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Mission Control

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Snake can always count on Mei Ling to save his hide again and again.

Ned: Hey, can I be your guy in the chair?
Peter: What?
Ned: You know how there's a guy, with the headset, telling the other guy where to go? Like... like if you were stuck in a burning building, I could tell you where to go, 'cause there'd be screens around me, I could swivel around them, 'cause I could be your guy in the chair!

A character or group of characters in headquarters who, rather than accompany the hero into the field, offers assistance with information and technology from the other end of a phone. Alternatively, a sapient AI computer that travels with him to give advice, but which is incapable of rendering assistance physically.

In the modern Internet of Things era, Mission Control can provide valuable field assistance by hacking into the local technology by remote to unlock doors, see the Big Bad base's security cameras, turn off the security cameras or use Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV's) and other digitally-controlled devices.

The opposite of his partner in the field in many respects. Most times, Mission Control is more intellectual than the heroes, being a planner and strategist rather than a doer. Mission Control prefers to sit back and plan, while the hero is brash and forward. If the hero is strong and invulnerable, Mission Control is weak and frail. Various other contrasts may also be built up: if the hero is the strong silent type, Mission Control will be cheerful and will crack jokes. This will often lead to some sort of friction between the two and Character Development as time goes on.

The defining characteristic is that the character provides banter, exposition, information and support, while the hero is still physically alone and isolated. Losing contact with Mission Control can be used as a plot element. Often the hero will mock his backup's unwillingness to risk it all in the field, and be punished when he loses their valuable help temporarily. He'll be all too glad when everything's back to normal, he's risking his neck and MC's back in his chair.

In some series, Mission Control makes up one half of a Spy Couple. If the hero is male, this character is often female, attractive, and in love with him. This type of portrayal is reminiscent of a fifties TV housewife. ("Stay here and mind the base, honey! And don't call unless it's important! Yes, yes, I'll bring back the macguffin; no need to nag.")

If a series with a Mission Control runs long enough, they will inevitably be forced into a truly threatening situation. The hero could be captured (see All Up to You), baddies could invade their HQ (a Die Hard scenario ensues), or someone could just catch them off duty. Either the hero will coach them, in a role reversal, or they'll be held captive as a hostage and the hero will have to do his own thinking. Once in a while this results in the death of Mission Control, either we see the death but the hero has no idea, or we and they hear/see it but can't stop it. This often sets up a Dead Sidekick, or if it's in Flash Back, a Dead Little Sister revenge arc. May also fall into A Death in the Limelight.

Sometimes, the bad guy will hack the communications and impersonate mission control, using voice filters and CGI to fool the hero into doing his bidding.

Mission Control has become increasingly common in video games, to put a face and voice on otherwise boring mission objectives and briefings. In such games, as in long-running series, there is roughly an 80% chance (higher in cynical games, lower in idealistic ones) that the Mission Control character will be killed, kidnapped, threatened, have their frequency hijacked by the Big Bad, or otherwise be rendered useless about halfway through the storyline.

Mission Control often overlaps with other character types by function or nature:

Contrast Sinister Surveillance, where the bad guys are watching your every move. Contrast and compare Mission Control Is Off Its Meds, where there's a voice, but it's misleading, hostile, insulting, or just insane. Missing Mission Control is a subtrope, which describes any situation where the Mission Control is killed, kidnapped, or otherwise incapacitated. And Mission Control Rejoiced occurs when the Mission Control starts celebrating the heroes' victory before the latter even return.

The sitcom version, where the voice on the other end of the earpiece is Playing Cyrano, is Earpiece Conversation.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Battle Spirits Brave, the two scientists Kenzo and Stella serve this position to the crew of the Beautiful Sophia. They're essentially informants. In Kenzo's case it's surprising, because he was one of the main heroes in the previous season, and has mostly retired from battling.
  • Deconstructed in Bleach. While the Mission Control guys work at full capacity during the Vandereich invasion, the sheer turmoil and chaos of the invasion is really making their leader (Akon from the Twelft Division) stretch his resources. And for worse, when the MC area is attacked, they're completely defenseless... because the attack comes from the inside, as they're either Brainwashed and Crazy or externally forced into attacking each other.
  • The Cool Boat, Ikaruga from Code Geass often performs this role, This is especially vital as Lelouch is a Frontline General and thus needs the logistical and tactical updates to change his strategies as needed.
  • Kiwi from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners serves as this within Maine's crew. While she'll go out into the field if needed, Kiwi's role as the crew's go-to netrunner relegates her mostly to a support role. She helps the crew by remotely disabling security, alerting them to threats, and gathering information through hacking.
  • This is Koshiro "Izzy" Izumi's role in Digimon Adventure 02, as he mostly stays in the computer room or gives them advice.
  • Ruru in Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu is in charge of directing Gaiking on the battlefield until he's promoted to Captain of the Daiku Maryu.
  • The GGG Main Order Room is this to the titular robot from GaoGaiGar, not only providing Guy with information but also with the occasional superweapon.
  • Since they can link up via their cyberbrains, various characters in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex serve this role at times, especially Techno Wizard Ishikawa and, even more so, Chief Aramaki (who got to display his calmness under fire when he was caught off duty).
  • In Guardian Fairy Michel, Biam often stays behind to pilot the Black Hammers' castle, and briefs them if something is going on in missions.
  • Shizuki from Hekikai no AiON takes this role whenever Seine needs advice or information through the use of mobile phones.
  • Despite being one of the series' strongest fighters, Saruhiko Fushimi from K often takes this role, as Scepter 4's hacker. He does it notably in the very beginning of the first season, and the Christmas mission in the second season, in which he (along with Enomoto) controls the security points and blockades within the tower. It's an important role, but it often leaves him aching for a fight.
  • The Long Arch crew in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. We also have the Numbers Cyborg Uno, who takes this role on the villain's side.
  • Mazinger Z: Kouji Kabuto and Sayaka Yumi were assisted by Prof. Yumi (Sayaka's father, who was the Older and Wiser The Mentor, The Professor and The Lab Rat) and Photonic Research Insitute's Bridge Bunnies, who gave them assistance during missions via communicators.
  • In My Hero Academia, after Ragdoll of the Wild Wild Pussycats has her Quirk stolen, which is essentially a Career-Ending Injury in this setting, she becomes her team's Mission Control so as to be able to continue helping her teammates.
  • Averted in Naruto. The Intelligence Division of the Shinobi Alliance army acts as this to help coordinate their attacks based on the info that pops up in the battlefield. It's not limited to one place, though. It's separated into at least 2-3 control positions, with the main one at their headquarters.
  • Yukina from Night Raid 1931 acts as Mission Control, coordinating movements in silence during spy missions with the Sakurai Organization. However, instead of communicating with wireless technology (which was not that advanced during the time period of the setting), she uses telepathy instead.
  • Matsu from Sekirei does this occasionally, providing intel and support for Minato. However, she is also capable of jumping into the fray and fighting, with a motorcycle and rocket launcher, if needed.
  • Soul Eater: This seems to be Yumi Azusa's main purpose, having been shown on several occasions to advise Shibusen people in the field, though she has an effective Weapon form which is used on occasion. Being clairvoyant and having awesome Death Note-style map-drawing skills helps.
  • In Tokyo Mew Mew, Ryou and Keiichirou send the Mew Mews to fight the aliens and the Chimera Anima while they stay behind at their secret lab in Café Mew Mew. Ryou sometimes goes to the action scene to provide support, but Keiichirou always sticks to watching the battles through a computer screen.
  • Most of the crew who stays back in the command room in Tomica Hyper Rescue Drive Head Kidou Kyuukyuu Keisatsu, including Commander Saionji and the two operators, Shinmon and Anzai. They of course are the ones making important decisions and launching the support vehicles to the scene, but aren't participants in the action.
  • The Pretenders in Transformers: Super-God Masterforce drifted into Mission Control territory when Character Focus shifted to the Headmaster Juniors, and completely became this when the Godmasters showed up.
  • BC and Magno from Vandread will often perform this role for the Dreads and Hibiki's Vanguard while fighting the Harvesters.
  • Two in X1999: for the Dragons of Heaven (those chosen to save the world), the crippled, blind dream seer Hinoto guides them, while for the Dragons of Earth (chosen to destroy the world), Hinoto's younger sister Kanoe guides them.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
  • Exiles: The Marvel superhero group always has one of these in their ranks. In Exiles, the Mission Control figure was the Timebroker, and then Dr. Heather Hudson. In New Exiles, the Mission Control character is Cat Pryde, an alternate reality version of the X-Man Shadowcat.
  • Global Frequency: Aleph was born to be the ultimate Mission Control; she's a "superprocessor" — someone who can "handle any number of separate input processes while performing multiple complex tasks and running deductive strings." A "Baddies Invade Base" moment happened in the original comic.
  • Green Lantern: As the liaison between his fellow Lanterns and their higher-ups, the Guardians of the Universe, the four-armed bug-headed alien Salaak fills this role for the Green Lantern Corps.
  • Identity Crisis (2004): Since the Crisis Crossover, The Calculator is the villain equivalent of Oracle.
  • JLA/Avengers: A truly awesome/terrifying variant occurs in the crossover, where Captain America, whose group-tactics abilities allow him to tell guys like Thor what to do in a fight, teams up with Martian Manhunter, who's a very powerful telepath.
  • Justice League of America: The Justice League has this as a rotating position known as monitor duty. Whoever is on monitor duty is suppose to sit in the monitor womb and watch all the news reports occurring over the world and coordinate different teams to different disasters. It is considered a very boring job, Batman tries to weasel out of it whenever he can, and Martian Manhunter often volunteers to do it because his telepathic abilities make the job easier.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: Dyrk Magz loses his magnetic powers in a fight with Mordu. However, he can't bring himself to stay in civilian life and comes back to work as Mission Control — though he did serve a crucial role in a battle with the Fatal Five.
    Brainiac 5: You forgot about Dyrk Magz, and all because he has no superpowers. And now — neither do you.
  • Lex: The action team is very strongly supported by a remote mission control hub and extra field assets if needed, even though they don't really need it because they're good at what they do.
  • Paperinik New Adventures: This role is fulfilled by One, the resident AI and genius loci of the Ducklair Tower, who serves as gadgeteer, information collector, physical base of operation and even chef. It could be said that the encounter with One is what brings Duck Avenger to the next level as a superhero.
  • Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man: NASA's personal who oversaw satellite Comlab's launch. Lex Luthor specificlly called them "Mission Control".
    Lex: It allows me to manipulate the signals reaching Comlab — substituting my commands for the electronic orders of mission control!
  • Ultimate Marvel: They are usually Nick Fury, Carol Danvers, and Monica Chang for The Ultimates, Charles Xavier for the Ultimate X Men, and Franklin Storm for the Ultimate Fantastic Four. Ultimate Spider-Man largely managed without one, but in the brief period that the Parker house became a foster home of sorts for teenage superheroes Aunt May stepped in to the role (yes, it's as comical as it sounds).
  • X-Men: Charles Xavier himself often acts like this for the team through Cerebro as alongside with keeping in contact with the team with Cerebro boosting his powers he's also able to provide support such as controlling others.

