Perfect Dark Solved Mysteries


Retrieved from Yamo’s Lair, which has sadly lost it’s domain. Using the Wayback machine, I saved the Perfect Dark section. The font from the page is white, so you’ll have to highlight some sections. Nevermind I fixed it.

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Solved Mystery #1: The locked CI doors.
Description: Just outside the normally locked front doors of the Carrington Institute is a balcony. On one side of the balcony is another set of identical blue doors. They are locked and there seems to be no way to open them. What hidden secrets do these doors conceal?

The always locked CI door.

None, as it turns out. Using a GameShark code, it is possible to walk right through these doors. There is nothing but the infinite blue void outside the level on the other side, though. Stepping through will cause you to either fall to a lower point in the level, or simply fall to your death into the endless blue void. No secrets here.

Nothing back there. Sorry.

The GameShark code in question is available here, in case you want to have a look for yourself.

Back to top…Solved Mystery #2: Air Force One’s hidden computers.
Description: This one can be found on the Air Force One – Antiterrorism mission. On the top level of the plane, there is a single presidential guard standing watch over one of the doors to the President’s room. While standing next to this guard, equip a FarSight or x-ray scanner and and face the same way he is, towards the direction of the plane’s windows. Now just look down and to your right slightly. You should see the outline of the passageway that makes up the umbilical connector that the Skedar ship attaches to Air Force One. Nothing strange so far. Now notice that there appears to be several active compter terminals attached to the top exterior of the passage! Strange, yes?

The hidden computers.

Well, if you remember, there’s a series of explosions that go off in the passageway when you detonate a timed mine in it as part of your “detach UFO from Air Force One” objective. Guess what’s blowing up? That’s right: the terminals. They’re gone after the blast. They’re just there to give the programmers something to generate the explosions from.

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Mystery #3: The cheeses.
Description: Those wacky Rare programmers hid a tiny piece of yellow cheese in just about each and every one of the Solo Mission levels. The cheese can’t be picked up, destroyed, or otherwise interacted with in any way. It’s just there to look at. Word has it that finding all the cheeses was intended to open up a secret cheat, but this feature was never fully implemented, making the cheese a fun but useless curiousity. Cheese-related conspiracy theories abound, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that this is one mystery that’s pretty well solved.

Behold the power of cheese.

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Solved Mystery #4: Locked door in the Grid.
Description: The Grid multiplayer level features a locked door directly across from the ground floor elevator. How to unlock it? What’s on the other side?

The locked door in the Grid.Once again, I used a GameShark moon jump code to look behind this door and there’s nothing back there. It is almost certainly intended to be a background detail and to make this area of the Grid look more like the location in the film The Matrix that inspired it. Case closed.

The same door opened.The GameShark code in question is available here, in case you want to have a look for yourself.

Back to top…Solved Mystery #5: The missing cheese…found!
Description: It’s a generally accepted fact that every Perfect Dark solo level with the exception of Area 51 – Infiltration features a piece of
hidden cheese. However, this is simply not the case. During a recent bit of exploring, I was able to locate the Area 51 – Infiltration cheese.

You see, the cheese is normally not visible because it lies in an portion of the level that is not normally accessable in this mission. Using GameShark codes to fly and walk through walls allows easy access to all areas of the Area 51 complex. Even though all of the “active” objects like guards, doors, elevators, and such have been removed from the areas you’re not supposed to be able to visit, you can still make your way to the vents above the bathroom and spot the cheese, sitting in the exact same place it does in the other Area 51 missions. If you lack a GameShark, it may also be possible, although more difficult, to view the hidden cheese by peering through the ground with a FarSight rifle.

So there you have it. Now, the next time somebody says that there’s no cheese in Area 51 – Infiltration, you can point out that there is.

Back to top…Solved Mystery #6: The Phantom Guards
Description: The Phantom Guards. Sounds kinda spooky, huh? Try playing the Carrington Institute – Defense level with the rocket launcher cheat turned on. Right when you begin the level, fire your rocket launcher at the floor directly in front of you. You’ll be amazed to see a previously invisible dataDyne guard appear from thin air only to be instantly killed by the explosion. Like the other guards that show up in the level, he carries a K7 Avenger. Unlike the other guards, however, he is not protected by a shield.

One of the mysterious guards made visible by an explosion.It’s important to note that this guard is not cloaked. He’s really invisible, if not totally nonexistent prior to the blast. He won’t show up in night vision, infrared, or any kind of x-ray vision. Even shooting the space where he appears with normal weapons has no effect. Only an explosion in the general area will cause him to show up. There are numerous other such invisible guards in this level. Do a little exploring with explosives and you’re sure to see them.

