Season 2, Round 3 of the Arcadia 2001/MPT-03 High Score Club will last about two weeks. This round ends on Sunday, February 18, 2017 at 10pm MST (aka Monday, 2am GMT). The game being played this round is Space Mission, a game released in 1982 for the Emerson Arcadia 2001. The game is very simple, but the manual makes it seem overly complicated. The object of this game is to collect parts of a four-piece spaceship and put them together in the correct order. Space Mission is extremely simple, but there are many frills (such as a 3D-tube launch of your drone ship) that do not affect how the game is played.
Brett Weiss's mini-review of Space Mission from his book Classic Home Video Games, 1972-1984: A Complete Reference Guide, published in 2012, sums up this game very well:
"The player's mission in Space Mission is to rebuild a four-piece space station within about two minutes. This is done by launching a 'droneship,' guiding it towards each piece of the station, loading each piece onto the ship, and placing the pieces in a specified pattern. Naturally, alien spaceships will attack. To ward off these pests, players must switch control to a 'commandship,' which can destroy the aliens with laser missiles. This is yet another classic videogame that contains spaceships that look like TIE Fighters, but the space station element does add an unusual twist to the first-person shooter genre."
Here are three screenshots of Space Mission:
Here is a video with gameplay of Space Mission uploaded to YouTube by "GameAnthology" on March 9, 2013.
Here is the front of the Space Mission box:
Here is the end-label of the Space Mission cartridge:
Here is the front of the Space Mission cartridge:
Here is the back of the Space Mission cartridge:
Here is the Space Mission keypad overlay:
Here is some alternate cartridge artwork from two various non-U.S. releases of Space Mission.
I think that this cartridge is for the Arcadia 2001 in Australia:
Here is the box for the release of the game on a generic MPT-03 console:
I'm really beginning to enjoy the various different artwork for the non-Emerson release of Arcadia 2001 console game.
Space Mission - Quick-Play Rules
Play Space Mission on real hardware (PAL, NTSC, and any Arcadia family systems) or use the WinArcadia or MAME emulator. There are no gameplay options for this game. Just press the Start button and begin playing. Every game lasts two minutes. We're playing for the highest score with the lowest time. This may make scoring a little difficult; we'll see how this works out during the full round. I'll make adjustments to the scoring if it seems necessary.
Visit the Emerson Arcadia 2001 Central website for cartridge images and Arcadia emulators:
Here is a direct link to the Arcadia 2001 ROM images ("SpaceMission.bin" is the filename for Space Mission):
Here are some Space Mission notes from James Jacobs' Emerson Arcadia 2001 Gaming Guide:
Post pictures of your high scores here.
Space Mission - General Overview
I'm using Ward Shrake's "Director's Cut" of his Arcadia 2001 section of the Digital Press Collector's Guide 7 (published in August 2002) for most of the information that is in this section. I'm including Ward's information about Space Mission on two difference systems, the Emerson Arcadia 2001, and the Sheen.
Through-out the world Space Mission is also known as Mission Spaciale, Raumfahrt and Weltraum-Abenteuer.
Space Mission - Emerson - 4k cart. 1982. #1019. Cartridge #9.
Space Mission - Sheen - #M4. - One player game; uses left side controller. Game by "UA Limited". "Object is to assemble a spaceship in space," according to game instructions printed on the rear of the cartridge. Label art shows space ships from the movie "Star Wars". You appear to be looking over the shoulder of an "Imperial Pilot" inside a "TIE fighter". Looking out the round front window, you can see the "Death Star". The "TIE Pilot" is apparently firing on the "Millennium Falcon" space ship.
High quality scans of Space Mission box, manual, and cartridge are here:
Here is the manual's cover:
For complete information about this game, visit the above URL link at archive.org. I've included the important points from the manual here (including some broken English terms):
Space Mission Instructions
Video Game Instructions for Emerson Arcadia 2001
Cartridge No. 9, Part No. 1019
Object of the Game
- Your mission is to build a space station in the limited 2 minutes time.
- The space station is divided into 4 pieces and each piece is floating in space.
- You have to launch a "DRONE SHIP" to "LOAD" (PICK UP) and "UNLOAD" (DROP) the pieces at the appropriate spot to build the station, while you are at the bridge of a Mother Ship.
- There will Alien Fighters Firing at your DRONE SHIP. Steer your DRONE SHIP to keep away from the gunfire.