    Fan Works 
  • In Fate/Starry Night, Ritsuka is normally able to contact Chaldea for information and navigation. But having dreamed himself into another world, he has no ability to contact them, and they're only able to send him Jack with a package of Saint Quartz and tools.
  • The Substitute Ladybug: When Marinette gets a broken leg, she has to let someone else use the Ladybug Miraculous while she heals, but she doesn't want to do nothing — so she gives "Coccinelle" an earpiece and takes up the Snake Miraculous. With the Snake's ability to reset time over and over until they get it right, she's able to bring fights to a close in record (linear) time; after a dozen resets, she's basically directing the heroes' every move. The general public (and Hawkmoth) doesn't realise what's happening, though, and just assumes that Coccinelle is a particularly effective Ladybug holder; there's even speculation about whether she'll stay on.
  • Limitless Potential: Roll is eventually drafted as a temporary navigator for the Maverick Hunters, following a riot in their headquarters where they lost several of their members. She had earlier expressed interest in becoming one, wanting to do more than just work as a maid.
  • Both Mei and Red Alert serve as this in Transformers: MHA whenever the Heroes and the Autobots go out on missions.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In 99 River Street, Stan uses his position as dispatcher to gather address information for Ernie while keeping the cops off his friend's tail.
  • A good deal of Apollo 13 takes place in NASA's Houston mission control centre, and, as in the real event, the operators there were just as much heroes as the astronauts were. The recreation was so good that one of the consultants, a NASA employee, kept forgetting it was only a set and looking for the elevator at the end of the day to leave for home, just like another "real" day back in Houston.
  • in Boone: The Bounty Hunter, Kat and Denny guide Boone towards his targets and, later on, Jackson helps coach Boone through a fight against two opponents more skilled than him.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Jor-El's hologram takes on this role in Man of Steel to help Superman and Lois Lane escape from General Zod's ship. "Look to your right. Fire." "Move your head to the left." "Strike this panel."
    • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, this is Alfred's role for Batman, even going so far as remotely controlling the Batplane when needed.
    • The Suicide Squad: Waller's team at Belle Reeve prison is technically this, but rather than give support and advice, they're mostly there to kill anyone who tries to run. And half the island is blanketed in signal jammers anyway, so they're out of touch for most of the film. At the end, when the Squad decides to stop Starro against orders, one of Waller's subordinates knocks her out in the middle of her Villainous Breakdown, and then they immediately start giving the Squad important intelligence.
  • Iron Butterfly (1989) have Lin-Jian infiltrating enemy headquarters and his partner, Roxanne, serving as his eyes and ears after killing a mook in the surveillance room and helping Lin navigate via security cameras.
    Roxanne: [via earbuds] Two on your left! Another on your right! There's four behind that door!... [sees Lin-jian killing all the mooks on CCTV]… Area is cleared, now turn left to exit! There’s nobody on either side, proceed slowly!...
  • Merlin throughout Kingsman: The Secret Service, observing the progress of the Kingsman recruits through video feeds. Exemplified during the climax when his hacking helps to impede Valentine's progress and save Eggsy from enemy soldiers.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Jarvis, Iron Man's AI, would be this if he didn't have a certain amount of control over the suit himself.
    • Ned in Spider-Man: Homecoming is aware of this trope, referring to it as "the guy in a chair" and wanting to be it to Peter. He gets his wish during the climax, helping Peter out remotely due to the latter not having his advanced suit.
    • Avengers: Endgame: Natasha acts as the coordinator for the Avengers, receiving holo-calls from allies across the world and beyond as they respond to various emergencies. In fact, she, personally, is the only form of government we see at any point.
  • Luther Stickell from the Mission: Impossible Film Series, although he gets some action (some more about suspense than actual bullets flying) in each of the films. In Ghost Protocol, all four team members either discuss or are depicted on-screen as being in the Mission Control position.
  • Riley fulfills this role for Ben in National Treasure. He does this again for both Ben and Abigail in the second movie, and also gets a little more in-the-field time himself.
  • Mr. Universe in Serenity. He is captured and eventually killed by the Operative.
  • Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen:
    • NEST, a team of humans that coordinate the actions of the Autobots and assist them in combat. Their mission control, in turn, is the Pentagon.
    • And a more chilling version, Soundwave is this to the Decepticons by attaching himself to a Pentagon satellite.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men: First Class: When the proto X-Men clash against the Hellfire Club, Charles stays by the wreckage of the Blackbird and orders Raven to guard him. He's the only mutant who can restrain Sebastian Shaw (psychically or otherwise), so it's imperative for the mission that Xavier survives. He also gives instructions to Erik as the latter searches for their target.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: In The Rogue Cut, the older Professor X telepathically guides Magneto and Iceman through the mansion's secret corridors from the relative safety of the X-Jet.

