Text, Image and Video Overview of Impossible Mission 2025 - The Special Edition (CD32, 1994)

Bill Loguidice's picture

The month of the Commodore Amiga CDTV/CD32 continues with a quick overview - including direct screen capture and video - of Impossible Mission 2025 - The Special Edition for the CD32. As stated earlier, I'm going to go into these overviews as if the CD32 version were an "island", meaning I will simply take the games as they are, paying little mind to whether the game is a simple floppy port or a fully realized platform-specific experience. In other words, whether you can play the same exact game on an AGA (or even OCS/ECS!) Amiga computer from a single floppy drive in lieu of this CD-based multimedia platform, it will have no bearing on my opinion. Now, "stay awhile" and let's get to it:

The words "Impossible Mission" are not strange ones in the world of videogames. While the discussion often begins and ends at the original version for the C-64 with the incredible speech synthesis, sound effects and animation, there have in fact been many ports and sequels to countless computer and videogame platforms. In other words, it's a name, concept and game that most people out there are familiar with in one form or another. While I still own the original C-64 version from my youth (alas, only the disk and manual are left), Impossible Mission 2 boxed for the Atari ST and the recent Nintendo DS update (simply titled, yes, "Impossible Mission") that, among other features, contains an emulation of the original C-64 Version, this will in fact be my first exposure to "IM 2025". A quick glance at Wikipedia reveals that this is not necessarily like "IM 2", and in fact appears to be an original game for both Amiga ECS and AGA systems, with independent versions for each. Not surprisingly, Wikipedia makes no mention of the CD32 version I have, though it does reference the Special Edition as having an original (and thus, C-64) version of the game accessible. This does not bode well for this being enhanced in any way for the CD32 (or more specifically the CD) platform, but, as I've said, that will play no factor in my opinion.

Let's look at some packaging shots first:

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The manual is actually rather thick, but that's mostly because this is a UK/European release and they need to accommodate French, German, Spanish and Italian in addition to English. I guess I'll find out if this is NTSC- compatible or PAL only shortly...

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The visuals don't look terribly inspiring (hell, just the box art is a turn -off), but I'll definitely wait to see it for myself before passing judgment.

I'm going to be using my standard NTSC CD32 with custom power supply and an original CD32 controller. First impression of the controller is that while it seems awkwardly designed, at least the cord is a generous length.

Browsing through the manual, it's nice to see that they at least make a concession to using the CD32 controller--it looks like a standard Atari- style joystick just won't cut it for this. D-pad up moves the elevator up, D-pad down moves the elevator down, D-pad left moves the character left, D-pad right moves the character right, D-pad up/down is search, Green or Red button is somersault, REW (left trigger) Button is cycle through Power Ups, FWD (right trigger) Button is cycle through Power Ups, Yellow or Blue Button is Activate Power-Up, and the Pause Button is Pause On/Off. So, at the very least, the game seems to make use of all of the controller's buttons, even though some serve redundant functions.

The manual goes into some blather about playing as various operatives (actually, three different), but I don't really care as they're probably all roughly equivalent. In that regard, it reminds me a lot of the Nintendo DS "Impossible Mission", whose developers may very well have gotten some inspiration from this version of the game.

Anyway, I plug everything in. The joystick plug is very hard to get into port 1. I also forgot that the custom PSU glows with red LED's. Very cool. I'm going to start recording video now....

I let the CD32 start up without a disc to capture the boot sequence. After that's over, I put the disc in. The CD drive seems to run pretty quiet, which is nice. I do some options testing. I then start the main game and select Tasha instead of RAM 2, aka, "the robot" or Felix Fly, aka, "the dude". (Note the cut-scenes, which are probably exclusive to the CD32 version like the control setup) These controllers aren't so awful, actually, though the d-pad is a bit "squishy" and the buttons are not placed as optimally as they could be. Still, with some monkeying around, I get a hang of the controls. Playing this in a small window on my laptop while it's capturing is not the best way to get the full experience, but it works, even though it's a little tough to make things out initially. This seems to play pretty much like an update of the original Impossible Mission should. I actually like the visuals and sound. This is really nothing more than Impossible Mission cranked up a bit, which is not a bad thing. Still, after dying yet again, I revert back to the original Impossible Mission, presumably playing from some type of on-disc emulator. It runs, but is a bit glitchy, perhaps due to my video capture. It also seems to be missing some sounds, like those of the elevator whirring and the sounds that are heard are a bit clipped. Definitely not perfect, but it does remind me how much more I like the original over all others; there's just something "right" about that version of the game that the sequels never really captured. That's true for a lot of games though.

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Felix Fly (does the year 2025 look a bit steampunky to anyone else?)

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RAM 2

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"Emulation" of the original

One final note... Impossible Mission always was impossible for me as I was never able to complete it even after dozens of plays. Some people beat it easily, but I never was able to quite do it. I don't see this version of the game making me want to rectify that anytime soon either, but at least this seems like a worthwhile game for the system overall if you like the IM play mechanics (I don't know why it uses a password system instead of saving to the internal memory though). The controller will probably be an issue going forward. At the very least, it will take some time to get used to.

As for the NTSC/PAL thing, my CD32 was definitely running in NTSC mode as my video capture device identified it as such. IM 2025 is somehow either a Made-in-the-UK NTSC version or, more likely, a game that matches itself to whatever system type (region) it's being play on (in). Overall, for my first ever truly (albeit brief) quality time with the CD32, I'm not dissapointed in the system (though as you can see in the video, disc access times can sometimes be sluggish in certain parts).

I will continue doing these through the rest of the month, though don't expect me to get to everything from my previously blogged about CD32 inventory/collection. That will be for the next time the CDTV/CD32 has a featured month...

Comments

yakumo9275
yakumo9275's picture
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Joined: 12/26/2006
I was never in a million

I was never in a million attempts able to get anywhere close to beating IM on the c64. That emulated screenshot looks off to me a little bit. I dont get video at work, proxies and all that good stuff.

I remember loving the musical puzzles in IM, having a fairly good memory...

-- Stu --

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
CD32 does C-64
yakumo9275 wrote:

I was never in a million attempts able to get anywhere close to beating IM on the c64. That emulated screenshot looks off to me a little bit. I dont get video at work, proxies and all that good stuff.

I remember loving the musical puzzles in IM, having a fairly good memory...

-- Stu --

Yeah, for whatever reason, the emulation definitely doesn't run quite right.

The musical puzzle in the CD32 updated version is actually rather nice looking. You can see it the sequence in the video. It's not necessarily better than the original, but visually it's quite nice.



Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
The new version looks a bit

The new version looks a bit dark and gray to me. I don't know why so many games imitate that look. I don't necessarily want bright and cheerful, but the old version is oddly more appealing to the eye than the new one!

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Bill Loguidice
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IM: The Darkness
Matt Barton wrote:

The new version looks a bit dark and gray to me. I don't know why so many games imitate that look. I don't necessarily want bright and cheerful, but the old version is oddly more appealing to the eye than the new one!

Hence the difficulty with judging where to jump to initially. The darkness combined with the small window so I could occasionally type some thoughts while doing the video capture did not make for a smooth play experience.



Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Hammer
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Joined: 03/23/2008
Hahaha

Bill,

Thanks for posting that video. It was very entertaining and gave me a decent feel of the game. My comments:

1) The original version looks better - so far you haven't convinced me that I missed out by not having a CD32 : )

2) As I mentioned once before, try Zillion for the SMS...

3) You suck : )

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