The impossible finally happened: GoldenEye 007 escaped publishing rights hell and finally found its way to a console that isn’t the N64. Well, technically. NSO isn’t exactly the ideal solution for fans of the original, but it’s certainly something.
 
One thing that GoldenEye did well back in the day, which is almost unheard of now, is featuring a vast range of unlockables – notably the ‘cheats’ you could earn by completing certain missions on a particular difficulty within a given time limit. Not an easy task, but one that vastly enhanced the replayability of the single player campaign.

 

This guide will tell you the Target Time requirements, give you some general tips, and provide a video* and level-specific advice to help you reach those times. As a retired GoldenEye 007 speedrunner, these will include some cheeky little speedrunning tricks on occasion – but only ones that are straightforward enough for most players to be able to perform.

*videos currently recorded on N64 hardware but will be updated later using footage of the NSO release.

MISSION CHEAT DIFFICULTY TIME
Dam Paintball Mode Secret Agent 2:40
Facility Invincibility 00 Agent 2:05
Runway DK Mode Agent 5:00
Surface 2x Grenade Launcher Secret Agent 3:30
Bunker 2x Rocket Launcher 00 Agent 4:00
Silo Turbo Mode Agent 3:00
Frigate No Radar (multi) Secret Agent 4:30
Surface 2 Tiny Bond 00 Agent 4:15
Bunker 2 2x Throwing Knives Agent 1:30
Statue Fast Animation Secret Agent 3:15
Archives Invisibility 00 Agent 1:20
Streets Enemy Rockets Agent 1:45
Depot Slow Animation Secret Agent 1:40
Train Silver PP7 00 Agent 5:25
Jungle 2x Hunting Knives Agent 3:45
Control Infinite Ammo Secret Agent 10:00
Caverns 2x RCP-90 00 Agent 9:30
Cradle Gold PP7 Agent 2:15
Aztec 2x Lasers Secret Agent 9:00
Egyptian All Guns 00 Agent 6:00

GENERAL TIPS
Whilst many stages have their own specific tips and tricks, there are some general tactics you should try and implement in order to succeed.

  • First of all, setting up the controls will be your first hurdle. Unfortunately, if you don’t have the N64 NSO controller, you’ll be left with a baffling unusable control system. Thankfully it is something that can be rectified by selecting the 1.2 controller option in game and then going into the system settings to alter button mapping as follows:

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  • Manual aiming using the trigger is incredibly slow and there’s rarely any need to do it in a speedrun. However, not using it can also slow you down due to the lack of an aiming dot to help with aiming. The solution? Use the manual aim to find out where your shots will hit and draw (or stick) a dot right on your TV screen. It seems silly, but it is also one of the biggest ways to help you go faster and aim more accurately.
  • Guards are attracted to your shots and will make a beeline for you if you use loud guns within their hearing range. The advantage of this is that they can open doors for you – including locked doors – and help you skip major sections of a level.
  • In harder levels, making a small body armour detour can be worth it since it’ll allow you to run through enemy fire. Whilst there aren’t many stages that benefit from this, it’s still handy to note. What’s more, the Japanese version of the game has body armour on every stage even on the highest difficulty. That alone makes this version far easier than the rest.
  • GoldenEye speedruns are famed for their use of look-down, whereby you increase the framerate by looking at the floor and save vital seconds. With the boosted framerate of the NSO version, it’s unclear as to how much time this will save, but for the moment it seems like it’ll still provide useful. Unfortunately other framerate dependant tricks don’t work as well due to the game running better than before.
  • Finally, moving forward whilst strafing will make you move faster than simply holding forward. It takes some getting used to, and it’s a lot harder using the Pro controller due to the mapping of digital buttons onto an analogue stick, but it can save quite a fair amount of time once you get it down. Not essential, but certainly advisable if you want an easier time.

With those tricks in mind, let’s get the show on the road! Videos will be your main guide but underneath will be some general notes to help put things into context.

A reasonably straightforward stage to start off with. Cutting the cutscene right at the start will allow you to enter through the big gates without having to wait (the second one will be still open after you open and pass through the first). If you miss it, however, it’s absolutely not important so long as you beeline past all the enemies and head straight for the four alarms.

