Quantum of Secrets
There have been several years since GoldenEye's launch, but it still goes on in the memory of many people as one of the best games ever programmed by Rare. This admirable degree of recognition is due, among other things, to the amount of little and carefully placed details that flood the game. Details that not only make you want to play one more time, but achieve to make each time a different experience thanks to all those little discoveries we can do on every level.
We've done this article to try to number the best way we can all the curiosities spread through GoldenEye's missions. Some of those details may seem familiar to hardcore-gamers, but we're sure some of them will surprise you. From some references to the development process to the wildest jokes made by the Rare guys, everything you always wanted to know is here. Keep reading and you'll find it.
Mission 1: Arkangelsk
- First thing we can find in GoldenEye is related with one of the soldiers that are guarding the dam’s surroundings. Specifically, he’s the same guard we can see walking through the two timed security doors (the ones we have to open to let the truck pass) during one of the opening sequences in this level. This character was programmed so that he did a specific route from those doors until he reaches his usual place on the level, so before stopping there, he’ll take a brief walk in front of his comrades. The thing is that if we’re fast enough to reach his position before him, we’ll be able to see him walking to us while his comrades wildly shoot us. ‘Our’ soldier won’t notice us until he ends his route, even watching his comrades shooting us. We suggest ‘Turbo Mode’ to improve your speed through the level.
- It seems that the docks behind the dam weren’t useless. They were part of a missing objective that was finally rejected. As a proof of it, there’s an island down the mountains surrounding the lake that we can’t reach. On the island we can see an empty surveillance tower and a submachine gun turned off. We can see all these things using the Sniper Rifle from the docks. Some fans have also confirmed after playing with the game source code that there were items too: a shield and a gun. So that confirms that Bond was once supposed to travel there.
- Inside the little building where the communications antenna is, there’s a mysterious trapdoor that remains closed. Some rumours say that initially there was an objective related to that door and the truck. Somehow we were to recover some explosives and put them under that trapdoor to blow the military truck. In spite of this, Rare has never confirmed anything related to those possibilities and the real purpose of that door.
- Alec Trevelyan is about to die in this level both in the game and in the original film. Due to the events leading to facility’s blow up, Sean Bean has a disgusting scar on his face in the film. The difference between film and game is that Trevelyan already has the scar at the beginning of ‘Facility’, so was already hurt even before being shot by Ourumov and the following explosion.
- Alec Trevelyan wears a wedding ring on his hand starting in Facility, but that’s nowhere to be seen on the original film.
- The chemical installation which this level uses as a reference was born in 1993 from the pen of Michael France, writer of GoldenEye’s script, when Timothy Dalton was supposed to star in the film. Only a few could imagine that even 10 years later the same stage could still be useful. It has appeared on four different games: first it was GoldenEye (1997), and then Rare adapted it for Perfect Dark (2000). Electronic Arts did the same with GoldenEye: Rogue Agent in 2004, and finally Rare used it again in Perfect Dark Zero (2005) for Xbox 360 using it as downloadable content through Xbox Live in 2006. There’s also a fifth version available since 2006, accessible through a mod for Half Life 2 on PC, designed by GoldenEye’s fans.
- This is probably the most illogical thing that can be found on GoldenEye, as it’s also one of the most curious: in the first zone we find alter leaving the toilets, we should head to the green corridor where some soldiers do their route. This corridor has two big roofed areas that allow us to see the ventilation circuit; placed a few meters above from the ground, where we can see some chemical products (we suggest using the sniper rifle). These containers are the same ones we can find in the labs, but their placing up there is pointless. Another good example of paranoia that some of the members of Rare developer’s team show sometimes.
- As everybody should have noticed, one of the warning signals in the level has been modified, and shows James Bond silhouette with a ban signal.
- There’s a scientist in this stage that keeps a master key able to open every door in the facility. Everyone who has played this mission more than once should have met him on the corridors and maybe knows of the existence of that card. He’s running to the toilets (we can imagine why) and if we can’t find him, we can just wait until he’s there. To get the key we’ll just threat him with the gun until he puts his hands in the air and let the card fall to the ground, those who love gore can shoot him at first knowing the consequences this will carry.
- The double agent we have to contact in this mission is called Doak, the same as one of the ex-members of the Rare development team, as we can see in the ending credits: David Doak. On the other hand, it’s widely known that the enemy faces belong to every programmer that took part on the game’s development. There’s even a weapon which pays homage to another ex-member of NOA (Nintendo of America), the Klobb, based on Ken Lobb. Not happy with that, Rare also added Lobb’s image between the random enemy faces. This was also repeated in Perfect Dark, but this time good old Ken had his own character.
- In this level we first find out that we should not harm those annoying scientists during missions. Doing that can be quite disgusting as they usually attack us or simply get into cross fire randomly. It’s quite ironic that in GoldenEye’s film, 006 and 007 has no respect for scientists and shot everyone they find in their path even when they are harmless. It seems that Rare decided to add those objectives to keep civilian loses low at an advanced stage of development. Maybe they didn’t remember that James Bond has a license to kill. Or maybe they thought that killing those guys would be funnier if we aren’t supposed to do so. In the end, killing harmless scientists using refinished torture methods became a popular sport between GoldenEye and Perfect Dark players in the world.
- Some parts of the dialog between Bond and Trevelyan when they meet changes depending on the way we’ve gotten there. If we did well and lose little life, Bond will say ‘Getting here was too easy’. If we found some trouble ‘It was a little bit complicated’. And if our life is almost ended, he’ll say ‘I almost got killed getting here’.
- In this mission, Bond uses for the first time his useful remote detonator installed on his watch. The first time Bond used it in cinemas was in Moonraker (1979) to set up a bomb. He did that with an old Seiko. Far away were the Rolex golden age, and further still the Omega times.
- Everyone who has seen GoldenEye will have noticed that there should be many more gas tanks in the room we meet with 006. Rare did have them in the game, but maybe due to slowdowns, Rare decided to have less.
- We can get back to the vents at the beginning of the level even when they’re far from us. To do so, we have to get onto the toilet where we got in the level. After this, we have to press R + Left C at the same time we move the joystick in the same direction. Sooner or later, our character will finally reach the vents again. Many people may have tried to do this, but a few have accomplished that. Even if this looks insignificant, it’s a great strategic discover to use in the multiplayer mode
- In early stages of development, Rare programmers tried to include an objective related to the bike Bond uses in the film. In fact that bike was designed and can be found in the first stage of Severnaya (Surface), but a little bit modified. Instead of it, they included the tank in Runway, which can also be found in Streets.
- For those who like to play with fire comes our next suggestion: If you haven’t tried it yet, temporised mines available in this game can do huge disasters in the video scenes at the end of some levels. In Runway we can add some of these explosives to the plane shortly before taking off. We’ll end up having a nice explosion during that sequence.