REVIEWS COURTESY OF ZXSR

Impossible Mission II
by Novotrade Rt., Andromeda Software [1]: Laszlo Szenttornyai, Imre Kovats
US Gold Ltd
1988
Crash Issue 55, August 1988   (1988-07-28)   page(s) 16

Elvin Atombender, the infamous mad professor was vanquished by the fearless Agent 4125 in the original Impossible Mission. Two years on the evil egghead has returned, and plans to destroy the world with a missile. Elvin's headquarters are an eight-tower complex somewhere within the country.

Play begins in a randomly selected tower, each of which has up to five rooms accessed by using the elevators. The rooms contain platforms and lifts, guarded by six different types of robot. Furniture, plants and other objects found in each room and can be searched for digits and other useful items.

Digits form the numeric codes needed to gain access to the next tower. These are stored in a pocket computer which can only be used in the corridors. Some of the digits collected are useless and the code is only completed when all three correct digits have been found and arranged in the right order.

Some items conceal a variety of different commands which are carried out using a menu called up from the computer terminals scattered about the rooms. Utilising these you can disable patrolling robots for a few seconds, reset the lifts to their initial positions, move certain floors horizontally, gain extra time and set bombs. Time bombs explode a few seconds after they have been placed; normal bombs are only detonated when a robot moves over them.

Agent 4125 is extremely agile and can somersault from platform to platform. Collision with certain droids or their plasma fire removes one of ten lives. Other robots lay mines which must not be stepped on. If you fall through the bottom of the screen, the mission is over.

In each tower there is a safe which must be blown open by using a time bomb. Inside is a musical sequence which is stored on 4125's miniature cassette deck. This has standard controls to allow the editing of the various sequences. Some of the sequences are duplicated and must be eliminated.

Agent 4125 has only three hours to assemble the correct sequences to allow access to Elvin's control room via the express elevator. This room contains three terminals but only one halts the missile countdown - the others mean instant death.

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: detailed, bright and colourful
Sound: tune on loading, minimal spot effects


'Impossible Mission II picks up where the prequel finished - on a VERY high note. I played Impossible Mission over and over for many months and it seems as if I'm going to be just as busy with the follow-up. Elvin may still be up to his old tricks, but that doesn't mean the game content is archaic. Impossible Mission II has all the good points of the first plus many extra tweaks and improvements making it a game of today, rather than a new angle on an old concept. The gameplay may be the same, but with improved graphics, extra robots, more rooms and tougher puzzles Impossible Mission II is one of the best summer arcade strategy games you could wish for.'
PAUL ... 88%

'Impossible Mission II has all the improvements you'd expect from a game that's being released nearly three years after its predecessor. Agent 4125 leaps and bounds gracefully through an incredibly complex environment of treacherous platforms and ledges which boasts some very tricky screens. Certain rooms makes pretty stiff demands on the powers of lateral thinking, especially as the array of collectable bonuses means that you can negotiate practically every problem in several different ways. You need every single one of your ten lives: any second you can hurtle through perilous gaps in the floor, tumble off an inopportune lift or cross the path of a wild, warmongering patrol droid. It's just a pity that the sound doesn't match up to the high standards of the gameplay. Even without it, you have an action-packed platform challenge which should keep you on the edge of your seat for hours at a time.'
KATI ... 85%

'Impossible Mission II has done nothing to tarnish my liking for the series. Graphically, the game is impressive, with a very athletic Agent 4125 leaping and bounding around the screen, vainly attempting to keep out of the reach of the robots' steely grip. The old grey cells are also ably exercised by the fiendishly difficult, but entirely logical, puzzles. As with the original game, the player is only given a set time limit to defeat the mad professor: this adds a definite urgency to the proceedings. Stop Atombender or it's goodbye cruel world! More fun for fans of the original.'
MARK ... 70%

Use of Computer78%
Graphics82%
Playability88%
Addictive Qualities85%
Overall84%
Summary: General Rating: With so many improvements and expansions on the original Impossible Mission II shouldn't be missed. Immediate fun and long term addiction.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 33, September 1988   page(s) 31

What would the name Szenttornyai Laszlo conjure up for you? The memory of a particularly wet and virulent sneeze? Or perhaps a recollection from your childhood of the noise your not-quite house-trained puppy made when you booted it off the damp sofa? Maybe. But for me this unpronouncable alphabetical avalanche means the name of the programmer who masterminded Impossible Mission II, the latest winner from U.S. Gold.

