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!
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...
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!
Weight: 120 lbs.
Hair: No Eyes:
Traits: Avoids people,
animals, likes M&M's
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.
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:
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...
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.
Height: 1.57 meters. Weight:
Armor type: ablative (AC:
-4). Vcc: 5 megavolts
ionic plasma generator
Energy reserves: 3.14 megajoules
Maximum angular velocity:
Alpha class: 2.5 x 10-8c.
Beta Class: 1.2 x 10-8c.
Entropic conversion rate:
Gamma class: 5.9 x 10-9c.
Omega class: 0 c
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! :)
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
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
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).
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:
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.
Elvin always get the better of you?
Could you never get through that
Do you wanna see see him suffer?
Do you wanna hear him scream?
click here to see the end sequence!
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!!! :)
any of these?
(Click on an image for a brief synopsis
of each room)
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.
My Mum telling me it was bedtime.
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.
by James Burrows
(17 August 2000)
"Games of the Week!"