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Controls

Joystick Action
UP Up
DOWN Down
LEFT Left
RIGHT Right
◯   ⬤ Fire
⬤   ◯ Fire
◸   ◥ Fire
◤   ◹ Fire
●○○○ Restart game

Impossible Mission

Penetrate professor Elvin Atombender's underground base. Evade his robot guards. Discover the passwords for the robots, lifts and the control centre. Search the furniture in all thirty two rooms, then find Atombender's control centre. Use your pocket computer to stop him triggering a global missile attack. You definitely do not want to stay in his base forever.


Scenario

DO NOT ACCEPT IF SEAL IS BROKEN.

Courier is required by law to obtain proof of identity before releasing this document. Unauthorised possession of these materials is a criminal offence punishable by law.

RETURN TO: I.M.A., Washington D.C. 20024

AGENT’S EYES ONLY! OFFICER COURIER ONLY!

TO: Special Agent 4125

Mission Briefing

1. Subject: Mission of vital importance to national and global security. Operations to begin immediately. Utmost urgency.

2. Situation: During the past three days, key military computer installations of every major world power have reported security failures. In each case, someone gained access to a primary missile attack computer. Only one person is capable of computer tampering on this scale: Professor Elvin Atom bender (hereafter referred to as “Elvin”). We believe that Elvin is working to break the computers' launch codes. When he succeeds, he plans to trigger a missile attack that will destroy the world.

3. Mission: You must penetrate Elvin’s underground stronghold and stop him. To succeed, you will have to evade the scientist’s robot guards, break his security code and find his control center. Your predecessors, Agents 4116 and 4124 (may they rest in peace), were able to send back some information about Elvin’s installation. It is detailed in the following pages.

Your only weapons will be your keen analytical mind and your MIA9366B pocket computer. Good luck. The world is depending on you.

DOSSIER: Elvin Atombender

Sex: Male Age: 62 Race: Caucasian Height: 5'4" Weight: 120 lbs. Hair: No Eyes: Yes Traits: Avoids people, hates animals, likes M&M’s

Childhood: Elvin was a nice boy - his mother loved him . In school, he loathed sports but excelled in mathematics. He seldom caused any problems (at least, none with any global consequences). At home, Elvin spent most of his time gaping into his computer screen, and this did not prove harmful to anyone, either.

Oh, there was the time Elvin broke into the phone company’s computer system and changed the records. Angry at his parents for some real or imagined crime, the playful youngster added a long distance call to their monthly bill. A five-and-a-half hour call to Afghanistan. His parents were tolerant. They were sure he would eventually grow out of his passion for tinkering with other people’s computers. “Let him have his fun,” his mother would say. To which his father would reply, “Kids will be kids.” There was, of course, no way for them to know what the future would bring.

Turning point: It was during his days as a college student that Elvin was transformed from a promising young man into a snivelling evildoer. He had become obsessed with a new computer game, “Giggling Penguin Invaders From Outer Space In The Vicinity Of Ursa Minor.” (Elvin had always hated penguins from Ursa Minor.) The game’s score counter went up to lOO-billion, and Elvin was determined to “max it out.” After playing the game for several days without sleep, he had vaporized enough penguins to pile up 99,999,999,785 points. One more tuxedoed avian and he’d have it. Elvin shook out his joystick hand. A 250-point penguin waddled onto the screen. Elvin’s eyes lit up. He took aim. And then, at that precise moment, the power failed. Elvin’s game was lost; he’d never get a score that high again. In that instant, something snapped in Elvin’s mind. He was consumed by a single maniacal obsession. He would repay the world for the injustice it had dealt him.

For many years, Elvin waited. He became a distinguished professor, a renowned expert in computers and robotics. Then, eight years ago, he disappeared. His whereabouts were unknown until now.

INTELLIGENCE REPORT

Elvin’s Stronghold

Using a fortune he amassed by raiding the computer systems of various financial institutions, Elvin constructed a vast, underground stronghold packed with computer equipment. There, in seclusion, Elvin spent four years working to breach the security of military computer installations around the world. As you know, he has succeeded.

