Fission Failure 64

Fission Failure 64 is a Nintendo 64 homebrew game made by Vrgl117 Games released on 08 December 2021. In it, you play as an engineer in a nuclear power plant, trying to keep the place from blowing up. The game was made for the 2021 64brew Game jam.

You can download the ROM from the download page for this homebrew game by using the password ohnoitsabomb or see the source code on Github and download from Drive.

Fission Failure 64 story and gameplay


Welcome new team member!

The GreenGlo power plant is in dire need of your help!

Your team of brave scientists will be doing all the manual labor, but they need the reactor’s components to be set properly from the control room.

You will be in charge of three stations. Your team is counting on you! They face grave danger!

Fission Failure 64 has you play as a scientist who is in charge of manning the controls at a nuclear power plant. Your objective is to keep the power plant from having a meltdown.


This is where things get interesting. The game consists of three panels, each with a different set of controls. The game gives you a series of instructions and you need to go to the correct panel and perform the task.

This is how the controls are distributed:

  • Left panel
    • EMF sliders
    • Compass
    • AZ-5
  • Central panel
    • Control rods
    • Lights
    • Pressurizer
  • Right panel
    • Turbines
    • Pumps
    • Telephone

You’re taught how to use each one of these during the tutorial, but not all are available from the very beginning. The idea is that for each panel you should be holding the controller with different hands. For example, the left panel is done holding the left and middle prongs, the central control panel uses the left and right prong and the panel on the right uses middle and right.

Most of them are explained fairly straightforwardly in the tutorial except for two: the EMF sliders and the telephone. The sliders add a different amount per notch for each slider which really makes it quite nerve-wracking to try to fix:

  • -5 hz
  • +25 hz
  • -50 hz
  • +100 hz

The telephone call doesn’t appear until later in the game, but thankfully you can pause the game to memorise it and then resume to dial it in.

The Geiger counter on the left increases as time passes but decreases every time you complete a task. If it rises too high, the nuclear power station goes BOOM and you lose!

‘Control’ theme

The game was originally going to be about an aircraft control tower, but that was going to be a bit limited as to the sort of things you could control. They then took inspiration from one of the members’ hometown which is next to a nuclear power plant and decided to change the setting.

Besides that, there is the theme of having to use all three of the controller’s prongs to perform each of the instructions.


Team Vrgl117 made Fission Failure 64, which consists of:

  • Victor – Code
  • Isabel – Code
  • Ealdeguer – Audio
  • Jphosho – Artist

Conclusion and review

Fission Failure 64 is what I would call a ‘real’ Simon Says game. I don’t mean something like Simon 64 which is a colour memory game, but rather like the real life Simon Says game where a leader gives you a simple task and you have to complete it as soon as possible. It’s not something you get to see every day, which is a nice breath of fresh air.

The first couple of times I played through the game it was a little bit confusing, mostly because you need to memorise what all the different controls are called and where they are located. Also those EMF sliders really take a while to get a hang of.

I really like the different panic levels that there are where the scientists get progressively more injured and mutated before the power plant explodes. Unfortunately you’ll be too busy just trying to keep up with the instructions to pay much attention to it.

As you score more points, you start having to complete two tasks at once, and you get some more complicated tasks like the telephone call or the AZ-5 button. This helps to keep things interesting as once you get the hang of things, it can be quite easy to keep the Geiger counter low.

Overall the game is quite fun to play. The panic the timer, the music and the threat of nuclear annihilation cause really keeps you on edge though – not for the faint of heart!

Articles across the web

Fission Failure 64 is a homebrew game for the N64 where you play as a scientist in a nuclear power plant keeping the place from exploding.
Article published on N64 Squid


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