Accuracy will certainly help save time when it comes to shooting the padlocks and the alarms, but there’s such a big time buffer to gain the cheat that it shouldn’t prove too troublesome.

“Half of everything is luck, James”

What an appropriate quotation to sum up this level. Facility’s target time has a reputation for being one of the hardest in the game to unlock and, fortunately, it’s an undeserved one. I’d even go as far as to say it’s one of the easiest ones on 00 Agent difficulty to obtain. The real difficulty is down to some of the dumb luck involved.

Luck in this level boils down to two elements: are you going to get shot, and where the hell Dr Doak is going to be. The former is something you can’t really help, and sometimes you can get by unscathed for most of the level despite killing almost no-one. Dr Doak, on the other hand, has multiple spawn locations – and some can be a real pain in the ass. I would recommend hoping for the one in the corner of the lab area (in the video) or the one inside one of the nearby lab rooms. If he’s in there, start the conversation (you only need to trigger that first line) and beeline for the locked door. The two guards that wait outside are worth taking care of first to ensure your survival, but it’s up to you how ballsy you want to be.

Once inside, use your mines to plant in the centre of each group of four to make sure they all blow up. Trevelyan does like to wander a little too close to the gas tanks, so make sure he’s definitely out of the way before exploding. There’s plenty of time to spare, so your only real worry is getting killed while waiting for him to shift his ass.

There’s so little to say about this level and you’ll probably beat the target after finishing the level for the first time. After exiting the starting area, you only really need to grab the key from the building on the left and then make a beeline for the plane. If you’re strafing, you’ll rarely get hit on agent difficulty – and you may even get lucky and get some speed boosts from a bullet in your ass. Heck, if you want some extra swag you can use a well-timed grenade throw to give yourself a little bit of an extra boost. Not necessary in the slightest, but it’s cool as hell to do.

Using the tank in this level may be tempting and is absolutely viable to use and still get well below the time limit, but I wouldn’t bother. Going tankless will prepare you for the slightly more challenging Streets target time!

The hardest part about both surface levels is finding your way around a featureless snowscape. It’s very easy to get lost, but thankfully the open environment also results in you not seeing many enemies that will pose a threat to you.

In order to find the first building with the key, I’d recommend following the forest wall until you see the two houses and go past the right one. You’ll soon see a metallic structure ahead which you should aim for, and beyond that is the key building. Heading right after exiting that building will soon get you to the furthest previously-locked building that contains the safe key, and then going in the direction of the small white domed structure should finally get you to the safe! Phew!

After that, you should find things pretty straightforward up until the end. If you picked up the grenade launcher from the first key building, you can fire a shot or two up top to blow all the locks off before you get there. Easy peasy!

This target time seems a lot tougher than it actually is. The trick here is to play it safe towards the start and the latter half should be entirely risk free. To do this you should stick to your silenced gun pre-Boris to take care of the majority of goons around the starting area. I’d also take out the cameras before you chat to the cheeky programmer too since it’s easy to forget later (in fact, I almost forgot to analyze the key which you should probably do while Boris is hacking).

Once Boris is hacking, get your datathief out and when he starts talking about the password keep pressing the use button until the objective completes. The alarms will sound once he does so start your mad dash to the end as soon as possible!

Remember when I mentioned that you can use noise to your advantage? Well, this level is noise in a nutshell. Grab a KF7 Soviet as soon as you can and just start rushing through generating as much noise as you can, killing any enemies in your way to ensure you stay fully stocked. Generating enough noise in the lab rooms will usually result in the guards at the top of the stairwells to open the door for you, removing the need to find a key. This technique can prove hit and miss in the room with the big white object in the middle, but you can backtrack to the scientist (the one I bumped into in the video) and claim his dropped key.

Aside from that, the only other worry is staying alive with so much going on. Thankfully on Agent this is less of a concern, but don’t hesitate to grab the body armour that is visibly in one of the scientist rooms as you progress should you geel you need it. I’d also advise pausing to select the camera after pressing the button to open the door. Both the door and the pause sequence is slow, so doing them both at the same time should help shave off an extra second or so.

