1001 Video Games
Jet Set Willy
appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die
by General Editor Tony Mott.
The Amstrad version of Jet Set Willy
was the original official expansion of Jet Set Willy
by Software Projects
. This expansion was written by Derrick P. Rowson
and Steve Wetheril
, and contains 132 rooms. This expanded version is the basis of Jet Set Willy II: The Final Frontier
The author of Jet Set Willy
wrote the game and its predecessor Manic Miner
before he was 18.
As ZX Spectrum games were distributed on audio cassettes, piracy was a major concern. Jet Set Willy was the first game in the world to feature copy protection, in the shape of codes (printed on a coloured card) which had to be typed in after loading the game.
The original release of Jet Set Willy was buggy - entering The Attic
led to memory corruption, and the game would crash if the player subsequently entered The Kitchen
! Initially, the publisher claimed that this was a feature, but later released a fix, making Jet Set Willy one of the first commercial games to have a patch produced.
Approximately a year after Jet Set Willy was released, the computer magazine Your Spectrum
published a type-in which added an extra room to the game. This was perhaps the first third-party mod ever released for a commercial game.
The music playing in the background is If I were a Rich Man
from the US Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof
, first performed in 1964.
Circa 1989, Paul Taylor
and Carl Whitwell
worked on an Atari ST conversion of this game for Software Projects
-- late enough in the title's life that the painstaking port (disassembled code read off the Spectrum's monitor and typed into the Atari's keyboard, screen data dumped as hex and dictated to a typist) was never released to the commercial market. During the same period Shahid Ahmad
worked on an Amiga port that met a similar fate of obscurity.
Information also contributed by
- ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)
- February 1991 (issue #41) - Included in the list Greatest Games of all Time, section Platform-based Games (editorial staff choice)
- Happy Computer
- Issue 04/1985 - #3 Best Game in 1984 (Readers' Vote) (Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum version)
- Retro Gamer
- October 2004 (Issue #9) – #7 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
- May 2007 (Issue 37) - #6 in the "Top 25 Platformers of All Time" (poll)
- May 1985 (Issue 1) - #5 'Ten tackiest top-sellers'