Jill of the Jungle
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|Jill of the Jungle|
Trilogy cover art
Jill of the Jungle is a trilogy of scrolling platform computer games released in 1992 by Epic MegaGames. It was intended to rival platform games previously released as shareware by id Software and Apogee Software. The three episodes in the trilogy are Jill of the Jungle, Jill Goes Underground, and Jill Saves the Prince. Though each game was initially released separately, the three were combined into Jill of the Jungle: The Complete Trilogy a year later.
Players play as an Amazon woman who can use various types of weapons and enhancements as she progresses through levels slaying monsters and finding keys. The first episode in the trilogy contains 15 playable levels, including a bonus level, each of which can be entered from an overworld resembling another level. The second episode uses 20 sequential levels without an overworld. The third episode's overworld is a top-down perspective, changing to the traditional platformer style when entering one of the 15 levels.
Various puzzles include keys, transforming into different creatures, and making jumps among others. The same graphics are used in the trilogy, except that Jill's costume is recoloured in each episode (green in Episode 1, red in Episode 2, and blue in Episode 3). Every episode has several unique music tracks and sound effects but some songs and sounds are shared between two different episodes.
Tim Sweeney was inspired to a Nintendo-style game featuring a female playable character as a unique feature. The game started out as a platforming level editor. Lacking the skills to do the art and music, Sweeney hired four people.
Shortly after its release, Jill of the Jungle sold 20 to 30 copies daily. The successful sales provided market recognition and allowed Epic MegaGames to produce future titles, such as Jazz Jackrabbit, One Must Fall: 2097, and the very successful Unreal series of games. The game Xargon, a later creation of Epic, was very similar in terms of gameplay.
The engine of Jill Saves the Prince was licensed to a company called Ark Multimedia Publishing and used for a Christian-themed game called Onesimus: A Quest for Freedom. Most of the graphics and many level designs from the original game were recycled into Onesimus, which is also known as Escape From Rome, though some text and enemies such as the demon creatures were replaced. The plot follows the story of Paul the Apostle's Epistle to Philemon from the Bible with Onesimus as the protagonist. While it seems to be that Jill Saves the Prince (along with the rest of the trilogy) was developed first, references to Onesimus can be found in the string section and level code of the Jill games. However, the credits for Onesimus include a "thanks" to the Epic MegaGames staff, which suggests that Onesimus was developed either simultaneously with Jill Saves the Prince or developed immediately after it.
A sequel, Jill of the Jungle II, was being produced at a point. However, its developers decided to change it into an original property, titled Vinyl Goddess from Mars, which was published by Union Logic in 1995.
- Edwards, Benj (2009-05-25). "From The Past To The Future: Tim Sweeney Talks". Gamasutra. UBM. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
- Totilo, Stephen (2011-07-12). "The Quiet Tinkerer Who Makes Games Beautiful Finally Gets His Due". Kotaku. UBM. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
- "Release: Jill of the Jungle: The Complete Trilogy". GOG.com. CD Projekt. November 2, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
- Monitor Volume 2 Issue 11 interview, mentions Jill of the Jungle II being released as Vinyl Goddess From Mars Archived November 3, 2005, at the Wayback Machine