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GoldenEye N64 had multiplayer added in the final months of development

GoldenEye's multiplayer mode might not have even made it into the game, as it was a mode that was added just months before the game shipped.

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For many gamers, especially those growing up on consoles, GoldenEye offered the first opportunity to play a competitive FPS. However, that feature might not have even made it into the game, as it was a mode that was added just months before the game shipped.

Speaking at GDC Europe, game director Marin Hollis revealed that the game, which shipped in August 1997, didn't have multiplayer implemented until "some time like March or April."

According to a Gamespot report, multiplayer was added by a "clandestine" team without the knowledge of Rare or Nintendo management. Programmer Steve Ellis snuck in the feature "within a single month," thanks to the "lax managerial atmosphere" within the studio.

Because multiplayer was added so late in the game's development, it was responsible for many of the game's quirks--aspects of the game that ultimately added to the game's character. For example, Oddjob's short stature made him one of the most hated characters in multiplayer. "We didn't have time to balance all the characters. Really we just threw them in," Hollis recounts. "But these little quirks and bits of sketchiness really bring personality to the game."

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    August 15, 2012 1:45 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, GoldenEye N64 had multiplayer added in the final months of development.

    GoldenEye's multiplayer mode might not have even made it into the game, as it was a mode that was added just months before the game shipped.

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      August 15, 2012 1:49 PM

      Holy crap, Goldeneye would have lost so much if it had no MP.

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      August 15, 2012 2:43 PM

      Sometimes, some of the best features in games are added very late, or on a whim, or completely by accident. Somewhere in the Bayonetta developer commentary series with Hideki Kamiya, he mentions that the "Practice Mode" screen was added late in development, on a whim, sort of as a "hey, this is kinda cool to be able to practice combo moves while the chapter is loading." It ended up being one of the most praised features of the game in reviews shortly after release.

      Also, the "Angel Attack" mode was originally going to be tied to a Continue system (which I guess is similar to the Devil May Cry games; I haven't played those, so I don't know firsthand), but it was later moved to the end-of-chapter as a pure bonus system, and infinite Continues were allowed (though each death counts as a 1-award-level penalty, so after 5 deaths, a Stone award was guaranteed). "Angel Attack" would've been so much more annoying as a Continue system gate.

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      August 15, 2012 2:56 PM

      Their last-minute multi-player mode was better than most games that are built from the start for multi-player. I miss the good ol' days of Rare.

      Oddjob was a great character to play as for newbies. Don't dare let a good player choose Oddjob otherwise everybody starts hunting for the Bowler hat.

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        August 15, 2012 3:54 PM

        I wonder if Oddjob as a character only worked because it was a split screen multiplayer game and not an online game. Since you're in the same room as your buddies you can somewhat control whether or not anyone picks Oddjob and give them shit in person if they kill you. If the game was online-only people might be more prone to think it's bullshit and quit in disgust. Or maybe that's just what they would do if Goldeneye was a new game today.

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          August 15, 2012 4:11 PM

          I agree. Oddjob was a great local character, as you can give your friends shit for picking him. If he was too good you could just reach over and unplug his controller or put him in a head-lock. Or do like we did and the winner had to take a shot. By the end of the night, no one was be able to kill anybody. And that made it all much funnier.

          If he existed today in an online game, it would be an instant kick out of the lobby, if not banned. But then any developer would balance him for online play. Maybe give him a super-large hat.

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        August 15, 2012 6:10 PM

        A little tap of C-Down and you had Oddjob's number. Though he was rather dangerous for the first week or so of the game.

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        August 15, 2012 7:20 PM

        What would be considered the end of Rare's golden era? Perfect Dark? Conker's? I honestly can't even remember any titles that came after those.

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      August 15, 2012 3:17 PM

      Overall this was my favorite game of all time, I think that my friends and I logged well over 1,000 hours each easily on this during the evenings after school. By the end we were strafing sideways (moved faster that way) without looking at the main screen, just the minimap, and we were insta head-shotting each other upon sight - it was sad really.

