2017

Game: Jill Of The Jungle (Epic MegaGames, PC)

Compiler: Will Mallia

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Will Mallia's Jill Of The Jungle (PC) maps.

 

Jill, an Amazon woman and apparently of the jungle, travels underground and rescues a prince in the Jill Of The Jungle trilogy.  She can throw daggers and transform into animals to traverse 50 levels of classic 1992 platforming action with VGA graphics!  What a wonder woman!

 

In the early 90s, games (mostly platformers) were popular on PCs via shareware.  Popularized by Apogee, games were encouraged to be copied and shared, with the idea being that if you like the game, you would buy additional episodes.  Epic MegaGames's major foray into shareware platforming was Jill Of The Jungle.  It was fairly successful, and allowed Epic MegaGames to create other classic games such as Jazz Jackrabbit and One Must Fall 2097.  And Epic would go on to make the Unreal Engine, a game engine now in its fourth iteration, which powers many video games today.  So this 25-year-old game may be, at least in part, responsible for some of your favourite video game memories.  And, hey, it's a decent game on its own, and a classic!

 

So for jumping into the jungle with Jill, Will Mallia's Jill Of The Jungle (PC) maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for June 2017.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

Game: RollerCoaster Tycoon (MicroProse, PC)

Compiler: RoberTime

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to RoberTime's RollerCoaster Tycoon (PC) maps.

 

It's May!  Now that it's late spring, the theme parks are opening up - so it's time to get on those coasters!

 

There are many simulation games on the PC, but only a few of them really stand out.  One of them is MicroProse's RollerCoaster Tycoon, where one can manage a theme park, and build some attractions, which include roller coasters (of course).  The track editor has a great variety of configurations, so from slow simple rides to speedy death-defying loops, you can build pretty much any kind of coaster you can imagine.

 

Various scenarios have you managing an already-existing park, whether already booming, or failing and in need of revival, or, of course, building one entirely from scratch.  Including the "Corkscrew Follies" and "Loopy Landscapes" expansions, you have 86 such areas to work with.  RoberTime has captured all these areas, and if not primarily navigational (while one can easily get lost in any theme park, you can't really get lost here, from this perspective), they are certainly quite nostalgic, for anyone who has enjoyed this theme park simulator on the PC.  Either way, you won't have to buy these maps at any kiosk - all these maps are here for your perusal!

 

So for taking us for a ride down the tracks of nostalgia, RoberTime's RollerCoaster Tycoon (PC) maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for May 2017.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

Game: Brain Lord (Enix, Super NES)

Compilers: Tropicon & FlyingArmor

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Tropicon's and FlyingArmor's Brain Lord (Super NES) maps.

 

Remeer's father is the last of the dragon warriors, but never returned from a quest to hunt down the last dragon. Remeer and his friends go on a journey to find out what happened. And thus we have the story of this action RPG on the Super NES, Brain Lord, developed by Produce! and published by Enix, just like the similar Super NES games, The 7th Saga and Mystic Ark (J).

As the title of this game probably suggests, this is a game that features a number of puzzles, so as you work your way through these rather large dungeons, you'll have to use your brain! Rocks, blocks, keys and locks...

Two heads are better than one, and that is true with these maps. Though these maps probably would not have been much of a challenge for veteran Super NES mappers Tropicon and FlyingArmor, it is still nice to split up a task by working as a team (like Remeer and his fairy sprite things). Tropicon mapped the game, with FlyingArmor adding labels. This game may try to stump you, but at the very least you know you won't get lost, thanks two these two Brain Lords!


So the recognize the effort in easing our brains, Tropicon's and FlyingArmor's Brain Lord (Super NES) maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for April 2017.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

Game: The Legend Of Zelda (Nintendo, NES)

Compiler: Rick Bruns

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Rick Bruns's The Legend Of Zelda (NES) maps.

 

After Ganon, the Prince Of Darkness, seizes the Triforce of Power and kidnaps Princess Zelda, Hyrule is engulfed in chaos.  As per Zelda's command, the royal nursemaid Impa searches the land for someone courageous.  When she runs into trouble with Ganon's henchmen, she is rescued by the heroic Link.  Link learns of the Princess, and sets off to rescue her and reassemble the Triforce of Wisdom to counter the evil of Ganon and save Hyrule.

