Shigeru Miyamoto wanted Bond to be more family-friendly in GoldenEye 64, suggesting he might “shake hands” with his enemies.
GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64 was undeniably one of the best games of the 1990s, paving the way for FPS titles on consoles.
However, Nintendo was concerned about the game before launch, particularly around its depiction of violence.
Speaking at the GameCity festival in Nottingham, game director Martin Hollis explained that Nintendo was uneasy about the game’s headcount, especially as the original concept was far more graphic.
“Bond is a violent franchise and making that fit with Nintendo – which is very much family-friendly – was a challenge,” said Hollis, as reported by The Guardian. “For a while we had some gore; it was just a flipbook of about 40 textures, beautifully rendered gore that would explode out.”
But of course, for Nintendo there was far too much red – and not the nice Mario-kind either. It got to the point that Shigeru Miyamoto himself had to send a fax to developer Rare towards the end of development.
“One point was that there was too much close-up killing – he found it a bit too horrible. I don’t think I did anything with that input,” explained Hollis. “The second point was, he felt the game was too tragic, with all the killing. 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.”
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Of course, Rare wasn’t going to do that, so instead it opted for a credits sequence into the game where the characters were all introduced.
“It was very filmic, and the key thing was, it underlined that this was artifice. The sequence told people that this was not real killing.”
Rare did take some of Nintendo’s ideas on board, if indirectly. In fact, Hollis admitted GoldenEye 007 took a lot from Super Mario 64, especially when it came to having multiple objectives per level.
“Mario 64 came out during the development of GoldenEye and we were clearly influenced by the game. Ours was much more open as a result.”