YMMV / Perfect Dark

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Are the Meat Sims really bad shots for missing constantly, or are they just fucking with you by shooting a perfect outline of you into the wall behind you?
  • Awesome Music:
    • The Arctic Crash Site level during the Air Force One mission has the most epic level music in the game.
    • "Mr. Blonde's Revenge" has awesome music. It's in 5/8 and sounds like the theme from Terminator.
    • "Limelight" by Kepi & Kat in the Nightclub Stakeout mission in Zero.
    • Or the SWAT 3 inspired music for "Defense" and the end credits, or the intro for Zero.
    • "Attack Ship" has pretty epic music as well.
    • Pelagic II is great as well.
    • Chicago Stealth's theme is more relaxing, but still very awesome.
    • A special mention goes to the "Deep Sea: Nullify Threat" beta theme, which was programmed into the game, but can never be heard without hacking.
  • Dancing Bear: The original featured some of the best visuals on the Nintendo 64. However, the biggest complaint among critics was how slow and uneven the framerate could be, especially on high-res mode. Many agreed that the game would have been better if the developers had sacrificed their ambitious graphics for a smoother framerate.
    • To a lesser extent, just the fact that Nintendo — known until this point for their squeaky-clean image — had willingly published an M-rated game. Conker's Bad Fur Day later usurped this.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • The platoon of cloaking device-equipped, plasma rifle-wielding babes at the very end of Perfect Dark Zero that guard the path to the final boss. They can kill you in just a few shots, and dying to them drops you back all the way to the beginning of the bridge, forcing you to spend another 30 minutes fighting your way past the entire fricking dataDyne army.
    • The black-uniformed dataDyne guards from "Carrington Institute: Defense" are extremely frustrating, since they all have shields and wield Avengers. The only practical way to deal with them is to either empty an entire clip into their chests or use the Combat Boost and go for headshots. The RC-P120 is designed to cut through their shields quickly but it has limited ammo.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The last two levels of the first game, especially the Shrine. There's one part where you have to extend a bridge with a block puzzle.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Trent. Those horrible maroon suits...
  • Fridge Logic: In the first game Jo was portrayed as a British agent and a brunette. In Zero she was switched into a redheaded American who, to add to the confusion, was voiced by an American actress based in England. This accent shift seems to have happened to every employee of the Carrington Institute except Carrington himself. Whether this is Executive Meddling or just plain weirdness, is hard to say. In the XBOX Live remake she was once again British with an accent. The Initial Vector novelization attempts to Hand Wave this by citing the many countries she's been to, resulting in a fluctuating accent.
    • The Japanese release of the N64 version gave Joanna a very Asian face, but left most of everything else unchanged.
    • Word of God says she was always a redhead, the first game just had crappy graphics that made her hair look brown. That doesn't explain why she's still brunette in the XBLA remake, though.
  • Game-Breaker: The FarSight XR-20, oh so very much. One-Hit Kill weapon that shoots through walls and has an alt-fire that slowly auto-tracks other players? If you're fighting someone with one of these, you'd better hope he's a bad shot.
    • The K7 Avenger had a reduced clip compared to other auto weapons, but its damage per bullet was off the rails. A 2 or 3 round burst anywhere was enough to kill an unshielded player in a game where 4 to 6 bodyshots is the norm. It also had toggle-able trap detection as a bonus.
    • The SuperDragon counts as well, considering how overpowered explosives were in the first place. It had way too much ammo (five per pickup) which lent itself well to Grenade Spam.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • A+B to blow remote mines without the detonator was kept from GoldenEye. Seeing as how the detonator is just the secondary fire for the mines, though, this has a lot less utility than there.
    • The AI cannot see any kind of trap, whether it's mines, a Dragon set to proximity destruct, or a Laptop Gun. This can be exploited handily in multiplayer.
    • Ending a stage with the Infrared Googles or X-Ray Scope shows the ending scene in Infrared or X-Ray, respectively. So the cameraman is wearing Joanna's classified tech now? It also works with the RC-P120's cloaking device, so you can be invisible in cutscenes.
    • Shoot an ammo box up into the air in multiplayer, then pick it up. When it respawns, it'll be floating in mid-air!
    • Sometimes when the Dragon is thrown to engage its booby-trap setting, it will just bounce around instead of landing. This can be very entertaining when an enemy gets close to it.
    • Crouching increases the accuracy of all weapons. Including the Cyclone. But who doesn't like their extreme prejudice delivered across the level?
    • Thanks to glitches, it's possible to skip over huge parts of certain levels, such as the extendable bridge in "Skedar Ruins", and the entire first level can be completed in about five seconds on Agent this way.
    • Throwing knives. My god, throwing knives. A glitch in multiplayer occurs when you throw the poisoned knives into another player's body before the body disappears and respawns - they respawn as if they had just taken a full dose of poison. Have fun when you start up and your vision goes away fast and your health goes down to almost zero.
