Remembering The Lost Mirror’s Edge Games

Ledge vaults, wall running, and rooftop leaps—all these may be moves that are second nature to seasoned parkour practitioners. Yet it was only in 2008 that these superhuman manoeuvres were translated to a little game called Mirror’s Edge, one that truly embodied the physicality of such movements. As Faith Connors you’d sprint, leap and roll across walls, rooftops and concrete, leaving scuff marks in an environment bleached in white, with climbable structures starkly contrasted in red and orange. This fixation on movement, coupled with the aesthetics of its pristine, post-dystopian city, turned the game into a cult hit, which inspired other parkour-like titles like Dying Light and Brink. With this success also came Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, a reboot of the original Mirror’s Edge but with much more clutter: a recycled tale about betrayal, multiple side quests, and an unnecessary skill tree.

But Mirror’s Edge also had two other spin-offs that were less heard of: a prequel to the game also titled Mirror’s Edge in 2010, released on iOS devices and Windows phones (remember those?), as well as a 2D web browser game called Mirror’s Edge 2D back in 2009. Both games are not available to play anymore—Mirror’s Edge Mobile was removed from the app store some years ago, and even if you can get hold of the app, it’s not compatible with newer iOS models. And with the demise of Adobe Flash, Mirror’s Edge 2D has also been lost to the sands of time, unless you’re able to wrangle together a solution through a software called Flashpoint (you can also try this link as salvaged by the Internet Archive, although it doesn’t work quite well).

Like the original Mirror’s Edge, these two games were also about the fluidity of movement, with Faith climbing and somersaulting on skyscrapers across levels. Mirror’s Edge Mobile, in particular, saw Faith traversing rooftops and ziplines in a 2.5D replica of the unnamed city. It’s essentially the Mirror’s Edge experience translated to mobile: Faith has to avoid various obstacles—typically pipes and coolers highlighted in Mirror’s Edge’s tell-tale bright red hue—and maintain momentum by leaping over or sliding underneath them. Wall-running, too, is par for the course, and later levels even have Kruger Security goons attempting to slow you down. It’s a pretty faithful (pun unintended) reinterpretation of the original game minus the first-person parkour—and it’s no easier too, complete with puzzles and dexterous movements that demand to be mastered if the player wishes to complete the levels.

Then there’s Mirror’s Edge 2D, which looked markedly different from other iterations. For one thing, Mirror’s Edge 2D only has three levels, looks much more rudimentary and pared down—perhaps due to technical limitations, while resembling more of a traditional platformer instead. Faith had to collect floating Mirror’s Edge icons, bags and folders found on streets and within buildings, and the moves she could pull off were also more straightforward. Traversal involved leaping from one ledge to another, including performing tight wall hops and climbing on walls. Speed and momentum also seemed less of a factor here, even though the game did come with a time trial mode, with an emphasis on completing levels as swiftly as possible.

What a pity it is, then, that these two games are now largely unavailable to play for most players, unless you’re ready to dive into the murky viscera of games emulation, are blessed with some form of technical wizardry, or simply in possession of an old, functioning iOS device or Windows phone. Despite their relative obscurity, these games are still a crucial piece of one of the medium’s most overlooked series, an important part of gaming history that shouldn't have been lost to the ether.

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