      Such great memories.

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      August 15, 2012 3:51 PM

      I could have sword I heard way back when that they had purposely delayed the game to some extent to add multiplayer. Maybe that was just a BS rumor, maybe it was to try and explain why the game came out two years after the movie (although, with the N64 coming out one year after the movie, it's not like it could have been a day-and-date tie-in)

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      August 15, 2012 3:53 PM

      Didn't even know the N64 had online capabilities...where have I been?

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        August 15, 2012 5:12 PM

        It didn't. Goldeneye multiplayer was through split screen on a single console.

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          August 15, 2012 6:17 PM

          and it was quite possibly the greatest split screen multiplayer game every

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            August 15, 2012 7:41 PM

            For 4 players? I don't really think I can argue that.

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            August 15, 2012 7:54 PM

            That and Mario Kart 64 back to back was endless fun

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            August 15, 2012 7:57 PM

            I'd argue that Halo was probably the best 4-split MP of all time, just try to go back and play GoldenEye and tell me it's fun

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              August 15, 2012 8:42 PM

              HALO LAN is the best multiplayer experience i have had in my entire life

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              August 16, 2012 2:55 AM

              Goldeneye running in an Emulator at 1080p on an HDTV with 4 xbox controllers is fucking ace.

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            August 15, 2012 11:23 PM

            Perfect Dark was better. I mean it was largely the same MP experience as GoldenEye, but more refined. I loved it, but the game kind of came too late the N64 lifecycle and it required that RAM upgrade so it's not as fondly remembered as GoldenEye is.

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              August 16, 2012 2:11 AM

              I don't agree. Goldeneye worked better because of the simpler graphics, that meant you could clearly see what was what even in a 4-way split screen on a crappy TV. I also enjoyed the weapons more in Goldeneye.

              Library with mines only, oh the hilarity.

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              August 16, 2012 7:44 AM

              agreed. more features. better graphics. came too late to the party but i loved it.

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            August 16, 2012 2:44 AM

            ^^Hasn't played RalliSport Challenge.

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        August 15, 2012 6:03 PM

        Get off my lawn.

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        August 15, 2012 7:04 PM

        Since Dec 1, 1999, in Japan only: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_64DD

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      August 15, 2012 7:17 PM

      Amazing. I think a large majority of people remember Goldeneye for its multiplayer. I decided to get an N64 after playing Goldeneye multiplayer.

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      August 15, 2012 7:41 PM

      I remember when Goldeneye came out. My mom worked at the local video store at the time and every Friday night she would bring home the latest movies and games before they put them out the following Tuesday. She brought Goldeneye home that night, but I'd never heard of it and I had actually somehow avoided seeing any Bond movie at that point. She also brought home some promo materials for the game - a real Dossier-looking thing that had all these inserts that described characters, levels, etc. I remember thinking it looked awesome, but I didn't play it until Monday morning - the first day of Sophomore year in HS. I played through the Dam level that morning and thought it was the greatest game ever made. I wish I could find a photo of that damn promo dossier!

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        August 15, 2012 8:15 PM

        i had that dossier too! My sister worked at Blockbuster at the time, she must have given it to me

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      August 15, 2012 7:56 PM

      Halo 1 had a similar story with its competitive multiplayer. Tacked on last minute and without any thought of balance.

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        August 15, 2012 8:42 PM

        and it was awesome because of that, IMO.

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          August 15, 2012 9:47 PM

          Many great multiplayer FPS games were haphazardly designed initially, it would seem.

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      August 16, 2012 4:58 AM

      Wow Rare.. Does everyone remember the hilarious frame rate drops when playing with 3+ people? Especially with remote mines!

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        August 16, 2012 7:42 AM

        I was just thinking about that. I remember it well lol.

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        August 16, 2012 7:46 AM

        Mine in the face not only killed you but raped your fps!