Iker Pérez, Helen Hall

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Raiders of the Lost Map

The legend was right. Citadel exists. The secret lost level from GoldenEye’s multiplayer mode is real and can be found in the depths of the old N64 cartridge, according to the discoveries of the fire-proof Detstar.

The reports surrounding the Citadel go back years before, despite Rare’s point blank denial about the existence of this presumed ‘imaginary’ level. In fact, some time before the launch of GoldenEye and even Perfect Dark, Rare created a special section on their website with questions and answers regarding what had been heard and said about the innumerable mysteries that always plagued these games. In that section, they referred to the urban myth of the Citadel with the following words: “The Citadel was a very premature test level designed during the first stages of the multiplayer mode. It can’t be found in the final game at all, and Oddjob and Mayday couldn’t have been in there even it existed.”

In these comments, the mention of the characters Oddjob and Mayday refers to rumours claiming that they were designed to be in the lost phase originally, trying to justify this way the fact of both being part of the multiplayer game without any apparent reason. That makes them different from the other classic Bond villains – Jaws and Baron Samedi, who were part of the plot in the actual main adventure, justifying their inclusion.

CitadelIn any case, what Rare stated back in the day was a mere reference to the final design of the game, in which you cannot unlock this lost level anyhow, but they didn’t mention the entrails of the code. The Citadel is somehow saved in the memory of the cartridge and, eventually, someone managed to play such vectorial Atlantis.

It must be highlighted that the search of the lost level of the Citadel didn’t cease for seven years since the launch of GoldenEye 007, enhancing the discovery itself. Despite the silence or the pessimists’ opinion, one out of the all the discovered secrets in GoldenEye always held out for a positive result – the belief that the lost level really existed. The same page of the discoverers, Detstar, contained multiple Gameshark codes, with one specifically allowing the name “Citadel” to be seen above the actual Egyptian multiplayer level in the game. This curious detail was enough to confirm that the Citadel existed at some point and therefore could be seen somehow.

If we remit ourselves again to the declarations that Rare made back in the day, in fact, it can be seen that Rare themselves never actually denied that the Citadel existed at some point, while they were busy in the development of the game. And now that we can see the final aspect of the controversial test level, it becomes evident that old descriptions gave by Rare were very accurate. The Citadel is no more than a bunch of polygons with little texture.

It is not a level where we can go to play together with our friends to extend the life of this videogame, but at least we can see the actual work involved at the time in order to create the levels of the game in 3D. The map is real, as it is the myth it generated and which confirms the claims made by Steve Ellis, a former Rare member now settled at Free Radical, that the discovery is indeed true.

Acknowledges: Pay a visit to GoldenEye Detstar, for some extra archeological remains regarding Rare's most mythic shooter.

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