Perfect Dark is a sci-fi espionage first-person shooter developed and published by Rareware for the Nintendo 64 in North America (on May 22, 2000), Europe (on June 30, 2000), and Japan (on October 21, 2000).
The spiritual successor to Rare's earlier first-person shooter GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark features a new original universe with a futuristic sci-fi storyline. Along with a heavily-enhanced multiplayer mode (dubbed "Combat Simulator"), the game includes numerous gameplay enhancements (including two new ways to experience the campaign: co-operative multiplayer and "counter-operative" multiplayer). It is one of the few Nintendo 64 games to require use of the Expansion Pak add-on (restricting the game to a limited version of the game's multiplayer when the add-on is not found)
The story takes place in the year 2023 involving espionage between two factions: Carrington Institute (a private research & development center) and dataDyne Corporation (a military defense contractor). The protagonist is Joanna Dark: an agent of the Carrington Institute whose high scores in training earns her the codename "Perfect Dark". The game begins as Joanna Dark is sent to dataDyne to exfiltrate defecting scientist Dr. Caroll. Afterwards, the plot twists through espionage, presidential politics, and eventually interstellar warfare.
The game also received a handheld adaptation, released for the Game Boy Color on August 2000. It is set one year before the events of the main game, as fresh graduate Joanna is sent on her first mission to destroy an illegal cyborg manufacturing facility in the South American jungle. Instead of a traditional first-person shooter, it is played in a third-person overhead perspective with a limited first-person shooting. It also supports two-player multiplayer with use of a link cable. Both games can be used with the Nintendo 64 Transfer Pak add-on as a bonus way to unlock cheats.
Perfect Dark later received a full-fledged prequel in November 18, 2005 for the Xbox 360. Titled Perfect Dark Zero, it takes place three years before the original, with Joanna as a bounty hunter working for both her freelance father and a computer hacker. An enhanced version of the original game (handled by porting studio 4J) was released digitally for the Xbox 360 on March 17, 2010. Along with a high-resolution graphical overhaul and an updated control scheme, this version includes online multiplayer (including eight-player Combat Simulator matchmaking playlists and two-player Co-op/Counter-op support), online leaderboards, and an in-game achivement system (called "leaderboard crowns"). This version was later included with the 2015 Xbox One compilation Rare Replay.
Perfect Dark contains 17 main missions and 4 bonus unlockable missions, known as "special assignments". There are no checkpoints in the middle of a level or a way to save the game, and the player must restart the level after failing. Each has a set of objectives that varies with the difficulty setting, becoming more involved as the difficulty increases. There are three difficulty settings (Agent, Secret Agent, and Perfect Agent), but a fourth setting, Perfect Dark, lets the player decide the health, damage, and accuracy of the opponents. (The mode is only available after beating all the levels on Perfect Agent). The 4 "special assignments" in the game are canonical to the story and sometimes lets the players control alternative characters. (Two of the missions require the player to be a Maian while one of the missions requires them to be a Skedar in Mr. Blonde form.)
When the game starts up, the player picks a profile and is given a menu with all the basic play options available. However, the player can back out of this menu and walk around the Carrington Institute as Joanna. The Institute is a multi-story complex with a handful of rooms to do different trainings in. The first time the player backs out to the Institute, Daniel Carrington greets Joanna and shows her around the various rooms.
- Firing Range - Here, weapons the player unlocks in the story mode and the combat simulator challenges can be used in individually tailored target tests. There is a bronze, silver, and gold test for each weapon and winning enough golds will unlock classic weapons from GoldenEye 007 for use in the single player missions. The computer in the range's antechamber has detailed information about each weapon.
- Device Room - As in most spy games, Dark has a host of gadgets she uses during her adventure. The Device Room lets Joanna try them out at her leisure.
- Simulation Room - This room has several beginner maneuvering exercises Joanna can complete, most improving her skills in evasion and disarming opponents.
- Data Room - The computer on the left side of this room has personnel information on important characters in the story. This information fills in through playing the story missions. Another computer lets the player access the cheats.
- Hangar - Other than a host of pointless areas (which will be important later in the game), the player can control a hovercraft and a hovering crate. The crate can be taken to the Firing Range and propped up against the door, letting them take the weapons outside of the firing range. This has been fixed in the Xbox Live Arcade port.
The missions can be played in the classic co-operative mode. Here, two players can share a split screen while they do the missions together. Only the first player, who holds all mission-critical equipment, must survive. The player can also play this in single-player with up to four AI allies, or simulants. These simulants only use one weapon and have the tactics (or lack of) of the enemy (though they can have their tactics changed from aggressive to stealthy). The player starts off playing the game with one AI, but as they beat the game in co-operative under different difficulties, they can unlock the option to add more allies to the game. (2 for Agent, 3 for Secret Agent, 4 for Perfect Agent)
Using cheats, the player can change the character their simulant(s) or human partner will be portraying. Some missions, like Mr. Blonde's Revenge, will force the simulants to use the Mr. Blonde model (but their weapons will be the same as other missions).
- Velvet Dark - Joanna's sister and the default simulant. Always uses the default Falcon 2 pistol.
- Pugilist - A large man who only uses fists.
- Hotshot - Carries a DY357 Magnum on one hand and the DY357-LX in the other.
- Hit and Run - A Mr. Blonde look-alike equipped with a K7 Avenger.
- Alien - A Maian with a RC-P120.
Counter-Op puts a unique spin on co-operative play. One player plays as Joanna Dark while the other player plays as a random enemy. The enemy player has the same low health as the other enemies, but takes control of another enemy after death. This mode can be exploited by a guard who understands the operative's motives (for example, when boarding Air Force One, Jo dons a disguise and cannot shoot her gun without failing the mission), so some form of non- griefing pact should be arranged before attempting this mode with a friend. Even without griefing issues, completing missions is next to impossible on anything but Agent if the Counter-Op player is a good shot--the story mode guards are not even close to as vigilant or aggressive as a human player. In regards to the enemy player, if he is low on health and feels down on his life, there's a suicide pill the player character can take to instantly kill themselves and re-spawn as a new enemy guard.
