Jet Set Willy Paradise !!

Phase 1:

Do you remember Gameboy version of "Dragon's Lair", which was said that it was the hardest platform game ever made for Gameboy?
But it was just a remake of "Roller Coaster", a very famous "Jet Set Willy" clone for ZX Spectrum.
Every Speccy users probably know both "Roller Coaster" and "Jet Set willy".
Such a famous game was said that it was the hardest in Gameboy titles
after the game remade and port to Gameboy. It's a bit strange, isn't it?
And, are you interested which title is the hardest as "Jet Set Willy" games?
I am seriously interested at least... For example,
I wanted to know whether "Dragon's Lair" was surely harder title out of all "Jet Set Willy" games or not.

As you know, there are 100+ "Jet Set Willy"-style games for 8 bit computers.
So it is nearly impossible to make a ranking of difficulty.
Therefore, we should grasp the nature of things while we complete several titles first.
Following is a list which consists of  games I chose:

Some titles which was treated in my website once.(Some commercial games for ZX Spectrum/Amiga/GB )
& All Amiga commercial / free games that each author said it was inspired by "Jet Set Willy".


Year  
Title Name
License
Originally
released for:
Screen
Fatal Fall
Swim/
Climb
Pad is
usable
To Jump
Jump
Control
Author (Diskette icon: a custom ADF I created!)

1984
Jet Set Willy
Commercial
Spectrum48k
Flip
Yes
no
Yes
fire
no
Matthew Smith

1985
Chuckie Egg II
Commercial
Spectrum48k
Flip
Yes
Yes
Yes
fire
no
A&F Software

1985
Roller Coaster
Commercial
Spectrum48k
Flip
Yes
no
Yes
up / shift
no
S. Brocklehurst

1988
Chubby Gristle
Commercial
Amiga(ocs)
Flip
Yes
Yes
Yes
fire
no
Teque London Ltd.

1989
Chuckie Egg II
Commercial
Amiga(whd)
Flip
Yes
Yes
Yes
fire
no
MC Lothlorien

1990~92
Numpty and the Alien Invaders
Freeware
Amiga
Flip
Yes
no
Yes
fire
no
Coder:P.Gargin, Music:Diggy

1991
Dragon's Lair the Legend
Commercial
Gameboy
Flip
Yes
no
Yes
A button
Yes
Elite Systems Ltd

1991
The Adventure of Norris
Freeware
Amiga
Scrolling
Yes
Yes
Yes
fire
no
Coder:Glenn Cleary, GFX: Jolyon Myers

1991~92
Henry in Panic
Freeware
Amiga(relo)
Flip
Yes
no
Yes
fire
no
Coder:Kim Byrresen, Music:Jess Skov-Nielsen

1992
Jet Set Willy II
Commercial
Amiga
Scrolling
Yes
no
Yes
fire
no
Software Projects

1993
Jonas Fulstrand aka. Son of Blagger
Freeware
Amiga
Scrolling
Yes
no
Yes
fire
no
Code&GFX:Markus Gunnarsson, Music:Daniel Falk

1994
Jet Set Billy
Freeware
Amiga
Flip
Yes
Yes
Yes
fire
Yes
Niilo Paasivirta  ( Map1, Map2 )

1995
Top Hat Willy
Freeware
Amiga
Flip
Yes
no
Yes
fire
no
Tero Heikkinen

1995
Jet Set Willy 3
Freeware
Amiga
Flip
no
no
Yes
fire
no
Jasper Byrne 

1995
RockHard Willy
Freeware
Amiga
Flip
no
no
Yes
fire
no
Coder&Music:Shaun Watters, GFX:Tim Gilbert

1995~98
Willy's Weirdy Nightmare
Shareware
Amiga
Flip
Yes
no
Yes
fire
no
Coder:Richard Williams, GFX:Steven Tate