There are more invisible guards in other levels. In Air Force One – Antiterrorism, for example, proceed like normal until you meet with the president and the Skedar ship attaches itself to the plane. Then, just go to the metal umbillicus connecting the two crafts and fire any explosive weapon at the very back of the shaft. Just like in the Carrington Institute, one, sometimes two, previously invisible guards will show and be killed by the explosion.

The explaination: Both CI – Defense and AFO – Antiterrorism are levels that start out virtually enemy free until some event occurs that causes invading guards to flood the level. Take a guess where they come from. Yes, these are invisible enemy “spawning points” where the game places new enemies into the level while your attention is normally focused elsewhere. In fact, if you play co-op or counter-op mode, one player can even see them materialize by standing and watching the appropriate points while the other player completes mission objectives.

Back to top…Solved Mystery #7: Battle Shrine computer.
Description: In case you don’t have a GameShark, here’s a cool one that’s easy to see. Just go to the Skedar Ruins – Battle Shrine level. Right below the entrance to the “inner sanctum” portion of the complex, there is a small altar upon which you must “make a sacrifice to the God of War” to complete the level on Special or Perfect Agent difficulty. Just equip a FarSight or X-Ray Scanner and examine the altar closely. You should see a very tiny computer embedded within it! This computer cannot be destroyed or picked up. Could it somehow have something to do with the process of placing a weapon on the altar to open the door?

The computer inside the altar.It certainly looks like it. It seems that when you press the B button to lay down your weapon, this little computer is what you’re really interacting with. It looks like another programmer’s shortcut.

Update: It has been observed that when the hidden Battle Shrine computer is encountered during the War bonus mission, it appears larger and can be destroyed. Interesting. This is most likely because the regular compter is not needed to complete the War mission and is replaced with another “placeholder” one as a result.

Back to top…Solved Mystery #8: The Carrington Villa dam.
Description: If you look out across the water in front of the Villa in the Carrington Villa -Hostage One level, you’ll notice a dam at the far end of the bay with a small tower at one end. What is the purpose of this tower? What is inside it?

The Villa dam.Nothing. With a GameShark, it is very easy to explore the area around the tower and dam up close. It’s just a background detail. There is absolutely nothing inside it.

Back to top…Solved Mystery #9: Area 51’s hidden aliens.
Description: At the end of the Area 51 – Escape mission, you have the option of either opening the hanger doors yourself, or letting Jonathan do it. If you choose to do it yourself, you will be forced to make your escape from Area 51 on the nearby hoverbike. Do so, and then hop on the hoverbike and make your way back to the lab area where you started the level. Enter the autopsy lab closest to the hole you blasted in the wall to gain access to the complex during the previous mission. Proceed down the hallway until you come to the actual door to the main lab, which will be locked. Now peer through the glass window set into the door. You should see another Maian laying on a hoverbed right near the door to the operating room! If you use the GameShark code to walk through doors (available here), you can enter the lab with the extra alien before you meet up with Jonathan and revive Elvis. If you do so, not only will the extra alien be there, but another hoverbed, this one empty, will be there as well.

The hidden alien.Using the same code, you can ditch Elvis right after exiting the gas-filled lab in the beginning of the level and find another hidden alien. Just headed left when you first hit the main hallway, through the door that’s normally locked until you return here on the hoverbike at the conclusion of the level. Head straight down the hallway and into the door at the head of the intersection. Lo and behold, there is another alien inside! This one isn’t on a hoverbed, but is simply standing there. You can kill it if you want, but you will fail the mission because “Elvis has been killed.” Apparently, this alien counts as Elvis!

If you don’t have a GameShark, you can still see (and shoot) this alien if you use a built-in cheat to get a FarSight and then face left and aim it down the hallway when you first exit the gas-filled lab. Just zoom until you can see into the room down the hall.

So what does this all mean? Well, I believe it is another programming shortcut. You begin the level pushing Elvis on the hoverbed. When the scene in which Elvis revives starts playing, the game quickly replaces the version of Elvis laying on the hoverbed with two different items from other places in the level: the empty hoverbed and the normal version of Elvis. At the same time, it moves “hoverbed Elvis” back into the locked lab and out of the way. This explains all three of the “mystery items” very nicely. The game loads them all at the beginning of the level and keeps them “behind the scenes” in out-of-the-way, locked rooms until the need for them arises and then it simply switches between them. Makes sense to me.

