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Prerelease:Perfect Dark (Nintendo 64, Xbox 360)

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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Perfect Dark (Nintendo 64, Xbox 360).

This article is a work in progress.
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.


Early Preview

A promotional video, possibly from E3 1998, showing some early gameplay footage. Some of the footage is reused in other videos, but this is the only known copy with the original music intact.

This music is a combination of three tracks from the game: Area 51 Escape, the unused track in the final ROM, and another track not heard anywhere else...in Perfect Dark, at least. This was a "sketch" composed by Graeme Norgate, who later ended up revamping it as "Scotland the Brave" in TimeSplitters: Future Perfect.

(Source: LunarNET (Video), Graeme Norgate (Track Info))

"Games on Film" Preview

The footage in this video seems to come from the same source material as the one above, however it has some footage not seen in that video, and sadly is also missing a lot of it. The parts that are present in both videos are much clearer in this one.

(Source: WorldOfSuperNintendo)

Lo mejor de Nintendo 64 - Perfect Dark

Even more footage from that same source. This has a lot from Area 51 that is missing in the other two.

(Source: SkullKid)

Nintendo 64 Catalogue Officiel 98

The relevant part of the video starts at 7:31. There is even more early footage of Area 51 in this video, including a four screen multiplayer game!

(Source: philfro)

French Promo

A heavily processed video, however it does show a few scenes that aren't in any others, including some more of Deep Sea. Don't be fooled by the "multiplayer" sequence, since the top left screen isn't even in the right level!

(Source: adonfjv)

N64 Magazine E3 1999 Preview

An E3 1999 promo video from N64 Magazine which contains a lot of Perfect Dark footage. Much of it is captured from the same source as the other videos, but there is some footage of a later build being played (rather poorly) at 11:11. The GoldenEye sniper rifle is seen in a multiplayer game.

(Source: Spiceymike0)

Official Trailer

"In a world where dark secrets hide in glass towers..."

This is the official promotional trailer for the game, and it shows a ton of early tests of weapons and allied characters. The solo setup for the Skedar Combat Simulator arena is briefly shown.

Gameplay Footage

This video is unique: It's 34 minutes of unaltered gameplay footage, playing through the first three missions on easy (Agent) difficulty.

(Source: RareMinion)

General Changes

Weapons and Devices

"Don't move, or the ceiling gets it!"

Early weapon behavior can be seen in all three videos, but the official trailer shows most of it. Some points not specific to any weapons in particular:

  • Weapons originally reloaded like they do in GoldenEye, by being lowered offscreen, rather than having reload animations unique to each weapon.
  • It seems like it was originally possible to change the way you held pistols at will. In the final game, you'll automatically turn them sideways when very close to an enemy, but in the videos you can not only see them turn sideways when no enemies are around, but also be held straight up like in the screenshot to the right. They could even be turned sideways while being held up, almost completely obscuring the screen. Based on the footage, this doesn't appear to have affected their firing in any way.
  • The player hand in this shot is ridiculously detailed to the point of having visible nails; in the final game the player HUD hands are comparatively low-res.

Falcon 2

While this already has its laser sight modeled in early footage, there is no visible laser beam.

MagSec 4

The MagSec was originally called "lees gun" (possibly named after Lee Musgrave, who is listed in the credits), an obvious placeholder, and is noticeably less detailed. Interestingly, a "lees gun #2" can be seen in the inventory menu, but it is never drawn, so it is unknown what weapon this became.

FarSight XR-20
Go watch the trailer - it's more interesting to see it in action.

The FarSight's precursor was the z2020. This weapon used the same model, sounds, and aiming sight as the Dragon does in the final game, but only loaded 8 rounds of ammo and had the X-ray rail gun effect when aiming like the final FarSight. It is used several times during the official trailer, including once to "erase" the computer executive in dataDyne Defection.

Additionally, in both the trailer and the shot to the right, a red box is seen drawn around a destructible prop. It's not known if this was a feature of the weapon or not, but it's not seen when using any other weapon except the CMP150, which only highlights characters, not props.

