Once it was established that Oddjob was harder to hit than the other characters, no honourable person would be caught dead playing him in GoldenEye 007‘s multiplayer. What you’ll find interesting is that, not only did the developers know about this unfair advantage, they actively chose not to do anything about it.
Quinn Myers, writing for MEL Magazine, has put together a great retrospective on the N64 classic. Myers spoke to a number of folks involved in making the game, including lead environment artist Karl Hilton and gameplay programmer Mark Edmonds.
As you’d expect, the topic of Oddjob is broached, with the developers happy to reveal that yes, they knew Oddjob was unbalanced:
Hilton: We all thought it was kind of cheating when we were play-testing with Oddjob [due to his short stature, the auto-aim of the weapons goes above his head], but it was too much fun to take out and there was no impetus from any of us to change it.
Hilton goes on to say that as a result, Oddjob has “clearly become part of the … folklore of the game”, to the point it was referenced in Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One.
Edmonds also shares his opinion:
Edmonds: It’s definitely cheating to play as Oddjob! But that can just add to the fun when you’re all sitting there next to each other and berating/poking/hitting the person who chooses him … We could have put something in to stop this blatant cheating, but why not just let players decide on their own rules?
I think they made the right decision. Sure, back in 1997, it would have been frustrating, but 21 years later, it’s a neat anecdote that makes the game all the more memorable.