Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
A video game created by Epyx for the Commodore 64 and a few other contemporary systems. The resident Mad Scientist is plotting to blow up the world, and you play a secret agent who has to stop him. You do this by running and jumping through a large number of rooms to search the furniture in each. Hidden in the furniture are thirty-six punch cards; combining four of these will give you a letter of the nine-letter password you require to enter the mad scientist's lair.Of course, the rooms are also filled with laser-shooting robots, that disintegrate you at a touch. You didn't think a game by this name was going to be easy, did you?
Magic Countdown: In the first game, the clock counts forward to 6:00:00 until Doomsday Device activates, as well as advancing 10 minutes with each player death. In the sequel, the clock counts down, but there's a per-section countdown and a global countdown.
The Password Is Always Swordfish: The punch-cards always form a coherent nine-letter password such as "albatross" or "cormorant". Unfortunately, you need the punch cards themselves to enter the lair, so you can't really take advantage of this fact.
Unexplained Recovery: After disintegrating, no less. However, the clock advances by 10 minutes with each death.
Unwinnable: Alongside the aforementioned bug in the Atari 7800 version of the first game, there are many ways in the second game to get stuck, such as running out of robot-disabling or platform-moving items in a tower, preventing access to a passcode number needed to access the next tower, or accidentally blowing up a safe with a landmine, preventing you from completing the musical sequence to unlock the control room elevator.
Video Game Lives: You seem to have infinite lives, but you really have six hours before the bomb goes off, and each death moves the clock ten minutes closer to doomsday. (By the math, you can have no more than thirty-six lives in one game, but unless you can complete the game in less than ten minutes total, if you're on life #36 you've already lost the game.) When time is up, Elvin's maniacal laughter sounds and the screen fades to white.