The mystery behind Perfect Dark's unused passwords

Perfect Dark had two special passwords that players could unlock via certain methods. The passwords were as follows.

Cassandra’s Necklace:

Username: CDV780322
Password: I8MOZYM8NDI85

Multiplayer Reward:

Username: EnTROpIcDeCAy
Password: ZeRo-Tau

What did these passwords do? Back at the time of the game's release, no one knew. You couldn't enter them into the game in any way, which lead fans to searching out hidden rooms to unearth more info. Fans also went into the real world and tried to use the passwords on websites, like the promotional sites carringtoninstitute.com and datadyne.com. Still, those methods resulted in dead ends.

Now former devs have come forward and detailed how the passwords were meant to be used, but not what content they hid. Turns out those trying to enter the passwords into websites were correct. The problem is, RARE never had the time to actually put together the massive ARG they were planning. In other words, the passwords never actually hid anything, because the content wasn't created.

It seems plans were to offer up more info on the game and characters through websites, but even that information is speculative. The devs that offered up the password uses didn't know what content would be provided to players when they used the passwords. They just knew it was meant to hide content on official websites.

IndieGoGo - GoldenEra Documentary: The untold story behind GoldenEye 007

In 2017 our team began work on a documentary about the the game GoldenEye 007 for N64. A game that changed the way we play video games. We have interviewed GoldenEye developers, as well as many industry experts from IGN, Kotaku, GameSpot and Good Game. What we found was a story that’s even more fascinating than we hoped. Which is why we’re asking for your help to take the project to the next level and capture many more stories and create the documentary this game deserves.

IndieGoGo here

Grant Kirkhope looks back on his GoldenEye soundtrack

Coming from Grant Kirkhope...

“We had bought a double CD of the pop songs from all the Bond movies. I listened to that all the time. I picked up bits that got stuck in my head, you know, so I just like, put in the things I liked and hoped for the best! I was new at Rare, I didn’t really know what I was doing. In Frigate, I used my version of the “We Care A Lot” drum beat. I love Faith No More, so I nicked that. And then I took a bit from A View To A Kill, put that in there, and Goldfinger. For Cradle (another GoldenEye track), the riff was from one of the bands I was in years ago. It’s called "No Absolution". I was like, ‘It would sound cool if I stuck it in GoldenEye,’ so...”

That was me playing guitar (in the main theme). Memory was so tiny on an 8-megabit N64 cartridge. So, it worked out that the actual Bond theme tune, you could play it from about three phrases. So we cut it, because if we did it as one long phrase, then we couldn’t fit it in the memory. So we cut it into bits, and rearranged it a little bit, so we could play all of it with only two or three samples.”

This is just a small snippet of a feature where Mr. Kirkhope looks back on his game composing career. Check out the interview here!

Yooka-Laylee devs discuss the 7 biggest game design changes since the N64 era

“N64 characters could be concepted, modeled and animated in a week (if you worked as hard as me, anyway.) We were working with around 500 polygons, as opposed to the 10,000 we use now. Sure, tools have improved, but even with 1997 tools you can see how 500 polygons is going to be much quicker to produce than 10,000. Think a month for the same process today and you won’t be far off.”

It’s of greater importance now to make sure a character is going down the right path from inception. Being a relatively small team, the last thing we need is to have to re-do work. ‘Going down the right path’ might involve several people if necessary – questions need to be asked such as ‘Does it fit the style of the game? Does it fulfill all design requirements?’ etc. Sometimes the look of a character will spark new ideas around design, so it works both ways.” - Steve Mayles, character art director on Yooka-Laylee

Check out the full interview here

Super Mario 64 'parallel universe' trick pulled off on actual N64

You've heard of Mario warping before. That's no big deal, as it's part of the games. Have you ever heard of Mario traveling through parallel universes though? If not, you might want to set aside some time and check out the video before.

I've seen that video a couple tiems and I'm still blown away that someone figured this out. It's some deep-level thinking, and completely insane! Now believe it or not, it's actually been verified to work on a console. Bots and computers were running parallel universe moves through emulators, but now a path has been found that is console verified. You can watch it performed on an actual console here.

Dylan Cuthbert talks StarFox 2, Switch interest, trying to bring the original StarFox to 3DS & much more

The following comes from a Reddit AMA with Dylan Cuthbert...

Inspiration behind the Arwing walker mode mechanic in StarFox 2...

