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These Other James Bonds Were Originally Going To Be In GoldenEye 007

"GoldenEye 007" released in 1997 for the Nintendo 64 as an unexpected success. The game sold over 8 million copies (per Statista), paying off the efforts of developer Rare and outselling classics like "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time." Gamers have been disappointed by efforts to revive the IP, with both 2004's "GoldenEye: Rogue Agent" and 2010's "GoldenEye 007" remake falling flat. Given the well-documented licensing issues involved with releasing a "GoldenEye" remaster, some fans have come to terms with the fact that "GoldenEye" clones may be the best they can hope for. The wait to see Irish actor Pierce Brosnan's take on James Bond in a new game may last forever. Then again, Rare originally planned to feature several iterations of Bond from the movies.


In the multiplayer mode for "GoldenEye 007," up to four local players could pick from a wide cast of Bond characters and take them into a variety of matches. These included a mix of characters from the single-player campaign and some hidden extras available only through specific button inputs or cheating. However, as revealed in an interview with the Independent, Rare wanted to expand the multiplayer roster further to include not only Pierce Brosnan's version of James Bond, but the portrayals of Bond by Timothy Dalton, Sean Connery, and Roger Moore.

A battle of Bonds

"GoldenEye" programmer David Doak and director Martin Hollis spoke to the Independent about their plans for the four Bonds. "You could find out who's the best Bond and play with your friends," Doak said. Unfortunately, lawyers representing the Bond rights-holders asked the team to remove the other Bonds, citing Sean Connery's likeness specifically as an issue. "I think they were worried about him getting litigious," Hollis said.


A "GoldenEye 007" multiplayer mode featuring Moore, Dalton, and Connery would have undoubtedly added to the game's prestige among fans of the franchise, but even with the extensive license agreement negotiated by Rare, it never came to fruition. Of course, even if the other three Bonds had made it into the final game, it would likely have exacerbated the licensing issues required to produce a one-to-one remake (which is why Rare's planned "GoldenEye" remaster was canceled).

Beyond the four-Bond multiplayer mode, the Independent's interview touched on Nintendo's surprise with the amount of blood originally present in "GoldenEye." Speaking with The Guardian, Hollis recalled Shigeru Miyamoto approaching him about making the game less depressing. "He suggested that it might be nice if, at the end of the game, you got to shake hands with all your enemies in the hospital," Hollis said. Imagine multiple Bonds doing that!


The removal of blood or the other Bonds may have bummed some fans out back in the day, but Rare's efforts ultimately paid off in the long run, as people continue to talk about (and play) "GoldenEye 007."