As before, that 'entendre-stimulating, evil, nasty, baddy, insane scientist with a large forehead' type person, Elvin Atombender, is up to his old tricks again. He's out to destroy the world for the umpteenth time. And since you were so successful in thwarting his demonic plans last time, you are deployed to infiltrate Elvin's secret tower complex and generally stop the world from not being the world.

So off you go as Agent 4125 to duck and dive around the robots, leap over the bottomless pits and jump from platform to platform - all with the aim of putting an end to Elvin's nefarity.

Old agent 4125 hasn't changed much since his last Impossible Mission, except now he's gained some eyes and his hair's grown a pixel or two. Shame? Rip off? No-way! You might be complaining loudly but wait. 4125's animation is top-notch and absolutely brilliant. He lopes along, taking wide smooth strides and will perform exquisite somersaults when commanded. The robots he has to avoid are a bit of a let down though: bulky, stark vacuum cleaners is the closest description I can think of. But luckily their appearance doesn't detract from their position in the game. Those nasties get progressively varied as you attain different levels, including droids that lay mines, move lifts, shove you off platforms and, of course, your normal, everyday killer machines.

Screens (of which there are many) are accessed by a network of inter-connecting lifts and corridors. And it's these screens which provide the high-point of the game. It's time for the old Manic Miner reference again I'm afraid. 'Cos, each screen has a specific puzzle and route which you must discover and master before you can proceed to the next. Although most screens have just one exit, the idea is not always to pass through them but to search every object in them.

These objects stand poised in awkward corners and across bottomless pits, and are often guarded. They range from domestic things like cupboards, cabinets, and flower-pots to weird things like coat-hangers barbells, and sewing machines (Elvin's fetishes perhaps?).

To search you have to stand against an object and press the up key, and wait while the computer frisks it for you. And nothing can be ignored. Each object may or may not contain an essential code. Codes are fed into the screen's computer and can do such things as provide extra-time, halt robots, plant bombs and move floors - necessary if you want to reach other screens or painfully placed objects. Most of these options are finite and therefore painful. You could be at the end of a complicated manoeuvre which you had spent hours planning when bingo! the robot restarts and vaporises you.

The screens themselves are a tasteful combination of pink and blue platforms, joined by lifts and gaps. Puzzles come in the way you manipulate the lifts and computer options in order to get to that elusive last object. Later screens also contain bombs, light bulbs and mines. Some screens are real brain-blenders - more difficult than in the original - but it all adds to the addictiveness.

More brain-blending comes in collecting the three access codes from each tower, using them to open the safe, and then getting the music sequence data which you must string together to open the door to the next level. For this you use your 'hi-tec, stuff your Rolex down the loo' wrist watch. With this weighty timepiece you can scan other areas of the complex, prime bombs, have a crack at the code - and even tell the time.

All in all, the attraction comes in trying to reach other screens and solve the individual puzzles. The random screen effect adds a tang of mystery to a game that would otherwise be repetitive. If you haven't played the original then buy it; and if you have played the original then still buy it, but don't expect quite so much from it.


Graphics8/10
Playability9/10
Value For Money9/10
Addictiveness8/10
Overall9/10
Summary: Agent 4125 is back in excellent form against the evil Elvin Atombender. (Oo-er) A triumphant return with many new wazzy puzzles!

