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The Details

Name: Jet Set Willy
Author: Matthew Smith
Publisher:Software Projects Ltd
Released: 1984
Platforms: Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48/+/128/+/2/A/3, Commodore C64/C128
Formats: Cassette
Original Price: £5.95

What's it all about, then?

After the massive success of Manic Miner, Matthew Smith locked himself away, once more, in his Liverpool bedroom and started churning out Z80 code. Rumours abounded for many months in 8-bit magazines and playgrounds regarding the nature of Manic Miner's sequel. It had already become legendary before it had even been released.

When expectant Spectrum-fans finally got their hands on a copy -- the C64 version didn't come till later -- they were not disappointed. Gone was the room-by-room layout of its predecessor; now you had a full 60 (sixty!) rooms you could explore at your leisure. In its expansion, though, it had lost none of its gameplay. The controls were still as simple (left, right & jump), the platforms still so finely tuned, the constant need for just-one-more-game ever present, and the in-game music still so bloody annoying.

I remember it for being the first game where just roaming was a pleasure. Sure, you were meant to be getting all these items, but I couldn't be bothered; besides, there was one you actually couldn't get -- under the conservatory roof, an item above a conveyor belt was to close to two nasties. Then there was the 'attic bug': if you went into the Kitchen after being in the Attic then you lost all your lives for no reason. This led to Software Projects releasing a patch (for a fee), possibly the first patch released for a commercial game in this way (but see the POKEs section for an easier fix).

Playing Jet Set Willy for the first time was like playing Mario 64 or The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the first time. Your stared at the screen and thought: "I didn't know computer games could do that". It was the first game to become part of your life. Go get an emulator.

Yeah, but what's it actually about?

Well, here's what the inlay said:

Miner Willy, intrepid explorer and nouveau-riche socialite, has been reaping the benefits of his fortunate discovery in surbiton. He has a yacht, a cliff-top mansion, an Italian housekeeper and a French cook, and hundreds of new found friends who REALLY know how to enjoy themselves a a party.

His housekeeper Maria, however, takes a very dim view of all his revellry, and finally after a particularly boisterous thrash she puts her foot down. When the last of the louts disappears down the drive in his Aston Martin, all Willy can think about is crashing out in his four-poster. But Maria won't let him into his room until ALL the discarded glasses and bottles have been cleared away.

Can you help Willy out of his dilemma? He hasn't explored his mansion properly yet(it IS a large place and he HAS been VERY busy) and there are some very strange things going on in the further recesses of the house (I wonder what the last owner WAS doing in his laboratory the night he disappeared).

You should manage O.K. though you will probably find some loonies have been up on the roof and I would check down the road and on the beach if I was you. Good luck and don't worry, all you can lose in this game is sleep.

...and lose sleep we did.

I need some help with this


This is a map of Willy's Mansion which I have translated into ASCII from Sinclair User magazine and I've split it into two so it doesn't make the whole node really wide. It shows all the rooms and connections between them; you start the game in the bathroom.

                                                                                To Off Licence 
                                                                                    Clock Tower                                    
                                                      Nomen  = On the =   On the    = Quirka- = Seen this =  Rescue   = On top of
                                                       Luni     Roof    Battlements   fleeg      before     Esmerelda   the House
                                                        ||    ----------------------------------------  _________________/ /
                                                        ||                                             / _________________/ 
                                          Conserva- =  Under =    The    = Dr Jones    = Emergency = Priest's
                                          tory Roof    Roof      Attic                   Generator    Hole
                                             ||         ||   |------------------------------------|    ||
                     Above       West                  A bit |                                    |    ||
                    The West =   Wing   = Orangery  =  of a  |  Master   =     Top     =   The    |   Half
                    Bedroom      Roof                  tree  |  Bedroom      Landing     Bathroom |  Way up
                       ||         ||      ---^^----     ||   |-------------    ||   --------------|    ||
                      West       West   = Swimming  = Banyan = Nightmare =    First    =   The    | East Wall
                    Bedroom  =   Wing       Pool       Tree      Room        Landing      Chapel  |   Base
                       ||         ||     ---------------^^-----------------    ||           ||         ||
                      Back   =   Back   =   Cold    = West of = Kitchen  =    Main     = Ballroom = Ballroom  = The  =  Front => To the
                      Door     Stairway     Store     Kitchen               Stairway       West       East      Hall    Door    Drive
                       ||      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------    ||
Bow = Yacht =  The  = Tool   =   Wine   = Forgotten =================================================================> Security 
              Beach   Shed      Cellar      Abbey                                                                      Guard
                                                                                                                        to Hades

