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GoldenEye 007 N64 footage offers glimpse of what might have been

Early demo footage shows the James Bond classic as an on-rails shooter.

We got a look at how James Bond's N64 adventure could have been.

For England, James?

GoldenEye 007 was a fixture of late '90s multiplayer gaming, but the Nintendo 64 classic based on the 17th James Bond movie was nearly a very different game.

It was initially planned to be an on-rails shooter where you'd automatically be guided through levels and shoot enemies as they appeared, but developers at Rare ultimately opted to give players more control.

A video showing early demo footage was posted on YouTube last month and gave us a hint of what the game would've been like if Rare stayed on rails, as previously reported by Nintendo Life.

You'll probably recognize Silo, the game's sixth mission, but may also recall that Bond never traveled in an elevator in the final version. Movement is also much slower than it is in the game.

Developer David Doak -- whose face you might remember as Dr. Doak from the game's Facility level -- confirmed that the video is real in a tweet.

"Early demo footage of #GoldenEye007 (from before I joined the team)," he wrote. "At this point the player movement was automatic and followed a scripted spline path. The original design was that the game would be more like Virtua Cop / Time Crisis."

It's cool to see such an iconic game in an unfinished state, but it's unlikely that it would've made quite as much of a splash if Rare had stayed on-rails. Much of GoldenEye's joy came from its sense of freedom and the silly fun you could have, like using the awesome bullet damage physics to shoot a smiley face in a wall or flinging proximity mines at your friends.

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