  • Erek King from Animorphs found himself playing this role to the heroes on more than one occasion. See The Android and The Attack for the best examples.
  • Artemis Fowl has Foaly, the Techno Wizard of the Lower Elements Police, a centaur and a Non-Action Guy. He spends most of his time in his lab, helping the heroes from long-distance with any hacking needed.
  • Yuuji of Class F from Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts often does this. He often doesn't fight directly, since he plans his attacks beforehand and has his classmates do the bulk of the fighting, but he's no slouch himself, and when one rival class tries to sneak attack him, he beats them all up himself.
  • Domina: "Mary Christina," more commonly know as MC, who is also the Voice with an Internet Connection. She is available at all times for anyone in the city to call, and she will provide them as much help as she can. Normally people just talk with her specialized programs, but they can request to speak to the real MC if they wish. She handles everything from directions, to setting up job interviews, and even voting. The protagonists, who spend most of their time fighting to save the city from a supernatural Zombie Apocalypse, get to speak with the real MC almost exclusively, since they're too important to pawn off on programs. During the Rampage, she is able to guide Adam around the many obstacles he encounters. It is eventually revealed that she is an AI created by her "father" Isaac Clarke (a noted scientist) and her "mother" Mary Christina. This is also why she survived the Rampage, since the Song that turned the rest of the city into zombies was tuned to only affect humans.
  • The Thorn of Breland trilogy of Eberron novels (written by the setting's creator, Keith Baker) has Steel. A rather unimaginatively-named intelligent dagger that Thorn (the protagonist) carries with her. He's served with 50-odd agents of the Dark Lanterns (Breland's intelligence agency) and has a wealth of knowledge about politics, magic and numerous other fields that would be helpful to his wielder. He can also sense magical auras and make educated guesses at what specific spells the target might have around them. He can also sense when someone is spying on him and Thorn with divination magic and a simple set of touches can allow Thorn to communicate with him without anyone else noticing (Steel's own voice is telepathic and can only be heard by someone physically holding him).
  • A weird fantasy variant was used for a time in the Garrett, P.I. series, when the immobile Dead Man took psychic control of the parrot Mr. Big and used him as a remote-controlled spy and mouthpiece on some of Garrett's cases. Subverted at times because Garrett detests Mr. Big and isn't thrilled about being nagged at long-distance, while the Dead Man is never as forthcoming with information or advice as he could be.
  • Heroics: Tess Cassidy, who is identified as this by name and uses "Control" as her radio codename.
  • Hive Mind (2016): This is the job of the tactical and liaison teams. Liaison pulls up information from Hive records or other departments, which tactical takes, combines with information from the telepath and strike teams, and creates a plan of action for the strike team to execute.
  • In Okuyyuki, protagonist Reilly's Talking Weapon Audrey works like this for him, using her magic senses and telepathy to guide him through battles and give him better situational awareness.
  • In Dan Abnett's Ravenor trilogy, the titular Inquisitor regularly observes and coordinates his team from afar using his psychic powers. Sometimes he even does it while joining them in the field.
  • Rebuild World:
  • In Anne McCaffrey's The Ship Who... series, the brainship will serve as a mission control for their mobile "brawn" partner when they leave the confines of the ship.
  • In Stark's War, every soldier's Powered Armor is in constant communication with military command, meaning that officers can provide direct instructions to individual soldiers at any time. This is isn't a good thing, however, because the officers in question are all incompetent micromanagers who believe their "genius" plans can triumph over reality. Being ignored by mission control is a blessing, since it means you don't get chewed out "dangerous" departures from the battle plan like standing a meter away from the spot designated for you (even if the spot designated for you is under enemy fire).
  • A rather confusing example from Star Wars Legends: the Timothy Zahn Hand of Thrawn duology features some pirates whose Mission Control is referred to on the radio simply as "Control"... which one would assume is a callsign, but it later turns out that his actual name is Control.
  • In Victoria, protagonist John Rumford plays this role several times, naturally enough, after he becomes the Chief of Staff, directing overall operations while the field commanders command in the field. However, when he leads an expedition himself, as sometimes happens (for example, against Azania), others are this to him (e.g. Captain Patel of Military Intelligence during that expedition).
  • Salem from What Is This Black Magic You Call Science, who also qualifies under Mad Scientist, Deadpan Snarker, The Voice [ though his mugshot is revealed in Case 5] and Dr. Jerk.
  • One story in World War Z focuses on a downed pilot who is helped through Zombie-infested territory by a mysterious voice on her radio. Later it turns out her radio was broken the whole time, and her mission control was all in her head.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Marshall Flinkmann, of Alias, usually with any other agents who aren't in the field leaning over his shoulder giving advice.
  • Arrowverse:
    • Arrow: Felicity Smoak acts as Mission Control to Team Arrow. In Season 4 she's given the codename "Overwatch".
    • The Flash (2014): Dr Wells, Cisco and Caitlin act as mission control for Barry when he is in the field as the Flash. Cisco is the Gadgeteer Genius who provides tech solutions, Caitlin has the medical knowledge and Dr Wells is an Omnidisciplinary Scientist with a gift for strategy, so is usually the one coming up with the plans and advising Barry on how best to use his powers for the current situation.
      • The last few episodes of Season 1 see Iris join the STAR Labs team in guiding Barry in the field, and Season 2 introduces Jay Garrick and Earth-2 Harrison Wells who at different times fulfil the role that Eobard Thawne-as-Harrison Wells used to provide.
  • In the new series of Battlestar Galactica, Dualla usually functions as Mission Control for the battlestar's Vipers once they are deployed. The CAG might perform this function if he is in the Combat Information Centre, unless he himself is flying. Indeed, the entire CIC is basically Mission Control, as are the CICs of actual warships.
  • Charlie of Charlie's Angels; he never even makes an appearance until the movie adaptation (and even then his face isn't shown on screen).
  • In Come Back Mrs. Noah, many of the scenes on Earth centred around "mish-con" (which is populated entirely by middle-aged Stuffy Brits wearing ties, and beautiful women with SciFi Bob Haircuts wearing Space Clothes that show off their legs and cleavage) attempting to find a way to retrieve Britannia Seven. Or making excuses as to why they can't.
  • Topher's job in Dollhouse, although occasionally DeWitt steps into this role (although more as a strategist than a technical expert).
  • It is strongly implied that Robert Lansing's character (named Control, natch) on The Equalizer once filled this role while McCall was at The Agency, and still occasionally has an odd job for him.
  • Wash and Kaylee on Firefly both regularly performed this duty while the rest of the crew were out on jobs.
    • As well as River at the end of "Objects in Space".
  • Harry Flack was this to Carlton Dial in Fortune Hunter. As Dial travels the globe, Harry shares dangerous missions with Dial while linked to him by computer. He is in charge of the technological end, seeing and hearing everything Dial sees and hears, and providing the information not readily available to the average person.
  • The Game (2014): Daddy often instructs Bobby Waterhouse to take this role, Alan also serves as this sometimes.
  • Winston in Human Target, with an occasional assist from Guerrero. Also, in the episode "Breakout" when Chance is rescuing an engineer being held in an Evil Tower of Ominousness, the Corrupt Corporate Executive Arms Dealers have their own Mission Control, complete with wall of monitors, building-wide sensors, etc.
  • AI vehicle KITT served this role on Knight Rider, except when he'd go into Auto Cruise and drive himself to the rescue.
  • Walt in Monster Squad. However, in this series, Walt usually leaves mission control to join the monster heroes in the climactic battle.
  • Occasionally Director Jenny Shephard for Tony during the "Le Grenouille" arc of NCIS. Gibbs sometimes does this with his team as well. More often it's McGee operating out of either MTAC or the specially-outfitted van.
  • This is often Finch's job in Person of Interest, monitoring everything from The Library and keeping Reese updated through his earpiece.
    • Taken to extremes in the final episode of Season One when Reese and the POI are trapped inside a hotel with the FBI and a hit team of corrupt cops hunting them. Finch is trying to guide them to safety, Agent Donnelly is at Taskforce headquarters guiding an FBI SWAT team towards Reece, Detectives Carter and Fusco (unknown to each other) are sending Reese and Finch information to help them dodge the SWAT team, and a corrupt NYPD officer is helping the hit team avoid the cameras and FBI while guiding them towards Reese and the POI.
    • Inverted in the first-season episode "Super" when Reese, injured and in a wheelchair, acts as Mission Control and Finch is in the field.
  • Most seasons of Power Rangers and Super Sentai have a mentor figure who provides the technology or magic (depending on the season) for both the ranger suits and their powers, along with providing the various mechas, as well as advice/information on the current Monster of the Week.
  • Jess from Primeval. While everyone else is out there fighting dinosaurs, she's back at the ARC monitoring the anomaly, tracking the creatures, locking and unlocking doors, and saving everyone's butts.
  • Al (and, by one remove, Ziggy and the other project staff) on Quantum Leap.
  • The Sandman, "Playing House": In Jed's dream of being a superhero, he's assisted by his mother (actually a rogue dream entity in disguise) who advises him over an earpiece from behind a bank of computer screens back at his base.
  • On Scorpion, one of the team would regularly stay behind at the garage and act as this for the others on a job.
  • In Search, the hi tech detective agency's mission control was manned by an ensemble cast, while the role of field operative switched among a trio.
  • Chloe Sullivan from Smallville adopts the codename "Watchtower" in Season 6 and then on a permanent basis in Season 7 (though she'd been serving as Clark's Mission Control for quite some time before she became this for the rest of the JLA), and the official headquarters is introduced at the very end of Season 8. But as of Season 10, Tess Mercer is the new Watchtower.
  • Stargate SG-1: Stargate Command serves this function, primarily by marshalling resources and arranging backup when the heroes need it.
  • Starfleet Command never really had much of presence in Star Trek since the various series focus on the whole idea of a group of people cut off from ready assistance. This changes in Star Trek: Enterprise where human deep space travel is just starting, so there are many calls back home; we also get Admiral Forrest as the first Starfleet Command recurring character.
    • Also seen in Star Trek: Voyager but as a subversion. Project Pathfinder actually does very little to get Voyager home.
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look parodied this by having a James Bond-esque secret agent confronting his Wicked Cultured nemesis (with two guys in a van feeding him info)... not over a high-stakes card tournament but fair games like guessing a cake's weight or hitting a rat as it comes down a slide. They exchange witty one-liners all the while, until they realize they're both getting them from the van guys, who they then beat up.
  • The Time Tunnel had an underground, multistory complex, manned by two scientists and a general.
  • Ianto and Tosh from Torchwood are the Non-Action Guy and the techie respectively, so they usually stay in the Hub and give the others intel. They can fight, if necessary.
  • Nearly every Ultra Series has these. In older shows, they were usually Bridge Bunnies, but later series may also include The Strategist or The Captain alongside them to assess data gathered on the Monster of the Week and command the rest of the team on the field.
  • Wiseguy. Daniel Burroughs, AKA "Lifeguard", a legless Organized Crime Bureau agent who communicates mostly via telephone (posing as Vinnie's "Uncle Mike"). Vinnie calls him daily to pass on and receive information; he also has codewords for when he's in trouble.

