European box art
|Genre(s)||First-person shooter, stealth|
Perfect Dark is a first-person shooter video game developed by Rare and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 video game console. It is considered the spiritual successor to Rare's earlier first-person shooter GoldenEye 007, with which it shares many gameplay features. Perfect Dark was first released in North America on 22 May 2000; PAL and NTSC-J releases followed soon afterwards. A separate Game Boy Color game, also titled Perfect Dark, was released in August 2000 as a supplement to the game and allows certain features within the Nintendo 64 game to alternatively be unlocked via a Transfer Pak.
The game features a single-player mode consisting of 17 main missions in which the player assumes the role of Carrington Institute agent Joanna Dark as she attempts to stop a conspiracy by rival corporation dataDyne. It also features a range of multiplayer options, including a co-operative mode and traditional deathmatch settings. Technically, it is one of the most advanced games developed for the Nintendo 64, with an optional high resolution graphics mode, widescreen support, and Dolby Surround Sound. A Nintendo 64 Expansion Pak is required to access the game's campaign and most of the multiplayer features.
Perfect Dark was developed over the course of three years and uses an upgraded version of the GoldenEye 007 engine. The game met with critical acclaim and commercial success upon release, selling more than three million units worldwide. Critics widely praised its customisable multiplayer modes and replay value, but criticized its inconsistent frame rate. The game's success has led to the development of the Perfect Dark series, which includes the 2005 prequel Perfect Dark Zero and other types of merchandise like novels and comic books. A remake, also titled Perfect Dark, with enhanced graphics and online multiplayer, was exclusively released as an Xbox Live Arcade game for the Xbox 360 in 2010.
Perfect Dark is a first-person shooter in which players control Carrington Institute agent Joanna Dark through a series of levels collected together into missions. The general gameplay is similar to that of its predecessor GoldenEye 007, with features such as stealth sections and objectives determined by difficulty settings carried over. Players can crouch, duck, lean, and drop from most ledges, but there is no jump ability. A number of tutorials and training activities can be taken at the Carrington Institute, which acts as the game's central hub. The Nintendo 64 Expansion Pak is needed to access the game's campaign and most of the multiplayer features, although a limited subset of the Combat Simulator options are available without the device; around 35% of the game is playable without an Expansion Pak, as estimated on the game's box and Instruction Booklet.
The player has access to a wide range of weapons, including handguns, rifles, submachine guns, a shotgun, rocket launchers, combat knives, grenade launchers, various explosives, and several extraterrestrial weapons. Further weapons are unlocked during the training activities in the hub. Almost all of the weapons in the game have two modes of fire: a primary mode in which the weapon is used in a typical fashion, and a secondary mode which uses the guns in other ways, such as them being close-quarters melee weapons. Players can carry an unlimited number of weapons, and certain guns can be used in duplicate, one in each hand. Most weapons have a finite magazine and must be reloaded after a certain number of shots. Interaction with objects in the environment is via a single "Use" command. Enemies and players can disarm each other at close range, and the player can use this feature to steal weapons or knock foes unconscious. Damage taken during combat for the player and enemy units is location-based, with a shot to the torso causing more damage than a shot to a limb.
In each level, the player must complete certain objectives and then exit the stage. The requirements are varied, with many levels requiring the recovery and use of numerous high-tech gadgets. If Joanna is killed or fails an objective, the player must start the level again. Three distinct difficulty settings are available for each level, the choice of which will affect aspects such as the number of objectives that must be completed, enemy accuracy and damage, the effectiveness of the game's optional automatic aiming assistance, and the availability of ammunition and items such as protective shields. If all the levels are completed on the highest difficulty, an additional setting becomes available, titled "Perfect Dark". In this mode, players can customise various aspects of enemies, such as their health, their aiming accuracy and the damage they inflict. In addition to the main campaign, there are four bonus missions, with three enabling the player to control other characters with unique special abilities. Players can also unlock cheats by completing the levels within certain time limits. Some cheats can alternatively be unlocked by using the Perfect Dark Game Boy Color game and Transfer Pak.
Unlike GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark features three multiplayer systems. The first is a co-operative mode in which two players, or one player and up to three computer-controlled players, can tackle the missions together. If two humans play, the game uses a split screen display, with the option to split horizontally or vertically. Only one human player is required to survive the mission, but all the objectives must be completed. Additionally, the game features a "Counter Operative" mode in which one player plays the missions as Joanna while another takes over the role of an enemy and attempts to stop her. If this human-controlled guard is killed, the game continues with the Counter Operative player taking control of a different enemy in the level. The game does not tell the player controlling Joanna which enemy the Counter Operative player is controlling.
