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Did you know Jill of the Jungle also had a Bible-themed mod?

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 0:15
by Toomuchsparetime
How did I manage to go this long without knowing that Keen's old rival Jill of the Jungle had been given the same treatment that Super Noah's Ark 3D gave to Wolfenstein 3D?

Onesimus - A Quest for Freedom (1992) appears to be exactly the same as Jill but with different level design and only a few necessary visual alterations - notably the main character is now a "Bible times"-looking dude, the bonus "Epic Megagame"s are all changed to "Ark Multimedia"s, and the in-game story messages/hints are now Bible quotes. Full credits are given to the people who made Jill of the Jungle, but I don't know if Epic Megagames actually licensed their property here or if it's an illegitimate mod, like some old-school Bible-reskin games are. Ah, it's probably legit.

After playing the first couple of levels, I see that very little has been changed, so as something of a Jill fan, this could turn out to be a fun nostalgia trip for me. It still has Dan Froelich's brilliant original soundtrack, the levels have that jungle-y aesthetic to them, and - amusingly - the sound effects are still the same, so when our manly protagonist loses health he still screams like a woman, and when he dies on a bunch of spikes, the booming voice of what can really only be interpreted in this Biblical reskin as God Himself is heard LAUGHING at His follower's grisly demise. (Perhaps because He has the power to endlessly resurrect the poor guy.)

Even now, decades after the heyday of shareware, there's still always something new to be discovered. :D
Check it out: http://www.myabandonware.com/game/onesi ... 3#download

Re: Did you know Jill of the Jungle also had a Bible-themed mod?

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 14:09
by Spikenexus
I've heard about Super Noah's Ark, but this is a new one to me. Who can forget the classic part of the Bible where a guy turned himself into a fish to swim up a waterfall to collect a level gem?!

It's always fun to see these reskin\mod games (not sure what the proper term is) to spot the similarities\differences.

Also nice cameo from Frenkel in the Hi Score screen shots for the game.

Re: Did you know Jill of the Jungle also had a Bible-themed mod?

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 19:56
by Levellass
FUN FACT: There are traces of this mod in the original Jill series and of course rather more traces of Jill in the mod; the latter mostly due to unaltered level design.

FUN FACT: Demons were too 'scary' to include to were replaced by an (apparently levitating) rouge.

Re: Did you know Jill of the Jungle also had a Bible-themed mod?

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:58
by K1n9_Duk3
Toomuchsparetime wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 0:15
Full credits are given to the people who made Jill of the Jungle, but I don't know if Epic Megagames actually licensed their property here or if it's an illegitimate mod, like some old-school Bible-reskin games are. Ah, it's probably legit.
It's official. There is code in the Jill executables that checks if one of the hard-coded file names starts with "o" (it always starts with "j" in the Jill executables). If the file name starts with "o", the game shows a custom screen at startup that does not show up in Jill, and it also does not draw the face on the main menu IIRC.

Re: Did you know Jill of the Jungle also had a Bible-themed mod?

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:56
by MoffD
Hey just wanted to chime in: I can't remember where precisely I heard this, but I think they were developing it at the same time and as such both games (I think) have files for the other one that aren't used
Levellass wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 19:56
FUN FACT: There are traces of this mod in the original Jill series and of course rather more traces of Jill in the mod; the latter mostly due to unaltered level design.
That's the reason for this afaik^

Re: Did you know Jill of the Jungle also had a Bible-themed mod?

Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 21:18
by GoldenRishi
Toomuchsparetime wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 0:15
How did I manage to go this long without knowing that Keen's old rival Jill of the Jungle had been given the same treatment that Super Noah's Ark 3D gave to Wolfenstein 3D?

Onesimus - A Quest for Freedom (1992) appears to be exactly the same as Jill but with different level design and only a few necessary visual alterations - notably the main character is now a "Bible times"-looking dude, the bonus "Epic Megagame"s are all changed to "Ark Multimedia"s, and the in-game story messages/hints are now Bible quotes. Full credits are given to the people who made Jill of the Jungle, but I don't know if Epic Megagames actually licensed their property here or if it's an illegitimate mod, like some old-school Bible-reskin games are. Ah, it's probably legit.
Fascinating. So as I recall, Super Noah's Ark 3D originated from a licensing dispute between some no-name quasi-family friendly company, id, and the Nintendo review board. It used to be that you had to get approval in order to get cartridges from Nintendo, and I think Nintendo really pissed id Software off with their requests on Wolfenstein and Doom, so legend has it that they gave the Wolfenstein 3D source code over to this no-name company to make their game without Nintendo's approval and just to piss Nintendo off. I always found that really funny.

Maybe something similar happened for Jill of the Jungle? It's weird that it would be so similar to the original without having access to the source code. Did Epic Megagames ever release and license the Jill of the Jungle engine?

Re: Did you know Jill of the Jungle also had a Bible-themed mod?

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 21:36
by K1n9_Duk3
GoldenRishi wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 21:18
It's weird that it would be so similar to the original without having access to the source code. Did Epic Megagames ever release and license the Jill of the Jungle engine?
Start both Onesimus and Jill and pay attention to the credits. Both are programmed by Tim Sweeny. As I said before, Onesimus and Jill are almost 100% identical when it comes to the actual code. Onesimus is basically just a fourth episode of Jill, as far as the code is concerned. All they (Ark Multimedia) had to do was maybe change some graphics and create new levels using the built-in level editor. All the bible quotes in this game are stored in the levels, not in the executable itself.

