Impossible Mission II (NES)

Impossible Mission II

System: NES

Release Date: 1990

Developer: Novotrade

Publisher: American Video Entertainment

Genre: Platformer

Oh… hey… an Atari ST port of Impossible Mission II. I wonder if I will complete it? Elvin Atombender is a terminally ill criminal mastermind whose last wish is to destroy the world with him in a nuclear firestorm. Nice guy. It’s up to you, the player, to stop his evil plan and save the world, so it can be blown up at a later date.

I knew I would be in for a treat right away, when the manual contradicted itself on the controls. To set the record straight, the A Button does your jumping, bomb laying, etc. The B Button is used in hallways to open up your pocket computer. The goal of the game is to stitch together 6 unique musical keys to unlock the way to Elvin. He’s locked himself away in a huge tower with eight outer towers guarding him.

You start at an elevator and can enter a room from the left or right. Inside the room there are a bunch of platforms and robots running around. Items in the background can be searched by holding up in front of them. Here, you’ll find usable items, PIN numbers, or nothing. It’s not always as simple as just standing and searching, as robots constantly try to off you. You want to keep death to a minimum, because every time you die, you lose five minutes off of your eight hour timer. You might think eight hours is more than you’ll ever need, but I beat my first tower with five minutes to spare.

The jumping is infuriating. It’s a fixed forward jump. You can’t make short jumps or gain speed for long jumps, you always jump forward the same distance each time. This makes landing your platforms a matter of precision… precision that doesn’t always land the way you think it will. This leads to an incredibly clear and incredibly loud scream every time you fall down a pit.

When you find a safe, you have to access a computer terminal on screen and select a bomb so you can blow it up. Inside is one of the musical keys. The manual says to simply turn on your recorder to record it. Unfortunately, you can only access your pocket computer in hallways. There are supposedly two duplicate keys that you don’t want to keep in your sequence. In order to move to the next hallway, you have to find the correct PIN sequence by pressing the arrow buttons in the computer. Needless to say, I found this to be an impossible mission after I somehow recorded over my first music key.

Graphics: 1.0

The jumping animation looks nice. Everything else looks obsolete.

Sound: 0.5

You’ve got a title theme, background noise, and a death scream.

Gameplay: 1.0

The pocket computer is a clunky, confusing mess. Jumping is pretty awful. Enemies are annoying to avoid.

Difficulty: 0.5

Poor controls and lots of repetition with no way to save.

Fun Factor: 0.0

This is one of those terrible games that only came out because it’s unlicensed.

Overall Grade: 0.6

Impossible Mission II earns a D-. Hard pass on this one, not worth your time.

Impossible Mission II Video Review on YouTube