Perfect Dark's main multiplayer mode, also known as the Combat Simulator, features up to four players (eight in the XBOX Live Arcade Version) and eight CPU opponents (also known as "simulants"). They can split up into different teams (up to eight) indicated by color. (Team 1 and Team 2 are red and yellow, just like the primary and secondary firing mode colors) Nearly every game attribute can be modified, including one-hit kills and radar. For casual games, the player may also turn on cheats, such as Unlimited Ammo No Reloads, for extra fun.
Once the player complete a matchs, their stats are tracked on their profile. These stats include kills, deaths, wins, losses and accuracy. There are 4 skill medals that they can get for each match (Accuracy, Headshot, KillMaster, and Survivor, all which are tracked in their profile) and 17 post-game awards (including Most Deadly, Shortest Life, and Most Professional). As they get more kills and win more matches, the player's profile's level increases. However, increasing levels add nothing to the game.
Not every weapon, simulant type, level, and game mode is unlocked from the start. They must be unlocked by doing challenges in the Combat Simulator. (Weapons can also be obtained by using them in the single-player game) There are 30 challenges in the game, each can be played up to four human players at a time. The more players playing the challenge, the more simulants they face. Challenges start off trivially easy and later become painfully difficult. They often introduce new game modes and weapons. Only four challenges are available at the start, with each beaten challenge unlocking a new challenge.
There are six base game modes that can be played in the Combat Simulator:
- Combat - Traditional deathmatch.
- Hold the Briefcase - Unlocked after clearing 2 challenges. A briefcase item randomly spawns in the level at the beginning of the match. The player character must grab the case and stay alive. Holding the case for 30 seconds earns them a point. Once they die, they drop the briefcase, which is either picked up by an ally, an enemy, or reset to a random part of the level.
- Capture the Case - Unlocked after clearing 4 challenges. Traditional capture the flag. The case must be at home to score and dropped cases are automatically returned.
- King of the Hill - Randomly-determined areas of the map must be held uncontested for 20 seconds to earn a point. Each teammate on the hill is awarded a point when the hill's timer reaches zero. After that, the hill is moved to another random area.
- Hacker Central - Unlocked after clearing 6 challenges. Players must grab a data uplink item and use this item (leaving themselves defenseless) on a computer. Both the data uplink and computer spawn in a random area of the map. If the holder of the data uplink item dies, the data uplink respawns to a different area. Points are earned for each successful "hack", which lasts around 10 seconds.
- Pop a Cap - Unlocked after clearing 12 challenges. One random player is the "victim". If that player survives 30 seconds, he gets a point. If another player kills him, that player gets two points. Once that player survives or dies, the role of the "victim" switches to another player.
Simulants in the Combat Simulator are bots that can be customized according to difficulty and specialty. Simulant teammates can be ordered by their human teammates. The difficulty for the bots include:
- MeatSim - Horrible, mindless bot with absolutely no accuracy.
- EasySim - Still going to take bullets, but has slightly better accuracy.
- NormalSim - The average difficulty of simulant. Average accuracy and intelligence.
- HardSim - Unlocked after clearing 4 challenges. HardSims begin using the radar to find the player while hunting for the best weapons.
- PerfectSim - Unlocked after clearing 9 challenges. A real challenge. Great accuracy and fast movement.
- DarkSim - Unlocked after clearing 21 challenges. This bot cheats.
Simulants can also have one of many special characteristics, such as:
- PeaceSim - A simulant against violence, he will run around hoarding weapons (while using the unarmed disarm ability against the other players).
- ShieldSim - Always goes for the shield.
- RocketSim - Only uses explosive weapons.
- KazeSim - If this simulant spots the player, it will try to attack them no matter what the odds are.
- FistSim - Like the PeaceSim, only more dangerous with the fists.
- PreySim - Hunts down the easier targets.
- CowardSim - Will always run away unless it has a superior weapon.
- JudgeSim - Attacks the enemy player with the highest score.
- FeudSim - Makes a random decision at the start of the game to hunt down only one opponent for the entire game.
- SpeedSim - Speedhacker.
- TurtleSim - While it's very slow, it has a powerful shield.
- VengeSim - Hunts down the last player who killed it.
There are 17 arenas in perfect dark, 3 of them which are remakes of Goldeneye 007 arenas:
- Area 52
- Complex - Unlocked after clearing 1 challenge. Remake of Complex from Goldeneye 007.
- Warehouse - Unlocked after clearing 3 challenges.
- Ravine - Unlocked after clearing 5 challenges.
- Temple - Unlocked after clearing 6 challenges. Remake of Temple from Goldeneye 007.
- G5 Building - Unlocked after clearing 9 challenges.
- Grid - Unlocked after clearing 11 challenges.
- Felicity - Unlocked after clearing 12 challenges. Remake of Facility from Goldeneye 007.
- Villa - Unlocked after clearing 14 challenges.
- Sewers - Unlocked after clearing 16 challenges.
- Car Park - Unlocked after clearing 17 challenges.
- Base - Unlocked after clearing 18 challenges.
- Fortress - Unlocked after clearing 20 challenges.
- Ruins - Unlocked after clearing 22 challenges.
The story starts out in a rush as Joanna Dark is sped to the roof dataDyne headquarters. Apparently, a sapient named Dr. Carroll has all the details necessary to foil an upcoming plot by dataDyne's leader and his advanced coding has given him a personality and moral code that Carrington believes would make him akin to their cause. However, officials at dataDyne have realized this and are planning to erase his memory, so time is of the essence. Joanna makes her way through the office space of the dataDyne HQ, taking down guards and camera systems indiscriminately, as well as knock out dataDyne executive Cassandra de Vries for the RFID necklace she has. She continues this rampage until she reaches the basement floor, where a secret wall panel reveals an elevator down to the laboratories under the facility. Assuming Dr. Carroll must be there. She rides this elevator into the labs.
Joanna's mission to capture Dr. Carroll remains the primary objective of this mission. However, as the opportunity presents itself, Carrington also gives her many secondary objectives within this most technologically advanced laboratory. The place is loaded to the brim with new weapons and technologies, such as a prototype shield system and the K7 Avenger assault rifle. Jo works her way through building, takes pictures, steals and sabotage sensitive equipment. She eventually finds Dr. Carroll in a sealed off room where he is revealed be some kind of flying laptop with eyes. Dark isn't sure what to make of this, but Dr. Carroll realizes the danger of the situation and urges her to leave immediately (with him in her care, naturally).