I don't know if the Jill engine was ever actually licensed to anybody, but the code was definitely shared with other people working for Epic Megagames at the time. Xargon uses a modified version of the Jill engine and its source code was released to the public (see link).

Re: Did you know Jill of the Jungle also had a Bible-themed mod?

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:07
by Levellass
It took me a long time to figure out 'Epic Games' (And Apogee) was not in fact one unified group all working on all these games together.

Re: Did you know Jill of the Jungle also had a Bible-themed mod?

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 22:58
by Malvineous
I'll add that Kiloblaster also shares a lot of the Jill engine code, especially around the graphics routines. In fact, in this area it shares more with Jill than Xargon does as Kiloblaster supports EGA and CGA modes, but this support was removed for Xargon.

Allen Pilgrim (Kiloblaster/Xargon programmer) said that Tim Sweeney gave him the Jill code to base his games on, but told him that the code for Kiloblaster and Xargon was his and he could do what he liked with it (which is when he decided to release it as open source.) So it doesn't sound like there was that much in the form of licensing going on, and it was pretty relaxed.

Re: Did you know Jill of the Jungle also had a Bible-themed mod?

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:42
by Toomuchsparetime
Yeah, one look at Kiloblaster's and Jill's start menus and you know they're peas from the same pod! Xargon always seemed to me to have been an attempted spirital successor to Jill (with a new engine for faster PCs) mainly because of their shared otherwordly athestic. Almost as if someone said "hey I've got an idea, what about Jill of the Jungle... for boys!" I say "almost" because it turned out better than most things that start with a concept like that. ;)

Re: Did you know Jill of the Jungle also had a Bible-themed mod?

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:47
by Roobar
As for Xargon...

IMKO Although it is superior to Jill, I still think Jill has more appeal, at least for me. I don't know whether it's the graphics, sounds, music or atmosphere, or just nostalgia. Xargon starts strong with the first 1-2 levels, but then it somehow lost it. Probably bad level design and not appealing enough graphics and music. It's still kinda cool game, but never revealed it's full potential with it's shop options. Maybe if it was with more RPG elements, better levels and better shop system...

Re: Did you know Jill of the Jungle also had a Bible-themed mod?

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:31
by Levellass
Toomuchsparetime wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:42
Almost as if someone said "hey I've got an idea, what about Jill of the Jungle... for boys!" I say "almost" because it turned out better than most things that start with a concept like that. ;)
They did that, it was called 'Vinyl Goddess of Mars' and it's... really something.

Re: Did you know Jill of the Jungle also had a Bible-themed mod?

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 23:01
by K1n9_Duk3
Toomuchsparetime wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:42
Xargon always seemed to me to have been an attempted spirital successor to Jill (with a new engine for faster PCs)
As I mentioned above, Xargon still uses the same basic engine as Jill. Sure, Xargon doesn't give you the option of using CGA or EGA graphics as a fallback, but the low-level CGA and EGA code is still in there.

Re: Did you know Jill of the Jungle also had a Bible-themed mod?

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 22:05
by Snortimer
Levellass wrote:
Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:31
Toomuchsparetime wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:42
Almost as if someone said "hey I've got an idea, what about Jill of the Jungle... for boys!" I say "almost" because it turned out better than most things that start with a concept like that. ;)
They did that, it was called 'Vinyl Goddess of Mars' and it's... really something.
Nah, that wasn't "for boys". Boys of the original Keen target age would have been put off by that sort of thing (I know I was). Girls were to be avoided, they had cooties and stuff. ;)

I guess Vinyl was intended for people from a vanishingly narrow (maybe hypothetical) age range in which they wanted titillation in their silly platform games, but didn't want it badly enough that they would pick up a dirty magazine instead.

There's probably a reason it didn't sell well. It's actually a good game, but they probably alienated much of their potential audience for no good reason (as reactions in the Vinyl thread on this forum make clear. I probably would've had a similar reaction back then. These days I just don't care, and can like it for the gameplay).
Roobar wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:47
Xargon starts strong with the first 1-2 levels, but then it somehow lost it. Probably bad level design and not appealing enough graphics and music.
Xargon, now, that was one of my favourites. I only had the first shareware episode, though. I recently got episodes 2-3, but the music doesn't seem to emulate properly on Dosbox. Maybe that's why you didn't like it so much? It's like the instruments are subtly different and worse. The same map theme sounds much nicer in the old shareware version I have. Not sure why that would be. I have noticed that some DOS games have really awful music emulation in Dosbox. Nicky Boum is especially awful (originally it sounded like the Amiga music, but played today in Dosbox it sounds like just garbage).

Re: Did you know Jill of the Jungle also had a Bible-themed mod?

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:05
by elecdude33
One interesting thing in Onesimus is the bag of coins item, which gives you a bag of coins you can drop which will render (some?) enemies harmless if they touch it. From editing Jill levels the item's functionality exists in Jill also, just with glitched graphics.

In Onesimus it appears in the equivalent of the Ship of the Giant Green Lizard Men level. It might've showed up in other levels as well, can't recall for sure.