With the specter of another James Bond film hanging over us, we’re feeling especially reminiscent for the best James Bond game ever made: “GoldenEye 007” for the Nintendo 64.
Sure, there are plenty of prettier, more modern James Bond games, but none quite matches the monumental impact that “GoldenEye” game had.
It was 1997, and Nintendo was making a… shooter? Get right out!
The company Nintendo worked with to develop “GoldenEye” was, unsurprisingly, a British firm: Rare. The studio is now owned by Microsoft, but at the time it was a gun-for-hire studio, lauded for its dedication to making great games — stuff like “Jetpack,” “Battletoads,” and “R.C. Pro-Am.” And during the Nintendo 64 era, Rare signed a partnership with Nintendo to make a smattering of now-classic titles. This is the era when games like “Killer Instinct” and “Donkey Kong Country” were created, as well as “Banjo-Kazooie” and, eventually, “GoldenEye 007.”
You’ll notice that “GoldenEye 007” sticks out from the rest in one distinct way: it’s a game largely about shooting bad guys from a first-person perspective.
Nintendo’s main creative director (and the guy behind “Super Mario,” “The Legend of Zelda” and many more) Shigeru Miyamoto was troubled by the amount of violence in the game. In his effort to curb that violence, Miyamoto sent Rare project lead Martin Hollis a fax (remember, this is the mid-’90s) with two major suggestions, reports The Guardian:
One point was that there was too much close-up killing — he found it a bit too horrible. I don’t think I did anything with that input. The second point was, he felt the game was too tragic, with all the killing. He suggested that it might be nice if, at the end of the game, you got to shake hands with all your enemies in the hospital.
Did you catch that last bit? Let’s just lay that out here once more: Miyamoto wanted the end of “GoldenEye 007” to close with James Bond shaking hands with all the enemies he’d “killed” in the hospital. Because they didn’t “die,” they just got injured and needed to go to the hospital. Adorable!
Instead of taking that suggestion, Hollis added a credits sequence to the game’s ending to make it clear that you’re not really killing anyone and that you’re just playing a game.
“It was very filmic, and the key thing was, it underlined that this was artifice. The sequence told people that this was not real killing,” Hollis said, according to The Guardian.
Check out the full piece in The Guardian — it’s well worth your time!
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