GoldenEye Weapons

Weapons from GoldenEye were used as placeholders. Several of these can be seen in the early promo videos.

  • Trent Easton was originally armed with the Cougar Magnum instead of his DY357-LX. It can also briefly be glimpsed in a multiplayer game in the official trailer.
  • The ZMG (9mm) and AR33 assault rifle were used by some guards and Maians in Area 51. The ZMG uses the same sound as the CMP150, while the AR33 sounds like the Laptop Gun.
  • As seen in the N64 Magazine preview, the Sniper Rifle and Remote Mine used GoldenEye models during development. The Remote Mine did not have a first person model.
ECM Mine

The ECM Mine originally used the same model as the Tracer Bug.

Data Uplink

This was known as both the "Data Thief" (a GoldenEye remnant) and Comms Uplink during development. In the half hour of footage, it doesn't have a first person model.


  • dataDyne Shocktroopers originally had muffled or vocoded-sounding grunts and death screams, although their voices were normal. This was dropped from the final game and they use the same sounds as other human male characters.
  • Maians use human male grunts when shot in the "Games on Film" preview.


Pre-release Final
Why didn't they keep it this clear?! Now the text fades in and out...

This is the only known shot of an earlier menu style. Notably, it is much clearer than the final menu, and it seems to lack some of the effects that make it look like a projected hologram. The shades of blue used are darker, the title bar gradient is simpler, and text is white instead of cyan. The menu itself is larger, there is no space under the title bar before the Background heading, and no padding for the actual briefing text. There is no eyepiece HUD projector or health and shield bar yet, and the background isn't blurred. There's no indication if other menus are available by pressing Left or Right, either.


Early Later Final
Mystery bar, what are you? Looks like the numberless style was ditched early on, thankfully. Does anyone actually find the zoom range option useful?

The ammo bars are known to have gone through two revisions before the final style:

  • In the earliest style, the bars for the current weapon's loaded ammo and total ammo are placed side-by-side and have rounded tops. The total ammo bar is slightly taller than the loaded bar. When two weapons are being held, the other ammo bar is drawn on the left side of the screen. There is another gradient green to blue bar drawn at the top right of the screen. This bar's purpose is unknown, as it never seems to change. Green viewfinder-like lines frame the screen.
  • The second style is very similar to the earliest, but the bars are a little thicker and shorter, and placed higher up on the screen since there are now ammo counts under each bar. The gradient bar was removed from this style. The ammo bars move off the side of the screen when aiming with a weapon that zooms in. Multiplayer screenshots show that the ammo numbers did not line up with the bars correctly when playing in split screen.
  • The final bars seem to have been implemented relatively late in development. They're thinner again, shorter, no longer rounded on top, and are stacked on top of each other. Loaded ammo is at the top and total at the bottom; total fills from the top down instead of bottom up as in the previous styles. The ammo numbers are printed to the bottom and top left/right of the bars respectively. The loaded ammo is divided into cells for pistols and items. The viewfinder-like lines have been removed. Notably, pre-release shots of this HUD are the only ones that show the weapon function indicator box, zoom range, and target sight, so it's likely they didn't exist for the previous HUDs.
To do:

The border of the radar in multiplayer was originally an octagon instead of a circle.

The aiming sight originally turned red when hovering over any object, including props and friendly characters. The sight only changes on characters in the final game, and friendly ones get a blue square instead of red.

As seen at 19:26 in the half-hour of footage, objectives used letters instead of numbers when completed, similar to GoldenEye. At this point in development they're already numbered on the objective list.

Level Changes

Carrington Institute

An empty Carrington Institute can be seen in the early promo. Instead of an elevator, there is a ramp that leads to the second floor offices. Since the video only shows one elevator, it's not known if both were ramps at this point in development.

dataDyne Defection


He didn't move!

