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The perfect Goldeneye 64 experience
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Nekojin
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 PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:22 am    Post subject: The perfect Goldeneye 64 experience Reply with quote Back to top

Hi there,

this topic is dedicated to Goldeneye and Perfect Dark 64 and how you get the best possible experience out of it. Perfect Dark fans already got an XBox Live version of the game with better graphics, achievements and do not suffer from slowdowns or joystick problems as known from the N64 version.

Unfortunately this does not apply to Goldeneye, so I thought it would be a good idea to give you guys a short tutorial on how you can get the best experience out of your old N64 gaming console Smile Most of you, just like me, probably played Goldeneye 64 on an actual console hooked up to a CRT Television and had at the time a decent N64 controller that worked flawlessly. If you ever tried to hook up an old Video Game Console to a modern HDTV, you probably noticed that it just looks terrible.

Sure you can play it on emulators, but the feeling is just not the same as on real hardware, even with an original controller.

1. With the above in mind, the first step to the best possible experience is to get an old CRT Television, or if you got the money, a Studio Monitor (like Sony PVM-2950 - you need a custom adapter to hook up regular Scart Cables). I for example have an old (cheap) Sharp television (PAL) which supports 60 Hz Mode (this is important if you live in a PAL territory) and the difference in picture quality, compared to various HDTVs is amazing!

2. Now for the important part: the console, the game, and the video cable. It really does not matter if you have a PAL console (like me) or an NTSC console! You can get a true RGB signal out of them (any version, PAL EUR, PAL FRA, NTSC-U and NTSC-J, any board revision), with a custom made board, made by Zerberus (from Germany) ( http://circuit-board.de/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8147 ).

This, in combination with a good RGB or S-Video cable gives you the best possible video output for your old console. (As the mod needs some extra power from the PSU, it might be a good idea to change some of the parts inside the PSU: ( http://circuit-board.de/forum/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=7989&start=270 )

As for the game, you definitely want to play the US version, as it runs faster as the PAL version (at 60 Hz vs. 50 Hz PAL). Another reason why the US version is better is because of its compatibility with various Goldeneye Mods (although the Pal version has more bug fixes etc.). If you live in the US or have an NTSC system, you just need to pick up a copy of the game and you are all good to go. If however you (again like me) have a pal system, you need either an Everdrive 64 or a 64drive Backup Unit. These allow you (compared to import adapters) to play the US version of the game at full 60 frames per second which makes a noticeable difference compared to the 50 fps on import adapters or the pal original.

If you can't find or do not want to buy an old CRT TV, there is also hope for a good picture quality, as Marshall (inventor of 64drive backup unit is working on an custom board that allows the N64 to direct output an HDMI signal ( http://retroactive.be/tech_n64_hdmi.php )

3. Even with both, a decent television and console setup, the experience you get when playing goldeneye can still be awful if the controller does not work properly. Many suggestions are floating around the internet, but so far only 2 worked well enough for me. One way is to buy a new original controller of eBay, but since they are pretty rare and also expensive, this solution is by far not perfect (and they turn bad after some time (remember Mario Party Smile). The best one so far (which I use at the moment) comes in form of a Game Cube style replacement stick ( http://www.ebay.de/itm/NEW-Thumbstick-Joystick-Repair-for-NINTENDO-64-N64-Controller-Replacement-Stick-/160655759083?pt=US_Video_Gaming_Replacement_Parts_Tools&hash=item2567d456eb ). Only problem: They do not work with Goldeneye or Perfect Dark (and Super Smash Bros), as the curser jumps and is too sensitive. Thanks to micro (and sanni) another custom board has been made (PIC based, open source), which fixes also this problem Smile (http://circuit-board.de/forum/viewtopic.php?p=178064#p178064 )

So if you are happy enough to get all of the above, you are good to go for the best possible Goldeneye 64 experience.
Enjoy, and feel free to add any suggestions you might have Smile
 
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Maxout
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 PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

You don't need to rub it in to the Veterans around here. We've experienced the game in more than enough ways. Wink
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Kerr Avon
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 PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

That's very interesting information, thanks, especially about the RGB adapter.

