write of JSW2. As well as technical improvements to the code allowing more complicated rooms, this has built-in ‘cheat’ devices allowing infinite lives and teleportation. Rowson also made many of the rooms easier, with fewer or slower sprites, and added some new rooms.
- Martijn van der Heide. "Jet Set Willy II". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2006-12-23.
- Jet Set Willy II: The Central Cavern
- "Jet Set Willy II: BBC Micro version". Retrieved 2010-10-25.
- "The DECWindows Archive - JETSET 1.0". DECWindows and VMS CENA's Archive. Retrieved 2006-12-23.
- Will Meet Again, Your Spectrum issue 18