A reference to every Bond movie (except, of course, those made after GoldenEye's release) is made in some form throughout the game.
On the first level, the Dam mission, it is possible to see what has been dubbed the "GoldenIsland", a distant platform with a tower and a gun turret. Go to the very edge of the level's end, to an outcropping pier at the base of the dam. Use the fullest zoom of a sniper rifle to see it.
The game was to originally feature real weapon names, with most being changed to fictional alternatives; the Czech Skorpion machine pistol's name was changed to "Spyder" as a result. However, this also proved troublesome, so the name was changed again, this time to "Klobb," after Nintendo's Development and Evaluation Manager, Ken Lobb. This change was made so late in development that alphabetical item lists in the game files still place the Klobb as if it is called "Spyder."
The opening screen of the game is a parody of a BBFC Cinema Classification screen seen before every classified film in the UK. This is most obvious where the red-outlined white circle symbol containing the red number '4' (stated to mean the game is suitable for 1-4 players) looks very similar to the BBFC's '12' or '15' certificate. Coincidentally, the UK cinema version of GoldenEye (1995) (which was slightly cut by the BBFC) was certified '12', and the uncut DVD version released in 2006 was certified '15'.
If you accidentally kill Alec in the Facility mission, he calls you a traitor and mentions that it is ironic. This is a reference to him betraying you later in the storyline, when he lives.
The game was almost never released. Nintendo felt that the game had too many bugs and they stopped funding the project. But Rare had faith in the game and kept funding going.
According to Grant Kirkhope, the multiplayer feature was added to the game as an afterthought, and took six weeks to develop. The multiplayer ended up becoming one of the game's most revolutionary and well-known features.
The videotape that Bond must steal from the Severnaya bunker (during his escape with Natalya) is a copy of the movie GoldenEye (1995).
The faces of the standard enemies in the game are actually the faces of the Rareware staff.
In the January 2000 issue of the long-running British video games magazine "Computer and Video Games", a list of the "100 greatest games of all time" was printed, voted for by readers of the magazine. GoldenEye was voted number 1.
The game was intended as a on-rail shooter. But the creators began to experiment by letting the player move around freely. After awhile, the team decided that a move around shooter made the game much better.
One of the best selling video games for the Nintendo 64 with over a million copies sold, allowing it to become a Player's Choice title.
A death animation, termed the "GoldenEye fall", or a variant of this animation, is used in every James Bond game after GoldenEye. It is characterised by a fall to the knees, then to the chest.
The "GoldenIsle" in the first level was actually a section of stage designed to be accessible via boat, and there were plans for a mission objective to require traveling there. However, the idea was dropped, and the GoldenIsle remained simply as a visual Easter egg.
In the Silo you can get Ourumov's briefcase, but it serves no purpose. The programmers originally intended to have an easter egg you could unlock by getting it, but ultimately didn't go through with it.
During early development of the game, Rare had the idea of the player taking the N64 rumble pack in and out of the controller to reload a weapon. It would've mirrored the act of reloading a magazine into an actual firearm. Unfortunately, Nintendo shot down the idea.
"Goldeneye" was also the code name of a contingency plan that the Allies devised in the event of a Nazi invasion of Spain. This plan was concocted in part by Ian Fleming himself, as an SIS agent.
Almost every inanimate object in the game will explode if it is shot, regardless of whether or not it is combustible.
The sound of the rocket launcher firing is the same as the sound of the depth charges from Operation Petticoat (1959)
In several instance, the actual set plans from the film were used as the basis for the level layouts in this game. The two clearest examples are when Bond enters the dam through the bathroom, and when he escapes from the interrogation room.
Dr. Doak, the scientist you must get the unlocking mechanism from in the Facility, was named after Rareware staff member David Doak.
"Goldeneye" is the nickname of James Bond creator Ian Fleming's beach-front house in Jamaica where (between 1952 and 1964) he wrote the James Bond novels and short stories. He named it after the Carson McCullers' novel, 'Reflections in a Goldeneye'.
Many missions were made up exclusively for the game and were not in the film. Examples include both visits to Severnaya, the Silo, the Frigate, and the Water Caverns.
The two post-Cradle bonus missions were not in the film Goldeneye. They are, however, based on events in previous Bond films. The Egyptian Temple is a location where Bond encounters Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and the character you must kill in the level, voodoo artist Baron Samedi, appeared in Live and Let Die (1973). The Aztec Complex is based upon Hugo Drax's secret Jungle Spaceport in Moonraker (1979), which also featured Jaws.
The corrugated metal crates (with the skull-and-crossbones symbol) are indestructible everywhere but the Dam.
In 2012, fans discovered a hidden emulator for the ZX Spectrum (an 8-bit home computer made by the British company Sinclair Research) inside the game's code, with ten games included. The emulator was a side-project by Rare to test if the Nintendo 64 was able to do software emulation. But instead of removing the code for it entirely, they merely deactivated it. A fan-made patch activates it again.
In the Streets stage, the civilians are wearing red shirts. This is a reference to the term "redshirt", or a stock character that suffers a violent death in order to represent the danger faced by the main characters. These civilians are the only characters in the game to be clad as such.
The single-controller and double-controller button schemes are named after various Bond girls in the 007 movie series: 1.1, Honey: Honey Ryder from Dr. No (1962) 1.2, Solitaire: Solitaire from Live and Let Die (1973) 1.3, Kissy: Kissy Suzuki from You Only Live Twice (1967) 1.4, Goodnight: Mary Goodnight from The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) 2.1, Plenty: Plenty O'Toole from Diamonds Are Forever (1971) 2.2, Galore: Pussy Galore from Goldfinger (1964) 2.3, Domino: Dominique "Domino" Derval from Thunderball (1965) 2.4, Goodhead: Holly Goodhead from Moonraker (1979)
Bond's signature gun is the Walther PPK in the films, but this was changed to PP7 for the game.
The helicopter called the Tiger Eurocopter in the movie is called the Pirate in the game.
The 'Goldeneye' title has been used extensively in the James Bond filmed universe. It was used in the title of: the 1995 James Bond movie GoldenEye (1995); a 1989 television biopic of Ian Fleming, Goldeneye (1989); the James Bond video game GoldenEye 007 (1997) and its remake GoldenEye 007 (2010) as well as another Bond video game, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (2004), which used this name to take advantage of the popularity of the first game, but had a wholly different story. These all make 'Goldeneye' the most ever used phrase for a title in the filmed James Bond universe.
Composers Grant Kirkhope and Graeme Norgate were heavily influenced by Éric Serra's original score from GoldenEye (1995). The game's score features many of Serra's well-known precussive, electronic sounds.
Five of the weapons unlocked by cheat codes are never seen, used or otherwise available in the single player mode. These are the hunting knife (throwing knives were available in the Bunker 2- immediately after breaking out of your jail cell), the shotgun (the AUTO shotgun was used primarily from Janus enemies in the Statue Park and in the Water Caverns), the silver or gold PP7 pistols (the cougar magnum is unusable but is seen with Natalya, used in the Jungle and simply held in the Control Center), or the taser. Every other weapon in the game can be potentially used by Bond at least once without the cheat of "All Guns" applied.
Like Banjo-Kazooie and Perfect Dark, a port for the Xbox 360 was planned, which would have included updated graphics. However, it never went past the early development stage and was later scrapped.
Pierce Brosnan has actually played this game, which he did in an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (2014).
The game was published by Nintendo, developed by Rare Ltd and available only on the Nintendo 64 platform.