The Rise of Jazz2City

Jazz2City was a Jazz Jackrabbit fan site founded in 1997 or 1998 by American fan Dethman. In the pre-release days, The Daily Carrot (Epic‘s official Jazz Jackrabbit site) and Jazz 2 Warehouse (Jon MacLellan‘s (aka Jeh) fan site) were the only real sources of information on the game. Dethman’s vision was to provide a central place for both newbies and regulars to have easy access to everything Jazzy.

Onag, another prominent community figure at the time, was working on a similar project called jazzNET. When approached by Dethman to join forces to put together Jazz2City, Onag quickly abandoned his work on jazzNET and work began.

After two short-lived initial versions that lacked content, for the third version of the site Dethman and Onag decided it would be best to contract the elegant design stylings of Steven Wakeman, more commonly known was ‘Wakeman’ (confusingly, as several family members were also active Jazz Jackrabbit players).

As well as helping flesh out the final design, Wakeman helped with much of the site content and concepts. He would also maintain the site’s downloads section, in which levels and tilesets submitted via e-mail were organized by category and indexed with a simple rating from one to three stars.

Apart from its downloads, Jazz2City included various guides on how to configure and play the game, an extremely active news section, an index of players and clans, and a popular forum, the Jazz Mega Message Board or JMMB. As several of its staff members were devoted Christians, biblical references were peppered through the site, with for example a prominently-placed ‘bible word search’ on the front page.

In 2021, the downloads were made available via Jazz2Online.

The Original Admin List

  • DethMan: Co-President; Webmaster, Artist, HTML
  • Onag: Co-Presiden; Artist, HTML
  • Steven: Vice President; Downloads, News, Jazz 2 Stuff Webmaster
  • Brian: JMMB Head Administrator
  • iCeD: Colored Stuff & Tutorials
  • Kaven: Fan Art
  • ShadowGPW: Clan Links, Level Group Links
  • Coolmon: Links
  • Syntax: CoC 3 Webmaster

News Updaters

Blackman, Brian, DethMan, Genocide Spasm, Kaven, MetalWarrior, Onag, Power UOI, ShadowGPW, StevenT, Wakeman and WDMaster.

The Fall of Jazz2City

Gradually, most of the site maintenance and updating work was being done by Wakeman, who grew tired of the large amount of work and time it took maintaining the site on his own, and eventually abandoned it with a lot of regrets. Universe Jazz, which was modelled after the last J2C version and setup to a huge extent then became the premier Jazz Jackrabbit 2 fansite.

“I remember seeing a couple new sites in beta, including Universe Jazz and J2O back in the day, and with Wakeman and I both needing to move on to real life™, I was looking for someone or something to continue the community support, either by keeping up J2C or a new site. I never found anyone who was willing to carry the torch on the clumsy and difficult to maintain J2C, and UJ ran into the same problem later. Personally, I thought J2O offered the most promising outlook, but I could see it was going to be a huge job to put together when FQuist told me about it. It was so nicely polished in beta though, I knew it was a perfect replacement. While I regret a lot of things I was unable to do, such as finish CyberSpaz, Warped, or see the fulfillment of Jazz3 etc, I feel that the community has actually improved as a result of J2C’s demise. Brian and I kept the JMMB up as long as reasonably possible to keep the community together, until other forums could take over. So all in all, I feel pretty good about how the community took everything to the next level.” (Quote from DethMan)

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