Mission Mainframe

Published in games on June 10th 2009

This article has been revived from the older incarnation of this blog, click here for more information.

Mission Mainframe Start Up

In addition to the game Kareltima III which I wrote about earlier, I also used to play another rogue like dos game called Mission Mainframe. Unlike Kareltima however this game has a very little written about it online and even when searching for the game developers Jerry Plemons & Brian Shankman you get very little back other than the connection with this game. The game itself is pretty old however the exact date for the version I own is 1987. My copy is version 3.2 compiled on the 29th of August 1987 and I believe this was the last version however am unable to confirm as the only place where this dos game can be downloaded1 (other than here now): home of the under dogs is down showing a 403 error2.

The above is the screen that confronts you when you boot up the program MISSION.exe which is the main game executable, there is also another two exe's BRIEF.exe and MISINDX.exe however I believe MISINDX to be something that BRIEF works with so its better to leave it alone. BRIEF.exe when run gives you a menu structure to browse through and read the background information on the games story and in-depth instructions on how to play the game. The graphics of the game are ascii in nature much like Karel3 and other rogue games of the time but not to the same degree of quality, with this said the game does have a lot of playability and I distinctly remember playing it for hours as a child.

The theme of Mission Mainframe is similar to that of The Wizard's Castle however instead of a castle your in a corporate building taken over by a malfunctioning mainframe, the aim of the game is to blast through the building level by level until you find the mainframe and win the game. Each time you play the game is different, beyond simply being able to choose your initial character from commando, secret agent, detective or private eye and setting up traits by roll of dice; each new game randomly builds up the map so no two games are the same.

Mission Mainframe Game Play

While I do have a soft spot for this game there are a few niggles which fixed, would have made it much better, for one the top down map becomes very similar between floors very quickly and while I know its more about imagination and gameplay than being told what things look like a bigger screen area like that in Karel3 would have been amazing. With that said the game has quite a few moments of greatness, especially with the amount of modification you can do to your character to better yourself within the game. A must play for those whom are into classic dos games, especially the early open source home brew section. I have made Mission Mainframe available to download below so more people can enjoy it as I have yet to find another working download location and I would hate for such a great game to be lost to time.

I have included everything in the download zip file that I found with my copy, the CHR files are save games and you can see the last time I played this was 1999 a good 10 years ago, I have left them in the zip so you can play with a working character. Feel free to comment below on the game or any others I should check out.

Download

Click here to download Mission Mainframe.


  1. You can also download this version or play it in your browser here ↩︎

  2. Looks like home of the underdogs url changed to homeoftheunderdogs.net ↩︎