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GoldenEye 007 Turns Ten

On Tuesday, August 26, 1997, Rare's GoldenEye 007 for N64 arrived in U.S. stores for $59.99-$69.99 (depending on where you shopped).  I don't know about you, but this game changed my life.  That's right.  I was interested in it because I am (obviously) a Bond fan, but I bought it because I loved what I played at E3 a few months earlier.  I had no idea the kind of social phenomenon it would become or how integral it would be to my college years.

It started out with the single-player mode.  The fine-tuned controls and intelligent level design merged with the exacting difficultly to create an engaging experience.  Despite the sadistic genius of the single-player game, everyone knows the true GoldenEye experience can only be found with a group of friends, an unnerving amount of trash talk, and late night gaming parties.

We started out playing the game as many did, on a big TV in the living room.  We rotated in different friends and learned the game, much as we did with the multiplayer modes in Star Fox 64 and Mario Kart 64 before it.  However, the more we played and the more skilled we got, something happened: two of us (myself and another) became so familiar with the map and weapon layouts that we were dominating since we could see where everyone was at one time and shoot them as they came around corners before they could react.  Just as this was starting to suck the fun out of the game, I came upon a mailbag thread on IGN64 (back in the days of Eye Tat Boy, Kabuki Joe, and Captain Insano) from someone with a novel way to enhance the game's replay value: use four monitors and make cardboard partitions to obscure other player's screen quadrants to replicate a PC FPS style experience (using the No Radar cheat obviously).

This changed everything.  The playing field became much more even and we were able to regularly introduce new friends to the game.  Team matches and 3v1 matches kept things interesting and the fun built on itself.  We made up our own match variants and rules to keep things interesting (for example, Oddjob mode: 3v1 mode where the lone player gets to use Oddjob since his small size makes him harder to hit, everyone has -10 health, and the lone player gets to choose the level and weapon; best two out of three).   Never in my life have I put more hours into a game than GoldenEye.  It became our social foci for pretty much my entire college career.  So many great friends, so many great times.  After college, the meetings were less frequent, but the game brought us back together.   These days, we all have separate lives and jobs and whatnot, but GoldenEye gets fired up a few times a year, and the good times return.

So, on this tenth anniversary, I tip my hat to the original crew at Rare for making one of the best games ever conceived, and to Nintendo for delaying the game enough times to let Rare make the best game it could.  Cheers.

Use this thread to share your fond memories of GoldenEye.  What game modes did you and your circle of friends create?  Any classic matches or favorite moments you'd like to relate?

Last edited by XLord007 (Aug 26, 2007)

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Re: GoldenEye 007 Turns Ten

Goldeneye will forever be the one game that I can say I'm truly GREAT at.  I've played tons and tons of multiplayer games over the years, but I'm actually kind of a mediocre gamer when it comes down to it; but Goldeneye was just something different.  Everything just clicked for me and those controls became completely second nature.  To this day I'm unable to play most first person shooters because their control schemes vary too far from the one that GE and Perfect Dark had.  Sadly, my gaming ability seems to have peaked with the N64 and I've never been able to dominate anything since... at all.  Oh well.

Anyway!  I have so many memories about that game from late high school... I remember going out and buying it because I'd gotten a dossier-looking mailing for it from Nintendo Power and I certainly hadn't bought an N64 game in quite some time.  I was a junior in high school and remember going to pick it up with a friend of mine after we got done walking door to door doing band fundraising.  It shifted all of our gaming time from Mario Kart 64 to it.  We played the hell out of that game, explored every little nook and cranny.  I remember the first time I got to the Egyptian level at about 3am in an overnight party; only my best buddy was still up and awake and watched every effort I made in making it through the area where you have to walk over the tiles in the right order.  It felt so Indiana Jones-ish.

Of course Goldeneye then led to Perfect Dark, which completely took over our time.  While it wasn't as world-changing as GE, we probably sank even more time into that one.  The ability to have bots in it evened the field and even those friends who weren't very good at the games could play.  But then... PD isn't what this thread is about.

So yeah... Goldeneye.  Certainly one of the most memorable games of all time for me - right place, right time, amazing level design, and a control scheme that's still better than that stupid left-stick-must-strafe-while-the-right-one-turns that prevents me from enjoying most FPSes these days.  Good times.  I wish they'd put it on the VC (and uh... clean up the frame rate.  wow, it's pretty bad).

