Perfect Dark Unsolved Mysteries Part Two


I    salvaged most of the page, but some of the images were lost. Thankfully most of the images are from Kudrun, which is still alive. I had to do it! the original website, “yamo’s lair” has lost it’s domain. So, using the Wayback Machine, I retrieved the Perfect Dark Mysteries page before it was forever lost! I’m sure Yamo will understand. His email is greenyamo@hotmail.com

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  Unsolved Mystery 16: Strange plant in the Air Base.
Description: Another bizzare hidden object has been discovered in a Perfect Dark level. This time, it’s a small potted plant hidden deep in the shadows of a normally unreachable section of the Air Base.

To see it, you’ll need to enable the GameShark code to fly, or “moon jump.” The code is available here. Make your way through the level like normal until you reach the huge room containing Air Force One. Normally, an invisible wall just past the end of the laser grid prevents you from heading too far toward the back of the room. Use the moon jump code to float over this invisible barrier and set down again on the other side. Slowly make your way along the very dark outer edge of the room. Eventually, you’ll stumble upon a tiny potted plant hiding in the darkness!

The hidden plant in the Air Base.What on earth could this be here for?

Update: As a helpful reader has discovered, it is possible to see the plant without a GameShark by zooming in on the far end of the room with your Horizon Scanner. It may take a bit of looking around, but it can be done.

Back to top…Unsolved Mystery #17: Hidden G5 ventilation shafts.
Description: Much like Area 51′s famous keyhole vents, the G5 Building – Reconnaisance level contains a well-hidden, inaccessable, and quite extensive network of ventilation shafts. The G5 shafts are also similar to Area 51′s in that they both house their respective levels’ hidden cheeses. To find G5′s, head for the basement room that contains the dampening field generator that Joanna must deactivate to complete a Perfect Agent mission objective. Along one of the walls is a grate that allows you to peek into the beginning of the shafts and catch a glimpse of the cheese.

The enterance to the G5 vents.But there’s more! Equipping an X-Ray Scanner or FarSight rifle allows you to peer through the wall and note that the shafts branch off and extend outward for quite a long way. The longest portion extends back beneath the floor of the room where you begin the level.

An unseen portion of the vents made visible with the X-Ray Scanner.Using a GameShark “moon jump” code (available here), I was able, after several failed attempts, to view the entire network of vents from the inside. Sadly, they are empty save the cheese and terminate at dead ends.

But why are they there? Just like with Area 51′s system of shafts, one is forced to wonder why the Rare programmers would waste memory rendering these normally invisible and inaccessable areas at all. Especially in a game that already pushes the N64 hardware to its very limits. Why, Rare, why?

Back to top…Unsolved Mystery #18: Where everybody knows your name.
Description: Ah, the corner bar. A familiar feature in neighborhoods worldwide. What city would be complete without one? Certainly not Chicago.

Yes, Perfect Dark’s Chicago – Stealth level features its own local bar, the “Pond Punk” by name. It’s easy to find, just head down the main street until you come to the door near the parked limo. Enter and head down the stairs to find the outer door of the bar. The doors are locked, so disarm the nearby guards. One of them should run into the bar for help, and you can then follow him through the opened door.

Inside, you’ll find a second Falcon 2 with scope, a bar, a dancing pole, a ticket counter, and a well-appointed restroom (check the toilets for cheese).

Inside the mostly empty Ponk Punk bar.What’s so mysterious about this, you ask? Well, all things considered, it’s a rather large, well-detailed area of the level. It seems strange that it would be used solely to house an extra gun and a piece of cheese. Many people speculate the bar was once much more important, perhaps even necessary for the completion of a mission objective. As it is, it just seems abandoned. Did Rare have big plans for the bar that were ditched at the last minute? Was it planned to be the site of the clandestine meeting that now takes place in the G5 building? The truth may never be known.

Back to top…Unsolved Mystery #19: The Chicago symbols.
Description: Perfect Dark’s Chicago – Stealth level features numerous signs that show what looks like Japanese characters. As of now, they remain untranslated. What could these undeciphered symbols mean?