  • David Bowie's "Space Oddity" has Ground Control communicating to Major Tom before blastoff, after, and before his spacewalk—where communication is suddenly cut off as Major Tom executes the spacewalk.

  • Used throughout 3-D Ultra Pinball to give player instructions.
  • Flight 2000 uses it to announce the game's Blastoff multiball mode.
    Mission Control: "All Systems Go... Commence Countdown!"
  • Also used in Space Shuttle as a fill-in for NASA.
    Mission Control: "Three, two, one... liftoff."
  • Some modes in Mustang (Stern) provide the player with an assistant and navigator named Tanner. He can be quite snarky at times, especially when you drain the ball before the race finishes.
    Tanner: "So uh, did you just get your license yesterday?"


    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • In The 7th Guest's sequel, The 11th Hour, you have what the manual describes (four times in a row, presumably due to a printing error) as "a tele-psychic friend" who directs you and can offer hints for the puzzles. In reality, the mysterious ally sending Carl Denning messages is Samantha, a female victim of the Stauf Mansion, one of the only survivors of it, who is watching his progress on a series of video feeds (actually the game The 7th Guest itself) to guide him to the final showdown with Stauf.
  • The Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) officer from the Ace Combat series gives out orders as well as reports the status of the player, but the only part seen of him is his plane in some cutscenes. Note that while he's sometimes late in reporting stuff (due to the nature of standardized sound clips), he's usually not annoying.
  • Air Force Delta series games also feature this. In Strike, it is done by Amelia, with no explanation as to where she is when acting as your Mission Control.
  • In Alpha Protocol, there are eight different characters who can fill this role. Three of them mandatory, the rest are optional. Each has their own perk that they confer on Mike when they act as The Handler (which changes, depending on how much they like or dislike him). They are:
  • In Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative, Nigel's job is to walk the player through testing protocol from his office. He doesn't help with test solving, beyond basic controls, but he'll often inform the player of goals that might not be obvious, particularly when outside testing areas.
  • All of the Armored Core games have had similar sounding female mission controls. Most play this trope straight, but a few turn out to be enemy pilots, psychotic A.I.s, or even the Big Bad. Tellingly, when you cross the Moral Event Horizon in 4A, your operator quits in disgust and digs out her old mecha from 4, to kill you.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum naturally has Oracle acting as this for Batman, but it also has the Joker acting as Mission Control for his minions (alerting them to when a goon with a vitals-reading "suicide collar" has been knocked out, and providing darkly-humorous commentary and/or threats).
    • The Riddler also hacks your communications to comment on your progress with regard to the various puzzles he's placed throughout Arkham.
  • The inherent trust a player has in their Mission Control is deconstructed in System Shock 2's Spiritual Successor, BioShock. When you arrive in Rapture, your first human contact is a voice over a service radio. Calling himself Atlas, he urges you to help him save his wife and child, who are trapped in a submarine. As you help him to accomplish this, it becomes clear that whoever Atlas is, he has something against Andrew Ryan, the founder of the underwater dystopia. When you finally reach the submarine, it explodes right in front of you, and it becomes personal for both you and Atlas. He then convinces you to track down and kill Andrew Ryan, offering his knowledge of the city to assist you in various tasks along the way. When you finally reach Ryan's office, however, you find out that you've been played. Atlas is actually Frank Fontaine, a New York mobster whom Ryan wanted dead because he cornered the market in ADAM, and was looking to seize control of Rapture for himself. Fontaine assumed the Atlas persona and enlisted the help of Drs. Yi Suchong and Bridgette Tenenbaum to genetically engineer Jack, the player character, then sent him up in a plane that he was to hijack, bringing him down to Rapture to destroy Ryan. Oh, and his "helpful" messages throughout the game were actually mind control using a trigger phrase. After he tries to eliminate all the evidence by having you killed, Tenenbaum becomes your new mission control. It's quite a doozy.
    • Also, in the BioShock 2 DLC 'Minerva's Den', you're a cyborg without a past, and a Morgan Freeman-esque scientist named Charles Milton Porter leads you through the eponymous area of the city on a chase to reactivate an AI. In the end, it turns out the player is Charles Milton Porter, turned into a Big Daddy, and the Charles Milton Porter that's been leading you was really the AI, trying to get its traumatized and amnesiac creator out of the city before it all falls apart.
    • In Episode 2 of Burial at Sea, Booker DeWitt (or at least a mental recreation of him) serves as this for Elizabeth.
  • In Blaster Master: Blasting Again, Roddy's sister Elfie serves this role, since Roddy's the one driving the Cool Car.
  • In BloodRayne 2, Rayne's Brimstone Society handler Severin fulfills this role throughout the game.
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 have Baseplate and Overlord respectively, and MW2 has General Shepherd for missions involving Task Force 141 or taking over in commanding Hunter Two-One. MW1 also has Big Bird in the Chernobyl flashback mission.
    • In the multiplayer, your team has an announcer. He announces friendly and enemy killstreaks ("ENEMY AC130 ABOVE!"), keeps track of the score and launches the killstreak rewards at the players' request.
  • Indie co-op stealth game Clandestine revolves around having one player being this as hacker character Martin Symborski. The whole interface is basically a computer with layouts of the place and access to security cameras to provide navigation instructions to spy character Katya Kozlova, while at the same time infiltrating computer systems to unlock doors, obtain security codes and gather intel.
  • Alissa in Comix Zone pops up at the corner of the screen every once in a while to describe the levels and warn Sketch of impending dangers.
  • Jessica, the liaison to Storm from Commando: Steel Disaster, who will radio in before and after stages to inform the hero of the next mission. And provide some commentary and bantering after a particularly difficult boss fight.
  • General Locke, the computers EVA and CABAL, and Lt. Eva, among others in the Command & Conquer games. Every game in the series (except for the first two and part of the Nod campaign in Firestorm) had at least one Mission Control character per side. In fact, most of the notable characters are in that role, unless they are special units like Tanya.
  • In Crackdown, The Agency's Director delivers info on the gang members, explains game mechanics to you, and admonishes you when kill innocent civilians and peacekeepers. At the end of the game however, it's revealed that The Agency has been Evil All Along, and the Director is the true Big Bad. And you helped them take over Pacific City. Whoops.
  • Inverted in the old interactive movie game Critical Path, where the player takes the role of Mission Control (in the form of a faceless AFGNCAAP at a security console) guiding the heroine Kat through a deathtrap-filled base.
  • Sergey Asimov in Crosscode monitors and assists the main character Lea through her entire journey, occasionally popping up to give advice and do some hacking.
  • In the Crusader games, while you're off committing crimes against humanity, your fellow Resistance members occasionally call you via datalink to suggest that you channel that aggression in a particular direction.
  • Dark Messiah has an interesting variation in that the mission control character is inside the player character, "fused to their spirit". Xana, the succubus who fills the role revels in the fact that no-one else can hear her.
  • In DC Universe Online, the oft-mentioned Oracle acts as Mission Control for hero players. If you're a villain, the Calculator serves as your main source of information. However, characters that sometimes fight for themselves such as Superman, Batman, Lex Luthor, or The Joker give the player information on specific missions.
  • The first thing that happens in The Dead Mines is the player character losing connection with the supervisor on the radio.
  • Deep Rock Galactic: Never referred to by anything else other than Mission Control, he directs you around important details, warns the team about enemy swarms, sends Supply Pods and mission-critical equipment to the dwarves, and gets utterly frustrated whenever you start misbehaving at the base between missions, never able to act on any threats to cut your paycheck even if you mess with the gravity controls and stuff the boarding pod full of barrels before heading to work drunk. The profile picture makes it uncertain if he's human or dwarf, however, though some of his dialogue implies he was a former Scout.
  • Various characters contact JC Denton from Deus Ex via his infolink augmentation, most notably Alex Jacobson, Daedalus and Tracer Tong.
  • Doom³: Sergeant Kelly is this for majority of Doom 3, until he becomes possessed by the demons. The expansion pack, Resurrection of Evil has Doctor McNeil in place of Sergeant Kelly.
    • The Game Mod for Deus Ex, The Nameless Mod has either Evil Invasion or That Guy filling in on this role, depending on your choice of a faction.
    • The mod 2027 has Titan and Xander filling in on this role for a good part of the game. At the last mission, the "leaders" of the receptive factions vying for your help will all fill in on this role.
  • Gyro Gearloose has this role in Donald Duck: Goin' Qu@ckers, keeping in contact with Donald and guiding him throughout the game.
  • Evil Genome have your AI liaison, Alfa, who provides you with briefing in-between levels.
  • Another inversion in The Experiment. You are the mission control. The entire high tech basement is strangely devoid of speakers, so you must communicate by moving cameras, opening/closing doors and lights — and don't believe you'll get bored, you have so much data to analyze to understand the situation and help the heroine that you'll ofter have to make HR wait for hours. Well... except if you are cheating and using passwords you're not supposed to have found yet. The concept's great, the reviews are not.
  • Commissioner Betters of F.E.A.R., who updates the Point Man's objectives and remotely hacks into the various computers encountered during the game in order to advance the plot or shed some light on the backstory. You only see him in person during your initial briefing at the beginning of the game, and lose contact with him during much of the Expansion Pack.
  • Phone Guy in Five Nights at Freddy's 1 and 2. He is a guy who calls you on the phone throughout the nights, explaining to you how to not die to the murderous animatronics. Not that you're really in any danger, at least according to him. The third game has Phone Dude, who fills a similar role but only for the first two nights, after which he is replaced by recordings of the Phone Guy. The fourth game, meanwhile, has no calls at all (though there is a toy phone in the room).
  • In one of the FNAF fangames, Fredbear and Friends, at one point Thomas gets in touch with a man on the phone who explains to him the patterns of the animatronics haunting the restaurant, though it's implied he's doing it more to prolong Thomas' suffering than to actually help him survive.
  • Freelancer does that all the time: in every side mission, Trent is always led by a commisionate officer, while NPCs like Junko Zane, President Jacobi and Casper Orillion show him the way on storyline missions.
  • Freespace pilots have the aptly named Terran Command to watch over them, provide status updates and warn them of new threats, although NPC pilots are quite capable of the latter themselves. note 
  • In the Galaxy Angel games, Tact, the first playable hero, is the Mission Control, along with his Number Two Lester Coolduras and the Bridge Bunnies, Almo and Coco. It's not until the Galaxy Angel II series, featuring a new PC working under Tact (and later Coco, who succeeds him as the ship's commander), that the player character actually gets to fight.