Award: Your Sinclair Megagame

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 57, September 1990   page(s) 77

It's not too hard to work out what this one's the sequel too. The idea is that you've got to penetrate the usual fortress, disarm a bomb missile and generally save the world. En route you'll need to work out a few secret codes, and there's a bit here about assembling a musical sequence as well. It all sounds pretty thrilling, anyway. As with the first game, the fortress is made up of a whole lot of rooms which are connected by passages and lifts. Each room is full of platforms, lifts, furniture and robots The fun comes when you've got to search these rooms for bits of code while simultaneously avoiding the robots. It looks a bit ropey graphically, but IM 2 IS a bit of a challenge for those with time to spare.


Overall77%
Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 78, September 1988   page(s) 64

What has basically happened, as far as the plot of Impossible Mission 2 goes, is that Elvin is back, and he's set up a huge missile silo. Playing Agent 4125 once more, you must try to (a) close down the 8 towers, (b) avoid all the robots and (c) get to the evil professor.

The game is very much in the same style as Impossible Mission, with nearly all the same features. You remember, all the rooms connected by lifts and all the rooms made up of platforms, lifts and roaming robots.

There are more robots in this game than in the original, and most of them are really nasty beggars. Minebots lay mines on the floor behind them as they travel the walkways. Pestbots are just that. They have a habit of walking past you and then moving the only lift that connects to the platform you're on, which leaves you with no way out. Squatbots can be used as stepping stones to higher platforms, but they do have a habit of jumping up and smashing you into the ceiling. Bashbots try their damndest to push you off the side of the platforms and down holes. Suicidebots do exactly the same thing, except they have a nasty habit of jumping with you. Shades of Lethal Weapon, methinks.

To escape from each tower, you have to collect a 3-digit number. Separate digits can be found in much the same way as in the predecessor, by searching the furniture. Also in the furniture can be found passwords which are inputted to the computer terminals situated on the various screens. These can be used to stop the robots from moving (temporarily), resetting the platforms (for when the pestbots have been real pests), light bulbs to light up darkened areas and bombs to open the safes. And why do you have to open the safes? To get the bits of the melody which you can then use to operate the doors to Elvin's personal lift.

To edit together the bits of tune, and indeed to put together the three digit code, you have to use your pocket computer. Slightly upgraded from the original computer, this one now features a tape recorder with full splicing facilities, and a number processor. All accessed by the little icon of Mickey Mouse's hand, in the same way as the original.

The graphics for the main sprite are the same as those used in the original, but this is where any similarity ends. The robots are dull and by no means as well animated, the long, frazzly, crackly lasers have turned into thin, straight lines and the lift moves at three times the speed. No bad thing you may say, but it's at the expense of sound. The game is almost completely silent. A slight tap-tap noise is used for the Agent's footsteps and a slight buzz for the lasers. Even the scream that yer man lets out as he falls down a hole has been ignored.

Unfortunately, IM2 is nothing for US Gold to be proud of. I was very disappointed, and I can't think that anyone who buys this game will have cause to feel anything else.

Label: US Gold
Author: Andromeda
Price: £8.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tony Dillon


Graphics 45%
Sound 12%
Playability 60%
Lastability 40%
Overall 46%
Summary: Disappointing sequel. Arcade action and puzzle solving.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 103, September 1990   page(s) 24,25

Your mission, Chris, should you choose to accept it... well, no, we all know that this budget re-release is nothing to do with Peter Graves and the Impossible Mission force, but the Department will certainly disavow any knowledge of your actions if you're captured or killed.

Sequel to the original platforms-and-hacking exercise Impossible Mission, IM2 looks suspiciously similar; there are dozens of chambers, each containing a number of walkways, hydraulic platforms, computer terminals, bits of furniture, and killer robots. Again you play the secret agent whose aim is to crack the computer codes, avoid the killer robots and foil the plans of the evil Dr Atombender.

Once again, you have a pocket computer display showing a map of the chambers of Atombender's complex which you have explored; and a system of elevators and passageways to get you from one to the other. As well, you have to turn to face items of furniture and "search" them by pressing the fire button; the trick is to do it before getting burned down by a patrolling robot, and without plummeting down a bottomless crevasse.

