In 1997, Nintendo 64 owners were granted a gift. It was an unexpected gift, really, considering the fact that it wasn't only a licensed product, but that the movie it was based on was released two years prior. Regardless, curious gamers decided to give GoldenEye for the N64 a try and were immediately surprised to find out just how impressively good it was. At that time, shooters on consoles were almost unheard of, however, GoldenEye made the case that it wasn’t only possible to make a competent shooter on a home system, but that they could even be superior to their PC counterparts. Exceptional level designs, visceral gunplay, intriguing objectives, and an uproarious multiplayer feature more-or-less cemented GoldenEye as the king of all couch competition, and it still holds up today as an immersive and just plain fun shooter.
The game itself took a long time to develop, and the team at Rare that was working on it had little-to-no experience. Due to this, many changes were made before the GoldenEye we know and love would be released, and we’ve compiled the best and most bizarre of these elements in our list of 25 Things Deleted From GoldenEye 007 (That Would Have Changed Everything). We’ll be spying on everything from lost cheat codes, cut gadgets, functioning emulators, unused enemies, radically different prototypes, and even some truly exceptional gameplay changes. GoldenEye is one of the greatest games ever created, and we’re glad that it turned out the way it did, but we think you’ll be surprised at just how many changes (planned or otherwise) went into making it what it became.
25 The Other Bonds
During GoldenEye’s tumultuous development, Rare had the idea of incorporating not just Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, but Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Timothy Dalton, who would all be available in multiplayer.
The trio of alternate Bonds would not only have their appropriate likenesses, but also their unique tuxedos, and their portraits would have been used for the alternate files on the main menu. Unfortunately, they had to be cut due to legal issues, but their tuxedos lived on in Perfect Dark.
24 The Rail-Shooter Concept
When development began, the team had a few different visions for the final project. While the GoldenEye we all know and love is a benchmark of the first-person shooting genre, it wasn’t always quite as interactive as it is now.
During development, the team was inspired by Virtua Cop and they strived to make their 007 venture a rail-shooter, mimicking Sega’s arcade game. Eventually, they discovered it was simply more fun to be able to move around the levels at your own pace, and the change was made.
23 Extra Music
The score for GoldenEye was done by Grant Kirkhope, who also gave us the fantastic scores to the Banjo series, Donkey Kong 64, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, and so much more.
His work on GoldenEye is particularly excellent and iconic, as it uses the famous film themes in interesting ways while also sticking with the GoldenEye movie’s musical aesthetic. Curiously, there are approximately twelve action-packed songs that aren’t heard in normal gameplay (though some can be heard randomly in multiplayer), and their inclusion would have made the soundtrack even better than it already is.
22 Sticks Of Dynamite
Kaboom-ing your friends with GoldenEye’s enormous inventory of remote, timed, and proximity mines are a legendarily beloved pastime, but at another point in time, you might have been tossing lit sticks of dynamite.
According to data left within the game, some strings of code regarding ammo types exist for an item known as “dynamite,” and you were able to carry a total of ten of them at once. While it would be kind of cool to see Bond cartoonishly lobbing sparking dynamite at bewildered foes, we’re happy that the iconic mines took center stage.
21 The Silencer Used To Be An Item
One of the most iconic moments in GoldenEye 007 is at the start of the Dam, when the camera enters the back of Bond’s head and the famous secret agent raises his silenced pistol as you get started.
This moment could have been vastly different, though, as it appears that the silencer was, at one point, a separate item that would have to be acquired before being attached to a weapon. While it would have been cool to see the effect it would have on the stealth elements in the game, it’s hard to imagine things being so vastly different.
20 Hidden Female Characters
To be fair, this entry isn’t exactly something that was deleted from the final version of GoldenEye, but something that was shifted around. There are four distinct female heads in the game (not counting Natalya, Xenia, and May Day) and they rarely, if ever, show up due to the fact that every guard is a male.
Even if they do show up, there’s only one head chosen for all women. That said, all of these characters can be used in the multiplayer modes with codes, so they’re around… just not where they should be.
19 Dart Guns
James Bond is known for an arsenal of unusual gadgets and unconventional weapons, but he only uses a fraction of what we’ve seen in the franchise during the entirety of GoldenEye, most notably, his watch laser. Curiously, it seems that the developers had intended to use a wide array of gadgets and weapons, but none of them made the cut.
