WAR! is Perfect Dark's 20th level, and third special mission. Chronologically, it takes place immediately after the conclusion of Skedar Ruins: Battle Shrine.


History of this record

MODnike18 was the first to claim a time of 27 seconds on this level, on August 22, 2000. He was met with almost universal disbelief (many still do not believe he had actually obtained that time at the time he claimed it) but, if nothing else, the possibility of 0:27 War A was real; over a dozen other people later matched his time, and several of them provided video proof. It became the longest-standing non-Duel world record in Perfect Dark.

On November 20, 2002, eight hundred and thirty days later, Bryan Bosshardt obtained a time of 0:26, by pulling off a strategy which had long been discussed but never put into practice: repeatedly using the small explosions generated by the Phoenix's explosive shots to boost himself forward. Boosts from explosions are less effective in PD than in GoldenEye 007 but were still enough to cut a second off the WR.

It was some time after this that Karl Jobst first claimed 0:25, a time since tied by surprise newcomer Rayan Isran and, many months later, by David Kovaz. WAR! Agent 0:25 was for years considered to be Perfect Dark's most impressive Agent record, and is also considered to be maxed.


The boosting technique that is used to get 25 requires a lot of skill, but a small amount of luck is also needed in order to clinch the time. You really shouldn’t attempt this record until you can at least repeat 26’s with relative ease (while I was going for 25, I would get anywhere from two to five 26’s per hour of play).

As an opening note, it’s not incredibly important when you cut the cinema, but generally it’s done right after you hear the explosion off in the distance, so that there won’t be any smoke around the hole when you reach it. If you wait even longer and cut the cinema after the camera cuts away from the two Callisto carrying Maians, you’ll experience a little bit more lag at the very beginning of the level. Now, on to the strat!

The First Four Boosts

First, cut the cinema by pressing Z, quickly go into left-forward strafe, and at the same time make a turn about 45 degrees to the right AND hold up on the control stick to begin facing directly at the ground. You’ll want to hold the control stick down into either the top-center or the top-right ridge in the grey base of the control stick. I prefer the top-right, but either way will work. Just be sure to pick one way and stick to it. If you change between the two, you’ll also have to change the angle at which you begin strafing.

It is difficult to describe the angle at which you should be strafing, but with a little bit of practice you’ll be able to “feel” whether or not the angle is right. Your goal is to reach the narrow cut in the wall without brushing up against anything. If you feel that your angle isn’t perfect, you might be able to save the run by making a VERY quick adjustment just before you begin boosting. But if you completely botched the turn, you’ll need to restart.

Now, hopefully you’re looking straight down and have pointed yourself in a good direction in order to do the first set of boosts. As soon as you possibly can, let off four boosts using the Phoenix’s explosive shells. Depending on how good your starting angle was, you should either be very close to or at the entrance of the narrow cut just after firing the fourth boost. You should be able to tell where the cut is by spotting the edge of it in the upper part of your screen (the ground will also be brighter). Once you reach the cut, make a right turn into the cut (make sure to keep looking straight down). In the middle of the cut you’ll need to make another very slight turn to the right in order to avoid getting stuck AND to angle yourself correctly for the next set of boosts. The angle at which you exit the cut is very important. If you’re too far to the right you’ll brush up against a wall and get slowed down. You’ll know your angle is good if you see a triangular hole in the ground pass by the left side of your screen as you leave the cut. Just like getting the starting angle right, this is something that you’ll quickly be able to learn, and eventually you can just “feel” your way through it with ease. If you’ve gotten 26, then you should already have this first part down pretty well.

Getting Through the Hole

Getting the next set of boosts right is definitely the trickiest part of the strat, but with enough practice it will become almost second nature to you. Just as you exit the cut you should begin this next set of boosts. Fire two boosts and then make a slight turn to the right, while at the same time firing a third boost. Now quickly make a slightly sharper turn to the left while firing a fourth boost. If you’re lucky and you did all of this right, you should pass cleanly through the hole very shortly after firing that last boost. A hole TT of 6.3 or 6.4 is VERY good and will definitely put you on track for the WR (although you won’t be able to pay attention to this TT during the actual run, knowing it may be helpful to you if you go back and review failed runs).

