Some of my favorite snapshots and images from Goldeneye 007 on Nintendo 64

Written by DetErest



Rareware's official response to a rumored "Citadel" map in GoldenEye 007 was that it was nothing more than a rough multiplayer test level.

They stated that it was not included in the finished game "in any way, shape, or form..."

Luckily, those words didn't discourage those who were determined to extract this arena from their came carts...

A simple leftover text reference was the first clue to the Citadel's existencel...

The lowercase and capitalized name "Citadel" was found in the game's internal memory, appearing immediately after the "Egyptian".
Along with the strings of "Citadel" text, a reference to an unused "cat" level was also found. Some believed that it stood for Cathedral, which was actually Citadel. It was a viable theory, considering other levels had undergone name changes.

(Destroyer to Frigate, Crypt to Egyptian)

The assumption was correct, eventually the Citadel/Cathedral level was discovered...
I suppose every GoldenEye fan had a mental image of what the long lost Citadel level would look like. For some reason or another, I had a vision of tall pillars stretching to the sky. I suppose when the first ever confirmed Citadel screenshots and codes were released by hackers, this snapshot overloooking the Citadel has always been a favorite of mine.

The walls are paper thin, and the textures don't line up...

But part of the fascination with this map is that Multiplayer Goldeneye was born right here.
Around 2004-2005, codes went viral on the internet, and the gaming world was amazed when players could finally explore the Citadel for themselves...
I did believe rareware's claim that it was a rough test level, So I figured the map layout would likely be square, with a few pillars for testing. And although it was originally unplayable as a multiplayer level, dedicated hackers have since made it playable, with weapons, ammo, body armor, and spawn points.
So when was the Citadel officially unearthed? That's a debate, for sure. The internet was flooded with hundreds of fake screenshots and codes, so it was easy to dismiss anything that didn't have a code to back it up.
A batch of fairly clear screenshots showing a few segments of a mysterious level that looked to be slightly like recycled parts of the Complex and Stack... The earliest record I have is a screenshot from January 18, 2000... Hindsight is always 20/20, and knowing what we know now, these images were clearly taken from someone who had been there at the turn of the millenium.

Now completely playable around the world via ROMs and emulators, dedicated hackers have brought the Citadel back to life, adding what seems to be infinite replay value to what was already one of the greatest games ever made.

Here's a youtube video featuring a 3-player deathmatch in the Citadel:

In an awesome example of GoldenEye modification, patches have been created that will allow the Citadel to "replace" an existing stage.

One particular patch includes a new customized level select image that was inspired by the long lost level.