N64 GoldenEye Developers Confirm Playing Oddjob Was 'Kind Of Cheating'

Image: Leeona / MobyGames

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.

An Oral History of 'GoldenEye 007' on the N64 [MEL Magazine, via Engadget]


    That's similar to playing as Elvis in perfect dark and then swapping his head out for Joanna's haha!

    Pusheshuh.... Screw Oddjob, it's all about Civilian 'D'....

    Siberiaan special forces blends into the environments quite well also. Near camouflage mode!

    The game would have been so much more boring if everyone was all the same. The character differences let you make all sorts of different rules and games with your friends.

    There was always many a complaint if somebody picked him back in the day, more so if they won the match.
    Eventually the conflict would result in somebody calling for a dual golden gun no Oddjob match to declare the victor.

    Whenever we would gather and play Goldeneye back in the day, my friends and I would play a handicap system. Loser players Oddjob and Winner Plays Jaws (cause he was bigger)
    That way people who werent that great had an advantage and good peeps had a disadvantage

      I don't know whether it applied to Jaws as well, but I liked playing Mr Blonde in Perfect Dark because he was taller - it made head shots a whole lot easier.

      Jaws had a disadvantage, at least in single player. His arms were so long that if you ran up against his chest, he couldn't shoot you because his arms were too long.

    theres a local 007 comp coming up soon, this is going to come in very handy...

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