- If the DRONE SHIP is destroyed by the gunfire, another can be launched. There is no limit to how many DRONE SHIPS can be launched.
- While building up your space station, you can shoot your laser gun at the Alien Fighters. However, you can shoot your laser gun only when your DRONE SHIP is unloaded.
- Mission will fail if you can't build the station in the limited 2 minutes time.
- Score will be given if mission is completed within minutes, according to the following formula.
- SCORE = 100 x (MINUTES LEFT) + 1 x (SECONDS LEFT) + 10 x (ALIEN FIGHTERS DESTROYED) + 100
To Start the Game
- Press POWER Switch to "ON" Position, the red POWER light will be lit.
- Press "RESET" button, the "SPACE MISSION" will shown in screen. The upper Left corner shows the space station to be built (see fig. 3).
- Press "START" button to start the game.
To Play the Game
- Once the game has started, you are at the bridge of the Mother Ship and have a 360 degrees view of space. Steer the Mother Ship by pressing the control disc in direction you want to fly.
- To fire Laser Gun - Press "FIRE" button on the overlay Laser Gun will keep firing as long as you press the "FIRE" button. Press disc to steer the Mother Ship and aim at the Alien Fighters.
- To launch Drone Ship - Press launch button. A close up take- off view of the Drone Ship will be shown and take off engine sound will be heard.
- To Control the Drone Ship - Use control disc to steer the Mother Ship. Both Drone Ship and Mother Ship move. Press "STEER" button on the overlay and use the stick control to control direction. This allows you to steer the Drone Ship only. The Mother Ship will stop moving.
- To pick (LOAD) the space station pieces - steer the Drone Ship to the piece you want to pick up, then press "LOAD" button. When the piece is loaded it will change color. Carry the piece to the desired place and drop it by pressing "UNLOAD" button. Try to bring it to connect to the piece you want to join. If "UNLOAD" button does not release it then try to match it closer to the other piece. Continue this action until the 4 pieces have been put together in correct order (according to original view, see fig. III).
- To review the status and score of the game, press "SCAN" button on the overlay. This will show you the time left and status of Alien Fighters. To return to the bridge view, press "BRIDGE" button. (This will not function when the Alien Fighter is firing.)
- If you complete the assembly of the space station within 2 minutes time. A "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" will appear and your score will be revealed. Congratulations!
- If you fail to complete the assembly in the two minutes time, try again. Good Luck and Happy Space Mission.
NOTE: This is the way the assembled Space Station should look after you have successfully put all the pieces together.
Space Mission Gameplay Options
Space Mission has no gameplay options. Just start collecting the parts of the ship and put them together in the correct order as quickly as you can.
Space Mission (Scoring)
We are playing for the highest score with the fastest time. 10 points are awarded for first place, 9 for second, 8 for third, etc.
Space Mission (Bonus Points):
There are quite a few ways to earn bonus points this round:
Space Mission - Video Review - (2 Points) - I didn't find any reviews of this game. Maybe because the game is so short? I'd really like to see some quality video that talks about the gameplay. Because of the time it takes to make a "proper" video review, anyone who reviews Space Mission will earn two points.
Space Mission - Documenting Bugs - (1 Point) - As we've been discovering for ourselves, Arcadia games can be flaky. If anyone finds any problems, and documents them, then they will earn one bonus point. Just in case there are dozens of bugs, you can only earn one bonus point no matter how matter bugs are found.
Space Mission - Backstory - (1 Point) - Space Mission doesn't provide a backstory. I guess one isn't needed for this game, but it might be fun to write one anyway. Write a background that may have been included with the game in 1982 and you'll get a bonus point.
What is it with the Arcadia 2001 and timed games? Were these sorts of games easier to create? I completed a full game of Space Mission today for the first time. There isn't much to this one. I wouldn't say that this game is bad-- it just seems like a missed opportunity because it's far too short. There could have been so much more to this game if a little more time had been spent on it. But, like nearly all other games on this console I've played so far, time spent on gameplay was not a "luxury" granted to Arcadia 2001 games.
It's time to start playing Space Mission. This game is very short-- you'll complete your first game nearly before you start playing it. I'm curious if playing this game against other people will make it feel a little more competitive and keep me coming back for just one more game to shave off a second or two or maybe to score a few more points.
If you've not played in a high score club round before now, then now's the time to join in! Have a fun third round, everyone!