Special Tee Shot is a game that was featured in Nintendo Power during the early stages of the release of the SNES, but completely fell off the radar. There is a good reason for this - the game was eventually remade using Kirby. It was evidently fairly close to completion, and a prototype made it out there. Special Tee Shot was previewed in the June 1992 issue of Nintendo Power, and even made it onto the back of the box of Super Nintendo systems.
Although Special Tee Shot eventually became Kirby's Dream Course, the gameplay differs in a fundamental way, at least in the Satellaview version that is available for playing. In Kirby's Dream Course, in order for the hole to appear, it is necessary to kill several enemies that lay around the course. Special Tee Shot is a more straightforward golf-style game where you merely need to get into the hole with as few shots as possible. The graphical style is pretty much the same, though. Another big difference is that in Kirby's Dream Course, you can aim the curve of your shot, while in Special Tee Shot, you can only to use the timed cursor to curve the ball. This, along with how fast cursor moves, makes Special Tee Shot a much more difficult game.
jbholio, who was once a prominent collector of oddities such as unlicensed games, purchased a prototype of Special Tee Shot on Ebay back in 2004. There is a thread about it on Digital Press. It sounds like it was a pretty epic auction that included a Super Starfox Weekend cart as well. He posted an extensive comparison of the prototype and the Satellaview versions of the game, however the website is long gone (though saved on archive.org). Years ago, he emailed me to say I could use whatever I wanted from his page, and since it doesn't exist anymore, I'm mirroring the information, along with some spruced up screen captures. Everything below was written by jbholio!
Kirby's Dream Course used to be known as Special Tee Shot in it's earlier stage of development but both games are more or less the same. The control of the games are similar but in Kirby's Dream Course, you have to kill the enemies before the hole appears. Special Tee Shot is more like a mini golf game, you only have to put the little red ball in the hole. The game was never released as Special Tee Shot but I don't know why because it is one of the best SNES games I've played. It was also never released on cartridge but only on a system to be used with the Super Famicom called the Broadcast Satellaview X (BS-X). This may be the only copy in existence!
Some direct comparisons between the prototype and the Satellaview version. Note that the prototype screenshots were taken with a camera.
There are some differences in the controls between the prototype and the Satallaview versions of the game.
There can be 10 different members in the prototype, while the Satellaview version allows only 5.
Starting a New Class
fly across the screen to give 5 balls, see picture below. The Satellaview does not do this.
Prototype: You start hole #1 of every class with 5 balls. Before each hole (except hole #1) you are given extra balls. If the hole is a Par 3 you will receive 3 extra balls, Par 4 = 4 extra balls and so on. You don't lose balls when you putt the ball O.B., however you do lose a stroke. When you are out of balls ...GameOver.
Satellaview: Every hole you have 10 shots to putt the ball in the cup or you are Game Over.
Before Each Shot...
Prototype: ... fly across the screen with the number of the current shot in his hands (see picture below). If the number is more than 9, it says X instead of a number.
Satellaview: ... the ball transform into a number or
Landing and Bouncing
Prototype:You have to press Y if you want to see where the ball will land. You cannot see where it will bounce. Also, when pressing Y the angle of the shot, the direction of the ball and the wind are shown on the screen (see picture below). Wind also shown on the bottom of the screen in the middle.
Satellaview: You see where the ball lands and bounces just by pushing down on the control pad. There is no angle or direction anywhere in the game. The wind is shown on the bottom right of the screen.
Blobs of Water
Prototype: The ball bounces on the blob.
Satellaview: The blob sucks the ball in and make you lose a stroke.
Prototype: No Power Shots.
Satellaview: One power shot is received every time you hit but you must use it as your next stroke.
Prototype: When starting a new class you are given 1 to 5 special shots which can be used at any time. The higher is your level the more shots you start with. You also receive one more every time you hit a flashing yellow tile.
Satellaview: One special shot is received every time you hit but you must use it as your next stroke.
Prototype: There is a bonus room when you collect 4 and putt the ball in a special cup. While in the bonus room, you have 60 seconds to hit 4 grey and putt the ball in the cup (see picture below). If you succeed your score will be -6 (see picture below). There are 4 different bonus rooms.
Satellaview: No Bonus Room.
Putting the Ball in the Cup
Prototype: If you are 3 under Par there are letters that come out of the hole spelling "Nice Albatross!!". 2 under Par = "Nice Eagle!!", 1 under Par = "Nice Birdie!!" or Par = "Nice Par!!". Nothing if over Par. Then comes over the cup with the total number of shots in his hands.
Satellaview: flies on the top of the cup with the score => ... ...
Result Board (see pictures above)
Prototype: No star to indicate a hole in one. Total shots for each hole and score are shown. The score is separated in two parts : the first number is the actual score including bonus points (-16) and the other is the actual score (-13).
Satellaview: A star with a "1" inside appears next to every hole in one. Only total score is shown (-14).
Prototype: There seem to have a bug because even if you win the Gold trophy in a class you will often have a Bronze trophy when you look at your stats. There is no Silver trophy (I think).
Satellaview: Gold, Silver and Bronze trophies available. No trophy bug.
Prototype: A demo of a hole starts by not pressing anything on the control pad while on the title screen. The hole is named Extra4 #1 but it is not in the BS-X version. (see screenshot below)
Satellaview: No demo. The game resets if you don't press anything on the title screen.
All holes between the 2 versions are differents. Some are similar but none are exactly the same (most are tougher in the proto version). I don't think there are holes Extra 1,2,3,4 in the proto but I could be wrong because of the demo hole.
AD from a Super Nintendo System Box
The screenshot on the left is very similar to Beginner hole #6 (Steps 2). The only difference is the platform on the upper right side of the hole (with the two ). In the proto it's on the upper left side of the hole.
The screenshot on the right is Beginner hole #3 (Steps).
The screenshots are from the prototype because I played the Satellaview version and they are not anywhere in the game.
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