One of these was the dart gun, which was used in Moonraker. It’s presumed that this item would have come into play during the Moonraker-based Aztec mission, but there just aren’t enough details to confirm that theory.
18 A Hidden APC
For a franchise known for exciting car choices and vehicular mayhem, there’s decidedly few sequences in GoldenEye that reflect that. Sure, you get to go on a rampage with a tank, and there are an assortment of cars and trucks that populate the levels, but there’s hardly anything that stands out.
Things could have been far different, though, as a model for an APC was found in the game’s files. This armored personal carrier is fully modeled, but not fully functional. However, it’s not hard to imagine it pursuing Bond while guards used it for cover during an escape.
17 The “Piton Gun”
Another unused gadget and/or weapon, the piton gun is an oddity for a number of uses. First off, a piton is a spike that one would drive into something solid in order to support a rope, or in this case, a bungee cord.
Secondly, Q actually mentions this item during the Dam’s briefing, suggesting that this item was caught late into development. Lastly, it has an ammo total of six, suggesting that after the bungee jump, you’d actually have to do something with them to finish the level.
16 Additional Costumes
Not unlike the female heads that were shifted around within the game’s data and hardly used, there also exists a head-type for a balaclava-wearing group.
The model is a black mask with what appears to be an orange visor, and it easily fits on just about every guard model. While no one knows for sure if there was ever a specific model tied to this particular mask, choosing this radical character in multiplayer attaches the head to James Bond’s dinner jacket.
15 The Dam's Distant Island
As GoldenEye’s most famous mystery, players have been fascinated by the distant island far across the Dam ever since 1997. Upon reaching the point where you’re able to take the famous bungee jump, equip your sniper rifle and peak out towards the dammed up water. Way out in the distance, you’ll find a lonely island with a gun turret.
Remnants of a cut objective, players were, at one time, meant to take a boat there. It’s intriguing to think about how different this iconic opening level would be with another objective, but we’ll sadly never know.
14 Hidden Missions As The Other Bonds
GoldenEye 007 has a glut of fantastic levels, with only one or two being stinkers. Better yet, it has two hidden missions: Aztec and Egyptian. Both of these missions are incredibly involved and extremely difficult (Aztec in particular), with both being related to previous Bond films: Moonraker and a combination between The Spy Who Loved Me and Live and Let Die.
The connection between these levels and their films was meant to be far more conclusive, though. Before Rare had them removed, both levels would have you playing as one of the former Bond actors.
13 Combustible Fire Extinguishers
Something that’s incredibly impressive about GoldenEye, not just back then, but also today, is how catastrophic most of the objects are. Yeah, it doesn’t exactly make sense that things like tables and chairs burst when you shoot them, but it’s still awesome, nonetheless.
According to unused object data, this interactivity was even more involved at a certain point. Fire extinguishers were intended to be placed around levels, and shooting them would cause (intentional) explosions. Take THAT, Metal Gear Solid 2!
12 The Game Developers As Extra Characters
The last of the unused “hidden characters,” GoldenEye’s expansive cast of multiplayer combatants was once even larger due to the inclusion of the game’s developers as playable characters.
It must have been hilarious for the team members to watch themselves be eviscerated by far too many proximity mines at the end of a long day, but the data for these characters was locked away from the public. Thankfully, they can still be accessed using an unlisted code, and proper respect can be paid to the folks who brought us this classic video game.
11 Amount Of Violence
Compared to the likes of Doom or even Turok, GoldenEye is a rather tame experience. There is certainly a lot of shooting and realistic animations from enemies, but the most gore you’ll see is a red stain at the point of impact on your target.
Things didn’t used to be so restrained, however. There used to a generous amount of splatter before it was turned down at Nintendo’s request, but remnants of this effect can still be seen on the back of the game’s box.
10 Flares (And A Flare Gun)
We’re not exactly sure how it would have played out in the context of the game, but flares and a flare gun to shoot said flares were once part of the arsenal. Our best guess is that they could have been used in the Caverns, assuming they used to be a much darker environment, but that’s mere speculation on our end.
Oddly enough, flares would eventually be used in another Rare game with a focus on shooting, and that would be the underrated N64 classic, Jet Force Gemini.