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Re: GoldenEye 007 Turns Ten

Ironically enough, I recently bought avatar's N64 for the sole purpose of playing Goldeneye again. I had no idea that its 10th anniversary would be right around the corner! I've been enjoying the game immensely (again). I've been sandwiching some really awesome multiplayer with my friends between some intense single player missions this week.

I remember seeing 007 featured on the cover of a Nintendo Power, which was my first run-in with the game. I checked it out, and it looked cool. I was sick for a few days, and I asked my mom to go to the store and pick the game up for me with some of my paper route money so I'd have something to do while I was couch-ridden. I had never really played any FPS before besides the occasional PC match of Wolfenstein 3D or Doom, so Goldeneye was a rich, new world and the gameplay was very, very fresh for me.

I probably dumped about several hundred hours into the single player game, and more into the multiplayer. Goldeneye was videogames; like, that was it. There was no other game on my television for a long-ass time. I unlocked every single cheat by hand (even finishing the Facility on 00 Agent in less than 1:05), and after that I still went back to play again and again. When I sold off my N64 and games to make some money for a Gamecube, I saved my 007 cart for that "someday" when I would want to play it again. I put too much time and love into that game to sell it off, so I boxed it up and kept it in my closet until earlier this week.

Every FPS I have played since 007 has paled in comparison to Goldeneye. I haven't played Perfect Dark yet, but the closest thing is Timesplitters 2 (from Free Radical, comprised of some of the original Rare team that made 007), and even that is a stretch from 007's mechanics. The first level takes place on a dam in the snow, an obvious throwback to the Dam and Severnaya levels. It's a good spiritual successor to Goldeneye, but that's all it is; it is, by no means, a substitute.

So, yeah. I was going to spend my day playing N64 anyway today, but now I have more reason to do so. Awesome. Happy birthday, Goldeneye!

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Ha, I always dominated my friends at Goldeneye, with one exception.  The exception being grenade launchers in the temple, which for whatever reason that one high school group of buddies loved to do.  That was something I had never tried and with all those grenades flying everywhere it was a struggle just to stay alive.  Of course, I told them that if they changed it to anything else that I would win, and after a Rocket Launcher match in the Library or Stack, they got the picture.

My earliest memories of Goldeneye were when I was a teenager in a certain church group.  I always kicked their butts as well, but I remember that I had no knowledge of the cheat codes, which hit me like a ton of bricks when one of them unlocked DK mode in their own copy.  After that I dedicated myself to unlocking the cheats in each stage, which was like another experience on top of an already great experience.  Between doing that and beating every stage on 00 mode, I had a lot to do.  I eventually pulled it off (which the guy who had unlocked DK mode was burned about; sucker) and I even remember taking a picture of the completed cheat mode screen so I could send it to Nintendo Power.  I never got around to it though and I think I still have the Polaroid somewhere.

It's hard to say what the most memorable moment of Goldeneye was.  There were surely too many to count.  The sense of accomplishment from beating the various stages even on the toughest difficulties was matched only by the fun I had doing it, which is a tough balance for any game to strike.  Not forgetting the multitude of crazy multiplayer matches, which certainly established the N64 as the best console for get togethers.  I would have a similar love affair with Perfect Dark later on, though it would be more with the multiplayer aspect than the single player one.  I beat and unlocked a lot of stuff in the single player, but I was especially proud of getting through each multiplayer challenge all by myself.

I know that a lot of PC gamers like to say that Goldeneye was nothing special, but it definitely was.  The game remains perhaps the most perfect use of a movie license and one of the few FPS games that manages to appeal even to non-fans of the genre.  With regards to what Qui-Gon was saying, I've also become hopelessly accustomed to that style of control when it comes to console FPS games.  Why that other approach tends to be the default for controller configurations is beyond me.  Anyways, Goldeneye was clearly a landmark title and it came out at a time when games were still nothing but fun for me.  I'll always have fond memories.

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Re: GoldenEye 007 Turns Ten

One of my favorite things to do would be to turn on invisibility cheat, and make a line of remote mines, back off, and shoot the end of the line for a moving wall of explosion to take out a bunch of witless guards.

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Yep I remember the facility on 007 difficulty. The hours of cursing and gameovers. Ultimately followed by the truimphant cheers, followed by more cursing (this time in celebration), when I finally beat it.

My friends and I used to play multiplayer on stock of 100 with golden guns, hand grenades, and rocket launchers all day long after school.

Yea, after Golden Eye no other FPS on a console ever came close again. TimeSplitters 2 was very close but I didn't play that as much multiplayer as I did by myself trying to score all those Platinum medals.

