JSW:FTB:FAQ


What's this then?

This, my friend, is a string of binary code arranged in such a manner that, when processed through a program known as a "Spectrum Emulator" will produce a fully playable and quite entertaining videogame called JSW:FTB. Alternatively this binary string can be transferred onto magnetic tape, either manually or by using the relevant software and hardware, and then played on a real Spectrum.

This game is structurally the same as a related string of data called Jet Set Willy and has the same rules and conditions as that game. If you aren’t familiar with Jet Set Willy I’m afraid you’re in the wrong place

But what else is it?

Once upon a time, this was a game called Jet Set Willy vs. the Beatles. I started it, brimming over with enthusiasm in 2000, not long after I’d announced myself to the JSW community with The Time Hole (which, it has to be said, is a spectacularly average piece of work on reflection). After a year or so working on the game, I slowly ran out of steam and abandoned the project, meaning to take it up again later

Fast forward a year or so, and I’d just released Soul Miner, the pseudo-sequel to Time Hole and infinitely superior. Well, I’d gotten back into the art of JSW editing with that game, and I decided I’d have a look at Willy vs. the Beatles. It didn’t take long for me to recoil in horror at how poor the later rooms in the game were, and I knew that it would take forever to put right. Slowly, images swam before my eyes of year after year, slogging away, expending all my decent ideas, vainly trying to pull inspiration from my Beatles records and then abandoning the damn thing again, only to return and rehash. To hell with that. I came up with the idea of pulling out the best rooms and putting them together as an “excerpts from Willy vs. the Beatles” type thing, and from there the realization that I’d need more rooms to patch them all together made me turn towards a whole new game - JSW:FTB. And here we are

What's the plot?

There is no plot, it's just a jolly adventure game. There’s a vague concept about the rooms above ground, but all that goes into meltdown as soon as Willy drops below the surface. If this was still JSW vs. the Beatles, the plot would be this:

So The Story Goes...

Willy, having grown tired of living in a huge house and constantly having to tidy up after parties while dodging various things, finally sold his house and bought a stylish American apartment. In Blackpool. For whatever reason he brought Maria along, but it's not worth going into all that right now. Now, as with all rich people, Willy felt he had done virtually everything he can do, and decided to return to his former hobby of adventuring. One day, he heard of a great treasure, and feeling bold (and craving fame), he decided to set off in search of it. If you've ever played Join The Jet Set, you'll know this is not necessarily the best way for Willy to spend his time. Still, off he went, saying to himself "This is going to make me a legend, oh yes indeedy!"

So, here he is now on an island that is a shrine to the Beatles (but the KLF are sneaking in, as the KLF often do). He must go through the island, finding the lost treasure of Lemchast, the fourth wise man (of The Gospel of Les, from the New Pimlico Bible "Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh, and then Lemchast gave him the latest Man U strip, and lo, the child Jesus was upset, for it was already out of date, and anyway, he supported Arsenal"). Then he must go home. Along the way he will encounter strawberries, Hell's Angels, chickens, happy warm guns and bad cash-in products, flip some switches and maybe even learn the secret of life itself*

*NB: "Maybe" and "Yes" do not mean the same thing

Recovered from JSW Remakes, after I lost the original in a software crash. Cheers Gawp. You da Man!

That would be the plot if this was JSW vs. the Beatles. But it's not, so it's not

How much of JSW:FTB is left over from JSW vs. the Beatles?

God only knows. I guess between 50% and 75% of this game is original. These rooms range from those cloned straight across with little or no modification (i.e. “The Cast-Iron Shore”) to rooms loosely based around concepts lying around from that game, fleshed out to something approaching playable. “Father McKenzie’s Church” for example was pretty pathetic once upon a time, but I conflated it with “The Graveyard” and some new ideas, and we were away. Yay!

What does “FTB” actually stand for?

I’ll leave it to your imagination

Are we ever going to see JSW versus the Beatles?

Finished? No. “As is” as a historical curiosity? Maybe, but I doubt it. You wouldn’t want it anyway since all the decent rooms are here and the rest are often appalling in both quality and appearance. “She Said She Said” in particular has to be seen to be believed

Is this game connected to Soul Miner, just as that game is connected to Time Hole?

Not really, no. I borrowed the eye-crippling font from Soul Miner of course, but the game itself doesn’t really have any conceptual ties to those particular jaunts through Willy’s world

The hell is with that damn font anyway?

Who really knows? I started tweaking the letters when I was working on Soul Miner and before I knew it, I had a whole set of arcane runes. I’ve adjusted them a little further for this game, with the Cyrillic “R” and all, as I heard unconfirmed reports that people were managing to read the room titles

What do “-YO-“ and “-MO-“ mean?

Side YO and side MO are the A- and B-sides of Rapeman’s sole album Two Nuns and a Pack Mule. I only used them because I can never think of a decent GAME OVER message

Room guide

You, uh, might want to skip this part if you’re new to the game. To avoid spoiling the surprise and such. Go on, we’ll see you on the other side

NB: the room guide is organized pretty haphazardly, although there’s an internal logic to it, the details of which I shan’t bore you with

The Cast-Iron shore

The lyric from “Glass Onion” which inspired the whole game. Willy starts the game by dropping down onto the dull grey mass of iron, the sea behind him. Why is the beach made of iron? And why does Willy fall onto it? Silence your curiosity! Such things are not to be revealed to you!

The Liver Birds

The Liver Birds are a) two large metal birds, stood atop the Liver Building, and b) a crap TV show (well I didn’t like it anyway). Popular legend has it that the female Liver bird looks out to sea to look after the sailors (Liverpool is and always has been a shipping town) and the male bird looks in-land to find a decent pub. In this game, one bird is looking towards “The Cast Iron Shore”, and the other indeed looks towards “The Pub”

The Pub

Inspired by an obscure band called Peter And The Test Tube Babies. They released an album that I’ve never heard called Alien Pubduction, whose cover showed an alien knocking back a pint. Nice. This room is clearly butchered from “The Off License”, couldn’t be more obvious if it still had the same name and was probably the first room produced

The alien graphic is, so far as I can remember stolen from JSW ‘97 on the Amiga, although I shortened its neck to get it into a 16x16 block

Strawberry Fields Forever

Like that wasn’t coming. The holes in the field came about because I got stubborn about the speed of two of the strawberries that kept colliding with the grass

The strawberries are another of the myriad graphics stolen in this game, and came from Pyramid on the Speccy

A cesspool (no horizontal hold)

The underside of “Strawberry Fields”. I rather like this room, despite its faults and even though I realize people will moan that they got caught out whilst jumping off the side. Anyway, head down there and rescue the flower from the otherwise stagnant mess of borrowed block graphics

The Fool On The Hill

Possibly another inevitability, I’m not sure. The Fool (Odd Job Eddie) is easy to jump, and from there you simply continue on through the hazards the island surface throws in your face

The amount of blue in this room probably meant something once, but damned if I can remember what. It does look exceedingly cool though, when you look at it

The Bent-Backed Tulips

Another lyric in “Glass Onion” - “Looking through the bent-backed tulips/to see how the other half live”. I love that song, although this screen was impossible to realise as I’d like. If I had access to JSW II’s engine, this wouldn’t be such a hassle, but I don’t. Anyway, here you get the first glimpse of the underworld travels to come. Getting the item and getting down below isn’t as hard as you might expect

Forget the Shore, I think this was the real inspiration behind this game. The promised land effect offered is impossible to pass up

A Nest Down In The Woods

Entering the woods now. What’s with the robot?

Speaking of robots, this and its counterpart (which looks almost identical, but you’ll notice it) are culled from the room data in Willy vs. the Beatles and slightly modified to look good in a game. Very nice if I do say so myself

Fir(e) Trees

In a just world I’d be executed on sight for that pun. Instead here you have Willy trying not to walk into some deadly tree trunks. Why they’re deadly is anyone’s guess of course, but hey, you’re in videogame world now. Time to forget everything you knew about logic

A Very Rum Place To Be

This room is meant to suggest some arcane ritual taking place, which you most certainly should not be witnessing. Dodge the monks (both the regular ones and the one who seems to be absorbing some occult power), climb round their ritual constructions and flee for your life

The Entangled Moon

Based on a fairy story I read once, Willy must reach the moon somehow. But how? It’s an impressive challenge

The guardians in this room came from the colour code in JSW (cheers Richard Hallas) and from an unknown source (more on this at the end of the text)

The Acid Casualties

One of the best rooms in the game. You must quickly and carefully dodge through this mass of forest hippies and their naughty bottle, and then carry on with your absurd adventures

The guardians in this room come (so far as I can remember) from Monty On The Run, Pyramid, Odd Job Eddie, Pyramid again, JSW and Technician Ted. When Alex saw this room, he was irked that I used the Divvy from Monty before him. Hah!

deep in the heart of the forest...