But this time, there are more objects to find, all of which can be used when you log on to a terminal. Platform symbols will reset the positions of platforms in any chamber, while horizontal platform symbols wilt move floor segments left or right. Electric plugs temporarily deactivate robots, while light bulbs turn on the lights in a darkened room, time bombs blow open safes, and mines blow holes in floors (and robots).

Passcode numbers are essential for getting into separate towers; the eventual aim is to locate all of Atombender's safes, blow them open, and take musical codes which have to be assembled into a complete tune in the master control room.

Sounds complicated? - it is. But it you couldn't get enough of IM 1, IM 2 will satisfy even the most demanding superspy.

The best aspect of the original game was the truly hoopy animation as your agent cartwheels through the air avoiding the robots. The quality of the animation in IM2 is equally good, but this might not make such a spectacular impression as it did a couple of years ago.

Concentrate instead on the depth of gameplay and the joystick-wrenching challenges as each chamber becomes more fiendish than the next.

Don't miss out on this one, or you'll self-destruct in ten seconds.

Label: Kixx
Price: £2.99
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins


Graphics78%
Sound56%
Playability92%
Lastability87%
Overall89%
Summary: Choose to accept this mission if you think you're up to it.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ACE Issue 12, September 1988   page(s) 67

Epyx, £8.95cs
C64 Version reviewed Issue 9 - Ace Rating 785

Elvin Atombender's up to his old tricks, and it's down to you to stop him in this platform puzzle game that follows firmly in the footsteps of the first, classic game. The graphics are great (though the sound isn't) and the animation's wonderful, and if you liked the original, you'll love this.


Ace Rating785/1000
Transcript by Chris Bourne

Computer & Videogames Issue 106, September 1990   page(s) 60

Kixx
Spectrum £2.99

Nothing to do with Peter Graves and that old Sixties telly series, but the exploits of Agent 4125 in his efforts to defeat the evil Elvin Atombender, who has set himself up in a multi-towered stronghold. 4125 has to leap around platforms, avoid marauding robots and search for numbers that make a code. Once the correct numbers are obtained, 4125 is allowed access to the next tower. Along the way, he has to bust into safes to record a short piece of music. Once all the music is collected, and recorded in the right order, 4125 can finally defeat Atombender once and for all.

As far as the game itself, IM II on the Spectrum is pretty good! the main character graphics are all black, but against the bright colourful backgrounds they work very well. The animation of 4125 is really good, and with the objective of playing against the clock, the action really hots up when time is running short. Impossible Mission was a classic in its own right, and the sequel as a budget title deserves to do equally well. Grab it at the first opportunity.


Overall90%
Summary: James Bond, eat your heart out! Impossible Mission II is the best thing since the Lotus Esprit.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

The Games Machine Issue 10, September 1988   page(s) 44

Spectrum 48/128 Cassette: £8.99

The infamous egghead Elvin Atombender has returned to threaten the world again, as first revealed in TGM006 (CBM 64 86%), TGM007 (ST 85%) and TGM009 (PC and Amstrad CPC 84% and 72%). Agent 4125 must once again explore Elvin's eight-tower complex to try and reach the control room where the deadly missile must be disarmed.

Each room contains an array of platforms patrolled by six different types of robot. 4125 avoids the guards while searching for numbers to form a three-digit code which allows access to the next tower. If the agent collides with robots, he loses lives or time.

Hidden commands can be used at the various computer terminals to disable robots, reset lifts, move platforms horizontally, gain extra time, or detonate bombs.

Each tower contains a safe which, when blown open, reveals a musical sequence. Only when all the correct sequences have been found (some are useless duplicates) can 4125 access the express elevator to Elvin's control room.

Most noticeable about the Spectrum version is the virtual absence of sound - even the musical sequences are inaudible.

Graphically, Impossible Mission II is very similar to its predecessor, with bland backgrounds and monochromatic sprites.

Gameplay is also very similar with little improvement made, although this inherits the originals playability. Overall Impossible Mission II is too similar to its predecessor and lacks the atmosphere of the other versions.


Overall73%
Transcript by Chris Bourne

All information in this page is provided by ZXSR instead of ZXDB