Nintendo has a reputation for being largely family-friendly when it comes to their image. Keeping up with that reputation became somewhat of a challenge when Nintendo tasked game developer Rare to bring to life one of the most violent and adult oriented characters, James Bond, to life with their adaptation of the film Goldeneye.
Game designer Martin Hollis spoke on the issues with the game over the weekend at the GameCity festival in Nottingham, England. As reported by The Guardian, Hollis commented that the original design of the game was way more violent and featured much more blood and gore.
“For a while we had some gore, it was just a flipbook of about 40 textures, beautifully rendered gore that would explode out. When I saw it the first time, I thought it was awesome, it was a fountain of blood, like that moment in the Shining when the lift doors open. Then I thought, hmm, this might be a bit too much red.”
In a story very telling of the time of the game’s development, Hollis elaborated on how his team received a fax from Shigeru Miyamoto with his input on the game. Miyamoto was said to have thought there was “too much close-up killing” making the game “too tragic.” Miyamoto also added it would be nice to add at the game’s end the opportunity to “shake hands with all your enemies in the hospital.”
Hollis shared that he disregarded the “close-up killing” comment but in a move to appease Miyamoto he added a credits sequence in the game depicting the characters as actors. “The sequence told people that this was not real killing.” he explained.
Despite Nintendo’s concerns over the overall violence they approached Rare with an opportunity to develop a sequel which they turned down.“I thought about this and was not sure I’d really want to,” said Hollis. “We had a small chat, three or four of us on the team. It was like, ‘No’. We sent the message back, ‘The answer is no. We don’t plan to make another Bond game from another Bond film’. And that was it.”
Rare went on to create spiritual successor Perfect Dark.