             On A Limb = Treetop                                                ########################
                 ||       ||                                                    #                      #
               Branch   Inside      Cuckoo's                                    # ||   Vertical link   #
               over  = Megatrunk =    Nest                                      #  =   Horizontal link #
               Drive      ||                                                    # ^^   Up-only link    #
                          ||                                                    #  |   Wall            #
                        The Foot     Under                                      # --   Ceiling         #
  To the     =  The  =   of the  =    the   =  The   =   Off                    #                      #
<=Front Door   Drive    Megatree   Megatree   Bridge   Licence                  ########################
                ||      ---^^---
               Under ==   Tree 
                the       Root


Jet Set Willy was one of the most POKEd games in history. For those who aren't familiar with the idea of POKEing, it's basically a simply form of hacking into and patching a game for cheating purposes. Jet Set Willy was not a tough game to hack. Later games had things like speedlock or other protection routines, but JSW was simple.

The first step to POKEing the game is to get the game code in memory but without it running, so you have access to the BASIC editor. Spectrum games, when loading, usually followed the following process (and JSW was no exception).

  1. Load a autorunning BASIC program, which then,
  2. Optionally loads a loading screen
  3. Loads the game code
  4. Executes the game code

Basically, you need to get access to BASIC between steps 3 and 4. Usually this could be achieved by BREAKing into the program after step 1 and adding a STOP command before the USR function in the BASIC. JSW is clever enough to stop you here, though. The program includes a POKE 23613,0. This sets the System Variable counting the number of keyboard-owned screen lines to 0. When you attempt a BREAK the computer will try to print an error error message to this non-space, get confused and reset. Fortunately, there are two alternatives.

  1. SAVE the following BASIC program to tape and use that to load the game instead of the included one:
    10 CLEAR 25000
    20 LOAD "" CODE
    30 REM Insert your POKEs here
    40 RANDOMIZE USR 33792
  2. MERGE the program with MERGE "" instead of LOAD "". The program will not autorun, so you can add your POKEs between lines 30 and 40

It may be usefull to note, that an edited version of the first method (along with a header-reader for the code location) could let you save JSW to Microdrive more efficiently than with a Multiface One. On the subject of multifaces, if you have one you don't need all this; simply load, press your red button and use the Multiface's memory editor to edit the relevant addresses.

Now follows a list of POKEs you may find useful when playing JSW:

  • Infinite Lives: 35899,0
  • x lives: 34785,x-1 (up to 32)
  • Change start room: 34795,x
  • Change no of objects: 41983,256-x (normally, x=83)
  • Fix 'attic bug': 59900,255
  • No nasties: 35123,0
  • Don't die from a fall: 36477,1
  • Bigger jumps: 36358,0


Lovely cheat this. Type in WRITETYPER when standing on the floor of the First Landing. This allows you to flick between rooms by holding down various combinations of numbers. Use key 9 and combinations of 1 to 5, which actually correspond to the binary code of the room number.

Crash Magazine (available online at http://www.crashonline.org.uk/)
Your Spectrum Magazine (later Your Sinclair - online at http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~jg27paw4/index.html)
The game itself and its inlay.
Permission has been given for JSW to be freely redistributable, you may find it online at http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseek.cgi?regexp=^Jet+Set+Willy

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