The third multiplayer mode is the Combat Simulator, involving up to four human players and eight computer-controlled players. Again, a split-screen is used if more than one human is playing. If three or four humans play, the screen is divided into quarters, with one quarter left blank if necessary. Players enter the game unarmed and with a certain amount of health. Weapons and ammunition are placed around the level in preset positions. Once a player is killed, they are regenerated elsewhere in the level, once again unarmed. The overall objective of the game is determined by the scenario being played. Scenarios range from the traditional deathmatch mode, where players score points by killing their respective enemies, to objective-based games, such as Capture the Flag or King of the Hill. Other scenarios include Hold the Briefcase, where players must take a briefcase and survive with it for as long as possible, and Hacker Central, a gametype where players score points by hacking a computer system using a data uplink. Aspects of each game can be customised, including the chosen map, the weapons available, and the winning conditions. Players can also be grouped into teams or compete individually. In a team game, the players can optionally be shown coloured according to their team. Each game can be customised to a greater degree than was possible in GoldenEye 007's multiplayer mode, such as free weapons selection and placement of shields.
Computer-controlled players, called "Simulants", can be included in multiplayer matches. The appearance, team affiliation, skill level and playing characteristics of each Simulant can be individually customised; each Simulant can be assigned pre-set behaviours, such as a tendency to pursue the highest-scoring player, or a restriction to only attack using fists and disarming moves instead of gunfire. On higher difficulty settings, Simulants perform actions at a superhuman level. In team games, players can issue allied Simulants with orders to perform certain tasks. The Combat Simulator also includes 30 "Challenges", pre-set games against Simulants which may be tackled by one or more players. The Challenges cover a variety of game types, weapon arrangements and level setups. By completing Challenges, additional features such as new weapons, player models and Simulant difficulties are unlocked in the Combat Simulator. At the end of a match, the overall results are shown, alongside information about the individual players' performance: colour-coded awards divided into multiple categories based on armour damage, accuracy and ammunition usage are given to players based on their overall performance. Players are also ranked according to their performance: the better the performance, the higher the grade, with the highest receiving a special username and password as a reward.
Perfect Dark is set in 2023 against the backdrop of an interstellar war between two races: the Maians, who resemble the archetypal grey alien, and the Skedar, reptile-like extraterrestrials who use a holographic disguise to appear as Scandinavian humans, bearing similarities to Nordic aliens. Using the disguise, they can interact with humans on Earth without looking too overtly suspicious. Meanwhile, on Earth, there is an ongoing rivalry between two factions: The Carrington Institute, a research and development center founded by Daniel Carrington that secretly operates an espionage group in league with the Maians; and dataDyne, a defence contractor corporation headed by Cassandra De Vries that secretly maintains a deal with the Skedar: in exchange for creating an AI capable of cracking an ancient alien spacecraft buried on the ocean floor, the Skedar have agreed to supply them with enough alien technology to become the biggest corporation on Earth.
The player is cast as Carrington Institute agent Joanna Dark, whose excellent scores in training have earned her the codename "Perfect Dark". On her first mission, she is sent to extract a scientist named Dr. Caroll from the dataDyne skyscraper. When Joanna rescues Dr. Caroll, she learns that he is an AI who decided to defect from dataDyne after realising that the company betrayed ethical and moral standards. After the operation, Carrington is held captive at his private villa by dataDyne soldiers and forced to tell them where Dr. Caroll has been hidden. Joanna manages to rescue Carrington, who informs her that Dr. Caroll has been taken to the G5 Corporation headquarters in Chicago because he is suspected to be a front for dataDyne. In Chicago, Joanna learns that dataDyne and their conspirators plan to kidnap the President of the United States to get access to a deep sea research vessel called Pelagic II. Despite the President being in danger, Carrington alerts Joanna that a Maian craft was shot down near Area 51 and sends her to rescue any survivors from the base. While inside the base, she rescues one survivor, a Maian protector named Elvis who is key in stopping the conspiracy.
As the President of the United States refuses to loan dataDyne the Pelagic II, the conspirators plot to kill him and replace him with a dataDyne-grown clone. To accomplish their plans, an NSA strike team led by Trent Easton invades the air base from which Air Force One will depart. When Joanna foils this strike, the NSA along with some Scandinavians take over the plane itself, which crashes after an attempt to detach a craft attached to it. Having survived the crash, Joanna eliminates the President's clone and rescues the real President. Meanwhile, Easton is killed by one particular Scandinavian known as Mr. Blonde, who is revealed to be a Skedar in disguise. Without permission from the President, dataDyne decides to hijack the Pelagic II and reach the ancient spacecraft. However, unbeknownst to dataDyne, the Carrington Institute learns that the spacecraft contains a powerful weapon capable of destroying a planet and that the conspirators are actually Skedar aliens disguised as Scandinavian humans who intend to test the weapon on Earth before using it against the Maian homeworld.
Joanna and Elvis follow the conspirators to the ancient spacecraft and eventually find a reprogrammed Dr. Caroll cracking the weapon. Joanna replaces its current personality with a backup of the original, and the restored Dr. Carroll sets the weapon to self-destruct. In retaliation for ruining their plans, the Skedar launch a strike on the Carrington Institute, capturing Joanna and taking her to their homeworld. While in their spaceship, she is met by De Vries, who has also been imprisoned due to her failure to comply with the deal. Feeling that she has been used, De Vries redeems herself by making a distraction and sacrificing herself, freeing Joanna and therefore giving herself a chance for revenge. Joanna is later assisted by Elvis and the pair manage to land on the Skedar planet. There, she defeats the Skedar High Priest, leaving the Skedar in disarray. The game ends with Elvis and Joanna leaving the planet just prior to an orbital bombardment from the Maian navy.
