Perfect Dark

aka: Red and Black, Wanmei de Hei'an
Moby ID: 4034
Nintendo 64 Specs
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Description official descriptions

Joanna Dark is an agent for the Carrington Institute, a secret organization funded by anonymous sources and dedicated to protecting the world. Through their highly trained operatives and special devices (gadgets), Carrington keeps an eye on terrorists, world powers, and strange happenings. The speed at which the dataDyne corporation has established itself through the development of new technologies is starting to worry the institute. So when Carrington receives a message from Dr. Caroll, a scientist wishing to escape dataDyne, they send their best agent, Joanna, to infiltrate the company headquarters.

Perfect Dark is a 3D first-person shooter similar to Rare's earlier GoldenEye 007, though with more of an emphasis on stealth. Joanna can pick up and use a variety of firearms, including shotguns, submachine guns, sniper rifles, various explosives, and others. In addition, she carries quite a few spy gadgets such as IR scanners, night vision, probes, and a deadly laptop. Most weapons have secondary fire modes and reloading them is displayed in an on-screen animation.

Shields are scattered through the stages and can be picked up for additional protection. There are no health-restoring items and Joanna cannot jump. Like GoldenEye 007, the game has three difficulty levels, with the higher ones featuring more accurate enemies, less ammo, and more objectives for the player to complete within each mission. Cutscenes with voice acting advance the story between missions.

The game also features a training mode set in the Carrington Institute. Completing the firing range challenge there unlocks the classic weapons from GoldenEye 007. In addition, the campaign can be played in a co-operative mode for two human players or one human player and up to three computer-controlled teammates (in split-screen mode), as well as in a "Counter Operative" mode, where one of the players takes control of an enemy and tries to stop Joanna from fulfilling her mission.

Multiplayer includes a variety of modes. Among those are the traditional deathmatch as well as the objective-based Capture the Flag and King of the Hill modes. Other scenarios and objectives include surviving as long as possible while carrying a briefcase, hacking computer systems with randomly placed data uplinks, and hunting down a single player as a team. Stages, teams, and weapon placement can be customized by players.

The Xbox 360 port has redone graphics to support a 1080p full HD resolution at 60 frames per second. It also incorporates full multiplayer support over Xbox LIVE.

Spellings

  • パーフェクトダーク - Japanese spelling
  • 完美的黑暗 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Nintendo 64 version)

105 People (94 developers, 11 thanks) · View all

Project Leader
Graphics / Artwork
Programming
Music
Sound
Design
Animation
Designs on the Future
Play that Music Maestro
Manic Welsh Designer
Grey Area
Mover and Shaker
Guns and Visual Orgasms
Dinomic Backgrounds
Sound Geezer
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 88% (based on 72 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 144 ratings with 6 reviews)

Goldeneye's only true successor.

The Good
The graphics are beyond beautiful for the era and the gameplay addresses Goldeneye's shortcomings, honors them, and builds on top of them to make a cyberpunk adventure that quickly became a classic in the new millennium.

Perfect Dark's just about perfect in every way.

The Bad
There's not a hell of a lot I consider negative about this one. I guess the missions can conveniently make the bad guys hit you when they shouldn't do so (but every great action game has small issues like these anyway).

The Bottom Line
It's Goldeneye in the future! Like Batman Beyond? Well, imagine what that did for Batman The Animated Series, and this is what Perfect Dark does for James Bond.

Nintendo 64 · by John H. (52) · 2019

Cool!

The Good
Nice graphics on hi-res mode, lots of weapons, good voice acting and sounds, lots of missions, cool Combat Simulator, some "extra features" (i.e. Shooting range) cool codes that are fun to get (like the "Classic weapons" cheats...) Smart AI, cool Co-operative/Counter/Operative feature. All in all just a great game!

The Bad
VERY bad frame rate with Hi-res turned on. Some of the Combat Simulator challenges are almost impossible due to the tough bots.

The Bottom Line
It's great! I would recommend it to any action game enthusiast. It's made by the same people who brought you Goldeneye- heck, it even uses the same engine (of course it has been modified... :) ) The gameplay is fun and vary mixed. The weapons are creative and the story is pretty cool. Also some of the cheats open up whole new gameplay- such as the 3 secret missions.... ooooohhh! Mysterious! And the alternate intro movie as well... well, buy it and find them!

Nintendo 64 · by Ben Fahy (92) · 2001

It's well....perfect...

The Good
Back in 1998 a game called Goldeneye 64 came out, produced by the company Rare (Donkey Kong trilogy, Killer Instinct, Dk64) it chagned the way we played FPS in both PC and Console worlds. Great graphics lots of weapons and a stealth style mode made Goldeneye a hit.

Rare declined making Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not enough due to Perfect dark, they did not want to be constrained by a licence and have limited room to work with. Perfect Dark at that time was turning from a Goldeneye style game to what it is now. You are Joanna Dark, or as your code name states: Perfect Dark. You are fresh out of training, scoring A+++. Your first mission is to rescue a Dr. Carol from DataDyne's H.Q. DataDyne have been getting some very large boosts in technology research and you have to find out what this is about.