Our computers estimate that he will break the launch codes and trigger the missile attack in exactly six hours. This is the amount of time you will have to complete your mission.

Elvin’s stronghold has 32 rooms. Some of them are used as living quarters and others are computer rooms. But (here comes the strange part) our intelligence indicates that each room has a series of floors, or catwalks, which are connected by lifts. The last agent who tried to crack Elvin’s stronghold gave the following report:

(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).

Clearly, Elvin has constructed the rooms of his stronghold in such a way that only he can negotiate them easily. The floors and catwalks often end quite abruptly, dropping off into space. And, of course, they are guarded by Elvin’s nasty, human-seeking robots. Devilishly clever, that Elvin.

Elvin’s Robots

Height: 1.57 meters Weight: 67 kilos Armour 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 -5 c Beta Class: 1.2 X l0 -8 c Gamma class: 5.9 X l0 -9 c Omega class: 0 c Photovoltaic threshold: 0.12 lumens En tropic conversion rate: 2.71828 ergs/nsec Thermionic coefficient: 6.07 therms/hour

Sound/motion sensors: These are the robot’s “ears.” With these sensors. a robot can home ln on you whether it can see you or not.

Linear induction magnet: The robots are propelled by linear lnduction motors embedded ln the floors of the complex, and they cannot leave these surfaces.

High-voltage electrode: Projects a lethal electrical discharge approx. 6 feet.

Infra-red photocells: These are the robot’s “eyes.” They can detect the presence of a human body’s warmth anywhere in front of the robot.

Elvin’s Security System

Our intelligence indicates that Elvin uses three types of codes (or passwords) in his security system. One code deactivates the robots, another operates the lifts and the third code (a password) unlocks the control room.

Now comes the REALLY strange part.

We believe that Elvin hides the passwords in his furniture. Elvin, who is extremely absent-minded, frequently forgets the passwords for his security computer. His solution is to scatter them haphazardly around the house. You can find one of his passwords in the sofa. Or the stereo. Or the candy machine. But you must find them. Without the passwords, you will almost certainly end up like Agent 4124 (but we don’t want to think about that, do we?).

Once you find the codes, using them should be relatively easy (for the most part). You should be able to log onto a security terminal as you enter each room and deactivate the robots or reset the lifts (if necessary) from there. This should present no problems. However, the control room password is another matter. Realizing the importance of this particular code, Elvin has broken it into dozens of pieces, scattering them throughout the complex. You will have to find and retrieve all of the pieces and match them up like a puzzle to form the password.

With the completed password, you can gain access to the control room where Elvin is preparing to launch the missiles. You have to stop him. Or the world is going to be terminally late for dinner tonight.


Controls

Screenshot 01

  • In the elevator: Push the joystick UP/forward or DOWN/back to go up or down. Push the joystick LEFT or RIGHT to move in either direction along the corridor. Running off the edge of the screen takes you into a room.

  • In the rooms: Push the joystick left or right to move in either direction. If you press the fire button, your agent will perform a mid-air forward flip that you won’t believe (this is especially useful for somersaulting over pesky robots).

    • On lifting platforms: If you’re standing on a striped lifting platform in one of the rooms, you can push the joystick forward or back to go up or down.

Playing the Game

Screenshot 03

To succeed at IMPOSSIBLE MISSION you must penetrate the rooms and tunnels of Elvin’s underground stronghold, avoid his robot defenders and put together his secret password. Then you can enter Elvin’s control room and put a stop to his plans.

You score points by finding puzzle pieces and putting them together, and by reaching Elvin’s control room before time runs out. As your skill at the game increases, you can achieve higher scores by completing the password and reaching the control room with more time left on the clock. But each time you play, the rooms and robots will be rearranged and the puzzles will be different.

Game Play

Elvin will welcome you to his underground chambers (in his nastiest, most fiendish voice). He does this as a favour to allow you to adjust your volume. This is the last kindness Elvin will show you.