The Japanese symbols from Chicago - Stealth.Anyone who can help in the translation of these symbols is encouraged to drop me a line.

Update: Helpful readers have chimed in with translations for the symbols. I’ve also done some translation work of my own. Here are the completed translations:

1. First character: “Season.” Second character: “Legend; transmission; tradition.” Third character: “Heaven; emperor.” The second character seems to refer to a story, legend, or tradition and/or the retelling or passing on of such from one party to another. It can also refer to a biography or autobiography.

2. First character: “East; eastern Japan.” Second character: “Husband.”

3. First character: “Field; wild.” Second character: “Fang.”

4. First character: “Heaven; emperor.” Second character: “Rich; wealthy.” Third character: “Field; wild.”

5. First character: “Season.” Second character: “Ability.”

6. First character: “Emperor.” Second character: “Number.”

7. First character: “Sword.” Second character: “Legend; transmission; tradition.”

So now that the translations seem complete, what can we learn from these strange signs?

Back to top…Unsolved Mystery #20: Mysteries of the Lost City.
Description: “The Lost City.” That’s what Perfect Dark fans are calling the cityscape that Agent Dark flies her ship through in the introduction to the dataDyne Central – Defection level.

It’s a huge place, much moreso than that one brief scene would indicate. It’s filled with all sorts of strange odds and ends. Normally, there’s no way to explore it, but GameShark users can fly to the city through the use of a “moon jump” code (available here).

To reach the city, just head directly away from the front of the dataDyne building (the side with the giant, blue-white “dD” logo). Upon arrival, the first thing you’ll notice is that it’s absolutely huge, composed of dozens of large buildings. While none of the buildings are solid, there is one red platform in the center of the city that Joanna can actually stand on. For an interesting time, try putting out the light on the roof of the building with the taxis on top. This will plunge half the city into total darkness.

A nice view of the Lost City. Another view of the Lost City. The red platform near the center of the City. You can stand on it.Shooting out this light will darken half of the city.Also spread throughout the city are numerous signs. Some contain untranslated Japanese characters, others faces (probably of Rare employees). One displays the bizzare phrase “ANAL LAND 11 10 129.” A talented reader of this page has donated these pictures of some of the more baffling signs:

The 'Anal Land' sign. The 'Last Battle' sign. The 'Ice' sign.So what could these mean? The Japanese characters in particular are quite interesting. If anyone out there can shed some light on the meaning of these cryptic signs, it would be much appreciated.

Update: According to a helpful reader, the longer set of characters above is actually two seperate words rendered in Japanese katakana script. Although the reader gave his translation as “tesutohatore,” closer inspection and advice from others more knowledgable in the subject that I has lead me to believe that the sign actually reads “rasuto batoru,” or “last battle.”

Why include a reference to a “last battle” in the first level of a game?

Update: Another helpful reader has informed me that the other Japanese sign is the kanji character for “ice.” I have verified that this is correct.

Back to top…Unsolved Mystery #21: Deep Sea dead man walking.
Description: A clever reader has discovered another “marked for death” guard in the Deep Sea – Nullify Threat level. Enter the sunken ship and proceed right down the hallway until you reach the intersection dominated by the large window through which the room Dr. Carroll occupies can be seen. Facing the window, turn to your left and proceed down the hallway. You should reach a dead end that features a deceased dataDyne trooper and, on lower difficulty levels, a shield.

The normally dead guard in Deep Sea.Just like with the Area 51 rocket launcher guard, setting the Enemy Health setting in Perfect Dark mode to maximum will result in a live, yet completely immobile guard. It seems that this guard’s purpose is to die and drop the shield. However, he still appears on difficulty levels where the shield is absent. Stranger and stranger.

For more baffling cases like this one, see Unsolved Mystery #10 and Unsolved Mystery #13.

Back to top…Unsolved Mystery #22: Air Force One weirdness.
Description: The Air Force One – Antiterrorism level features a couple of perplexing architectural oddities. Specifically, a pair of holes that link the floors and ceilings of the top and middle levels. The first can be found in the bathroom on the middle level. Set into the ceiling is a red hatch. It is locked and can’t be opened. This hatch connects with another bathroom on the floor above.