By the time she reaches the elevator back up the main structure, the upper branches of dataDyne HQ have prepared for Joanna's attempted rooftop extraction. There are many blockades set up with guards waiting for her around every corner. What's more, Cassandra de Vries's personal body guards are stationed throughout the building with station, ready to take down Jo for the slap in the earlier mission. She makes her way slowly and methodically to the rooftop, dispatching all of Cassandra's personal guard and even a hovercopter in the process. When she finally gets to the helipad on the roof, Cassandra is there waiting with two more guards. She offers Joanna a chance at redemption by resigning from the Carrington Institute and coming to work for her. Jo blasts de Vries's last two guards with a shotgun and jumps back onto the aircraft.
Sometime after Extraction, Joanna receives a distress call from the Institute. Apparently, Daniel Carrington is being held hostage in his private villa by dataDyne and they are questioning him about Dr. Carroll. Rather than go into the mission with their pants down the Institute team devise a plan to send a fake terms negotiator a decoy so Dark can get in as close as possible without detection (on Perfect Agent, Jo actually is the negotiator). She snipes the greeting party that comes for the negotiator and then proceeds to cleanse the area of the dataDyne presence. Their numbers are heavy, but they are unaware of her presence, so they behave in an uncoordinated fashion. After eliminating the watch outside, Jo proceeds to the basement of Daniel's chateau where he is being held. She pushes her way into his holding quarters, but she is too late. Daniel already told them where he hid Dr. Carroll. Thankfully, Daniel read into their peripheral conversations and determined that a meeting of minds was happening at the G5 building in Chicago that night. Using all the time available (not much) Jo gets ready for the trip.
The first actual stealth mission in the game, Joanna is charged with making her way into the G5 building undetected by traversing the streets of Chicago. If the guards posted at the building catch wind of her intentions, they will seal off the entrance and effectively eliminate any chance of eavesdropping on the meeting inside. Despite the short time between the two endeavors, the folks back at the Institute have an elaborate ploy already set up for her ingress. A supply drop is placed in a storm drain near the G5 car park entrance. Inside is a remote mine and reprogrammer. Jo sets the remote mine on a blocked off emergency exit at the back of G5 (its placement actually influences the course of events in the next mission) and reprograms a taxi to crash into a robocop, creating a diversion of large enough scale to draw the guards attention and give her window to sneak inside.
Once inside, the objective is still far from complete. The G5 building is brimming with security and the guards on the outer layers of this protection possess a new cloaking device technology. After this initial debacle, Jo silently proceeds into a room adjacent to the conference room. She takes down any guard in the area who might sound an alarm and call off the meeting, then disable the laser grid guarding the ventilation system. From here, the CamSpy takes over and Jo sends it into the room where the talking has just started. Apparently, NSA director Trent Easton is conspiring with dataDyne and a "Mr. Blonde" to take command of a deep sea diving vessel. Unfortunately for them, Easton overestimated the President's trust in him. He claims to have a contingency plan ready to go. All he needs now "is a tissue sample." An aircraft interception device is brought up in sparse detail as well.
After the meeting adjourns, Joanna still has to retrieve Dr. Carroll's personality from a vault in the building (they brought it here after invading the villa). The vault cracking goes well, but not unnoticed, and Jo is assailed by every guard from Illinois to Maine as she waits for the vault door to open. After she nabs the personality, she exfiltrates through the exit point she designated with the remote mine in the last mission and gets ready to head back home when a startling development occurs in Area 51. Dark protests the decision to go in favor of making sure of the safety of the President, but Carrington insists and thus she leaves immediately for Nevada, unknowing of exactly what has happened.
Area 51 Infiltration
On the trip over, Carrington fills in the details for the excursion. An alien craft was shot down by the interceptor alluded to in the G5 meeting. The craft contained a Maian that was en route to the Carrington Institute as assistance to Daniel. The workers in the facility don't actually know what happened, but are ready to perform autopsy procedures on the discovered alien and will kill him if Jo doesn't get there in time. She begins at a desert helipad on the edge on the base where little attentive resistance is found. She first takes care of defenses and communications on the exterior of the complex, shooting the interceptor crafts parked outside and bombing the comm center. She makes her way inside through a hangar elevator, meeting heavy resistance on the other side from national guard troops armed with Dragon assault rifles. She wades through these guards to Jonathan Dark, already waiting inside the building, disguised as a guard. He lays down the second leg of the operation.
Area 51 Rescue
Jonathan has procured a hovering box loaded with explosives. The route Joanna took into the building isn't actually connected by normal access to the autopsy lab. However, the hangar and the lab are adjacent to one another and one particular section of the wall between them is quite weak, allowing for forced entry with the use of the explosives. The crate won't last long under enemy fire, so Jo must use stealth to evade the swarming guards in the area, escorting the box carefully up two service lifts to the weakened wall section and then blow it up (from a friend to a friend: the box is an absolute pain in the ass to escort. Just throw a proxied dragon near the breach and shoot it). Once inside, there isn't a second to waste. Joanna finds the locker room where the lab technician is just getting suited up. She knocks him out after a wild goose chase and poses as him. The guard unwittingly let's her inside the main structure, but the head surgeon doesn't recognize her and cries for help. This initiates a hurried set of events where Dark takes down the guards in the outer chamber, steals a key card, and then proceeds to rescue the Maian hostage from the grips of the unwitting surgical attendees.
Area 51 Escape
Just as much urgency is present in the escapade as the guards elsewhere in the complex have now caught wind of the events inside the lab. What's worse, the head surgeon turns on a nerve gas security system that bombards Jo with poisonous fumes until she exits the lab. She does so as fast as she can, finds a safe place to put the hovering stretcher with the Maian in it and meets back up with Jonathan. Jonathan had been busy entertaining the guards, but now they needed to leave and the entrance the hangar where the Maian spaceship has been locked is sealed off. Jonathan rigs up an improvised oil bomb to blast a hole in the side of the hangar and the two rush as fast as they can to the Maian, who Jo resuscitates with mysterious medical device.
