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Last change: 2019-04-03, wording of MaxStrike's patch

Jazz Jackrabbit, Tips for new speedrunners

Let's run this speedy, colorful action game together!

Game Version to speedrun Episodes 1-6

Jazz 1.0. The best version to speedrun Episodes 1-6 is Jazz 1.0, the initial Floppy release. This is hard to find. Ebay maybe?

Jazz 1.1. The second-best version is Jazz 1.1, the second Floppy release. This is even harder to find than Jazz 1.0. During practice, you must prepend dd to cheat codes. (Runs are played without cheat codes.)

1.0-1.3 Hybrid. The third-best version is the 1.0-1.3 hybrid. This the easiest version to obtain. It will give you 1.0 physics and 1.0 levels. Instructions to make the hybrid:

  1. Buy the Jazz Jackrabbit Collection on GOG, you'll get Jazz version 1.3 and Holiday Hare '95. If you played Jazz 1.3 as-is, it would have a near-impassable Orbitus 2 and many broken airboard ditches.
  2. Keep backups of Jazz 1.3 in case you want to play Episodes A-C, X, Z later, or in case things go wrong.
  3. Download the Jazz 1.0 shareware and copy the following two files from the 1.0 shareware into Jazz 1.3 (e.g., from GOG): Overwrite the existing two files in the 1.3.
  4. Run this Jazz 1.0-1.3 hybrid via the JAZZ.EXE. (You can't run the hybrid via FILE0001.EXE.) Orbitus 2 will be of normal difficulty (instead of near-impassable) and all airboard ditches will work.

Downsides of the 1.0-1.3 hybrid compared to 1.0 or 1.3:

Still, this 1.0-1.3 hybrid is warmly recommended. You can build a record-capable Jazz 1 version from easily available releases.

Jazz 1.2. If you have an older CD release with a normal Orbitus 2, i.e., not the near-impassable Orbitus 2, you can certainly learn the run on these. Tubelectric 2 will differ in both 1.2 releases, and the Medivo 1 airboard ditch is broken. For record attack, you'll eventually want to switch to 1.0 or the 1.0-1.3 hybrid.

Jazz 1.3 with MaxStrike's patch. To fix only the near-impassable Orbitus 2, copy MaxStrike's patch for Orbitus 2 into Jazz 1.3, e.g., the GOG release. Airboard ditches will remain broken. Therefore, for speedrunning, I recommend to create the 1.0-1.3 hybrid instead, see explanation above.

For casual play, MaxStrike's patch is good. Episodes A-C, X, Z will remain selectable with MaxStrike's patch, and the broken airboard ditches may be acceptable.

Jazz 1.3. Without modification, Jazz 1.3 is near-unrunnable because of the near-impassable Orbitus 2. This would pseudorandomly lose several minutes even with a well-practiced setup. Orbitus 2 is too hard by development oversight, feel free to patch Jazz 1.3 to get around it.

See also my list of Jazz Jackrabbit 1 version differences.

Dosbox setup

In the Dosbox config, set cycles to 40,000 for comparable loading times. If, during levels or menuing, Jazz stutters at 40,000, then set cycles to whatever you like, but we should still discuss loading times. The black screens with text such as LOADING DIAMONDUS LEVEL ONE have a massive effect on the run.

If you use GOG's Jazz 1.3 with/without the hybrid (see above), you can set 40,000 cycles as follows:

  1. In your installation directory, open dosbox_jazz_single.conf with a text editor.
  2. Below [autoexec] add this line: cycles 40000
  3. Save the text file and run Jazz with GOG's normal shortcut (that starts DOSBox and then Jazz inside).

If you use your own custom Dosbox setup, you can set cycles either in your normal configuration file, or you can type cycles 40000 into a running DOSBox's prompt before starting Jazz from the prompt.

Contact me

I'm Simon N., visit or send email to eiderdaus at the

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