Back to top…Solved Mystery #10: Windmill drone gun.
Description: This one is easy to see. Just play the Carrington Villa – Hostage One mission and use a cheat to begin with a K7 Avenger rifle. When you begin outside the villa, activate the threat detector secondary function of your K7 Avenger and point it at the villa’s inactive windmill. The top of the windmill will be automatically highlighted by the Avenger’s threat detector and identified as a “drone gun.” If you use a GameShark code to fly near to the windmill blades themselves, it will even behave like a drone gun, spinning and firing bullets at you. Now head to the villa basement and complete the steps to reactivate the wind generator. Once you have done this, go back and check the windmill again with your K7’s threat detector. Now that the windmill is moving, it is no longer flagged as a drone gun. Very strange.

The windmill gun.So what’s the explaination? It’s another programmer’s shortcut, of course. The blades of a windmill spin, and so do the barrels of a drone gun. They simply modified the look of a standard drone gun and bingo, instant spinning windmill! They probably figured that their little trick would never be discovered since you you normally can’t get close enough to the windmill gun to cause it to attack you.

Back to top…Solved Mystery #11: Cassandra’s office keycard.
Description: In the third solo level, dataDyne Central – Extraction, if you make your way to the elevator on the first floor a guard on the next floor up will sometimes drop an item called the “Cassandra’s Office Keycard” when you kill him. Like its name would seem to indicate, this allows you to open the locked door to Cassandra De Vries’ office. Additionally, however, it allows you to open two locked doors on the building’s first floor.

Cassandra's office keycard.Using this card, you can open the front doors to the dataDyne building and actually step outside! Don’t get too excited, though. A fall to your death into a black void is all that awaits you out there.

More interesting is the second locked door on the first floor, which contains two female dataDyne guards, Mr. Blonde, and sometimes Cassandra De Vries herself! Cassandra will only appear here, however, if you’ve already encountered her on the roof. Cassandra, Mr. Blonde, and the two bodyguards will simply stand there like statues, not reacting to you in any way. They cannot be killed, but if you shoot and wound them here, they will appear bloody in the cinema scene that plays at the level’s end. This leads me to theorize that they are placed here as a way to reduce or eliminate load times. A sort of programmer’s shortcut. This way, all of their textures are already loaded into the game’s memory prior to their appearance at the end of the level. Or perhaps it’s simply easier to move them to the rooftop for their cinema scene appearance than to generate them there from scratch on the spot.

Mr. Blonde and friends.In any event, it’s clear that the programmers probably never intended for players to visit this room. However, if this is the case, why include a way to open the doors? Simple. As the name of the card would indicate, its purpose is to open the door to Cassandra’s office. Inside the office, a grenade rests on Cassandra’s desk. With this grenade, it is possible to open a secret passage in the office wall and find the level’s hidden weapon, a Dragon.

The purpose of the keycard is to allow you to obtain the Dragon. The fact that it also unlocks the two doors on the first level seem to be a mere glitch.

Back to top…Solved Mystery #12: Helpless Jonathan Dark.
Description: During the course of Perfect Dark’s fourth and final special assignment, The Duel, Joanna faces off against three deadly opponents in a pistol fight to the death.

Make that two deadly opponents and one very helpless Jonathan Dark.

You see, while poor Jonathan does bring his trusty DY-357 Magnum with him to the duel, he can never successfully blast you with it. All of his shots automatically miss. Even setting the Enemy Accuracy to a staggering 1000% in Perfect Dark mode is insufficient to ever let Jonathan’s shots actually hit you. In fact, the only way you can ever lose to the poor sap is if you’re foolish enough to get within punching or kicking range.

Jonathan Dark trying, and failing, to shoot you.Another strange aspect of The Duel is that if you move your aiming cursor over Jonathan, it turns blue, indicating that he is a friendly target and not an enemy. You certainly wouldn’t know it from the way he strives (mightily, if also ineffectually) to do you in!

So what’s the deal? Why did the Rare programmers let all these weird anomalies into Jonathans’s dueling program? Surely, the Carrington Institute’s second best agent deserves more of a fighting chance.

Well, it seems that Rare just goofed. The Carrington Institute holograph training room is the setting for Duel, and it seems that the programmers just took the version of Jonathan from the Carrington Institute – Defense level and stuck him in Duel without altering most of his characteristics. Because of this, the game still considers him a friendy character. This is why his fire can’t hurt you and your cursor will turn blue if you target him. So basically, a lazy moment for the Rare programmers turned into one big, glaring glitch. Too bad.

Back to top…Solved Mystery #13: Unexplained explosion on Air Force One.
Description: This mystery is easy to see for yourself. All you need is any explosive weapon. Because it creates the smallest explosion, the Phoenix is ideal.

