Jeopardy! is based on the game show of the same name. It was released alongside Wheel of Fortune (NES), making both to be the first game show video games to appear on the NES.
While most NES games at the time were being handled in Japan, Jeopardy! was developed by famed English developer Rare. This was most likely because it would have been too difficult for a Japanese developer to make an NES game that heavily relies on proper English. Up to three contestants can play at once, with gaps optionally filled in by computer AI. If three human players are engaged, then Player 1 and 2 share the first controller, with the second controller going to Player 3.
For the first two rounds, six categories with five questions each are randomly selected by the computer to populate the game board. The contestant who answered the last question correctly gets to pick the category and a dollar value, with harder questions being worth more money. Players have ten seconds from the time a question appears to "ring in" with the appropriate controller button and answer.
Answers are built by using the controller to navigate around a grid of letters and "type" out the correct answer. Spaces and punctuation are ignored, but spelling and grammar generally must match the expected answer exactly. The contestant has 30 seconds to provide the answer before "time is up" and the other players have the opportunity to ring in.
Final Jeopardy consists of one category, which players bet their current winnings on being able to answer. A single question from that category is asked after the hidden bets have been placed. Again, each player has 30 seconds to provide their answer while the other players are instructed to look away. At the end, scores are tallied and the winner declared.
Categories in this edition draw from general knowledge and do not follow a specific theme (like the sports or Star Wars editions). Each category will always consist of the same five questions, and the game draws on a limited number of categories. Repeats will appear after a handful of sessions played. Some questions "current" for 1987 will also be less obvious decades later, and more difficult than intended.
GameTek released a Junior Edition and a 25th Anniversary Edition, both developed by Rare. They also developed a version of the ABC primetime game show Super Jeopardy! for the NES.
This page needs more screenshots.
Since the game was an early NES release, the music leaves a lot to be desired. It is nice to see that the show's theme song by Merv Griffin made it into the game.
The music was all done by David Wise of Donkey Kong Country fame. To write the music, Wise had to tediously enter the music in 6502 assembly machine code using hexadecimal numbers. He used Chris Stamper's sound driver.
The track names and orderings are taken from the game's NSFE. However, the NSFE fails to mention the title music is Jeopardy Theme by Merv Griffin.
The Junior Edition of the game uses the same exact music as the regular version of the game. However, the Anniversary Edition's soundtrack also has the same soundtrack plus a new song addition.
|01||GameTek Intro (25th Anniversary Edition)||David Wise||0:07||Download|
|02||Jeopardy Theme||David Wise||1:01||Download|
|03||Setup / Final Jeopardy||David Wise||2:57||Download|
- Recorder: Duc4Wikmedia
- Game Credits:
(Source: Verification from composer, Double Dare NES credits; game lacks credits.)
As per usual with most of Rare's NES titles, this game does not contain staff credits, as Rare wanted to prevent their staff from being hired by other companies. We have contacted David Wise, who has verified composing the music to this game. Wise also confirmed Chris Stamper to have programmed the game's sound driver.
Also, Double Dare shares many of the same sound effects with Jeopardy!. Double Dare, one of Rare's only 5 NES games to have credits, gives credit to Stephen Patrick for sound effects specifically.
Ripping NSF music is an arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.