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15 Things You Never Knew About the N64

Pierce Brosnan GoldenEye 007

5. Shigeru Miyamoto Wanted GoldenEye 007 to End with Everyone Shaking Hands 

Nintendo has long had a reputation for shipping games that are largely family-friendly. The first-person shooter GoldenEye 007 was a notable early exception to that trend. Even for the time, it wasn’t the most violent game, though early in development it actually was intended to be much gorier. Of course, Nintendo-exclusive games very rarely feature any shooting or blood at all.

In a 2015 interview, the game’s director, Martin Hollis, revealed that Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto offered several suggestions for toning down the violence in the game. Among these, was to include an ending scene where James Bond would meet the characters he shot in the hospital and shake their hands. The team at Rare instead included a credits scene introducing the game’s characters, to make it appear more like they were portrayed by actors.


4. Banjo-Kazooie’s Stop ‘n’ Swop Worked on Older Consoles and Was Going to Link 6 N64 Games 

Few secrets have been the source of as much speculation as Banjo-Kazooie’s fabled Stop ‘n’ Swop feature. Upon completing the game with 100 Jiggies, a brief scene showed an ice key and two large colorful Easter Eggs for use in the sequel, but there was no further information about how to collect them. It took two years for data miners to uncover codes that actually unlocked six Easter Eggs in the game, plus a hidden menu titled “Stop ‘n’ Swop.” And then Rare said absolutely nothing about the feature, only offering a completely unconnected method to obtain three of these eggs in the sequel, Banjo-Tooie.

It wasn’t until almost 20 years later that a former Rare software engineer confirmed (as long suspected) that Stop ‘n’ Swop would have worked by storing information in the N64’s RAM for a few seconds while it was powered off, which would allow the data to be moved between cartridges. And instead of just moving eggs between the Banjo games, it would have unlocked bonuses in Donkey Kong 64, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, GoldenEye 007, and Blast Corps as well. Despite successful testing, Nintendo nixed what would have been an incredibly cool feature over concerns about hardware revisions that might have prevented the console from storing data in RAM as long as necessary. 

Comboy 64

3. The Rarest Version of the Console Is the Bizarre Hyundai Comboy 64 

Nintendo shipped quite a few different versions of the N64 during its lifetime, but the rarest version of the console was exclusive to South Korea. An import ban from Japan kept Nintendo from launching the N64 in South Korea as originally intended, so as a workaround, the company partnered with Hyundai to release the console, which also had to be renamed the Comboy 64.

But just as production of the Hyundai Comboy 64 began, the import ban was lifted, and Nintendo was able to release the regular old N64 in South Korea. A few of the Comboys made their way into stores, but they’re exceedingly difficult to track down now. Expect to spend at least $1,000 on one of the consoles, if you can even find one.

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