  • Gears of War has Anya providing Mission Control to Delta Squad. Marcus will actually address Anya as "Control", and during one chapter in Gears of War 2 he is surprised to hear Colonel Hoffman as Command has taken over from Anya due to the importance of his mission.
  • Parodied in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, where in one mission, Umberto, a guy that loves talking about having "balls" but never actually goes into action personally, tells Vic "I'll coordinate the attack from here," and Vic sarcastically replies, "Sure, big man... We really need a coordinator back here..."
  • In Half-Life 2, Alyx Vance temporarily serves as this while in Nova Prospekt, informing you of incoming soldiers and possible passages.
  • Halo:
    • Cortana is the franchise's main example, though it's somewhat subverted in that most of the time she's in the thick of things with his helmet. There is a mission in the back half of Halo: Combat Evolved where you have to drop Cortana off to do her own thing, and you have nobody prompting you to accomplish your objectives. It's a bit eerie, especially considering that the objectives are set by the Chief himself, who is clearly freaked out by the Flood.
    • Cortana returns as Chief's mission control for all of his missions in Halo 2, sharing the role with Commander Keyes and Sergeant Johnson in spots. Halo 2 notably included the Elite Arbiter as a player character for half of the campaign however, and so his mission control is usually the Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadumee (Who would often accompany the Arbiter into battle, only to run off, frustratingly stating that he'll follow when reinforcements arrive) and the Brute Chieftain Tartarus. The latter only serves this role for one mission, however before the Brutes betray the Elites on orders from the Covenant High Prophet of Truth, kicking off the Great Schism, setting up Tartarus as one of the series few Boss Battles.
    • When Cortana is absent for the first part of Halo 3, Commander Keyes and Sgt. Johnson often take this role up.
    • In Halo: Reach, Carter, Kat, Auntie Dot, and Colonel Holland all take up this role, though Carter and Kat are often fighting by your side as well, being Super Soldiers and all.
    • In Spartan Ops, Miller is your main mission handler, with Palmer and Roland sometimes joining in as well. Additionally, Dalton handles your air support and Glassman eventually provides some additional tech support.
  • Hiveswap: Jude acts as mission control for Joey at the start of the game, communicating with her over walkie-talkies. He guides her on what to do against the monster invasion, with the primary goal of getting her to the attic where she would be safe from them.
  • Homeworld:
  • Armor Games' Indestruc2Tank. Dirk Danger has some witty banter (and Unresolved Sexual Tension) with the Chief as she gives him his missions in Adventure Mode. She's kidnapped by General Betton, who uses her in a Hostage for MacGuffin to try to make Dirk give up the IndestructoTank. She's killed before Dirk can rescue her.
  • Infernal has the demonic Lucius Black, but he's rather grudging about it. He does provide information, but it's mixed with demands that Lennox hurry up in producing results, and he gets impatient with Lennox's cavalier style - when Lennox asks for a recap of something he brushed off earlier, Black just says "You should have paid attention" and hangs up.
  • The player in Invisible, Inc., in the identity of the Operator, is this; you direct your team through buildings and hack equipment with Incognita, Invisible's advanced computer system.
  • Iron Helix: Admiral Arboc of Starbase Amethyst is your liaison to Earth's military. She will provide you with relevant info throughout the game.
  • Jonathan Kane: The Protector have the hero, Jonathan, and his Old Flame Jennifer playing this role intermediately, depending on whom the player is controlling.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising:
    • Palutena serves as this to Pit. As well as providing information, they also engage in casual conversation (where she often teases Pit), and one early chapter has her attempt to intervene and destroy the Boss itself. Later on, Viridi is forced to take the role when Palutena is unable to, and the player can switch between them after beating the game. It's also heavily implied that the Mistress and Servant Boy relationship he has with these characters forms the bulk of any social life he has.
    Pit: Lady Palutena?
    Palutena:Yes Pit?
    Pit: Just us talking this time, kinda nice.
    Palutena: ...Pit, you poor guy. You really need to get some friends.
    • Chapter 23 has Pit separated from any form of Mission Control due to being a Womb Level inside Hades, whose "stomach of steel" hinders his communication. As a result, Pit attempts to serve as his own Mission Control, in dialogue which must be seen to be believed.
  • kill.switch is a fairly unique example, in that fairly early in the game (and alluded to in the manual), you discover that your Mission Control isn't speaking to you, but is in fact using your implants and tech to physically control you, forcing you to do things you would much rather not do. It's not until the last stage that the main character is actually in control of his actions.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Atton Rand plays Mission Control for the Jedi Exile for a little while in Peragus, before properly joining the team.
  • In the old FPS mecha game Krazy Ivan, your second-in-command Kataya serves this purpose in-between cutscenes to fill you in with objectives and hints, besides occasionally appearing onscreen in the middle of battles to converse with you - whether you want it or not.
  • For one portion of the game in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III, Rean, who normally joins his students navigating through the Einhell Fortress, ends up being the mission control for his students while they navigate through the fortress as a test for his students. And in Cold Steel IV, Tio and Elise end up being the mission control for the Thors II staff and students as they navigate the Einhell Fortress' Level X.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Sahasrahla telepathically contacts Link through special tiles to give hints or move the plot along.
    • Princess Zelda is a downplayed example in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. She contacts Link telepathically when he wakes up in the Shrine of Resurrection and points him in the basic direction of his quest while he's still on the Great Plateau. After that, though, she only contacts him to let him know when he's accomplished a major task (freeing all the Divine Beasts, recovering all his memories) or to warn him when a Blood Moon is rising. The spirits of the Champions are more straightforward examples in the dungeons, telling him what to do to free the Divine Beasts and giving him advice during the Blight Ganon fights. And Zelda ultimately tells Link what to do in the final battle against Dark Beast Ganon, though she's also actively helping in the fight herself.
  • The newer LEGO Adaptation Games tend to have a mission control character, particularly those based on comic book franchises. In particular, DC Superheroes 2 has Batman's butler Alfred (though his communication with the player is limited to text alerts) and Marvel Super Heroes has Breakout Character/Canon Immigrant Phil Coulson (voiced by the same actor who plays him in the MCU, no less).
  • Luigi's Mansion: Professor E. Gadd in all games, who communicates to Luigi to give advice and mission goals through the Game Boy Horror, Dual Scream, Virtual Boo, or whatever communication device that particular entry uses.
  • MadWorld starts with Jack getting Agent XIII as his mission control, advising him on how best to slaughter enemies with the weaponry he finds and occasionally yelling for him to move on. We later meet Amala, who's Jack's mission control in his other ear, his connection to the Chasers/Bureau of Justice. Jack soon breaks XIII's earpiece (though XIII is able to hijack Amala's communications to keep talking), and in the ending breaks Amala's as well to go against justice.
  • Jeff "Joker" Moreau in Mass Effect serves as this in several missions. The sequel also has EDI.
    • Played with for EDI in Mass Effect 3; she will act as this from the ship, or you can bring her with you instead (in her new Robot Girl form). Same goes for Liara.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda has SAM filling the role for Ryder, though Dr. Suvi Anwar also helps out as well. Don't bring Jaal along when going around Voeld, and he occasionally chimes in on missions via radio.
  • In Mechwarrior 4: Vengeance, we have Major Elise Rathburn, who serves in this capacity for Ian Dresari and his lance throughout the campaign. In 4: Mercenaries, instead there is "Castle", a Rasalhaguian woman (with the accent to boot) running briefings, debriefings, and in-mission intel for Spectre and his mercenary outfit.
  • Mega Man X:
    • X4 has Iris doing this for Zero and Double for X. They're also both fought as bosses. Iris fights Zero out of grief from him being forced to kill her brother Colonel, which ends in her own death. Double was in fact a double-agent working for Sigma who was supposed to get close to X, and in fact took great pleasure in revealing himself to X before trying to kill him.
    • Alia, from X5 onwards. X8 adds Layer and Pallette, and lets you play as all three once you meet the right requirements.
    • Nana from Mega Man X: Command Mission deserves a mention, too.
    • Ciel takes over this role in Mega Man Zero. Two more operators are added from Zero 2 onwards.
    • Prairie takes up this role for Aile/Vent in Mega Man ZX, and the Sage Trinity are such for Grey/Ashe in Advent, at least until Master Albert reveals he's the Big Bad, at which point Thomas and Mikhail retain the role for the rest of the game.
    • And in the Mega Man Battle Network series, Operators fill this roll for their Net Navis.
    • Roll Caskett in the Mega Man Legends games. In one Boss Battle, the enemy imitated her to try and confuse the hero. It failed.
  • Fiona Taylor from Mercenaries is your Mission Control/Exposition Fairy, giving information through the transceiver and e-mailing mission objectives.
  • All games in the Metal Gear series have varying numbers of people at the other end of the Codec/radio giving the player character (and the player) advice, ranging from plot and gameplay relevant to entertaining (if pointless) banter. The nature of the Mission Control members also varies, either directly associated with the character's mission (e.g. Campbell, Mei Ling, Zero), civilians or ex-servicemen who just want to help (e.g. Kasler, Miller, Nastasha), characters encountered during the game that give their frequency to the player (e.g. Hal, Pliskin, EVA), or agents of a sentient AI combined with the character's expectations.
  • Adam Malkovich in Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Other M, though mostly in the role of person giving orders, much to Samus's chagrin. He comes back for the same kind of role in Metroid Dread, but his communications are spoofed for most of the game by the Big Bad, and Adam himself only has a few lines at the beginning and end of the game.
  • In La-Mulana, Elder Xelpud plays this part to some degree, though he often just says silly things about video games instead of useful advice. In the original version, he provides the only Save Point in the game; in the remake, he sends Lemeza coincidentally-timed e-mails about things encountered in the ruins.
  • Nintendo Wars: Some characters in the Advance Wars series occasionally take this role, although they are usually also playable. The prime example would be Nell, who isn't playable in the campaigns (except for Dual Strike Hard Mode which allows you to play every CO you unlocked). In some campaigns just about every CO that isn't currently on the field is on Mission Control duty. There was, however, a designated "intel" role that a CO had to fill for their perspective country: Sami for Orange Star, Grit for Blue Moon, Sonja for Yellow Comet, and Jess for Green Earth. Lin falls in for Days of Ruin.
  • Inverted in Operator's Side, where the player takes the role of Mission Control (a faceless male), monitoring the heroine via the space station's security cameras, and guiding her via voice commands through the PS2's microphone.
