Neither Nintendo or Rare management know that it was in the works, but it still made it into the final game.
If you’ve ever owned an N64, you probably have fond memories of ‘GoldenEye 007,’ which finally brought FPS gameplay to consoles in a way that people could embrace. It’s one of the first things many people think of when they talk about gaming on their old Nintendo 64, a treasured memory of FPS enthusiasts, and a game mode that almost didn’t happen in the first place.
Rare and Nintendo management had a great deal of trust for the team developing the game, and it’s a good thing they did. There were a variety of features that were snuck in at the last minute, including the multiplayer, which was programmed in a month and squeezed into the final project. “The first they knew about it,” says programmer Steve Ellis, “was when we showed it to them working.”
Had management been stricter, the team making the already delayed game would almost certainly have been asked to buckle down on the main components and drop multiplayer. It’s an unusual instance, especially considering that programming happened so quickly – definitely not something you’ll see happen on any AAA titles these days.