I tried playing it once about a year ago but the choppy framerate kills my eyes now. Seems like that for most of the old 3D games I used to play; can't stand it now.

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Nightfire for PS2 isn't as awesome, but it makes a very strong effort.  You can feel the fun with half a dozen bots and everybody uses propelled explosives.  Feels like home.

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Zorbfish wrote:

TimeSplitters 2 was very close but I didn't play that as much multiplayer as I did by myself trying to score all those Platinum medals.

Having been a fan of the original Timesplitters, I spent a great deal of time on TS2 myself.  I had a lot of fun with that game.  Despite some frustration, particularly in the Atom Smasher and Factory levels (Return to Planet X was no picnic, but once you got past the turret part, you were home free), I actually managed to beat all the single player stages on hard.  I also picked up virtually every Platinum Medal in the challenges, except for the glitch that leaves you stuck with a gold in the one golem challenge.  Still, I beat the time required for a platinum.  The glitch just wouldn't let me have it. hmm

I never played Timesplitters 3 for two reasons.  One being the EA thing and the other being that I heard the difficulty was lessened compared to TS1 & 2.  Some of those stages were a nightmare, like the Mansion from TS1, but the sense of accomplishment made beating them on the maximum difficulty worthwhile.

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I never really liked TS1, but I bought TS2 and enjoyed parts of it.  The fluid, fully customizable  controls and the challenges were probably the best parts, but I didn't care for the cartoony art style and the level design in the single-player game left a lot to be desired.  If they could marry the control fluidity of TS2 with a better designed single-player game, I'd be there.

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My fondest memory of Goldeneye is when I would run through a stage to draw every enemy's attention and quickly run back to a safe spot and mow them down with gunfire. The game would slow to a crawl! I bet I could still have more fun playing it than any of the "sandbox" games made nowadays. Sometimes less is more.

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Megavolt wrote:

I never played Timesplitters 3 for two reasons.  One being the EA thing and the other being that I heard the difficulty was lessened compared to TS1 & 2.

I held out on that game for a year or two for similar reasons: because of EA and because they added blood. I was like, "Blood?! Nope, not Timesplitters. Crap." I ended up getting it off eBay for the PS2 last year for $4, and I'm really glad I did. It is easier, but the single player missions flow really well into one another, and that TS brand of humor is still there (and then some). Some of the levels are awesome, including one that takes place on a moving train (an obvious throwback) and one that takes place in a haunted mansion full of zombies.

XLord007 wrote:

I never really liked TS1, but I bought TS2 and enjoyed parts of it.  The fluid, fully customizable  controls and the challenges were probably the best parts, but I didn't care for the cartoony art style and the level design in the single-player game left a lot to be desired.  If they could marry the control fluidity of TS2 with a better designed single-player game, I'd be there.

You might dig Timesplitters: Future Perfect more than TS2.

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GE is one of the most special N64 games to me.  My first brush with the game was around its launch date, when I was just as I finished grade school (or something, its kind of blurry back then.)  I bought the game after playing it at a friend's house and loved it!  It was just such an awesome, immersive game.  But also, back then, I was really, REALLY bad at videogames, so I had a hard time in the game - both in 1P and multiplayer.  My friends would beat me relentlessly, and I swear, looking back, they really were not that good!  And the CPU missions, let me say, my heart was beating just to beat the game! (on S.Agent, though)  However, as I started playing on-and-off once the 'hype' in my area for the game died, I improved dramatically (both in GE and in general.)  I was able to get really, really good, thanks a lot to the 1P game, since the only MP was against my sister (who, strangely, was also pretty decent at the Goldeneye despite "hating videogames!")  Megavolt has this one down perfectly: "one of the few FPS games that manages to appeal even to non-fans of the genre."

However, the weird thing is not that I kept playing the game after it became unpopular - I mean I still play F-ZERO and the rest of my games to this day!  The weird thing is, in senior year of high school, OTHER people wanted to play Goldeneye!  This was 2003-2004, more then five years after the game was released!  My friends and I would get together almost DAILY to play videogames - which really just translated into "play Goldeneye."  And finally, my dominance showed :-)  So much that it forced another of my friend's, one who really didn't play the game before, to practice and become really good - so much so that I'd say he's (slightly) better then me now.  But yes, this is pretty much how we spent our junior and senior years of high school: getting together almost every day at my house to spend three to four hours gaming.  Yes, there was Perfect Dark, and yes, there was TimeSplitters (1 & more frequently 2), a LOT of The New Tetris, and some occassion Mario Kart 64, but it was really just Goldeneye, Goldeneye, Goldeneye!  And it never ceased to be anything less then incredible fun each time!  And each time was not a match, but a battle!!

