Nintendo's legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto gave feedback to the developers at Rare working on classic James Bond game Goldeneye 007, specifically criticising the amount of killing involved in the seminal N64 shooter.
Veteran game designer Martin Hollis revealed the (eventually ignored) input of the Mario and Zelda creator during a talk at GameCity festival in Nottingham recently. "One point [he made] was that there was too much close-up killing – he found it a bit too horrible," explained Hollis (via The Guardian).
"I don't think I did anything with that input. The second point was, he felt the game was too tragic, with all the killing. He suggested that it might be nice if, at the end of the game, you got to shake hands with all your enemies in the hospital."
Isn't that the most Miyamoto idea you've ever heard?
A credits sequence was added which introduced the soldiers and actors their look was based on. "It was very filmic, and the key thing was, it underlined that this was artifice. The sequence told people that this was not real killing."
Discussing the development of the game, Hollis revealed that the multiple objectives available to complete on each level was inspired by Super Mario 64, and that the team struggled with the depiction of violence considering the game was being made for Nintendo, a typically family-orientated company.
"Bond is a violent franchise and making that fit with Nintendo, which is very much family-friendly, was a challenge," he said. "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."
It sounds to us like Rare eventually struck the right balance. No killing wouldn't have been in keeping with the action film the game was based on and neither would a gag at the end, but too much gore wouldn't have been very Bond-like either.
A more in-depth report from the talk can be read here.