1996
Rockstar
Freeware
Amiga
Flip
no
no
Yes
fire
no
Giles Haydon

1997
Jet Set Willy '97
Freeware
Amiga
Flip
Yes
no
Yes
fire
no
Sam Becket 

1998
Jet Set Willy
Freeware
Atari ST
Flip
Yes
no
no
space
no
Paul Taylor & Carl Whitwell (joy2key2 doesn't work)

1999
Jet Set Willy
Freeware
GBC
Flip
Yes
no
Yes
A button
no
Paul Taylor

1999
JSB: William Jetset
Freeware
Amiga
Flip
Yes
Yes
Yes
fire
Yes
Editor: Rob Moseley  ( Map1, Map2 )

2015
Henry & Five Towers
Freeware
Amiga(relo)
Flip
Yes
no
Yes
fire
no
Editor: nittamituaki

2015
Jet Set Billy: New Map
Freeware
Amiga
Flip
Yes
Yes
Yes
fire
Yes
Editor: Chris Clarke  ( Map )

2015
Elves' Dreamland
Freeware
Amiga
Flip
Yes
Yes
Yes
fire
Yes
Editor: nittamituaki  ( Map )
Blue letters: External link (You can download that freeware there.)
The background color of the cells (of "Released for" column) depend on ABD / ZBD.
"ABD" stands for "Amiga games Booting Difficulty on CD32+FDD" (See details)
  (ocs): Select "Original" and "Disable CPU Caches" at Early Startup Control menu.
  (relo): Use relokick1.3 to load the game.   (whd): Use WHDload to load the game.
  Red letters: Fixed by using "joy2key2" program coded by Lorence Lombardo. You can download "Joystick support" version here.( Click each diskette icon.)
"ZBD" stands for "Zx spectrum games Booting Difficulty on CD32+FDD" (See details)
GBC freeware and ZX Spectrum 48k games can be loaded on SNES+AD Adapter(White version). (See details)

Anyway I don't have enough time to play all titles even if I focused those titles above.
Next I judge whether each title is surely "Jet Set Willy"-type game or not.
So I must choose titles which can be classified into two kinds, "Lineal" and "Inspired".

"Lineal":
Original "Jet Set Willy" itself and mods which were created by "Jet Set Willy Construction Kit".
There are 80+ titles released for ZX Spectrum
.

"Inspired":
Games which were inspired by original "Jet Set Willy" game. They usually have following features as original "Jet Set Willy" has.
"Screen": Original JSW was "flip screen"-type. If not, it would be hard to determine "IRD" described below.
"Fatal Fall": Whether the player character dies instantly after it falls from a higher place. (Yes/ no)
                  If it is "no", the game cannot be classified into "Jet Set Willy"-type even if the author says it's JSW inspired game.
"Swim / Climb":  Whether the player character can swim under water./ Whether the player can climb a pole / ladder by up/down keys. (Yes/ no)
              If it is "Yes", the game cannot be classified into "Jet Set Willy"-type even if the author says it's JSW inspired game.
              It is because up/down keys were unnecessary in the original JSW game.
              Exactly the player can climb a rope in the original "Jet Set Willy" game, however,
              there were very few rooms which make you use a rope. So if the game which make you "climb" action everywhere,
              the game cannot be classified into "Jet Set Willy"-type even if the author says it's JSW inspired game.
"Pad is usable": Whether we can use either original CD32 pad or 6 button pad for Mega Drive. (Yes/ no)
"To Jump": Which key would make the player character jump?
  To be classified into "Jet Set Willy"-type,
  keys which are pressed by our left fingers should make the player character move right/left.
  And, key which is pressed by our right finger should make the player character jump.

"Jump Control": Whether you can move the player character freely
                         while it is jumping or falling. (Yes/ no)
                         If it is "Yes", the game cannot be classified into "Jet Set Willy"-type
                         even if the author says it's JSW inspired game.
                         It is because the original JSW game doesn't allow us
                         to move freely while jumping/falling.


