Hello, good people of the Spectruming world!
I was referred to you by a good chap named Daren at the RZX Archives. I need some help!
I am writing a novel set in the 1980s, which revolves heavily around some kids who play computer games. A pivotal point of the story as a whole involves Jet Set Willy. The way I write it depends upon how you answer my questions. Here goes.
Well, others here are probably better equipped to answer your questions however I will (try) to answer them to my best ability for now.
Did Software Projects ever release a bug-free version of Jet Set Willy, or did one have to use the 1984 release with Holman and Else's POKEs in order to complete the game?
No, there was never an 'official' release with the 'four official' Pokes applied as far as I am aware. The re-release by VentaMatic (Spain) retained the bugs unfortunately too. The changes in this version are a different title/scrolly message and the loading message. The room names are the same.
It is however well worth mention here that there were actually two Software Projects releases though, the early one sometimes referred to as 'Pre-Production' had the Manic Miner in-game tune aka "In the hall of the Mountain King" where as the slightly later release had "If I were a Rich Man" as the in-game tune. Apart from this change of 64 bytes, there are very few other changes certainly they appear to be superfluous and possibly just data buffer bytes (updating during play) rather than anything that effects the game itself.
It is also worth bearing in mind you could in theory possibly count JSW2 as a 'bug fixed' version as this originally started life on the Amstrad CPC machines and then was ported across to the Spectrum, both of these machines use a Z80 CPU. There is as a random side note (not relevant to your questions but worth mentioning) an actual JSW1 release for the Amstrad too, although most for this machine are JSW2 aka "Final Frontier"
If Software Projects did re-release it, when did that happen?
Hopefully answered this in my reply above!
If the Holman/Else POKEs had to be used on the original, when and where were they printed for players it input?
This is a good question, although they are refereed to usually as "Official Fixes" or suchlike, I remember at the time not really seeing anything other than the odd magazine tip listing with said pokes in, rather than anything from Software Projects themselves. I was not expecting to see a full/half page advertisement ( ) stating it but I'd completely wrongly assumed something "official" was printed but it appeared not. I could be wrong here.
Incidentally of the four 'fixes' the one that moves the invisible object from First Landing to The Hall, although it works its not really ideal as said object is still invisible although collected merely by walking over it, in other words if Willy does not jump and just walks (apart from avoiding the arrows) then he will gain this object anyway.
Dumb question: How does one input a POKE on a Spectrum? (It's easy enough on an emulator, but I've no idea how to do it on an actual Speccy.)
This is an open ended question, in summary:
1. On a real machine if the Basic loader is unprotected (as JSW is) it is a simple matter of MERGE'ing it instead of LOADING it (to stop it auto-running) , if you are familiar with the BBC Micro this is quite similar to doing a LOAD vs a CHAIN. Anyway once access to the Basic loader had been gained, said Pokes are just inserted as new lines before the final USR statement which in most cases typically calls the game code.
2. Again on a real machine, if said game was protected then apart from hacking the loader or using a magazine listing, a Multiface device could be used to insert the Poke's once the game had loaded.
3. On an emulator, both of the above actually are possible as Multiface emulation exists although nearly every emulator also has a 'Poke memory' option so its very easy to simply load the game then visit this option in the emulators menu and apply them that way.
4. On an emulator again, the other way on an emulator is by a pre-defined .pok file (most support this) it is merely a tiny text listing of what addresses and what values they should contain, in most cases this means that applying the pokes is then just a drag/drop operation.
Looking forward to your response! All being well, you'll be mentioned in the acknowledgements when the book is completed!
You're very welcome!