This is one of my all time classic games that I regularly played on the Commodore 64 and to be honest from time to time I still do. Inspired by the Atari 800 game Miner 2049er, Manic Miner was released in 1983 and was followed up a year later by Jet Set Willy and Jet Set Willy II. Another superb game in the series was The Perils of Willy which was released solely for the Commodore VIC-20. I believe a third game in the series was planned called Miner Willy Meets The Taxman, I would have loved to have seen a version of this as I would have bought Willy a special taxman ray gun to use but unfortunately the game never left the drawing board.
Manic Miner was originally written for the Sinclair Spectrum by Matthew Smith for Bug-Byte, Software Projects then later re-released the game for other platforms like the BBC, micro, the Dragon 32 & 64, Amstrad’s CPC464, Sam Coupe, the Oric 1, the MSX, the Commodore 16, Commodore Plus/4, the Commodore 64 & the Commodore Amiga, Game boy Advance.
The Sinclair Spectrum version of the game was also released on the Xbox 360 as an Xbox Live Indie Game under the name Manic Miner 360 on June 21st 2012.
Manic Miner on the Commodore Amiga is really the only version that is noticeably different to all other formats, although the layout of the game is identical to the original, the graphics are larger and more detailed. I still prefer the original but it is a good version.
The game consists of twenty perilous caverns and in each of these caverns are several flashing objects which looks like keys, the player must collect these before Willy’s oxygen supply runs out. Once the player has collected the objects in one cavern, they must then go to the now-flashing portal, which will take them to the next cavern. The player must avoid enemies, listed in the cassette inlay as “…Poisonous Pansies, Spiders, Slime, and worst of all, Manic Mining Robots…”, which move along predefined paths at constant speeds. Willy can also be killed by falling too far, so players must time the precision of jumps and other movements to prevent such falls or collisions with the enemies. I do quite like the Monty Python style foot that comes down on poor Willy at the end of the game when he looses all of his lives.
Here’s a few Pokes for the ZX Spectrum:
POKE 36160,0 – No Horizontal Nasties
POKE 36106,0 – Immunity
POKE 35106,0 – Mystery Poke
POKE 36150,0 – Alter Nasties
Here’s some Poke for the Commod0:re 64:
POKE 16571,173 SYS16640 – God Mode
POKE 16632,0 SYS16384 – God Mode
POKE 16424,X Level Select ( x = Level, 0-19)
POKE 16419,X Level Select ( x = Level, 0-19)
X = Lives: Max: 255 – POKE 1624,X
X = Lives; Max: 255 – POKE1524,X
Rating – 8.9
Keyboard and Joystick compatible.
The twenty caverns are :-
1. Central Cavern 2. The Cold Room 3. The Menagerie 4. Abandoned Uranium Workings 5. Eugene's Lair 6. Processing Plant 7. The Vat 8. Miner Willy meets the Kong Beast 9. Wacky Amoebatrons 10.The Endorian Forest 11.Attack of the Mutant Telephones 12.Return of the Alien Kong Beast 13.Ore Refinery 14.Skylab Landing Bay 15.The Bank 16.The Sixteenth Cavern 17.The Warehouse 18.Amoebatrons' Revenge 19.Solar Power Generator 20.The Final Barrier