The Maian wakes with a start, screaming in agony. The screaming dies down and the Maian introduces himself to the two as Elvis or "Protector One" if they prefer the more relevant name. They opt for Elvis. With Elvis in tow, the group then hurries to the spaceship, only to realize that it will not hold all three of them; just two. Either Jonathan or Joanna must escape on a hoverbike located nearby after opening the two main hangar doors. Who does what is left up to the player. They make their escape without further incident.
With Elvis secured, Dark refocuses her attention to the President. Trent Easton is planning to kidnap him while aboard the Air Force One. The first step to preventing this is to board Air Force One. This involves stealing a stewardess uniform from a civilian on the way into the air base. She procures a briefcase from two unaware businessmen and loads her many gadgets inside. All of her secret spy stuff (and guns) would obviously set off the alarm, so she quickly makes her way to the scanner room where she subverts the scanner, letting the case through without incident. She then proceeds down a diagonally-oriented elevator to the Air Force One hangar, where is given the option of boarding the craft from the bottom by dodging a laser grid or through the main door at the top by evading detection. The choice is the player's and it determines where Dark begins the next mission.
Air Force One
First things first, equipment. Jo makes her down the kitchen area, the kitchen being directly connected to the cargo bay. This is must faster if the plane is boarded from the bottom as Jo actually starts down there. Once she acquires her effects, she makes a segue for the president's cabin to inform him, in a barrage of facts and evidence, that he is in mortal danger. Just as she convinces him, however, an alien aircraft forcefully attaches itself to Air Force One, and dataDyne soldiers pour into the main cabin. Jo escorts the President to the plane's escape pod to ensure his survival of the inevitable crash. The alien craft is detached through a combination of a timed mine and Elvis's intervention. This does not make things better and Elvis loses control of his ship in the process of shooting a tube connecting the alien craft to Air Force One. All three machines proceed to fall out of the sky.
The scene opens with Joanna picking herself up off a bank of snow. She was flung far from the Air Force One during the crash and, once she finds her bearings, hunts it down for the presidential tracker. Along the way, she finds the president's escape pod and activates the distress beacon in the hopes its signal is strong to defeat the radio interference currently jamming her own transponder. While traversing the snowy landscape, she happens across Elvis and his ship. He seem well prepared to defend himself, and so designates his ship as the rendezvous point once she finds the president.
Using the president tracker found near the wreckage of Air Force One, Jo searches around in a large ice cavern, encountering both the real president and a clone of the president. The former is being held hostage by Trent who runs when Jo shoots at him. The President and Jo make it back to the surface and she leaves him in the able hands of Elvis. She goes back into the cavern to dispatch the clone and then makes the trip back up to Elvis for the last time. From there, they wait to be picked up.
With the apparent dangers now averted, Carrington orders an investigation of dataDyne's real scheme. Jo is tasked with heading to the Pelagic II's dry dock and do whatever it takes to sabotage the expedition and, if this fails, board the vessel. The dock operation proves to be a very difficult test of quick dispatchment as the entire complex is loaded with alarms and guards that are more than willing to activate them. On the way through this gauntlet, Jo deactivates the power to the facility and forces the deactivation of the autopilot and GPS navigation systems. She meets back up with Elvis in the basement where they begin preparations to board the vessel down in the Moon Lift.
The craft takes the duo down to a mysterious submarine facility of a construction similar to the alien craft that attacked Air Force One. These aliens are identified as Skedar. The guards here, as in the G5 building, are armed with cloaking devices, but Dark now has a shotgun and she makes quick work of this now second-class threat. The two come upon a curiously shaped wall that Elvis identifies as an inactive teleportal. The panel to activate is located far inside a dark cavern loaded with odd door opening mechanisms. Nevertheless, once through, they enter the heart of an enormous complex that turns out to be a potentially world-ending super-weapon developed by an ancient civilization called the Cetans. Needless to say, the urgency of the mission steps up a bit from here.
Jo fends off baddies as Elvis consults various mysterious panels in the hopes of reaching the nerve center of the whole apparatus as fast as possible. They eventually manage this and find one Dr. Carroll hooked up to the heart of the machine. He is not the unassuming computer he was before, having been reprogrammed, but the folks back at the Institute created a virus designed to reinstall his old personality. After some initial sputtering and fidgeting, it works and Dr. Carroll is back to is old self. He explains that he can initiate the self-destruction of the entire machine, but he would have to destroy himself in the process. Jo and Dr. Carroll say farewell to each other and Jo and Elvis get the hell out of there.
All seems taken care of now, and things can finally get back to normal. Elvis and his entourage have now arrived on Earth and Daniel Carrington is ready to take them to a formal contact between Earth leaders and the Maian people. Alas, dataDyne is not so easily cast aside. An explosion goes off somewhere in the facility just before the group boards the plane. Given no choice, Joanna grabs an AR34 from a nearby guard and sets out bring the invasion obviously in progress to a halt. She first heads further down into the hangars to activate the turrets. Knowing that the influx of soldiers has been reduced, Joanna surges through the office complex, rescuing the Institute scientists being held hostage there. She makes a stop by Carrington's office to destroy some sensitive information dataDyne might have wanted to get their hands on. She also stops by the firing range where she acquires the RC-P120. Foster had been working on it to deal with dataDyne's new shielding technology, which they now employ, it works pretty well.
The chain of events continues to escalate when the soldiers rig a bomb on a Skedar craft. Jo heads down to the hover-pads and disables the device whilst avoiding fire from a multitude of "Mr. Blonde"s (actually Skedars in disguise). With this pandemonium taken care of, Dark dashes back to the main hangar where the others have already boarded the airplane. She signals for them to leave without her and they no sooner out of the building than she is knocked out by Skedar right behind her.
