The James Bond franchise has been a successful book series, movie series, and even has had some respectable video games. But when it comes to these games, nothing is revered more than Goldeneye. While it did have a plotline that was based on the hit Pierce Bronson movie, the real crux of the game was actually within its multiplayer. This multiplayer allowed gamers to play as characters from throughout the history of the James Bond films, and you could play with up to four players on one Nintendo 64. It was a hit in every sense of the word, but it was also something that wasn't originally planned.
The game has just celebrated its 21st anniversary, and as such, Mel Magazine brought together some contributors and members of the original game team to talk about how the game was made. And surprisingly, multiple team members noted that the original goal of the game was to focus on the singleplayer mode.
David Doak, who worked for Rare on the game, noted that the team wanted a multiplayer mode, but that it was distinctly a "wish list" kind of thing. He admitted that the option was there, as the N64 had a natural way of playing with four players (which was a first for consoles at the time), but they weren't sure if they were going to be able to do it with the time that they had. And thus, they focused on singleplayer for the majority.
However, developer Mark Edmonds noted that he actually dove into the multiplayer aspect before they even got the green light for the feature. He wanted to code a 4-player multiplayer mode, and so he did. Then, when a demo of the game became operational, they all tested it together and realized that it was a lot of fun.
So, they agreed that it needed to be in the game itself, but much more improved than the demo that they had been playing. They decided to add the modes, leaderboards, and other things that the Goldeneye game is now synonymous with. But even as they made it, some of the team didn't feel that it would be the "game-changing" thing that it would eventually be known as. They just wanted to make a fun multiplayer mode.
The big test though was showing it to Nintendo, who owned Rare, and didn't know that the multiplayer mode was being made. But, once they saw it, they saw the potential of it and approved it for the release. And the rest, as they say, is history. Still, there was one question that loomed in the interview, one that had been debating since the arrival of the game 21 years ago, "Is using Oddjob cheating?"
For those who never played the game, Oddjob was a henchman from Goldfinger that was put into the game, and his stats were far above other characters, even characters like Jaws. Which made him "banned" in certain friend circles. The team admitted that Oddjob usage was indeed cheating, but the reason they didn't fix it was that they wanted gamers to make their own rules.