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Perfect Dark Zero

by Max Lake - June 11, 2001, 9:49 am EDT

Perfect Dark is possibly the only game that could get away with having the word "Perfect" it the title. Leave it to those bad boys at Rare to deliver the goods. We await the inevitable NGC sequel.

The sequel to Perfect Dark has been confirmed! A press release issued forth today confirms that the PD sequel will be arriving in Fall 2002 (or two years after that, depending on how many delays Rare puts it through), and also that the franchise will soon be getting a television show and a feature film based on Joanna Dark's exploits against the evil DataDyne Corporation. Fireworks Entertainment and Goodman Rosen Prods have optioned the television and movie rights to Perfect Dark and you can read the details in our report. It looks like Joanna Dark is en route to stardom!

On a side note, there is some reason to believe that PD 2 or Zero or whatever it'll be called was shown in some form at E3, albeit "behind closed doors". As we reported a few weeks ago, supposedly Rare was showing a secret game to select audiences (which did not include us), and the game had a sci-fi look reminiscent of Perfect Dark. We'll have more as it breaks.

Last updated: 05/03/2001 by Max Lake

Rareware’s homepage has just updated its Scribes section, including the usual fun and a question concerning the Feb 12th Scribes that suggested that Joanna Dark may not be anywhere near the Perfect Dark sequel. Here’s how Rare responds:

A quick note from Perfect Dark's designer before this goes any further, not that it could really go much further than a number of high-profile news stories on major videogame sites:

"For the record I'd like to say that I was joking about Joanna's presence/absence in any sequel to PD. Specifically, the joke was that either possibility could be entertained as reality, since the sequel, should it be in production or not, is incomplete or non-existent, so therefore the 50:50 chance of Joanna's appearance was as likely as the life/death status of Mr. Schrodinger's famous pussy."

Actually we should probably end there, as I don't want to spend any longer than necessary looking at that 'Mexican bandido'-style representation of Mr. Pants in his free-floating underwear.

Yes, we’re just that pathetic that we have nothing better to do than speculate whether or not Joanna Dark will be in Perfect Dark. But hey Rare, it’s your own fault. You make games so good that poor Nintendophiles can’t help but get crazy waiting for your next games.

Still, it seems to suggest that Joanna will likely be in the Perfect Dark sequel. Probably, maybe or so they want us to think or not. Yes, that’s Rare for ya!

Aw, Jo, it wouldn’t be the same without ya! We hope to see your bodacious butt-kicking self at E3 (hey, no competition from Lara Croft this year…) and in the PD2 sequel. We’ll see though.

If the PD team wants to remove Elvis from the sequel, I don’t think I’d mind too terribly…

Last updated: 02/14/2001 by Max Lake

Whoa, interesting news on the PD-sequel front... In the latest Rare Scribes column, someone asks about a "After Dark" (believed to be the name of the sequel). Rare's response certainly caught us by surprise:

IF we make a game called After Dark (I assume you're ham-handedly referring to a sequel to Perfect Dark), it is entirely possible that Joanna will be nowhere in it.

So what could this mean? We don't know... It does create some interesting alternatives.

Different versions of the "Joanna" character model appeared in the U.S./Japanese versions of the game - maybe a new character will be introduced in an attempt to clear this up. Another possibility is that you could play another Carrington agent that must save Joanna (a la DKC sequels). Then again the whole "appear nowhere in it" does sound kind of absolute. Who knows (besides Rare who are cryptic again).

We gotta say that: although we certainly wouldn't mind deporting Elvis the Alien to the far reaches of Jar Jar Binks' galaxy, Joanna Dark is cerainly a woman we'd like in our lives for some time...

Everything we've heard up to now had indicated the PD series would be a franchise. As Rare passed up the chance to do another Bond-licensed game & then went through the trouble of creating the "PD Universe," would seem counter-productive to start all over again. Sheds new light on RareNet's comments from last month...

Although this is an eye-opener for sure, whatever form a GE/PD-engine game for GameCube takes, we're sure it'll be impressive.

The possibility of losing a minx like Joanna isn't fun to report on Valentine's Day though. (Bah! Women! Always leaving! "My needs!" "Need space" -FEH!)

Last updated: 12/21/2000 by Max Lake

IGN Cube recently suggested "Perfect Dark 2" could be available at NGC launch, something we were quite excited to report.

According to IGNCube, Rare has "allegedly devoted the better half of its internal resources to the project in order to meet the October 2001 deadline."

Not so claims RareNet. The online Rare specialists point out that the PD team is only a fraction of Rare's current development force and that although Rare hasn't ruled out a sequel & is probably working on one, launch might be unrealistic.

