MR: Why does Pierce Brosnan have two different face models in the game? We noticed that the one in multiplayer wasn’t the same from the game itself.
ME: One of these was done specially for Pierce wearing a dinner jacket I think – so he has slicked back hair. The other was a more natural look.
DB: I think Beatrix, our character modeller, had made more than one head for Pierce Brosnan’s Bond character for different levels in the game. The head from the dinner jacket model was not appropriate for all of the levels and outfits in the game.
MR: Where did the idea of making additional levels with elements based on Moonraker, The Man with the Golden Gun and Live and Let Die come from? Why those films? And why mix Live and Let Die’s Baron Samedi with the Golden Gun?
DB: We picked our favourite levels and characters from the resources with which we had to work. These days you’d call it a mash-up.
ME: We wanted some bonus levels as a reward for the player, and the licence we had allowed us to make use of anything from previous Bond films. Those particular elements were picked because they are real classics and were favourites of people on the team. The Golden Gun and Moonraker laser are such cool guns and fitted in with the gameplay. As to why Baron Samedi ends up with the Golden Gun in an Egyptian temple – I have no idea!
MR: Why was Ken Lobb honoured by giving his name to such an inefficient weapon?
ME: There were legal issues with the name of that gun right at the last moment – it was called the Spyder and/or Skorpion before. I know Martin Hollis was trying to find a way to thank & honour Ken Lobb for all his help and so it seemed a good way to solve both problems by naming it after Ken. The stats of the gun had already been fixed beforehand so they couldn’t be changed.
DB: Ken was a tireless and enthusiastic advocate of the game during development when not everyone believed in the project. When the need came to rename one of the guns (the Skorpion SMG, which might have been called the Spyder at that point) there was really only one candidate we had in mind. It’s worth noting that in the right conditions, the gun is highly dangerous – if you are playing a one-hit-kills match, paired Klobbs are devastating to the opposition.
MR: Does the final name of that gun have something to do with Rosa Klebb, one of the villains of From Russia With Love, or is it just coincidence?
ME: I think it is just coincidence.
DB: Pure coincidence, it was named for Ken Lobb first and foremost.
MR: Did you ever think of or include a level inspired on a casino in GoldenEye 007?
ME: Not that I remember.
DB: It was in the back of our minds, I think, but there would have been such a lot of work to make a good casino background that we decided against it in the end.
MR: Did those exploding wooden chairs in Twycross inspire you for GoldenEye 007?
ME: It’s very dangerous working here! But it did save us having to come up with different destruction effects for every single object. Martin wanted lots of background effects going off just as the player was playing normally – using some of John Woo’s films (like Hard Boiled) as reference and the Archives scenes in GoldenEye the film. The idea was to make it look like there is a lot more action going on.
DB: Everything explodes in films - we were just trying to recreate that atmosphere!
MR: The fact that several members of the GoldenEye 007 team left Rare after the still unequalled success of that game started all the ‘brain drain’ conspiracies that have lasted until nowadays. How much of that would you consider as true?
DB: I don’t know the content of the rumours you mention, so I don’t know how much of any of them are true. As for ‘brain drain’, Rare has many employees – probably 150 at the time, now around 200 - substantially more than three or four would have to leave to have a lasting impact on the company. There is a huge amount of talent and experience at Rare spread throughout all of the employees here and to say that the success of the company hinged on one or two of them would be very derogatory – everyone pulls their weight.
ME: People leave and join most companies all the time – and it’s just the same at Rare. The bigger the company the more often it happens. It happened before GoldenEye 007 and it still happens now. Everyone has different priorities in life, and it’s best to follow them.