Our heroine wakes up inside a Skedar holding cell. Once she gets the strength to stand up, she notices that she is not alone. None other than Cassandra de Vries is in the cell with her. No matter what Cassandra's feelings toward Jo might be however, she is far more interested in getting back at the Skedar. She sacrifices herself to make a diversion for Joanna. Jo takes this opportunity to stab a Skedar guard, steal his gun, and deal with all other guards in the vicinity. She gets a signal from Elvis that they are orbiting the ship holding her captive and that she needs to lower the force-field so they can help her. She shoots up the field's controller and meets up with the Maian forces on the bridge who are actively engaged in fierce battle the attendees of the cruiser. Elvis and Joanna make their way to the star system to make some sense out of where they are going. Elvis realizes that the ship is on the way to the Skedar's home planet and urges Jo to take him to the bridge. After much confrontation, they make it and Elvis eagerly lands the ship on the planet's surface.
The Maians never knew where the Skedar's home planet was located. Now armed with that information, they have an honorable quest for Jo on the surface: kill the Skedar King. Jo starts her assassination attempt on the outskirts of the planet's royal temple. She places a number of target amplifiers on pillars outside the main structure in order bring down any shielding afforded the grounds by them. Once down, Dark goes spelunking in the dimly-lit rooms of the Skedar's most holy realms. She encounters armored Skedar bearing Reapers and Slayer rocket launchers in addition to smaller Skedar that leap out of her from corners. She makes a sacrifice to the War God by placing a weapon at the Altar below the door to the Inner Sanctum and strolls inside to discover a Skedar task force in suspended animation. One-by-one, the corpses are reanimated and assault Jo, who proceeds to take them down in turn.
Now, finally, with all obstacles finally behind her, Joanna walks into the Skedar King's main quarters. He is waiting for her in front of a large altar. Some form of shielding technology (not unlike what DataDyne was using) is protecting him and is powered by the large statue behind him. Through waves of smaller baddies and procedural destruction of the idol behind him, the Skedar King falls to Joanna itchy trigger finger. After a rather lighthearted "Yes!" from Joanna in response to the death of a major alien society's leader, the entire complex begins to crumble and Jo is caught by falling rocks. Elvis finds her later buried under the rubble and helps her out. The two make their way back to the ship and the credits roll.
Special Assignments are bonus missions outside of the main campaign. Each one uses environments from existing levels, with new enemy placements and objectives. To unlock them:
- Mr. Blonde's Revenge - Complete all story missions on Agent or higher.
- Maian S.O.S. - Complete all story missions on Special Agent or higher.
- War! - Complete all story missions on Perfect Agent.
- The Duel - Earn at least a Bronze rating with all 32 weapons in the Carrington Institute's firing range.
Mr. Blonde's Revenge
A "Mr. Blonde" is sent to the DataDyne building to capture Cassandra de Vries and bring her to Skedar justice. Mr. Blonde fights through security to gain access to Cassandra's office, followed by extraction off the helipad in a Skedar ship. The coordinated assault results in Cassandra's encounter with Joanna in the Attack Ship's holding cell.
One of the Maian Protectors escapes an Area 51 lab to send out a distress signal. Though the mission is a success, the protector gets tranquilized and captured once again. Thankfully, his heroic deed reaches the Carrington Institute, who respond with Joanna Dark's rescue effort.
The war against the Skedar changes... somewhat. A Maian assault squad now leads the charge onto the Skedar home planet. Leading the planet's defense are 3 Skedar Kings (depending on the difficulty chosen). The Maians prevail and celebrate with their traditional Dance of Joy.
In the Carrington Institute's combat training room, Joanna squares off against a DataDyne guard, followed by Jonathan Dark, and culminating with Trent Easton. Each encounter's difficulty is increased, and being armed with handguns means that accuracy is key. Agent Dark, of course, overcomes all of her opponents with ease.
Introduced with the XBLA release of Perfect Dark, Leaderboard Crowns are a set of difficult challenges based around the in-game missions. They function similarly to Xbox 360 achievements, except that they are only visible in-game. An icon representing the crown will appear on the leaderboard next to the player's mission completion time to notify other players of the achievement. Though it is possible to view the list of crowns in the pause menu, the game itself does not explain the criteria for the crowns.
|Crown Name||Mission||Difficulty||Unlock Criteria|
|No Help Needed||DataDyne Central: Defection||Perfect Agent||Kill fifteen enemies with the auto-aim assist turned off.|
|Close Proximity||DataDyne Research: Investigation||Agent||Kill three enemies with one Proxy Mine detonation.|
|Good Enough for Clint||DataDyne Central: Extraction||Agent||Get eight headshots with the DY357 Magnum.|
|Way of the Assassin||Carrington Villa: Hostage One||Perfect Agent||Use the sniper rifle to get five no-scope headshots.|
|Quickly Does It||Chicago: Stealth||Agent||Complete all objectives quickly.|
|Bow to the Audience||G5 Building: Reconaissance||Agent||Kill eight enemies with the wrist crossbow's "Instant Kill" setting.|
|Rapid Radar Shutdown||Area 51: Infiltration||Special Agent||Complete Objective 1 in 60 seconds or less.|
|Master of Disguise||Area 51: Rescue||Special Agent||Obtain and use the disguise in less than 1:30.|
|Easy Rider||Area 51: Escape||Agent||Escape on the hoverbike within 30 seconds of mounting it.|
|I Want to be Sedated||Air Base: Espionage||Special Agent||Use the DrugSpy to sedate six enemies in less than 30 seconds.|
|Presidential Prediction||Air Force One: Antiterrorism||Agent||Complete Objective 3 first, and then finish the level in 1:30 or less.|
|Magnum P. D.||Crash Site: Confrontation||Agent||Shoot the president's clone with Trent's Golden Magnum.|
|Tick Tick...Boom||Pelagic II: Exploration||Agent||Kill four enemies with one N-Grenade.|
|Can't Touch This||Deep Sea: Nullify Threat||Perfect Agent||Complete Objective 1 without taking any damage.|
|Run and Gun||Carrington Institute: Defense||Perfect Agent||Complete Objectives 1 and 2 in under 1:30 without cloaking.|