Perfect Dark was developed by Rare as a spiritual successor to GoldenEye 007. Shortly after the release of GoldenEye 007, Rare was planning to work on a video game based on the GoldenEye sequel Tomorrow Never Dies, but the company was "dramatically outbid" by another studio, which would release 007: Tomorrow Never Dies in 1999. This result did not affect the developers, who felt they had already spent too much time immersed in the James Bond universe. The game's science fiction setting was chosen due to the developers' interest in the genre. Works such as Ghost in the Shell, Elektra, The X-Files, Blade Runner and the writing of author Philip K. Dick were major influences on the characters, setting and plot. Perfect Dark director Martin Hollis explained that he and designer David Doak "picked a range of locations we thought would be impressive and architectural, on the model of GoldenEye but sci-fi dystopias [...] The settings came first; the plot was then constructed by Dave to sew them together".
The decision to make the central character a woman was part of Hollis' belief that there "should be more games centred on women." To this end, the team created Joanna Dark, influenced by a number of other fictional heroines: Kim Kimberly from Level 9 Computing's text adventure Snowball, the seductive spy Agent X-27 in the 1931 film Dishonored, the eponymous femme fatale of the film Nikita, and FBI agent Dana Scully from The X-Files. The name "Joanna Dark" was taken from the French pronunciation of Joan of Arc as "Jeanne d'Arc", while the name of the in-game company "dataDyne" was inspired by Yoyodyne from The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon.
The "double slash" symbol in the game's logo was inspired by the Japanese dakuten mark, and the bad grammar of the phrase "Perfect Dark" alludes in some degree to Hollis' affection for the way the Japanese use English words in their own games. The word "Dark" was chosen for its association with the game's bleak focus on killing. Hollis noted the similarities to Criterion Software's naming of Black: "Game developers just like black, nihilism, dystopian futures, the number zero, infinity, spheres, perfection—all that kind of stuff." Originally, Nintendo considered releasing the game in Japan under the title Aka to Kuro (赤と黒?, lit. "Red and Black"). "Perfect Dark" does not translate well into Japanese, and the title "Aka to Kuro" was considered sufficiently edgy. However, it was ultimately released as パーフェクト・ダーク (Pāfekuto Dāku), a transliteration of the Western title.
Work on Perfect Dark began with the same team that developed GoldenEye 007. The developers upgraded the GoldenEye 007 engine with new features and graphical enhancements such as dynamic lighting, widescreen support, and the option to play in high resolution graphics mode. According to Rare, only 30% of the original engine remained, providing a basic framework to construct levels and animate characters. The developers also added more elaborate gore effects, which allow gunshots to disperse and stain enemies' blood onto nearby walls and objects. The artificial intelligence was improved so that enemies could "assess threats, work as a team and communicate with each other." Enemies were also given the ability to draw a secondary sidearm when disarmed. A "dizziness" graphical effect was also introduced; if a player is punched or tranquilised, their nausea is represented through a motion blurred view. The game supports advanced audio features such as Dolby Surround Sound. There is full voice-acting for all in-game and cutscene dialogue, and guards can be heard having conversations amongst themselves during gameplay. Nintendo wanted an American actress to voice Joanna Dark, but the negotiations were not conducted effectively enough and video game music composer Eveline Fischer was chosen to voice the character. Motion capture was used to create character animations: game designer Duncan Botwood wore a pair of high heels so that he could portray Joanna Dark in these sessions.
Originally, Hollis hoped that the difference between light and dark would be a significant feature of the gameplay, and the title was intended to reflect this focus. A flashlight was implemented by Steve Ellis, who had been responsible for much of the multiplayer mode of GoldenEye 007, but it was not included in the final game due to the limitations of the Nintendo 64 hardware. Hollis remarked that such aims were overambitious, commenting in 2006 that "Even today, you can see game developers struggle to make light and dark foundational from a gameplay perspective. I suspect it will take a few years before significant and pervasive gameplay innovation occurs here." Although not all these intended features were realised, the game contains more advanced lighting than its predecessor. For example, lights can be shot out to create darkened areas, gunfire and explosions illuminate rooms dynamically, and the player can use infrared and night vision goggles.
Hollis was involved with Perfect Dark for the first 14 months of its three-year development, during which progress was troubled and long delayed. He explained, "each of us was asking for more than the other could give. This situation ended with my departure, and with very deep regret I was unable to see Perfect Dark to completion". By the end of 1998, half of the team members, including Doak and Ellis, also left Rare to form Free Radical Design. What followed by those remaining on the project was a comprehensive re-design of the game, with the story and characters being the main items kept intact. Game designer Mark Edmonds was promoted to team leader because he was familiar with most of the game engine at the time. Rare also assigned more people to the development team, which eventually became three times bigger than GoldenEye 007's. The new team was "uniquely shielded from the outside world" and did not have a production manager, a schedule, meetings, or any sort of deadlines. According to artist B Jones, "People would just do things they thought were cool and would work". The game's Counter Operative mode was inspired by "Bottles' Revenge", an additional gameplay mode cut from the final release of Banjo-Tooie.
