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Perfect Dark is a science fiction video game franchise developed by Rare. The series also includes two novels written by Greg Rucka and a comic series created by Eric Trautmann. It began in 2000 with the Nintendo 64 game Perfect Dark, which received strong acclaim from critics and players, leading to the franchise's expansion. The series is centered around Joanna Dark's battle with a megacorporation called dataDyne. The events mainly take place in the near future from 2020 to 2023.



Perfect Dark is set in a near future Earth, where megacorporations are so powerful that they can afford to ignore the law and possess their own heavily armed private armies in order to attain their goals. The setting was inspired by a number of other fictional media portrayals. Ghost in the Shell was a remarkable influence on the setting, giving the series a similar cyberpunk atmosphere. The 1982 Blade Runner film also had a strong influence on the series: darkness, rain, neon lights and flying cars seen in the Chicago mission of the N64 game display evidence of the film's influence. The series also features some alien conspiracies which were inspired by The X-Files franchise.

Main characters

  • Joanna Dark is a highly skilled but inexperienced Agent of the Carrington Institute. She was born on March 18, 2000, in Atlanta[1][2]. She is most notable for her red hair, blue eyes and slender but athletic build. She usually dresses in tight leather clothes although she is most commonly seen in her Carrington Institute outfit. Regarding her personality, she is a person with a strong character, she is also very energetic and competitive, and she never complains. Initially, she is a lone person who does not trust anybody, however, as the series progresses she eventually becomes more friendly and even has a good sense of humor. She has earned the code name "Perfect Dark" due to her exceptional scores in training and high proficiency with a huge variety of weapons.
  • Daniel Carrington is the leader and founder of the Carrington Institute, which is officially a R&D center that introduces new technologies to the public. He was born on October 7, 1960, in Edinburgh, Scotland[2]. He is very intelligent and he is constantly aware of the dataDyne Corporation's recent technological breakthroughs. He plans all missions carried out by his agents, without giving out too much information, and runs each operation direct from a link in his office. He has an unusual fashion sense and he also uses a walking stick.
  • Cassandra De Vries is the new head of the dataDyne megacorporation. She was born on December 10, 1983, in London, England[2]. She is blond, pretty tall and rather young looking for her age. In the novels she is portrayed as being very honest, sentimental and intelligent, and she only wants dataDyne to succeed through lawful methods. However, in the N64 game her personality is remarkably different, being addicted to power and loathing those above her own status, willing to commit unscrupulous things so that dataDyne takes the lead.
  • Zhang Li is the founder of dataDyne Industries. He was born on November 27, 1976, in Wuhan, China[2]. He is a cultured and ambitious man with a deep knowledge of archaeology and ancient civilizations. Like Cassandra De Vries in the N64 game, he generally uses unethical methods to attain his goals. He is a short man and has quite a lot of medical devices integrated into his body, which give him a strange appearance.


Classic logo of Perfect Dark.
Modern logo of Perfect Dark.

The chronology of the Perfect Dark fictional universe does not match the release order of the media. In addition, the various Perfect Dark productions are not entirely consistent with each other. This is especially remarkable when trying to bridge the story between the novels and the GBC game, where Joanna Dark is supposed to be in training for her first ever mission with the Carrington Institute, however she had already worked with the Institute in the novels. Also, the character known as Jonathan Stienberg, an undercover agent of the Carrington Institute, is known as Jonathan Dark in the N64 game. Cassandra's personality is also different in the N64 game, being more malicious. Although still a series, the differences are remarkable enough to group them into two small series. This section also lists the media in chronological order.


Modern series

  • Perfect Dark Zero, a video game exclusively released for the Xbox 360 in November 2005.
  • Perfect Dark: Initial Vector, a novel published in September 2005.
  • Perfect Dark: Janus' Tears, a comic series released in 6 monthly issues from August 2006 to January 2007.
  • Perfect Dark: Second Front, a novel published in January 2007.

Classic series


  1. ^ XBox 360 IGN Joanna Dark Bio. Retrieved February 4, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d Perfect Dark Recon Perfect Dark Timeline. Retrieved February 25, 2010.


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