Also, it was around this time that I finally got the hardest cheat in the game, at least two years after putting the 1P game to rest... 2x RC-P90s! (Invincibility was cake compared to this one, people!)  I also remember creating an Enemy Rockets 1P 00 Agent challenge.  I, think I got as far as the... Facility, with that.

Today I can't imagine a game like Goldeneye again, especially from a multiplayer standpoint.  4-player Smash Bros. DX (or whatever the Gamecube one is called) seems to be very popular and its a lot of fun whenever I play it at university or something, but such times are actually infrequent for me and since I don't own a Gamecube (though I have a ton of practice since one friend, the one who was my chief GE 'rival,' and I played the game a lot together), I don't feel any motivation to join in with the more 'serious' tournaments they advertise on SRK forums.  And I have a hard time finding anyone who wants to play any videogames, much less ones I really like, to become competitive again.  This is pretty sad in one respect, since I really love any competitive game, especially fighting games, and with the exception of my cousin, who I meet pretty infrequently, and one friend who I was rooming with this summer, I never had any serious fighting game rivalries.  As a result, I retreated to 1P games, first RPGs (when I was much younger and worse at games) and now shoot-em-ups (since I'm much better and have much less tolerance for RPGs.)  But despite the absolute perfectionist and very challenging mindset required to 1cc a shooting game, its nothing like the bloodthirsty viciousness needed for multiplayer games.  So for this reason, really, Goldeneye is a very special game for me.

Best memory:  Me playing a 1 vs 3 team battle.  I was at -10 health, against three fairly skilled people who were playing at normal healths (-1, -2, 0, that sort of thing.)  First to 20 in the Temple with Grenade launchers.  I ALMOST won - final score 19-20!  Easily one of my best multiplayer achievements in any game!

P.S.  I remember disliking Timesplitters, but I really like TS2 - I keep forgetting to buy a copy (maybe I'll do that now!)  The health bars, the weapons, its hard for anyone who played GE not to feel at least a little at home in the game - and the first level is a smash!  A year or two ago, my friend brought over TS3 and we played through the single player missions together.  Some of the writing was pretty funny, but I really didn't like the game overall.  But yea, TS2 is a wonderful game: on its own merits, its the FPS game I've liked the most since Perfect Dark (this may not be saying much, as its the ONLY FPS I've liked since PD, but by no means the only one I played.)  But the throw-backs to Goldeneye make it top-notch, for me!

Last edited by csK (Aug 27, 2007)

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Re: GoldenEye 007 Turns Ten

csK wrote:

But yea, TS2 is a wonderful game: on its own merits, its the FPS game I've liked the most since Perfect Dark (this may not be saying much, as its the ONLY FPS I've liked since PD, but by no means the only one I played.)  But the throw-backs to Goldeneye make it top-notch, for me!

I think the only FPS I really liked since Perfect Dark was XIII.  It got slammed by the critics and, in all fairness, the control needed some work, but the art, story, and music were all fantastic.  The game ends with a cliffhanger, but sadly there will probably never be a sequel since it sold terribly.  If you check it out, go with the Xbox version as the PS2 version doesn't run well (I'm not sure about the Cube one).

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There's too much to say of praise to GoldenEye. Too many rich memories. It's a modern day best game of all time contender without much doubt that really has yet to be surpassed. It was such a well-executed title for a console game that really not only turned console FPS upsidedown, but imposed a standard on everything that was to be released ahead of it. A standard on the very gameplay that its own staffers couldn't quite mimick with future titles and multiplayer gaming on consoles.

I, too, was obsessed with the TimeSplitters series, and believed 2 was the peak of feeling like GE and PD. Sadly, the single player game ended up feeling too scripted, often flat especially beyond the first few wonderful stages. Future Perfect was entirely disappointing and I'll have to blame EA for the rushed feel of the heavily railed one-player. I also greatly opposed FR agreeing to add the blood as the series was always meant to be light-hearted, wacky, goofy FPS which was always shadowing its GoldenEye father.

While GoldenEye still feels fresh and unique today, Perfect Dark hoped to follow but fell down in places (storywise; after the Area 51 stages, specifically) a bit in maybe trying too hard(ware)? If Rare could at least fix some of the framerate problems and make the hi-res mode playable, Perfect Dark could be an outstanding title.

