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GoldenEye 007 is a first-person shooter game made by Rareware for the Nintendo 64, and was first released in 1997. The game is roughly based on the 1995 James Bond filmGoldenEye, consists of both storyline and multiplayer sections and features many of the guns and gadgets from the perennial series of films.
Please note that this Entry contains spoilers.
The game begins in a similar way to the film, with Bond fighting his way to the middle of a dam in order to bungee off the centre. At the bottom, he meets up with fellow agent Alec Trevelyan and they proceed to destroy a chemical bottling plant. Trevelyan is killed by the Russian Colonel Ourumov, but Bond manages to escape in a plane.
Several years later, a spy satellite detects unusual activity at a Russian base in Severnaya. Bond is sent to investigate covertly. The game then reaches a point two years before 'current events', when Bond is sent to raid and destroy a missile silo which was believed to be launching GoldenEye, a satellite capable of destroying all electronic equipment by firing an EMP pulse at the ground. Bond briefly encounters Ourumov, but he escapes.
The story then moves to the present, with Bond rescuing hostages from a boat in Monte Carlo, where members of a syndicate known as Janus intend to steal a prototype helicopter. Bond bugs the helicopter, which is tracked to Severnaya. He returns to the Russian base there only to be captured and locked up with Natalya, a Russian computer programmer who is under suspicion of treason. They manage to break free and find that GoldenEye is scheduled to fire on the base, and they escape just in time.
However, Natalya returns to St Petersburg despite the advice of MI6, and she is captured by Janus. MI6 arranges for ex-KGB agent Valentin Zukovsky to set up a meeting between Bond and Janus. It emerges that Janus is really Alec Trevelyan, a Lienz Cossack looking for revenge, and his death was in fact faked by Ourumov. Bond and Natalya are captured by the Russians, but they manage to prove that they are innocent and that Ourumov is a traitor.
Natalya is then kidnapped by Ourumov, but Bond follows him to the Soviet converted missile train used by Trevelyan and his ally Xenia Onatopp. Bond kills Ourumov, but the others escape and are tracked to Cuba. While searching for them by plane, Bond and Natalya are shot down, but manage to enter the GoldenEye control centre there and knock the satellite out of orbit, killing Xenia on the way. Bond then chases Trevelyan, who is trying to realign the antenna to point at GoldenEye, and kills him.
As with most games, GoldenEye features several levels of difficulty, with players having to complete each mission as an 'Agent' before playing as the more difficult 'Secret Agent' and '00 Agent'. As well as being more demanding, the harder difficulty levels add more objectives to each mission, providing a fresh challenge once the player has got the hang of the game. Also, after completing all the levels as a '00 Agent', a fresh setting entitled '007' is unlocked where you can set the enemy health, damage done (to Bond), enemy accuracy and enemy reaction time. Completing some missions within a certain time limit will unlock some of the game's secrets - these include invulnerability, infinite ammo, slow/fast animations, turbo mode, and the bizarre DK mode in which all the characters have enlarged heads and arms.
As a further bonus, on completion of the game at the higher difficulty levels, two extra missions are unlocked. These are both loosely based on previous Bond films, with one featuring a Moonraker-style shuttle, and the other taking in the aspects of several films. The first mission, 'Aztec', sees Bond attempting to reprogram a space shuttle while Jaws attempts to stop him. In the second mission, Egyptian, 007 is sent to retrieve Scaramanga's Golden Gun from the Valley of the Kings. Despite being killed by Bond, the antagonist, Baron Samedi, is seen alive and laughing in a replication of the end of Live and Let Die.
The game features the famous Walther PPK in the form of the PP7, as well as various other pistols, rifles and explosives, and dual-wielding (carrying and firing two weapons at once) is possible with most guns. It is also possible to steal a tank in a couple of levels, one of which requires Bond to rush through several heavily armed roadblocks. As well as these weapons, Bond is supplied with various gadgets from Q section, and these include a camera, watch laser and watch magnet.
Although the game does a little of the aiming for you, it is often necessary to use the aim function to shoot with precision. For instance, it is necessary to aim carefully when using the sniper rifle or 'defusing' hostage situations, as a headshot will score an immediate kill. The ability to aim also comes in handy when destroying surveillance cameras and alarm buttons, as these can cause a group of heavily armed soldiers to descend on your position. To further help prevent this eventuality, the game features silencers for several guns, allowing a stealthier approach to situations.
The game's music consists of many versions of the famous Bond theme tune played using the typical synthesiser sound of the N64, and although they are based on an old console the graphics are reasonably good.
The game also includes a multiplayer section which allows up to four people to play against each other on the same television screen1. Players can choose to fight using only one weapon type, including an option to fight unarmed which is entitled 'Slappers Only' due to the appearance of the hand-to-hand combat involved. There is also a wide variety of characters to choose to play, and more are unlocked as the single-player game is completed. At the end of each multiplayer game, players are rated according to how well they played. The game features five multiplayer modes:
Normal - this is a basic death match in which players attempt to frag each other as many times as possible within the time limit. There is also the option to play team death match, with up to four players playing in teams of between one and three.
You Only Live Twice - identical to Normal mode except for the fact that players only have two lives and are then eliminated from the game.
The Living Daylights - in this mode, the aim is to hold a flag which is placed somewhere on the map, and the player who holds it the longest wins the match. The player holding the flag cannot shoot, and will drop the flag if killed.
The Man with the Golden Gun - there is a 'Golden Gun' somewhere on the map, and the player who picks it up has the ability to kill the other players in just one shot, regardless of where their opponents are hit. The player with the Golden Gun appears on the other players' radars so that they can find him.
Licence to Kill - identical to Normal mode except that all hits including hand-to-hand combat are immediately fatal.
Due to the success of GoldenEye 007, work was begun on a sequel which was eventually released in 2000. However, the Bond licence was bought by Electronic Arts in 1999, who went on to produce the Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough games for the Sony PlayStation, with the latter also being released for the N64. The new Rareware N64 game, known as Perfect Dark, could therefore not be based on the 007 paradigm, and is described as a 'spiritual sequel' to GoldenEye 0072. There have since been several games based on the James Bond films, although none have been sequels to, or frankly as good as GoldenEye 007.