The small, locked door in the bathroom ceiling.The second bit of weirdness can be found in the room with the piano. A tiny square hole in the ceiling connects this room with the one above it. The other side of this hole can be found under the bunk bed near the cockpit on the top level.

The hole in the ceiling of the piano room.The other side of the same opening.In theory, both of these openings are large enough to pass through. In practice, though, neither one is accessable to the player.

Why are they even there?

Back to top…Unsolved Mystery #23: Hidden door in Pelagic 2.
Description: It turns out that the Pelagic 2 – Exploration level features a very unusual secret door.

To find it, head for the large, open area where the submarine can be found at the end of the level. Once you arrive, head around the pool to the opposite side of the room until you are standing next to the section of wall directly across from the entry door. Now equip your X-Ray Scanner and examine that section of wall. You should see a door with a small oval window set into it at head height. It appears to be identical to the other Pelegic 2 doors. You’ll also notice that this door appears to be located inside the wall itself.

The other side of this door can be found along the wall near the beginning of the long enemy and crate-filled hallway that leads to the sub area. This side of the door is blocked off by a pair of blue barriers with the dataDyne logo on them. Again, your X-Ray Scanner will reveal its outline through the wall.

The door lies behind these blue barricades.The door can be opened from either side of the wall. Just stand next the wall and press the B button like normal and the door will open.

So what is the meaning of this bizzare hidden door? Could it be left over from an earlier version of the level? If so, why hide it away inside the wall like that instead of just deleting it?

Update: A long-time reader of this site has just informed me that it is possible to actually see the side of the hidden door that is behind the blue barriers!

Moon jumping under the barriers.The hidden door closed.The hidden door open.To do so, you need to use the GameShark “moon jump” code (available here) to fly under the barriers. It’s a little tricky, but it you can manage it, you’ll find yourself in small, enclosed area between the barriers and the wall. The door is visible from this side, and can be opened. Because the door only seems to exist on one side of the wall, however, you cannot pass through it. The wall behind the door is not textured, so only clouds and blue sky are visible when looking through the doorway.

Back to top…Unsolved Mystery #24: The secret pillar.
Description: Perfect Dark’s final regular solo mission, Skedar Ruins – Battle Shrine, contains a number of alien pillars that Joanna Dark must place target amplifier devices on to complete her mission objectives. Unknown to most, however, there is a similar, very well-hidden pillar concealed deep within the level.

To find it, enter the Skedar inner sanctum and proceed like normal until you reach the door to the room containing the secret Skedar army. Facing this door, turn to your left and look through the wall with a FarSight or X-Ray Scanner. You should see a small, pyramid-shaped pillar, smaller than the ones seen earlier in the level, but quite similar to the two located in the next room. This pillar does not appear during the War! special assignment, which is also set in this level

The hidden pillar glimpsed through the wall.The pillar as it appears beyond the wall.If you use the GameShark “moon jump” code (available here) to fly over the wall, you can get a much better view of the pillar. It does indeed look exactly like a smaller version of the ones encountered earlier in the level. It is solid and you can stand on it. If you want, you can even blow it up and watch the pieces tumble down into the infinite blue void outside the level.

What is the meaning of this hidden pillar? What could it possibly be for?

Back to top…Unsolved Mystery #25: Villa observatory.
Description: The Carrington Villa – Hostage One level features a very prominent mystery that few have ever taken the time to notice. On the mountainside near where Agent Dark begins the mission on Agent and Special Agent difficulty is a small observatory, complete with telescope. As far as can be determined, this structure serves no purpose whatsoever in the level. No enemies or items are housed inside, and a visit to the observatory is not required to complete any of the mission objectives. At the same time, the observatory is quite large and detailed. So much so that it just doesn’t make sense that it should be totally useless.

The inside of the Carrington Villa observatory.Much like with the Pond Punk bar in Chicago, we are faced with the enigma of a large, well-detailed structure with a great deal of potential, but no apparent purpose. Could the observatory have once had a meaningful role in the level early on in Perfect Dark’s lengthy three year development cycle? As it is, the empty observatory merely serves as a tantalizing hint of what might have been.