JSW:FTB may be the only JSW game with a separate character for an ellipsis in its fonts

This room emerged because I wanted to have a coherent map, and it was only when rehashing Willy vs. the Beatles that it occurred to me that the forest had a large hole in it. Nothing too strenuous happens here. Willy has his first encounter with the wobbling blobs that were originally created for “Savoy Truffle”, alongside Pan/Satan (a recurring character in this game - I’ll give him his own game one of these days I swear). The middle of the trees is visibly made of water blocks, so it’s not much of a mental challenge to cross this room. But it is nice

I’m not touchin this with a barge pole

Am I not touching this with a barge pole? Do bears shit in the woods?

The 32 character room titles don’t always allow for perfect grammar. The bear of course is from Manic Miner

It’s Not The Best Of Signs Is It?

Willy finds himself at the door of the “ancient” pyramid that was in fact recently erected by the KLF. The title refers to the skull (from Dynamite Dan 2) on a pedestal (from the information bar in Henry’s Hoard) that greets you with a cheery grin as you come into the room, and the implications of its symbolism

Ideally the pyramid should have a huge fuck-off boom box attached to it, as does the pyramid on the KLF logo. But I don’t have the talent or resources to pull off a graphic feat like that

Pyramid - Entrance Hall

Heavily reworked since it’s first incarnation within Willy vs. the Beatles. Well, the guardians have all become the death-masks that appear in JSW Apocalypse, and the blocks made moderately less eye-searing. Other than that it’s the exact same to play

The Slaves’ Tombs

Not as good as I remember it being. Willy must climb up through brick pillars, dodging the endless death around him, and leave through the far wall. Assuming you managed to climb up the entrance hall, you may never need to enter this or the next room

T-H-E W-H-I-T-E R-O-O-M.

A legendarily pretentious road film produced by the KLF and never, I believe, shown publicly. This, and attendant KLF mythology (sheep, money, the letter K - no the walls aren’t made of Ketamine) are all welded together in a difficult challenge to climb up to the top of the room. It’s not as hard as you think if you sit down and study it carefully [a nice cup of tea is recommended if sitting down is to commence]

The Last Train

Three rooms themed around the major three KLF singles begin here (unless you climbed up “T-H-E W-H-I-T-E R-O-O-M.” but more of that later). This room presents Willy with a simple challenge, a train (from Richard Hallas’ Join The Jet Set no less), some funny blue knick-knacks sticking out the floor, and a teeny train to steal. Some careful jumping will give you the toy train or whatever it is, whilst crossing the room (or getting out from between the blue things if you ascended through the main entrance) will take only slightly more care. The colour scheme has been fixed up since the original version of this room in which it was an appalling mish-mash of colours with no logic behind it

*********transcendental*********

Part of the “stadium house trilogy” was “Last Train To Transcendental” - Transcendental being the KLF’s London headquarters. We’ve covered the train, so here you find the destination, a mass of glowing blocks in various colours which make the room feel like it’s shaking. It’s both eye-searing and pleasurable at the same time. Getting up requires you to come in from the right, since the bottom floor is a conveyor. Watch out for the deadly blue blocks too

That wasn’t a very helpful entry

What Time Is Love? 3AM Eternal!

The other two, mopped up in one. If you came up through “T-H-E W-H-I-T-E R-O-O-M.”, you came in through the middle of the floor in here. Simply put, dodge some clocks which constantly show the same time, grab another, smaller clock, and climb around some meaninglessly arranged blocks and spikes. Right leads you out of the pyramid, and cannot be reached from the lower half of the room

45

Another room heavily edited (aesthetically anyway) since it appeared in Willy vs. the Beatles. Initially this room was called “Autobiography (for some reason)” which was an allusion to Bill Drummond’s autobiography. To this end the room was room 045 in the game. Clearly I wasn’t secure enough to let it stand alone, and stuck the brackets in as a get-out clause. It also had flashing walls, and rather random enemy graphics. I replaced the enemies with randomly chosen numerology based on the book (although for a while I did consider deliberately celebrating the chunks of guardians slapped down with neither rhyme nor reason, as an aesthetic feature in itself), renamed the room and fixed those laser blast walls. The effect is vastly superior

Like “Pyramid - Main Entrance”, this room shows a weakness of mine - specifically, a certain tendency to plonk down prefab guardians randomly, then build a room around their configuration. “The Bird’s Nest” from Time Hole was the birthplace of this slacker design ethic

Spin The Black Circle

Pearl Jam time! Quite what inspired this room (apart from the song “Spin The Black Circle”, obviously) is unknown - what it’s doing in the KLF Pyramid even less so. The Willy vs. the Beatles version has yet another random colour scheme (I used to be more into variety than continuity). Here I turned all the bricks red, made the sky black again and made everything generally darker in colour. Perhaps I’ve had a lot of time to learn this room, but getting the items isn’t nearly as hard as it looks

The red passages which Willy walks down were a bone of contention throughout making this room. At first they were red in both ink and paper, but this made Willy disappear (tricky!). So, I gave them white ink and watched as all three objects vanished on entry, reducing the room to a dangerous staircase. Next I made the ink blue, only to discover that Willy couldn’t pick up the items as they were on water blocks after all, and thus Willy was blue when he touched them. So finally I took out the water behind them, and all was an approximation of right with the world once more

Then I made the ink purple, but I got tired of that joke long before I finished making the game

Some of the discs are from Odd Job Eddie and some from JSW. You know which ones

Bill ‘n’ Jimmy’s Headquarters

Room 23 of course. 23 is a significant number in KLF mythology, which I might have mentioned earlier, I think. They purloined it from the Illuminati trilogy, which I really need to read one of these days

At the top you will find Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty of the KLF, walking back and forth in some kind of little chambers. Who knows why? You can also see a dead sheep on the floor (a memento from their last ever performance at the Brit Awards, when they fired blank machine gun bullets into the audience and dumped a sheep such as this - only not so pixelated - in the lobby of the venue). At the top, presided over by Bill (I think) is a teleporter. You obviously want to get onto this, or I wouldn’t have stuck a legendary pop anarchist on top of it. Note the constellation in the upper left corner

The Forbidden Closet Of Mystery

From the Simpsons. Finding yourself in a secret chamber of the pyramid, you must climb down the rope and grab Chief Wiggum’s magic key that opens every door in Springfield. You’ll know how to get back out soon enough. Note the constellation in the upper left corner. What does it mean?

The Air Vent

Willy exits the hideout and climbs onto the side of the pyramid. In Willy vs. the Beatles this room consisted of the side of the pyramid and an inexplicably lethal wall blocking your descent into “Spin The Black Circle”. Here the wall has become a column, supporting the 3AM clocks, which looks odd on the side of the pyramid but fulfills its role admirably. The singular purple star is one of those enigmatic afterthoughts that sometimes crop up in my games. Climb up the ‘mid to see what’s at the top

Entrance To The King’s Chamber

I can’t for the life of me think what this room was called before, but this is a slightly better name. The yellow stars form a crude approximation of Libra (my birth sign) as copied from a chart I got online. Blame it on the chart then. The white ones are just to fill in the rest of the sky and make it seem like a real night sky, rather than a constellation that’s escaped its moorings and is about to crash into the pyramid on a suicide mission to kill JSW. Note the way our intrepid explorer finds himself drawn into the depths of the chamber

Top Of Pyramid - King’s Chamber

If it’s Elvis, it must’ve been JSW from Gawp’s Willy Comes Home

Known previously as “Top Of Pyramid - Let Down Huh?”, this room now features the visage of the King himself, guarding his letter “i” (I can’t remember now what that represents, but at some point it might have been worth 23 objects - not anymore though). Also shown is the pyramid-boombox which I previously bemoaned not having the patience to draw. Funny how things work out

An Overgrown Institution

One of those Freudian slips that occurs once in a while to give you a good idea. What institution is being discussed is itself open to discussion. Once upon a time known as “An Overgrown Intrusion”

a brief rest

A heavy piece of transposition from Willy vs. the Beatles. In the beginning, this room was in a field, and strangely underground. Moved up into the trees, it becomes a little more deadly and generally more interesting.