  • PAYDAY: The Heist has Bain, the shadowy, Affably Evil Voice with an Internet Connection who assists the crew throughout each of their heists. In addition to providing information and co-ordinating the team, Bain also is the crew's resident Cracker, plans almost all of the heists the crew engages in, provides the crew with outside help, such as hiring escape drivers and helicopter pilots, and in PAYDAY 2, acts as the middleman between the crew and all of their potential clients.
  • Serena serves as the voice in your ear throughout The Persistence informing you what mission you need to go on to get the titular ship running again.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 3 features Mitsuru Kirijo as Mission Control, who passes the baton on to Fuuka Yamagishi when she joins the front lines.
    • Similarly, Persona 4 introduces Teddie as Mission Control, a role later taken up by Rise Kujikawa.
    • Persona 5 has Futaba Sakura, whose Guardian Entity serves as a mobile command center where she can feed you info on enemies and your current heist. In Persona 5 Royal, Goro Akechi temporarily acts as the Navi while exploring the new Palace alongside Joker and "Kasumi" actually Sumire Yoshizawa due to Futaba living a false life because of her being actualized by Takuto Maruki.
  • Turned on its head in Portal, where the Mission Control (GLaDOS) is also the Big Bad. See also Mission Control Is Off Its Meds.
  • [PROTOTYPE] has a variety of mission controllers for the military under the code name Red Crown. Prototype 2 replaces them with a lone stoic voice coordinating everything on its own. Unfortunately, the voices on the radio aren't any more prepared for the game's events than the men on the ground.
    Giant monster appears
    Soldier: "Holy fuck! RC, are you seein' this?!"
    Red Crown: "Stand by for orders."
    Soldier: "Stand by?! This thing's tearing up a whole city block!"
    Red Crown: "Stand by for orders."
    Soldier: "What am I supposed to do, Red Crown?!"
    Red Crown: "Identify classification of infected."
    Red Crown "...Stand by for orders."
  • Ford Cruller in Psychonauts serves as this for Raz despite being one of the most powerful psychics alive. As a result of a literally mind-shattering Battle in the Center of the Mind sometime in his past, he's no longer able to leave his sanctuary for long periods of time without losing himself in various multiple personalities.
  • Happens in Resident Evil 4, although about 1/3 through the game the Big Bad hijacks your frequency and you don't see your contact again until the very last cutscene.
  • The Radio Lady who speaks to you during the "Shoot-em-up" minigames of Rhythm Heaven. An unlockable file about her says that she's dedicated to the job and doesn't have much of a social life. She apparently joined the Marchers from the first main game later on.
  • Not long after getting involved with RuneScape's secret agent-esque Temple Knights of Saradomin, the player receives her or his own mission control in the form of a certain member of the order, who communicates with the player via a 'Communication Orb'.
  • NETRICSA (NEuroTRonically Implanted Combat Situation Analyzer), a computer in Sam's head, in the Serious Sam games.
  • Sly Cooper:
    • Bentley in many parts of the series explains what the mission is and what to do on the mission to the team (and the player) .
    • Sly does this when Bentley is in the field.
    • Even Murray acts as this when Sly and Bentley are on a joint mission.
  • Solatorobo has Voice with an Internet Connection Chocolat feeding Red vital mission points, maps, and statistics during most of the game. She ventures outside once or twice, but rarely.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In the Time Eater-battle from Sonic Generations, the two Tails-es enable everyone who you've freed during the game (plus rivals Shadow and Silver) to encourage the Sonics and warn them about incoming attacks. Unfortunately, they don't serve this purpose very well.note 
    • In Sonic Forces, Sonic's friends once again have the ability to talk to him, but while the Chaotix, Tails, Knuckles and Silver mostly just offer encouragement, Boss Banter and updates on their own respective missions, Amy is the one giving Sonic vital information about his assignment, such as the whereabouts of Shadow.
  • Space Station 13:
    • Several of the game's codebases feature a special role called a "Syndicate Communications Agent", which spawns in it's own area separate from the main station and has access to all the cameras and radio channels of the station. Should there be syndicate agents in the station, these players can get a direct and secret communication channel with them.
    • The clockwork cult has a special role called "The Eminence", which is a small orb of light, invisible to all, that can manifest anywhere with a camera. The Eminence monitors the station, coordinates the cult activities with it's big and eye-catching chat font, and has hacking abilities.
    • Blood cultists have access to this, although in a more eldritch themed way: Runes of the Spitit Realm can temporarily make their user astral project, which makes them able to see anywhere in the station, tag important objects and people for all cultists to see, and gives them a big chat font to make sure everyone reads the information they gather.
  • Splatoon:
  • Sam Fisher has a similar team working behind him in the Splinter Cell series. Col. Lambert eventually coordinates Fisher in person in Double Agent.
  • StarCraft II:
    • Wings of Liberty has two of these: the Adjutant AI and your bridge officer Matt Horner, who give you advice on running your base and troops and highlight your objectives, usually by scanning key points on the map.
    • In Heart of the Swarm, this role is taken by Izsha, a specialist zerg organism created with the express purpose of managing information and serving as your adjutant. Individual missions sometimes feature a second character (such as Zagara, Zurvan, or Stukov) who offers advice particular to that mission. Abathur takes this role for evolution missions.
  • Both the Rebels and the Imperials of Star Wars Battlefront (2015) get intel on how the status of the objective, the whereabouts of nearby Heroes and general advise through occasional communications with administrators. Both sides get intel from a variety of generic officers, but notably, Admiral Ackbar serves as part of mission control for the Rebels.
  • Keeper serves as this for the Imperial Agent's first mission on Hutta in Star Wars: The Old Republic. On subsequent missions, Watcher Two (who is later promoted to become the new Keeper) and occasionally Watcher Three take over this role.
  • The Operator from The Stretchers notifies the player characters whenever the medical center receives information about sightings of Dizzies, people who have been turned dizzy by the dastardly Captain Brains.
  • Strife features Blackbird, one of the first Voice with an Internet Connection characters in gaming.
  • The Suffering has Torque, a con, trying to survive on an prison-island full of monsters. He has the ghost of his dead wife trying to help from the other side in many varied ways. She wants him to survive the night but help others along the way. Other entities do similar, but with the hopes Torque will go evil. Torque will meet a cowering guard and his wife says "He needs help!" and a demon voice says "It will be easier if you kill him."
  • Superliminal: The entire procedure the player is undertaking is overseen by Dr. Glenn Pierce, of the Pierce Institute, as well as an artificial intelligence with a female voice. Unfortunately, after the initial observations, they lose track of where exactly the player is within their own mind, and can only occasionally chime in to offer advice.
  • Princess Peach in Super Mario Bros. 3, who manages to avoid getting kidnapped until after you finish World 7.
  • Super Smash Bros. invokes this trope with some of the characters who have Mission Controls in their own games. These instances are known as Smash Taunts:
  • System Shock:
    • The original game has Rebecca Lansing, a Counter-Terrorist consultant who helps you through the entire game.
    • System Shock 2 subverts it; the person you thought was helping you has been dead the whole time and the Rogue AI has just been using her voice to manipulate you.
    • There's also an in-universe example in one of the minigames that you can get from cyberspace, "Wing 0", which is basically a 3D space shooter.
  • The Administrator of Team Fortress 2 does little more than sit behind a microphone and announces the progression of the mission, revel in bloodshed, or berate the classes for their ineptitude. The same woman gives orders to both sides of the fight.
  • There Came an Echo does this differently in that you play as the Mission Control, thanks to the game's use of voice command. Val walks you through some of it and provides commentary, but you're the one calling the shots.
  • In the creepiest parts of Thief: The Dark Project and Thief: Deadly Shadows, Garrett seems to always have a friendly ghost to help him... and make the mission longer.
  • In Touhou Chireiden ~ Subterranean Animism, various youkai do this via magic to coach Reimu and Marisa through the Underworld. They influence the player characters' ammo/bombs, cutscenes, and the spellcards Satori uses in her boss battle.
  • Vermintide II: Your driver Olesya from the first game reveals herself as a wizard and starts assigning quests, providing exposition, and magically speaking to the heroes in the field. Lampshaded in the prologue when Markus is startled to start hearing her voice in his head.
  • Warframe:
    • The primary Mission Control of the game is the Lotus, a strange woman who views the Tenno as her children, and coordinates all their missions across the Origin System. After the Lotus is seduced by Ballas and embraces her life as a Sentient again, she is replaced by Cephalon Ordis, who uses a glitchy recording of the Lotus to play the role. Following The New War, she returns to the role, either under the guise of Natah, Margulis, or the Lotus once more depending on the player's choice.
    • During Empyrean missions, the Railjack's command Cephalon, Cy, issues the orders. For mission types such as Spy that have identical objectives to regular missions, he temporarily hands the reins back to the Lotus once you board the enemy ship.
    • In the Fortuna expansion, Eudico is your contact with Solaris United, and she handles all your missions on the Orb Vallis.
    • On the Cambion Drift, the role is shared between Mother Entrati, who issues the bounties, and her Necraloid servants Loid and Otak, though the latter do the lion's share of the work.
    • In Disruption missions on Jupiter, you hack into the communications of Alad V, who inadvertently guides you through them. On other planets, Disruption missions are led by Little Duck of Fortuna.
  • In the Wing Commander series, most missions don't have any information more than what you get at the Mission Briefing before launching, but on occasion (particularly in the later games) the player receives information from their home base, directing them to another task while still in flight or informing them of any changes in the situation.
  • Colonel Sawyer in World in Conflict, except a few missions (where he is usually absent for one or another reason).
  • The first plot in X3: Terran Conflict has either the United Space Command's Commander Mark Jackson or the AGI Task Force's General Rai Ishiyama in this role, depending on the mission. A later plot, Operation Final Fury, has the Split warlord Fjuny t'Scct.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown features Central Officer Bradford, the player's Number Two, in this role, as he walks the player through the tutorial and offers commentary on new developments in the field. Dr. Vahlen and Dr. Shen occasionally chime in as well.
  • X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse: Magneto sets the Player Character on his mission and periodically communicates with him throughout the game.
  • In the game/fitness app/radio drama Zombies, Run! the role of Mission Control is usually served by Sam Yao, who is the first main character to speak in the game. Other characters occasionally take a turn in the comms shack when the plot calls for it, including Janine, Maxine, Nadia, and Jody.