Update: Thanks to a helpful reader, another interesting fact about the observatory has been discovered. It seems that there is a spot on the inside of the observatory roof that it is possible to fire Devestator grenades through. On the inside of the observatory, if you look up, you should see what looks like a dark gray metal hatch in the roof. This portion of the roof seems solid. Bullets, crossbow bolts, knives, rockets, and regular grenades and N-Bombs all treat it as though it were a normal section of solid wall. Grenade projectiles fired from a Devestator set to its primary fire mode, however, will pass right through this portion of the ceiling as though it wasn’t there. It is even possible to bombard other parts of the level with grenades by bouncing them off of the nearby telescope and out this hole in the roof from different angles. Strange.

The gray hatch in the roof that Devestator grenades can be fired through.It is possible to find a Devestator in the Villa normally. Could the programmers have once planned for you to be able to open the hatch in the roof and use it to take out the dataDyne snipers from inside the observatory?

Back to top…Unsolved Mystery #26: The black platform.
Description: Another strange hidden feature of the Skedar Ruins – Battle Shrine level has been discovered by the very same astute reader who uncovered the secret pillar. To see this so-called “black platform”, head for the part of the level where Agent Dark must push a statue into a niche in order to extend a bridge to the Skedar fanatics’ inner sanctum. Stand on this bridge and face toward the hallway to the inner sanctum.

This is cliff where the black platform can be found.Now, equip a FarSight rifle and peer down at the base of the cliff on the far side of the bridge. Zooming in, you should see a long rectangular strip that extends into the cliff. This is the black platform.

In order to see it with your own eyes and stand on it, you must enable a pair of GameShark codes. One to “moon jump”, or fly by holding the B button, and the other a “walk through walls” code to pass through the cliff itself. Both of these codes are available here. With these codes enabled, fly under the bridge and make your way through the cliff. Once on the other side, you should be able to lower yourself onto the platform without too much trouble. Be sure to avoid touching the blackness at the bottom of the chasm, because instant death will result.

Standing on the platform itself.Once you land on the platform, you will notice a few things. One is that the platform is solid and totally black, much like the bottom of the nearby chasm, except that coming into contact with it isn’t fatal. Secondly, the platform is approximately as wide as the bridge that appears nearby, but slightly longer. This same platform also appears during the War! special assignment, which also takes place in this level.

So what does this mean? Why is there a small, normally invisible stretch of solid ground embedded in the cliff here?

Update: A reader has informed me of a phenomenon that may sometimes be confused with the mystery presented here. In the interest of clarifying things, I’ll explain.

If you play Skedar Ruins – Battle Shrine in Co-Operative mode with simulant (not human) buddies, a black-gray stone bridge will appear over the chasm, allowing your simulants to follow you across without falling to their deaths. This is not the same as the “black platform” described above. It looks and is shaped totally different.

Back to top…Unsolved Mystery #27: The lost beta head.
Description: This is a real weird one. It seems that there is at least one character head included in Perfect Dark that it isn’t normally possible to see at all. This “beta” head, so-called because it is probably a leftover from an earlier version of the game, is truly a sight to behold.

It appears to be a bizzare combination of a human and Maian. It’s a standard grey, oversized Maian head with a huge, grinning human face pasted onto the front. The face is also shaded grey to match the rest of the head. Needless to say, it’s more than a little freaky-looking!

The strange head on Carrington.My GameShark character modification FAQ (available here) has all the details on modifying character heads, but the easiest way to see it is to enable this code:

8007CF92 0001
8007CF93 00BD

Once you start up the game, exit the main menu and you’ll find yourself in Joanna’s office. Leave and head next door to Carrington’s office. He’ll be sporting the strange head.

So what plans did Perfect Dark’s designers originally have for this odd head? Could it have been a test for aspects of the lost PerfectHead face-mapping feature? Why was it left on the cartridge instead of deleted? Are there more lost heads and bodies still hidden and unused? Only time will tell.