Lost The Plot

Most of the rooms above the forest are transposed from the underground. This was a similar room to the last one, originally. A field underground called “Lost The Plot”, to say that the game’s plot had indeed gone off the rails temporarily, which was why Willy was now out of place. This time round, a field wasn’t “off the plot” enough for a forest, so I had Willy wander onto a beach instead (it was going to be a house for a while, but it seemed too logical, and I kept churning out rooms too similar to the Bathroom anyway). To cross a pool of water, he finds he must climb up the ramp to what turns out to be a beach hut. I would’ve liked there to be a rope hanging down from the hut, but ropes tend to be trouble-makers for whatever reason, so it became a wooden scaffold for you to climb down instead. And yeah, it looks like a pretty tiddly pool, but remember that’s one and a half times Willy’s height with a top hat on

Old Man McHalest’s Beach Hut

McHalest’s nowhere to be seen at the moment, but the hut is filled with some of the oddities you might expect spooky old loners to collect in beach huts. Best to pass on through quickly and without bumping into his stuff

The wibbly thing is from Monty On The Run, the clock from god knows where (see end of document)

we now return to regular viewing

Based on a title from Willy vs. the Beatles, which in turn was a pastiche of “Repeats” from Willy’s New Hat. Willy’s back on track after his sojourn at the beach

For a while this room was empty, not as a “witty” comment on television, but because I couldn’t think of any interesting arrangement of guardians to go in it. Eventually I turned to the old tried and tested method, first perfected in “Dodgems” from Time Hole, of “when in doubt, pick some random vertical guardians”. As per usual, I like the way it came out. The sun is from Willy’s Holiday by Adam Britton, modified so that it’s not got a face anymore

Edik Tor

A tor is a sort of tower-like rock formation. The meaning of the name “Edik Tor” is an inside joke and will remain such. You can walk through it, but be wary as parts of the rock are deadly to touch

the edge of the woods: no repeat

The first time around, this room featured guardians lifted from previous rooms, whose defining characteristics were that they formed two pairs. I lost interest in that idea after a while, and the title of this room is a rebuttal to the first draft. Not that anyone can complain this time round, since they’re still old guardians displaying a different graphic. Speaking of which, the hand is edited from Gawp’s Willy Comes Home

Over the Hill

Drop down from here and you land on “The Fool On The Hill”. What imagination!

Across the Universe

In Willy vs. the Beatles, this room was underground in the Lennon temple. Now it replaces a rather naff continuation of “Strawberry Fields Forever”. Willy crosses the planets singing "Jai Guru Deva Om" (probably) and then returns to the previous cloud-based antics

The Pub Roof

I would have called this “Drinks On The House” but damn if it didn’t suck

Come Down Hard On Liverpool Town

I dunno what’s happening here to be honest. The Beatles version of this room was called “Up In The Smoke” and had one huge arrow. Now there are a mass of arrows which are apparently raining down on Liverpool (my way of pointing out that you’re above “The Liver Birds”). I could have made them hammers and a bag of cash in respect to Jeff Minter’s Headbanger’s Heaven, but decided not to go there

Rugby Posts

One of several rooms based around a book which I shall not name. Not for any potentially embarrassing reason, just that when I made Willy vs. the Beatles, I didn’t name it then either. I just like the idea of the mystery. Kudos to you if you can identify the source material

This room is a combination of two scenes in the book. The camel (adapted from JSW II and which you will note has two humps - or one and a boil - and six legs) is dripping water, and should be hanging over the rugby posts, rather than standing on them, but you can’t do that without a fair chunk of the post disappearing as a consequence. It’s quite frustrating really

I’m in a kitchen in Cricklewood

Continuing the reference above. The kitchen is attached to the rugby posts by a rope, and is supported by balloons. Dodge the angry cooker and pull the meat cleaver out of the fridge, then shin back down the rope

Father McKenzie’s Church

Two Beatles rooms from Willy vs. the Beatles conflated into one. The church is clearly lifted from Eleanor Rigby, and is deserted as the priest gives mass. Out in the graveyard though, whose name is that on the headstone? It’s not obvious, but there’s a passage in the ground that allows you to get past the pews/altar

The Crypt

For about ten minutes I had this vision of a dungeon with altar boys chained up, but that sort of fell apart when I realised it was rubbish and done to death. Also, I can’t be arsed to draw any altar boys, and it would spoil the mood anyway. So instead here’s the crypt. Note the open casket. Why is it open? What can it possibly mean? Nothing

Vortex Of Lost Souls

The Smashing Pumpkins. Second nature to me really. This is a lyric that I lifted from "Spaced", one of their “rarities” (i.e. not rare at all because they stuck it on a compilation). I just added a little room around it, allowing Willy to go back towards the pyramid after he’s explored the monastery thoroughly. Possibly the challenge of hopping through the broken pillars and dodging the flames/whatever is more trouble than it’s worth

The Forgotten Monastery

This is a straightforward rip-off of “the Forgotten Abbey”. The fact that Willy becomes a monk and the presence of the black one in the picture is just me wanting to get one of every colour into the room

Shaft

The name of this room comes from a drawing by HR Giger, showing endless rickety staircases descending into a dark abyss. This is nothing like that, and is instead very sturdy, very claustrophobic and eye-achingly blue.

The Shrine Of St. Christopher
The Shrine Of St Raphael

Two saints’ shrines under the monastery. If you say a prayer or two, maybe they’ll be answered. But make sure you know what you’re praying for first

Holy Relics

Somewhat reworked since its appearance in Willy vs. the Beatles. This room now has more walls, and the two lowest ghosts used to be one “Macaroni Ted” - a glowing one at that. It’s not a great struggle to climb up and grab the holy treasures, just don’t walk into the ghouls

The Bishop’s Bog

When I was seven or so, my mother told me a story she’d heard on the radio, about a family who were to be visited by a bishop. They redecorated every room of the house, and at the last minute decided they’d have to do the toilet as well. In due course the bishop came to visit, and left without ever using the toilet, and from that day on they referred to it as the Bishop’s bog. I’m probably not remembering that perfectly, but you get the gist of it

The Chapel Of Rest

One of the last rooms to be conceived for the first half of Willy vs. the Beatles, alongside “the Bell Tower”. Willy doesn’t have to do much here other than cross the room, or climb up to the tower

The Bell Tower

Incredibly situated above the chapel of rest. Climb up and steal the smaller bells, avoiding the larger ones

The Ruins

Whether you notice or not, I don’t know. However, the ruins are the “Palace Of The Mind” from JSW: Time Hole, reduced to rubble by unknown forces. I don’t know what forces exactly, since this happens outside the Time Hole/Soul Miner time stream

Regardless of the carnage, Willy must stumble over the debris and the apparently dead eyes (Smashing Pumpkins reference, graphics taken from Manic Miner), and grab the disc, then return through the rest of the Monastery

Johnny’s In The Basement

“Subterranean Homesick Blues”, ladies and gentlemen. My favourite Dylan number of them all. Willy must climb down, navigating the mixed-up medicine and collecting only the stuff that won’t poison him (there’s a clue in their labels). Once he’s got these bottles, he has to climb back up and out, watching out for Johnny (who seems to be suffering some serious side effects from the medicine - remember kids, just say no to drugs). In many ways this is where the tenuous link between the underground network of rooms and the geographical “concept” above ground starts to disintegrate

Quick! Rescue Tim’s hat!

Tim’s very precious about his hat, you know. Another reference to the unnamed book

Just so you know, the crazy, incongruous graphics are copied exactly from Willy vs. the Beatles. I love this room so much, I couldn’t bare to change them even slightly, even though they make no aesthetic sense

The Ministry Of Transportation

This was named in reference to an idea that didn’t come to fruition. Initially, it would have wrapped round to the “Fishing Office”, thus “transporting” Willy to somewhere that didn’t correspond with the map. I couldn’t get the rooms beneath these to fit the map though, and I’ve been very careful in this game to make everything fit logically onto the map, so in the end I scrapped that idea and just kept the nifty name

For those who care, this is pretty much the point where the whole “concept” up to now loses molecular cohesion completely. Everything above ground fits more or less into a string of islands with a pyramid, even “Johnny’s In The Basement” to a degree. Now everything is shot to hell as you travel into the depths of the Earth

The Fishing Office: Bank Holiday

An old curio from Willy vs. the Beatles, which originally wrapped with “The Ministry…” (once called “The Oval Office”) in an odd way. It’s empty because, of course, it’s a bank holiday. More curious is why these governmental offices are buried underneath an ancient pyramid, although the KLF’s pop-terrorist shenanigans might have something to do with it

the bitter lemons of suffering

Startlingly enough, totally unconnected to “The Terrible Waffles Of Death” from Soul Miner

The genesis of this idea is silly. I didn’t have any decent ideas what to squeeze in here, and nothing from Willy vs. the Beatles would stand rehashing for this spot. As I was dabbling with colour effects (who’d have thought you could get aquamarine out of the dear old Speccy?) I was struck by the image of a giant lemon. In the end it looks a bit like a crude imitation of what Erix1 used to do in his games, and if he reads this, I hope he likes it

The Lair Of Fred

One more in-joke can’t hurt...