This seems to have been used as a testbed for weapons and character models, which isn't surprising considering it's the first mission in the game. Some notable examples:

  • Joanna started with a small arsenal, drawing the z2020 (FarSight) at mission start, and having the MagSec 4, "lees gun #2", AR34, and crossbow available in addition to the weapons normally found in the mission.
  • Many of the common guards were dataDyne Shocktroopers. In the final game, with one exception, all of the Shocktroopers are in the foyer area and dataDyne Infantry are used in the offices.
  • Trent Easton was apparently being used as a placeholder for Cassandra De Vries. In one part of the early promo, he's killed outside the doorway of the stairwell leading to the offices. In another, he emerges from Cassandra's office after hearing gunfire.
  • Mr. Blonde's model was used as a common guard. They can be seen in several early screenshots and in the N64 Magazine promo footage.
  • Two Maians helped you in the rooms near the secret elevator. These were likely an early test of allied characters in missions or co-op simulants.

The N64 Magazine Preview shows a few things not seen elsewhere:

  • 26:08 β€” There is no switch to turn off the lights.
  • 26:10 β€” GoldenEye Remote Mines are used to blast open the ventilation shaft. The mission's cheese isn't present.


The video with a half hour of footage shows an unpolished version of the mission. Luckily, despite playing on Easy difficulty, the player does the segment with the executive anyway. The most interesting aspect is the dialogue, a good amount of it was changed for or dropped from the final mission.

Pre-release Final
Joanna: Why the big hurry? Joanna: Why the big hurry?
Carrington: If Dr. Caroll is not extracted tonight, dataDyne will put him through mind conditioning, and we'll lose our best chance of finding out what dataDyne are up to. Carrington: If Dr. Caroll is not extracted tonight, dataDyne will put him through mind conditioning, and we'll lose our best chance of finding out what dataDyne are up to.
Joanna: So, who can I shoot? Joanna: Are they all expendable?
Carrington: Don't joke! You have to be careful, Joanna. Code keys will only operate while the owner is alive... If you kill them, the key is useless. Armed guards are a different matter, of course. Carrington: Don't joke! You have to be careful, Joanna. Code keys will only operate while the owner is alive... If you kill them, the key is useless. Armed guards are a different matter, of course.
Joanna: And once I'm inside? Joanna: What's the target location?
Carrington: Work your way down the building to the ground level. Dr. Caroll will be in a research lab somewhere in the underground facility. Carrington: Work your way down the building to the ground level. Dr. Caroll will be in a research lab somewhere in the underground facility.
Joanna: What does he look like? Joanna: How will I recognize him?
Carrington: We don't have a picture, and Dr. Caroll is a false name. He said you'd know him when you saw him, and he'll be looking out for you. Carrington: We don't have an image record, and we can't find any official files. All we have is the name. Good luck, Perfect Dark.
  • 0:24 β€” Some of the dialogue played during the intro is different. Outside of his last lines, Carrington's dialogue is the same, but most of Joanna's lines sound less mature than they do in the final script.
  • 1:26 β€” Joanna starts with a normal Falcon 2. The final game gives her a silenced one for this mission.
  • 1:41 β€” The guard on the rooftop walks inside and talks to the other guard! "So you're still alive, then?" The player shoots him after he says this line. The other guard is left stuck in a talking animation. This bit of comedy was, sadly, cut from the final mission.
  • 5:29 β€” The executive yells "I'll do what you want!" when Joanna confronts him. He still pleads "Don't shoot! Don't shoot!" when recaptured if he runs away (which he seems to do more often). In the final game, that is the only line he says when confronted.
  • 6:19 β€” The executive walks up the stairs instead of waiting for and riding the elevator up one floor.
  • 7:00 β€” The screen animations for the terminals haven't been set yet – this seems to apply to all terminals in the mission. The Data Uplink (or Comms Uplink, as it was known at this time) has no first person model when drawn.
  • 8:13 β€” The shocktroopers in the foyer react as soon as the elevator comes into view. In the final mission, they won't react until the elevator door is open.
  • 9:50 β€” The button in the elevator is missing, but Joanna's animations are already set up like it's there.

dataDyne Investigation

This mission is played on Medium (Special Agent) in the half hour of footage.

