A canceled remake of Rare and Nintendo's "Goldeneye" has been leaked online, according to Eurogamer. Regarded as one of the best first-person shooters of all time, "Goldeneye" for the N64 was never properly remade or re-released due to Rare, Nintendo's licensing issues EON Productions. Despite this copyright rigmarole, an Xbox Live remaster of the game was apparently under development with the ability to switch between old and new visuals similar to "Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary." Thanks to the power of emulation, Bond proves once again that you only live twice.

The game with the Midas touch

For the uninitiated, "Goldeneye" was the seventeenth entry in the long-running James Bond film series. It was the first film in the franchise to have Pierce Brosnan don the martini-drenched tuxedo of 007. To capitalize on the film, Nintendo and Rare decided to make a game adaption following the success of Rare's "Donkey Kong Country" and "Killer Instinct." The game initially started as a side-scroller for the 16-bit Super Nintendo before the developers decided to turn the game into a 3D rail-shooter like Sega's arcade title "Virtua Cop."

Because of this change, development moved to the then-upcoming Nintendo 64 console. During testing, the developers discovered that it would be more fun to allow the player to control their movement rather than have the whole thing on rails.

The team took inspiration from "Super Mario 64" and added a mission-based structure to levels with objectives that the player would have to take on based on the chosen difficulty.

The development had many hitches. Nintendo had some reservations about the level of violence depicted in the game. According to Director Martin Hollis, "Mario" and "Zelda" creator Shigeru Miyamoto found the killing in the game "too tragic." Because of the ambitious scope and added complexity, the game had to be delayed two years after the film's release.

Despite everything going against it, "Goldeneye" for the N64 was a critical and commercial success. Publications praised the detailed visuals, noted the added complexity to the first-person shooter genre, and regarded the game's multiplayer mode as the best of its kind on the system.

License to kill revoked

Despite the game's success, MGM would later partner up with Electronic Arts for their Bond game adaptions instead of sticking with Rare and Nintendo.

While none of these Bond titles would meet the same level of success as "Goldeneye," Rare managed to recapture the same acclaim level with their spiritual successor, "Perfect Dark."

Although a proper remake of the game was never officially released, Eurocom did develop a re-imagining of the title featuring Daniel Craig's likeness for the Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. However, the game took on a more linear "Call of Duty" approach, which was coldly received by fans of the original.

Twelve years after its intended release, the XBLA remaster of "Goldeneye" has been leaked, but why was the game shelved? According to "Goldeneye" and "Banjo Kazooie" composer Grant Kirkhope, "the main reason it didn't happen was that there were too many stakeholders." He cited conflicts between Nintendo, Microsoft, and EON and the costs to get the original film actors' likenesses as factors to the game's cancellation.

According to Executive Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft, Phil Spencer, a remaster of "Goldeneye" has been attempted numerous times, but licensing issues seem to always get in the way.

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