When I first played JSW, my elder brother told me that all the arrows were fired by a guy off-screen called Fred. Where he got this from I don’t know, but I, being about six, accepted it as gospel truth. And now Fred is a reality of sorts, as Willy explores his den. Crossing the lower half of the room needs badass timing, but it can be done. I know because I timed it pretty damn carefully. The upper half is less hassle, but watch out for the line of dots that appears at the top thanks to an oddly placed arrow. Not a threat, but interesting

Beneath The Surface

Willy’s access, should he so desire, back above ground. Note the presence of the green robot from McHalest’s hut. If there’s one thing I can’t resist, it’s recycling guardians

Somewhere dark and damp

Indeed, somewhere not only dark and damp but dangerously close to “Sprung A Leak” from Soul Miner. Still, I like this room. It’s a minor diversion, but nice all the same. Now why the hell didn’t I think of doing those rock effects in the special edition of Time Hole?

Channel Zero

I like Public Enemy. Note the teleporter, which is of course important later on

Send him to the hill of corn!

An absurd, multi-level visual/verbal pun referring to Alex “Send” Cornhill. Think of it as karma for “Exchange And Martland”

Bridge Out

Merely a little bit of fun on my part. I really wanted to sneak in a reference to “Under The Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but nothing’s coming, so nix that idea then

B   A   D      D   R   E   A   M

The head on the far left is dreaming of the things that Willy has to dodge. The fact that everything is purple is related to something I read once about purple being associated with madness. Don’t know how true that is

As a graphical note, the second, winged, clock is pilfered from Monty On The Run

Room 67: as yet untitled

When in doubt, use post-irony. I had a room with a long, meandering brick tunnel, and I couldn’t think of a funny name for it, so to hell with it, I gave it a variation on the Untitled theme

And now, the amazing rope trick!

Derived from an experimental room tucked somewhere in the back of Willy vs. the Beatles, which I never had a use for. The room is essentially a rope, with doors (Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison) on the left and right and a tunnel at the bottom. The “amazing rope trick” is jumping off the rope at the right moment to use the ILB and drop through to that tunnel. Believe me, it can be done

staircase

Part of a very short series of rooms exploring the possibilities of a very limited colour scheme. This room started out as a way to get from “...Rope Trick” to “Mulletmania”. I also wanted a room above it (I have this thing about filling blank spaces in the game map) so I put in a staircase and then punched holes in it to make it harder. To make it harder still, I was struck by the idea of having slim guardians racing up and down going through the holes.

The first, slowest guardian is a turnstile, which was produced in Willy vs. the Beatles as part of a “Lucy In The Sky” themed room. The other objects appear to be a brick (or a silver ingot, who knows?) and a torpedo or something. The minimalist title has no connection to the minimalist dabblings of the colour scheme, I just couldn’t think of an interesting one. Also, the item under the stairs is only really there because I didn’t like it being a void

Black And White Television

Carrying colour minimalism as far as I can get it. It’s not perfect because the flashing objects flash (of course) and Willy is a different shade of white. You can’t tell on a Speccy I suppose. Anyway, simply jump over the ledges and don’t fall onto the mass of television sets

Mulletmania!

A room from Willy vs. the Beatles. The guardians (wigs borrowed from Richard Hallas’ Join The Jet Set) are exact reproductions, down to starting positions, but the room blocks have mostly been redone to look slightly less crap, and the title has been shorn of a couple exclamation points. Obviously the aim here is to walk right to left, leave and then re-enter at the top, then go back right to get the single mini mullet. It would be nice if Willy picked it up only to start wearing a mullet in this room, but I can’t be bothered figuring out how you’d do something like that, and even if I could, I can’t code for shit anyway

Kokotomi Wilf Rides Again

You cannot (well, some of you probably can) begin to comprehend how many platformers were released on the Spectrum that were closely ripped off either from the Willy games or one of the first-gen rip-offs (Monty Mole, f’rinstance). Jeff Minter would dispute Willy being this influential, but I can’t be bothered offering his side of the argument

That’s not the point though. The point, last time I checked, was that one of the more shonky rip-offs was Kokotomi Wilf, in which a winged man flew around grabbing what appeared to be Sheriff’s badges. This game has gained particular fame amongst the Willy watchers (stop sniggering) because it actually features JSW. The anorexic spanner-fiend that Willy turns into here would be that dude, whilst the winged guy is clearly Wilf, and the clouds, clouds.

Willy has superjump capabilities in this room, so that he can jump up onto the ledge leading back to “Mulletmania!”, onto the platform with the object, and up into the tight space on the top left

Yes, technically the title should be “flies again”, but it just doesn’t read quite right

the river of fire

Copied exactly across from Willy vs. the Beatles, except that now you can climb the rope. Doing this leads you into a small trilogy of rooms, whilst going left leads you on to whatever may come

Nintendo’s Lawyers notice Willy

There’s a block graphic in Willy vs. the Beatles that looks a little like a piranha. I just turned it round, and hey presto, Piranha plant! It wasn’t far from there to knock up this room, which I’m quite proud of, all considered

The title refers to Nintendo's rather strong-arm business tactics in the past, as if you couldn't guess that

The Beer Cellar (under the pub)

I thought a room under the pub would be great. That’s really about it. If you went above ground and had to struggle all the way back, don’t come whining to me. It’s not exactly a secret what’s above this room

Patience is a virtue

Guess what happens here

Flea Willy

I can’t believe no-one’s thought of this before. Or more precisely, I can’t believe no-one’s released a game like this before. It’s an obvious idea really, and there must be at least one unreleased game rotting away on a tape somewhere or idly taking up hard-drive space that has the same kind of experimental room somewhere on it

The guardians are as much a mystery to me as to you. I was pretty much looking for nifty aesthetics at the time. They’re a good challenge though. Just be careful when Flea Willy turns round, as he’s prone to banging into things

the Cavern Of The Pudding People

Nearly called “The Colony Of The Slippermen” in homage to Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. Thankfully I didn’t, as that would mean reproducing “The Lamia” in an adjacent room

The origin of the sprite is similar to that of the robot in “A Nest Down In The Woods”. The only difference is that I picked a random file from my hard drive rather than sourcing it from this game. The pudding people are copied straight from that file, tidied up slightly and animated. The Mad Professor (see “The Particle Accelerator”) is also made like this

As a side-note, Andrew Broad uses this guardian design technique in Goodnite Luddite. I’d like to state here and now that I was doing this in 2000 and that we struck upon the idea independently

Akk! Dust Pit!

Copied exactly from Willy vs. the Beatles. Willy must climb into the dust pit, carefully avoiding the dust of course, and grab the dust mask. No problem eh?

A Hole In The Ocean

One of the rooms from the Lennon temple in Willy vs. the Beatles, and yet another allusion to “Glass Onion”. Reproduced exactly as it was, except for the ramp leading you up through the ocean onto the beach above

This room has sod all to do with Andrew Broad’s “A Hole In The Ocean” from Manic Miner 4 which in turn I’m guessing has sod all to do with the Beatles, since he’s not a Beatles fan. The origins of the fish will be explained in due course

The Conventional Sandy Shore

Potentially known as “The Conventional Sandy Shaw” but I saw sense. This is how Willy gets back onto land after climbing through the hole in the ocean, and is named in opposition to “The Cast-Iron Shore”

SnowYourThirst&SunYourOpenMouth

There's a song by Amon Düül 1 called "Snow Your Thirst And Sun Your Open Mouth". Well, would you let such an evocative title slip through your fingers?