Pre-release Final
1: Locate Dr Caroll 1: Holograph radioactive isotope
2: Shut Down Experiments 2: Start security maintenance cycle
3: Start Security Maintenance Cycle 3: Shut down experiments
4: Minimise Scientist Casualties 4: Locate Dr. Caroll
  • 10:19 β€” The objectives are in a different order – this is actually their internal order in the level's text file. Additionally, "Minimise Scientist Casualties" was replaced by "Holograph radioactive isotope" for the final mission...sort of. You still can't kill any scientists in this mission, but that fact is only mentioned in the briefing.
  • 10:26 β€” The shocktrooper guarding the elevator is wearing a mask. He doesn't in the final version.
  • 11:45 β€” The cleaning hovbots are much larger than they are in the final mission. These larger bots clip through the floor in places, as seen at 14:46.
To do:
* 13:27 β€” Is this head in the final version? Looks different.
  • 13:42 β€” Joanna's footsteps play continuously on the ramp.
  • 15:11 β€” The cleaning hovbot passes through a closed door like it's not there.
  • 16:29 β€” Blue terminals without screens set are used instead of the final black "sinister" ones.
To do:
Looks like the lift to the firing range moves faster in this footage.
  • 17:01 β€” The experimental K7 Avenger uses the CMP150's prop as a placeholder. When collected, it's called "a new weapon", meaning it hadn't been assigned a text string yet. Experimental item 1 at this point isn't the Avenger the trooper is testing, but a second CMP150 prop placed on the table in the "firing range" instead of a terminal.
  • 18:05 β€” The Night Vision is using the grenade round prop as a placeholder. (Interestingly, the final mission actually uses the IR Scanner prop for it.)
  • 24:01 β€” The shield tech item also uses the grenade round prop as a placeholder.

dataDyne Extraction

To do:
Analyze the official trailer, which shows a bit of this mission.

This is the last mission played in the half hour of footage, again on Medium.

  • 26:05 β€” Joanna, again, starts with a normal Falcon 2, instead of the scoped one used in the final mission.
  • 26:11 β€” The shocktrooper in the elevator is wearing a mask, like the previous mission.
  • 26:16 β€” The audio for Dr. Carrol's reaction to Joanna kicking the shocktrooper isn't in yet, although his animations are.
  • 31:47 β€” Cassandra's bodyguards are armed with CMP150s instead of shotguns.
  • 33:12 β€” Joanna's lines in the outro are paced slightly differently, and her last one is completely different.
  • 33:44 β€” Mr. Blonde has a different voice, and he runs to Cassandra when he grabs her instead of walking.


Prototype Final
PerfectDark-ChicagoPinkPony.jpg PerfectDark-PunkPondExt.png

The Punk Pond was originally called the Pink Pony. The textures for the old sign are still in the image bank. There is no hint that there was an interior to the bar at this point β€” there is a wall where the doorway is in the final background and the windows are blacked out.

A number of early shots show a hovering police car, like the one used in the mission intro, on the same patrol route the G5 robot uses in the finalized mission. The car used in the cutscene is still present in this shot, however, showing it was not the same one.

A second yellow taxi cab was originally used in place of the limo β€” this even made it to the final mission selection icon. This particular shot shows Joanna in third person, which is a bit weird.

dataDyne shock troopers were used instead of G5 guards. There are no signs of FBI agents in early screenshots. Civilians used the office suit and casual bodies, which doesn't make much sense in the pouring rain. However, it still makes a whole a lot more sense than the CIA agent photo badge they wear in the final mission!

Area 51

The early preview shows, compared to other missions, a ton of footage from Area 51. Interestingly, none of it can really be tied to a specific mission – it seems to include elements of all of them. This may simply be how the footage was cut and assembled for the video, however. At this point in development, the level is almost completely devoid of props, even most of the doors aren't in place yet.

