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Friday, January 27, 2023

Today, I Played GoldenEye 007 for the First Time Ever

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Yeah, this COULD'VE changed my life... 25 years ago.

I had a Nintendo 64 and several games for it. But until today, I've never played GoldenEye 007. GoldenEye 007 and the many millions of people who have played it went on to become fans of other console first-person shooter (FPS) games—before GoldenEye 007 made the genre popular, first-person shooters were the domain of PC gamers. To this day, FPSs are among my least favourite game type. Maybe if I played GoldenEye 007 back then when I was much younger and more impressionable, my current life would be entirely different. Some call that the butterfly effect.

Anyway, the fact remains that I'm playing GoldenEye 007 for the first time not on the Nintendo 64, but on the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack emulation that became available today. (It's also available on Xbox Series, though that version lacks online multiplayer for some reason.) I played exclusively on Agent difficulty, the lowest one. I mean, I hardly know what I'm doing. But I figured out the controls, which don't really feel good and I'm not sure what the right-stick (C buttons) really are used for. If I want to move, use the left stick. If I want to move my reticle, hold down the R button and move. Normal first-person shooters nowadays have dual-stick controls (which the right-stick doesn't provide), but on Agent difficulty, you don't need those. You can just use the automatic weapons the Soviets drop and pwn them.

My biggest issue was discovering that if I ever get stuck in a level, use the B button to interact with the environment. (This also reloads the gun you're holding.) This does things like open doors that seem sealed. Some doors are actually sealed but can be opened by doing other things, like interacting with computers or finding a key. ...Or shooting the padlock on a gate. That got me to the second level, Facility, which features this unexpectedly impressive song:

Facility has multiple objectives, including NPCs you're not supposed to kill. That includes these civilian scientists that are losers and get stuck in doors in the bathrooms. (For some reason, Soviet soldiers just hang out in bathroom stalls for very long periods of time without ever flushing or undressing.)

GoldenEye 007 Soviet scientist white lab coat Facility running arm stuck bathroom door
This scientist deserves to die. I mean, he somehow got stuck in a door.
If I didn't put him out of his misery, he'd still be stuck. ...Though I guess it's not canon.

I died in the room with a bunch of gas tanks that I probably should've blown up. Instead, I tried to face-tank the infinite (or might as well be infinite) Soviet soldiers rushing into the room to ambush me. I thought I wouldn't be able to lose a fight on Agent difficulty, but I was wrong. A younger me who didn't need to write and publish an article by an hour later would've tried the level again and blown up the poison gas tanks instead of blowing up the Soviets, but I got deadlines right now. Maybe I'll go back to it.

Really, I absolutely could see myself having played through the campaign mode and getting an appreciation for FPSs. I still will never like the fact that they de-emphasise the character design of who you're actually controlling, though maybe that's quite intentional for James Bond, a secret agent who doesn't want everyone knowing his identity anyway. But at least if I had played GoldenEye 007 a lot earlier, I wouldn't be totally useless growing up when friends ask me to play Call of Duty or something with them. I got a lot to think about.

GoldenEye 007 Nintendo 64 bungee jumping first mission dam James Bond cutscene
Well, guess I gotta jump! See you in the comments section!
(When this cutscene played I thought I was going to get a non-standard game-over by suicide, but it's how the first mission is supposed to be completed.)

Ludwig is trying to avoid having an existential crisis around GoldenEye 007, but you're still free to ruin his mental health and encourage that crisis to occur in the comments section. Ludwig didn't play the multiplayer at all. He'd still be awful, and for some reason, it's split-screen online multiplayer, which seems really bad for a first-person shooter where you don't want your enemies to know where you are.


  1. I mentioned that FPS games are the top genre of game that I just don't deal with. Well, this game is the sole exception. Even though it frustrates me every bit as much as all others I've tried, there's just something about the overall atmosphere of Goldeneye that takes the edge off of my rage somehow.

    1. I just went back to Facility and figured out that the door to leaving and completing the level is right there. And as long as I put my five mines on the five tanks, and talk to 006 and make sure he doesn't blow up and blow up the gas tanks before the guards show up, I just win.

      Now to the RUNWAY!

    2. wtf I get to just take a tank and ride it to the plane that's so cool

    3. Yeah, the tank is really fun. I thought on higher difficulties it didn't appear in that mission, but I just found out I was wrong. I've made 11 year old me VERY happy by successfully clearing the first three stages on 00 Agent difficulty! ^_^

    4. I'm not sure why the game doesn't just game over me right away when I fail a mission-critical objective. <.<

  2. This just adds to the games legendary status of being great for anyone and everyone. I've yet to play it, but maybe one day, once i decrease the current backlog of games... It's sure to impress me too! Licensed games are always a mixed bag so I still think you should go into them thinking the worst. It's always better to be pleasantly surprised, rather than unexpectedly disappointed.

    1. Well, you have until November before your mooching off KoopaTV's Family Group ends. <.<

      GoldenEye 007 was definitely a big exception to licensed games being of poor quality. ...Though it still had to suffer the licensing rights issues to get to appear on other platforms.


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