The Ziggurat

I wanted a Ziggurat. So sue me

Space Is The Place

I don’t think anybody was expecting a Sun Ra reference in a JSW game

This is the room I put in so I wouldn’t need to use a guardian up in “The Ziggurat” to keep you from jumping off the top

The Pirate’s Treasure Cave

I wanted a cove, but they’re not usually so far in-land, or in the middle of a desert

The Cave Of Wonders

Standard fare. Some fires, some spiders, two exits. Nifty eh? The spider, like the fish, shall have its source revealed soon...

w00t!

w00t” is geek slang, a word to express excitement or joy. I use it quite a lot. Willy meanwhile is using it because he has hit upon the pirate’s treasure

I added this room as a necessity. In this age of 256 possible items, and with such a large game at the player’s hands, it made sense to bring the total number of objects in the game up to 256, thus making sure the player knows they’ve got them all. As such, this room contains all the remaining items for Willy to collect

The Chamber Of The Sun

Ever had inspiration just flipping through the guardian table? I have. Table 1 is full of suns in various colours. It wasn’t a far step from there to creating a challenge around them. The room isn’t so hard to cross, as it goes. Willy must dash under the white sun on the right when it’s high enough, then drop through the hole in the floor where the red sun goes. After coming out on the left-hand side, it’s no real problem to climb the pillars, dodging the yellow suns they support

I must’ve justified this a thousand times by now, but I do have a quirk for pulling prefabbed guardians out of the guardian table, arranging them together and designing a room around it. “The Sky! The Sky!” is another example of this

The exit at the top of the room naturally comes out in “The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn”

The Promised Lands

No seasoned JSW fan can fail to guess what you’ll find in this room

the Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Derived from Pink Floyd’s debut album, whose title is derived from a chapter in The Wind In The Willows (“the Wind In The Willys”?) featuring the god Pan. It’s easier to get past both Pan and the gate (which luckily never collide) than you might think - just a matter of timing. On the left of the screen, the item is Pan’s pipes

I can’t for the life of me remember whether that gate is an original sprite or from Henry’s Hoard

Eleanor Rigby’s House

In Willy vs. the Beatles, the Paul temple was topped off with a string of four rooms set in the open air. This and “Father McKensie’s Church” bookended those rooms, although for the purposes of this game they’ve been flipped horizontally

I actually added the doorstep and the pipes of Pan (in “the Piper at the Gates of Dawn”) to create a genuine reason to enter this room besides looking at the nifty promised land effect

All Caves Have Their Secrets

And this one has a few. There’s a couple teleporters and an ILB hidden around here. As for how you get from one side to the other? You’ll figure it out

Abandoned Places

A title purloined from a rather nifty D&D style game I used to own on the Amiga, which makes a decent enough title for this entrance to the “underground of the underground”. The places are abandoned because they’re so hard to get to

Meanwhile over at Jeff M's house

This room is a tribute to everyone's favourite ovophile and computer geek legend, Jeff Minter. The graphics are based on Robotron and the Llamasoft staples of camels and sheep, as well as a sneaky reference to Pink Floyd (who're never out of my games)

Could've been more psychedelic. It's a very nice Promised Land effect isn't it?

Darxide

Darxide is a sci-fi name I came up with years ago for a sort of virtual realm that exists beyond normal space and time. Here it was recast in a more fantastical “underworld” style as the entry to a series of rooms which deal with particularly bizarre ideas [helping to justify a little of the chaos beneath ground], and which, as we have already ascertained, is sort of a lost realm beneath the pyramids. I like the effect of the holes in the floor and the floating suns changing places. I had a hell of a struggle over those guardians though since I couldn’t make up my mind what they were to be

There is no reason for the candles to be purple, sadly

The Hard Shoulder

This is the back of my head and left shoulder. It’s not a great likeness I’m afraid

I had a week once where I strained my right shoulder whilst dragging a large box around Wigan on Saturday. The following Wednesday I managed to pull the left one whilst busy being pissed off about the pain disrupting my sleep. I think it was a stress thing. The following Sunday I re-pulled the same damn shoulder tidying my bedroom. The room is just me doing what all artists do and turning my pain into creation

Cops And Robbers

This room is a mutation of the prison in Cops And Robbers on the C64. Its location here is a mystery, but you’ll probably be well used to that by now

Dodge the cops, jump the locks on the cell doors (they’re fatal to touch) and grab the key before making your escape. This isn’t the only jailbreak in the game

Willy is getting sick and tired of mines

It made sense to continue the theme with reference to the diamond mines from the game, along with the sad little ghosts. So initially this was a crude approximation of C&R’s crude approximation of a mine, but it looked so damn ugly, I decided to make the mine a little more conventional, and be done with it

Bay 1

One of three “bays” which link up the lowest rooms in the game. I guess they don’t look too much like the industrialised storage bays I was thinking of, but I can’t help but enjoy their aesthetically pleasing designs all the same. They can be found under “Willy is getting sick and tire of mines”, “Willy discovers the lost mosaics” and “Willy enters the industrial zone”. The bays are really quite simple affairs, all said and done

Six Happy Bunnies Freak Out!

Set in a library. This screen is inspired by a series of Peanuts strips where the Peanuts gang are trying to find out why Miss Helen Sweetstory’s latest Happy Bunnies book, “The Six Happy Bunnies Freak Out”, has been banned from the school library

Bay 2

Another Bay

Willy discovers the lost mosaics

The development of this room goes something like this:

1 - “The Darkness Is Coming!” - a completely black room with hidden blocks and a single vertical guardian floating through the floors. The title was an obscure reference to an old cartoon called Visionaries

2 - The guardian gets dropped and all the blocks are made into hearts of various colours. The room is renamed “Wasn’t this in Bubble Bobble?”

3 - Thinking “this is rubbish!”, I changed all the hearts to squares, before being struck by the idea of turning them into a mosaic. Some colour tweaking goes on, the room gets a name and Willy’s graphic is changed just to tease the viewer

European Sausage Festival

I was going for a “kitchen-y” atmosphere with the blue and white tiles. I like the way it turned out

One noticeable disappointment (for me at least) about the JSW scene is that anecdotal evidence suggests the scene is almost entirely male and living in Europe. A “sausagefest” is slang for a rock gig with an almost exclusively male audience. Put it all together and you get this

There should have been something on the top level, hence the water blocks in the ceiling. I couldn't think of anything though, and then I ran out of guardian spaces

Willy enters the industrial zone

Named in respect to Channel 4’s legendary The Crystal Maze, at least back in the good old days of Richard O’Brien, and then adjusted to continue the “Willy does this…” theme that was developing in the rooms above the bays. Willy finds himself doing some tight maneuvers around a gang of yellow robots as he struggles to reach the teleporter. The little green man needs no explanation beyond the simple joys of little green men

Flashvack Zuhanten

This room is designed as a “flashvack” (yes, it’s meant to be spelled that way) to Time Hole and all the sprites are from that game (as is the tacky colour scheme). What the title means is anyone’s guess, although it looks foreign. In fact, it does make me think of those obscure Eastern European and Russian bootleg edits of old games that you hear about

For an explanation of all the things going on in this room, I suggest a play through of Time Hole will ease your curiosity

Bay 3

We’ve been over this before

In the Ice Box

Some tight movements to avoid the deadly frost here, before escaping back to the industrial zone. Ice box on one side and a sausage festival on the other. Are we sure it’s an industrial zone?

Start of the Long Conveyor Belt
Destination Unknown
Conveyor Belt Psychosis
Bad People Live In Space Too!
a convenient way back home

A string of rooms in which Willy walks down a seemingly endless conveyor belt. As he walks, he slowly loses his mind from the monotony of it all, hence his interstellar babble near to the end. The teleporter in the last room is just so you don’t have to bore your private parts off wandering back (should you choose to do so)

Watch Yourself

Much twiddling with arrows was partaken of here. Quite a nasty shock awaits Willy as he enters this room

Stop Making Sense

Title stolen from Talking Heads because the design of the room is confusing in light of its ending up where it is, despite my original intention to get back to a cave network, as opposed to the Darxide section, where anything goes. Basically my way of telling myself to go with the flow, if I may dig up an old cliché

The item, of which I’m quite proud, began as the letters TH (for Talking Heads), and was steadily corrupted into what we have now

The Construction Project

Seems someone has started hollowing out the rock to build something down here…

The room came about out of necessity, but wound up pretty dang spiffy. The televisions continue an obsession with TVs that permeates this game, but the real reason for their being there is because I stumbled over them and thought it aesthetically brilliant

Dark Recesses

Dark, isn’t it? Willy goes on an adventure in a particularly dark cavern, hopefully being wise enough not to just jump off ledges into the unknown...