It's a dream to see GoldenEye re-released on VC as well as PD with the then hardware limitations patched up. I'd gladly pay $20 (or maybe higher) for each if it means ramping over some legal hurdles but only if the hardware problems are balanced (framerates, mainly).

I'll never forget how long it took to complete Aztec on Secret Agent. Ooof. Or the many, many hours spent exploring the "beta" artifacts phenomona.

Last edited by XISMZERO (Aug 30, 2007)

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Re: GoldenEye 007 Turns Ten

Well, it's August 26th again. Happy birthday, 007! I will celebrate by playing the hell out of you tonight.

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Shame that XBL version got binned.

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I while back I was reading a Game Informer at my neighbor's house (it really iritates me how EB tries to shove getting a subsription to this down your throat when you get a new Edge card) and Goldeneye was in their "what was the big deal" feature. They pretty much took a hammer to the game saying it had nothing on games today. Uh... I think they really missed the freakin point.

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The hours spent playing with my brothers on summer vacations of doing nothing but lacing the large bunker room with proximity mines, setting up the perfect undetectable trap, laying in the perfect spot in the snow, all pricless.

We used to play License to Kill mode (Golden Gun mode but without the golden gun).  We would play Data Core (the top half of one of the maps only), Facility, Bunker for hours on end.  The frustration in people picking the tiny woman moonraker, who's so low to the ground she's hard to hit up close.  The frustration of anyone playing any of the moonraker elite models, because they move so fast!  The arm-punching annoyance of having someone watch your quadrant on the TV and shoot you before you turn around the corner, which usually yielded a scream of "You cheap f---".  So entertaining it's ridiculous.  I remember the weeks I spent with my N64 on one TV  and the Half-Life map editor on my mnonitor mapping out the Data Core map in the HL Map Editor step-by-step, tile-by-tile.  It was one of the most amazing things I ever did, and then we played that for months and months.  I think we played HL more than we played Goldeneye, but Goldeneye was so amazing for its time -- nothing compared.

On a side note I would put Blast Corps up there on the list of most amazing N64 games, but in the singleplayer aspect.  Man that game was hardcore.

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jb wrote:

On a side note I would put Blast Corps up there on the list of most amazing N64 games, but in the singleplayer aspect.  Man that game was hardcore.

Yes, it certainly was.  I remember the first time I got a platinum medal in Blast Corps and nearly flew into an uncontrollable rage... I had spent weeks getting every damn gold medal and the thought of going back for more punishment was just too much.  Although I loved it at the time, I don't think I could play a game that hardcore again.  The only game I've played seriously since BC that has a similar level of insanity is the original MSR for DC (before Microsoft forced Bizarre to "mainstream" the series into PGR).


As for GoldenEye, my friends and I whipped it out this past weekend.  It may not look so hot when stretched to fit his HDTV, but the gameplay's still golden through and through.

Last edited by XLord007 (Aug 26, 2008)

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Blast Corps. is a very cool little game - very unique.  I really enjoyed the music of it too and yes, Xlord, I know what you mean about first discovering about Platinums, haha.  Its a tough little game >.<

Has it been a whole year since that post (mini-essay) I wrote about Goldeneye?  Because my feelings have not changed at all smile

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XLord007 wrote:
jb wrote:

On a side note I would put Blast Corps up there on the list of most amazing N64 games, but in the singleplayer aspect.  Man that game was hardcore.

Yes, it certainly was.  I remember the first time I got a platinum medal in Blast Corps and nearly flew into an uncontrollable rage... I had spent weeks getting every damn gold medal and the thought of going back for more punishment was just too much.  Although I loved it at the time, I don't think I could play a game that hardcore again.  The only game I've played seriously since BC that has a similar level of insanity is the original MSR for DC (before Microsoft forced Bizarre to "mainstream" the series into PGR).

I beat Blast Corps! Like, to the fullest, every platinum evar! The final rank title you can get was called "You can stop now."

It was the most ridiculous thing I'd ever seen. MAN I Loved that game.

Ramza

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I've always loved Rarewares' games. 007 was a godsend back in the day, and I can remember Jet Force Gemini with a great deal of clarity.

I remember the slapping only game mode. f---ing tedious as hell, but by the time you widdled your asshole friend down to half life, you didn't wanna stop.:)

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I remember I always liked Thunderfist the most.  Tumbling was a blast (pun not intended) and the Cromlech Court stage had awesome music.

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Backlash man, Backlash.  It was all about sliding into stuff!

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Check this out... pay particular attention to the Klobb... it's so true:

http://kotaku.com/5140732/if-only-game- … ook-covers

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