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SCORES EXPLAINED:

5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
2.0 Poor
1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom


Funkmaster V Reviews


7800 Rank: Unranked

Genre Rank: Action & Adventure/ Puzzle Hybrid

Distinction: NTSC version has a program bug that renders the game unbeatable
Love in an Elevator Pros: Good mix of puzzle solving and action
Cons: Programming bug makes the American version of this game unbeatable
Damn Doooo... I Forgot My Nine...


Overview: On the back of the box of the game Impossible Mission is a cute little quip that sums up the game beautifully: "Saving the World Wasn't Meant to Be Easy." This game is not easy, in
VERSION:NTSC
fact, babies...the title of the game is absolutely prophetic. Impossible Mission is just that: impossible. The American version of this game has one of the biggest video game programming flaws of all time. Certain needed key card pieces are placed behind terminals that are unsearchable. Therefore, you will never, ever, ever be able to unlock the door leading to the bad guy, Elivn Atombender... so you never can beat this game! I wasted a lot of time trying to beat IM as a kid, and an article with me venting about this bush league shit can be read here. HOWEVER!!! The European version of the game (and the American hack known as Possible Mission) is beatable... but still not easy. Beatable or not, this game requires precise joystick dexterity and astute puzzle solving skills. From this point forward, I am going to review the PAL version and the Possible Mission hack of this game. Just know the official American (NTSC) version is hot, stinky azz trash... just like your mom. Impossible Mission is an adventure game with a massive puzzle solving coda featuring a secret agent infiltrating a mad villain's lair that's guarded by robots. And it's a groove-a-licous ride.

Graphics: The color schemes featured in Impossible Mission remind me of the Brady Bunch decor, but the animations are very good. Our hero's main action is a long "tuck your knees and roll" jump that is pretty smooth and impressive for a spy in his 40's. The robots that he tries to evade look good and have a multitude of different attack patterns, some of which are: detect and destroy, random search patterns, and lightning blasts. The main rooms in the game are large and feature random furniture and goodies, much like Super Skateboardin'. The brick-a-brac include beds, bookcases, computers, vending machines, and lamps. Outside of the rooms are elevator shafts where you can access your Little Orphan Annie Ovaltine secret computer. Your spy computer is confusing at first, but the detail and number of options you have at your fingertips is impressive. The biggest problem in the looks department are with the keycards. It's a nightmare getting them to match up. BUT BELIEVE ME... THEY ALL FIT TOGETHER. They don't look like it sometimes... and that's purely a visual problem... but they do. Keep the faith. Once you start completing 4 card sets, it does get easier.
VERSION:PAL


Sound: The audio in this game is not really terrible, but its not at all spectacular. Most rooms have this swirling robot noise that I think is a nice touch. While the protagonist runs, his footsteps have this "tippy-tap" sound, which sounds somewhat ridiculous but for some reason adds to the effect that this guy is in a hurry. When our hero is fried by a laser the audio clip we hear is a mix between frying bacon and thunder. Tasty... but flaming secret agent be stank!

Gameplay: This is a unique weird puzzle/ action game, and I guess the thing that bothers me the most about it is that our hero has absolutely no weapons. I'm mean.. that's the point... but its stupid not to have one. Maybe he lost his luggage at the airport, or the lady he seduced the night before was an agent herself and she stole his guns and trick watches. Whatever the case, having a gun that could disable the robots would have been more logical than this guy running in like Superman, because Superman he is not. Dude gets fried easy... and a lot. I guess the allure of this game is trying to figure out how to navigate around the robots without getting zapped, so let's do this thang. The Superman wanna-be's only defense to the robot's ill will is this aforementioned Bruce Jenner/ Caitlyn Jenner style jump that he can perform. This jump is hard to gauge, and many times I flew into a robot or over a ledge to my doom. It takes time to gauge it. Besides our hero's dumb lack of firepower, this game has a lot going for it. The object is to find 36 card key pieces and to fit them together in sets of 4 to eventually make 9 card keys. These keys are needed to open the evil lair that Atombender occupies. Atombender has hidden these pieces all over his headquarters, and we must locate them all by searching through his furniture. Amazingly enough, I have never located any spare change while playing this game. This solidifies the fact that Evil Madmen never carry cash. Time is actually our biggest enemy, because we only have 6 hours to complete this tall task. Though we don't have a set number of lives, each time we die 10 minutes will be added to the clock.


Please Do Not Feed the Spy Sugar


Interpretation: I've seen other versions of this game and the 7800 version is a very good one. I even played and bought one for the Wii. It was less impressive than this... but it was still a great title. Because of the legend of this game being literally unbeatable in America... defeating this title on the Prosystem feels very special. Not many Jr. G-men have ever done it!

Value: The game is tough as nails. Beating Impossible Mission is a badge of honor. On both versions, there are four different lay outs to the game and the robots behavior and card key locations randomly change each time. This makes for a very enjoyable video game experience where no to adventures are exactly the same.

Overall: This was first a computer game that's been ported to the Commodore 64, Atari 7800, to the Nintendo Switch and many points in between. There's a reason: it's great. Atari got the port right (well............. ya know.... except in America) and there's no such game quite like it. It's not action oriented enough to be a "Metroidvania" game, there's platforming elements, there's puzzle elements, there's audio codes to decipher, it has an ending once you wrestling with the keycard finale, and hell... it even features dial up internet. Get the hack if you are a Yank, and if you are a PAL-hack, yank your get. I don't know what that sentence means, but it was fun to type and possibly dirty.



Other reviews of Impossible Mission for the 7800 on the web!!!:
The Atari Times: 8 out of 10
CV's Atari 7800 Panoramic Froo-Froo: PAL- 4.0 out of 5.0 (Very Good)
CV's Atari 7800 Panoramic Froo-Froo: NTSC- 2.0 out of 5.0
Hubert James Keener's Review Aggregate Machine:- D+



Additional Info: I would like to take this time to thank Mitch Orman, owner of The Atari 7800 Page for allowing the use of his screenshots for this review.


An article featuring my struggle trying to beat an unbeatable game for YEARS is featured here,
ATARI YOU OWE ME!!!

Maps and Tips from Mitch Orman and myself are located here. Believe me 009... you'll need it.