As soon as you pass through the hole you need to react quickly to make the U-turn. Make approximately a 90 degree turn to the right to avoid running into the wall, and then make two 90 degree left turns at the appropriate times to make it around the wall and into the hallway. Again, you just need to practice a lot in order to know exactly when to make these turns.

Very shortly after entering the hallway, your Phoenix will finish reloading. Resume boosting as soon as you can. Once you fire four boosts you should be near the end of the hallway, so make a sharp 90 degree turn to the right. You can either stop boosting very briefly as you’re making this turn (as seen in Karl’s vid) or you can boost continuously and make the turn as you are boosting, which is what I usually do. Just know that making this turn imperfectly can cost you a lot of time. If your hole TT wasn’t very fast (6.5 or higher), how well you make this turn will decide whether you’re on track for 26 or 25. Either way, after making the turn, empty your clip by firing four more boosts.

Getting the Mauler

Once you’ve finished those boosts, you can finally look up. Make an easy right turn around the next corner (keeping left-forward strafe). Now here’s where luck starts to become involved. Ideally there should either be no Skedar in sight or a lone Skedar somewhere in the middle of the hallway. If it’s the latter of the two situations, you should be able to just run by it without getting stuck at all (as seen in Karl’s vid). Your run may be ruined, however, if there’s a Skedar parked at the next corner. If this is the case, then just try to run by, and if you’re extremely lucky you might be able to pass by without getting stuck. But most likely you’ll be stopped in your tracks, and you’ll have to restart.

Make a left around the next corner, and immediately after you complete the turn begin to make a transition into right-forward strafe by turning left slightly and running forward so that you’re facing down the hallway. Hopefully there’s a Skedar standing somewhere near the end of the hallway. The moment your auto-aim locks onto the Skedar, fire a shot and then immediately go into right-forward strafe. The shot should quickly kill the Skedar, and unless you’re unlucky, his Mauler will land in a spot that allows you to conveniently pick it up as you round the next corner. Go ahead and make a 90 degree left turn around the corner.

Now here’s where luck is most involved. Not only does the door at the end of the hallway have to be open, but there must also not be any Skedar over-crowding the hall or the doorway. You also have to be very careful not to strafe too close to the left side of the hallway, or else you may get stuck on the infamously gay wall. If all goes well, and you’ve been moving at WR speed up until now, you should make it through the doorway at 18.9. It is possible to still get 25 if your door TT is a bit higher (between 19.0 and 19.1), but your ending will have to be especially fast.

The Final Stretch

After passing through the doorway, quickly make a 90 degree turn to the right and at the same time look straight down again. Immediately let off two or three boosts and then double tap A to pull out your Mauler. If you don’t pull out the Mauler quickly enough (this usually happens if you begin boosting too slowly) it won’t be charged enough to kill the king by the time you reach him, and your run will be ruined. If you only do two boosts, this isn’t likely to happen. Now look up and continue strafing towards the end of the room.

Make the final right turn just as you’re passing the lone Skedar in this room (you can also see a line in the floor marking where the corner is). Try to move parallel with the wall so that the king will be in sight sooner. The moment the king appears in your sights, shoot him in the head with the charged Mauler to complete Objective 1. Then all you have to do is wait about 2 seconds for the level to end and pray that you get 25.

Special Agent

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Perfect Agent

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External Links

Perfect Dark solo missions
Defection | Investigation | Extraction | Villa | Chicago | G5 | Infiltration | Rescue | Escape
Air Base | AF1 | Crash Site | Pelagic II | Deep Sea | CI | Attack Ship | Ruins
MBR | SOS | War | Duel