After we removed several titles which cannot be classified into "Jet Set Willy"-type,
following titles still remained.  Next we should start each game to compare their difficulty.
Class
Title Name
Basic Data
MAP
Save
Lives
Rooms
Items
Mapping
IRD Map
Lineal
Jet Set Willy (ZX Spectrum)
no

60
83
By Pavero
Here.
Insipred
Roller Coaster
no
10 
60
240
By Pavero
Here.
Inspired
Dragon's Lair the Legend
no
10 
58
194
Here.
Here.
Inspired
Numpty and the Alien Indavers
no
10+
100
395
Here.
Here.
Inspired
Henry in Panic
no
20+
150
331
Here.
Here.
Inspired
Top Hat Willy
no

100
160
Here.
Here.
Insipred
Willy's Weirdy Nightmare
Yes
12 
186
465
Here.
Here.
Insipred
Jet Set Willy '97
no
10 
188
200
Here.
Here.
Lineal
Jet Set Willy (Atari ST/GBC)
no

60
83
Here.
Here.
Inspired
Henry & Five Towers
no
20 
108
220
Here.
Here.
Blue letters: External link ("Pavero" made and uploaded maps to http://maps.speccy.cz/ .)

To compare difficulty, I suggest using "IRD" scheme as description below.

IRD = Individual Room Difficulty

IRD
Definition
9
ridiculously ultra hell
8
nightmare havoc
7
insane hard
6
extremely hard
5
really hard
4
harder
3
hard
2
normal
1
easy
0
almost safety

 For example, (1,2,3,4) = ("1","1","2","6") case, IRD of this room would become "5".
 It is because we can complete that room with only 1 miss.
 In other words, if we cannot control characters well, we cannot complete rooms which IRD are 6+ ...forever.
 In addition, we can ignore difficulty of "return route"
 when we determine IRD of "one-way" rooms or some rooms we don't have to pass their "return routes".

After we determine IRD of all rooms...,



I couldn't determine IRD of "Chuckie Egg II" due to specific reasons, however,
I think it's enough because "Numpty and the Alien Invaders" is tougher than "Chuckie Egg II".
Anyway, see my results described above. We can compare difficulty visually.
In 2015, I released "Henry & Five Towers" as hardest game of this genre.
So you may not have to search for harder games in 100+ ZX Spectrum games
if you want to know which title is the hardest... ( In MY opinion AT THAT TIME!! )

Phase 2:

In 2016, "Jet Set Willy The Nightmare Edition" was released. I thought it was one of the hardest JSW game ever made for ZX Spectrum.
However, to my surprise, it seems that there are much harder ones than "Jet Set Willy The Nightmare Edition".
Thanks to Daniel Gromann, who has played all JSW games created by JSW Construction Kit.
According to him, following 5 titles make "JSW:Nightmare Edition" look a piece of cake (!).
I have to play them and compare with Amiga games sooner or later.

At this time I have to say these titles are extremely harder than I expected !!
Class


Year
Title Name (All Freeware)
Author (Editor)
Basic Data
MAP
Save
Lives
Rooms
Items
Mapping
Strategy
IRD Map
Lineal  
1999
We Pretty
Andrew Broad
no

64
256
Edit ver.
Here.
Here.
Lineal 2001
Strangel: Willy in the Otherworld
Alex Cornhill
no

104
256
By Pavero


Lineal 2002
Goodnite Luddite
Andrew Broad
no

64
256
Edit ver.(WIP)


Lineal 2005
Jet Set Willy: Mind Control
Daniel Gromann & Alex Cornhill
no
13 
112
256
By Pavero


Lineal 2010
Jet Set Willy: The 2010 Megamix
Daniel Gromann & others
no
11 
247
256
By Pavero


Lineal 2016
Jet Set Willy The Nightmare Edition
"jswmm.co.uk" team
no
17 
65
256
Here.
Here.
Here.
Blue letters: External link ("Pavero" made and uploaded maps to http://maps.speccy.cz/ .)
IRD graph is WIP. Please bear with me.



Return to the TOP page