This is probably my favourite stage in the game, particularly on this difficulty. Not only is it a great level, but there’s some super cool tricks you can use to make the target time a joke.

The first thing you’ll note in the video is the tracking device throw that miraculously hits the helicopter from afar. It’s really not as hard as it seems, and simply consists of moving forward a little in the doorway and throwing whilst aiming upwards. You have to make sure you are facing in that direction until it successfully connects or the copter will unload and you’ll fail the objective. It’s dead easy too do, and if you can’t pull it off you can simply walk forward towards the helicopter and do it the old-fashioned way.

The second noteworthy thing about the level is that only one guard is assigned to hostage control. As such, only kill the guards in the video and leave the rest – this will be important later…

… after defusing the first bomb and heading upstairs, you’ll notice some bars that lead to a boxed room. Believe it or not, you can squeeze through the bars by effectively making the game poop itself. By wiggling, switching weapons, and shooting, you should make the framerate suffer just enough to pop you through.

Once you’ve sorted out the remaining hostages and bombs, head back to the boat but do not step onto it until you are sure that Objective A has completed. If not, you’ll end the level and fail the mission. You should have more than enough time to pause and manually check should you have any doubts.

Much like the previous Surface, the difficulty here is more to do with finding your way around – and this stage is in the dark, making it even tougher. That being said, there’s still enough leeway here with the time to ensure that hitting the target time shouldn’t be much of an issue. To make things easier, you’ll also be visiting more or less the same places as before.

It is possible to be fast enough at the start to get through the locked door where the guard is patrolling after exiting the cell area, but you really needn’t bother. Grabbing the keys, knocking out the guard, and opening Natalya’s cell quickly enough to be able to do it isn’t at all necessary to achieve the target time.

Instead, heading up the stairs and making lots of noise will cause the keycard guard to open the door – allowing you to bypass the locked door and collect the keycard needed to exit the level. Don’t forget to make a slight detour to complete your other objective first though!

Statue’s target time is probably one of the tougher ones to do on Secret Agent, but that’s only really due to the flight recorder location being reliant on RNG. I was lucky in my video as it dropped in the perfect place, but if it doesn’t then you’ll need to have a quick search around the area to locate it. Unfortunately that also means cutting things a little closer. There’s certainly enough time  to look around, although if it’s in a terrible place then you may end up having to restart instead.

A couple of minor time savers exist that you can do to give yourself a little extra time for flight recorder hunting. First of all, you can shuffle Valentin up the hill towards the direction you need to head after by simply zigzagging slowly. You’re stuck with listening to everything he has to say, so you may as well try and save yourself a second or so by positioning yourself a bit closer to the next area you need to go. Similarly, Trevelyan’s conversation can be exited at just the right moment to ensure that you get moving ASAP and still complete the objective.

Forget Facility, this is where the difficulty really begins! Not that Archives is a particularly hard stage; in fact you’ll probably meet little resistance using this method, but the time limit is surprisingly tight. Thankfully most of the time will be spent listening to Mishkin, so getting the door open and putting yourself into position to open the safe (from the side!) is the best thing to do so that you can make a hasty retreat.

Everything beforehand is just navigating through the horrible framerate and making noise at the top of the first set of stairs in order to get that door open. Good luck!

Ah, Streets! Back in the day I held the PAL WR for this stage, but it has since been beaten. The good thing about this level is that the biggest trick is to simply not use the tank and run to the end. That’s it. Knowing the route and getting some lucky shots in the back will help you get the most out of your time, but it’s honestly not needed. It’s also a great level to practice strafing on due to the long and mostly empty roads.

You shouldn’t have much difficulty obtaining this target time.

This is a stage that is way easier to do using the speedrun strategy, but it also involves using the two-controller control scheme. With it you can make the hardest part of the stage far easier, but it does require learning how to actually play like that. As such, this video shows off a safe version that uses the normal control scheme.