As developers kept adding more features, the game ended up using all the extra memory on the debug consoles. As a result, the game became too big to fit into the Nintendo 64's 4MB of random-access memory (RAM). The developers soon realised that they were not able to optimise it and decided to make use of the Nintendo 64 Expansion Pak, which increases the Nintendo 64's RAM from 4MB to 8MB of contiguous main memory, to support most of the features in the game. After playing the release version of the game, Hollis was impressed by the comprehensive range of multiplayer options, which he described as "a vast array of features I never planned". Doak, however, remarked that "GoldenEye pretty much exhausted the performance of the machine. It was hard to push it further. Perfect Dark had some good ideas but was dog slow."
A feature called "Perfect Head", which appeared in previews of the game but was not included in the final product, was intended to take customisation of multiplayer profiles further. This feature allowed the player to place a photograph of their choice onto their in-game character's face, via a Game Boy Camera combined with the Nintendo 64 Transfer Pak. The images taken would be uploaded to the cartridge and manipulated with a simple image editing program to adjust colour and skin tone (as the Game Boy Camera was black and white) and add facial features such as facial hair. This texture could then be saved to either the cartridge or a Controller Pak and then loaded onto a player's character in multiplayer, thus creating a virtual representation of the player. Although Rare officially said that the feature was dropped due to "technical issues", the actual reason was revealed to be "sensitive issues" surrounding the ability to attack images of real people.
Numerous easter eggs and secrets were added to the game to fuel the exploration efforts and wild speculation of many gamers. One of the most notable features is the pieces of cheese hidden on every level. These were deliberately placed by one of the game's artists as a graphical oddity for the player's confusion. The face of celebrity Nintendo fan Robin Williams was used for Daniel Carrington. The face of Shigeru Miyamoto along with faces of other Nintendo executives and games journalists can be seen on minor characters such as enemy guards in the missions and as selectable avatars in the multiplayer mode. The ranking system of the Combat Simulator mode awards a special username and password to skilled players. Rare had originally intended these details to allow access to password-protected parts of the official Perfect Dark website, but these sections were never implemented.
Marketing and release
Rare announced in mid-1998 that their follow-up to GoldenEye 007 would appear at that year's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Atlanta as Nintendo's lead game, and claimed that the game, using the same engine as its predecessor, would be available by Christmas 1999. The release date gradually slipped but the game continued to be heavily trailed in magazines, with Nintendo Official Magazine predicting that it would be "the best shooting game this century". A working version of the game appeared at the European Computer Trade Show 1998; N64 Magazine described the preview as having "the kind of attention to detail that had everyone who saw [it] drooling". Shortly before release, Rare unveiled a number of websites for companies in the game's universe, such as datadyne.com, to promote interest in the game's storyline.
The first release of the game came on 22 May 2000 in North America. Nintendo arranged a number of publicity stunts to promote the release, including hiring model Michele Merkin, who appeared as the lead character Joanna Dark in commercials and in-store promotions for the game cartridge. Unlike GoldenEye 007, the game received an M (Mature) rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board due to its graphic content and adult language. This caused some controversy, as Nintendo has a reputation for family-friendly games like Mario and Pokémon. Total sales for the game reached 1.3 million copies in the United States. The European release followed on 30 June, and finally the game was released in Japan on 21 October. The Japanese launch was a success, with the sale of 35,000 copies in the first week, and 77,000 in total. Worldwide, Perfect Dark sold 3.2 million copies according to game designer Chris Tilston. As a result, a Player's Choice edition was released in 2001.
A separate Game Boy Color game set in the same fictional universe, also titled Perfect Dark, was released shortly afterwards in August 2000 to help promote the Nintendo 64 game. Although its storyline is different from the Nintendo 64 title, the game features a compatibility mode that allows certain features within the Nintendo 64 game to alternatively be unlocked, via a Transfer Pak. On the other hand, a double soundtrack album, titled Perfect Dark: Dual CD Soundtrack, which features the complete score of the game, was released on 15 November 2000 exclusively through Nintendo Power magazine.
Upon release, Perfect Dark received very strong reviews from magazines and websites. Critics praised multiple aspects of the game, particularly its graphics, sound and value. GameSpot reviewer Joe Fielder awarded the game a rating of 9.9 out of 10, making it the highest-reviewed first-person shooter of the site. He commented, "As a single-player or multiplayer [first-person shooter] experience, Perfect Dark is unparalleled on the console systems". Patrick Klepek, writing for Gaming Age, described it as "probably one of the best [first-person shooters] to be released in quite a while", while Chi Kong Lui of GameCritics criticised the game for its weak characters and unoriginal storyline, but nevertheless judged the "extraordinary amount of high-quality multiplayer modes and features", meant that "the game is still a blast".
