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Drixxel

Special Tee Shot (SNES NTSC prototype)

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Hey, so the Satellaview version of this game is widely available online, but does anyone know if any prototypes of Special Tee Shot have ever been dumped? I've looked around and so far have come up empty, but there's a well-documented example of at least one prototype cart in existence as seen on this archived page from 2005: https://web.archive.org/web/20050507050458/http://www.er.uqam.ca/merlin/fd491499/specialteeshot/. I could be mistaken, but it doesn't appear that the individual here ever dumped the ROM, but their nicely thorough side-by-side with the 1996 Satellaview release highlights many of the differences they'd observed in the prototype.

 

In the summer of 2015, I was doing a tour of local pawn shops and thrift stores with a buddy and found an unusual item. Mixed in with a bunch of loose SNES carts was one with an odd, hand-applied label bearing "Special Tee Shot" in black marker. I was well aware that Special Tee Shot ultimately became Kirby's Dream Course and was also made available digitally in Japan, but to the best of my knowledge, it never had a cartridge release. Special Tee Shot seemed like a totally obscure choice of game for someone to have made a repro of, but that's what this had to be, right? The pawn shop only wanted 2 bucks for it, so really, nothing to lose.

 

Anyhow, of course I buy it, get it home, clean the contacts and plug it in. Yep, it's Special Tee Shot, alright, with a 1992 copyright on the title screen. Again, I assume it's just a repro cart of the Satellaview release and then proceed to forget about it for a few years. The game crossed my mind again recently, though, and I decided to do a little research, stumbling on this SNES Central article (https://snescentral.com/article.php?id=0037) which summarizes the more detailed write-up linked to earlier. I was kinda shocked to see that the cart I found at that pawn shop looks identical to the one shown there, that same weird label with black sharpie. Check out the attached image for a blurry shot of my cart.

 

So yeah, has any Special Tee Shot prototype ever made it to the internet? Mechanically, this 1992 prototype has a number of differences from BS Special Tee Shot, not to mention what appear to be a unique set of courses. I'm guessing this, like the other cart from that archived 2005 page, were originally sent out as review copies or something. On that note, I'm curious to know if anyone's seen that same style of label on a SNES cart before, was it a Nintendo of America standard to slap one of those on copies going out to gaming mags?

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Can you open it up and provide pics of the PCB please?

Once I get or manage to fashion the proper security bit, absolutely going to.

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Yeah, if it has an original Nintendo eprom specific board inside, then its most likely a genuine proto. But if you find a normal production rom board inside with a mishmash of wire jumpers rigged to an eprom, then its home made fake crap.

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Alright, so here's a look at the board. Pretty sure we can call this the genuine Nintendo-made article!

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Yes sir, thats the real deal there. Congrats on a nice find.

 

(and to answer the other question above, people get in & out of this hobby all the time & sometimes buy or build repro carts and then when they sell their games, confusion abounds. Happens a lot.)

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Yes sir, thats the real deal there. Congrats on a nice find.

 

(and to answer the other question above, people get in & out of this hobby all the time & sometimes buy or build repro carts and then when they sell their games, confusion abounds. Happens a lot.)

 

Thanks! And yeah, not outlandish to imagine a repro cart getting sold or traded in as part of a larger collection and then its origins getting muddled. I think what DragonGrafx-16 was getting at is it would be a ludicrous for someone to be in the business of producing bootleg prototypes to be sold through a store for a couple bucks. The pawn shop I found this at probably just assumed it was a damaged copy of some worthless sports game based on the generic title alone, the rest of their stock was more in line with eBay pricing (case in point, I'd bought a cart only Mega Man X for my buddy at this place for $35 or thereabouts).

 

BTW, for anyone interested, see attached for a better look at the label. Notice the water damage? Could be total coincidence, but it's awfully similar to the condition of the label on the cart in that archived post, both carts got wet at some point.

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Edited by Drixxel

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