Perfect Dark Beta Analysis: Beta Weapons

Perfect Dark Beta Analysis: Beta Weapons

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A journey in the evolution of the various weapons in Perfect Dark!

Beta Weapons


In this screenshot you can see that Joanna is holding a very raw / early version of the Falcon 2 / Magsec. The way the weapon is raised is very interesting as it’s not possible to see it like that in the final.


An image taken from the first mission of the game: it shows the weapon / gadgets menu, but some of these items have undergone a slight name change in the final version. For example the Data Uplink was originally named “Data Thief” in the beta. You can also clearly see an object named “Tester”, but we dont know if this item could have been removed or just renamed to something else.


This image shows Joanna in the DataDyne building holding a Falcon 2 / Magsec: the design of the weapon is very similar to the final version, but the ammo HUD is much different than the final.


The weapon used in this screenshot is the Dragon, but in the beta it was able to detect and shoot to enemies through walls as the FarSight XR-20 in the final game.


The AR34 is one of the few weapons  that you cannot duel-wield in Perfect Dark, at least in the final version. As you can see from this screen, it was possible to use 2 AR34 at the same time in the beta. Maybe Rare removed this possibility because the rifle it’s already too powerful.


Here we can see Joanna holding an early design of the CMP150. The design of the weapon is different and that position of the hand is not possible in the final game.


During the development of Perfect Dark, many of the weapons were based off of GoldenEye’s weapons. Many of the weapons weren’t named like they are in the final version. As a placeholder, the weapons in PD were given GE’s weapon names. As you can see in the image above – even if it’s difficult to tell – the green text reads “Picked up a Cougar Magnum.”


It seems that in Perfect Dark Beta there was a feature that would allow the player to set the weapons at different positions – rather than just shooting – as a strategy. It should have been possible to aim more better with a certain position or to protect the character in another position. Apparently from this image you can see Joanna duel-wielding a Falcon 2 / Magsec. We are not sure if this screen was taken while the guns were reloading (with a beta animation), but it could be that the weapons were held up in front of Joanna’s face to take less damage from the enemies’ attacks.


Another beta screenshot that shows us the shortcut menu for equipping weapons. As you can see there are some gadgets/weapons that have strange names, it’s unclear if the image shows some missing items or just early names.  Perhaps “Lees Gun” was the first name the Magsec4, as Joanna is holding that weapon. Among others, we see a certain weapon/gadget named “r2020”: some people think it’s the beta Dragon with the FarSight XR-20 features.


This screenshot was taken during a Multi-Player match, we can see that the 3rd player is equipped with a strange beta rocket launcher, set on the left of the screen, rather than on the right like all the weapons. This beta weapon could perhaps have been a first design of the Killer, but I’m not sure.


During the development of the Perfect Dark, not only the names of Goldeneye’s weapons were used as placeholders, but even the textures and the models. As seen in this screenshot, we have the “remote mines” from GoldenEye in PD’s training mode.


As mentioned before, in the beta Perfect Dark’s guns could be move in various positions to give the player more strategy. The side position in particular sometimes is used automatically even in the final version of the game, if you are shooting at a very close target. If I’m not mistaken, the horizontally position was used in the “target” mode while pressing the R button, to increase the player’s precision.


“Pick up Something”: it’s not easy to read the green text in the image, however many objects / weapons / gadgets had placeholder names like this one.


Thanks to the use of GameSharks codes, it’s possible to see some unused models. For example here we can see the beta version of the shield: the object is much more realistic than the final one. The final shield is just a “box”, so it’s very strange that RARE discarded this item.

perfec45.jpg perfec46.jpg

This weird, unused object is hidden in the memory of both GoldenEye and Perfect Dark but it was never actually used in any of the two games. The only way to see this item is to use a GameShark code. What was its purpose for both GE & PD? Probably we’ll never know.


As we can see in this screenshot, these targets were originally in the Carrington institute, in the weapons training section. These targets were reused in the DataDyne mission: Verification. It can be found in the underground tunnel of one of the labs, where an armed Data Dyne guard is holding a K7 to shoot at the targets.

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