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Goldeneye N64: To Emulate Or Not To Emulate?

John McLaggan
Features, Goldeneye, N64 Games

Goldeneye N64: To Emulate Or Not To Emulate?

Recently, a deal was posted for Gamestation selling the Nintendo 64 classic Goldeneye for £3. For those of you who snapped it up or dug their original cartridge out of the cupboard, you may have been disappointed.

Back in the day when the graphics were fairly cutting edge and the game was hooked up to a 21" CRT, it wasn’t too bad. But connected to a large high definition television alongside the current gen consoles....well, I think it’s fair to say that the graphics haven’t really aged well.  There’s also the problem with the N64 analogue sticks, which are probably grating rather badly, unless you’ve kept one in brand new condition.

If you’re desperate for your Goldeneye fix but looking for a more modern way to play the game then emulation is well worth considering. It is entirely legal if you have the original cartridge version of the game.  By running the game through an emulator on your PC, you can connect it to your TV at its native resolution. Depending on the graphics power of your PC you can touch it up with some anti-aliasing (straighten out jaggy edges) and anisotropic filtering (sharpen up blurry textures).

Goldeneye N64: To Emulate Or Not To Emulate? You don’t need topend hardware either. My Dell XPS M1330 with an 8400M graphics card can easily drive Goldeneye smoothly at 1080p on a 40" TV over hdmi.

For controls, you can use an original N64 adapter over USB. Alternatively, if your controllers are completely worn out, you can use a current controller instead, such as the Xbox 360 wired controller through the XBCD driver package.  This can be mapped fairly similarly to the original N64 controller using the right analogue stick in place of the C buttons. This allows A and B to be mapped to face buttons, but it feels a little odd after modern first person shooters.

Impressively, it’s even possible to play Goldeneye online through an emulator although that’s perhaps taking it too far.  Of course, it would be great if Nintendo or Microsoft could release the game for the Virtual Console/Xbox Live Arcade but it looks unlikely.

Similarly, even Perfect Dark, (which doesn’t have the complication of the movie license) is split with Nintendo being the publisher and Rare now owned by Microsoft.  For multiplayer, there is a Half-life total conversion mod called Goldeneye: Source, which can be downloaded and played on a Steam account which has any Valve game on it.  This is in beta though, and the last update was back in March, 2009.

Goldeneye N64: To Emulate Or Not To Emulate? How do you play yours?  As Goldeneye was a popular game that was played to death, many people found alternative ways to play the game.

In our flat back in the day, one of my flatmates came up with ‘the challenge’.  The cheats for all guns and infinite ammo were enabled, Facility was chosen as the level with 007 mode setting, and the guards were set to "no health" giving them a one hit kill ( same for Bond).

At the start of the level, the player would hit the B button quickly, so the weapons would be cycled but couldn’t be seen and then someone would call stop. The player would then have to complete the level using the weapon they’d stopped at.  It could then be upped to ‘the ultimate challenge’ by removing autoaim, the target indicator and increasing the speed and accuracy of the enemies.

What was your version of the challenge?

Goldeneye N64: To Emulate Or Not To Emulate?

Add a comment5 comments
Matt Brian  Aug. 25, 2009 at 13:32

Goldeneye was pretty bloomin' marvellous, just reading about it brings back many fond memories.

I purchased a cheat cartridge for my N64, this allowed me to expand all of the multiplayer maps in their entirety. We then used the Co-Ax splitter to separate the output and play on two TV's, covering the other half so you couldn't see your friends position on the map.

Don't even get me started on how many times I tried to get the invincibility cheat. Everytime you played it, Dr Doak would change positions on the map. I had the honour of being the first out of all of my school buddies to have unlocked it.

It was a game unsurpassed for it's multiplayer until Halo and COD came out, that's saying something.

ZPE  Aug. 25, 2009 at 14:24

Emulation of any sort is not legal, jst ask the intellectual property lawyers.

Rubisco  Aug. 25, 2009 at 15:35

Lol @ ZPE

"intellectual property lawyers" can spout whatever rubbish they like on behalf of the vested interests of their clients, the truth is that nothing has ever gone to court, there's no legal precedent and until the unlikely event that one is set, it's all debatable. To all intents and purposes, emulation is legal.

Mike Hock (Of Bitter Wallet fame)  Aug. 26, 2009 at 10:29

Ahh I remember them days, when games were actually good.

gary  Oct. 4, 2009 at 18:42

We used to play multi player with 2 tvs back to back and blank of half the screen so you couldnt see what or where the other person was doing. very funny with proximity mines ect. Great days.


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