Video Game: Codename: ICEMAN
aka: Codename Ice Man
Part adventure and part submarine simulator, this Sierra adventure from the mind of Police Quest creator Jim Walls puts you in the shoes of a multi-qualified Commander in the United States Navy, during the late stages of the Cold War. A hostage situation at the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia threatens to flare up into open conflict with the Soviet Union, enough to merit taking a Los Angeles class nuclear submarine from Hawaii into the Mediterranean, only to bring you (supposedly a part-time CIA operative or somesuch) ashore for a rescue operation.The story begins in Tahiti, where your character is taking a leisurely vacation. The game's copy-protection requires you to follow precise CPR procedures to rescue a drowning woman. You later meet and spend a night with a beautiful American woman who later turns out to be a CIA agent.You are called back from vacation to the Pentagon, where a briefing reveals the basic plot. You're then flown directly to Hawaii to board the submarine. The majority of the game is spent on the sub, and you'll be required to handle a great variety of functions on board:
- Piloting the submarine in real-time, as well as operating its sonar, weapons, and stealth systems.
- Plotting a suitable course from Hawaii to Gibraltar under the polar ice cap.
- Decoding several encrypted transmissions, another copy-protection for the game.
- Repairing a faulty torpedo tube, manufacturing replacement parts using pretty much every piece of machinery in the boat's engineering room.
Codename: Iceman provides examples of:
- CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable): You have to save a woman from the surf early on in the game, and you have to perform CPR. Afterwards she just stands up and walks it off.
- Cold War: It came out in 1989.
- Guide Dang It: Oh so very much. Simply put, everything in the game that can go wrong, will go wrong unless you explicitly check for it. For instance, the submarine will malfunction unless you, the captain, perform maintenance work. The worst example is that, at CIA headquarters, you are given the wrong ID card. Unless you double-check it, you'll get through half the game before noticing this mistake made it Unwinnable.
- Luck-Based Mission
- Save Scumming: If you save and load too many times during the dice minigame, your opponent refuses to abide cheaters, takes the important item you're supposed to win from him, and leaves, rendering the game unwinnable.
- Shown Their Work: This IS a Jim Walls game after all, expect realistic procedures.
- Text Parser
- Unexpected Genre Change: Several, the bulk of them occurring in the submarine: plot a course for the submarine, fight enemy submarines, pilot the submarine to dodge obstacles, and play Yahtzee with a crew member.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: If you refuse to help the arbitrary drowning woman at the beach, the game kills you for being an asshole.