But I personally don't think the XBox 360 port of PD is better than the N64 original. The 360 version does have some real advantages, such as a much better frame-rate, screen resolution, and being able to play on-line, but to me some of the changes they made to the game itself (such as the way the Combat Boost is handled, the way explosions are handled, and some of the changed graphics) detract from the overall atmosphere and especially from the fun of the original, so I never play the 360 version (I never even bothered to play through the single player game, I was hugely disappointed when I bought it) but still regularly play the N64 version.

I can certainly understand why people would love the 360 version, but to me it's inferior to the N64 version. One huge plus is the 360's ability to play online, but this advantage is rendered almost negligible by the fact that it's so rare to find anyone to play online, which is in part caused by the terrible state 4J Studios (who did the port, for some reason Rare didn't do the port themselves, they farmed it out to 4J Studios) released the port in. It was bugged and had serious controller problems, which put a lot of people off. By the time the game was patched to fix most (but not all) of these issues, it was too late, and many players had abandoned the game.

BTW, Nekojin, you say "joystick problems as known from the N64 version. " - what problems do you mean? I've played PD *very* heavily over the past thirteen years, and never felt there was a problem with the joypad. True, I use a third party pad (the Makopad 64, which is brilliant), but to anyone who likes the N64's official pad (not me) then I don't see that PD would be a problem. Two analogue sticks would be better, but using the only one for aiming, and the C buttons for movement works very well I find.
 
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Nekojin
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 PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The problem I was referring is related to the GC Style Ebay sticks. Without the modification from micro or sanny it is nearly impossible to use those sticks with Goldeneye or Perfect dark.

The control seems too sensitive when using them, which I also found to be the case in the x360 version of the game but here only when trying to aim with a sniper rifle or a gun with a scope in general.
 
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Kerr Avon
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 PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Nekojin wrote:
The problem I was referring is related to the GC Style Ebay sticks. Without the modification from micro or sanny it is nearly impossible to use those sticks with Goldeneye or Perfect dark.

The control seems too sensitive when using them, which I also found to be the case in the x360 version of the game but here only when trying to aim with a sniper rifle or a gun with a scope in general.


Oh, I see, thanks.
 
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MRKane
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 PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Yes they are too sensitive. I tried modifying a broken controller with one and it just really didn't work. I'm more inclined to repair sticks now using polymers instead of trying to fix them using modern sticks

EDIT: Can anybody link a solution for this (if there is one?) Cheers!
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Kerr Avon
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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

MRKane wrote:
Yes they are too sensitive. I tried modifying a broken controller with one and it just really didn't work. I'm more inclined to repair sticks now using polymers instead of trying to fix them using modern sticks

EDIT: Can anybody link a solution for this (if there is one?) Cheers!



If you want to stay with the official N64 joypad, then look at the guides relating to changing the thumb stick at;

http://s9.zetaboards.com/Nintendo_64_Forever/index/

and if they don't help, then post there, as they are a friendly group and it's the best source of N64 related help that I know of.


But personally, I'd say forget about the official joypad, and get a third party pad (I don't like the layout of the official joypad).By far my favourite joypad for the N64 is the Mako Pad 64 (or Makopad 64), which is simply the transparent version of the Superpad 64, and it's fantastic; due to the redesign (it has two prongs, not three, unlike the official N64 controller) all controls and buttons are accessible without you moving your hand, unlike the official N64 pad.

For a review, see:

http://s9.zetaboards.com/Nintendo_64_Forever/topic/7186633/1/

(the review is of the Super Pad 64, the top right hand one in the first photograph, one black one with two prongs - the Makopad 64 is the exactly the same but with AUTO-FIRE and SLOW DOWN buttons, and is transparent instead of black.

I've had mine for more than ten years, and it's still as responsive now as it ever was - I've hammered it with Perfect Dark, Goldeneye, Super Smash Bros., and countless other N64 classics. The analogue stick is made of metal, unlike the official controller, so it has not yet even started to wear away.

http://www.retrogames.co.uk/more/on/details/015814

Or see the video at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1bQfu-HAqc

(and ignore the post in the comments section where it says "There wasn't ever a game where you hade to use the dpad and the? analong stick at the same time" - lots of games used both the analogue stick and the D-Pad, such as Duke Nukem 64, Duke Nukem: Zero Hour, and Jet Force Gemini, all of which used the D-Pad to select weapons).