You begin play with your agent in an elevator. The display at the bottom of the screen is your pocket computer.

As you explore Elvin’s stronghold, your pocket computer (at the bottom of the elevator screen) will display a map of the rooms and tunnels you have entered. In every room, you should conduct a search.

Searching for codes

Search every object or piece of furniture in the rooms for codes and password puzzle pieces (if you can avoid the robots). You can do this by standing directly in front of an object (sofa, desk, fireplace or whatever) and pushing the joystick UP/forward.

The word " Searching" will appear in a box near your agent’s shoulder. You will also see a horizontal bar SEARCHING indicating the length of time it will take to search the object. You must continue holding the joystick UP/forward until the bar disappears. If your search is interrupted for any reason, you can go back to the object and resume searching where you left off. But if you leave the room, you’ll have to start the search from the beginning.

When you have finished searching the object, one of four things will appear above your agent’s shoulder:

Screenshot 02

  • The words " Nothing here."
  • A picture of a sleeping robot. This represents a SNOOZE password which allows you to temporarily deactivate the robots in a room.
  • A picture of a striped lifting platform with an arrow above it. This represents a LIFT INIT password which allows you to reset all of the lifting platforms in a room to their original positions.
  • A puzzle piece. This is part of the password which allows entry to the control room. lt will be entered into the memory of your pocket computer automatically.

Screenshot 04

Using security terminals

You can use the SNOOZES and LIFT INITS at any security terminal. These terminals are usually located near the entrance to each room. They look like television sets with darkened screens facing toward you.

To use a security terminal, move directly in front of it and push the joystick forward. The screen of the security terminal will enlarge to fill your display. You can select one of three functions with the joystick (press the FIRE button when the arrow points to the function you want):

  • Reset lifting platforms. To use this option, you must have a LIFT INIT password in your possession. (Your pocket computer displays the number of LIFT INITS you have.)
  • Temporarily disable robots. To use this option, you must have a SNOOZE password in your possession. (Your pocket computer displays the number of SNOOZES you have.)
  • Log off.

Code Rooms

Elvin’s stronghold contains two code rooms where you can earn additional passwords. Walk up to the console and push the joystick forward as if you were searching it. A sequence of squares will flash on the wall, each with a musical note, and a white glove will appear. Use the glove to touch each square in a sequence so that the notes are sorted in ascending order (from low to high).

Screenshot 05

If you produce the proper sequence of notes the checkerboard will flash and you’ll get a SNOOZE or a LIFT INIT password. You can do this as many times as you like, but the sequence gets longer each time. You can quit at any time by touching the purple bar.

Pocket Computer

Your pocket computer is an amazing device. lt allows you to play with the puzzle pieces right on the screen, twisting them around to figure out how they go together.

To activate your pocket computer, you must be standing in one of the elevators or corridors. Press the fire button to turn on the pocket computer. Note: You can’t use the pocket computer in any of the rooms. Pressing the fire button in a room will cause you to do a somersault.

When the computer is activated, the map of Elvin’s stronghold will vanish and a white glove will appear. Use the glove to put the puzzle pieces together, forming the password that will let you enter Elvin’s control room.

Memory Window: Displays two of the puzzle pieces you’ve collected.

Vertical Flip Key: Flips the selected puzzle piece vertically.

Horizontal Flop Key: Flops the selected puzzle piece horizontally.

Trash Can Key: Deletes the selected puzzle piece from the display (but not from memory).

Phone Key: Dials out for help (see Using the phone).

Password: The computer assembles Elvin’s password here.

Off Key: Turns off the pocket computer.

Exclamation Key: If you just deleted a puzzle piece or put two pieces together, you can use this to “undo” it.

Paws Key: Pauses the game.

Colour Keys: Changes the colour of the selected puzzle piece.

