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Impossible Mission

Description official descriptions

You play a secret agent on a quest to stop the evil Professor Elvin Atombender, who is believed to be tampering with national security computers. You must penetrate Atombender's stronghold, avoid his deadly robot creations, and acquire various pieces of a password to use in the main control room. You have 6 hours to complete the game; 10 minutes are lost each time you die and 2 minutes are expended if you use the help function on your portable computer.

The robots, rooms, and puzzle pieces will be switched around when starting over which provides replay value.

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Credits (Commodore 64 version)




Atari 7800 version

On the Atari 7800, the name of the game can be taken literally. Due to a bug in the program the NTSC release cannot not be completed. Some of the items you need are hidden under terminals that cannot be searched. This was fixed for the PAL release.

Commodore 64 PAL and NTSC versions

Originally the game was released in USA in NTSC version by CBS. A few months after the premiere it was also published in Europe in PAL version by US Gold. However it was released with a glitch resulting from the positioning of the code for the electricity bolts. If a robot's firing pattern calls for it to shoot on the far left of the screen, the agent would be fried no matter where in the room he was. Eventually US Gold patched the game to prevent the robots firing in this situation but a proper fix was implemented in 1997 by cracking group Remember.


According to Dennis Caswell, the development of the game took about ten months. The idea behind came up from the movie War Games - the HAL-like computer led to the idea of a platform game in which the player was required to infiltrate a computer-controlled complex. The first thing that was created was the animation of the running man. For a long time the game had no title. It had changed prior to the release where somebody noticed the similarity to the TV show Mission: Impossible but due to obvious reasons it could not be used. Author cheated and gave it a title that was legal while still creating the desired association. The graphics were drawn on graph paper and converted into hex strings that were hand-typed into the code.

References to the game

The title of the German computer games podcast Stay Forever by former gaming journalists Christian Schmidt and Gunnar Lott is inspired by the synthesized speech "Stay a while...stay forever!" from this game. The voice is also used in the podcast's intro.


On the Commodore 64 version. The game is well known for the use of synthesized speech. Electronic Speech Synthesis (the company that developed the sampled speech for the game) used this game as a test sample.

When this sample was a successful game, Electronic Speech Synthesis (ESS) significantly raised their prices. This caused Epyx to never use their services again (although Impossible Mission II uses ESS, Novotrade developed the game, and they were the same sampled speech tracks used in this game).


  • ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)
    • February 1991 (issue #41) - Included in the list Greatest Games of all Time, section Platform-based Games (editorial staff choice)
  • Commodore Force
    • December 1993 (Issue 13) – #50 “Readers' Top 100”
  • FLUX
    • Issue #4 - #92 in the "Top 100 Video Games of All-Time" list
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 03/2013 – Issue 03/2013 – One of the "Ten Best C64 Games"
  • Happy Computer
    • Issue 02/1986 - #7 Best Game in 1985 (Readers' Vote)
  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #45 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
    • Issue 37 - #12 in the "Top 25 Platformers of All Time" poll* Zzap!
    • May 1985 (Issue 1) - #2 'It's the Zzap! 64 Top 64!'

Information also contributed by Big John WV, PCGamer77 and Scott G

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 11254


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by RKL.

BBC Micro added by Trypticon. Antstream added by firefang9212. ZX Spectrum, Sharp X1, Electron added by Kabushi. Wii added by gamewarrior. PC-88 added by Terok Nor. Apple II, Amstrad CPC added by Servo.

Additional contributors: Martin Smith, c64fan, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa, Jo ST, FatherJack, ZeTomes.

Game added December 6th, 2003. Last modified February 22nd, 2023.