|Against All Odds...||Attack Ship: Covert Assault||Perfect Agent||Kill the Skedar in the middle of the bridge with the Slayer's alt-fire.|
|Rocked||Skedar Ruins: Battle Shrine||Perfect Agent||Complete Objective 1 in less than 30 seconds.|
|Invisibility Factor||Special Assignment: Mr. Blonde's Revenge||Special Agent||Complete the mission without cloaking.|
|Magnum Forced||Special Assignment: Maian SOS||Perfect Agent||Use the psychosis gun on the man with two golden magnums and watch him kill five enemies.|
|Three Kings||Special Assignment: WAR!||Perfect Agent||Complete the mission in under 1:40, killing each king with a charged Mauler headshot.|
|Perfect Head||Special Assignment: The Duel||Perfect Agent||Kill all three enemies with headshots in under 25 seconds.|
|Ninja||Multiplayer/Combat Simulator||N/A||Unlock different awards in the combat simulator.|
|The Name's Dark...Perfect Dark||All||Perfect Agent||Beat all solo missions with auto-aim disabled.|
|Bronze||All||Agent||Complete all Solo Missions in under 48 minutes.|
|Silver||All||Special Agent||Complete all Solo Missions in under 1 hour, 9 minutes.|
|Gold||All||Perfect Agent||Complete all Solo Missions in under 1 hour, 35 minutes.|
|Gamer Picture 1||Multiplayer/Combat Simulator||N/A||Play a Combat Simulator game in splitscreen multiplayer.|
|Gamer Picture 2||N/A||N/A||Achieve 201% completion.|
|Avatar Award 1||Any||Any||Headshot an enemy.|
|Avatar Award 2||Any Special Assignment||Any||Complete a Special Assignment.|
|Perfect Dark Theme||Any||Any||Get one kill with every available weapon over all solo missions.|
|Joanna Dark||Highly trained but inexperienced. Superb reactions. Proficient with a variety of weapons. Very competent all-around agent. Highest recorded training scores resulted in the creation of a new class of training grade. The embodiment of the Carrington Institute's ideal agent, hence the call sign "Perfect Dark".|
Race: Human (Female)
Age: 23 years, 2 months
Training Status: Complete
Training Grade: A
Active Status: Assigned
Relation: Carrington Institute Operative
Preferred Weapon: Falcon 2
|Daniel Carrington||Intelligent patriarchal scientist/entrepreneur and founder of the Carrington Institute, which introduces new technologies to the public. Plans all missions carried out by his agents and runs each operation from a link in his office. Strange taste in clothes.|
Race: Human (Male)
Age: 62 years, 8 months
Training Status: N/A
Training Grade: N/A
Active Status: N/A
Relation: Carrington Institute Owner/Founder
|Mr. Blonde||This is a Skedar warrior lurking within a holographic projection of a striking blonde young human male in his late 20's. The oral modulation unit gives the Skedar a precise, persuasive, and intelligent voice. It is a propaganda and manipulation tool for the Skedar, and an unusually subtle one.|
Race: Skedar (disguised as Human Male)
Relation: Key Skedar Warrior
Preferred Weapon: His own claws
|Trent Easton||Head of the National Security Agency. Has a friendship of sorts with Cassandra de Vries, although it operates more like a partnership of interest. He will tend to do what Cassandra says, possibly because although he has a dominant personality, it is not as dominant as hers. Figurehead for some of the rogue elements in the NSA.|
Race: Human (Male)
Age: 32 years, ? months
Relation: Head of NSA
Preferred Weapon: Gold Plated DY357 Magnum
|Cassandra De Vries||The head of dataDyne Corp. Addicted to power, dislikes being anybody's underling. Hates it when she loses the initiative. Is prepared to do extremely unscrupulous things in order to get ahead of her competition, primarily Daniel Carrington, whom she despises.|
Race: Human (Female)
Age: 39 years, ? months
Relation: dataDyne CEO
|Elvis||An alien from the Maian race. He is a 'Protector' (bodyguard) for the Maian ambassador who travels to earth at Daniel Carrington's request. Protectors are trained to excel in the use of an assortment of weaponry. Elvis is a terraphile, finding Earth and everything about it fascinating.|
Race: Maian (Male)
Age: 320 years
Relation: Maian Ambassador's Bodygaurd
Preferred Weapon: Farsight XR-20
|Dr. Caroll||An artificial intelligence created by the dataDyne Corp. with an emphasis on language skills and code breaking. Fortunately, he has morals, and due to his intelligence, has guessed some of dataDyne's future plans. The voice is highly precise and educated and simulates the character of an academic.|
Race: The Caroll Sapient (AI)
Age: 6 months
Relation: Key Figure in dataDyne Corp.
|U.S. President||A highly educated, shrewd African-American who is trying to do what is right but is surrounded by people like Trent Easton. He believes he has Trent under control after refusing the request for the loan of the Pelagic II to the dataDyne Corp. Perceived as being easily led by the majority of political commentators, which is perhaps unfair.|
Race: Human (Male)
Age: 50 years
Relation: President of the United States
|Jonathan||The Institute's most experienced undercover agent. Highly accurate with chosen weapon (Magnum Revolver). Perfectly suited to undercover missions. Less suited to out-and-out combat. Before Joanna Dark, he held the honor of having the highest recorded training scores.|
Race: Human (Male)
Age: 28 years, 5 months
Training Status: Complete
Training Grade: A
Active Status: Undercover
Relation: Carrington Institute Undercover Agent
Preferred Weapon: DY357 Magnum
Unlike GoldenEye 007, most weapons that are usable in Perfect Dark have a secondary function, which is usually reserved for changing firing modes (such as toggling the SuperDragon's underbarreled grenade launcher or the MagSec 4's burst fire).
By default, all players have access to unarmed melee combat. While these attacks deal little damage, it secondary function allows attacks to disarm and disorient enemies.
- Falcon 2 (Carrington) - Joanna's signature weapon, which is sometimes used with either a silencer (which sacrifices some power) or a pistol scope (which allows the wielder to zoom in). Uses a laser sight to help with aiming. As its a standard-issue pistol for many security forces, most human enemies have the chance to draw one when disarmed. Its secondary function allows the wielder to perform a quick pistol whip as an improved melee attack. Can be dual-wielded.
- MagSec 4 (Chesluk) - A standard military-grade pistol that, compared to the Falcon 2, sacrifices accuracy for raw power. Its secondary function changes the firing mode to a three-round burst. In single-player, it's only found in the Area 51 mission. Can be dual-wielded.
