Monday, 8 May 2017

Trevelyan's Mainframe - FILE: Dam, Byelomorye / Twenty Years Removed

It seems you didn’t wander very far after all. Just as Janus expected! Well, seeing as you’re here and still perusing through the databases, I suppose I can grant you access to your first level file. Without further interruption, I give you all this mainframe has on the Byelomorye Dam, located in the federal subject of Arkangelsk of the USSR. Tread lightly, old boy.

Before we dig into our files on level one of GOLDENEYE 007, let us peer over the shoulder of MI6, shall we? I believe to understand each level individually, we must paint the whole picture. Here is the original transcript we were able to intercept from Her Majesty’s government. 

MI6 has confirmed the existence of a secret chemical warfare facility at the Byelomorye dam, USSR. Its heavily guarded location and workings are a cause for major concern. Nerve gas produced there has been turning up in the hands of hostile regimes around the world and deals with international terrorists have been rumored. This facility should be destroyed with extreme prejudice. 
The area around the dam is well defended against full scale military attack but a lone agent stands a much better chance. The easiest way to gain entrance to the weapons factory will be to get down the face of the dam. Q had an idea about that. 

Information concerning shipping and contracts is stored on a computer system in a secret ops room within the dam. With this covert modem connected to their satellite link we can intercept the data when a backup is carried out. As for getting down the dam, use the bungee rope. At the bottom of the jump, use the piton gun. Simple.  
Hardly a lover’s leap, James. Be careful though, I hate to think of you falling for anyone else. 

With those elementary reports aside, please allow me to direct you properly. Dam was the first step in Janus’ master plan. We knew he’d easily infiltrate the soviet military outpost, which protected one of their main chemical warfare facilities. Bond was able to easily pass through, thanks to Janus in conjunction with the Russian forces stationed there, and make it swiftly to the base of the dam. His covert modem was swiftly removed and the data downloaded from the interior operations room of the dam was correlated to junk files! Once through and at the base of the dam, he’d rendezvous with myself. Other administrative notes here included that amidst the staff and guard at the dam outpost was the Siberian Guard (Arkangelsk), Russian Soldier, and Russian Commandant characters. 

This mainframe also holds some extra intel on the dam reported by our agents that I went ahead and pulled for you. You are welcome in advance, by the way. First thing covered is the original idea of the level would see Bond hitching a ride on the military truck while firing at guards, much like a rails shooter feature to make up most of the level. In the final game, this feature was nixed and instead Bond would just follow the truck through the main level path. Another tidbit of information next time you follow along with Bond on dam, destroy the crates in the second area of level before opening the truck doors, as they spawn extra KF7 Soviets!

However, perhaps the most prominent piece of information involving the dam level of GOLDENEYE 007, is the island and fixed turret that can be seen in the near distance across the water from the top of the dam. Now referred to as ‘GoldenIsland’ by fans of the game, this piece of the mission was originally set to be a spot Bond visited to recover the bungee rope for his jump to finish the mission. Originally, Bond would activate a small boat located at one of the docks of the dam, cross the water, and get to the island to continue in the completion of the mission objective. Game developers removed this mission objective from the final form of the level, as it didn’t really contribute to the flow of the level and found that rendering the boat and applying the necessary mechanics behind such a feature would be more work than the development team felt a small side objective deserved. So, it was scrapped and the only remnants of the ditched objective that remained was the set piece of the island itself. Use the sniper rifle and take a look next time you’re up in one of the towers, it is there. 

When it comes to my personal experiences playing the first level of GOLDENEYE 007, I must admit, it was a take it or leave it level for me. I liked it, but by no means was it one of my favorites that I spent hours playing, killing hordes of guards, and destroying every destroyable object available. I believe my favorite thing about dam is its concealed size. From the outside, it seems to be a small level, but the interior of the dam, docks around the back, the long pathway atop the dam, inside the turret bunker, and each guard tower all making the level a lot bigger than it may seem. As a child, I believe I enjoyed most trying to explore each area of the dam or trying to complete the level as fast as I could so I could compare my completion time with my friend’s times. It is a fun, easy play through and a great first level to whet the appetites of players for the levels that followed. 

That’s about the long and short of it, friend. You’ve made your way through level one of GOLDENEYE 007. I had my doubts. Now, watch the alarms and avoid tripping any more of them. If you’re able, you’ll make it on to our next file that covers level two of the game, Chemical Warfare Facility #2. After all, half of everything is luck…

- End transmission, Trevelyan. 

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