Sadly, you'll probably have to look through ebay, local newspapers, or local secondhand shops to find a Makopad 64 nowadays, but of course that's true of all N64 stuff. And the Makopad 64 comes in two types, the Makopad 64 which is transparent and has a couple of "cheat" switches (Slowdown and Autofire, I think - I've never used them), and an opaque black version called the Superpad 64, which lacks the cheat switches. The back opaque version of the Makopad 64 is called the Superpad 64, see the review at:

http://s9.zetaboards.com/Nintendo_64_Forever/topic/7186633/1/#new

(it's the top right hand controller on the first photograph).

Beware though, as there is at least one other joypad for the N64 called the Superpad 64, which is *not* what you want.

I cannot recommend this joypad strongly enough.
 
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Dragonsbrethren
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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The "two prong" SuperPad is backwards for me, I'd need one with the analog stick on the right side for it to be comfortable to me (yeah, I'm one of those nuts that moves with the D-pad instead of C-buttons). It would suck for dual analog, too, which I actually use from time to time.

I actually got the horribly shaped three prong one as a birthday present and the stick broke almost immediately. Maybe it was just defective, but it completely turned me off third party N64 controllers and I never even considered buying anything other than official.
 
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bmw
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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I was not aware that Nintendo made an official S-video cable for its consoles.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/S-Video-Cable-SHVC-009-Official-Nintendo-For-Super-Famicom-Game-Cube-64-JAPAN-/301005398927?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item461551e38f

A bit pricey, but I've read generally bad reviews on the 3rd party cables, so I'm tempted to buy one. No mods needed and would certainly be a step up from the composite output.
 
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MRKane
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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

@Kerr Avon: Cheers for that info! I live in New Zealand so haven't seen half of those controllers before as they just didn't get a wiff of a release over here. I might have to look at getting ahold of one depending on how much use the N64 really gets (it's generally just me now and I've got spare parts for Africa at mine!)
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Maxout
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 PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Since we're talking tech here I've used a webcam to record my videos. Might be more obvious to some people than others. I like to avoid complications in these matters by keeping it simple.

If I need to try another way I know where to look. Smile
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Wreck
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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I've got the Super Pad 64 Plus, which also has the Auto and Slow buttons on it (guessing it's the most similar to Mako Pad 64). It belonged to a friend of mine, and somehow I ended up with it. The cord covering is partially pulled out of the controller, but the wires are all still connected fine. When testing in multiplayer, that character usually starts to creep forward very slowly. The neutral center point must be off. I've really never used it to play, but maybe should try it out sometime. It's just one of my extra controllers that allowed me to load maps with 4-Players when GameShark hacking.
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Kerr Avon
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 PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Wreck wrote:
I've got the Super Pad 64 Plus, which also has the Auto and Slow buttons on it (guessing it's the most similar to Mako Pad 64). It belonged to a friend of mine, and somehow I ended up with it. The cord covering is partially pulled out of the controller, but the wires are all still connected fine. When testing in multiplayer, that character usually starts to creep forward very slowly. The neutral center point must be off. I've really never used it to play, but maybe should try it out sometime. It's just one of my extra controllers that allowed me to load maps with 4-Players when GameShark hacking.


Don't forget (on any N64 joypad) you can press Left Shoulder Button + Right Shoulder Button + START together, and the N64 will accept the current analogue stick position as being dead centre, so if the stick is slightly off, doing this might cure it (though of course if it works then you'll have to do it every times you turn use the joypad).
 
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Jhirmer614
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 PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Playing Goldeneye on the original hardware isn't really appealing to me anymore, I mean yes that is the definitive way of playing it but after experiencing Goldeneye with the 1964 mouse injector I feel like that is the best way to play it.
 
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Maxout
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 PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Ok, to get one more in, the perfect experience is no auto-aim. Don't let the machines take over. Razz
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