The Menagerie? Really? It has always seemed one of the easiest screens of all to me. Oh well. Solar Power is always hard. I agree that the air level is very generous on the screens though. Right, I better go and try and make some progress on it ...
Menagerie, the problem I used to have was the 'top row' timing in that the rightmost guardian I'd jump over or out the way of and hit a fire cell on the roof area. The ways around it are either more careful timing (so its not near a cell when you jump) or you can cheat a bit and jump on the spot a few times to buy a few seconds to get it into a more sane place.
I'd forgot to mention Solar Power, the main issue on that is the air limit due to the beam, well that and timing the jumps to get to the top of the screen again!
EDIT... Can you use tape (.tap) files ? In that if I post an erm 'patch' you can load it then load in a version of MM ?
No prize other than a thank you! Oh and your username in the top-x ranking (at least if/when someone gets a higher score)
Hardest level,. I'd thought about that a long time ago but its going to vary between players. For a while I used to either be able to do Menagerie first time or it would take a couple of attempts, its not a problem now I have a technique!
Regarding Ore Refinery, I find it best to not panic as there's plenty of time/air for what you need to do. I don't have a specific technique for this one, it seems to vary a bit for me!
Warehouse is a bit difficult but (if you watch my recording of this level) I don't use the conveyor on that level.
One thing I am pleased to see is the 'fall off the platform' effect that plagues JSW2 (Spectrum) and MM + JSW (Amstrad) is thankfully not present!
By this I mean if you stand M.W at the far end of a platform and press jump then attempt to move left/right you simply fall off rather than jump in that direction. The Spectrum version of JSW1 and MM behave more sanely (imo) in that regard. Lost far too many lives in JSW2 by this.
Realise the answer is simply to stand one frame in then operate the controls but with timing sometimes critical its not always easy to retrain my mind for this.
As I say thankful to see this 'effect' is not present. Although I've not looked into the cause it seems almost as if the left/right vs jump keys are tested in the opposite order.
To expand a fraction on Danny's post, I did at one point have a modded JSW2 game a couple of years ago but it never really got finished. More recently a slightly different JSW2 game was started but I've not had chance to make any progress with it, its more a longer term 'as and when' project.
We did something vaguely similar in MM10CC where there were in effect three separate games, same levels but an 'easy' mode with more air per cavern, less nasties etc, the 'normal' mode which played as per original and a 'difficult' version with a few more hazards.
By your description so far I think you've about covered something for all playing abilities! Looking forward to seeing it at hopefully not a too distant point in the future.
I've not had a great deal of time to do much with it, although I did like what I saw. The vertical guardian on the third cavern reminds me of Wanted: Monty Mole a little bit.
The main gameplay to change the collision to be the energy type bar vs instant life loss is an excellent idea too.
EDIT... I'm hoping the lack of others feedback has not dissuaded you from further development. Perhaps a screenshot or three would help. It does look highly promising!
If it means anything ( ? ) the 'screens$ examples' topic I posted mid-March that I wished to receive feedback for (as to which pattern was preferred, nothing more involved than that) has about 125 downloads in all and 0 replies.
Had another play with this yesterday, once I get a bit of time hopefully later I'll post more feedback. I do like what I see so far though.
Regarding 'Search Load' without going into it too much, here is a small few seconds animated .gif to save you the bother, might have to click the image to animate it. As I mentioned in my 'why I thought' post above, why I thought of this. Its done during loading (no loading border) , pretty unique at that time. Mind you the loader gave me (and still does to be honest) headaches.
Regarding the +2A/B / +3 issue yes I suspected a port issue, have seen similar on other games. Floating Bus issue if I recall, . Interestingly or not there's a very simple (read: untested by myself but I should as I have a +2A and a +3) hardware modification that can reduce this issue.
Will you be uploading an updated version soon perhaps ? I'll retest the version I have anyway.
I like the item collection sound and the collision effect too.
Note: Does not work in later machines (+2A/+2B and +3) as you only see the "Press enter to start your quest" message , the rest of the title screen does not appear. Fine in regular 128's though (toast-rack and grey +2 models
Talking of the title screen, I think some inspiration for that came from one of the first appearances if not the first of the Search loader, TechTed 48K specifically.
I did have an idea the other day and today thought I'd try it. Although I'd made a mistake in my code and it did not work (plus something else, namely I think needing to shuffle a bit of code about) , the idea I thought may of had merit.
Two ways of doing it, either set the airbourne counter to #FF and jump back into the main loop or drop into the collision detection "kill" routine. It does seem slightly confusing as to if a POP is needed here to zap the last return address off the stack however.
Simply put the idea was : The Portal is fatal on contact unless its active.
The Kong caverns might be possible if jump and left is held down (not tested!) as M.W will not be in contact with it if he walks left under the earth wall with jump held down, causing him to leap up as soon as possible.