25 years later, this museum figured out how to stop cheating on screen in GoldenEye

Screen cheating has always been the bane of split-screen gaming. There’s nothing like sneaking around corners only to find your opponent was there waiting for you. Not by deduction or skill, just the ability to look at your part of the screen. GG same.

This was notoriously bad in the days of the much-loved GoldenEye in 64. The game with such a strong cultural influence is Arecibo Observatory has become an icon. According Ars Technica25 years later, a museum has finally fixed screen cheating issues without the use of modern hardware.

The Center for Computing History in Cambridge, England, held an event to celebrate 25 years of GoldenEye. This included conversations with developers as well as the museum’s playable GoldenEye setup. However, when talking about having the game available to play, museum staff began to regret memories of on-screen cheating, which prompted them to come up with a workaround.

They posted their multi CRT screen setup to twitter, which made fans wonder how this could be done by themselves. After all, it seems more effective than splitting the canvas with some glued on cardboard. Unfortunately, it required some old technology and is not something many of us could hope to replicate, but that’s what emulation is for.

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Jason Fitzpatrick, CEO and administrator of the Center for the History of Computing, explained to Ars Technica that the museum’s multi-screen anti-cheating setup is anything but elegant. Fortunately, Fitzpatrick also works for Pure energy TV and movie propsa company that specializes in some of these older technologies, which provided access to a lot of older video equipment to make this work.

they used two C2-7210 video climber units to receive the GoldenEye signal directly from the original hardware, which can then split the signals and send them to different screens. It can also zoom in on any part of the screen. Essentially, this allows Fitzpatrick to zoom in on each split-screen section and present them on one of the TVs. They even set up another modified sign for the menus so they can still be used despite this zoom.

“It’s not elegant because basically you’re taking a 704×576 [pixel] image, and you’re just zooming in to a quarter of it and then taking that quarter and stretching it out to a full screen,” Fitzpatrick told Ars Technica. “Even though we’re dealing with something around 352×288 [pixels]more or less, like a resolution for each of those quadrants, by the time it’s displayed full screen, it looks fine.”

Still, it’s nice to see that this was possible even with technology only available at the time. Of course, most people wouldn’t have access to this, but that’s why we’re always grateful for the creative innovations of those who do.

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