Honestly, the problem lies in that one big room. Taking out the guards, then the turret, and then taking care of the objective should still give you enough time to grab the blueprints from the safe and make it out on time. On your way there, try taking a potshot at the back of the train as you pass the trainyard and there’s a chance your bullet might clip through and alert the guard inside, which will result in him opening a couple of doors for you. It’s not needed (and I messed it up too), but it can earn you some swag points if you succeed!

All in all, Depot isn’t too much of a problem so long as you can clear out that one room with relative efficiency.

The target time here is relatively lenient, so long as you don’t mess around. The trick is to try and be efficient clearing the rooms whilst also staying safe enough in order to survive. Unfortunately the guards’ randomly aggressive and accurate AI can make this sometimes a doddle and sometimes a major pain in the arse.

The first two room are arguably the hardest obstacle to overcome, so try and stay as safe as you can while picking them off. My positions are solid, but try not to get close to any boxes. They may blow up and take you with them. Also bear in mind that the guards in black have random spawns, so always be aware of them.

The passenger cabins are by far easier, as you can just stay in cover and pick people off before proceeding ahead. Bear in mind that guards will appear behind you, so make sure you take care of them too. In the first cabin, the guard in the locked room can sometimes exit from all the noise, so that can be a timesaver if he does.

In the green area, there are some locked doors you can open from behind containing guards. By placing yourself on the wall and aiming in the direction of the doors inner side, you should be able to open them up and clear out the guard inside. Be aware that this area houses some really tough enemies, so play it safe.

Once you get to the final area, it’s worth noting that you need to kill Ouromov and ideally wound Xenia. Killing her is fine, as I do in the video, but merely injuring her will ensure you definitely have enough time to crack the password. One thing to note is that Ouromov will shoot once you go beyond a certain position in the room, so don’t go too far in and align yourself in the lower right area near the table so that you can like up your shots to hit both at the same time. 

If you have enough health, congrats. You can just run to the end. If not, then I recommend just running and praying you don’t get a bullet in the back. Remember strafing is much faster, so that may also help you get away from those guards lurking outside of the train!

This stage is a nightmare to play due to its constant single digit framerate. Luckily, the time required isn’t that hard to beat. Grab yourself a couple of Assault Rifles early on to use against Xenia (headshotting her from the bridge takes her our pretty quickly) and then run around the outskirts of the level taking out the drones with mines and an A+B press for quick explosions. There’s absolutely time to take them out using gunfire, but throwing a mine is far quicker and simpler to do.

Once you grab Xenia’s guns, you can use the Grenade Launcher to take care of the remaining turrets, but the RCP90 will make short work of them too and also ensures you don’t blow yourself up by mistake!

What is probably the hardest level on the Secret Agent difficulty (outside of Aztec, perhaps) the time limit here is thankfully lenient enough to allow you to take your time. At the start, take care to use the corners to blow up the turrets safely. You can try to manual aim, but if you are using the dot trick then you shouldn’t need to bother. After that, be careful of the cluster of guards in the next area as they’ll often throw a grenade right into the middle of their little room. Once it explodes, dash through and carefully make your way to the main room.

Once you’re here, I’d advise going upstairs and collecting the body armour before taking on the turret hall of death. You can run through it and plant the mine, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Keep your distance and take them out. With that part out of the way, it’s onto the longest section: Natalya’s protection.

There’s no real trick to this part, and it’s honestly not too tough. Destroy the tables in the room to make some space and ensure you always have a clean shot, and then keep an eye out. If you destroy the mainframes with mines on the bottom floor, you should have a nice opening to see guards that are running along the bottom floor ready to ambush Natalya. These swines will be your biggest menace, so catching them on their way to the ambush spot will really help when keeping her alive.

One she’s finished, continue to protect her until she’s at the bottom of the stage and then make your way out. If you have enough health to take a bullet or three, running to the end make be the safest option, but if you’re struggling then try to take out the final guards carefully to clear your way. There’s loads of time here, so you shouldn’t need to worry about being cautious!

The two key areas of concern are the hard hitting guards, that can deal serious damage in little time, and the troll-like level design. Hidden turrets? Check. Explosive barrels near critical equipment? Check. Dumb scientists that try their best to die? Check. Guards that appear from behind? Check. This level has it all.