  • 0:50 β€” The start of the Area 51 footage. Joanna is in an autopsy room, pushes Elvis on his hoverbed out the doorway, then kills an A51 guard.
  • 1:00 β€” Joanna hops on the hoverbike that can be used to leave the base in Escape, and rides it up the ramp. A guard carrying a weapon that uses the AR33 prop model from GoldenEye is killed.
  • 1:11 β€” A cut to an earlier section of the level, the catwalk leading from where Jonathan is found in Escape to the building where he blows a hole into the hangar with the hoverbike.
  • 1:18 β€” The warehouse from the start of Rescue. It seems to be completely empty, not even the elevator is present.
  • 1:24 β€” Joanna riding the hoverbike out the main gate, which received a number of changes (see below). The fence at the minefield is missing.
  • 1:35 β€” This directly follows the footage above, but there's a cut bypassing Joanna getting off the hoverbike. The communications dish is missing from this area. Joanna picks up a ZMG (9mm).
  • 1:42 β€” Inside again, the large room beyond the door the previous footage ends at. Joanna aims at and kills a Maian standing near a crate with a ZMG (9mm).

The "Games on Film '98" preview has more footage of Maian enemies in Area 51.

  • 0:46 β€” Two Maians attack Joanna with the ZMG (9mm) just inside the building past the communications dish.
  • 0:50 β€” Joanna shoots and kills a Maian carrying an AR33 on the ramp leading to the main gate.
  • 0:55 β€” A "cutscene" of Joanna firing her ZMG (9mm) in third person while the camera rotates.

"Lo mejor de Nintendo 64" has a few scenes not in either video above.

  • 1:12 β€” Shows Joanna entering the autopsy room to retrieve Elvis.
  • 1:19 β€” Joanna is carrying Elvis up a ramp, using his bed as a shield from gunfire.
  • 1:29 β€” The room where the Phoenix is found in Rescue and the console in Maian SOS. Joanna shoots a guard through the window, which is missing its glass. This gives a good overview of the early bunker and main gate mentioned below.
  • 1:43 β€” The catwalk leading to the wall you have to blast open in Rescue.

Nintendo 64 Catalogue Officiel 98 shows a very interesting difference – multiplayer! Only a quick glimpse is seen, but it's definitely a real game and not four separate scenes spliced together.

  • 7:36 β€” The multiplayer game.
  • 7:46 β€” Joanna taking Elvis out of the autopsy room.
  • 7:49 β€” In the corridor outside the autopsy rooms. A guard is surrendering.

The French promo has slightly extended cuts of footage seen in the other ones.

  • 0:59 β€” Shows one of the few functioning doors in the base and a little more of the scene of the guard surrendering seen in the video above.
  • 2:07 β€” More segments of Joanna carrying Elvis out of the autopsy room.
Pre-release Final
Why'd they have to take out the second hoverbike? They could've set it to only load in co-op...
The lower bunker in the final background.

This area underwent a ton of changes! Most notably, the bunker is entirely different. At this point in development, it's using the same style as the lower bunker under it that contains the air intercept radar, but seems to have open windows. The wall sectioning this off from the area Joanna starts in the final Infiltration mission is shorter (there's a wall forming a pointless inlet alley area along the outer area in the final version, it's possible the wall simply curved along this branch in earlier builds); the main gate isn't present. There's also a second hoverbike here, something not featured in the final Infiltration or Escape missions, as anyone who's played them in co-op is disappointedly aware of. The wall in back, separating this area from the minefield, is white corrugated metal with a red stripe, instead of being a normal brown wall like it is in the final background.

To do:
Compare to these areas in the final game, see if anything changed.

Wake him up by turning the shower on!

Joanna has taken Elvis to the showers here. This isn't possible in the final Escape mission, since the doors leading to this area are locked until you revive Elvis.

It would've been cool if the GoldenEye weapons' animations were updated and made available normally.
Still from a cutscene where Joanna fires a ZMG (9mm), which can be seen in most of the early videos. The doors and autogun are missing, and A51 guards are being used everywhere at this point in development.