I think it's just that we all grew up with Transformers/Gundam and transforming robots and it seemed a natural fit. We also wanted to experiment with foot-based gameplay and a lot of our initial experiments were platform-gamer based (of course back then 3d platform games didn't exist so these early experiments were to prove for Miyamoto that something like Mario 64 could be made). This was all back in 1993 immediately after launching Star Fox.

His Switch impressions...

I think the Switch is awesome - perhaps the res could have been higher but maybe that would have resulted in a smaller screen to keep the cost down. The idea is very cool though and I'm playing Zelda (of course). I'm sure Nintendo must be thinking about StarFox for Switch but we aren't involved in that (I must admit it would be fun to do though!).

On a StarFox remake for 3DS that was pitched, by shot down...

We did a old-school re-make demo like this of the original StarFox for the 3DS back after we did the remake of StarFox 64 and showed it to Nintendo but they weren't interested unfortunately.

On two-player being dropped for StarFox 2...

The CES version was an even older version of Starfox which emphasized two-player co-op, however we dropped that due to performance in the end, and concentrated on the one player game.

On the Super Mario FX prototype for SNES...

I think it was just light experimentation, such as the FX chip based Pilot's Wings experiment too, just to see what could be done and was quickly re-worked on the prototype N64 hardware. They were already experimenting with motion capture for better animation in 1995 or thereabouts.

On what he'd like to see the StarFox franchise embrace in the future...

Good question, but perhaps a little too large to answer here - I'd like to see more sci-fi and story brought back in, with epic setups similar to those you see in the best sci-fi movies and tv shows.

It would have to be epic, the game is always best when it takes on and copies the big classic scenes in science fiction movies such as Independence Day and Star Wars. But at the same time I would want to work on the controls and gaming loops surrounding the player's actions, and arguably this is what I added to the original StarFox too, with the hit-flashes and rings and direction-flickable barriers, that's the stuff that is really good fun.

On working for Nintendo versus working for Sony...

Nintendo is a very rigid working environment where you need to be creative to "break free" of those constraints. Sony is a little too free and the constraints are ill-defined, or even worse the constraints are monetary. There are benefits to both systems and I've built Q-Games to be a hybrid.

On working with Nintendo devs...

I worked daily with Miyamoto and he was one of the first people I met when I was 18. We used to go out daily for lunch and he would practise his english on us. I also worked in Yokoi's group when I was making X and of course Sakamoto (Metroid) is a friend of mine and one of the first Japanese people I met. I also did an Iwata asks.. interview back in the day for StarFox 64 3DS which might be an interesting read for you.

On developing StarFox Command...

That was a ton of fun! Especially as Miyamoto said to take it "elsewhere" rather than just do a copy of the original or the N64 version. So Imamura basically moved into our office and we created something a bit quirkier and hand-held based with a bit of strategy involved as those were the ideas explored in StarFox 2. Eguchi was also involved overseeing the project and he was a driver behind the game going more strategic like that.

On what Nintendo franchises he would like to work on...

PilotWings and F-Zero

On interest in developing on Switch...

I would love to and I have a few quite original ideas to try out for that style of gaming, but we aren't developing anything yet.

On his feelings about StarFox 2 never releasing...

It was very disappointing of course, I had spent two years making the game and put so many ideas into it. I could understand the marketing/publisher logic behind the decision but it was still disappointing.

When asked if he'd like to work on StarFox for the 3DS or Switch...

who wouldn't?

On StarFox Zero impressions...

Hey there, yes, I played Starfox Zero a little, I think they tried out a number of interesting ideas in there and some of which came from Starfox 2, but also there were a lot of original ones too. I'd like to see more experimentation in that direction. Miyamoto always describes StarFox as an experimental title, a title that tries out new ideas for 3d gaming.

On X dev time and sadness over it not releasing in the states...

On X it was all software based, no special chip, I mapped the screen out using a character set and then wrote a polygon rasteriser that drew into memory, then that memory was transferred into the video ram via h-blank interrupts (transferring a few bytes at a time). Pete and Carl did a similar demo for the NES, albeit a simpler one because of the limited nature of that hardware.

It wasn't too hard because we used a lot of optimization techniques honed from doing 3d on other 8-bit systems. Back then there were quite a few tricks of the trade and if you had experience in them you could write a fairly efficient 3d engine even on hardware such as the Gameboy. We even had a simpler demo running on the NES.

Well yes, especially as we made and submitted the english version. NOA decided it was too hardcore for the US market... :( It took about a year and a half all in all.