9 Attack Choppers
In the final release of GoldenEye, the closest that players get to any kinds of helicopters are the Pirate stealth chopper on the Frigate, and the one that rescues you from the Cradle.
According to in-game data, there was, at one point, going to be armed Hinds (don’t tell Solid Snake.) While there’s no real action to go with the object, the gun on the front looks like it might have been able to fire, so it’s possible these choppers were an enemy at some point.
8 ZX Spectrum Emulator
To be honest, this oddity wasn’t really cut from the game, it’s just hidden away, waiting to be uncovered. Some of Rare’s earliest projects (before they were known as Rare) were games for the ZX Spectrum, and the team felt the need to include a fully-functional ZX Spectrum emulator within GoldenEye.
It was originally intended that there might be an arcade machine that Bond could access to play some of these old-school games, but the concept was cut for time. Coincidentally, you’re able to play the ZX Spectrum Jetpac in Donkey Kong 64, so the concept did live on!
GoldenEye has a fantastic single-player experience, with expansive, realistic levels and Super Mario 64-styled objectives mixed with tight gunplay, but the reason the game became so legendary is because of its multiplayer.
A night of four friends firing golden guns at each other was an experience like nothing else, and it's fondly remembered by many. After digging through the game’s code, evidence of a multiplayer map named Citadel was found, and despite its unfinished state, it looks as though it would have been an epic addition to the rest of the stages.
6 The Detonating Pen
One of the gadgets that stole the spotlight in the GoldenEye movie was the explosive pen, which nearly detonated in the twitchy, clicky hands of the supposedly “invincible” Boris.
Turns out that this particular item was meant to be in the game adaptation, but was cut at some point in development. We can’t really imagine how this item would have been used, but you could apparently carry up to ten of them, and we’d assume that they would really spice up a multiplayer match with everyone clicking and counting until... BOOM.
5 More Single-Player Maps In Multiplayer
Multiplayer is what gave GoldenEye its cultural staying power, and the gameplay was blessed with having excellently designed maps for friends to duke it out with rocket launchers and throwing knives.
The single-player levels are all excellent, too, and it seems that more of them were intended to be put into the multiplayer than just Facility, Bunker, and others. Able to be located using a GameShark, both Statue and Cradle were seemingly intended for multiplayer use, but were cut, likely for performance and fun factor reasons.
4 Line Mode
GoldenEye was filled to the brim with incredibly fun (and often bizarre) cheats, such as the infamous “DK Mode” or the awesome “All Guns.” One particularly curious cheat didn't make the cut, however.
The so-called “Line Mode” would alter the entire look of the game, drawing everything in white and having every object’s outlines in black, essentially making everything look like a drawing. This code can be reimplemented with some hacking, but the reason Rare removed it in the first place was because it apparently wasn’t fun enough.
3 The Side-Scrolling Concept
We had mentioned early on that one of the initial ideas and prototypes for GoldenEye was in the form of a rail-shooter in line with Virtua Cop. However, there was an even more radically different concept before development on the rail-shooter prototype commenced: a side-scroller in the same graphical style as Donkey Kong Country.
The team believed that, considering DKC’s success, this was the best route to take to recapture such accolades…. but we’re glad they didn’t follow through, as who knows what the world would be like without the innovations of GoldenEye as an FPS.
2 The Rumble Pak Reload
One of the weirdest and legitimately game-changing elements that were deleted from GoldenEye was the original way Rare intended for players to reload their guns. Instead of just hitting “B,” they wanted players to remove and re-insert the N64 Rumble Pak, mimicking the motion of replacing a gun’s magazine.
While this sounds immersive and exciting on paper, it seems like it might be more of a pain than the developers would have hoped. Still, it would’ve been interesting to see if this was left in the game.
1 The Really Weird Ending
In this list, we’ve discussed all kinds of different things that would have totally changed the game of GoldenEye if they were kept in, but the weirdest one of all is the ending suggested by none other than Shigeru Miyamoto himself.
Nintendo was uncomfortable with the amount of mayhem in the game, and Miyamoto suggested that the ending should have James Bond visiting his enemies in the hospital and shaking hands with them. This would have changed the entire tone of the game, and it’s up there with one of Nintendo’s wackiest concepts… right next to the Vitality Sensor.