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GBA Manic Miner and Epilogues GB Operator

It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Matthew Smith’s classic Manic Miner which appeared in 1983 on the ZX Spectrum 48K. The test of the popularity of a game and its impact on gaming culture is its longevity within a fanbase. Manic Miner and Jetset Willy have been ported across a variety of hardware and devices in coming up to forty years as I write. I’ve written conversions back in the later 90s in C++ and DirectX7 for Windows, and again as an engine in 2015 for Windows, macOS and Linux, plus private builds for Android and iOS. If you want to download the current stable release, check this out:

Earlier I wrote about Epilogue’s awesome GB Cartridge backup unit here:

Their software has improved since then and if you have a collection of carts, it’s worth the purchase

As I was making space in the attic, I found a box of cartridges long forgotten. I remember buying Manic Miner from the GameBoy Advanced at the time of release and feeling a twinge of disappointment. The game elements were present albeit running faster than the original…. It was the graphics, more importantly the graphical background that looked cluttered. You can see what I mean here:

That said, as time passed, maybe I was too critical…. as I’m enjoying re-playing this classic on one of my GBA Devices, maybe you will too?

A photograph of the original Manic Miner for Game Boy Advanced, Cartridge and Epilogue's GB Operator backup device in view.

I pulled the Operator out quicker than a dodgy politician in a massage parlour and immediately backed up the cartridge into my archive before having a quick play. When I’m reminded of the Password system to skip levels. Passwords are awarded on completion of certain progress checkpoints throughout the game, including the extra levels provided in the enhanced version.

Having dumped the Cartridge it seem rude not to have a peek at the game code, so… I did, lo and behold I find a simple clear text password table.

A hex dump of the cartridge showing clear text password strings used in the game.

Well… It would be rude not to check these all out, and so to save you some time, I’ve listed the passwords in alphabetical order in the table below for your amusement…. Enjoy!

PasswordCavernStart Lives
75JDKJ9KSAttack of the Mutant Telephones6
86GGHVNDSCThe Warehouse4
ARTHUR SCARGILLMummy Daddy7
COURTOre Refinery5
DHGND8XSkylab Landing Bay5
JETSETHelium House on the Highlands6
MARCD8GBEWacky Amoebatrons6
MCGE99SMDReturn of the Alien Kong Beast6
MEGAJester Under the Bed4
MINER 49ERMetropolis Bingo6
MOLEThe Catacombs8
MONKEYThe Final Barrier4
MUSICAbandoned Uranium Workings8
NEIL KINNOCKNightmare Before Last Night7
NOISEEugene’s Other Lair5
PO2VDFEA9The Bank5
POCKETThe Menagerie8
PP3CCS6Processing Plant7
QWERTYCentral Cavern8
SMILERThe Endorian Forest6
STRIKETokyo Uh Oh5
STYXThe Sixteenth Cavern5
SUPERThe Vat7
SUPRASolar Power Generator4
TAXMANClockwork Satsuma4
TOYSAmoebatrons Revenge4
TRUCKSMiner Willy Meets the Kong Beast7
TSBSJJXCFlunky Punky Munkie8
TT RACINGEugene’s Lair7
WILLYThe Cold Room8
Password for the GBA Version of Manic Miner as Found in the original GBA Cartridge

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