James Bond 007: Nightfire
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|Developer(s)||Eurocom (PS2, Xbox, GC)
Gearbox Software (PC)
JV Games (GBA)
TransGaming Inc. (Mac)
|Engine||GoldSrc (PC version)
Proprietary Engine (Console Version)
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2, Xbox & Nintendo GameCube
NA November 18, 2002
EU November 29, 2002
JP January 30, 2003 (PS2 only)
|Distribution||2 x CD-ROM, 1 x DVD-DL, 1 x Nintendo Optical Disc|
James Bond 007: Nightfire is a first-person shooter video game featuring fictional British secret agent James Bond and a sequel to Agent Under Fire, published by Electronic Arts in 2002. The game was developed by Eurocom for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube video game consoles, Gearbox Software developed the game for Windows, JV Games developed the game for the Game Boy Advance and TransGaming Inc. developed the game alongside Aspyr who published the game for the Mac. The computer versions are substantially different from the console versions, featuring different missions and a modified story line.
It marked Pierce Brosnan's fourth appearance as James Bond before the release of his fourth and final Bond film Die Another Day. His likeness was featured in the game, but not his voice, which was provided by Maxwell Caulfield.
NightFire is primarily a first-person shooter, with some driving sequences mixed with. The player can use many weapons, which are as follows: Wolfram PP7, Golden PP7, Wolfram P2K, Golden P2K, Kowloon Type 40, Raptor Magnum, Deutsche M9K, Storm M9-32, Suisse SG5 Commando, Korsakov K5 Tranquilizer Dart, Frinesi automatic 12, winter tactical sniper rifle, winter covert sniper rifle, Militek mark 6 Multi-grenade launcher, AT-420 Sentinel, AT-600 Scorpion, Delta Repeater Crossbow and finally the Phoenix Samurai Laser Rifle. In addition, there are numerous amounts of mounted weapons found throughout the game. As with previous James Bond games, the weapon models are based on actual weapons, but with the names changed. Some weapons appear in the console version but not the PC version and vice versa.
Each version of the game differs significantly from the others. The PC version, for example, has fewer levels than the console versions and does not implement driving mode. It begins the plot right at Drake's Austrian castle, skipping over the French mission. Also, in this version, Rook dies much earlier on, in the astronaut training facility that Bond infiltrates. The Game Boy Advance version resembles the PC NightFire more than the console versions. However, the very general overall storyline and characters remain the same in all versions.
In the multiplayer mode of Nightfire players can play in multiple levels, including Fort Knox, from Goldfinger, Atlantis and the sub docking pen from The Spy Who Loved Me, and many Nightfire related levels, including Drake's castle, Drake's underwater base, and Drake's secret missile silo. Other levels include "Skyrail" and "Ravine". The player may choose to play against AI bots with customizable reaction time, speed, and health, or other humans. The amount of usable bots vary in the console versions. In the GameCube and Xbox version, up to six bots may be used. In the PlayStation 2 version, up to four bots may be used and up to four humans can play. In the PC version, up to 12 bots may be used. The PC version also has an online multiplayer mode.
Some medals obtained will unlock new characters. Notable characters included from previous James Bond films include Francisco Scaramanga and Nick Nack from The Man with the Golden Gun, May Day and Max Zorin from A View to a Kill, Jaws from The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, Elektra King and Renard from The World Is Not Enough, Auric Goldfinger and Oddjob from Goldfinger, and Baron Samedi from Live and Let Die.
The game's prologue mission starts in Paris, with James Bond (voiced by Maxwell Caulfield with the likeness of Pierce Brosnan) helping French Intelligence operative Dominique Paradis evade a gang chase while chasing a truck with a stolen nuclear weapon, before continuing in his car. After stopping the truck from blowing up the Eiffel Tower, Dominique and James celebrate New Year's Eve.
The British Government sends Bond undercover to a party in industrialist Raphael Drake's Austrian castle. M (voiced by Samantha Eggar) believes that the party is a cover for the exchange of a missile guidance chip between Raphael Drake and Alexander Mayhew, who manages the Japanese branch of Drake's industry, Phoenix International, and had stolen the chip from the United States. Phoenix is believed to be a front for weapon smuggling. M gives Bond the instruction for 007 to rendezvous with CIA agent Zoe Nightshade and Dominique, who is posing as Drake's mistress. While Zoe distracts the guards, Bond makes his way to the exchange and steals the chip. Agents Nightshade and 007 try to make an escape on a cable car, when Drake's bodyguard, Rook, attacks the cable car with a rocket-launching helicopter. Bond shoots down the attacking helicopter using rockets found in the cable car. James and Zoe then escape Drake's forces in an armoured snowmobile before continuing in James' car. They rendezvous with Q (voiced by Gregg Berger), who takes them out of Austria.
After the breach, Drake threatens to kill Mayhew, should the operation fail. Mayhew contacts MI6, saying he will provide vital information if Bond comes to his rescue. At his Japanese estate, Mayhew is attacked by Drake's men, consisting of Japanese thugs. Bond fights his way through the estate and manages to obtain a file from Mayhew's safe. As they are prepared to make an escape from the estate, Mayhew is killed by a ninja. The file leads Bond to Mayhew's office at the Phoenix Building in Tokyo.
