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The Games We Played – Impossible Mission (C64) – “Another Visitor… Stay A While… Staaay Forever!”

Impossible Mission (Image courtesy MobyGames)
By Andrew Liszewski

The Commodore 64 had it’s share of frustratingly difficult games, but none were as aptly named as Impossible Mission. I’m sure I would have had a bit more success with the game if I had access to the instruction manual, but since my copy of the game was probably a copied copy of a friend’s copied copy, the original manual was at least 10 steps removed from me. Needless to say I never even made it close to finishing it.

In the game you play as a secret agent tasked with stopping Professor Elvin Atombender’s evil plans by infiltrating his maze of a lair and collecting various puzzle pieces that will eventually give you access to the computer in his main control room. Some of the rooms you visited had a lab motif, while others were clearly bedrooms with furniture like dressers and beds scattered about, but they all seemed to be designed by an architect with a fetish for 2D platform games. I mean it’s a great design if you’re trying to trip up a secret agent, but imagine the poor chap who has to navigate the room seen below on his way to bed each night. Oh, and did I mention that the majority of the rooms were filled with robot henchmen that could shoot electricity? Yeah, that didn’t make things any easier.

Impossible Mission (Image courtesy MobyGames)

At most I think I maybe solved 2% of the game’s puzzle, but I still played it quite a bit, not because it was fun or challenging, but because I was oddly fascinated with Impossible Mission’s synthesized speech. As a kid I was pretty blown away that my C64 could actually talk, just like the computers I saw in the movies, and if you mention Impossible Mission to anyone who had a C64 (or one of the many consoles and computers the game was available for) I guarantee their first response will be to quote Professor Elvin Atombender’s famous ‘Stay A While’ greeting from the start of the game. Your character also had a rather entertaining scream whenever he fell down a hole, and I purposely sent many a secret agent to their doom just to hear it again and again.

And if you were a big fan of Impossible Mission and have been hankering to try it again, I highly recommend picking up the version released for the Nintendo DS last year. While you can play a modernized version of the game with improved graphics, it also includes the original version of the game in all of its 1984 graphics glory. (The way it should be played.)

[ MobyGames – Impossible Mission ]







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  • http://frogstar.com Jeff Goebel

    Wow. Was it really that bad? I remembered it better. My web site hs greeted users with; “Another visitor… stay a while, stay forever” sampled from that game for over 10 years and maybe 15 people have sent me a message recognizing it.

  • JF

    Wow, what a game, thanks for the trip to memory lane. I loved the UI and the big white-gloved hand pointer. It made me feel like I was using an Amiga!!! Never did get Geos running. :/

  • beatrat

    God I love this column. Every game you've discussed so far has been a great memory from my past.

    “Copied copy, of a friend's copied copy.” was there any other way to get a game for C64?

    keep up the good work!

  • http://www.last.fm/music/logo64 gerald

    Loved the C64's speech too – especially S.A.M. Here's the “another visitor” quote – at the beginning of an ode to my C64… S.A.M. was used for the “15-41″

    http://www.last.fm/music/logo64/_/1541

  • http://www.lottozahlen.net/lexikon/lottozahlen-vom-mittwoch Lottozahlen Mittwoch

    Good old memories… thanks for reviving!

    I remember the grafics quite differently though.

  • überRegenbogen

    The graphics surely looked smoother on a tv set. One downside of most emulators is that they render pixels with a stark rigidity that a tv set, by its nature, tends to soften. One nice thing about MESS is that it will—by default even—blur the video a bit. But it's not nearly as convenient as the likes of VICE.

    One of the lovely conveniences that VICE offers is saving the state of the emulator. This enabled me to get through all of the rooms of Impossible Mission the first day that i played it, without having to suffer repeating the early rooms several times—which i've always hated in any game. (Enter a room, alt-S, die alt-L, die alt-L, die alt-L, die alt-L, …) I didn't get all of the puzzle pieces though. (Nor did i have a manual.)

  • überRegenbogen

    It's also mighty nice to be able to warp the thing to 14MHz, during those painfully slow elevator rides! :D

  • ElvinA

    Im with beatrat, Copied copy of a friends copy. Fantastic!!!

  • ElvinA

    Oh, I forgot to mention I am wearing a t-shirt that has the words “DESTROY HIM MY ROPBOTS” emblazoned across the front with a picture of the same shooting a bolt of its deadly electricity!

  • ElvinA

    Im with beatrat, Copied copy of a friends copy. Fantastic!!!

  • ElvinA

    Oh, I forgot to mention I am wearing a t-shirt that has the words “DESTROY HIM MY ROPBOTS” emblazoned across the front with a picture of the same shooting a bolt of its deadly electricity!

  • ElvinA

    Im with beatrat, Copied copy of a friends copy. Fantastic!!!

  • ElvinA

    Oh, I forgot to mention I am wearing a t-shirt that has the words “DESTROY HIM MY ROPBOTS” emblazoned across the front with a picture of the same shooting a bolt of its deadly electricity!