Thanks everyone for playing this. I'm pleased a lot of people have enjoyed our work and it has definitely brought to light some things to sort out so thanks to those who have taken the time (here and elsewhere) providing their feedback, it has genuinely been very useful.
Gzegzolka - the extra health/lives feature I did consider, but I felt for this level, it was too small to really justify it and it isn't hugely difficult. However you may well see this happen in the future when the game is bigger.
Spud's suggestion is a very good one indeed - as you say, it stops faffing around and doesn't disrupt the flow. Consider that on the 'to do' list, thank you
The biggest issue by far seems to be the collision, which is causing some frustration. I've used Blitz's collision commands but they do seem a bit stingy so I might need to work on using my own collision routines to make it more accurate.
And finally, if someone has had the problem of the game starting without allowing you to collect items or talk to people and you're not using a CD32 pad, can you please let me know (if using WinUAE) what you were using in joystick port 2 so I can try and recreate it? It would make it easier for me to try and fix it.