Museum rigs up multi-screen N64 GoldenEye to prevent "screencheating"
May 11, 2022 6:28 AM   Subscribe

 
I used one of those units to do a 4x1 screen projection setup at an Oakland rave in 2001. They are great hardware when you’re limited to NTSC signal and don’t know anything about video cards. I think I had to rent it from someone in Las Vegas?

Also, playing GoldenEye by watching everyone else’s screen but your own is right and true mastery of the game. Gotta know how those grenades will bounce in the basement.
posted by migurski at 6:40 AM on May 11 [8 favorites]


This is taking me back to playing GoldenEye in the dorms at my university in 1998. Someone down the hall had an N64 with GoldenEye and 4 controllers. I went in to play a few times, but kept getting killed before I could even grab my first ammo clip. I complained, pretty much everyone else said "deal with it, that's just how it goes", so I found better things to do with my time.

So basically, neat project, but I always saw the problem as more person-based than tech-based.
posted by pianoblack at 7:08 AM on May 11


And then, on the other end of the spectrum, we have Screencheat.

A friend recently had a retro birthday party, and N64 Goldeneye broke out. I hadn't played in 20-odd years, but picked it up and was instantly back in the zone. Good times.
posted by xedrik at 7:18 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Not even a word about how they're handling Oddjob, though...
posted by Navelgazer at 7:33 AM on May 11 [4 favorites]


But... it's not cheating? The game design accounts that all players can see all POVs. That is why you rush, rush, rush in the Temple. =)

In other shared screen multiplayer games, including the original MarioKart, it was an important component of the game play.
posted by discardme at 7:36 AM on May 11 [11 favorites]


But... it's not cheating? The game design accounts that all players can see all POVs. That is why you rush, rush, rush in the Temple. =)

I think it was more that people were camping at spawn points and shooting as soon as someone reappeared/got resurrected. Perhaps there would have been a skillful way to dodge that, but I couldn't see one. Ruined the fun of it for me, anyway. End rant.
posted by pianoblack at 7:59 AM on May 11


I'm with discardme: all within basic situational awareness required to play the game.

I mean, it's not like (showing my age extremely here) Olympic Decathlon on the TRS-80 where you could make your opponent stumble in the running events if you knew which extra key to hit. The TRS-80 had a very simple keyboard matrix that could create a phantom extra key press if other keys in the matrix row and column were pressed.
posted by scruss at 8:02 AM on May 11 [4 favorites]


Centre for Computing History CEO and trustee Jason Fitzpatrick on there being no plans to make multi-screen GoldenEye a permanent part of the museum, "I need the equipment back after that anyway."

He IS a tech guy. /respect
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 9:02 AM on May 11 [2 favorites]


Also, playing GoldenEye by watching everyone else’s screen but your own is right and true mastery of the game.

This is so true, so wholly and obviously correct, that I have sometimes wished that online shooters like Halo had a Goldeneye Mode, where you played on a corner of your own screen while streams of your three opponents were in the other quadrants.
posted by mhoye at 9:15 AM on May 11 [4 favorites]


But... it's not cheating?

I, too, was surprised that this was considered cheating by enough folks that there's even a name for it. Maybe this is a semi-generational thing having to do with whether you grew up with multiplayer games (perhaps esp FPSs) being on a shared console vs on the internet? If so it must be a tiny window, 'cause I remember plenty of Goldeneye tournaments my first couple years of college and friends playing Quake and Unreal titles in online multiplayer by my junior year.
posted by solotoro at 9:17 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


There must be a hobbyist out there who could do this with with a raspberry pi and some RCA cable adapter dongles.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:41 AM on May 11


add me to the ‘it’s not cheating’ side. The game design absolutely takes into account that you’ll have some idea of where your opponents are, it works against players just hanging out and sniping which would otherwise be a real issue given the slowness of aiming with the N64s controller
posted by tomp at 9:59 AM on May 11


Maybe this is a semi-generational thing
At least in my case, it was more about having parents that wouldn't buy a computer if it could only play games. Meant we were playing multiplayer Doom over SLIP a couple of years before the Goldeneye latecomers.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 10:01 AM on May 11 [2 favorites]


Definitely not cheating for those that grew up in the golden age of couch multiplayer. But I like the project anyway. It would have been way cheaper and easier to do it with modern hardware by digitally processing the video, but there's a charm to knowing it's all being done analog.
posted by biogeo at 11:32 AM on May 11


It would have been way cheaper and easier to do it with modern hardware by digitally processing the video, but there's a charm to knowing it's all being done analog.

The C2-7210 scaler is digital anyway.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 11:50 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


You call it "cheating," but it is a skill to have one brain process four pairs of eyes' worth of information into dynamic 3D battlefield awareness
posted by eustatic at 12:28 PM on May 11 [7 favorites]


I like how they went through all this work and then put the 4 CTRs right next to each other on the bench so the players could still each other's screens.
posted by bdc34 at 1:03 PM on May 11 [5 favorites]


It's not cheating. Screen surfing is definitely part of the game.

Picking Odd Job is cheating.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 2:19 PM on May 11 [5 favorites]


One of the best things about my high school was the NetWare network meant that all those games that only supported network play over IPX were fair game. Way easier/better than modems or null modem cables.

My H: drive was full of games. It mildly annoyed the IT guy, but I made up for it with labor, fixing PCs and terminating Ethernet cables as they continued the process of getting drops in every classroom. Class credit and extra disk space, yes thank you.

Doom had to be kept on the DL because people would complain about the blood, but stuff like Worms, Scorched Earth, and Descent were completely acceptable things to play when we had finished classwork. Shooting ships or tanks or worms, totally OK. Shooting humanoid monsters, not so much.
posted by wierdo at 2:27 PM on May 11


Maybe this is a semi-generational thing having to do with whether you grew up with multiplayer games (perhaps esp FPSs) being on a shared console vs on the internet?

Console vs. PC thing, more than a generational thing.
posted by atoxyl at 2:46 PM on May 11


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