The key thing to do for the most part is to find a safe place where you can pick off any foes. The more open design can make that harder, but there aren’t many explosives lying around either. Also, remember that many crates contain vital ammo – which you’ll probably need unless you’re being really careful. There’s a great area before the hidden tunnel that can stock you up for the remainder of the stage.

The main tip though is just don’t rush. Don’t feel like you have to be pushing forward all the time. Don’t be too slow, but do what you need to do. Strafing, especially up that big upward spiral, can help make up for last time if you really need it, but just stay alive and you’ll probably be ok.

This level is really fun to beat within the target time, but a nightmare to speedrun properly. There’s a really fast method that’s incredibly stressful to pull off, but the quick-ish method is dead easy and guaranteed to get you within the target time.

First of all, wait for the entire cutscene to play to ensure Alec is as far away as possible (otherwise you’ll catch up to him quickly) and then run to his little shed where the secondary objective waits. Instead of entering, wait with your back to the wall opposite the bottom of the stairs you came down… and wait.

When you hear a grenade, enter the building, blow up the console to complete the other objective, and then make your way to the end. That grenade explosion was Alec dropping a grenade at his feat and blowing himself up. It’s incredibly consistent, although sometimes he does is faster that other times – and he may even blow up the computer console too for you!

The other level that is incredibly hard on Secret Agent. Thankfully, like with Control, the target time here is pretty lenient and only really requires beating the level whilst knowing where you are going.

As such, I’ve spiced this one up a bit by showing off a neat little trick that allows you to skip around half of the level and saves needless backtracking. After (carefully!) clearing out the first two rooms, you’ll reach the main control room. Shooting the door before you enter will allow you to take out the guys waiting to ambush you with ease as they move towards the source of the gunfire. It should also attract the attention of the rest of the blokes within, so get to a safe spot and take them out.

Once that’s done, we can now perform a little trick that allows us to open the glass door that houses all the important objective-related stuff. The basic idea is that we’re going to trick some idiot guards into thinking that we are behind the glass door so that they open it for us. Despite being transparent, they’ll still foolishly unlock it. 

To do this, you should first reset the hidden door and take out the solitary guard behind. We want as many guards as possible to increase our odds of success. After that, run around the corner and fire towards the back of the room so that you hopefully attract a few of them. Lie in wait on top of the hidden door until you see them come and then position yourself against the glass door. I like to shoot inside to again try and fool them a bit more, although I’m not sure it really helps. After the door closes, you want to run and hide and hopefully listen out for the sound of the glass door opening. Some guards may come your way, but just take them out and stay waiting.

If all goes to plan, lean out and shoot towards them so that they come towards you and can be taken out from a safe point, and then enter the now-open glass door.

If you can’t pull it off, defeating Jaws is also a viable option too. It’s a little bit more of a pain as it requires a fair amount of backtracking to the glass door, but if you get up in his face then he won’t be able to harm you with his freakishly long arms. When returning, make a detour to the terminal at the top of the ladder in the main shuttle area in order to reopen the doors so that you can finally get back to that damn glass door!

With all that done, pick up the body armour and clear your way towards the final terminal that you need to activate with your launch data. During the countdown I like to hide where the body armour was, but there are plenty of other suitable spots too!

The final level, and it’s a 00 Agent target time! What nightmare will this hold?

Well… nothing. Not only is Egypt one of the easiest stage in the game, but the target time is also one of the easiest too – only beaten by Runway Agent’s ridiculous five minutes. Once you know the locations of Baron Samedi and the route you need to take to obtain the gun, you really can’t lose.

In the video, I messed around and shot random guards with that slow-ass gun and still encountered little resistance. To make things even more of a joke, this level even has body armour available. It’s so ridiculously easy that there’s a fair chance you’ll have unlocked this cheat by simply beating the level.

So there we are! You’ve mastered all the cheats! Now what? Well, if you want a challenge then perhaps try LTK or DLTK mode. What are those? I’ll leave you to search for it and find out. Good luck!