 

The Legend Of Zelda on the NES is truly legendary.  Developed near-simultaneously alongside Super Mario Bros. by famed Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, it is also notable for being the first home console game to include a battery for saving progress.  It also came in a gold cartridge, showing that Nintendo had the utmost confidence that this was going to be something special.  And indeed it is, spawning a series widely considered to be one of the best video game franchises of all time, if not the best.  It is the first series to have two games get a perfect 40/40 score in Famitsu (Ocarina Of Time and The Wind Waker) - assuming that counts for anything anymore - and includes a number of beloved classics such as A Link To The Past, Link's Awakening, and Majora's Mask.  The series is still going strong with Breath Of The Wild simultaneously releasing on both the Wii U and the new Nintendo Switch, and though this newest installment is noteworthy for being an open-world game, the original NES game is also open-world, in the sense that you really could explore quite a bit and tackle the dungeons in any order.  And certainly for its time, such non-linearity was special.

 

It's almost surprising that maps for this game hadn't been honoured earlier.  While we certainly have looked at a number of Zelda games here on Maps Of The Month (including a couple April Fools' jokes), the original game is special here on VGMaps.com as Rick Bruns has made a SWF (Shockwave Flash) interactive map, with which you can toggle elements on or off (such as monsters or secrets), to assist you in planning your route across Hyrule.  Besides the Hyrule overworld, he has also mapped the dungeons in full.  As they say, "it's dangerous to go alone", so take these maps!

So the recognize the effort in mapping the legendary Zelda, Rick Bruns's The Legend Of Zelda (NES) maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for March 2017.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

Game: Solar Jetman (Rare, NES)

Compiler: mechaskrom

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to mechaskrom's Solar Jetman (NES) maps.

 

As Jetman (hero of Jet Pac and Lunar Jetman), you are hunting for pieces of the Golden Warpship (though the European box art says "Warship"). To do so, you will have to traverse a dozen planets, using a small pod to maneuver through caverns, and utilizing a tow cable to collect valuables, fuel, and the pieces of the Golden Warpship and bringing them back to the mothership. The caverns, which can become increasingly maze-like and narrow as you get to farther planets, make this quite the challenging experience. As if it wasn't hard enough just knowing your way, you'll have to contend with gravity and inertia, and of course dragging heavy items around affects your flying ability. Will Jetman be able to collect and reassemble the Golden Warpship?

Luckily, mechaskrom's got this covered. Not only has he fully mapped out all of the planets, he's also provided mini-maps with the items being more clearly indicated, as well as a few tips concerning the warps and wormholes. Thanks to these efforts, Jetman has a greater chance of success. Though we are talking about one of the most difficult games on the NES, so it's still going to be tough, but at the very least, you won't get lost in this galaxy.

So the recognize the effort in paving the planetary path to the pieces of the Golden Warship, mechaskrom's Solar Jetman (NES) maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for February 2017.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

Game: Crystal Warriors (Sega, Game Gear)

Compiler: zagato blackfist

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to zagato blackfist's Crystal Warriors (Game Gear) maps.

 

The evil Jyn are conquering the land, so Princess Arliel assembles her forces to reclaim the stolen elemental crystals and then take on the evil emperor Grym.  This is the story of Crystal Warriors, a Fire Emblem-style tactical game on Sega's portable, the Game Gear.

 

Though we have had quite a number of epic fantasy games featured here, including those of the tactical variety, this is the first time that a Game Gear game has been recognized for the Maps Of The Month honour!  Thank zagato blackfist for bringing this to our attention (as well as its Japanese-only sequel, Royal Stone (J)).  zagato has also provided the stats of the units that you will encounter on Princess Arliel's quest.  Plus, zagato had also noticed that the areas in each Round are actually continuous with each other, so he has also assembled a full map showing the game world in its entirety.  Now that's going above and beyond!

 

So to recognize the effort put into mapping this gem of a game, zagato blackfist's Crystal Warriors (Game Gear) maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for January 2017.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

 

Congratulations and thanks to the Mapmakers of 2017!