If you ask a bunch of people what GoldenEye is, you’re likely going to receive a few different answers. That’s because there have been four different things to feature the “GoldenEye” name: three games and a movie. Three out of the four items are similar, but even they have their differences. Read on to find out about all of the GoldenEyes, one of the most powerful licensed names in the game industry.
If you asked a non-gamer what GoldenEye is, they’d probably think of the 1995 film GoldenEye, which was Pierce Brosnan’s debut as James Bond. GoldenEye was a huge success, grossing more than any bond film since Moonraker. It frequently places in the top 10 lists of best Bond movies. IGN has it ranked as the fifth best Bond movie, and Entertainment Weekly has it ranked at number 8. Keep in mind that these summaries aren’t exact, but they will give you an excellent idea of what went on.
The film starts with Bond gaining entry into a Russian gas plant with 006, Alec Travelyan. Bond is able to blow the facility, but not before 006 is caught and executed by Ourumov. As Bond is recovering from the loss of Alec, a Tiger stealth helicopter is stolen, and an electromagnetic pulse is detonated over Severnaya, Russia. Bond and Mi6 learn that one of the pilots who stole the helicopter (Xenia Onatopp) is a member of the Janus crime syndicate, and that the Russian outpost at Severnaya was actually home to the keys of the GoldenEye weapons satellites. Ace Russian programmer, Boris Grishenko, also joins Xenia with Janus.
M tasks Bond with finding evidence, so he flies to St. Petersburg and meets with Valentin Zukovsky, an ex-KGB agent who arranges a meeting between Bond and Janus, the leader of a crime syndicate. Valentin tells Bond that Janus is a Cossack, in other words a descendant of the Russians that helped the Nazis in World War II. After the war, the Cossacks surrendered to the British, knowing full well what Stalin would do to them had they surrendered to Russia. However, Britain gave the Cossacks back to Russia, which killed many of them. At the meeting, Bond learns that Alec is Janus, and his parents were among those that the British government could have saved. Now, Alec won’t rest until Britain suffers.
Bond is shot with a tranquilizer dart, and wakes up in the stolen Tiger helicopter, along with Russian programmer Natalya Simonova. Together they narrowly survive a missile attack, but are arrested by the Russian government. As Bond is being interrogated, Ourumov kills Russia’s defense minister, and allows Bond to escape, though without Natalya. Bond commandeers a tank, and follows Ourumov to an old Russian missile train, which is a mobile base for Janus.
A quick shot to the front of the train from the tank’s cannon derails the train, and Bond enters to save Natalya. Alec and Xenia escape, leaving Bond and Natalya trapped in a train car that is about to explode. However, Natalya is able to trace Boris’ location to Cuba, so the two of them head there next. After killing Xenia in the Cuban jungle, Bond heads to Alec’s control base, where after an epic showdown, Bond is the last one standing.
Two years after GoldenEye hit theaters, a game based on the movie was released for the Nintendo 64 by the name of GoldenEye 007. The game has much in common with the movie, but there are some pretty big differences between the two. The first three missions of GoldenEye 007 are right out of the movie. Bond makes his way through the Byelomorye Dam, enters the facility and meets up with 006, and escapes on a plane. Here is where the game begins to differ from the movie. After escaping the facility, Bond travels to Severnaya, which he never actually did in the movie. Bond has to fight his way through a Soviet Bunker, photograph a GoldenEye satellite, and destroy a missile silo.
After doing all that, Bond travels to France and boards the frigate La Fayette. In the movie, Bond was only aboard the frigate for a short time, but in the game, hostages have been taken and it is up to Bond to save them. However at the end of the day, the Janus group makes off with the Tiger helicopter just like they do in the movie. While Bond goes back to Mi6 headquarters in the film and watches the GoldenEye satellite hit Severnaya, he is actually there when it hits in the game. After the helicopter is stolen, Bond heads back to Severnaya again, but gets captured when he re-enters the bunker.
Here he meets Natalya for the first time, and together they break out of the bunker, only to head to Statue Park. As opposed to the film where Bond meets Valentin in his club, he meets him here in the park and tells him that Janus will meet him by Lenin’s statue. After Alec reveals himself and Bond saves Natalya, they are arrested, as they are in the movie. However, in the game Ouromov doesn’t kill Mishkin. Bond rescues Natalya from the Military Archives, only to have her be captured again. As in the movie, Bond chases Ouromov’s car down.