The graphics were praised for their dynamic lighting, clean textures, and realistic and fluid animations. IGN journalist Matt Casamassina remarked that the levels are much more detailed than the ones from GoldenEye 007 and that the polygon character models and weapons are "wonderfully animated". Game Revolution highlighted the game's semi-realistic look, saying that it "adds to the depth and addiction of the game". The sound received similar praise, with Jonathan Nicklas of Gaming Target comparing it favourably to that of Capcom's survival horror title Resident Evil 2. The voiced cutscenes, amount of ambient noises, musical score, and Dolby Surround Sound capabilities were said to effectively bring the game to life. The music was described as a mixture between Vangelis' Blade Runner theme and the GoldenEye 007 soundtrack.
The gameplay was generally praised for the challenging artificial intelligence of enemies and varied level design. GameCritics credited the missions for their "nice mix of timed, patterned, and random events that makes playing through them different and refreshing each time". The enemies were admired for their use of squad tactics, for waiting for the player to come back instead of obediently chasing after them, and for ducking around a corner for cover. GamePro also gave high marks to the game's Counter Operative mode, noting that the player "never [knows] which of the random bad guys [the] opponent controls". The multiplayer and replay value were seen as the strongest features of the game. Reviewers noted that the flexibility of options, amount of game modes, "clever" weapons, number of unlockable features, and customisable Simulants give the game "endless replay value". GameCritics stated that "Perfect Dark is easily the most advanced, elaborate, and entertaining multiplayer gaming experience on any home console."
One frequently criticised aspect of the game was its low and inconsistent frame rate. According to Trigger Happy author Steven Poole, "The game's inadequate temporal resolution—owing to a wrongheaded choice to privilege visual detail over frame-rate—made it unplayable at higher difficulty levels." In contrast, IGN pointed out that the frame rate "can be sluggish in certain wide-open areas or when there are lots of enemies on-screen, but for some odd reason it's never really bothersome. Most of the time you're so caught up in the game that you don't notice it, and when you do, you're willing to forgive it as Perfect Dark is just too much fun to dwell on such an issue". Poole also described the "lazy sci-fi fetishism" of Joanna Dark's character design as "a blatant and doomed attempt to steal the thunder of Lara Croft", and argued that she illustrated the challenges of characterising the protagonists of first-person shooters, a problem that GoldenEye 007 had avoided by using the already well-known character James Bond.
The overall positive reaction from critics can be gauged by the results of review compilation sites. The game has a Metacritic rating of 97 out of 100, which is considered "universal acclaim", and a GameRankings aggregate review score of 95% as of June 2007. Perfect Dark has also been featured in several "greatest game" lists. In 2006, the game was placed at number 15 on IGN's Readers Choice Top 100 Games Ever and Nintendo Power rated it the 100th best game made on a Nintendo system. In 2007, the game was placed at number 86 on IGN's Top 100 Games of All Time and Edge placed it at number 28 on their list of 100 Best Videogames (a list voted for by readers, Edge staff and gaming industry professionals). Rare was also recognised for its work on the game, as the company was awarded the BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Moving Images Award for 2000 and the Golden Satellite Award for Best Interactive Product in 2001. At the GameSpot's 2000 Game of the Year Awards, Perfect Dark was awarded Best Nintendo 64 Game and Best Shooting Game.
Edge published two retrospective articles on Perfect Dark in 2007 and 2008. The magazine acknowledged that the game's frame rate and other dated elements of its design rendered it "nigh-on unplayable", but found its ambitious range of options still praiseworthy: "At release, Perfect Dark was the most comprehensive first-person shooter ever made, and in some ways it still is." Edge found the ambitious mentality which resulted in weapons and computer-controlled players being "designed for possibilities rather than balance", both one of Perfect Dark's most interesting aspects and the cause of its biggest problem: "Restraint [...] would have made Perfect Dark a tighter, more focused experience, helped with those framerate issues, and removed almost all of the fun." The magazine concluded that despite Perfect Dark not standing up as a good game to play in 2008, "its currency of ideas and provocation [...] remains sound."
Perfect Dark was one of the last first-person shooters released for the Nintendo 64, which was already nearing the end of its lifespan; Nintendo unveiled their upcoming console, the GameCube, at SpaceWorld 2000. A "sister" game to Perfect Dark, called Velvet Dark, was initially planned to be developed for either the Nintendo 64 or GameCube in late 2000, but the project was ultimately abandoned. Also notable is the fact that Perfect Dark features a character named Velvet Dark that can be controlled by the second player in the game's co-operative mode. Twenty months before Perfect Dark was released, several members of the development team left Rare to form Free Radical Design. This company would develop the PlayStation 2 game TimeSplitters, another first-person shooter based around a completely new engine. TimeSplitters and its sequels bear several gameplay and presentational similarities to GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark, including a similar aiming system and unlockable options through quick level completions.