The guardians, from left to right, are a teacup, a barrel and a “brick”. You just can’t tell because they’re barely illuminated in the darkness. It was whilst working on this room that I realised I could squeeze a third guardian table out of the available memory if I wanted. Nice

Barrel Scraping

We’re into the last of the Willy vs. the Beatles rooms here

The problem with designing a game in which 126 rooms are taken up by four temples to the Beatles is that you need 31 1/2 rooms for each Beatle, and what the devil do you do for Ringo? The references in this room point bluntly towards Thomas The Tank Engine because that was virtually all I could think of besides the prerequisite “Octopus’s Garden” and “Yellow Submarine”. Hence “Barrel Scraping”

The Frog Chorus

From the Paul temple. Willy is a bear for obvious reasons

Entry to the ancient sewers

This room is a favourite of mine, another untitled, unusable room design that was lying around the back of Willy vs. the Beatles which I rehashed here. There is an item to collect in here, so don’t be fooled

Here Come The Warm Jets

From Brian Eno’s album Here Come The Warm Jets. Formerly “JET!” and derived from the Wings song of the same name from Band On The Run

Psychic Transmitter Interruption

It’s a strange sight, isn’t it? The origins of this room lie in the addition of the third guardian table. Since the table is over several old sprite tables, it has many prefab guardians in it, which are by and large junk. I fixed up a few of the flashing ones in this room, having found that a glitch in their code makes them disappear within seconds of Willy entering the room. The effect is odd to say the least, especially when it looks as if two are just going to crash into each other and top you. The title was one of several possible reasons for their disappearance

The far left edge of reality....

This is at the left-most edge of the map. I initially promised myself that nothing would go further left than “Eleanor Rigby’s House”, but an idea struck me to have Willy actually go off the edge of the universe and see what happens...

The guardians were added at the last minute, plucked at random from the nonsense data filling guardian table three and footled with to provide a decent challenge. Funnily enough, I have entertained the idea of a game with dozens of guardian tables, sprites drawn entirely from game data and only a few pages of graphics left for basic scenery. Never happen though

Public toilets in Swindon

This is where we get philosophic, folks...

Willy, upon walking out of his universe, finds himself in our universe, where he’s tiny. Except that to represent our universe, it has to be transformed so that it’s the same as Willy’s universe. So in a way, he never leaves his reality at all, just ends up in an imitation of ours

The item in the corner is a cobweb. The toilets are taken from Kokotomi Wilf, if memory serves me correctly

Elevation

There’s a game called Elevator or Elevation or maybe both of those (there’s quite a few versions of it) where a man runs up a series of floors, dodging elevators as they rush up and down. This is sort of an act of respect to that

The elevator is my sprite, but it first appeared in the Utility Cubicles 128 Mass Collaboration

Once More With Teacups

Same guardians as “Elevation”, showing the teacup sprite from JSW 2 instead of the elevator. This room is much easier than its predecessor, simply because I couldn’t think of any other new configuration where they were all next to each other and Willy could still get past

Enchilada Death

This room used to be separated from “Elevation” by a wall. Then I knocked it through to let Willy have a pause before going back across that room, and called this one “Because it was too hard before...” Then I changed the name to “Enchilada Death” because I didn’t like the other title. I’m not sure what I was thinking of when I named this room, but it might have had something to do with Lisa Loeb

Once again, the guardians were hauled out of table 3's nonsense guardians, and have no reasonable connection with the title. The two Willys were ropes turned into vertical guardians and given Willy's sprite, whilst the arrows were either already in the table or again converted from various vertical or diagonal guardians or ropes. Then I set about carefully plotting their speed and direction for more of a challenge - watch yourself when entering this room, several entrances are booby-trapped with arrows that require swift action

came in thru the bathroom window

It wasn’t easy to get that into the title bar, let me tell you

This is where Willy enters the house of Eleanor Rigby, through a dark, underground bathroom with a window. Basically, logic has taken a back seat, put its headphones on and closed its eyes to catch forty winks at this point

I love that staircase. One of my best, along with the one from “Stop Making Sense”

Lucy’s Madness

From Brian Eno’s song “Some Of Them Are Old” - “Lucy please be still and hide your madness in a jar”. Willy finds himself contending not only with Lucy’s jar of madness, but floors which he can climb or sink through. Be careful not to drop down into the tiny room where skeletal hands threaten to grab you

There are two exits. One goes into “Eleanor Rigby’s House”, the other just outside of it. Sorry about forcing your hand on which exit to take first, but I had to be sure everyone knew where to go so that I didn’t have to deal with complaints from people who had to struggle all the way back here

down at the stagnant reservoir

Another colour experiment gives the yuckiest green you’ve ever seen on a Spectrum. Willy must jump across the rafts of… never mind. But he must jump across the rafts, not touching the vile water, and land on the brick ledge before going to “safety”

On the banks of the river Styx

Respect due to Styx! This is Matt’s first game, split over two rooms. The water is a lot of ramps, with deadly weeds at the bottom. Originally the water in Styx was full of wiggly green lines, but of course the fish can’t swim over that in JSW

Anyone who walks off the left of the room whilst in the river and into the stagnant reservoir has no right to complain. It’s not exactly secret what’s in that room

the secret staircase is here

So secret I had to tell you were they are. Originally the item/arrows weren’t in this room, but it eventually occurred to me that there was no other way of people realising where the staircase was. It’s not obvious after all

Styx, as you can see, is taller than the average JSW room. Oh well

Pakawaste room

I didn’t know what to call this room when I first made it. After a while, the ledges were replaced first with a few random guardians dancing up and down, and then with the weighty crushing blocks. It was called “the pulping machine” for a while, then I decided I liked the aesthetics of “A mystery room” so the title stuck for a while. Finally I called it “Pakawaste Room” - Pakawaste being a company which produces garbage compactors and the like

Watery grave… OF CLOWNS!!!!!!!!!

Childish, weird-ass humour? Yes. Great fun to make? Oh yes. Anyway, going from left to right is nothing. Going right to left requires bad-assed timing to make it through the ramp without being forced to walk back the way you came. I could maybe make it easier to pull off, but I won’t. You’ll learn the timing eventually

The Wooden Hill To Bedfordshire

I like the way this room seems like an “island” across the water from the red “island” in the last room. Here Willy climbs that wooden hill to Bedfordshire, but there’s no sleep in store for him…

Note the ever-present backwards-walking Willy. Matt Smith has much to answer for regarding the way Willy is animated

The unexpected wake up call

A logical follow-on from “The Wooden Hill…” Willy is rudely awoken into this odd room, where clearly some of the oddities of his dreams are still dancing round his head. This room is an exact clone from Willy vs. the Beatles except for having different guardians (for practical reasons)

motherfucker = redeemer

Part of my project to create rooms very loosely inspired by the title and three tracks of Godspeed You Black Emperor’s “Yanqui U.X.O.” album. Here, the song’s original title (“Tiny Silver Hammers”) was fused with Jeff Minter’s Headbanger’s Heaven for an insane ride into confusion. Turned out not bad as it happens. I like this room a lot

the old warehouse facilities

My pseudo-tribute to Manic Miner. Originally the item was on the lower floor, meaning dodging the floating guardians I lifted from the two versions of "The Warehouse", but I was struck by the thought of using an old idea - a room where there’s a part of it you can access, but you have no reason to. Feel free to explore it of course

The Underground Complex

The entrance to an odd collection of offices and mineshafts. Take care to mind the speed freaks whilst entering the building. Yes, I do like those brick thingies

old mine shaft

Linked to “The Underground Complex” by way of “The Fishing Office”, incidentally. Willy descends into the underground complex, through this old (haunted) mine shaft beneath the offices. How to get that item is something you’ll have to find out yourself

The item is a stack of pancakes incidentally. Why is entirely another matter

Deep In The Underground Complex

Almost the lowest point in the complex. You can either dodge round the henchman and see what he’s hiding, go left to the labs or drop down and see what’s going on down there

Above the Nuclear Core

My original plan here was to stash the objects in the far edges of the room, with arrows flying by to create a shifting bridge to cross. But it occurred to me that there were problems with the idea, and coupled with the endless struggling with the arrows to get desired effects, I said “sod it” and gave up on that line of thought. I fiddled with another idea involving arrows grabbing the items, before coming up with this. It’s not so hard, but certainly better than what preceded it

The Nuclear Core

Instant death, obviously. Wait, you didn’t drop down on purpose did you?

