Mission Lost Control

Mission Lost Control is an N64 homebrew game by Team Ultra Rare released on 09 Dec 2021 for the 64brew game jam of that year. It’s a strategy game where you play as a robot that captures bases to build up an army of mini-bots and overtake enemy forces. It won 2nd place in the competition, fantastic!

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

Mission Lost Control story and gameplay

The story

There isn’t really much story to Mission Lost Control besides the opening and ending cutscenes. And on top of that they’re mute, so any sort of interpretation should be taken with a grain of salt.

Basically, there’s a blue dog-bot chilling in his base when suddenly a red planet (or a spaceship? I’m not sure) appears and he’s sucked into it. Pink fox-bot approaches behind a corner and challenges our blue hero.

It’s not really clear whether this is an invasion, a challenge or a simulation.

During the game, you fight through a series of levels in three different styles. First it’s a futuristic moon-base, then a red planet and finally a winter wonderland. Each one has its own theme music and obstacles.

Ending (Spoilers)

The game ends with Blue standing victorious over Pink, extending his arm in friendship and carrying her away into the distance. The mini-bots are overjoyed.

The gameplay

Playing Mission Lost Control is a bit hard to understand, but it’s really fun once you get a hold of it. The first level is a tutorial level with no offensive enemies so you can get used to the controls.

You play as what I call a Dog or Fox robot and your objective is to eliminate the others from the playing field. To do this, you have to capture, command and upgrade the bases placed around the map.

You can do some fighting yourself, but the fighting is a bit clumsy and not very efficient in terms of heath lost to damage done. After you die, you have to wait some time to respawn.

Bases are captured when you or a bot stand on top of it for a few seconds. First they turn neutral and then they become yours. If opposing factions have units on the base, the flag stays neutral.

Once the base is under your control, you can set orders and upgrades. The orders you can set are:

  • Defend (default): Bots will stay on their base of origin. They might wander nearby to attack units but not too far. They can recover health while waiting on base.
  • Attack: Bots will move to the nearest enemy base or enemy and attack them till either dies. If on a base, they will stay until it is captured.
  • Follow: Bots from this base will follow the protagonist and provide some muscle when capturing bases and fighting battles.

Upgrading takes some time to complete, during which your base cannot create bots, making it vulnerable to incoming enemies. If the base is captured while upgrading, the upgrade is cancelled. Again, there are three ways you can upgrade your base and each upgrade can only be done twice:

  • Speed: Your base spawns bots more quickly after they die.
  • Capacity: You can have more bots from this base active at the same time.
  • Defense: The base’s flag grows taller, making it take longer to capture.

Finally, there are these green crystals that start spawning a few levels into the game. When touched, they send an ‘attack’ to all the other players causing them to have distorted control for a few seconds. They can make you:

  • Jump continuously
  • Reverse controls
  • Can’t stop running
  • Flip the screen


The levels in Mission Lost Control are split up into three sections: Space station, Red planet and Winter Wonderland. Most of the stages are named after various space-related things like constellations, rovers and space phenomena, but others are just named after how the level is laid out.

  • Boot Camp – Tutorial level, get used to the controls
  • Taurus – The two enemies will be busy fighting each other. Take advantage of their mistakes!
  • Cassiopeia – A simple level, capture the bases in order.
  • Spacestation Five – There are five bases in the centre. Find the third base in your side to win an advantage.
  • Galaxy – Fairly straightforward, capture the bases in order.
  • Spirit – First red level. Keep an eye on where your enemies are so you can capture their bases while they’re distracted.
  • Orion – While everyone’s focused on the centre, take their starting positions. This is one of the harder levels.
  • Curiosity – Everyone starts in the centre. Stake your claim in the border as quickly as possible.
  • Triangle – Another hard level. Gather a strike force and attack while the other two are attacking each other.
  • Sojourner – Establish your corner, but be careful when others try to attack you since bases are far apart.
  • Cluster – A very hard level. Take the two closest bases and make sure to kill an enemy before they can give orders to their vast empire of bases.
  • Perseverance – There’s a lot of bases in this level. Capture as many as you can as quickly as you can.
  • Sagittarius – First snow level. This one is very easy: all players start on one side of the map, so you just need to run to the other side and capture all the neutral bases.
  • Cygnus – Fairly easy. Focus on the outer bases.
  • Triple Threat – You start in the middle. Try to get one of the outer bases while they’re distracted with attacking. Upgrading your bases’ defense is key in this stage.
  • Leo – Final level. You can either try to take over Green or take the two isolated neutral bases. Every time I defeated Green, one of Pink or Yellow defeated the other which made it into an impossible 3v6 battle so I would suggest going for the neutrals.

‘Control’ theme

I believe that there are two interpretations of ‘control’ in Mission Lost Control.

The first is the main focus of the game, controlling bases and commanding your minions. The second is the effect of the green crystals – literally messing with the control of your game.


Mission Lost Control was developed by Team Ultra Rare, who you might remember made Telocation Gemini for last year’s game jam.

  • Sapphiretactics – Art and graphics
  • JTN191 – Music and SFX
  • Lambert James D – Programming
  • Whatswithandy – Programming
  • Crashoveride – Special Thanks

Conclusion and review

Once again, Team Ultra Rare delivers us a great homebrewn N64 game. It does take a while to get used to the controls and strategies but once you do, it’s a lot of fun.

For a good offense, I like to upgrade speed and capacity on backline bases. Which comes first depends on its proximity to enemy bases. The hard part is that backline bases are usually very time-consuming to run back to, even more so if you have a green crystal effect.

Defensively, the strategy that I like to use is to capture a base, leave it on defense, wait for a bot to spawn and then upgrade the base’s capacity. That way it has a robot that can defend it from incoming bots yet still upgrade to having more. The problem is that if the bot is overwhelmed, it cannot be replaced until the upgrade is complete.

I think that the problem that I have is that I focus a bit too much on upgrading rather than using the baseline bases to run an offensive. I also never got the hang of having the bots follow me around since they don’t really get the chance to attack, only tank damage.

The game mechanic that I believe is missing is something to make a comeback. If one player controls over half of the bases on the map, it’s almost impossible for the other players to win. I’ve done it a few times, but I believe it is because the bases I owned had more upgrades than the CPU-controlled ones.

I haven’t had the chance to play much multi-player but it looks like just the 2-4-player levels from the main campaign but a lot harder.

The game was mostly glitch-free, the only two issues were that I could sometimes clip through some walls and the saving didn’t work on my Everdrive. This was a big pain since I had to stop playing after an hour on my first playthrough, but had to play the whole game over again to get footage of the last few levels. It wasn’t that bad since it’s such a fun game to play, but more of a logistical nuisance.

Because of this, I’ve played through Mission Lost Control about two and a half times, and had a lot of fun the whole time. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes strategy games and the N64.

Articles across the web

Mission Lost Control is a N64 homebrew game by Team Ultra Rare where you strategically control bases to spawn bots and conquer enemies. It won 2nd place in the 64brew game jam 2021. Congratulations!
Article published on N64 Squid


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