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(c) 2000 James Burrows



Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Impossible Mission
1984 Epyx
Programmed by Dennis Caswell

(excerpt) "I have just entered what appears to be a living room ...(static)... peculiar. All of the furniture seems to be on catwalks high above the floor... not sure how to get up there ...(static)... I can see a fireplace and a sofa directly over my head... how can anyone live like this? Hold it ...(static)... I think a robot may have seen me... aaarrrgh!!!" (transmission terminated)


Did you ever play a computer game during your childhood that took you in and cut you off from the real world, where you ceased to be that sniveling little brat your Auntie always cursed and actually became a computer game character, stuck in a complex, intense storyline, battling against the clock to save the world from certain destruction? Well it happened to me on Christmas Day back in 1984 when my Grandma, of all people, bought me what I consider to be the best game to ever have appeared on the C64: IMPOSSIBLE MISSION!

After getting over the fact that my Grandma actually managed to purchase a computer game, I ceased to exist as a young innocent boy intent on playing football in the garden, and became Special Agent 4125, entrusted with an urgent mission to save the world from an evil plot to destroy it! My life was never the same again...

In the months to follow, simple parental phrases such as "James, will you please set the table for dinner" and "Erm.. James you've got school in the morning" no longer had any meaning to me. I was far more concerned with how I was gonna get past that devious human-seeking robot that was guarding the computer terminal which I needed to get to in order to temporarily shut down all the robots so that I could create just enough time to search the remaining items in the room giving me the chance to find that elusive puzzle piece needed to obtain the final letter of the secret codeword that would give me access to Elvin's underground lair so that I could destroy him and save the world from nuclear holocaust before I ran out of time!

Elvin Atombender

Sex: Male
Race: Caucasian
Height: 5'4''
Weight: 120 lbs.
Hair: No Eyes: Yes
Traits: Avoids people, hates
animals, likes M&M's

Needless to say, this game had a profound effect on my childhood, as I imagine it did so many others. It oozed style, atmosphere, gameplay, strategy and addictiveness. Everything about the game was brilliant, from the "Top Secret" documentation booklet that came with the game, to the spine tingling speech synthesis when you entered certain rooms. I don't think anyone who ever became Special Agent 4125 will be able to forget those immortal words "Destroy him, my robots!" and... "Another visitor! Stay awhile! Staaaaaaaaaaay foreveeeer!!!". Sheer class.

So what's it all about then? Well... you've probably realised by now that some bloke called Elvin has been a bit naughty, nicked some missile launch codes and is holding the world ransom. Well it's your job as agent 4125 to stop him. The game is set in Elvin's underground lair - a collection of robot-patrolled rooms connected by a series of corridors and lift shafts:

Another Visitor!!!

In order to defeat the mad professor, you must search all the rooms for special puzzle pieces that will eventually give you the access code (if you can solve it) to Elvin's secret lair, where you can beat the crap out of him and become a hero. Each room in the underground complex houses several items of furniture or computer equipment which must be searched...

Bloody thing nicked my money!

Searching these items is not easy however, as Elvin's pesky robots are guarding them with their lives! It takes skill and timing to search all the items without being zapped by one of these robots.

Elvin's Robots
Height: 1.57 meters. Weight: 67 kilos.
Armor type: ablative (AC: -4). Vcc: 5 megavolts
Weaponry: high-voltage ionic plasma generator
Energy reserves: 3.14 megajoules (estimated)
Maximum angular velocity: 1.2 megaradians/fortnight
Longitudinal velocity:
Alpha class: 2.5 x 10-8c. Photovoltaic threshold: 0.12 lumens
Beta Class: 1.2 x 10-8c. Entropic conversion rate: 2.71828 ergs/nsec
Gamma class: 5.9 x 10-9c. Thermionic coefficient: 6.07 therms/hour
Omega class: 0 c

It also takes some planning as each robot has it's own unique characteristics... Some are smart and can sense you coming, some are fast and will charge if they see you, some have lasers that cause instant death if you get caught in the stream! The best way to avoid them is to first figure out what they can do then base your navigation and search tactics around that. Sometimes the only way to beat a robot is to stay searching an item until the last possible moment and then run very quickly as it chases you away. Advanced players might use a flashy jump-search-jump-search-jump strategy... risky but impressive if you can pull it off! :)

Don't mess with these babies!

On certain screens there is also a black Orb that follows you so you can't keep still for long; one touch from this baby and you're history. The only way you can kill it is by manouevering it into the path of one of Elvin's robots...

Oh no.. it's that Baron Von bloke from Bubble Bobble all over again!

The odds are stacked against you right from the start: 32 rooms to search, 36 puzzle pieces to collect, 6 hours to do it in (each time you die you lose 10 minutes), irritatingly clever robots to avoid, a maddening puzzle to solve, deep chasms to avoid... the list goes on, but you do have one or two things to make life a bit easier: To start with you have your personal computer which, as well as letting you fit the puzzle pieces together, can also give you hints as to how to solve the puzzle:

Hmm... that looks like it fits!

Also, when searching for puzzle pieces, you can find what's known as "Snoozes" and "Lift Inits". Snoozes are a really cool thing that temporarily puts the robots in a room to sleep, so you can walk right past them without snuffing it. Lift Inits reset the lift platforms in the room so you can reach areas you previously couldn't (because you bodged up by falling off a ledge or something).

Will your password be accepted?

There are also 2 special "code" rooms somewhere in the complex where you can attempt to win more snoozes and lift-inits, but it's not easy and get's more difficult each time you play it:

Eenie meenie minie mo!

Impossible mission is a game that takes you in and doesn't let go. The atmosphere is amazing, the sound effects are perfect... hearing your footsteps echo in the corridors, hearing all the mechanical sounds of the robots, the frightening laser noises, the scream as Agent 4125 loses his footing and plummets to his death, listening to Elvin's evil laugh as you realise you are beaten again... every sound effect fits it's purpose to perfection. The graphics are nothing special (except for the main character who has fluid sprite animation and looks really cool as he runs and somersaults over the robots) but again they are effective. The other amazing thing about this game is that if you eventually manage to complete it, when you restart it's completely different! All the rooms, puzzles and robots have been rearranged! Epyx, you were just too good.

Now how do I get in there?

Did Elvin always get the better of you?
Could you never get through that blue door?
Do you wanna see see him suffer?
Do you wanna hear him scream?
Then click here to see the end sequence!

What else can I say about this classic? One thing for sure... if you never played it as a child, I feel sorry for you, but I also envy you as you now have the chance to discover it all for the first time! What are you waiting for? Download it now!!! :)

Remember any of these?
(Click on an image for a brief synopsis of each room)


The best bit:
For me, the best bit was running around the empty rooms mocking the robots and laughing when I had solved the secret codeword and had plenty of time left. Oh yeah, I also enjoyed searching the toilet so that my character looked like he was going for a piss.

The worst bit:
My Mum telling me it was bedtime.

Well, that's all you'll get out of me. The rest is up to you. After all, saving the world isn't supposed to be easy.


Submitted by James Burrows (17 August 2000)

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