There were a lot of side and secret characters in NBA Jam, from actual athletes to superstars and famous celebrities. But in an unreleased clip from 1992 published today, it looks like two more big names could’ve been on the roster: Godzilla and Bart Simpson.
The recording, published by the NBA Jam (the book) Twitter account, shows developers holding Godzilla and Bart toys up in front of a blue screen, to scan into the game much like other appearances were handled. The idea was apparently later scrapped. Side note: my favorite part of this clip is when you can hear someone say “grab Bart,” and the toy holder replies, “Simpson?” It begs so many questions.
Godzilla and Bart Simpson were almost secret characters in NBA Jam.
In this new 1992 clip, the Jam team films Godzilla and Bart toys against a blue screen, later scrapping the idea.
– NBA Jam (the book) is OUT NOW IN PAPERBACK (@nbajambook) November 14, 2019
The account, which is the official account of Reyan Ali’s NBA Jam retrospective, has tweeted out a number of details about NBA Jam’s development since publishing the book. Some are cool tidbits, like DJ Jazzy Jeff being surprised at his inclusion on the game. Others are bummers, like finding out DJ Jazzy Jeff didn’t get paid for any of that.
Even so many years later, though, NBA Jam remains one of the gold standards for arcade sports games. It was a hallmark of the ’90s arcade scene and still holds up well, even if porting it forward sounds like a pain. It made the top 10 of highest all-time grossing arcade games for good reason, though maybe it could’ve made just a little more with Bart Simpson tucked away somewhere.