Using the glove

  • To move the glove, move the joystick in the desired direction.
  • To activate a function key, “point” to it with the glove and press the joystick button.
  • To pick up a puzzle piece in the memory window, “point” to it with the glove and press the joystick button. Then you can move it by moving the joystick.
  • To drop a puzzle piece, press the joystick button.
  • To make a copy of the selected puzzle piece, “point” to it with the glove and press the joystick button.
  • To put back a copy of the selected piece, position the copy directly over the selected piece and press the joystick button.
  • To select a puzzle piece that isn’t selected, “point” to it with the glove and press the joystick button.
  • To find out if two pieces match, position one piece directly over the other and press the joystick button.

Solving the puzzles

  • Some pieces are upside down or backwards (or both) when you find them, so if a piece doesn’t seem to match anything, try flipping it with the function keys.
  • Pieces must be the same color, or they won’t match. If two pieces with different colors look like they should match, then use the color keys to change them.
  • A completed puzzle looks like a computer punch card: a solid rectangle with several little holes in it.
  • A completed puzzle may be upside down or backwards when you finish putting it together (you may have to flip it around before it is recognized as a solution).
  • There are four pieces in each completed puzzle, and nine puzzles in the game. Each time you complete a puzzle, one letter of Elvin’s password will appear at the bottom of the pocket computer screen.
  • When you have all nine of the letters in the password, you can open the door to Elvin’s control center and save the world.

Control room

The door to Elvin’s control room is in one of the blue rooms. When you have completed the password, position your agent directly in front of the door and push the joystick forward. The door will open, and you’ll finally have the last laugh.

Using the phone

When you touch the phone key on your pocket computer, it dials up the Agency’s main computer (to get some help with the puzzles). But there is a charge for using it. Each use of the phone costs two minutes on the game clock.

The Agency’s computer will give you three choices. Select the one you want with the glove, then press the fire button.

Correct orientations of leftmost pieces. The computer will flip the two puzzle pieces in the memory window to orient them correctly (right side up and forwards, instead of upside down and backwards). A red mark will appear to the left of each piece that has been flipped.

Have we enough pieces to solve the upper left puzzle? The computer will look at the upper puzzle piece in the memory window and tell you whether you’ve found all three of the pieces that go with it to make a puzzle.

Hang up Hangs up the phone.

You can start a new game at any time be pressing the RESTORE key. The rooms and robots will be rearranged, and the computer will generate a new set of puzzles.

You can also press THEC64 Joystick’s MENU button, select ‘Exit’ and then press FIRE to restart the game without regenerating the puzzles.

Scoring

The game clock (on the pocket computer display) starts at 12:00. The game ends when the clock reaches 6:00. Each time you fall off the bottom of the screen or get zapped by a robot or floating orb, you are penalised ten minutes.

Each time you use the phone, you are penalized two minutes. When the game ends, you are awarded points as follows:

Points Reason
1 for each second remaining on the clock
100 for each puzzle piece found
100 for each SNOOZE or LIFT INIT found
500 for each puzzle solved
1000 for completing the mission

Hints

Here are some playing hints from the author of IMPOSSIBLE MISSION:

  • Some rooms are harder than others. If a room seems too hard (presumably because you don’t have any passwords to reset the lifts and turn off the robots), come back to it after you’ve acquired some passwords.
  • Each robot has a different behavior program. Some robots move faster than others, some of them shoot lightning bolts, and some have no sight or hearing. So watch them closely. You can often figure out what program a robot is running before you try to get past it.
  • Your pocket computer will let you combine any two pieces that don’t overlap, but this isn’t always enough. Puzzle pieces which don’t overlap may not really belong together. If you find that it’s impossible to finish a partially-completed puzzle, you may have combined the wrong pieces.
  • You don’t have to somersault over every hole in the floor. If a gap is no wider than a lifting platform, try stepping across it. But don’t let up on the joystick until you get to the other side, or you’ll fall.
  • If you have to cross a very large chasm, you can actually have one foot in the abyss before you press the fire button to jump. If you do this just right, it will give you the extra distance you need.

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.

Game Program Designed by Dennis Caswell.

Screenshot 02


Credits

PROGRAMMER: Epyx Inc.
DESIGNER: Dennis Caswell