    Web Animation 
  • In Red vs. Blue, Vic, who is with mission control, turns out to be mission control for both sides.

  • Jade from Agents of the Realm. She searches out the bleeds that endanger the girls and provides the Agents with information about their powers, their function and their enemies, especially Ruby.
  • Wrench from Antihero for Hire acts as this for Shadehawk. Though she gets her hands dirty on occasion, both online and in person.
  • Batman: Wayne Family Adventures: Played for Laughs. Barbara acts as the traditional Mission Control to the Batfamily as Oracle (providing offsite tech support and intel) but the scenarios seen in "Eyes and Ears" are comedic: she stops Damian from driving the Batmobile since he's too young, and when Tim and Stephanie wind up at the wrong bank, she points them to the one that's actually being robbed.
  • A magic variant in Champions of Far'aus used by all the deities, though mostly seen used by Leilusa and Hyperion.The two fill this role for the main group by watching and listening to them through mist like screens, and making their voices heard at the location people are at,or in their champions mind.The former can be heard by everyone present.
  • Homestuck
    • In a minor example, this is the role of any server player in Sburb, but they can also manipulate the client player's environment to some extent.
    • Feferi after her death and Aradia in dream bubbles are straight examples. They help organize the players and start the plans for fighting the main villains.
    • The Draconian Dignitary serves this purpose for Jack Noir, the Sovereign Slayer, but he does get his hands dirty occasionally, such as attacking Rose or stealing the MEOW code from Dave's room.
  • The Light Bearers from Tower of God. Their main job is to send floating sources of light out to the fighting forces, communicate with all team members and relay information.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: The secondary character cast consists almost entirely of that group, which are the couple that got the idea of the expedition in the first place, a couple of people they brought in for their expertise and someone who joined later so he could keep tabs on his two relatives among the crew members.

