Epyx returns on Wii, PSP, DS

System 3 prepping updates to California Games and Impossible Mission first, with more planned in the future; Last Ninja trilogy also on the way.

"Another visitor. Stay awhile. Stay forever!"

Those words, creepily emulated by a Commodore 64 running the game Impossible Mission, are a nostalgic touchstone for many a gamer. And the goosebumps those words might create are almost as readily replicated by the name of that game's publisher: Epyx. Those goosebumps might become a recurring problem soon, because System 3 (the development house that changed its name to Studio 3 and then back to System 3) is bringing back the Epyx name, as well as the Epyx games.

System 3 founder Mark Kale told GameSpot today that the company has secured the rights to the Epyx Games library and is looking to revamp it for today's systems. The first two projects on the company's slate are Impossible Mission and California Games.

This coming January, System 3 will release Impossible Mission for the PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS, with California Games arriving on both those systems in May. While the games will be remakes of the original titles, Kale promises that they won't be 3D.

"You gotta keep the gameplay mechanics the same or else it ceases to be the original game and you're only using the game brand to sell games," Kale said. "It ceases to be Impossible Mission or California Games or what have you. ... What we're doing is we're incorporating the original gameplay and mechanics and bringing the gameplay up to date."

Epyx games aren't the only retro titles under development at System 3. The company is also prepping a remake/compilation of its Last Ninja trilogy of Commodore 64 games for release on the PSP and DS in April of next year. Kale said he will preserve the isometric viewpoint of the game but will add more screens.

Kale described the games as "ideally suited" for handhelds, but that doesn't mean TV-tethered gamers are out of luck. Kale said California Games and Impossible Mission will also become available on the Wii roughly three weeks after the DS and PSP editions of the games hit shelves.

"The way the controllers work and the whole idea of it actually works a lot better than if it's on the PS3 or 360," Kale said, noting that System 3 will be big supporters of Nintendo's upcoming system.

More details about the games are expected to be released by the end of the Leipzig Games Conference, but Kale did drop a few tidbits about the titles. It seems California Games will be a combo game. Kale said it will have unlockable features including fellow Epyx titles Winter Games and Summer Games.

As for Impossible Mission, Kale did confirm that the infamous computerized invitation to "Stay forever!" is already included in the game, and System 3 is even using the original animation for the main character. However, players will be traversing updated backgrounds and will be able to choose from newly created main characters as well, including a female agent and an android.

While emulated versions of the original Impossible Mission and California Games aren't currently planned to be included in either remake, Kale said the team would examine the possibility, "time permitting."

As for how System 3 will make use of the Epyx brand beyond its initial wave of titles, don't expect a cheaply emulated compilation of games anytime soon. Kale said he doesn't think that's the right approach to take with old games, so the studio will likely continue to single out the publisher's highlights and give them remakes that preserve the gameplay.

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111 comments
ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

its been exactly four years since this announcement and.....nothing.

garey017
garey017

Where does it say they won't be released in the U.S.?

gamefreak1972
gamefreak1972

OMG....no...oh this sucks!! I saw The Last Ninja and Impossible Mission mentioned in Retro Gamer..I was sooooo excited! Two of my favorite games ever on the C64, being remade for DS/PSP! I miss my C64: these games, Jumpman, Zork, the Apshai series, WAsteland, The Ultima games, M.U.L.E., Castle Wolfenstein, Jet Set Willy, Elvira... So, still doing a happy dance, I come to my PC, and find...that...there is NO planned release for the USA. :( NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! *sobs*

Romayo83
Romayo83

Cant wait, this has tobe one of the very first games i ever played for the PC. it was so hard but so fun!

Ices100
Ices100

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Ices100
Ices100

Nothing beats c64 game not even real people since the games were so damn hard to finish, but it make it worth you money at the time :). People today who just use cheat codes to run thru a game won't be doing that here, cause back in the day you had to use good ol skill...something that the new gamers are lacking. P.S Pitstop I&II have just been added to the list , and since c64 have over 10,000 games or so last time i checked they can keep adding them forever.