The Particle Accelerator

One for Geoff Eddie. I had to use my imagination a little, since particle accelerators are deadly dull to look at. The mad professor is busy tending to his experiment, don’t disturb him please

Lab 099H

Indeed, a lab. The lab also includes the professor’s escape route - no, not the passage blocked by a television. The teleporter. Of course, you’ll have to decide whether its destination is the product of a malfunction or the prof’s madness, because it’s a rather odd place for an escape route to come out

I’m in two minds about the quality of this room. I like it, but it’s visually rather odd for a lab - even if you assume the lighting is all sci-fi and weird

The “Let’s Do Nothing” Shore

I wish I could remember where I got the name for this room from. “Let’s Do Nothing” was a reaction to something, probably on the MMJSW group, but I can’t think what. It became “The “Let’s Do Nothing” Shore” in acknowledgement of the number of other shores in the game

Anyway, Willy finds himself on a shore (again) with a brick wall on one side, with some platforms and a rope to climb, and a teleporter before him. It’s not rocket science

The Edge

Just that

The Sky! The Sky!

Indeed, but why?

Note that it is possible to cross the room both ways. You can stand safely between two bolts of lightning with a little careful judgment. After that it’s just a matter of timing

The Church Rafters

A rum place. Nothing untoward except... why are all the crosses inverted?

Photographs Of Hell

Something funny is clearly happening in the upper levels of the monastery. Willy turns into the god Pan and there’s a tree lying on the floor. *Ahem*

The (rather extreme) Swiss fantasy artist HR Giger tells a story in one of his books about a devil's head (thought to have been used in black masses over a hundred years ago) which he acquired from a friend. The head was displayed on a cabinet in Giger's bedroom for some time, during which he suffered terrible depressions for unknown reasons. The same friend suggested he put the head away, as he suspected it was having a malignant effect on him. Giger did, and the depressions disappeared

Giger took the head out of the cellar only twice after that. The first time he did, he was at a party later that evening when a woman's dress caught fire from a candle. The second time, lighting struck a tree in his garden, and his neighbours' lives were only narrowly saved by the branches of the other trees holding it up a little longer before it came crashing down on where they had been sat only moments ago. After that, the head never left its plastic bag in the cellar

The title of the room is from another anecdote about a guard on the Swiss border who refused to believe that Giger's airbrush paintings weren't photos, they were so realistic. Giger wondered whether the guard thought he had found the models for his photographs in hell

And no, this isn’t a comment on religion. I’d come up with something much more logical if I was going to start laying into religion. This is all just my mind in overdrive

Baby's On Fire

The brilliance of Brian Eno continues unabated. The title is yet another purloined from his Here Come The Warm Jets album, and wedded to the culmination of the creepy satanic goings on above the monastery

Funnily enough, the middle yellow flame and the ones either side of it never seem to go out of synch

It’s too late for all this stuff

I designed this room at something like one in the morning

Paperhouse

Another much loved band - Can. Will Willy be able to survive the abstract thinking of Damo Suzuki, Michael Karoli, Jaki Liebezeit, Irmin Schmidt and Holger Czukay? Or will he get his arse handed to him on a Krautrock plate? Yeah, probably the former

O   OP  S    WR O N   G GA  M   E

My act of homage to Andrew Broad’s legendary works. Because I felt Sendy wasn’t the only person who deserved a tribute. I stuck a screenshot of this thing on the MMJSW club, since Andrew can’t play this game on the emulator and would have to type the whole thing in to a real Spectrum, where it would likely crash

The cyan woman of course is Kari Krisníková, from We Pretty (waaaay too early to start ripping off the Goodnite Luddite remix)

Savoy Truffle

Lifted from the George temple in Willy vs. the Beatles. There’s nothing I can say about this room really. Go read Triangle And Robert instead

The relaxation room

Not a very effective one though

Once upon a time, this room was known as “Death And Destruction” purely to facilitate a weak gag in the accompanying text. I saw sense whilst rehashing it for this game, but the premise remains - climb up to the teleporter (lured in by an item) and you’ll be whisked away to another room

The Lost Themepark of Gnynagia

Formerly “...Of Atlantis”, but that made no sense. “Gnynagia” is ROT-13 applied to “Atlantis”, and then fiddled with to make it pronounceable. It provides entry into a string of odd rooms culled from the depths of Willy vs. the Beatles, which I wanted some sort of concept to link. And what better than a theme park? The theme park concept doesn’t last much beyond this room mind, but I’m not bothered as it’s still damned nifty to look at

THE DANGEROUS KITCHEN

A room paying respect due to Andre’s Night Off and a title nicked from Frank Zappa. Go me

The Abandoned Living Quarters

Just what it says. Seems to have once belonged to a worker at the

Utility Muffin Research Kitchen

Oh Frank, when will you stop firing my imagination?

The U.M.R.K. is one of those last minute efforts which actually produced something of worth. Willy can get across, don’t worry, but it requires killer timing

Plagiarism Trial

It’s a fair cop guv’

Inevitably I was going to get strung up for pillaging so many other people’s sprites without permission. Arguably I’m even plagiarising myself at this point since all these guardians appear elsewhere in the game. Still, rich old Willy is acting as my lawyer, and following the torturous path of coins (a “clever” metaphor for bribery), can work his way around the jury and ultimately the venerable judge to see me home free

“Jailbreak” or “The Prison Riot”

I couldn’t make up my mind between the Willy vs. the Beatles name and the new one

Willy absconds behind the judge and finds himself in jail in the midst of a full-blown riot. Weaving his way between Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty (for it is they at the top - imprisoned for illegal sampling activities and crimes against money), an alien (drunk and disorderly), several monks (devil worship apparently) and Kokotomi Wilf (dunno why he’s here. Stealing badges perhaps?), Willy must escape through the hole in the wall to freedom

Scandal, marketing’s best friend

Well it is!

Secret Lair Of The Coffee Addict

There he stands, surrounded by the endless mess of empty cups of Joe. He’s long since passed the state of hyperactivity, now his central nervous system has switched off completely from caffeine abuse. There he stands, jaundiced and weak, waiting to die. You’ll never reach him you know. He wants to be alone

Getting Warmer

Above the fiery abyss, with a rope to who knows where? Unfortunately to get to the other side and catch the rope, you must climb down into the pit...

Where the flame never goes out

The fires of Hell, apparently. Not as impressive as one might expect though

In Search Of The Absolute

This is the first of several rooms based around a dream I had about Jet Set Willy. In the dream there was a grassy field, supposedly on the moon (?) with a deep pit set into a hill. The pit had scrambled guardians racing up and down in it, and an egg near the bottom. In the dream there was a teleporter hidden inside it, which would drop Willy atop a string of ledges like these (although the title is my own) but I changed the arrangement around a little as there was no way to make it work in reality

()

The bottom of the pit. In the dream this was (as best as I can remember) a complete void. I added more details to create some more interest, and lifted a title from the new Sigur Ros album

This isn’t the moon!

The dream goes on. Willy is of the opinion that this “lunar pit” isn’t very lunar. The guardians here are reduced to two (as opposed to the dozens blasting into space and back in the dream)

Lunar Pit

The bottom of the second pit. The recess was more significant in the dream, but I can’t make it work effectively in this game, unfortunately

Dream Ends

Another element from the dream, realised in absurdly crude form here (such are the technical limitations of the design process). The dream included Willy wandering over a hill, with more in the distance, all rendered as black, simplistic lines on a dull white surface. Willy was black in the dream of course, but there’s not much I can do about that other than recolour the backgrounds in every single room of the game

On consideration, I like the way this room turned out a lot. It has an intense, enigmatic quality about it, something hard to put your finger on. It’s a much more powerful idea than the images from the dream

The title of this room is actually from a Max Ernst “collage-novel” called Dream of a Young Girl Wishing to Become a Carmelite Nun

all about biological unhappiness

There’s a website called Biological Unhappiness, which is supposed to be promoting some book or another. Within the site is a huge list of pages, obviously computer produced, and each page offers the site as “the leading authority on [insert condition here]”. Problem is, nobody bothered to check these pages, and for whatever reason every possible reference to mental illness is listed - from marijuana addiction and manic depression to Manic Street Preachers and Manic Miner! This room is named after that, and is crudely shaped like a brain, with all kinds of “biological unhappiness” drifting around inside it. Cheers to Phil Bee for finding the page, by the way

Beset by Pineal Glands

I was in university one day, when the word “pineal glands” popped into my head. I was thinking about biological unhappiness at the time, and I decided to get pineal glands in there somewhere. This room is meant to resemble two halves of a brain, although as you can guess, it’s not entirely medically accurate

Willy drops into either half of the brain from the room above. It’s something of a promised land effect, since getting to the right-hand half of the brain (after you initially teleport into “It’s too late for all this stuff”) requires Willy to make his way around a fairly large loop of rooms

Getting Colder

Willy climbs up the rocks to the outside world…

The Glacial Shore

Shores are an obsession in this game aren’t they? Willy finds himself stood on a frozen beach

Yanqui U.X.O.