Bond is able to infiltrate the building while the guards are changing shifts and secures official NightFire documents. He is then attacked by Drake's men before Dominique provides a distraction, which allows Bond to escape via parachute off the roof of the building.
The NightFire documents lead Bond to a nuclear power plant being decommissioned by Phoenix International. Bond retrieves evidence of Drake's activities and escapes. However, he is then double crossed and captured by Kiko, Mayhew's former bodyguard, and turned over to Drake. On the top of the Phoenix building, Drake plans to kill Bond and Dominique, who has been discovered as a mole. Dominique is kicked off the rooftop by Kiko and dies. Bond escapes to the ground level before being saved by Australian Intelligence agent Alura McCall.
M sends Bond and Alura to Drake's private island, where Drake has set up a jamming signal. The pair infiltrate the island and eliminate Drake's defenses. M makes Bond aware of the UN, EU, and NATO forces arriving on the island to dismantle remaining enemy combatants. Bond makes his way to Drake's underground silo, fighting Kiko to get first into a space shuttle intending to capture the Space Defense Platform. Bond traps Kiko in the blast pit, where she is incinerated when his space shuttle launches.
Bond reaches the U.S. Space Defense Platform, where Drake is. He successfully sends all eight missiles off course, saving millions of lives, and causes Drake's laser weapon to malfunction, leading to a huge explosion. Finally, Bond kills Drake. As the station goes up in flames, Bond blasts from an escape pod and goes back down to Earth, where M informs him that astronomers from around the globe are reporting "unexpected meteor showers" (which is actually the debris of the now-destroyed Space Defense Platform).
- Alexander Mayhew: The man in charge of the Phoenix International properties in Japan. When he betrays Drake, Bond tries to protect him from Drake's Yakuza thugs after failing to protect the stolen missile guidance module back in Austria (the disappearance of this item was the reason for Drake falling out with Mayhew), but Mayhew dies when a ninja shows up and stabs him in the back with a samurai sword. Mayhew is voiced by Ian Abercrombie.
- Alura McCall: An Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) agent who comes to Bond's aid in Tokyo and goes with him to Drake's island. She provides critical aid to Bond when he has to stop the nukes from launching off the space defense platform. She is first seen when collecting Bond from the Phoenix International building in Tokyo, giving him a lift from the building in her red sports car. Alura is voiced by Kimberly Davies.
- Armitage Rook: The head of security for Raphael Drake, and like many previous henchmen, he has the abnormal ability to survive the most dangerous scenarios. He has a big size of 6'6" (198 cm) and is massively built. He is first seen at a party in the Austrian Alps hosted at Drake's castle. When 007 and CIA agent Zoe Nightshade witness a secret meeting, Rook pursues them in a Mil Mi-24 Hind helicopter which is subsequently shot down by Bond. Rook manages to survive and returns later at the nuclear power plant not far from Tokyo in the mission "Chain Reaction" and also at Drake's Phoenix Base, bearing a scarred left eye and armed with a state of the art Samurai laser gun. Despite this advantage, he is killed while engaged in an intense firefight with Bond. In the PC version of the game, he dies when he is killed by the lethal blades of a huge fan inside a wind tunnel-like astronaut training facility; in the console version, he is killed much later on in the plot by Bond while inside Drake's underground shuttle hangar. In both variations, he dies while fighting Bond. Rook is voiced by Richard Whiten.
- Dominique Paradis: A French Intelligence agent who meets James Bond after being rescued by him in the mission "Paris Prelude". After celebrating New Year with James, Dominique's next mission is to become Drake's mistress and gain as much information as possible. At a party hosted by Drake at his Austrian Castle, Bond meets up with her in the library sharing a brief kiss before being interrupted by CIA Agent Zoe Nightshade. The three share information on Drake before Dominique returns to playing the hostess at the party. She appears later in the level "Nightshift", spotting Bond from a helicopter and later meeting him on a stairwell. The two again share kisses with Dominique telling Bond how to escape from the Drake's Phoenix Japanese Headquarters whilst she tries to hold off the oncoming guards. However, at the start of the level "Phoenix Fire", Drake reveals that a hidden camera in the stairwell allowed him to see this interaction. Kiko, who is revealed to be a double agent and working for Drake, brings Bond to the top of the Phoenix building with Drake telling her to make sure that 'the body' (Dominique's) is taken care of. Kiko takes Dominique to the edge of the helipad to execute her, but Dominique knocks her gun away and engages her in a brief fist fight. Unfortunately, she loses the fight and is kicked off the building by Kiko, and falls to her death to the lobby floor (her fight with Kiko creates enough of a distraction to allow Bond to escape). After Bond is rescued by Agent Alura McCall at the end of the mission, he refers to Dominique's death, sadly saying that he 'lost a friend'. Dominique isn't referred to for the rest of the game. Dominique is voiced by Lena Reno.
