GoldenEye 007 Soundtrack (Nintendo 64), Grant Kirkhope / Graeme Norgate, 1997
It’s no exaggeration to say that GoldenEye 007 was a game changer. By the mid-1990s, games based on movies had (justly) developed a disastrous reputation, and the fact that GoldenEye 007 was released a full 18 months after the movie didn’t help matters. And of course, this was a first-person shooter designed for a console, rather than for a PC – back then the natural home for FPS titles. But in the end, none of this mattered. GoldenEye 007 went on to sell more than eight million copies, becoming one of the most successful games of its console generation. Its reception among reviewers was just as enthusiastic and there’s no doubt GoldenEye 007 has left a lasting legacy – who could forget its legendary multiplayer mode? Not bad for a title developed by an inexperienced team that spent a full three years completing the game.
Like the game as a whole, creating the GoldenEye 007 soundtrack was no easy feat – after all, this was one of Rare’s first Nintendo 64 titles. Initially, Graeme Norgate was tasked with writing the score, having previously worked on Rare’s Killer Instinct and Donkey Kong Land. However, Norgate was also working on Blast Corps at the same time and it became obvious that additional resources were needed. Thus Grant Kirkhope – while still working on Donkey Kong Land 2 – was drafted to join Norgate on GoldenEye 007 (he left before completion of that project to work on Dream). The challenge for both composers was to write music for a console that for the first one and a half years of the game’s development didn’t exist yet.