Remember the cancelled GoldenEye 007 XBLA remaster that leaked online in February? Now it's got Dr. Doak.
In the Xbox 360 remaster of Rare's groundbreaking N64 shooter, fan-favourite NPC Dr. Doak was replaced with "Dr. Rakhmanov".
But they erased you from GE on X360... ? And changed your name to "Dr. Rakhmanov"... ?? pic.twitter.com/yATE0Q73Hd— F?l??a?t E??r?i??c? (@retrostage) February 4, 2021
Dr. Doak was based on David Doak, one of the real-life developers of GoldenEye 007 at Rare and actual real-life doctor. Prior to working at Rare, Doak was involved in scientific research, using what were for the time high-end graphics workstations on protein structure determination. (Work on these Silicon Graphics machines helped Doak got an in at Rare.)
The Dr. Doak character is a double-agent who pops up in the Facility level. He's Bond's contact, and gives 007 a decoder that lets him access the bottling area. Bond tells Dr. Doak to escape before he meets up with antagonist Trevelyan. Doak does exactly that, running away before you blow up all the tanks. But! You can instead choose to murder the defenseless Dr. Doak, which does not affect the mission status. Hands up if you shot Dr. Doak in the face?
In 1998, Doak, alongside some other Rare developers who worked on GoldenEye and then Perfect Dark, left the company to co-found TimeSplitters studio Free Radical Design. (For more on what went down there, check out our Oral history of Perfect Dark feature.)
Doak wasn't around when the cancelled GoldenEye 007 XBLA remaster was in development in 2007 and 2008. So, Rare replaced Dr. Doak with Dr. Rakhmanov, an NPC based on former Rare artist Sergey Rakhmanov.
Now, modders have put Dr. Doak back into the cancelled GoldenEye 007 XBLA remaster, much to the delight of David Doak himself. Doak tweeted to say "this is really special and means a lot".
Will Microsoft ever task Rare with getting its GoldenEye remaster off the ground? It seems unlikely. "GoldenEye rights are so challenging, looked at this many times," Xbox boss Phil Spencer tweeted in 2015. "Lot's of different parties to work with, we've always given up."