Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39506)
Written on  :  Oct 19, 2004
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

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Jill is up to her tricks once again

The Good

Jill Goes Underground is volume two of the Jill of the Jungle trilogy.

Story: After Jill survived the dangers of the jungle, she landed on a mushroom planet, and wonders what wonders lied ahead of her. Little does she know that if she continues on with her adventure, she will end up underground, where she will face more dangers.

Gameplay: On her quest, there will be new enemies that are waiting to harm Jill; enemies like caterpillars, jumping ants, demons, bats, and crocodiles (and I'm not talking about the ones from the last volume, this crocodiles are much bigger). Old enemies are also seen, but they are much smarter than before. For example, the birds that Jill saw in her last quest will speed up their pace. It's up to you to get Jill through this.

Unlike in the previous game, don't expect a map where you can enter any level you like. Instead, all the levels in the game must be played sequentially. The gray number inside a block is Jill's starting point in the level, and she will resume at that point when she runs out of health, as a result of her touching an enemy too many times. You can avoid this by doing two things: collect as many apples as she can to increase health, find a knife or spinning blade which Jill can use to kill enemies (she can carry more than one at a time), or jump over them. Jill will also go back to her starting point if she falls into lava or water, or land on a set of spikes. Also, if the enemies are too hard to beat, there are not enough apples, and you really don't want to go back to the starting point if you die, then you can also press [S] to save the game and select one of six slots that you can save to. That way, if you do die, you can press [R] to restore to the point where you left off.

Most of the levels in the game will have passages that will be blocked off by locked doors or gem gates, and you are required to collect red keys and gems to unlock them. Furthermore, some platforms are far out of your reach, so you must have the jump boosts, which look like red arrows that are pointing up. If you're lucky, you can also use elevators to hoist yourself up or down to other platforms. Like the last game, you have the opportunity to change into an animal. When I played the game myself, I remembered the only thing that you can change into is a bird. Transforming into a bird is good, because you can fly up high as you like, without the need of any jump boost.

The game is a little bit difficult. You see. The first place that you'll stop off will be Montezuma's Castle, and in there somewhere, you have to jump all the time so that you can hold onto vines, and jump onto blocks that appear and disappear every five seconds. And much later, you have to survive the depths of hell by battling demons. These are hard to kill, as they keep moving around the screen and fire more than one shot at a time, and you lose a lot of health if you come in contact with their shots. Furthermore, you have to get through a maze while you collect keys that will open the doors to the exit, and survive the land of eternal weirdness where there are more puzzles that are awaiting you.

Graphics: I can say that the graphics are much more detailed than the first volume, but they are no match to those in Xargon, but at least you get 256-color VGA (CGA or EGA if you lack a VGA card). All throughout the game. Jill wears her red jungle suit (green in CGA) all throughout the game.

Music & Sound: As for the sound, you will not hear the same music like you did in volume one, and there are new sound effects. My favorite feature, the NoiseMaker returns in this game is back, in which pressing a key on your keyboard will produce a sound in the game. And even though the game takes no more than a Sound Blaster, you can still use NoiseMaker via the PC Speaker, and more importantly, throughout the game.

The Bad

The puzzles in the game are a bit too easy and takes only about five minutes to get through them. The ending to this game, especially the part where Jill runs around, is a bit too short.

You will not enjoy Jill Goes Underground if you have a fast machine. You can run it through DOSBox, but expect to close it down and restart the game, as the keys won't respond in a few minutes, due to a source code bug. That means that you won't get to save or restore a game. Instead, you will just have to complete the game in one day.

The Bottom Line

If you played volume one of Jill and liked it, then I recommend playing this game,

Rating: ***