Jet Set Willy II Music

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Van Benzo

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09-07-2011, 21:28

Only joined to put you out of your misery ... I believe , if memory serves me correctly (haven't played JSWII in donkeys) that the in-game music is by Grieg from the Peer Gynt suite , entitled , In the Hall of the Mountain King . Hope this helps . Wink

Van FiXato

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09-07-2011, 21:35

I absobloodylutely love Edvard Grieg's Hall of the Mountain King, but the tune in the linked youtube video sounds nothing like it imho..
I think you are mixing it up with the non-MSX version(s) which indeed has Hall of the Mountain King.

Van Benzo

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09-07-2011, 21:48

Ah , sorry . I was unaware of the msx version and it's different music . And you are right , it is completely different to the linked one above . I'm not familiar with that one at all .

Van jltursan

Prophet (2334)

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09-07-2011, 22:56

So the secret remains the same...Smile

Van z80 coder

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23-04-2013, 18:37

No idea what the music on the MSX version of JET SET WILLY II is. I wrote the original version on the Amstrad and the spectrum.
I assume you mean a version written by Cameron Else, who famously rang me up and proudly announced that on the Amstrad version of JSW2 their was one note wrong. Did he think I was going to change the music ??? The original title music was as every states Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven. The in game music for JSW1 was "if I was a rich man" this had to be changed for copyright reasons. Which was such a long time ago, I can no longer remember what it was changed to. In any case most other versions did their own thing.. Good luck with your quest.

Van anonymous

incognito ergo sum (118)

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23-04-2013, 22:49

Hi z80 coder! Welcome to the MSX Resource Center and thank you for the information! Smile
I made a quick video of JW2's in-game music for you:

On MSX, the alternative version of JSW1 just has the "Desecration Rag" in-game as well.

Question: Could you please elaborate a bit on what tool(s) you used to create music back in the day?
I'm very interested in this, and I'm possibly not the only one who is.

Van z80 coder

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24-04-2013, 02:02

Think primitive, then forget that. Think so basic it is stone age. In JSW2 and JSW1 on the Amstrad it was a long boring process. We were given prototype machines with reams and reams of hardware/software documentation. In the case of the music we sat there and wrote code to find out what the ay389 chip could do and bit by bit figured out the wave pattern generators and other bits. Then using this knowledge wrote simple routines in basic to play a note and wave form shape it. This process took hours/days till we were happy with a simple note routine.
The music was then copied note by note into an assembler, with the duration and pitch of each note embeded into the data. Since the music was just being copied from Beethoven's scores all we had to do was concentrate on how the routine handled the playing of each note.
To go from the Amstrad to the spectrum just entailed using the same data and rewriting the note playing part.

Back then everything took so long to do, because their was nothing to help. Even though what I write here is about an Amstrad CPC, it could just of easily have been an MSX computer. I was sent a very early MSX from Japan with all the Hardware and software documentation. (which I sadly no longer have) and back then you spent several weeks just reading the hardware specs to try and fathom out what the machine could do. There was nothing to show its capabilities and very little software as examples. This lack of software made every task longer.

Crafting a game on a machine with no software...

Writing jsw2.. The screen layout was not a nice machine code number 2/4/8/16/32/64 wide but was 80 columns. I read the hardware spec and worked out I could change its size. (the first person to do this in a Amstrad game)
These things are obvious once someone shows you it can be done. With the machine so new it was left for me to figure out.

I needed to design the new screens and copy the old. This entailed having to write an editor in machine code.

new problem.. My z80 assembler was on a B/W computer (a Tandy) and the destination screens needed to be in colour. I had to have an interface built to upload data from the original source machine (spectrum) to the tandy and another interface. Z80 dart to transfer to the Amstrad. I spent several week writing an editor for the screens, and several days building the interfaces. My lack of electronic skills meant they had to be sorted out by someone else, which surprisingly turned out to be only a few dry joints.

I had to then undertake the joys of trying to get an RS232 interface to talk between computers. (not easy)

I then had to write interface software.

I wrote a compression routine on the amstrad (in basic) to compress the data and send it back to the Tandy.

I wrote a test routine on the tandy for the music and transferred that to the Amstrad. Tested and on the Amstrad and confirmed ok.

Bit by bit (no pun intended) a game is built up. The only piece of software that was available to me at that time was the Z80 assembler on the Tandy. Which allowed me to join all the bits of data together and finally craft the game. The Z80 editor was very, very restrictive in what it would let you do. I still have the source code for JSW2 and it is a nightmare to read. Lables were restricted to eight letters, comments none existent because the source code was too big for memory and it would crash if any more data was added.


The above bleakness is not always the norm. I watched amazed several years later a professional musician laying down tracks on an atari ST. He managed to compose what seemed like a ten track piece of music in a couple of hours. Which was then just slotted into a game straight from disc.


The reason I ended up on this site was looking for methods to solve Sudoku. I have written in PC qbasic a program for Sudoku solving which entails the normal xwing/xywing hidden/ naked etc searches. It can solve nearly all boards but the very complex ones. I noticed a simple forced solve algorithm in basic which I have extensively modified to speed it up. My version of the basic code is about 1,000 times faster. It will do 3,500,000 loops of the routine in around 50 seconds. Most boards are solved so fast that the clock routine will not register a full second. This force solve method is interesting, but my aim is to solve the boards using simple human logic. And not use brute force or incomprehensible logic that requires a degree in mathematics to understand.

Van MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

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24-04-2013, 10:58

Hello z80 coder! It´s really nice to hear of somebody who did the hard work of coding the games back then! I do really appreciate that you wanted to write here about things you have done. Smile I must say that I imagined quite well the problems you had back then, though some parts of your problems were nearly beyond my imagination, primitive is the word..

I would like to read more descriptions from you, what game programming was back then. Do you still hear of Cameron Else? If you do, please let him know, that it would be nice to hear about him too and hear what he thought about coding for the MSX. Smile Or any other 8-bit coder you might still know. Smile

Van JohnHassink

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24-04-2013, 17:40

Wow z80 coder, thanks for the detailed story!
I had no idea that it was a process this painstakingly.


Enlighted (6453)

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25-04-2013, 07:06

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