The face of our heroine.Jill of the Jungle
, released in 1992, was one of Epic Megagames
' early games for MS-DOS. A side-scrolling platformer, the game consisted of three episodes: "Jill of the Jungle" (shareware), "Jill Goes Underground" and "Jill Saves the Prince" (Registered version only). The game's tagline was "No more 'save the princess' games!". The game had VGA graphics and Soundblaster support for effects and FM synthesis music. While nearly forgotten today, the success of the game gave Epic Megagames
the money to develop the Unreal
engine that would become the basis of so many modern video games. A sequel was planned, but Epic Megagames didn't like its overall quality, and scrapped in favor of Jazz Jackrabbit
. It was however rescued by Six Pound Sledge Studios and released in the form a spiritual successor
as Vinyl Goddess from Mars
In November 2018, the entire series was released for free on GOG.com. You can get it here.
Tropes present in this game:
- Action Girl: One of the first in PC Gaming to be based on an original license, rather than come from a console-to-PC port, such as how Lara Croft of Tomb Raider fame would do four years after Jill's release by leaping from PlayStation to home computers.
- Big Red Devil: Midway through "Jill Goes Underground," around the time Jill enters Heck, she will start encountering red demons with wings and horns that can shoot fire rings at her.
- Checkpoint: When you die, you return to the start of the current level (though progress through the level is usually saved). Some maps include multiple levels (denoted by the level number being displayed in blocks on the ground), essentially serving the purpose of checkpoints.
- Compilation Re-release: In 1993, a compilation of all three episodes were released as Jill of the Jungle: The Complete Trilogy. Despite the name of the 2018 GOG re-release of the game, it is not The Complete Trilogy version* , but rather the individual three games repackaged into a single download.
- Disconnected Side Area: The first level of the first game starts you off next to a wall. If you jump around on the nearby blocks you can see some apples behind the wall that you can't reach. These apples are actually accessible through level 7. Levels 2 and 14, and 11 and 12, also take place in separate parts of the same map, though it's not quite as obvious as with 1 and 7.
- Distressed Dude: The prince in episode 3.
- Excuse Plot: The first episode has basically no plot beyond "you're in the jungle, go kill monsters"; the second episode's plot amounts to "find a way out of the Underground" (which you ended up in by wandering around the jungle killing monsters). Only the third episode gives you a more concrete goal, namely to rescue the prince who has been kidnapped by lizard people.
- Hub Level: Side-scrolling in the first episode, an overhead map in episode 3.
- Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Both types of doors (regular ones and gemstone barriers) follow the principle. It is even frequently used as an aspect of level design: collect all the keys scattered in a large area, then exit the level behind septuple consecutive locked doors.
- Jungle Princess: Jill is one.
- Later Installment Weirdness: "Jill Saves The Prince" introduces a top-down overhead map for the overworld. The previous two installments, the first of which had a Hub Level and the second of which did not, were pure sidescrollers.
- Lava is Boiling Kool-Aid: Like early Super Mario Bros. games, lava is basically shown as red water. If Jill becomes a phoenix, it's possible to swim through the lava.
- Palette Swap: Jill's skimpy clothes have a different color in each episode- green in the first, red in the second and blue in the third- but are otherwise identical.
- Pinball Spin-Off: The "Jungle Girl" table in Epic Pinball. Could arguably be seen instead as just a Shout-Out or a kind of cameo rather than a full spinoff.
- Precision-Guided Boomerang: Jill's throwing knives (almost) always return to her, even flying around walls and rocks to do so. Her shuriken usually do as well, but since they are unlimited, it's a bit less problematic when they don't.
- Stripperiffic: Moreso on the box art.
- Super Drowning Skills: Played straight and averted in an odd way. First off, touching the surface of water kills Jill instantly. Waterfalls don't. However, it's averted due to the bizarre programming: it's possible for Jill to go underwater by falling through a waterfall and going underwater, provided she doesn't touch the tile that represents the surface of the water.
- Take That!: The shareware edition of Episode 1 has quite a few phrased as news bulletins aimed at a number of other contemporary games, such as Duke Nukem, Commander Keen, Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros.. The registered version, however, lacks these amusing barbs.
- Uncommon Time: The song titled "Seven," which is played at the end of the first game and in a couple levels in the third, is in 7/8 time and is quite pleasing.
- What the Hell, Player?: Trying to leave the final level without rescuing the prince results in the game screaming at you to go back and do it right.
"No, no, no, no, no, no, no! How about saving the prince before you leave? Like, is this game titled "Jill leaves Level 14 without saving the prince," or what??!?"