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This is the Jetpack page, about one of my favorite games... Jetpack. It's a hybrid strategy/links/download section that's pretty self-explanatory.
-JSwitch and the Graphics Modules-
-Level Editor Controls-
-Level Editor Tips-
Jetpack was written by Adam Pedersen in 1993 and released as Shareware by a company called Software Creations. That company went belly-up, and Jetpack was released a second time by some other company called Impulse, which also went belly-up. Somewhere admist all of this, Adam got the rights to the game and released it as freeware in 1998. The graphics are tiny but good enough, and the sound is almost nonexistant except for a few sound effects that get annoying when the volume is turned up, and each level takes place on just one non-scrolling screen, so in these respects it resembles one of the arcade games from the early 80's. What Jetpack really is though is one of the greatest strategy games of all time, and somehow has been almost completely overlooked, making do with a strong, devoted cult following. The basic gist of the gameplay is this: You are an adventurer with a snazzy yellow helmet, masochistic tendencies, and a jetpack, wandering through a huge cave in search of green gems. If you collect all of the gems, then a door opens up to the next level. It sounds simple, but there's a lot of depth to the game that you have to play to grasp. There are many surfaces including ice, slime, and conveyers, eight types of enemies, and a hoard of other objects to accidentaly kill yourself with- doors, giant marble worms, teleporters, and nuclear warheads, to name a few. And there is something else underneath all of this: An extremely powerful and useful level editor. In a mere matter of minutes you can design a level of quality equal to or greater than the 100 levels that come with the game. Once you save the levels, then you can play them, and there are several ways to play the game- you can save the game between levels, play custom or normal levels, and choose your starting level, play the levels in any order you want, or play the levels in a random order. This game is the very definition of replay value.
Movement- Arrow Keys
Jumping (You can only jump when you have no fuel)- Alt
Jetpack (You can only jetpack when you have fuel)- Alt
Abort life- Esc
Abort game- Q
Flip switches, aim Phaser, use teleporters, etc.- Down Arrow Key
When flying around, hold the down arrow to maintain your altitude. This is unspeakably important on some levels.
When sliding around on ice or conveyor belts, you can hold in place by holding down the alt key. You can also walk normally, as long as you keep holding down alt.
When you're wandering around through a maze of walk-through blocks (a.k.a. mirage blocks) and can't find where you are, use your phaser. Usually but not always the phaser blast will show through the block, so you can see where you are.
When you get to a really hard level, save before you start by pressing Alt-S. If you quit, then you can start at the level you left off at by cycling through your options with F4.
You can phase through red and brown bricks, boxes, and purple blocks. You can also phase through ice, slime, and conveyor belts. In fact, you can phase through anything except for gray stone, yellow/golden blocks, and metal blocks (Those ones with the blue jewel in the middle).
The phaser has no effect on enemies- avoid them.
When you touch a spinner (that grey circle), you can walk through enemies without dying.
You can jump about one-and-a-half blocks vertically (from a standstill) and three blocks horizontally (while running).
You can aim the phaser in all four directions.
Boxes and purple blocks (a.k.a. Steel for some reason or other) take the least time to phase, red bricks take a little longer, and brown bricks take a lot longer. All bricks/blocks will regenerate after you phase them except for the boxes.
-JSwitch and the Graphics Modules-
Included with Jetpack is a small program by the name of JSwitch. It lets you switch between various sets of graphics for Jetpack. Included with JSwitch are three modules:
-Module A: Jetpack
This is the one the game uses by default.
-Module B: Christmas Jetpack
Anyone remember the Christmas edition of Jetpack that came out awhile back? This module is essentially an enhanced version of that- different backgrounds, and a nice twist- instead of taking gems from the levels, you're placing presents under trees. (In the original Christmas Jetpack, you took presents like you would gems, and I'm guessing the presents you're passing out now are the same ones you took earlier. Methinks Santa felt guilty about being a thief and wanted to make amends. But I digress.)
-Module C: Jetpack Junior
Okaaaaaay, this one is a little weird. You play as a much younger version of the Jetpack guy from Module A. This is definitely the strangest module of the three- the death animations are certainly the most morbid. Psychedelic, man.
-Level Editor Controls-
(After pressing Tab)
Arrow keys- Select different levels
Enter- View the selected level
L- Load the selected level to change or test it
S- Save the level you were working on before pressing Tab
Esc- Back to the Level Editor
(Within the editor)
Tab- Access levels
Enter- Access tiles
Arrow Keys- Move around on screen or in tile menu
Space Bar- Place the selected tile
Backspace- Delete selected tile
F1- Help Screen
F2- Test level
Q- Quit without saving
C- Delete everything. DELETE IT ALL!!
S- Determine starting position
D- Place Exit Door
-Level Editor Tips-
To copy a level: Press Tab, load the level you wish to copy. Press Tab again, select save, then save the game under a different name. You now have two levels that are exactly the same except for the file name.
You can only have one Jetpack guy on each level and one door, and you must have one of each.
If you don't put any gems in the level, then the door opens immediately when you enter the level.
You need to have at least two of a teleporter, their being the same color, for them to have the intended effect. If you only have one teleporter of a certain color, you dematerialize then rematerialize in the same spot when using it; useful for dodging enemies, but otherwise pointless. If you have more than two of the same color, then the destination point is random. If you need to use teleporters to get to a certain place, don't put too many of the same color- 20 yellow teleporters would be ridiculous and rather unfun to deal with, for example.
To play with the other people's minds, 1) lay down an exit door, and 2) lay down tiles behind it. This makes it possible so that you can only get to the exit by phasing it, or by flipping a switch to remove the hidden colored doors behind it. You can put any tile behind the door, just make sure to place the door before you lay down the other tiles and not the other way around- when you place an exit door it deletes any tile that it overlaps.
As I think I mentioned earlier, the absolute largest gap between two platforms that the Jetpack guy can jump is about three tiles to the right and one tile up, with a running start. This gap can be cleared fairly consistantly with practice, but is extremely annoying and I recommend against including such large gaps to jump over in your levels. The only use I'd recommend these gaps for is for placing a 1-up or some treasure in a hard to reach spot.
The level editor is what makes Jetpack such a great game- without it, the game would be lost and forgotten, fun as it may be. Here you can download not just the seventy bajillion custom levels I've made, but some custom graphics I made at the height of my Jetpack addiction.
Download Jetpack- Don't have Jetpack yet? Well, what are you waiting for? Go to the official home page thingy and download it... now. I COMMAND YOU.
Jetpack 2 Development Blog- Exactly what it implies. After 15 some odd years, Adam Pedersen has finally begun work on the long thought dead sequel to his classic gem-hunting game Jetpack.
Runevision- Although the Jetpack part of this site is relegated to a single page, it is very much worth checking out. Make sure to download the Module Kit, if you haven't already. There's also the Sick Angel module and 10 nifty custom levels. Come for the downloads, stay for the POV-Ray... whatever a POV-Ray is.
Retro Heaven- Download yourself some custom levels. Unlike Andrew's site, the levels are fewer in quantity, but they come with a storyline, screenshot, and description, so it balances out.
Home of Harbuckle- Harbuckle, in addition to having made many levels in the past, has gone the extra mile and mastered the art of module making, making multiple graphics modules. His site's a little less dusty than some others, too; it's good to know that Jetpack's still going strong in the hearts of its fans.