Meanwhile Rare began development of a prequel titled Perfect Dark Zero for the GameCube. In 2002, the company was purchased by Microsoft and the development of the game was subsequently transferred to Microsoft's Xbox console. It was later decided that the game would instead be released for the Xbox 360 as a launch title. Perfect Dark Zero retains Perfect Dark's mission objective system and Joanna Dark as the protagonist, but other features were not carried over. The game's multiplayer mode supports more players due to the more advanced Xbox 360 hardware, and can also be played online via Xbox Live. Perfect Dark Zero received generally positive reviews from critics, but some publications such as Eurogamer and Game Informer felt it was a disappointment.
Perfect Dark's worldwide sales were not as great as its predecessor's eight million, and Joanna Dark did not attain the same status in pop culture as other video game heroines such as Tomb Raider's Lara Croft. Nevertheless, the game's universe continued to be developed with the release of the novel Perfect Dark: Initial Vector, a Rare-sanctioned paperback by Greg Rucka. The novel is set in the time between Perfect Dark Zero and Perfect Dark, and portrays Joanna Dark as an ex-bounty hunter drawn into the Carrington Institute's battle with dataDyne through her own vendetta against the hyper-corporations. Rucka stated, "If you've played the first game, you're going to get a huge treat, because a lot of stuff that happens in Perfect Dark we set up in the novel." In 2007, two new titles were developed: the comic series Perfect Dark: Janus' Tears, written by Eric Trautmann, and a second novel by Rucka titled Perfect Dark: Second Front, both of which are direct chronological sequels.
In 2010, Perfect Dark was remade on the Xbox 360 as an Xbox Live Arcade game, featuring reworked graphics and online features (see Perfect Dark XBLA). The development of the remake was handled by 4J Studios, the same studio that previously handled the Xbox Live Arcade ports of Rare's platform games Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie. The remake was generally well received: while some critics considered the relatively unchanged game to be outdated, most agreed that the title was a solid revival of a classic. In August 2015, both Perfect Dark Zero and the Xbox Live Arcade version of Perfect Dark were released for the Xbox One as part of Microsoft's Rare Replay collection.
- Chris Carle. "Perfect Dark Guide/Walkthrough". IGN. Archived from the original on 5 April 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Matt Casamassina (19 May 2000). "Perfect Dark Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 9 August 2006. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
- Edge staff (24 May 2000). "Perfect Dark Review". Edge. Future plc. Archived from the original on 16 June 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- IGN Staff (7 April 2000). "Perfect Dark". IGN. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- IGN Staff (14 May 1999). "Perfect Dark Interview". IGN. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- Rare, ed. (2000). Perfect Dark North American Instruction Manual. Rare.
- Chris Carle. "Perfect Dark Guide/Weapons". IGN. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- "Perfect Dark' (XBLA) Developer Interview". Worthplaying. 14 February 2010. Archived from the original on 16 February 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
- Chris Carle. "Perfect Dark Guide/Game Basics". IGN. Archived from the original on 21 May 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Chris Carle. "Perfect Dark Guide/Special Assignments". IGN. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Chris Carle. "Perfect Dark Guide/Special Assignment 1". IGN. Archived from the original on 16 April 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Chris Carle. "Perfect Dark Guide/Secrets". IGN. Archived from the original on 30 March 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- IGN Staff (31 August 2000). "The Perfect Combination". IGN. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
- IGN Staff (13 March 2000). "Going Against Joanna". IGN. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- IGN Staff (7 April 2000). "Perfect Multiplayer?". IGN. Archived from the original on 18 October 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
- Chris Carle. "Perfect Dark Guide/Combat Simulator". IGN. Archived from the original on 21 May 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Chris Carle. "Perfect Dark Guide/Challenges". IGN. Archived from the original on 19 May 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Mark Green (February 2001). "How to see things you shouldn't in Perfect Dark". N64 Magazine (Future Publishing) (51): 58–63.
- Chris Carle. "Perfect Dark Guide/Story". IGN. Archived from the original on 22 May 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Eddie Parker and Bart G. Farkas. "Perfect Dark Game Guide". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 12 October 2004. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
- Rare. Perfect Dark. Level/area: Carrington Villa: Hostage One.
Joanna: Sir! Are you injured? / Carrington: No, Joanna, I’m okay, but those dataDyne thugs made me tell them where I'd hidden Dr Caroll. If only I'd held out for a few minutes more... / Joanna: It's not your fault, sir. I should have been quicker. / Carrington: Don't blame yourself, Joanna. Dr Caroll told me that he expected this to happen. Actually, when they recaptured him, the dataDyne team got overconfident and let slip a few facts when they thought I was unconscious. They mentioned a meeting in the G5 building in Chicago, Illinois, tonight. I want you to be there, but that doesn't leave you a lot of time to get ready.
- Rare. Perfect Dark. Level/area: G5 Building: Reconnaissance.