Rare had almost 200 employees last we checked and we can assure you that the PD team is only 12 members large with a few guys checking into internet gaming. Furthermore, though no one has mentioned PD2 officially yet, the PD team's next project will not be out for launch. We've been told to wait about 2 years (back in May 2000) for a final product and to look forward to E3 2001 for a few details to be revealed. To summarize, the PD team is no larger than any other team at Rare, PD2 is not officially in development and whatever project is, will not be out by next October.

Hm, "whatever that project is?"

Thanks to RareNet

Last updated: 11/27/2000 by Max Lake

According to British Trade Mags (& brought to our attention by IGN Cube), Rare is looking to recruit some talented programmers -apparently for the NGC Perfect Dark sequel. Although the ad doesn't directly confirm PD2 or offer details, it features Joanna Dark and says the following:

"One of our hottest properties, she needs constant attention to keep her at the top of her game." Clearly Rare is dropping hints and just narrowly avoiding confirming a PD-sequel outright by saying it is beefing up the team.

Here's some of the positions Rare is looking for:

Game Programmers - To code cutting edge software for current and future Nintendo hardware. Either Assembler, C or C++ skills required.

3D Artists - With imagination, plenty of enthusiasm and a natural flair for creating detailed environments, characters or animation. Previous experience with 3D packages, particularly Maya would be advantageous.

3D Graphics Engine Programmers - Experience with Assembler, general 3D engine coding and various surface representations would be useful.

Research and Development Software Engineers - To join our expanding R&D department working on advanced software for next-generation hardware. Either Assembler, C or C++ skills are required. Knowledge of Physics, Advanced Math and AI would be a plus.

IGNCube surmize that this ad that Rare is toying with high-level surface techniques & looks to incorporate brilliant physics and effects to boot. We'd expect nothing less. Check out the full size ad here.

Last updated: 09/15/2000

On the subject of whether or not there will be a Perfect Dark sequel on Gamecube, we think it's a safe bet that it is coming. There have been no confirmations made as of yet, though more than an abundant supply of evidence that we can expect the further adventures of Carrington Institute's top agent will continue on Nintendo's next generation consoles.

First off, there's Rare deliberating declining MGM's offer to do another Bond-franchise game. The opportunity to do it was there and Rare decided on developing their own franchise. None of this was known until after the fact, when Rare debuted its new spy-sensation, Perfect Dark to an unsuspecting crowd at E3 1998. Well, not too unsuspecting, as Rare was already building the hype for PD a few days before the show, releasing "teaser" shots along with screens of Jet Force Gemini (another surprise title) on its website.

The "Perfect Dark Theatre" at E3 1998 provided the first look Rare's Bond follow-up and it was a doozy. The espionage / alien setting, all improved graphics and best of all, a brand new heroine, Joanna Dark. It wasn't Bond but Rare's own brand new character, one "perfect" to star in a series of video game adventures. With Joanna Dark, Rare could flex its creative muscle and avoid paying MGM licensing fees for the Bond character; with the popularity of Goldeneye, Perfect Dark has all the makings of a great franchise.

This sentiment was seconded in an interview with some of the PD team held by pdark.com: "They're treating it as a franchise - at some point there may be a sequel, you'll just have to wait to find out. A direct sequel would be part of the franchise. Either that team that makes the game makes the sequel, or the company continues the franchise. One of those things may happen, it's just unclear at this stage which one."

Secondly, Rare have already begun to expand on the "Perfect Dark" universe, with Perfect Dark GBC. The game is staged as a prequel to the N64 game. This not only suggests we'll see another Perfect Dark game on Game Cube but makes an installment on the Game Boy Advance likely too. The PD GBC team are currently not doing any development on the console, though PD GBA could be in the planning stages.

Then there's the call Rare has put out for 3D artists, 3D animators and such on its dataDyne Website suggesting they are beefing up staff for Ms. Dark's next adventure.

Finally, there's the simply fact that Rare showed off a brief snippet of a 3D model of Joanna Dark. No gameplay footage, but enough to confirm sequel suspicions (despite Nintendo assurances that all footage shown was just "demo" and not game confirmations). Rare allegedly could have shown more than it did at Space World; they didn't want to though and Nintendo didn't force the issue apparently. The same reliable PlanetN2000 source who told us that revealed that the renders used to advertise the first Perfect Dark game may in fact be footage of the Game Cube game. So… from the looks of it, it might not be all that far off. Oh wait, it's Rare, the kings of "taking their time;" never mind. Still, online play would make it worth all the delays in the world!

Perfect Dark Forever!

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Genre Shooter
Developer Rare
Players1 - 4

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