A Very Happy Birthday to Goldeneye 007 on Nintendo 64

This week in 1997 the video game world changed forever when Goldeneye 007 was released on the Nintendo 64. To this day the eyes of every kid born in the 80s light up like a proximity mine going off at close range in multiplayer mode whenever it is brought up. In honor of the big birthday it seems only appropriate to share some memories of one of the most beloved games of the era. 

  • The single-player story mode was great and a lot of fun, but the lasting legacy of the game will always be the multiplayer mode. It caused fights. It ended friendships. It resulted in many Nintendo 64 controllers to be thrown against walls. It was unlike anything that came before it on home consoles and really paved the way for games today. Not sure how closely you follow the video game scene these days but multiplayer first person shooters remain pretty popular! Goldeneye was the godfather. 
  • What made the multiplayer mode so wonderful was its endless customization. Tons of different modes, gun type, levels, time limits, etc. It was so easy to play all afternoon with some pals and never play the game the same way twice. 
  • There is no wrong way to play multiplayer, but the premier way, what I like to call the Gentlemen’s Match has the following rules: Pistols – License to Kill – No Radar. For those that don’t remember LtK meant one-shot and you’re dead. Some people, pros even, won’t play License to Kill – they can’t handle the swings. But there are others who consider License to Kill the only pure game left. Like Papa Wallenda said, “Life is on the wire, the rest is just waiting.”
  • You are somebody I would want to get beers with if you caught the reference above. 
  • Wait, back up a second, remember when I said there is no wrong way to play multiplayer? I was wrong. You are a total punk-ass if you pick Oddjob – the shortest and therefore hardest character to hit. Even joking about being Oddjob in one of my games would get you banned for life. 
  • One of my favorite memories was a buddy and I had such an intense rivalry that we kept accusing the other of peaking at the other’s part of the screen to see where they were. So we taped a piece of cardboard horizontally on the TV to prevent this. Person on bottom sat below the cardboard, almost like an old-timey photographer going underneath that curtain thingy, while the other would play standing up. We had a lot of time on our hands that summer.
  • You know how sometimes you have such fond memories of something you grew up with but when you revisit it you are disappointed? Might be best to leave your memories of 007 alone if you haven’t fired it up lately. It is by no means a horrible game in 2020, it is still pretty fun and always good to visit an old pal, but sometimes it is just impossible to recapture the magic of our youth. 
  • The dream for a lot of Goldeneye fans is a 2020 remake with updated graphics. Seems like a no-brainer given our society’s never-ending hunger for nostalgia, right? Well a group of fans were putting together a truly beautiful remake that was going to be finished in 2022 in time for the 25th birthday of the game. That was until just recently when the 007 rights holders sent a cease and desist letter. Bastards! 
  • One last memory before we wrap things up. I mentioned all the fights that happened after tempers would flare from playing multiplayer. If you ever played, you know what I am talking about. My favorite one ever happened when a buddy was so on tilt he unplugged the controller and started swinging it above his lead like a lasso or one of those medieval balls with spikes threatening another friend. The controller then ended up getting caught in the ceiling fan above and started swinging wildly around the room. We all started laughing so hard that cooler heads prevailed, thankfully. Would have been rough for my buddy to go get stitches because he got lasso’d in the dome with a 64 controller. 

Happy birthday to 007 and cheers to everyone who loved that game. Unless you played as Oddjob. Then you are awful and I am upset you read my website.