A fascinating 3-D video game played by Maximilian Largo (Klaus Maria Brandauer) and James Bond (Sean Connery) in Never Say Never Again. A mid-1980s equivalent of the obligatory game of chance between 007 and his nemesis, Domination is a high-tech battle for power as opponents fight for countries chosen at random by the machine.
Seated at opposite ends of a long table, both players face a 3-D map of the world, which then zeroes in on the randomly selected target country. Target areas light up on the country map. Whoever hits them first with the joystick-controlled laser beam scores points. Another way to win is to employ missiles. The left joystick controls two nuclear missiles, and the right one controls a shield to block the missiles. Fail to block the incoming missile and you lose the game. Winning totals are calculated in dollar amounts.
Largo chooses blue, and 007 plays red. When Bond begins the game against Largo, they’re fighting for Spain at a value of $9,000, but as he struggles to keep up with his opponent, he’s jolted with an electric shock and lets go of the joysticks. Largo apologizes and explains to 007 that, unlike armchair generals who never feel their soldiers’ pain, the players must endure electric shocks as they fight for control. If a player lets go of the controllers to escape the shocks, he loses the game.
In the next game, fighting for Japan at a value of $16,000, Bond suffers an even larger electric shock and lets go of the joysticks again. Explaining that as the stakes increase, so does the level of pain, Largo wins again. In the third game, fighting for the United States at a value of $42,000, Bond begins to get used to the apparatus but loses anyway, after getting such a powerful shock that it throws him to the floor.
Getting to his feet, Bond is informed by Largo that he owes $67,000. Bond then says he’ll play one more game, fighting for the rest of the world at a value of $325,000. This time Bond masters the machine and beats Largo at his own game, giving his nemesis such a powerful electrical shock that he’s forced to forfeit. Bond then tells Largo that he’ll forgo his winnings in return for one dance with his mistress Domino Petachi (Kim Basinger).
The live-action element of the Domination game sequence was filmed in a huge French rococo room inside Waddesdon Manor, the home of the Rothschild family in England. David Dryer’s effects team then spent months creating the game effects, matting in elaborate laser effects over the live-action photography.