While GoldenEye 007 was beloved for its gameplay and multiplayer, it also hid a surprising secret.
Deep within the ROM, coding remains for a ZX Spectrum emulator. It seems that Rare programmer Steve Ellis wanted to test out whether the ZX Spectrum could be emulated on the Nintendo 64, and added it to his current project at that time. While the methods to access the emulator were removed before release, the emulator itself is still fully functional and handles all 48k and smaller Spectrum titles, albeit with no sound.
Included with the emulator is a homebrew replacement for the Spectrum "monitor program" ROM, containing rewritten versions of the few ROM commands required by the games so as to avoid infringing on Amstrad's copyright.
According to an interview with producer and director Martin Hollis:
One fact that isn't well known, is that a ZX Spectrum emulator is hidden in the game code. At one time, we had the idea of including an arcade machine within the game to play old Rare games, including Ultimate Play the Game. Unfortunately we didn't have time and the idea was abandoned.
While no ZX Spectrum game ROMs are included in the final GoldenEye build, there is a list of Rare-developed games tucked away within its files. The listed games are Alien 8, Atic Atac, Cookie. Gun Fright, Jetpac, Knight Lore, Lunar Jetman, Pssst, Sabre Wulf, and Underwurlde. Notably, Jetpac later appeared embedded in Rare's Donkey Kong 64; not only was it legitimately accessible in that game, it was required!
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