the Master Top Hat Willy Appreciation Page Willy

A web page dedicated to the ultimate platform game.

OverFlow Productions' extremely challenging platform game, Top Hat Willy, was released for the Commodore Amiga in 1994. (A PC version is also now available!) Based on the extremely popular ZX Spectrum title Jet Set Willy, this public domain game improves upon the original in almost every way, not the least of which is the difficulty factor!

The object? Guide the top-hat-wearing Willy through 100 screens encompassing his mansion and its grounds to pick up all 160 pieces of trash. Guarding the rooms are all manner of evil creatures: rabbits, bubbles, floating televisions, wagon wheels, and birdy druids - to name just a few. Like Jet Set Willy, the ghostly sprites seem unaware of Willy's presence, moving along their own repetitive paths. Naturally these paths always seem to be in Willy's way.

First ScreenshotSecond Screenshot
Click on these screenshots for a closer look.

Willy has nine lives at his disposal. Nine might sound like a lot, but unfortunately his quest is so difficult that he needs that and more!

Before his ordeal is done, you will guide Willy through locations varying from the clouds above his mansion to the mine (and neighboring pits of hell!) beneath it. Willy will traverse the hollow innards - and branches - of a giant oak tree populated by all manner of fiendish, fixed-path wildlife. And what platform game worth its salt would be complete without a Tower of Death?


  • Use the vertical jump "trick" Tero Heikkinen mentions in the docs. Of course you will need to time it differently if you're also going to be jumping a sprite.
  • Practice the difficult areas until you master them. You definitely need a "system" you can repeat exactly for certain screens, like "Who is Duba?" You can't afford a death that could have been prevented with a little practice!
  • Willy always enters the screen the same way after a death. Be wary of events that will cause a horrible chain-reaction of deaths! If you've just gotten Willy past a difficult area but you're still going to be on that screen, walk out and back in so that if Willy dies he will restart in a safer place.
  • Willy moves extremely fast when jumping up stairs/ropes.
  • Luck is more important than skill in a game as large and complex as Willy. You can test your luck by attempting to get all the trash from annoying screens like "Phone Call." If you make it without dying once (or pulling your hair out), maybe you have a chance to win.
  • The number one rule in Angband applies to Willy, too. Don't get cocky! Stupid mistakes will kill you faster than any other kind. If you start getting cocky, pause the game, grab a cold one, and watch an episode of Petrocelli (or better yet, the movie that started it all, The Lawyer) until you cool down.

I first completed Top Hat Willy while I was living at 112 in Columbus, Ohio. Yes, it is possible to win! When I wasn't watching TV or playing networked games of Doom 2 with the Rea boys, I ran artifical intelligence experiments on my Amiga in the spooky basement and played Top Hat Willy. After I finished it I wrote a letter to the programmer, Tero Heikkinen. (Tero himself had never completed the game.) To my great surprise, this letter was mentioned in the docs of version 1.2 of Willy.

Believe it or not, but I've received mail from another fan who completed the game! Congratulations!

Do you like a good challenge? Are you sick of all the first person perspective fight-to-the-death and go-down-killing games out there nowadays? Do you have what it takes to collect all 160 pieces of trash littering Willy's mansion? Download tophatwi.lha for your Amiga and see, or get the new PC Port that adds multicolored sprites and simple background animation! If you like platform games, you can't miss with Willy! An Amiga with 1MB of RAM is required for the Amiga executable, but if you don't have one, you can use the Ubiquitous Amiga Emulator and play Top Hat Willy almost as easily! I've written detailed instructions on setting up UAE for Willy.

If you don't have UAE handy, I highly recommend the excellent PC port. It's fantastic!

Good luck!


This site copyright © 1999 - 2002 Maupin.
Top Hat Willy copyright © 1994, 1995 OverFlow Productions
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