- Makiko Hayashi (or just "Kiko"): Alexander's personal female bodyguard, very skilled in martial arts. She originally appears to be working with Bond and helps him to penetrate the Japanese branch of Phoenix International after Mayhew is murdered on Drake's orders. However, her true allegiance is revealed when she shoots Bond with a tranquiliser gun at the Tokyo nuclear plant; she then takes him to Drake. While on the top of the Phoenix Building, Kiko and Dominique get into a fight after Bond attempts to escape. During the fight, Kiko kicks Dominique Paradis off of the Phoenix Building's heli-pad, sending her down to the lobby floor and killing her instantly. Kiko continues to serve Drake from then on and attempts to kill Bond at Drake's island fortress by using a trap which drops the bridge leading to the shuttle, sending him in the shuttle launch chambers. However, Bond takes cover in the blast chambers and kills Kiko's men, forcing her to retreat. Bond activates the same trap Kiko had used on him only minutes before, sending Kiko into the silo, and activates the shuttle and boards it. Kiko fails to escape before the blast door closes and is burned to death by the shuttle's engine. Kiko is voiced by Tamlyn Tomita.
- Raphael Drake: The Brazilian-Russian dual heritage owner of Phoenix International Corporation, is the main villain in the game. He poses as a humanitarian and an avowed opponent of the use of nuclear weapons, but in reality he is hoarding dozens of nuclear weapons for his own future use. He tries to take over the world by hijacking the space defense platform and launching its arsenal of nuclear weapons against major NATO bases in an attempt to wipe out global security. He is killed on the space station by Bond, who shoots him with a Phoenix Samurai laser gun before escaping the space station in a rocket, with Drake's corpse left floating into space as the rocket launches and the station explodes. Drake is voiced by Michael Ensign.
- Zoe Nightshade: A CIA agent who helps Bond in Drake's castle. Zoe previously worked with Bond on his last mission (Agent Under Fire). She is first seen in Nightfire when Bond sneaks into the library, where Bond also meets Dominique Paradis. After Paradis gives Bond the key to Drake's secret meeting, Zoe and Bond talk briefly about the mission; however, Zoe appears to be jealous of Bond and Paradis's relationship. Zoe leaves and attempts to create a distraction for Bond but is captured under Rook's suspicion, although this may have been the distraction she was planning, and taken to the cable car outside the castle for interrogation. She apparently frees herself, as she is later seen defending it from Drake's men. Bond later defeats Rook, who is in a helicopter, from the cable car. Bond and Zoe escape by sliding down the cable car line and together they find a garage with armored snowmobiles. Bond and Zoe wake up the next morning in a small MI6 safe-house. It appears that Zoe and Bond had sex the night before. After shaking off Drake's men, Zoe and Bond get into his Vanquish car and rush to rendezvous with Q. This is the last time Zoe is seen in the series, as Alura McCall is later assigned to help Bond in his mission. She is well aware of Bond's relationships with women, as seen by her teasing nature when she encounter Bond and Dominique in Drake's castle. Zoe is voiced by Jeanne Mori.
|This section requires expansion. (October 2013)|
This marks the first time a James Bond video game features an original song. The song is "Nearly Civilized" performed by Esthero. Its original score was composed by Steve Duckworth, Ed Lima and Jeff Tymoschuk.
|This section requires expansion. (October 2013)|
|This section requires expansion. (October 2013)|
Nightfire received positive reviews. Many critics praised it for having a well thought out and consistent plot. Reviewers also commended the accurate James Bond model, bearing good resemblance to Pierce Brosnan. Playboy gave the game a score of 78% and said that, "Much like the many potshots you'll take throughout play, it's a very hit or miss endeavor." Maxim gave it a score of eight out of ten and said that the game "lets you decide how to topple the requisite megalomanical villain: Use stealth and gizmos (like Eurobabe-revealing x-ray specs—thanks, Q!) or go in guns blazing." Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the GameCube version 81.94% and 80/100 the Xbox version 81.02% and 78/100, the PlayStation 2 version 80.83% and 77/100, the Game Boy Advance version 71.00% and 66/100 and the PC version 64.50% and 59/100.
Reviews toward the game have also pointed to the realistic animation of the James Bond character. However, while the reviews have been generally positive, some critics believe that the main negative aspect of the game is its relatively short length. Critics also noted that Nightfire does attempt to steer away from previous Bond games (notably GoldenEye) and add a more interesting story line. Critics also derided the game's multiplayer bots, which having difficulty navigating through the multiplayer maps. Because of this issue, bots are not available in the map Ravine at all. Entertainment Weekly gave it a C and stated that, "It's bad enough that you have to sit there and watch as Bond does his thing, but what's really frustrating is that these [cinematic] sequences (parachuting off a skyscraper, somersaulting to avoid gunfire) illustrate precisely the kind of actions that you should be able to control."
In 2008, PC Games Hardware included Alura McCall, Makiko Hayashi, Dominique Paradis and Zoe Nightshade among the 112 most important female characters in games. In 2013, The Linc called Nightfire the arguably most successful title in the James Bond game series.
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- Nightfire: Source Community
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- 007: Nightfire (2002) at the Internet Movie Database
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- James Bond 007: Nightfire at MobyGames (Game Boy Advance)