Hero Worship
February 24, 2005 3:59 AM   Subscribe

Where is Matthew Smith, fans of seminal platform game Manic Miner and its sequel Jet Set Willy [see also...] are wondering (Allegro.cc perhaps?) Missing in the mid-90s, rumors abound of drug habits, mental institutions and sojourns in the Netherlands, he surfaced again around 2000 with the creation of The Good Stuff, now sadly defunct, which included much of the out-there style and humor of his early games. Since last year, the trail has been cold. Interviews are interesting but perhaps reveal less than the games (and their covers) themselves. Level names in Jet Set Willy 2 include the wonderful We Must Perform a Quirkafleeg (eh?), Rescue Esmerelda and NCC 1501.
posted by nthdegx (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Jet Set Wiilly II, on the Amstrad CPC. Shit. How many hundreds of hours of my childhood did I waste on that? Well, waste is too harsh a word. I contend that the game was impossible to complete without cheats, but it never stopped me seeing how long I could last. And now, thanks to the wonders of technoloogy, I can continue the fun with my emulator.

(The scrolling message at the start of the game was...interesting...too)
posted by Jimbob at 4:25 AM on February 24, 2005

(v.v. cool and interesting post, by the way.)
posted by Jimbob at 4:26 AM on February 24, 2005

c64 Jet Set Willy was impossible to complete with out cheating. I think they fixed it for the other versions, though.

Greta post. Thanks
posted by ZippityBuddha at 4:31 AM on February 24, 2005

Matthew Smith was a genius... good to remember back in the day when software houses were run out of a guy's bedroom.
posted by Alexander at 4:43 AM on February 24, 2005

Been posted before, but here's Manic Miner
posted by johnny novak at 5:17 AM on February 24, 2005

This is a fascinating backstory even though I've never played these games before, thanks for the links.
posted by safetyfork at 9:15 AM on February 24, 2005

Minor tangental discussion: In this excellent overview of plagiarism in games, there's a mention about how Team17, creators of Worms, took the Jet Set Willy code to create a new game with no payment or credit to Matt Smith.
posted by jscott at 10:14 AM on February 24, 2005

I read somewhere that JSW was impossible to complete firstly because some items were impossible to collect but also because even if youcheated and had collected all the items the computer would crash once you got back to the master bedroom.

Anyway, clearly it was too much, too young for Matthew.
posted by dodgygeezer at 2:45 PM on February 24, 2005

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