When I think back to my childhood, there is always one memory that seems to make its way up to the forefront of my mind. One memory that really encapsulates what it was like growing up for me. One memory that I cherish, pretty much above all other memories I have. That memory is playing GoldenEye 007 with my friends on the Nintendo 64.
Not many games made back in the 1990s stand the test of time, but GoldenEye 007 is undoubtedly one of them. The gameplay mechanics were revolutionary for first-person shooter video games. The story was mainly pulled straight from the film, which was arguably Pierce Brosnan’s greatest performance as James Bond. The multiplayer kept us coming back again and again, with multiple game modes and tons of interesting and fun characters to choose from. If “no Oddjob!” was not a rallying cry of your childhood, you really missed out. It’s safe to say that GoldenEye 007 was one of the very best video games of all time.
Another thing that’s great about GoldenEye 007, is that even after all these years, it still has many secrets that fans of the game have never even heard about. It seems crazy that a game that came out over 20 years ago could have secrets like this, but it’s true. And in this list, we will discuss them all. Get ready to learn about one of your favorite games ever in an entirely new way as we look into its hidden secrets.
25 Bond References
One of the most obvious secrets in the video game is that it references every single James Bond movie up to the point of the GoldenEye film. Since the game itself is based on a movie, this makes sense that they would pay homage to the other films in the franchise.
If you scour the levels closely, you can find references to all the other Bond films, which almost becomes sort of a game by itself! Have you looked for all the hidden James Bond easter eggs?
24 The Klobb
In the game, the developers were originally going to use the real life names of the weapons that James Bond uses throughout the levels. But they decided to change the weapon names and not use the real ones, for example changing the Skorpion to the Spyder.
This still didn’t work very well so the name was then changed to the Klobb, one of the most infamous weapons in the game. Klobb actually stands for Ken Lobb, who was an executive at Nintendo! That’s a pretty funny secret!
23 VHS Of GoldenEye Film
During one level in GoldenEye 007, James Bond has to steal a video tape from a bunker and escape with it while also rescuing and escorting a prisoner named Natalya.
This mission is one of the most famous in the entire game.
The video tape that bond has to steal from the bunker is actually a copy of the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye! The film the game is based on. I think that’s a really clever secret to hide in a game!
22 Rare Staff
GoldenEye 007 was developed by a studio called Rareware. One of the funnier secrets in the game has to do with the standard henchmen that James Bond must find throughout the missions.
The staff of Rareware actually used their own faces for most of the enemies in the game!
So whenever you come across a random henchman in the game, it most likely resembles one of the developers who worked on the game. I’ve always wanted to be in a video game, and I would have done the exact same thing.
21 A Traitor
Spoiler alert for a 21 year old game: in one of the first missions you come across another secret agent, 006, also known as Alec. If you accidentally end his life, he calls you a traitor and says it’s ironic.
This is because if you don’t end his life, he ends up betraying you and becomes the villain, just like in the film! He says it’s ironic that you betrayed him, because he was the one that was supposed to betray you.
20 On-Rails Game
GoldenEye 007 was actually originally intended as an on-rails shooter video game. This means that the player has no control over the movement of the character, only having controls over the weapons during the missions.
The developers decided to change it to let the player freely roam around the game, and I think it was a great decision. On-rails shooter video games are mostly pretty boring, in my opinion, and the game definitely would not have been as popular as it is today.
19 No Multiplayer?
According to Grant Kirkhope, who was the composer for the music in the video game, the multiplayer aspect of GoldenEye 007 was not originally the focus of the game.
This part of the game was only put in as an afterthought and barely took six weeks to develop and implement. That’s very interesting, because the multiplayer aspect of the game ended up being the most beloved part of the game! It revolutionized multiplayer games, and first-person shooters in general as well.
18 The GoldenEye Fall
GoldenEye 007 actually innovated a certain animation that was used in every James Bond game afterwards. It is called the “GoldenEye Fall” and it is used when a character loses their life.
Basically, the character falls to their knees, stays there a while, and then falls to their chest. It was first seen in GoldenEye 007 and used in every other James Bond game! It’s a pretty cool hidden secret that not many people realize is actually in the game.
17 The Briefcase
In the mission, The Silo, you can actually pick up the main villain’s briefcase and carry it around, but it serves no purpose. Not many people actually try to pick up the briefcase, so most don’t know you even can.
The developers originally put it in as an easter egg that would unlock if you picked up the briefcase, but this idea was scrapped and it now serves no purpose. Other than being a funny little secret in the game.
16 Red Shirts
In the mission in the game called Streets, there are civilian characters that are wearing red shirts. This is a reference to the video game trope of the “red shirt” which is a civilian character who suffers a violent end.
The characters in the Streets level are the only civilian characters to be seen wearing red shirts. It’s an interesting little secret that not many people, even fans of the video game, are aware of, and one that not many people have found.
15 Operation GoldenEye
“GoldenEye” wasn’t just the name of a movie and a video game. It was actually a real life military code name for an operation put into place by the British government. It was supposedly a plan for if the bad guys decided to invade Spain in WWII.
Even more amazing is this plan was partially made by Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond novels when he was an agent in the British Secret Service! That’s pretty cool.