Update: Several people have pointed out to me that the “beta” head seems to bear some resemblance to another multiplayer head. Specifically, the one immediately to the left of Joanna Dark’s default head. There does seem to be some similarity, although the facial expressions are different. Interesting.

Back to top…Unsolved Mystery #28: Elevator oddities.
Description: This mystery is easy to see, yet hard to explain. Just play the Area 51 – Rescue mission. On your way to the part of the level where you must blow your way through the wall and into the main lab complex with explosives, you will have to make use of two large elevators.

The first elevator is in the large, crate-filled area where you first begin the mission. Enter the elevator and equip your X-Ray Scanner. When the elevator is stopped on the bottom level, look down. You should see the outline of a small triangle through the floor.

The blue traingle under the Area 51 elevator.Later on, you come to a second elevator. Once again, enter the elevator and examine the floor with your X-Ray Scanner when it is stopped on the lower level. You should see another, slightly smaller triangle.

It is possible to use a GameShark “moon jump” code (available here) to examine the area beneath the elevator shafts from below. From this angle, the triangle under the first elevator appears to be bright blue. The second triangle is harder to get a good look at, since it only seems to be visible from above, but it is orange in color. These triangles are visible in all the Area 51 levels, not just Area 51 – Rescue. They also appear during the Area 51 – Infiltration and Area 51 – Escape missions, when the moving portion of the elevators are not present.

What is the meaning of these strange colored triangles?

Back to top…Unsolved Mystery #29: The beta music.
Description: I’m now pleased to present my very first audio mystery.

Hidden deep within Perfect Dark are bits and pieces of hidden music that you were never meant to hear. This “beta” music was cut from the game’s final soundtrack for reasons yet unknown and was never intended to see the light of day. With a GameShark or other cheat device, however, these lost tracks can be accessed and enjoyed. So far, three verified pieces of beta music have been unearthed, but many more are possible.

Here is the code:

800AA5FB 00??
800AA66B 00??

To hear the beta music, just replace “??” with the appropriate modifier digits and go to the Perfect Menu. Or download one of the exclusive MP3 versions available here. The digits are as follows:

15: A short fanfare that sounds like it might be an alternate death music. Download the MP3.

75: A short series of simple tones. Sounds somewhat like synthesized organ music and suspiciously like the first few notes of the Super Mario Brothers theme.Download the MP3.

3C: This one is really weird! At first, it starts out sounding just like the Deep Sea – Nullify Threat music, but soon, it turns into a completely new tune several minutes in length. This track was previously heard in the background on some early preview movies of Perfect Dark, before the game was actually released. Download the MP3.

What parts of the game could the Perfect Dark designers have originally intended these compositions for? Could they relate to other secrets not yet uncovered? Are there more bits of lost music just waiting to be discovered?

Back to top…Unsolved Mystery 30: Hidden Carrington speech.
Description: In the Area 51 – Infiltration level there are two bits of dialog spoken by Daniel Carrington that it is only possible to hear with the aid of a GameShark. Click on the quote to download the sound in MP3 format.

You need to enable a “moon jump” code (available here). This will allow you to leave the ground and fly by holding down a button. Just start up Area 51 – Infiltration and use this code to fly through the air over the underground bunker where Agent Dark must place explosives to satisfy a mission objective. You should hear Carrington say: “The air intercept radar is controlled from that bunker.”

Carrington speaks.Now land and place the explosives like normal. After they detonate and the objective is completed, make another pass over the bunker. This time, Carrington will chime in with: “The hanger lift is on the other side of that huge door.”

Carrington again.The Perfect Dark team probably decided to make these sounds impossible to hear normally because they believed that they made the mission too easy or didn’t point out anything that wasn’t fairly obvious to begin with. But why not delete them altogether? Are there still more bits of hidden character speech that we have yet to hear?

Back to top…

2 comments

  1. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  2. How could I have missed this blog! Its incredible. Your design is flawless, like you know exactly what to do to do make people flock to your page! I also like the perspective you brought to this subject. Its like you have an insight that most people havent seen before. So great to read a blog like this.

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