In the movie, Bond shoots the train with a tank shell, derailing it, and then he boards. In the game, Bond makes hi s way to the train depot and boards that way. He makes his way towards the front of the car, kills Ouromov and saves Natalya yet again. Natalya discovers that the Janus base is in Cuba, so they board a plane and make their way there. As in the movie, their plane is shot down, and they have to make their way through the jungle and best Xenia Onatopp to get to Janus’ base. As opposed to the movie where Natalya is captured, in the Janus Control Base in the game, she is free to help realign the GoldenEye satellite while Bond deals with swarms of Alec’s men.
After Natalya changes the satellite’s position in the movie, Bond and Alec begin their final fight, but in the game there is another level before that can happen. Bond must make his way through the caverns under Alec’s base before he can get access to Alec’s huge radio telescope based on Arecibo. When he does gain access, he disposes of Alec in much the same way that he does in the movie.
The next game to bear the “GoldenEye” name has nothing to do with the former game or movie. GoldenEye: Rogue Agent was Electronic Arts’ failed attempt to cash in on the name. As opposed to every other Bond game which was possible in the Bond universe, Rogue Agent was not, as it brought together multiple Bond villains that had been killed in different movies and kills them here in this game instead. The player assumes the role of “GoldenEye,” a rogue Mi6 agent now working for Goldfinger to get revenge on Dr. No, who was responsible for the loss of one of his eyes.
To aid in his fight against Dr. No, GoldenEye is given a gold-colored cybernetic eye, hence the name “GoldenEye.” His eye can hack machinery, project a shield to cover his body, act as an MRI, and even allow him to use telepathy. GoldenEye gets his revenge on Dr. No, and then sets his sights on Goldfinger after he learns that he has betrayed him. The game ends in a cliffhanger with Scaramanga talking to Blofeld about what to do with GoldenEye, but thankfully the odds of another “Rogue Agent” game are about zero.
Obviously the most current “GoldenEye” game is the new GoldenEye 007, which was created by Eurocom, and released late last year. (A DS version of this update was developed by n-Space released alongside the Wii version.) In the new game, Daniel Craig has replaced Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, and the game and story have been updated to make it more modern. Every other character has also been recast.
As opposed to 007 and 006 breaking into the Russian facility to destroy Russian weapons, they break into the facility to stop the weapons from being sold to terrorists. In this version of the original story, Ourumov is notorious for selling weapons to terrorists. As in the original movie and game, Alec is apparently killed by Ouromov. Mi6 later intercepts a call that connects Ourumov to Valentin, so Bond heads to Valentin’s club, now in Barcelona. Xenia Onatopp is there as well, and kills Valentin before he can give too many details to 007. However, he does tell Bond about an arms fair in Dubai. It just so happens that at this fair is a helicopter that can withstand an EMP; as in the movie, Xenia steals it and heads to Severnaya. A GoldenEye is detonated there, once again, but this time Bond is fighting his way through the chaos to find survivors. Here he finds Natalya Simonova, but is captured soon afterwards by Russian Defense Minister Dmitri Mishkin.
Once again, Ourumov kills Mishkin and escapes with Natalya. As in the former movie and game tie-in, 007 steals a tank, but this time rams the train off of the tracks. After fighting his way through the train, he meets up with Ourumov, Natalya, and Xenia. Xenia betrays and kills Ourumov, and leaves the train. Natalya had heard about a meeting Ouromov was supposed to have that night, so 007 goes in his place. Alec reveals himself as Janus, but has a different reason for being evil this time around. He believes that the service and the world have become corrupt by bankers and businessmen, and he will take the power back.
Alec escapes with Natalya, but Mi6 traces them to a solar energy station in Nigeria. 007 heads there, and kills Xenia in the Nigerian jungle, then heads into Alec’s base to deal with him. After a lengthy showdown, Alec is finally killed. So those are the basics. Each of these items may share the same name, but each has its differences, some more than others. Will we see the “GoldenEye” name return again? I’d say the odds are pretty good.