On Miyamoto's old smoking habit...

he used to refine the StarFox controls by coming into an area with cigarette hanging out of his mouth whilst trying out the latest iteration. (he stopped smoking just after StarFox finished)

On who the StarFox characters are based on...

Slippy was based on Yamada for sure. Falco was Watanabe or Giles, Fox was Miyamoto or myself.

Densha de Go! 64 gets fan translation

A series that's been quite popular in Japan, but wasn't really high up on the list for titles to be localized. When companies won't give games a shot stateside, fans step in and do the work. It may have taken them quite a long time, but now we have one more N64 title we can check out, thanks to this English makeover.

Ken Lobb looks back on the work that went into GoldenEye, how his name became a gun's name

Coming from a Game Informer interview with Ken Lobb...

On the early days of creating GoldenEye, original Virtua Cop inspiration and utilizing the N64's 4 controller ports...

“Let’s just say, the ‘bigs,’ or the more experienced Rare developers were busy. They also weren’t super thrilled about making a game with a license. The license had come from Japan, from Mr. [Hiroshi] Yamauchi. He started the negotiations for it. Tim and Chris had agreed to take on the project. But the people making Donkey Kong, Banjo, Killer Instinct – they’re all busy. So, Martin Hollis and a little group of people began working on it.

They worked in barns at the time. Rare was called the Manor Farmhouse. It was this beautiful old farmhouse with a bunch of developers in it, and all these barns that were converted into development spaces. One was for Banjo, one was Killer Instinct, the smallest one had Martin Hollis, David Doak, and the whole team behind GoldenEye. I was visiting Rare a lot, once every 8 to 10 weeks to work on Killer Instinct 2. Actually, the end of Killer Instinct and into Killer Instinct 2, while they were making GoldenEye. I developed a friendship with Martin. That had a couple, shall we say, interesting impacts…”

They started making GoldenEye, and their inspiration was Virtua Cop. It was literally a rail shooter. I had helped convince Nintendo Japan that we should have four controller ports on the Nintendo 64. That was fun. They kept telling me how much it was going to cost, but it definitely helped the N64. Because of that, I was trying to get as many games as we could to support four players. I was also like, ‘You’re making a rail shooter on this analog stick. I bet we could do a first-person shooter.’ And they’re against that. ‘No, no no. We don’t have time; we have to hit this date.’

They were focused on something that was cooler than Virtua Cop, because they were going after location-based damage. The first tech they did was ‘shoot them in the hand, they drop their gun; shoot them in the butt, they jump in the air; shoot them in the hat, the hat flies off.’ All that kind of fun stuff. I went back two or three times between the time I saw the game and when it was announced at the Shoshinaki trade show in 1995. I kept talking to them about how I would do the control, and half the team started thinking, ‘Okay, maybe.’ They showed the video at Shoshinaki whtout saying what the game was, and everyone who saw it was like, ‘Awesome!’

I was at Rare a couple of weeks later, and they said, ‘Let’s work on that first-person shooter prototye-y thing.’ I immediately said, ‘Okay, can we do four-player multiplayer split-screen?’ They again said, ‘No. No time. Are you kidding? The N64… Are you crazy? It’s 160×120 (pixels) per player. 320×240 screen. This is why it won’t work. That’s why it won’t work.'”

On how the Klobb came to be named after him...

“I was working super hard, whether I was there or back at Nintendo. I took a luxurious weekend off as that game was about four weeks from done to go visit my in-laws in Portland. I called [Rare] on Saturday morning to talk to Martin. He said, ‘We’ve got bad news and good news.’

We’re weeks from launch. The game has to be done. I’m like, ‘okay, what do you mean? Please tell me.’ They received a letter from Nintendo legal, saying the name of the Spyder had to be changed. It was a gun. If you have one of the first 600,000 or 700,000 copies of GoldenEye, your manual doesn’t say Klobb, it says Spyder. We already printed those manuals, and didn’t know Spyder was the name of an actual paintball gun. They didn’t want to risk it. It obviously looks nothing like this gun, but it’s a name that’s trademarked, so they wanted to change it, but didn’t have time to do a worldwide search. The name had to be unique. So Martin said, ‘We named it after you!’ The people at Rare called me Klobb. ‘So, we named it after you, is that okay?’ I was honored. And little did I know that the game was going to do great. I had no idea it was going to be what it was. The little letter from legal ended up having a nice impact on me, personally. It was appreciated.”