- DY357 Magnum (dataDyne) - A powerful magnum revolver. Despite its great power, it is slow to both fire and reload. Its secondary function allows the wielder to perform a quick pistol whip as an improved melee attack. In single-player, it's usually found in the Chicago/G5 Building mission. A special gold-plated variant (the DY357-LX, which kills enemies in a single shot) is commonly used by Trent (and can be disarmed from him at one point in the Air Base/Air Force One/Crash Site mission). Unlike all other pistols, both of these weapons use a separate ammo source (Magnum Ammo). Can be dual-wielded.
- Phoenix (Maian) - The standard-issue sidearm for the Maians. Along with quick-firing standard shots, players can use the secondary function to use Explosive Shots, which are slower-firing but causes an explosion on impact (that deals damage at a short radius). Can be dual-wielded.
- Mauler (Skedar) - The standard-issue sidearm for the Skedar. While its large magazine makes it a formidable handgun, its powerful secondary function toggles the Charge-Up Shot, which allows players to eat more ammo to make a very powerful shot. Can be dual-wielded.
- PP9i - Variation of the PP7 from GoldenEye 007. Only available in single-player with cheats.
- CC13 - Variation of the DD44 Dostovei from GoldenEye 007. Only available in single-player with cheats.
- CMP-150 (dataDyne) - A commonly-found sub-machine gun and the standard-issue weapon of dataDyne security forces. Its secondary function toggles the Follow Lock-On functionality, which allows its wielder to automatically track enemies. Can be dual-wielded.
- Cyclone (Chesluk) - One of the most inaccurate weapons in the game, the Cyclone is unique in its secondary function: the Magazine Discharge. By using it, its wielder can unload its remaining magazine incredibly fast. Can be dual-wielded.
- Callisto NTG (Maian) - The Maian adaptation of the human sub-machine gun, the Callisto NTG is unique in its secondary function, which changes its standard rapid-fire shots with slower "high impact" shots (which deal more damage and penetrates doors and objects).
- RC-P120 (Chesluk/Carrington) - An experimental weapon with a very high rate-of-fire and a huge magazine capacity. Its secondary function toggles a built-in cloaking device for the wielder that runs on the magazine supply. In single-player, it is only found in the Carrington Institute mission.
- DMC - Variation of the D5K Deutsche from GoldenEye 007. Only available in single-player with cheats.
- KL01313 - Variation of the Klobb from GoldenEye 007. Only available in single-player with cheats.
- ZZT (9mm) - Variation of the ZMG (9mm) from GoldenEye 007. Only available in single-player with cheats.
- RC-P45 - Variation of the RCP-90 from GoldenEye 007. Only available in single-player with cheats.
- Dragon (dataDyne) - A standard fully-automatic assault rifle with a twist: the secondary function lets players discard it as a powerful proximity-activated explosive.
- K7 Avenger (dataDyne) - A powerful burst-fire assault rifle. Its secondary function allows its wielder to detect hidden and hard-to-see dangers.
- AR34 (Carrington) - A powerful burst-fire assault rifle equipped with a magnified scope (which is toggled using secondary function, allowing its wielder to move around while looking through the scope).
- SuperDragon (dataDyne) - A standard fully-automatic assault rifle with a twist: the secondary function toggles between normal fire and the weapon's underbarrel grenade launcher.
- Laptop Gun (Carrington) - A unique burst-fire assault rifle that can be disguised as a bootable laptop computer. Similar in function to sub-machine guns, its secondary function allows its wielder to deploy it to any surface (by throwing it) as an automated sentry turret (which can be retrieved later).
- KF7 Special - Variation of the KF7 Soviet from GoldenEye 007. Only available in single-player with cheats.
- AR53 - Variation of the AR-33 Assault Rifle from GoldenEye 007. Only available in single-player with cheats.
- Grenade (NSA) - Standard throwable hand grenades commonly found throughout the game. They have a four-second timed fuse and can be cooked by holding down the Fire button. Its secondary function, also known as "Proximity Pinball", changes it to a proximity-based explosive that bounces off surfaces. A rare version of the Grenade, known as the "N-Bomb", deals non-lethal damage and instead causes those caught in the blast radius to become dizzy and drop their weapons. The N-Bomb has two firing modes: impact detonation and proximity detonation.
- Remote Mine (blue) - Throwable explosive that sticks onto surfaces and can be remotely detonated by the player (either by gunfire, by secondary fire, or by pressing both A + B together).
- Timed Mine (yellow) - Throwable explosive that sticks onto surfaces and automatically detonates after four seconds. Its secondary function allows its wielder to detect hidden and hard-to-see dangers.
- Proximity Mine (green) - Throwable explosive that sticks onto surfaces and automatically detonates when an enemy is nearby. Its secondary function allows its wielder to detect hidden and hard-to-see dangers.
- Devastator (dataDyne) - A magazine-fed grenade launcher, which fires standard grenades in an arc. Its secondary fire functionality, the Wall Hugger, instead causes the grenade to stick onto surfaces for three seconds before it releases and explodes on the ground.
- Rocket Launcher (dataDyne) - A standard rocket-propelled grenade launcher, which fires impact-detonating grenades in a straight line. Its secondary fire allows players to fire a slow-moving rocket that homes in on a target.
- Slayer (Skedar) - The Skedar adaptation of the human Rocket Launcher. Its secondary function, the Fly-By-Wire Rocket, allows its wielder to remotely direct the next fired rocket in a first-person perspective while adjusting its velocity. While players are controlling the rocket, they are left vulnerable to enemy attack. It uses the same ammo pool as the Rocket Launcher.
- Shotgun (dataDyne) - A standard pump-action shotgun for close-ranged combat. Unlike most weapons, the Shotgun is single-fed (with each shell loaded individually). Secondary function changes its firing mode to fire two shells at once.
- Sniper Rifle (Carrington) - A semi-automatic rifle with a heavily-magnified sniper scope. Its sway is less noticeable when crouching. Its secondary function is used as a shortcut for crouching (since the button for crouching is replaced while zooming in).