The slew of Godspeed You Black Emperor! references continues. U.X.O. means “unexploded ordinance”, military language for unexploded mines, rockets or other such things apparently. “Yanqui” is just a corruption of “Yankee”

Rockets Fall On Rocket Falls

The last of the Godspeed You Black Emperor! references (I gave up on "09-15-00" - way too complicated). I’m pretty proud of this room, although more rockets might have been cooler. I would’ve had them coming in at different angles too, but drawing a rocket at 67.5 degrees isn’t easy

End Of All Things

Willy reaches the end of all things indeed. There’s a rock to block his way though, and only 256 glowing knick-knacks will shift it. The reasoning behind this is not obvious

I wonder why more JSW games don’t pull this stunt with the “Maria” object? I mean, in most JSW games, Maria keeps Willy away from the “bed”, where as in Soul Miner and JSW:FTB, Maria keeps him away from the “toilet”

”The Long Walk”
Scenes from “The Long Walk”
more scenes from “The Long Walk”

I needed a way to get Willy back to the main game if he got onto the ice island without all the objects, but I didn’t want to punch another hole in the beach (like with “The Regular Sandy Shore”). Why the cinematic allusions are there is anyone guess, believe me. I’m afraid my brain has a hidden agenda all its own

Thus ends our guided tour of JSW:FTB

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Ooh, the usual collection of odds-n-sods. Old video games, dreams, silly thoughts, popular sayings, TV shows, music (especially music), odd trivia. Hell, “The Unexpected Wake-Up Call” could easily be a subconscious echo of Magritte’s painting “The Unexpected Answer”

What’s with this promo photograph?

Nice isn’t it? I made that one night for fun, because Erix1 had made several extremely cool drawings for several Willy games (Willy’s Afterlife comes to mind), and I wanted something like that but can’t draw for toffee

Who made all the guardians?

The graphics in JSW:FTB are pinched, poached and pilfered from a wide range of locations, not all of which I can remember so long after starting Willy vs. The Beatles and with the original documentation lost. Known sources include though:

Manic Miner
Monty on The Run
Join The Jet Set
Dynamite Dan 2
Willy’s Holiday
Technician Ted
Willy Comes Home
Kokotomi Wilf
JSW Amiga
(don’t ask me which one, probably JSW ‘97)
Odd-Job Eddie
Styx
Pyramid
Henry’s Hoard
Cops And Robbers
Time Hole
(hahahaha!)
Monty On The Job
We Pretty

Oh yeah, and Andre’s Night Off, natch

All I know about the inkwell and the smaller clock is that they were both lifted from the same C64 game. I don’t remember which game it was now, unfortunately, except that it involved a small droid moving around interconnected rooms, each filled with flashing guardians. It was either great or crap, as all such games are

On top of those stolen sprites, there are a fistful of originals - The sheep; pretty much all the robots (robots are easy to make); the numbers and letters in “45”; The Boombox; the 3AM clock; the e; the Pharaoh’s death mask (technically stolen from another game I’m working on); the gull; the beds; the modified flying saucer; the muffin; the ghosts; the man at the particle accelerator; the forest growths/Savoy truffles; Pan; the objects in “Staircase”; the TV; everything in “Flea Willy”; the pudding beasts, the missiles. Actually, that’s quite a few huh?

Anyway, they’re all available for other people to use anyway, should the desire so strike them. I don’t blame you, there’s only so many combinations of coloured squares in a 16x16 grid that don’t look like a broken television screen. Just, y’know, drop me a line and all that, ‘kay?

One day, someone is going to elect themselves “DJ Shadow of Jet Set Willy” and produce a game entirely from stolen parts. It might be me if I ever do get round to “JSW vs. the Toilets” or whatever the hell I call it

Out of curiosity, what does “soa1000” mean?

Sick Of Andre 1000. It comes from a time when I played Andre’s Night Off straight for a thousand levels. I couldn’t see or move properly for days

Really?

Nah. S.O.A. stands for “Sex On Acid”, which is a band that existed for approximately a week as a concept between me and someone in high school. The fact that I can’t play an instrument and neither of us could write songs may have been connected to why it didn’t last too long. 1000 is a concession to Yahoo! Groups

Any ambitions for the future?

Yeah, a few. They’re really not to be given away right now though

Thanks to:

Nick Aldridge - Fabian Alvarez/Adban de Corcy - Shahid Ahmad - Sam Becket - Phil Bee - A. Biggs - Michael Blanke - Adam Britton - Andrew Broad - Dave Brooks - Martyn Brown - Paul Burgin - S. Burtles - Jasper Byrne - Andy Cadley - Roy Coates - D. J. Coathupe - Alex “Send” Cornhill - J. Darnell - I. Davidson - The Drunken Master - Geoff Eddie - Iain Eddie - M. Edwards - John Elliott - Cameron Else - Vidar “Erix1” Eriksen - FELL - Nigel “Jet Set Fishyfish” Fishwick - Ignacio Pérez Gil - Arno Gitz - Steven Green - Richard Hallas - Tero Heikkinen - Stuart J. Hill - Paul Howard - Mark Jeffries - Russ Juckes - Chris Lancaster - Gary Lancaster - Kris Lancaster - Darren McCowan - Stephen McMaster - Igor Makovsky - Ales Martinik - Dominic Morris - Rob Moseley - Dave Nichols - Andy Noble - Barak Ori - Niilo Paasivirta - Gary “Gawp” Pierce - Visa “Jet Visy” Pimiä - James A. Ramsden - Paul Rhodes - Dan Richardson - Mark Riddell - Craig Rothwell - Derrick Rowson - Darren Salt - the butler Schultze - Matt Smith - Trevor "Smila" Story - Rich Swann - Alasdair Swanson - Steven Tate - Lee “El Tatus” Tatlock - Paul Taylor - Arsen Tobarina - Lee “Blood” Tonks - Scott “Scottige” Watson - S. Wetherill - Carl Whitwell - Richard Williams - Matthew Wilson - Steve “Doctor Thomas B. Who” Worek - James Wyatt - and all those unknown others
                    - For JSW games, conversions and information. Respect all!

Steve Albini - Amon Düül 1 & 2 - Aphex Twin - Autechre - the Beatles - David Bowie - Campag Velocet - Can - Miles Davis - Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Brian Eno - Faith No More - Faust - Fischerspooner - Godspeed You Black Emperor! - Iron Maiden - Jean-Michel Jarre - Les Rallizes Denudes - Magma - Marilyn Manson - Neu! - Nirvana - Smashing Pumpkins - Tool - Van der Graaf Generator - Yes
                    - for providing just some of the musical respite during the making of this game

Most extra special thanks must go to:

Sendy for testing the game
John Elliott for the editing software
Matthew Smith because it’s all his fault
Andrew Broad for his tireless work to increase the visibility of Jet Set Willy. Sorry the game’s so large Andrew
and Mr. T, because everyone likes Mr. T, foo’!

Significant Links

As far as JSW is concerned (i.e. pretty dang far, given the circumstances), the MMJSW group on Yahoo! Groups is the best place on the web to start your online journey into JSW territory. Beyond that, their links page has all the most vital JSW links on the web (several of which are already embedded in this document). Beyond that, you gotta make your own way kid

As a last word about links, I should remind you that if any of them are dead by the time you download this game, and you really want to see them, there's always the option of time travel

<This FAQ is a rather weighty tome isn’t it?

Yeah, I got a bit over-enthusiastic with my writing. But it’s good reading right?

The final word

Copyright 2000-2003, Ed Martland blah de blah de blah. You know the drill. Graphics, copyright whoever, use with permission please. JSW copyright Software Projects back in the day. Latterly copyright Jestersoft, so they tell me

If I’ve used your sprites to give voice to my terrifying obsessions and you’d like a credit, please drop me a line and so shall you have one. If you find out where the inkwell and clock came from, do likewise so I can credit that too

If you happen to be a member of, or ever were in Godspeed You Black Emperor!, I’m sorry. If you’ve ever played Time Hole, I’m sorry

All room connections should be correct, since I took the utmost care to link up all rooms so that they form a cohesive map (even when you can’t move between them) but if there are such faults, or there’s stuff that’s too hard or otherwise malfunctioning, tell me so I can fix it

If anyone wishes to take on the ultimate challenge and produce their own JSW vs The Beatles, go for it. I’d love to see someone tackle this insane concept, maybe they can do what I couldn’t

Feel free to contact [email protected] about any of the issues outlined at any point in this document

Edward ‘s.o.a.1000’ Martland, 2000-2003

Yo’ Mama