Looking for the perfect Jumpman

Jumpman Lives!Why has nobody made the perfect Jumpman remake?

Caveat: it has to run on my secondary 1.7 GHz Windows 2000 PC, which though it has a 3D graphics card, the 3D doesn’t work because of some weird-arse issue with DirectX (Short version: It’s a Diamond Viper V550. I’m sure DX 7 and 8 worked okay with it, but DX 9 doesn’t… and it’s pretty much impossible to downgrade without re-installing Windows.)

Given this computer is over a thousand times as fast as a Commodore 64, that shouldn’t be too hard.

Of the Jumpmans (Jumpmen?) listed at remakes.org there are:

  • Classic Jumpman — runs in DOS, using the PC’s on-board speaker for sound. Bleuch, no volume control, etc
  • Jumpman Deluxe — for the Amiga, it looks like. I don’t have an Amiga. I used to, but I only used it for playing Aladdin.
  • Jumpman Lives! — also in DOS. Looks terrific, and graphically is about as close to the original as it gets. Some sound works, but a lot (eg the music) is missing, and I can’t get the arrow keys to work.
  • Jumpman Project — this is the original IBM version, tweaked to run okay on fast machines. So it’ll be DOS again, so no volume control, and horrible CGA colours, until it’s enhanced at some stage in the future.
  • Jumpman Under Construction — has a terrific screen editor, but has been written in such a way that on a PC without 3D graphics, it is as slow as molasses. WTF? This game dates from 1983 and ran on a 1Mhz Commodore 64!
  • Jumpman Zero — only runs on 3D, because it’s been super-jazzed up in a way the author probably thought looked really cool. I disagree — I care nought for making the blocky graphics have a 3D perspective, and I really hate the way it’s been turned into a scrolling playing field. How can you possibly plan your ideal path through the level?

Okay, so maybe it’s time to look at a C64 emulator instead.

3 thoughts on “Looking for the perfect Jumpman

  1. glen

    You know, I’ve often waxed nostalgic about the old games I used to play. I also had a C64, and my memories are full of Bruce Lee and Wizball. I got an emulator and tried to re-live the old memories. I discovered that Bruce Lee was a joke, but wizball is still remarkably addictive, even with the limitations of an emulator. I’d love a new implementation of Wizball just like you’ve talked about.

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