Next week will mark the 20th anniversary of the release of the seminal Nintendo 64 first-person shooter, GoldenEye 007. If you’re like me and have played the game to death, but still occasionally enjoy dipping back into the shooter’s excellent singleplayer missions and groundbreaking multiplayer gameplay, then what better way to celebrate the game’s anniversary than with a mod that injects some new life into the game?
As reported by Motherboard, a new romhack has been released by a modder named Konrad “K1lo” Strachan, dubbed Janus – named after the game’s traitorous villain, 006. Janus brings an element of randomisation to the game by changing up certain elements each time a level is loaded. It can randomise the character models for each enemy soldier, along with the weapons that they carry – so you might encounter Jaws carrying a Moonraker Laser on the opening Dam level, or a random goon carrying a one-hit-kill Golden Gun.
K1lo originally posted the mod to the Shooters Forever forum, where the full features of Janus are described as follows:
- Randomise enemy weapons with a large number of permutations
- Major and minor weapons for each randomisation type - 'common' enemies no longer all have the same weapon on each map
- Higher ranked common enemy types distinguished by different bodies suitable for level
- Guards occasionally have 'super' weapons (i.e. rocket + grenade launcher) although this is rare
- Occasional encounters with Bond villains who pop-up organically throughout the game
- More enemies throughout the game as any enemy can have the 'spawns clones' flag set
Of the impetus behind the creation of the mod, K1lo says:
“It's the sheer randomness and unexpected nature of the changes that makes it so fun to play ROMs randomised with the tool. I'm really enjoying seeing what can be done. The first version above could generate 60 odd permutations of ROM, the current code can already do many hundreds.. I'm actually unsure how to calculate the exact number of possibilities at this stage without spending ages following all the logic paths.”
Being a romhack, there’s a limitation imposed by the need to keep the generated rom’s file size under the N64’s actual limitations, so features such as procedurally-generated levels aren’t entirely possible. However, K1lo says later versions of the mod will include a small element of this:
“I've been busy refactoring and improving the tool...some standard objects (i.e. some crates will change between wooden, metal and oil drums randomly) [can be randomised] and starting weapons. All of this will be in the next version.”