14 The GoldenIsland
During the first mission of the game, the Dam mission, a small island can be seen in the distance at one point of the level. The island has a watch tower as well as a turret situated on it.
In order to see this island, dubbed “GoldenIsland,” you must go to the end of the level and it can only be seen by using a sniper rifle scope’s zoom. It was originally supposed to be included in the level, but the developers scrapped it.
13 Almost Not Released
Did you know that the game was almost never released? Nintendo felt the game was not good enough and that it had way too many bugs, so they decided to stop funding it.
However, Rareware was very confident in the game so they were decided to keep the funding going themselves. Thank goodness they had faith in themselves because it resulted in one of the most iconic games of all time, and gave me some of the best memories I had as a kid.
12 Operation Petticoat
One really interesting secret of the game has to do with the sound design. The sound of the rocket launchers in the game firing, have the same exact sound as the famous depth charges from the 1959 film Operation Petticoat.
I think it’s a really cool reference to a great comedy movie that you would not think would be related to a James Bond video game in 1997 at all. It’s a cool little easter egg that you can hear when you play the game.
11 Real Film Sets
Did you know that actual set plans from the 1995 film GoldenEye were used for the video game in 1997? It makes sense. You have an entire film to work with, why not incorporate as much of it as you can into the game? Especially since the game is based on the film anyway.
A good example of this is in the second level when James Bond enters the dam through the restroom vent. It almost mirrors the beginning of the film exactly!
10 SNES Game?
Did you know that the video game was not originally meant to be on the Nintendo 64 console? It was original planned to be a Super Nintendo Entertainment System game, also known as the SNES.
SNES games at the time had much worse graphics.
But the developers felt the Nintendo 64 was a better fit, and I’m very glad that was the case. I think if it had been on any other console besides the N64, it would not have been so popular or iconic.
9 Original Missions
While the video game is based on the film GoldenEye from 1995, not every mission in the game was based on a scene from the movie. There were many levels and missions that were made up solely for the video game itself.
These levels included the Silo, the Water Caverns, and the Frigate, the latter of which was always my favorite level, and in my opinion was the very best level in the game. And it wasn’t even based on the movie!
8 Missions Based On Films
While the levels in my previous point were missions that were not based on the film, there were a few bonus levels that were based on James Bond movies. These levels were not based on GoldenEye, however, but previous Bond films.
The Egyptian Temple level was from The Spy Who Loved Me, which was the first appearance of the villain Jaws. And The Aztec Complex level was from the film Moonraker, which coincidentally also featured the villain Jaws. These are also two of the best looking levels in the game, in my opinion.
7 Indestructible Crates
Throughout the game you may see some metal crates in many missions and levels. These metal crates have skull and crossbones symbols on them. These specific crates are indestructible in every single level except for one.
The only level where these crates are not indestructible is the first level, the Dam level. I wonder how long it took for someone to figure out this secret? I’ve been playing this game for 20+ years and even I didn’t know about it!
6 Rumble Pak Reload
Did you know that early in development for the game, it was planned for a special feature to be in the game. This feature would have required the player to remove the "rumble pak" from the back of the controller and re-insert it to reload their weapon.
This would have been exactly like reloading a real weapon, and it would have definitely been an interesting feature of the game. But it probably would have gotten annoying pretty fast, If I had to guess.
5 Exploding Objects
If you were like me when you played GoldenEye 007, you made a habit of going around every level making sure to use your weapon on every object that you possibly could. This was because when you used your weapon on an object, it would explode!
The developers of the game made pretty much every object able to explode, even if it was not a real life “explodable” object. It made the game even more fun, and made me have countless hours of mindless fun.
4 Button Configurations
One secret I definitely did not know when I was a kid, was that every button configuration in the game is named after a “Bond Girl.” It’s a pretty cool easter egg in the game that not many people know about, because the target demographic of the game had probably not seen the older Bond films.
An example is button configuration 1.1, which is named Honey, after Honey Ryder from the movie Dr. No, which came out in they year 1962.
3 Ian Fleming's Beach House
GoldenEye is not only the name of a video game, movie, novel, and secret military operation (see the earlier point in this list), it’s also the name of author Ian Fleming’s beach house. This beach house was where he wrote most of his James Bond stories.
It seems Ian Fleming really, really liked the name GoldenEye, since he named many things after it. It was always my favorite Bond movie, and I wonder if Ian Fleming would have felt the same way?
2 It's All About The Music
Did you know that the music from the video game was heavily influenced by the score of the film? This makes sense, as I’m sure the music directors on the game wanted to give the video game a feel that was similar to the move that it was based on.
They did a very good job, as GoldenEye 007 consistently ranks as one of the best movie-to-game adaptations ever made, and a large part of that has to do with the music, in my opinion.
1 The Enemy
There are actually three commandant villains from Russia in the video game. They have no reason to be in the game though, since they really have nothing to do with the story of the game.
Why they are in the game is a mystery.
These enemies can be found in the Dam level, the Surface level, and the Bunker level. I wonder if they were included in the game as an original part of a plot that was scrapped? It’s an interesting secret, nonetheless.