    • In Maian SOS, there are five guards hidden in certain areas of the level that serve as placeholders for the guards that will be infinitely spawned to hunt you down after the alarm is triggered. By killing them, you can completely prevent them from spawning and attacking you altogether.
      • The third level has similar: a hidden room that can be unlocked with Cassandra's necklace has two of her elite guards and a Mr. Blonde standing stock-still and invulnerable to anything you may want to dish out. With the all guns cheat, you can pepper them (and Cassandra herself, if you go back after her guards ambush you in the darkened room) with remote mines, thrown knives, and crossbow bolts, then go to finish the level and watch as the cutscene uses those exact models, which are now walking pincushions. You can also (if you move very quickly) catch up with Cassandra right after her guards ambush you, which prevents her from spawning back in the hidden room like she normally would, and allows you to similarly shoot her to your heart's content.
  • Guide Dang It!/Nintendo Hard: Especially on Perfect Agent.
    • The "Crowning Glory" achievement in the XBLA remake for earning all the Leaderboard Crowns. Each Crown requires you to do a specific thing on a specific level on a specific difficulty, and there's no description of what these might be in the game, other than a crown's name and icon. Some are almost impossible to complete in Solo because they require the player to be in two places at once.
    • The Area 51: Escape level actually has two endings. While both endings lead to the same conclusion at the beginning of the next mission, the less immediate takes much less time to complete and is almost mandatory if you want to beat the timer needed for one of the cheat codes.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The ending of the original has Joanna, Elvis and the Maian fleet blow up a sacred Skedar shrine being occupied by violent extremists. The implication being that destroying the holiest site of the entire Skedar species will be such a decisive blow on both a strategic and psychological level that it will all but end the war. A decade later this can be simplified as suggesting the best way to end The War on Terror would be to blow up Mecca. The main distinction that's often overlooked however is that all Skedar actually worship war as opposed to being a handful of extremists who ignore the peaceful aspects of their religion.
    • In the Air Force One mission, guards who spot you will yell "It's a terrorist!"... while you try to prevent the plane from crashing.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The President of the United States in the first game is said to be idealistic and relatively youthful. Oh, and he's black. Eight years later, guess who acquires the presidency with the same persona?
  • Memetic Mutation: "You can't make accusations like that without evidence. I asshume that you have some?"
  • Narm: Pretty much everything the guards say.
    She's a tricky one...
    Was that a bullet?
    You got me!
    Why. Me.
    Get herrr.
    (runs alone into the room) Cover me!
    I don't wanna die!
    • Even better is when you're playing as a male character and the script doesn't change, so the guards will still say things like "She's a tricky one..." at a tiny grey alien or a big hulking Scandinavian man.
    • The voice acting provides much of the narm in Perfect Dark 64 in general, especially Trent's (although see below).
    • Aside from that, Joanna's spinning maneuver in the closing G5 building which seems to be for no reason whatsoever.
    • The Skedar army in suspended animation, which turns out to be...eight Skedar. "Army" indeed.
  • Narm Charm: The voice acting sometimes slips into this, due to the developers hiring British talent.
    • Trent Easton's American accent is horrid. It's extremely clear every time he opens his mouth that his voice actor was not American, but was trying to force it anyway. He still slips into Britishisms left and right.
    • The President's actor is generally more convincing, but a pretty amusing faux pas pops up anyway when he says the word "assume" as if he were a Brit.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Throughout the game, little messages pop up in the corner of the screen to give you information about objectives and equipment, such as "Picked up a Falcon 2" or "ECM mine placed correctly". In the final level on the Skedar world, you enter a chamber with flickering lights. You walk around in the dark, trying to find your next objective. Suddenly, "Make your sacrifice to the God of War" appears in the corner. No message like that shows up in any of the levels before, or in any of the bonus missions after.
    • Compared to most FPS games (of the time at least) the mooks screaming and crying when killed can be very disconcerting. Particularly jarring is the horrible gurgling sound they make if shot in the throat.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Ask fans about "Crash Site" and they'll tell you of a level that is just brutal, after the difficult infiltration and counterterrorism missions.
      • Two of your objectives are in really awkward out-of-the-way areas, and the level itself is freaking huge. There are Elite Mooks everywhere, often in groups or hidden away where they can rush in as reinforcements or shoot from afar.
      • Each event in the stage triggers more of them, and because everything is on multiple platforms you keep having to be on your toes from snipers and NSA agents tucked away in nooks and crannies, especially when they spawn after you've cleared an area.
      • Most parts of the stage have hidden walls that keep you from falling, but several don't. Run over these and you're dead.
      • A couple of the objectives require either a trick such as knowing to detonate a mine where there is a certain group of enemies, or going a certain way. If you don't know the right way to sneak up on Trent, you're screwed.
