Perfect Dark (2000)

by Christopher
5 minutes read


A prequel to the N64 classic, Perfect Dark on the Game Boy Color explores Joanna Dark’s origins, blending action-packed gameplay with strategic missions in a narrative-driven adventure.


Embark on the early adventures of Joanna Dark in Perfect Dark, a pioneering action game for the Game Boy Color that sets the stage for one of the most iconic franchises in video gaming history.


The game begins with Joanna Dark, a secret agent working for the Carrington Institute. She receives her mission: to rescue a kidnapped scientist and unravel the mystery of the dataDyne Corporation. As she embarks on her mission, she becomes entangled in alien conspiracies and government cover-ups, with enemies trying to kill her at every turn.

Joanna’s mission takes her to the headquarters of the diabolical dataDyne Inc., where she must save Dr. Caroll. As the plot thickens, dataDyne allies with a malicious alien race, and together, they plan to ruthlessly take over the planet. Now, the Carrington Institute and another alien race, a more peaceful one, ally to stop dataDyne and their hostile extraterrestrial associates.

The gameplay of “Perfect Dark” is a first-person shooter where players complete levels to unlock content and progress through the game’s storyline. Players manoeuvre their character from a first-person perspective and have the ability to lean left or right, look up or down, crouch, crawl, and drop from most ledges. Interaction with the environment is via a single context-sensitive button, which can activate computers, operate lifts, and open doors. Players can carry an unlimited number of weapons, ranging from handguns to assault rifles, rocket launchers, a shotgun, a sniper rifle, and combat knives.

“Perfect Dark” shares many features with its predecessor, “GoldenEye 007”, and runs on an upgraded version of its game engine. The game is one of the most technically-advanced titles for the Nintendo 64, and requires an Expansion Pak to access the campaign mode and most of the multiplayer features.


Joanna Dark, the game’s protagonist, is a skilled operative in training; Daniel Carrington, the head of the Carrington Institute; and antagonists from the dataDyne corporation, posing various threats to Joanna’s missions.


The gameplay integrates shooting mechanics with puzzle-solving elements across various missions. Players must complete objectives while managing resources like ammunition and health. The multiplayer mode adds a deathmatch component, enhancing replay value.


Perfect Dark for the Game Boy Color is a testament to Rare’s legacy, offering a compelling prelude to Joanna Dark’s saga. Despite its limitations, it remains a cherished title among fans of the series and retro gaming enthusiasts.

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