Solarsonic7
Solarsonic7

"Four words: PC, C64 emulator, originals." Doesn't this kind of make it you know, illegal?

cann0n2o
cann0n2o

great news hopefully wont mess them up kike street figher on the 360, i really hope the last ninja c64 music is inculed its some of the best!

Arnoud1976
Arnoud1976

WOW this is great news, i've played all those games to death. (yup that makes me old, i know) My last ninja 3 was busted so i never finished it, and now i finally get another chance. Hopefully they have also accuired the rights for a new last ninja, since number 4 was cancelled a few years ago. or how about the old Metal gears for the msx on the DS how cool would that be!! Are you listening Konami?? I know these were included in the metal gear solid 3 substance game but it would be soooo sweet on the DS. Top screen could be used for the communication and if you use the binoculars for example.

ReggieNametaker
ReggieNametaker

Im so happy to hear this :D The Last Ninja games were, and still are, some of the most beautifully crafted games ever. They were my favourite C64 games and always blew me away. I feel so happy System 3 are back together

NFunspoiler
NFunspoiler

I would like to see the game Chip's Challenge on the Virtual Consol... yes i know this was random.

Jofulikestofu
Jofulikestofu

sounds cool. i've no experience, except this story, with the game, but i'm interested

SnuffDaddyNZ
SnuffDaddyNZ

This is great. Now how about porting the Eye Of The Beholder series over to the DS?

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

lvlUNE3B
lvlUNE3B

Sorry, the game seems to be new for me.

japanesegoth
japanesegoth

lol! yes! i wanna play hackysack on my DS!

homsuplo75
homsuplo75

Impossible Mission!!!!! SWEEEEEET! I can't wait to pick up a copy of that game.... then again... it could turn out to be just another game that once held a certain glory but now is just happy thoughts...

relset
relset

good to hear that!!!

crills
crills

man this makes me happy to see a lot of people and companys are focusing on game play and not the graphics all these games were good and look how they still hold up to the current gen games it be nice to see some old favs remade like crono trigger or soul blazer or blasting master so these lost kiddies game see what good games are made of

buzzguy
buzzguy

I find it interesting that anyone under the age of 28 would be as fascinated by this story as me. My joystick for my old IBM 8088 clone was the XJ. Only piece of Epyx hardware, if you don't count the Atari Lynx. Man...I'm old....

t-bag11
t-bag11

played california games many a years ago. be fun to see how good i still am at it.

gonzalezj1
gonzalezj1

I wasted so much time with California Games for the NES. I never could figure out how to do well with the skateboarding, though.

zenion_butyl
zenion_butyl

very good news...I loved those games back in the day

twilight-X
twilight-X

more good news for me and Nintendo Wii

neoand12
neoand12

Sweet CG PSP would be great.

jaredgood1
jaredgood1

California Games. Nice. The surfing game is still the best surfing game done yet. Simple to pick up, hard to master, and fun.

buckybuckster
buckybuckster

Epyx...now there's a name I haven't heard of in a long time. They were one of the best producers of software in the early days of the pc, and they really hit their stride on the 64 (Commodore that is). Hopefully the games will be masterfully redone without screwing them up.

Sonicgod
Sonicgod

I remeber all these i got nowhere on all of them.

4esth
4esth

"I don.t understand why old games keep getting revamped " Then you're either too young or you got into gaming after these games. Otherwise the nostalgia and simplicity of the games would mean a lot more to you. I admit some do not need revival, but others such as SF2, and Galaga are pretty sweet on Live Marketplace. I'd probably buy Battletoads if that came out too ;)

gusthegoose08
gusthegoose08

I don.t understand why old games keep getting revamped

FriedConsole
FriedConsole

Loved California Games! I forgot about the UFO. Played the PC port and I remember the surfing was really hard. I mastered every game except for surfing. I have could even do the fancy moves on the hackey sack.

greeneuro
greeneuro

I'd like to play them good ol' Thalamus games on my PSP... Like Clyde Radcliff in Creatures i & ii... What about Citadel, one of my alltime favourites on the C64... Kickstart would be nice, just think of it racing down those tricky circuites and 2player modes, and the possibility to share tracks (if a track editor would be included) across the wifi connection... Man, I miss 'em those good ol' days n all that, but not the cassette deck though... Luckily I had a diskette station and a Final Cartridge 3 for my C64 system :)

morororo
morororo

Does anyone remember the boxed Last Ninja with ninja face mask and a plastic throwing star? Did they expect us to wear it while we played?

frankeyser
frankeyser

man i miss my comadore 64. i think when i go home tonight i am going to dig it out of my storage and plug that baby in. show my gf the glory of old school games.

