Don’t let his brooding in the recent Daniel Craig movies fool you; James Bond lives a charmed life. Hell, he’s even had good luck with video games. There have been a surprising number of good Bond games over the years, but Nintendo and Rare’s GoldenEye 007 stands alone as a groundbreaking achievement. GoldenEye proved that first-person shooters could work on consoles, licensed games could be true top-of-the-line experiences, and that sitting around the basement with your buddies racking up headshots was pretty much the ultimate way to waste a Saturday afternoon.
Of course, like a lot of cutting-edge games, GoldenEye weathered a rocky development, and as a result, the end product bears a lot of interesting quirks. Here’s a few GoldenEye 007 facts licensed to blow your mind…
GoldenEye 007 was developed by only nine people, eight of which had never worked on a game before.
Martin Hollis, the golden mind behind GoldenEye 007.
Given the depth and complexity of GoldenEye 007, you might surmise that the game was a major priority for Nintendo and the game’s developer Rare, but you’d be wrong. Development of the game began in late 1994, based on a pitch by a mid-level programmer named Martin Hollis (above) who had just finished up working on Killer Instinct, his first game with the company. Rare and Nintendo liked Hollis’ pitch enough to greenlight the game, but they weren’t overly enthusiastic, so they gave Hollis a skeleton crew of rookies. Hollis, with his impressive single game credit, was the only guy on the nine-person crew with any actual hands-on experience. In a strange way, though, that naivety actually helped the game according to GoldenEye team member Graeme Norgate.
“Because it was most people’s first game we did things we might not do again because it was too much work. We didn’t take the easy route. If something sounded like a good idea, it was like, ‘Yeah let’s do it!’ The world was our oyster! Only afterwards would you find it was a world of pain.”