Mr Blonde: The President turned down your request for the loan of the Pelagic II? Could it be you underestimated your influence over him? / Trent: No! Perhaps I underestimated his resolve. We have a contingency plan ready to go, and we will move as soon as the Presidential entourage arrives at the air base. All I need from the President is a tissue sample.
- Rare. Perfect Dark. Level/area: G5 Building: Reconnaissance.
Joanna: Agent Dark reporting in! Prepare to receive a download of the meeting data. Priority request for an Institute Support Team to protect the President before he goes to Alaska. / Carrington: No time for that now, Agent Dark. There's been a development during radio silence. The craft those "friends" I was talking about was shot down over Nevada. The weapon responsible was fired from Area 51... that's were the survivors and debris will have been taken. You're to prep for immediate dispatch when you return here. Carrington out. / Joanna: Area 51? But what about the President?
- Rare. Perfect Dark. Level/area: Crash Site: Confrontation.
Mr. Blonde: You have failed, Easton. You are a flawed device and we need you no longer. / Trent: Just try it, you Scandinavian freak! (Mr. Blonde reveals his Skedar appearance and performs a killing blow on Trent) Noooooooo!!
- Rare. Perfect Dark. Level/area: Deep Sea: Nullify Threat.
Dr. Caroll: When the program has run, I will have control of a vastly powerful weapon. It can not be allowed to exist. So I must destroy the Cetan and, unfortunately, myself along with it. I’m sorry, Joanna… there is no other way, and no time to discuss this. Go now - avoid the Skedar and you will have time to escape. It has been an honour to work with you. Goodbye, Joanna Dark.
- Rare. Perfect Dark. Level/area: Attack Ship: Covert Assault.
Joanna: You! I thought you'd managed to escape. We found no trace of you at all. / Cassandra: You couldn't find me. But there was no hiding from the Skedar, as you and Mr. Carrington just discovered. This is it. Wait there. I'll make a distraction, it will give you a chance to get out. Use it, or we'll both die. / Joanna: Why are you doing this, Cassandra? / Cassandra: The Skedar used me, Joanna. You are my best chance for revenge.
- Eddie Makuch (26 December 2015). "Learn How Perfect Dark Came to Be in this Behind-the-Scenes Video". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 28 December 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- Darran Jones (29 March 2010). "Interview: Martin Hollis". NowGamer. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
- Jon Jordan (8 June 2007). "The Restless Vision Of Martin Hollis, The Man With The GoldenEye". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- Rare Revealed: The Making of Perfect Dark (Video). Twycross, England: Rare Ltd. 24 December 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- "The Legacy of Perfect Dark: Martin Hollis Q&A". Retro Gamer (Imagine Publishing) (19): 79. January 2006. ISSN 1742-3155.
- "Perfect Dark Rumour Mill". Rare Gamer. Archived from the original on 8 October 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- IGN Staff (7 July 2000). "New Name for PD?". IGN. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- IGN Staff (24 July 2000). "Red and Black is Dark". IGN. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- Yukiyoshi Ike Sato (27 July 2000). "Perfect Dark Returns". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 26 June 2003. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- "Perfect Dark - Overview". Allgame. Archived from the original on 16 February 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- "Perfect Dark". N64 Magazine (Future Publishing) (39): 44–51. March 2000.
- IGN Staff (7 April 2000). "M is Definitely for Mature". IGN. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- IGN Staff (13 January 2000). "Into the Dark". IGN. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- IGN Staff (17 April 2000). "Bad Meaning Good". IGN. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- "Desert Island Disks: David Doak". Retro Gamer (Live Publishing) (6): 41–45. July 2004. ISSN 1742-3155.
- Mark Walbank (2 August 2007). "Creative Minds". Computer and Video Games. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
- IGN Staff (16 June 2000). "Timesplitters Interview". IGN. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- Rare Revealed: The Making of Banjo-Tooie (Video). Twycross, England: Rare Ltd. 17 September 2015. Event occurs at 3:00. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
We looked and decided we had to get rid of it, but it was resurrected in Perfect Dark in Counter Operative mode, so good ideas never die; they just occasionally get delayed and pop up in a different guise.
- IGN staff (2 February 2000). "Perfect Dark Ditches Face Mapping". IGN. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- "Perfect Dark Beta Analysis: the removed Face Mapping". Unseen64. 22 March 2010. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
- IGN staff (12 May 1999). "Rare Puts Gamers in the Game". IGN. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- Ravi Hiranand (10 February 2000). "Rare Cleans Up Perfect Dark". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 30 December 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
- "Perfect Dark loses face". Computer and Video Games. Archived from the original on 17 April 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- IGN Staff (25 May 2000). "Get on the IGN Cheese List". IGN. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
- "Perfect Dark". N64 Magazine (Future Publishing) (31). August 1999.
- "GoldenEye 007 sequel at E3!". N64 Magazine (Future Publishing) (16): 21. June 1998.
- "Perfect Dark". N64 Magazine (Future Publishing) (22). December 1998.
- "Perfect Dark". Nintendo Official Magazine (EMAP) (82): 82–83. July 1999.