Just use a cheat to gain a Phoenix and play Air Force One – Antiterrorism on Secret or Perfect Agent difficulty. Head straight for the stairway that links the middle and top levels of the plane. When you reach the top of the staircase, turn to your right and face the wall. You should see several light fixtures running along the wall at just above head height. Set your Phoenix to its Explosive Shells function, stand back a little, and fire a shot at the closest light fixture on your right. A large explosion should erupt seemingly from nowhere and fill that section of the hallway.

The strange explosion.What could it mean? Why doesn’t this explosion occur when the level is played on Agent difficulty?

What’s the solution? Well, it seems that there is a connection between the mysterious explosion and one of Jo’s mission objectives. Specifically the “Locate and retrieve equipment” objective, which is only required on the Special and Perfect Agent difficulty levels. This explains why it doesn’t happen on Agent difficulty.

Prior to completing this objective, the explosion may be triggered like normal. After the objective is completed, the explosion will not occur. If you trigger the explosion and then complete the objective, you will be informed that your mission has failed because the Timed Mine has been wasted. Sure enough, the mine you normally pick up with the rest of the equipment isn’t in your inventory.

It seems that the programmers decided to temporarily store the Timed Mine inside that section of the wall until Jo picked it up with the rest of the equipment. On Agent difficulty, you start out with the mine, so this wasn’t necessary.

Just another programmer’s shortcut.

Back to top…Solved Mystery #14: James Bond in Perfect Dark?
Description: Yes, it’s true! Britain’s greatest (fictional) secret agent makes an appearence in Perfect Dark!

Sort of…

It seems that if you use a GameShark “moon jump” code (available here) to fly around near the Ponk Punk bar in the Chicago – Stealth level, you can catch a glimpse of this:

Bond's name reflected in a window.Yes, although it is made to seem like a reflection of the pink neon Pond Punk bar sign in a nearby window pane, it’s pretty clear that this is no coincidence. Rather, it’s Rare’s little way of referencing the star of their earlier game GoldenEye 007. Without the proper license from MGM, in this case. Clever little buggers, aren’t they?

Back to top…Solved Mystery #15: Egyptian, Ark Hives, and Star Battles.
Description: These items are not legitimate mysteries, but rather silly hoaxes that have fooled many. I just wanted to take this opportunity to establish the truth once and for all.

The Egyptian, Ark Hives, and Star Battles stages are fake Perfect Dark levels that various online hoaxers have cooked up some fairly convincing pictures of. None of these levels, however, actually exist anywhere in the game.

First up is the Egyptian picture, created by a hoaxer who calls himself Greystar. He claimed that it represented an old GoldenEye multiplayer level that he managed to unlock in Perfect Dark:

The fake Egyptian picture.Note Greystar himself standing in front of the projector on the right side of the image. This picture was proven to be a phony when careful examination of a a larger version revealed an area of the image where one of the distinctive green ammo boxes from GoldenEye had been clumsily cut out of the shot and pasted over. Further examination of the two figures only confirmed that Greystar’s Egyptian picture was a crude fake, featuring grainy Perfect Dark characters cut and pasted over their counterparts in a GoldenEye screenshot, which was then projected onto the wall and photographed.

Next up is the Ark Hives:

The fake Ark Hives picture.This was passed off as a picture of the multiplayer level select screen showing a new level available, a revised version of the GoldenEye Archives called the Ark Hives. This one was soon discredited, however, when the ease with which in-game text can be manipulated through use of the GameShark and similar cheat devices was pointed out. Sure enough, whoever faked the Ark Hives image declined to provide more conclusive proof, or a means to unlock the nonexistant level.

A particularly terrible Ark Hives fake.This picture was another supposed Ark Hives fake that surfaced later on. This one is awful enough to not really need any further commentary from me. The crudely cut and pasted figure and oversized hand-drawn ammo bars say it all.

Like Egyptian, the Star Battles scam was another case of a hoaxer being foiled by his own stupendous incompetence. Would-be con man Zeroxx claimed to be a GameShark hacker who had discovered three new levels comprising a tenth solo misson. He refused to tell anyone his secret code (typical for hoaxers). As proof, he offered this image:

The fake Star Battles picture.So what tripped poor Zeroxx up? He had claimed that he was unable to actually play the levels, since selecting them from the menu caused the game to crash. But what’s this? According to the picture, levels I and II have been completed on all difficulty levels and level III has been completed on Agent difficulty. Not too shabby for levels that crash the game upon being selected! Yes, it seems that Zeroxx “pulled a Greystar” and tried to fool people with a cut-and-pasted picture containing obvious inaccuracies. Oops. Better luck next time, Zeroxx.

It is my hope that this little effort of mine will serve to educate others and counteract the effects of these ridiculous and immature hoaxes on the Perfect Dark fan community.


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