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Peter Johnson

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Impossible Mission

Impossible Mission

Impossible Mission

"This is the best US Gold release to date and one to search out."
A&B Computing

"Impossible Mission is a very good conversion from the Commodore original."
Electron User


32 Different Rooms, 90 Different Robots, Superb Animation, Ultimate Realism.

Your mission, Agent 4125, is to foil a horrible plot. From an underground laboratory, Elvin, the scientist, is holding the world hostage under the threat of nuclear annihilation. You must penetrate his stronghold, avoid his human-seeking robots and find the pieces of the security code. Somersault over the robots or use a precious snooze to deactivate them long enough to search each room. Use the Agency's computer to unscramble the passwords from the code pieces, or try to solve them yourself. You've got to reach Elvin's control centre, but you'd better beware...

This mission is stamped IMPOSSIBLE.

Mission Briefing

Confidential - Agent's Eyes Only. Officer Courier Only.

Mission Briefing
To: Special Agent 4125

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 Atombender (hereinafter 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 centre. 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 120lbs
Hair No
Eyes Yes
Traits Avoids people, hates animals, likes M&Ms

Elvin Atombender 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 to be 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 evil-doer. 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 100-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 99,999,999,85 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.

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 a 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 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 metres
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 meagradians/fortnight
Longitudinal velocity Alpha class: 2.5 x 10^-8c
Beta class: 1.2 x 10^-8c
Gamma class: 5.9 x 10^-9c
Omaga class: 0c
Photovolaic threshold 0.12 lumens
Entropic conversion rate 2.71828 ergs/nsec
Thermonic coefficient 6.07 therms/hour

Sound/Motion Sensors:
These are the robot's "ears". With these sensors, a robot can home in on you whether it can see you or not.

Linear Induction Magnet: The robots are propelled by linear induction motors embedded in the floor 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 the 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. Realising the importance of this 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.

Game Objective

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 Controls

Z - Left, X - Right, * - Up on lift/search for an object, ? - Down on lift or search for an object
RETURN - Somersault or select an option, ESCAPE - Abort mission


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 what- ever) and pressing the * or ? keys.

The word "Searching" will appear in a box near your agent's shoulder. You will also see a horizontal bar indicating the length of time it will take to search the object. You must continue searching 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 search another object 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.

  • 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. 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. It will be entered into the memory of your pocket computer automatically.

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 listing 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 search it. A sequence of squares will flash on the wall, each with a musical note, and a 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).

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 blue bar.

Pocket Computer

Your pocket computer is an amazing device. It 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 glove will appear. Use the glove to put the puzzle pieces together, forming the password that will let you enter Elvin's control room.

Using The Glove

  • To move the glove, use the movement keys
  • To activate a function key, "point" to it with the glove and press RETURN
  • To pick up a puzzle piece in the memory window, "point" to it with the glove and press RETURN. You are now holding it
  • To drop a puzzle piece, press RETURN
  • To make a copy of the selected puzzle piece, "point" to it with the glove and press RETURN
  • To select a puzzle piece that isn't selected, "point" to it with the glove and press RETURN
  • To find out if two pieces match, position one piece directly over the other and press RETURN
  • To throw away a piece, position it over the waste bin and press RETURN

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 flip and flop keys
  • Pieces must be the same colour, or they won't match. If two pieces with different colours look like they should match, then use the colour 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 recognised as a solution)
  • There are four pieces in each completed puzzle, and eight 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 eight of the letters in the password, you can open the door to Elvin's control centre 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 try to search it. The door will open, and the world will be able to breathe again.

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.

Orientation. 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).

Enough? 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.

Continuing Play

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


The game clock (on the pocket computer display) starts at 0:00. 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, you are penalised ten minutes. Each time you use the phone, you are penalised two minutes.

When the game ends, you are awarded points as follows:

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


Here are some playing hints from the author of Impossible Mission:

  • Some room 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 behaviour 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.
  • 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.


Cover Art Language(s): English
Compatibility: BBC Model B, BBC Model B+, BBC Master 128, Acorn Electron
Release: Professionally released On Cassette
Original Release Date: 4th Dec 1986
Links: Everygamegoing,

Cover Art

Front Inlay Images

Inner Inlay Images

Media Scan Images


Impossible Mission (Cassette)
Impossible Mission (5.25" Disc)
Impossible Mission (3.5" Disc)