Nintendo is known for its family-friendly aura. The house that Mario built tends to stay away from Mature rated titles in favor of an all-audiences approach.
That approach doesn't exactly work that well when dealing with a character like James Bond. He does, after all, have a license to kill, and he does a lot of it over the course of the various 007 films.
But that didn't stop legendary Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto from faxing (yes, faxing) a request for less killing in Goldeneye 007 on the Nintendo 64 to developer Rare. Apparently Miyamoto found the level of violence on display in the game too high and asked for changes.
"One point was that there was too much close-up killing - he found it a bit too horrible," game director Martin Hollis says in a new interview with The Guardian. "I don't think I did anything with that input. The second point was, he felt the game was too tragic, with all the killing. He suggested that it might be nice if, at the end of the game, you got to shake hands with all your enemies in the hospital."
Anybody who played the game knows that didn't come to pass. Instead, Hollis added a credits sequence to the game that introduced all the characters as if they were portrayed by actors, reinforcing the idea that the violence depicted in Goldenye 007 was purely fictional.
The rest, as they say, is history. Goldeneye 007 is remembered to this day as a pivotal moment in console shooters, as players quickly fell in love with the game's 4-player splitscreen action. Nintendo asked Rare if they would like to make a sequel based on the next film entry, but Rare turned them down. Hollis says he has a lot of respect for Nintendo because they didn't try to force the project onto the developer, even though Goldeneye was by all accounts a huge success.
Thank goodness Goldeneye didn't end with a hospital bed scene. That would have been awkward to say the least.