Dr. Andrew Broad
Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Manic Miner/Jet Set Willy
Quirky Features

"The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural."
[Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith]

This page will be updated as I write Advanced MM/JSW Trainer - that page refers to features not yet listed here, but the game itself is incomplete, currently covering just over half of the features listed here.

28th May 2008: Edited various sections (changes in red).


I keep a catalogue of quirky features in MM/JSW (which I add to whenever I think of another one) so that I can systematically incorporate them into my MM/JSW games. I play through all the MM/JSW games specifically to look for such patterns to make a note of in my catalogue. I look for both patterns that are deliberately exploited, and those that occur unintentionally (e.g. I have noticed several unintended Innocent-Looking Blocks in JSW Ivy, and the Adam Britton triptych). I also think laterally about new patterns to invent (e.g. "I just cut that jump much closer than I needed to. What if I put a Fire-cell there so that you have to cut it that close?").

The patterns in this document are presented as ASCII text-diagrams using the code below. I have long considered using screenshots; however this is prohibitive in the time it would take to save them and crop them, and in terms of my website's limited storage-space and bandwidth. Text-diagrams also have the advantage that I can use generic cell-types such as ? and =. If you don't like my text-diagrams, I can only suggest you play Advanced MM/JSW Trainer, which covers these patterns systematically, and in a similar structure to this document.

Key (symbols in cyan are not currently used in this document)

  .  Air
  -  Water
  +  Water 2 (MM)
  _  Crumbly
  |  Earth  
  *  Fire
  !  Fire 2 (MM)
  <  Conveyor left            
  >  Conveyor right
  ~  sticky Conveyor
  \  Ramp left
  /  Ramp right
  ^  Trampoline (JSW64)
  ;  Trap
  =  any stand-onable cell-type
  ?  any cell-type
  $  Item
    Item in a Crumbly cell
  WW Willy
  WW
  ## Portal
  ##
  TT Teleporter
  TT
  HH Horizontal guardian
  HH
  h  in the path of a horizontal guardian
  h
  VV Vertical guardian
  VV
  vv in the path of a vertical guardian

All patterns can - unless otherwise stated - be laterally inverted.

Water-cells and basic jumping

Earth-cells

  • Jumping into Earth-cells with superjump enabled:
    (1) ?.....
        ......
        ...... (facing right, in your leftmost sprite-frame,
        WW..||  jump right twice in successive time-frames
        WW..||  to land completely inside these four Earth-cells)
        ==????
    
    (2) ????? (no need to keep this row clear)
        ..... (facing right with your legs apart,
        .....  jump right twice in successive time-frames
        ....|  to jump through this Earth-cell)
        WW.??
        WW|??
        =====
    

    Fire-cells

    Trap-cells (harmless Fire-cells)

    Trap-cells are now an iron-clad feature of JSW64; see Message 5326 of the Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy Yahoo! Group for POKEs to turn Fire-cells into Trap-cells in MM48 and JSW48/128.

    Conveyors

    Ramps

    Horizontal guardians

    Vertical guardians

    Arrows

    Ropes

    Edges of the screen

    Items

    Combined cell-types (MM, JSW48/128)

    The following cell-types can be combined by giving them the same colour-attribute (this doesn't work in JSW64):

    Manic Miner (and JSW64) only

    Here are some that are specific to Manic Miner (and JSW64):

    Edges of the screen (MM only)

        ...?????????????????????????....
        ...?????????????????????????....
        ...?????????????????????????....
        .WW?????????????????????????...*
        .WW?????????????????????????...?
        ..=?????????????????????????=..?
        ...?????????????????????????????
        ????????????????????????????????
    

    Combined cell-types (MM only)

    The following cell-types can be combined by giving them the same colour-attribute (this doesn't work in JSW64):

    Jet Set Willy II only


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