Settings recommendations for Perfect Dark
Before starting to play Perfect Dark for speed times it is important to have your game set up correctly. Many of the guidelines listed below are blindingly obvious, but many of them are subtle and worth taking into serious consideration.
If you don't know how to get to these settings, you're reading the wrong website:
- 1 Audio
- 2 Video
- 3 Control
- 4 Display
This should be at maximum. Being able to hear everything that's going on around you is absolutely crucial to the game, especially on Perfect Agent. What if you don't hear the guy yelling "Sound the alarm, she's here!", or the clank of a landing grenade, or the alarm being set off? It's far more important to be able to hear properly than you might think.
This incidentally means people with impaired hearing are unfortunately at a severe disadvantage when playing Perfect Dark for speed times.
Technically, you should turn this right off. Except at one specific moment in Escape, you don't need the music on. It merely serves to drown out other vital sounds, and you may find you get bored with listening to the same track over and over. Ideally you should have no other music playing on your CD either.
However. This isn't really THAT big an issue, especially not on decently long levels and those with good music.
Simply select the option that most reflects the set-up you have at home. However even Stereo sound, if you have it, does help you to hear where things and people are, and will improve your awareness of your surroundings while playing. I don't have any idea how much better PD sounds in Surround sound.
This has no bearing on gameplay. Turn it off if you or people around you might be offended.
If you have a widescreen TV, the widescreen setting is DEFINITELY a must. It allows you about an extra ten degrees' viewing range either side of the screen making awareness of your surroundings that bit easier. Also, when you speed-strafe, your destination will be on-screen, not off it. Very useful. However, this is not so good on normal TVs.
NOTE: If you're playing on a PAL game, you will be UNABLE to perform the Deep Sea Agent and Special Agent Farsight tricks while in widescreen mode! You may well need to switch screen settings mid-level.
If you switch this from Normal to 16:9 you'll find the images on-screen slightly squashed horizontally. Set up a widescreen television correctly (to stretch it out again) and you'll see the benefit. Fiddle with this and the last option until you find the best selection.
Turn this off. The framerate in PD is bad sometimes anyway (especially on Infiltration), but high-res is worse. You don't need it that badly.
Although all the in-game speech is in English, and many of the cues for you to quit the cutscenes depend on people saying certain lines, you should select the language that suits you the best. You'll miss out on the plot for one thing.
2-Player Screen Split
This has no bearing on solo play. But most people reckon Horizontal works best. I tried Vertical once, it just messed with my head.
Alternative Title Screen
This is the big one.
The two styles most commonly used are 1.1 and 1.2. In the first system you move forward and backward, and turn left and right using the main joystick, and you strafe left and right and look up and down using the C-buttons. In 1.2 you look around with the joystick and move forward and backward and strafe with the C-buttons, much like the default settings in Turok.
1.2, despite not being the default setting for PD, is by far the best control style. 1.1 loses alot of time in comparison and should not be used.
- With the digital C-buttons it is possible to go from a standing start to top speed faster than pushing the stick.
- Using 1.2 you can turn corners without dropping from top speed.
- Looking and aiming is much easier using just one stick instead of a combination of the stick and C-buttons
- It is harder to open doors with 1.2 with full speed and strafe, but the use of "alien finger" can fix this. You should use your index finger to open doors, or if this is too hard, remove left thumb from joystick to hit b quickly. Though you have less control this way
If you've grown used to 1.1 it is important you stop and learn 1.2 before attempting to speed run
There are a bunch of other systems you can use - 1.3 and 1.4 are basically 1.1 and 1.2 with the fire and weapon buttons reversed, not good at all because it makes shooting while running MUCH harder. The dual-controller systems are very precise, using the analogue sticks on two pads for control. But there are two big drawbacks. Firstly, once again you can't jump to full speed straight off, you have to push the stick forward. More importantly, hitting the A and B buttons from the position on the stick is very tricky. If you're not sure, stick with 1.1 or 1.2. However, a few people have experimented with 2.x and had some success.
On. This is the default setting - if you change it, it just causes you unnecessary headaches. There is no advantage to turning it off.
Off. This is important. If you want to strafe along a catwalk firing grenades down at your enemies on ground level, the LAST thing you need is a game that decides you automatically want to look horizontally. Ditto stairs - it responds too slowly and makes aiming manually to shoot at nearby enemies a pain in the neck. Turn it off to give yourself better control over your movement and shooting.
Off. This is VERY important. If it's turned on, your aim will wander back and forth like it did in GoldenEye 007. It's not noticeable until you zoom, but when you do it makes aiming harder - and with the sniper rifle it's a nightmare at high zooms. Turning it off is NOT cheating, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise. Make things easy on yourself.
On. On, on, on. On Agent it takes a huge amount of work out of looking and aiming to give you all the more time to concentrate on strafing at high speed. On Perfect it makes precision targeting on your foes that bit easier and less dangerous. On Special it's a combination of the two. Just TRY turning it off for a few levels - your accuracy will plummet and you'll find yourself firing shots blindly at every wall. It's hell. There are only a few moments in the game where you'll want it turned off - these occur when you need to shoot at an inanimate object that is near or behind a human enemy. Turn it off at the time, during the game, when this happens.
Hold. Tapping the button twice to turn on and off wastes about 0.1 seconds every time. And that's enough time for the person you're aiming at to shoot back before you manage to get the head shot, and that could be enough to kill you, OK?
Sight On Screen
On. The manual aiming system is no use if you can't tell where you're aiming, is it?
Always Show Target
On. In GoldenEye you had to learn where the middle of the screen was so that your shots were on target. Or use the infamous dot strat. In PD, though the crosshair is small, your job is made easier by having it visible.
Show Zoom Range
Off. Nobody needs it, it takes up unnecessary screen space.
Ammo On Screen
On. You need this. Timing your reloads accurately and knowing exactly how many bullets you have and how many you need for the next few guards is a crucial skill. Only a fool or a nut would turn this off.
Optional. If you dislike gore, or like the colours, or find it makes it easier to see where your shots are going, by all means turn it on. However it doesn't add to the game really.
On. When speech-skipping, you'll know you got it right if you hear the speech but the text doesn't pop up. You'll know you got it WRONG if you see the text when you pause. Also it makes it simpler to have a visual flag so you know when somebody's talking - often there's so much noise you can't hear anything, right? And many speeches are important, as they feed you your cues to do things - Escape, for example.
On, off, doesn't matter. They don't make the screen any smaller, in case you didn't notice.
Show Mission Time
ON!!!! If you only take one bit of advice from this whole article, turn the Mission Timer on. You have no idea how crucial it is to have TTs (target times) for your levels, and how well it lets you know whether you're keeping up or not. You can get TTs to one or even two decimal places if you look fast, and the more accurate the better. TTs are the one thing GE didn't have. You must use this.