Graphics: VERY GOOD, better than Goldeneye. In fact the game won't run right without the expansion pack. There is now glare from lights, floors that reflect and shine, better glass, sun glare and rays. The people in the game are better rendered, they have more rounded heads and move better than before. Animation is well done with most of the animation being motion captured beforehand. Bullet holes change with different wall surfaces, like metal or plastic, and elevators are now intoduced.

Sound: Better than ever, full voiced cutscenes, men now scream out for the alarm to be raised, and make rather crass comments when dying "Gasp!...I'm dying1". Weapon sounds are more improved and are more meaty.

Gameplay: The single player game is good, hard levels, VERY smart guards who dodge by alerting other guards and hiding behind any obstical. Some even cloak, then there are the Skedar, large very detailed lizards who take a lot of lead to kill. The missions range from getting from A-B, saving your base by turning on drone guns to escaping on hover bikes. Very varied. Multiplayer is a blast, with lots of new game modes to use, like capture the breifcase (flag) or king of the hill where you have to guard a part of the level. An interesting one is Hacker Central, where you have to guard your mates who are trying to hack into a computer outlet. Bots are also inculded with many personalityies to choose from, like rocket launcer experts to peace lovers who disarm you. There are around 40 weapons, each with a secondary fire making them new weapons all together, this making it around 80. From knives to Lazers, cloaking devices to hacking tools bullets are a girls best friend.

The Bad
The storyline has lots of holes in it. Some things are left very unanswered, this is kinda fixed up in a story summary at the end in the comms room. The single player game gets very hard at times with some of the enemy being very unfair in their actions. The annoying blur you get when hit can be ok but this does not refresh in multiplayer when you die, so you gain a very large advantage being unable to see anyone properly.

The Bottom Line
Very good, lots of fun buy it.

Nintendo 64 · by Sam Hardy (80) · 2001

[ View all 6 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Publishing company question Zaibatsu (20052) Jun 17, 2020

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The N64 version of Perfect Dark appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Bugs

The first release cartridges have more than their fair share of glitches and bugs. The most glaring example is this is that if you try to load up the Warehouse multiplayer level with three players, the game will crash. No exceptions. Worse than this however is that "Challenge 7" is a three person game on the warehouse level and simply impossible to play if you have one of these early cartridges.

Cheese

In each level there is a hidden piece of Swiss cheese. This was originally part of a plan to have a mega cheat activated when all the cheese was found, but it was scrapped in the final version.

Difficulty

Advancing trough the three basic skill levels (Agent, Special Agent, and Perfect Agent) not only increases the number of missions and reveals new areas, but also grants you access to the elite Perfect Dark skill level. Rare's development team has stated that nearly 95 percent of players will never be able to finish the game on this difficulty even if they somehow manage to get to it.

Game Boy Camera

During development, it was announced that Perfect Dark would use the Game Boy Camera in conjunction with the N64 Transfer Pak. Players would be able to use these two accessories to map their own faces on in-game character models for use in multiplayer modes. However, due to the potential of media controversy of 'being able to shoot your friends', this feature was removed prior to the game's release.

Japanese version

In the Japanese version, almost all blood was removed.

References

  • The Carrington Institute has a display case with weapons from Goldeneye 007 in it.
  • Some of the random head models/textures in the game are based on gaming journalist photographs taken at 1999's Electronics Entertainment Expo. This includes but is not limited to Ed McGlothlin, Matt Cassamassina, and Peer Schneider.
  • The BAFTA Interactive Award which Rare was given for GoldenEye 007 can be seen in a safe in the G5 building level of Perfect Dark.
  • On the Area 51 Rescue stage, there is a reference to the Pixies, the rock band popular for songs that usually mentioned aliens and UFOs. The following names are called on the loudspeakers:

  • "Dr. Francis, please go to Cryo Lab A" - "Captain Santiago, go to Medical Bay 6" - "Lieutenant Deal, report to Containment" - "Dr. Lovering, please phone autopsy"

The band was formed by Black Francis, Joey Santiago, Kim Deal and David Lovering.

Awards

  • EGM
    • February 2006 (Issue #200) - #170 out of 200 of the "Greatest Games of Their Time"

Information also contributed by atadota, Big John WV, Jeanne, Jiguryo, Joshua J. Slone and WildKard

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by DaMaul.

Xbox Cloud Gaming, Xbox One added by Sciere. Xbox 360 added by BurningStickMan.

Additional contributors: Zovni, Unicorn Lynx, Apogee IV, Shoddyan, Joshua J. Slone, gamewarrior, DreinIX, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, TwoDividedByZero, Thomas Thompson, FatherJack.

Game added May 8, 2001. Last modified February 10, 2024.