    Web Original 
  • In Chronicles of Syntax, Kelly (aka the Kelly Telly) acts this way for Sian and the rest of her team.
  • This is basically Shelton for the entire first Darwin's Soldiers RP. He never leaves the control room.
  • The Administrator of TV Tropes, as depicted in Echo Chamber, is only ever seen remotely, through a large monitor at the top of a room. From... wherever he is, he issues orders and ultimatums to the team creating his "Trope Of The Week" videos.
  • How to Hero discusses a superhero's need for this here.
  • Arra and Bren in Splinter Cell: Extinction. Bren can handle herself pretty well in combat, taking out a whole SWAT team that tried to ambush her in Episode 6.
  • Dragon of Worm often fills this role for the Protectorate, when she isn't kicking ass in her extremely sophisticated Powered Armor. It helps that she's an AI who can monitor the entire battlefield.
    • Tattletale occasionally acts in this capacity for the Undersiders and later the combined forces arrayed against Scion when she takes over Dragon's network after the latter is deactivated by Saint.

    Western Animation 
  • Avengers Assemble: In season 5, Shuri repeatedly has to serve as one for her brother, T'Challa. And she hates it.
  • Original Batman Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond serves as one to Terry, the current Batman. Bruce hangs back in the Batcave, using the Bat-Computer and the cameras in Terry's suit to help provide exposition and combat advice.
  • Bedtime Bear, Tenderheart, and Wish Bear assist the Five-Man Band through the Caring Tower in Care Bears: Unlock the Magic.
  • Carmen Sandiego has Player in this capacity, acting as tech support and intel guy for Carmen's team, overseeing all their missions remotely.
  • The Centsables: The Faceless human Buck much like a good guy version of Dr. Claw who helps out via long distance communications, forensic accounting, data-mining, and laboratory deductions.
  • Crystal Kane from Centurions. Hot scientist, and was pined after by womanizing Ace McCloud. Also had an impersonator moment, by her own clone.
  • In Clue Club, Dotty is relegated to the club's mission control on account of being the youngest since she's 13, but at least she makes the most of it since she's a whiz with the base's electronics and forensic equipment.
  • Jérémie from Code Lyoko; he has only been to Lyoko twice (plus a failed attempt to virtualize) and mostly just aids the others from the Supercomputer's console; he does still encounter danger in the real world from XANA's attacks, though.
  • Home base for Danger Mouse and Penfold is a mail kiosk on Baker Street in London's Mayfair district. Colonel K contacts them through video phone there although there is also a videophone in DM's car.
  • On Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines, the Vulture Squadron's home base is an aircraft hangar. This is where Klunk creates his inventions based on the latest (unworkable) plan to stop Yankee Doodle Pigeon.
  • Spoofed in Inspector Gadget: Gadget receives briefings of his missions from his boss hidden in mundane places with the Running Gag that the paper with the information would self-destruct (in a parody of Mission: Impossible) always falling into the chief. Played Straight with Dr. Claw who often oversees his minions' operations this way.
  • In later seasons, J'onn J'onnz takes on this role on Justice League, stationing himself in the Watchtower and coordinating efforts of the entire league. Overlapped with Warrior Therapist, as he tended to select team members who would learn An Aesop in the course of the mission. Eventually, Diana points out that the job has become his life and he hasn't actually gone planet-side in ages. He steps down to try and rediscover humanity, letting Mister Terrific take over coordination.
  • Wade Lode from Kim Possible. Only met Kim in person once during the first three seasons of the series, and was otherwise an Internet friend. Also had an impersonator moment. In the Uncanceled fourth season, he started appearing in person with some regularity (to Ron's initial startlement).
  • 'Berto on Max Steel. Also a Lab Rat, and had an impersonator moment.
  • Plastic Man, Penny, and Hula-Hula receive detailed information of every mission at the start of every episode given by their incredibly hot female boss on a screen. Plastic Man has a crush on her.
  • The Mayor on The Powerpuff Girls has a direct line to the girls from his office. He usually calls if it's serious, but once in awhile it'll be for something quite mundane, like opening a pickle jar.
  • The world headquarters of Tom Terrific and Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog is a treehouse. It is there that Tom monitors any villainous goings-on or plans the duo's adventures.
  • Top Cat does this for Yogi and co. in Yogi's Treasure Hunt briefing them about all the details known of the treasure they must hunt.
  • In the second season of Young Justice (2010), Mal Duncan seems to have taken on the role of mission control for the team. Sometimes others will step into the role for the episode, usually either Batman or later, Nightwing. By the 3rd season Batgirl has been crippled and assumed the role of Oracle, so she takes this spot naturally.

    Real Life 
  • The Trope Namer is RKA Mission Control Centernote , which oversaw Yuri Gagarin's flight into space.
  • The Trope Codifier is NASA's Mission Control Center located at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. It moved here from Virginia during the Gemini project. This concept has only grown more prominent as the emphasis of manned space exploration has shifted more towards scientific research. For example, the vast majority of the day-to-day operation of the systems on the International Space Station is conducted from the ground, leaving the crew members with more time to conduct science experiments.
    • Typifies the image of the Mission Controller as a somewhat nerdy engineer/scientist wearing a headset and surrounded by computer monitors (which it probably at least partially inspired). Something of a hybrid of the "single character" and "group of characters" types seen in fiction: while Mission Control consists of a large-ish room full of experts (backed up by an even larger room of other experts and a roomful of the original hardware designers), only one of them generally interacts with the orbiting crew directly (the Capsule Communicator or CAPCOM, who is traditionally an astronaut him/herself).
  • Emergency service operators are trained to advise callers over the phone, keeping them calm if possible, and directing them to avoid hazards, apply first aid, etc.


Video Example(s):


We Are Go For Launch

NASA Mission Control in Houston goes through final checks before handing off to Kennedy Space Center for launch countdown.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / MissionControl

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