    • The best way to complete this level, and several of the others, is through Sequence Breaking. Rescue the President first so that's out of the way, then let his clone wander over to where the Skedar craft is, then shoot it with the golden magnum you conveniently just disarmed Trent of. The clone will be killed by the explosion and the legions of Mr. Blondes that would normally spawn after it's destroyed won't have a chance to attack you because the ending cutscene is triggered.
  • Polished Port: The XBLA port has consistently-smooth framerates, support for HD resolutions, a modernized, twin-stick control scheme, and online multiplayer.
  • The Scrappy: Many people find Elvis annoying, especially for his tendency to get in the way of the player's shooting. He does make up for this by being extremely deadly with the FarSight (and shouts "I'll kick your ass!" at enemies while fighting for you).
    • Elvis is nothing compared to Dr. Caroll in dataDyne Central: Extraction. Not only will he randomly hover right in the line of fire, but he also lacks the combat support given to you by Elvis or Jonathan. Many players simply leave him in the foyer while tackling the rest of the mission. The President also has a tendency to run into areas where he is vulnerable in Air Force One: Antiterrorism.
  • Scrappy Weapon: The MagSec. Decent in burst mode up close, horrible everywhere else. When firing in single shot mode, you'd better hope you get headshots.
    • The game has so many guns it would have been impossible to balance them all. Another example would be the Cyclone, which would carve pretty human silhouettes, but would hardly hit anything (unless you were crouching). The in-game description of the gun even states that the Cyclone was specifically designed not to be accurate.
    • However, the overall worst weapon in the game would probably have to be the Reaper. A Skedar "SMG" that is simply too large for human hands to handle, it takes a second after pulling the trigger for the weapon to start firing bullets, most of which will not hit their intended target - and even the ones that do will leave nary a scratch. The secondary function is a melee attack with no practical application in the game.
    • The Sniper Rifle wasn't a bad weapon by itself, but it was overshadowed greatly by the FarSight.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Just like its predecessor, the game was praised as one, if not THE best console FPS of all time. However, it was left behind pretty soon in the wake of a certain other franchise.
  • Shocking Swerve: "You have failed, Easton. You are a flawed device, and we need you no longer." HOLY SHIT, MR. BLONDE IS A FUCKING ALIEN!
  • Special Effect Failure: A Plot Hole is created by a slightly patchy repair of one of these about halfway through the game. It seems the intent was that the player would see Trent on Air Force One flanked by two Mr. Blondes, and this would be the first indication there was more than one of them. Unfortunately, this being an N64-era shooter, playtesters didn't exactly cotton on to the idea of multiple identical characters being somehow more unusual than the multiple identical guards they'd have already gunned down in every level prior. Instead, Joanna says "and what about those blond guys?" at the start of the previous mission, despite only having seen a single Mr. Blonde prior to that mission.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The Crash Site level's BGM sounds like a slowed-down version of the Metal Gear Solid theme. The Defense and end titles are very close to the mission briefings in SWAT 3.
  • That One Level:
    • "Carrington Institute: Defense" (infinitely spawning Demonic Spiders with shields wielding K7 Avengers) and "Attack Ship: Covert Assault" (No-Gear Level ahoy!) on Perfect Agent. Among the bonus levels, "Maian SOS", and "War!" is even harder.
      • "Maian SOS" on Perfect Agent is the worst level ever programmed for the GoldenEye engine. It's boring (being nothing but "Area 51: Rescue" in reverse), long, and overly difficult, and you have no choice but to complete it with half your health missing. As well, it's a stealth mission and the only weapon worth a damn in the entire level is the extremely noisy Dragon (there's a pair of DY357-LX's, but once you kill the guy using them you only have one bullet, which is much better served on the otherwise-Nigh Invulnerable UFO you need to destroy for one objective). Good luck!
    • The Combat Simulator Challenges will start to get difficult past #10 and even rage-inducing past #20. One of the most notorious examples of these is #29 where you are double teamed by two DarkSims that will just hunt you down and make sure you stay unarmed and dead.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Like the Conker's Bad Fur Day remake, the XBOX Live port got its share of criticism for its updated graphics making the characters look stiff and awkward at best (faces and fingers still don't move, for one). In the once-adorkable Elvis' case, it looks just plain wrinkled and hideous.
  • What an Idiot!: Daniel, repeatedly. Taking Dr. Caroll to his lightly-defended villa rather than the heavily secured Carrington Institute? Check. Selling dataDyne the sniper rifles and handguns the force storming the building used? Check. Repeatedly ignoring the recommendations of his top agent and pointlessly endangering the life of the President of America? Check. And so on.
    • The President isn't much better. He knows enough to turn down Trent's recommendations, but why he doesn't simply fire such an Obviously Evil advisor is a mystery.