The GoldenEye Arms Reference

Site Navigation
Home Page - Introduction and credits.
Principles - General behavior of firearms and explosives.
Weapon Details - Detailed descriptions of each weapon.
Weapon Comparison - Ranking of weapons by performance metrics.
Multiplayer Modes - Analysis of multiplayer weapon combinations.
Realism - Authentic and inaccurate aspects of gameplay.
Methodology - Techniques used to measure several metrics.

First Principles

The following sections describe the operation of GoldenEye damage and the important attributes of firearms and explosives.
The health reticle of a GoldenEye player shows medical health on the red left gauge and body armor integrity on the blue right gauge. Each gauge is divided into eight segments; and though the top three are larger than the others, each represents one eighth of full health. The damage required to reduce the health of a normal character by one eighth is defined as one point of damage, where `normal' indicates multiplayer mode with a health handicap of zero.

Each weapon below is rated by the damage it inflicts with a head shot. The most common damage rating among the firearms is 4 points, which is called `average damage' in the descriptions below. Torso hits cause half of head shot damage, and limb hits only a fourth. Hitting the weapon a player is holding causes no direct damage and is classified by the game as an `other' hit.

Each shot that hits the player during a mission has the effect of a limb hit, simulating enemy characters that are consistently mediocre shots.

Most GoldenEye firearms are automatic, and cycle as quickly as possible when the Z button is held down. Pistols also repeat fire if Z is held, but rather slowly - they can be fired more quickly by pressing Z separately for each shot. The rate achieved depends on how well the player can time his trigger pulls with the recovery time of the gun; the figures given below for the pistols estimate the rate sustainable by a practiced GoldenEye marksman.

Quickly squeezing Z fires a single shot from most weapons, although it is difficult to consistently fire single shots from any of the faster automatic weapons. Assault rifles normally fire a three round burst; to fire a single shot from an assault rifle, press L or R to select aiming mode.

The GoldenEye guns vary significantly in accuracy. Note the distinction between a gun's inherent accuracy - which results from the dynamics of its ammunition and barrel - and a gun's accuracy during rapid fire, when recoil shakes it in the character's hands. The weapons generally have good inherent accuracy (some earning the note `precision weapon' in their description below) except for the Klobb and shotgun. Recoil affects automatic weapons more seriously than it affects pistols.

Although there are over a dozen firearms available, they share only five kinds of ammunition - and each player carries but a single supply of each kind. This has surprised more than one player who exhausts his machine gun ammunition during a difficult mission only to find his pistol clip empty as well. During engagements in which ammunition is limited, difficult decisions must be made about which weapon will best use the rounds available; while an RC-P90, for instance, causes quite significant damage with each hit, rounds are more likely to be wasted than with the more precise PP7.

Grenade launcher rounds, rockets, grenades, mines, and tank shells are all incinerary, not fragmentation, devices: they inflict damage through the heat of the fireball they generate, not by projecting shrapnel into their environment. This limits the area in which they cause damage, but introduces the complication that an explosion remains dangerous for the several seconds that the fireball persists. Practice is required to learn how long to wait before approaching the area engulfed.

Explosions are not bound by walls, floors, or other surfaces. This means it is possible to be burnt through a door or wall, or by an explosion below the catwalk on which a character is standing.

An explosive will detonate prematurely if hit by a bullet or if it encounters the flame of another explosion. This is true both of mines - which may be cleared in either manner - and of other explosives, which can be shot while they are in midair.

When a player in multiplayer mode selects grenades or a mine, his character will hold one in his right hand. Like other explosives it can be detonated by heat or being shot, inflicting moderate to severe damage upon the character. This danger should be kept in mind when an explosive is selected. Oddly enough, once the hand held explosive has been detonated, it does not reappear until the player deselects and reselects that weapon.

Shoot Through
Four weapons - the Magnum, RC-P90, AR33, and Laser - are powerful enough to shoot through soft targets, such as people and wooden boxes, and strike objects behind them. Only the Magnum will penetrate bullet proof glass; the others display a tracer and bullet hole on the far side of the glass, but will not cause damage to characters on the far side. Closed doors built in to walls are impervious to all weapons fire when closed, but penetrable by all four weapons when fully open or when in motion; and doors which are free standing (the stall doors in the Facility) are always susceptible to shoot through.

Rhodes MillCopyright © 1998 Brandon Craig Rhodes.