I Played That! #1: Impossible Mission (C64)

A recurring character in this series will be Joe. Joe was my fix for Commodore 64 games. His family had moved to New Orleans from elsewhere, and in elsewhere he’d been part of a group of software crackers and pirates. He regularly got new games from his old crowd and traded disks of them to me for Star Wars figures for his little brother. As I was moving from toys to computers, this was a good trade for me. Impossible Mission was one I got from Joe.

This was a platform game where you were a spy searching an evil villain’s compound for parts of a password that would stop an impending missile launch by said villain. The rooms were randomly generated and patrolled by robots with different types of patrol moves. You had to navigate the rooms, figure out how to get past the robots, and search each item. It was also timed, which added to the intensity. It was a great game.

It was also memorable for the electronic voice of the bad guy.

He’d also pop up from time to time to urge, “Destroy him, my robots!”

Impossible Mission wasn’t impossible, but it was tough. I played and played and would sometimes get close but just couldn’t beat it. Finally one day I triumphed!

I called Joe to tell him the good news and he revealed that he too had just finally beat it. And the weird thing was, from that point on, the game became “Possible Mission” for me. I could now beat it just about every time. It wasn’t that I found the trick or sussed out a strategy, just for some reason I could now do it. Perhaps it was some kind of hundredth monkey thing.

Impossible Mission was released by Epyx in 1984, and a sequel came out in 1988, but those four short years were an age in my life. By that time I was no longer on my C64 and I had lost touch with Joe. I never played it.

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