Flamingpostman
Flamingpostman

WOO HOO. Man I love them games. I didn't realise there were so many old people like me here. All the kids must be wondering what the fuss is all about. "destroy him, my robots!" Impossible Mission was great. Platform action with puzzle solving. Trying to search an item before the robot came back and zapped you. So much cooler than it sounds. Californian Games, Surfing and the Bean Bag were my favourites but dont forget the halfpipe and BMX events. Take that Neversoft. Last Ninja. If you've never had to dip a chicken leg in opium to fed to a jaguar to knock him out then you've missed out. Truly ground breaking and the graphics were incredible. (at the time.)

jmac777
jmac777

What is Nintendo turning into the New "GUNIT">>>(For all You Rap Fans =)) They are taking old talents and revamping them into well sometimes good stuff sometimes bad stuff. PS Fifty has a GUNIT Nintendo DS....is the whole world going NINTECRAZY....HELPPPPPPPPPPP

drack48
drack48

I never had commadore 64 (too poor) but i would hold that last ninja box in the store and jsut stare at the back!

Flan_Man
Flan_Man

mkreku, they do need to bring back Wasteland. They need to bring back that kind of game and they need to do so soon.

mkreku
mkreku

The Last Ninja was groundbreaking when it came out. The Last Ninja 2 was bigger, better and prettier. But then Last Ninja 3 came.. it has fancier graphics, but was buggy, boring and not at all as good as the first two. I think it was made by another team of coders also. The Impossible Mission games. The first one is a true classic. Basic graphics (except the fantastic animations of the main character), really difficult puzzles and unforgiving gameplay. The second was, of course, bigger, had better graphics but lacked the amazing gameplay of the original. I wish they would remake the old Gold Box games too! I absolutely loved Pool of Radiance, although the series interface got better as the series continued to develop. So a Pool of Radiance with spoken dialogue, real 3D in the cities (it had step-by-step 3D), and the more advanced GUI of the later games would be awesome. Unfortunately, Wizards of the Coast would never allow a 2E game to be released today, so it would have to be converted into the crappy 3.5E instead. That's what kills the project. I would love a Wasteland on any of the handhelds too.. something which is equally doomed to never happen since InXile Entertainment owns the rights to that name now.

jakaloper
jakaloper

WOW!!! Can;t believe it! Epyx "is back"!! Sadly I only have a Ps2 And a 360... No plans to buy the Wii on a DS or PSP...

mr_squibble
mr_squibble

I'll be alright with a new California games as long as they don't license "The Thong Song" for it.

Stedmister
Stedmister

sweet, my mom got rid of my C64, last year, it was a sad day, but this news brings me hope that other c64 games will be released, come on Bubble Bobble and Carman Sandigo.

Stucazzo
Stucazzo

I would love to see G.I. Joe for the C64 come to the Wii. That was a great game (minus the load times) But people should stop counting VC games as launch games, or actual Wii library. They're nice for sure, but it's nothing new and you really could play them on your old system.

dwmorrow
dwmorrow

Ahh...Impossible Mission and Last Ninja. Brings back memories.

Seymour47
Seymour47

Karjah "holy crap. Is it just me or does it almost seem like half dead companies are now even rising from the grave and joining nintendo. I smell necromancy afoot." HA! Necromancy........outstanding. :)

GKBeetle
GKBeetle

I think I was too young to understand what to do in Impossible Mission the last time I played it. But I do remember that voice. Wow, that was cool! Anyway, this is definetly gonna be in my DS as soon as it comes out.

nix6six6
nix6six6

I'd love to see a new california games with some cool party/multiplayer games in it.

PMC11
PMC11

Cant they make their own games? im fed up or remakes or "classics", i want creativity in the games, especially with the psp theres hardly any original games worth playing.