Hostage: Rescue Mission

aka: Hostages, Hostages: The Embassy Mission, Operation Jupiter, Rescue: The Embassy Mission
Moby ID: 6939
Amiga Specs
Buy on NES
$5.25 used on Amazon
Buy on Windows
$6.99 new on Steam
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Description official descriptions

Terrorists have overrun an embassy and hold the people inside as hostages. You control six counter-terrorists whose mission is to eliminate the terrorists. In the first part of the game, you have to bring three men into position so they can snipe the building. The second part involves entering the building with the other three men to kill the terrorists and rescue the hostages. Depending on how well you positioned your snipers, you can use them to assist you on that mission.

Spellings

  • בני-ערובה - Hebrew spelling
  • ホステージ - Japanese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (Amiga version)

13 People (11 developers, 2 thanks)

Programmer
Graphics
Music
Idée originale (Original concept)
Scénario (Scenario)
Graphiste principale (Main artist)
Remerciements à (Thanks to)
English translation
German translation

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 76% (based on 30 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 68 ratings with 4 reviews)

Surprisingly good for its era

The Good
Its difficult to wax on about this game, so I'll just say it this way - this was a terrifically fun 3D game in the era before Castle Wolfenstein 3D. The idea of switching between the various team members added a definite flavor to the game, and in the Atari ST version at least, leading the hostages to the safe room gave it a bit of a strategic flare.

The different skill levels really effected gameplay. At lower levels the enemy would walk in front of windows, allowing your snipers to pick them off before entering with the rest of your team. At higher levels, hostages also walked in front of the windows, so this simply didn't work any more. This greatly added to the replay value.

The Bad
There were a couple of things that bugged me, but the big one was that there was no action between the mini-phases. For instance, the game opens with you running snipers into position, a relatively simple task. Once that's done, its as if nothing happened, the terrorists didn't respond to this action. More obvious was the way you could just leave your men standing around while you controlled another one, while the terrorists could move about, they couldn't while you moved, so it was somewhat moot. The most egregious example was that when you fired, you could move your gun but there wasn't enough time left over for the computer to do anything else - so you just held down the trigger and fired and pulled the gun around in complete safety.

The Bottom Line
A retro gaming classic that everyone should try.

Atari ST · by Maury Markowitz (266) · 2016

Brilliant.

The Good
This is a very early Amiga game, yet still to date one of my favorites. After booting, the very first thing you see is a street, and immediately, you hear the screeching sound of a car abruptly braking and terrorists run out of it. The game plunges you right into the setting: It is a strictly no non-sense affair. Except for the brief selection box where you choose the difficulty setting, no more game elements appear. No main menu, no "game over" screen, no high scores (or even scores). It's brilliance in game design in terms of atmosphere.

Terrorists have overrun an embassy, your mission is to take them out (or otherwise defuse the situation) without harming the hostages.

The game itself is basically made out of two sub-games: In the first part, you have to get your three snipers from the starting point to three possible positions from which they can snipe. Getting just one to any location will get you to the second part, but the more positions you cover, the better you can snipe the target in the second game. Going to the positions is not that easy as spotlights are sweeping the streets, and terrorists will open fire on you as soon as they see you. Obviously, some positions require you to run farther, putting you at higher risk of getting shot.

Part two is introduced by a short animation sequence showing your other three team members rappelling onto the top of the embassy building. Now you can choose between two actions: Using a sniper to scope one side of the embassy and take out hostages as soon as they appear in a window, or rappel down the embassy and intervene.

The game is then a semi-first-person shooter. However, it's more a business of finding the terrorists and killing them rather than a mindless keep-shooting matter. You can also rescue the terrorists (kind of Counter-Strike-style) by leading them to a certain room in the building.

This indoor sequence is incredible in terms of atmosphere. A silent music plays in the background and picks up as terrorists approach.

In the second part, all "actors" play together: If one of your men in the building walks to a window, your sniper can see his silhouette (and, of course, shoot it). You can also take out your men as they rappel down the embassy, if you feel like it.

It's fun. It doesn't really sound exciting when you read about it, but this game has a certain edge to it.

The Bad
Well... unfortunately, the formula kind of gets boring after a while. The first stage isn't too hard, you can get at least one sniper to the easiest spot, and that's all it takes. Most of the time, you'll do most of the action inside the building anyways. Walking in the embassy and chasing terrorists is cool, but the embassy is always the same map and not too big, so before too long you've seen it all. The different difficulty level don't make much of a difference either.

The Bottom Line
It's a great game and I've enjoyed it a lot. You'll abandon it after a while... but after some time, you'll pick it back up again and start playing again. As I mentioned in the introduction, I love the straightforward approach of this game. It's solid but not drowned in useless gadgets and gimmicks. Just a good game.

Amiga · by EboMike (3094) · 2005

Pretty good game, brilliantly advanced idea and design

The Good
For years, this was the only game remotely like this available - a tactical squad assault simulation. First you had to position your men in doorways where they could be used as snipers, then rappel your other team down the wall, and then break into the building to rescue hostages. You could freely switch between all three team members within the embassy, as well as the three snipers. This led to some interesting possibilities, like intentionally shooting out the windows early on and just picking terrorists off from afar. All in all, a truly great game for the day.

The Bad
As the other reviewer noted, it just couldn't handle being truly real-time. There were some weird places where it paused, such as when you start firing within the building. (I never saw this as too much of a problem - if you're letting loose with a machine gun a 5-foot range, things aren't going to turn into a shootout. Whoever fires first, wins) And unless you got REALLY creative, the snipers were virtually useless. It was quite difficult to tell the hostages from the terrorists. And the step-by-step 3D could sometimes be disorientating, but that's typical of games of the time.

The Bottom Line
Groundbreaking game. It probably could have been a bit better, but for years this was a completely unique - and enjoyable - piece of software.

DOS · by WizardX (116) · 2003

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Cover

Nearly all versions of this game have cover art and also other artwork showing a very specific unit shoulder patch on the shoulder of each counter-terrorist operative. The specific unit patch is very distinctive -- it corresponds exactly to the French National Police counter-terrorist unit, Group d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale.

Also, the operatives are shown using ropes to descend walls and smash through windows --- the same approach that was used when the SAS rescued those who were taken captive in the British Embassy near Princess Gate. And the helicopter being used in the game is the type called the "Little Bird," the same type that was used when the American hostage Kurt Muse was rescued from prison during the invasion of Panama.

Extras

The original French release of this game (maybe others) contained a set of three transparent stickers. The stickers were supposed to imitate bullet holes when applied on a window or glass.

Legacy

Alcatraz from Infogrames is the spiritual sequel to this game.

Information also contributed by 99 49 and Blood

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  • MobyGames ID: 6939
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by POMAH.

Amiga added by EboMike. NES added by Shoddyan. Windows added by Rik Hideto. Commodore 64 added by Rebound Boy. Antstream added by firefang9212. MSX, Amstrad CPC added by Kohler 86. Atari ST added by Supaiku. Acorn 32-bit, Electron, Apple IIgs added by Kabushi. ZX Spectrum added by Martin Smith. Macintosh added by Eli Tomlinson. BBC Micro added by formercontrib.

Additional contributors: Trixter, EboMike, Shoddyan, chirinea, tbuteler, Blood, Игги Друге, Crawly, Patrick Bregger, Victor Vance, ZeTomes.

Game added July 15, 2002. Last modified January 24, 2024.