- FarSight XR-20 (Maian) - A unique Maian adaptation of a human-made sniper rifle, the FarSight is a powerful rail gun with a mysterious scope that doubles as an x-ray scanning device (allowing players to track life sources through walls, and even allow them to fire through as many walls as they can). Its secondary function allows the player to automatically seek out targets while the scanning device is in effect.
- Reaper (Skedar) - A unique Skedar adaptation of a human-made gatling gun, the unwieldy Reaper's rate-of-fire significantly increases as its firing. Its recoil can be improved by crouching. Its secondary fire allows the player to keep the blade-like "barrels" spun-up without firing (turning it into a deadly close-ranged weapon).
- Combat Knife (dataDyne) - A large hunting knife for melee combat with a twist: its secondary function allows players to throw it at enemies (which unleashes poison that slowly damages and disorients enemies).
- Crossbow (Carrington) - A handheld crossbow, designed for concealment, that fires single-fed bolts. Its primary function fires non-lethal bolts that knocks out some enemies in a single hit (while causing those who withstand it to become disoriented), while its secondary function fires lethal bolts that kills most enemies in a single hit.
- Tranquilizer (NSA) - A semi-automatic handheld device used by biotechnicians to administer sedatives at a short distance. Its primary function deals non-lethal damage (causing those who withstand it to become disoriented), while its secondary function causes a close-ranged overdose that kills instantly. A unique campaign-only variant of the Tranquilizer, known as the "Psychosis Gun", causes enemies hit by the non-lethal dart to treat the player as an ally. It is the only non-classic weapon in the game that has no secondary function.
- Laser (Carrington) - A wrist-mounted energy weapon with infinite ammo (similar to the Military Laser in GoldenEye 007). Its primary function fires a long-range pulse, while its secondary function fires a continuous short-ranged stream of energy.
|Data Uplink||Provides a link from the field agent to the Institute hackers back at HQ, who can than download data or crack electronic locks remotely.|
|ECM Mine||Emits a constant shifting signal designed to jam any electronic communications device. Must be placed on the object to be effective.|
|Camspy||A tiny remote camera for stealthy exploration. Equipped for spectroscopic holography. Opens doors by projecting a human-sized pulse of heat.|
|Night Vision||Enhances any visible light to produce an image of the surrounding area. Also highlights life forms. Overloads in normal light conditions, 'whiting out' the display.|
|Door Decoder||Stand-alone code-breaking device. Attaches to the control panel and sifts through the possible combinations until the lock is open.|
|R-Tracker||Locates a particular object on a HUD radar map. Shows the relative bearing and distance.|
|IR Scanner||Translates thermal data into visible images. Can be used in darkness and will also reveal anomalies such as hidden doors and weak wall sections.|
|X-Ray Scanner||Used to look through otherwise solid walls and objects, Can see things that Night Vision and IR Scanner cannot.|
|Disguise||Allay suspicion by the use of a disguise. But, always be alert for the possibility of being unmasked by a quick-witted enemy.|
|Cloaking Devise||Disrupts the visible spectrum of light around the wearer, creating an almost perfect chameleon-like effect. This field is disrupted when the wearer fires|
|Drug Spy||A variant of the Camspy, it utilizes the same tactics of the tranquilizer gun in that it will make opponents dizzy and make them less accurate or knock them out.|
|Bomb Spy||A variant of the Camspy, it is a remote bomb that can be guided around and not be seen by enemies until it has exploded.|
|Horizon Scanner||A binocular-input long range visual scanner. The visor shows a composite image of the two input sources. Also has a zoom function.|
|Psychosis Gun||A chemical cocktail that warps the perceived reality of the target. Good becomes bad, bad becomes good; enemies and friends change places. Another one of the darker research projects from Trent Eastern's Area 51.|
|Combat Boost||Taking the boost will momentarily slow the game down. In multiplayer all players are affected.|
|N-Bomb||A grenade variant that will disarm and dizzy anyone caught in its black sphere.|
Hidden within every level of the game is a small piece of yellow cheese. These were most likely meant to give the play a cheat if they found them but was abandoned for the complete the level on a certain difficulty and time restriction as a means for a greater challenge of the players skill. Even though they do nothing Rare left the cheese in each stage, just to look at.
This Xbox Live Arcade game also features several unlockable rewards:
- Gamer Picture: Joanna Dark - Unlocked by playing a split-screen multi-player match in the combat simulator.
- Gamer Picture: Elvis - Earned by getting game completion of 201% on the leaderboards.
- Avatar Award: Perfect Aim - A gray t-shirt with the perfect dark logo on it. Unlocked after killing an enemy with a headshot.
- Avatar Award: Top Secret - A doll prop resembling Elvis the Maian. Unlocked after completing Mr. Blonde's Revenge, Maian S.O.S., War!, or The Duel in any difficulty.
- Premium Dashboard Theme: Perfect Dark - Skedar - Featuring artwork of the Skedar Homeworld. Unlocked by getting a kill with every weapon available in the game, without using cheats.
- Multiplayer Skin: Agent 4 - Crackdown 2 character model, a Save File Unlockable, unlocked if the player has a Crackdown 2 save file on their system.
The Soundtrack for Perfect Dark was composed by Grant Kirkhope and released on two discs.
|3.||"Enter the Dark"||1:11|
|4.||"dataDyne Central: Defection"||5:11|
|5.||"dataDyne Central: Investigation"||4:33|
|6.||"dataDyne Central: Extraction"||3:31|
|7.||"Carrington Villa: Hostage One"||3:57|
|9.||"G5 Building: Reconnaissance"||4:39|
|10.||"Area 51: Infiltration"||3:27|
|11.||"Area 51: Rescue"||4:41|
|12.||"Area 51: Escape"||4:04|
|14.||"Air Force One: Anti Terrorism"||4:13|
|15.||"Crash Site: Confrontation"||3:38|
|16.||"Pelagic 2: Exploration"||4:11|
|17.||"Deep Sea: Nullify Threat"||4:48|
|19.||"Attack Ship: Covert Assault"||4:21|
|1.||"Skedar Ruins: Battle Shrine"||4:45|
|9.||"Combat Simulator Menu"||1:18|
|16.||"Combat Simulator Complete"||2:05|
|17.||"Combat Simulator Fail"||0:27|