- IGN Staff (8 September 1998). "ECTS: Nintendo Games of the Show". IGN. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- "Perfect Dark". N64 Magazine (Future Publishing) (21). November 1998.
- IGN Staff (2 March 2000). "DataDyne Corporation Seeks Talent". IGN. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
- IGN Staff (3 March 2000). "The Truth Behind DataDyne?". IGN. Archived from the original on 22 March 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
- IGN Staff (10 April 2000). "Perfect Dark Commercial Online". IGN. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
- IGN Staff (24 May 2000). "Joanna Sees off Perfect Dark". IGN. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
- IGN Staff (5 June 2000). "Against the Big N's M". IGN. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "Nintendo64 Top 50 Best Selling Chart". 2 April 2006. Archived from the original on 7 October 2003.
- "Perfect Dark". N-Sider.com. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
- Wesley Yin-Poole (13 October 2011). "Ex-Rare devs talk Killer Instinct, Perfect Dark". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
- "Perfect Dark". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
- Craig Harris (5 September 2000). "Perfect Dark GBC Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 29 March 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
- "Perfect Dark Dual CD Soundtrack". VGMdb. Archived from the original on 17 November 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
- "Perfect Dark". GameRankings. Archived from the original on 30 June 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "Perfect Dark". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 25 November 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- The Freshman (22 May 2000). "Perfect Dark Review for N64". GamePro. Archived from the original on 13 December 2004. Retrieved 13 December 2004.
- Colin (1 June 2000). "Perfect Dark Review". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- Joe Fielder (22 May 2000). "Perfect Dark Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- Martin Kitts (June 2000). "Perfect Dark". N64 Magazine (Future Publishing) (42): 47–62.
- Chi Kong Lui (20 June 2000). "Perfect Dark Review". GameCritics. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- Patrick Klepek (12 June 2000). "Perfect Dark Review". Gaming Age. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
- Jonathan Nicklas (10 July 2000). "Perfect Dark Review". Gaming Target. Archived from the original on 6 October 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
- "All Reviews". GameSpot. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
- Steven Poole (5 March 2001). Trigger Happy: The Inner Life of Videogames. Fourth Estate. p. 254. ISBN 1-84115-121-1.
- Steven Poole (August 2000). "Characterisation: Designing a believable virtual skin". Edge (Future Publishing) (88).
- "IGN Readers' Choice 2006 – The Top 100 Games Ever". IGN. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
- "NP Top 200". Nintendo Power (Nintendo of America) 200: 58–66. February 2006.
- "IGN's Top 100 Games of All Time". IGN. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
- Edge Staff (2 July 2007). "Edge's Top 100 Games of All Time". Edge. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- "Rare company awards". Archived from the original on 11 May 2006. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
- "Internet Movie Database on Perfect Dark". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- "Best and Worst of 2000 - Best Nintendo 64 game". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 24 February 2003. Retrieved 24 February 2003.
- "Best and Worst of 2000 - Best Shooting Game". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 13 November 2004. Retrieved 13 November 2004.
- "Time Extend: Perfect Dark". Edge (Future Publishing) (197): 98–101. January 2009. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
- Shane Satterfield (24 August 2000). "Nintendo's GameCube Unveiled". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- Chris Pereira (30 July 2015). "N64's Perfect Dark Was Meant to Have a Sister Game, Velvet Dark". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 31 July 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
- IGN Staff (24 July 2000). "TimeSplitters Hands-On Preview". IGN. Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
- Jeff Gerstmann (25 October 2000). "TimeSplitters Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 9 July 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
- Wash Redmond (24 September 2002). "Microsoft Acquires Video Game Powerhouse Rare Ltd.". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 8 November 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
- Greg Kasavin (21 November 2005). "Perfect Dark Zero Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
- "Perfect Dark Zero". GameRankings. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
- Kristan Reed (1 December 2005). "Perfect Dark Zero Review". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 17 June 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
- Jeremy Zoss. "Perfect Dark Zero Review". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 14 June 2006. Retrieved 13 November 2010.
- Wash Redmond (24 September 2002). "Microsoft Acquires Video Game Powerhouse Rare Ltd.". Rare. Archived from the original on 29 October 2006. Retrieved 29 October 2006.
- Hilary Goldstein (14 November 2005). "Perfect Dark Trilogy". IGN. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
- Paul Semel (23 September 2005). "Causing A Ruckas". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
- Matt Brady. "Greg Rucka: Seeing in the Perfect Dark". Newsarama. Archived from the original on 1 March 2007. Retrieved 13 April 2006.
- David Adams (18 November 2005). "Perfect Dark Zero: The Comic". IGN. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
- Mc Shea, Tom (17 March 2010). "Perfect Dark Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 25 January 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- Hatfield, Daemon (16 March 2010). "Perfect Dark XBLA Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2010.
- Michael McWhertor (15 June 2015). "Rare Replay for Xbox One includes 30 Rare games for $30 (update)". Polygon. Archived from the original on 28 June 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015.