The hidden secret is a file named ZZDUMMY.DAT, which can be watched if the game disc is placed inside a PC. Once the file is opened in a media player, the user will be greeted with the 1995 short film Jesus vs. Santa by the creators of South Park. This short was supposedly requested by FOX executives to pass around as a video Christmas card, in 1995. Again, how and why this file ended up on the game disc are still a bit of a mystery.
|We wish you a Merry Christmas!|
So now you may be asking yourself how can you tell the difference between the original Tiger Woods 99 with the secret, and the patched version. A few things to keep in mind are that the SLUS (00785) will never change, at least not between the two versions that I have. What does change is the ISBN and the UPC codes.
If you already own a copy, or run across one in the wild, you'll want to look for the ISBN:0-7845-1503-4 and UPC: 14633-07911. Another issue may be that, due to the used game market, the game may find its way into the wrong case, or it may have no case at all, so always be sure to check the disc as well. Just below the Tiger Woods 99 logo on the disc you will find copyright information followed by the code 791107, which slightly resembles the UPC code.
If for some extremely unfortunate turn of events your disc doesn't have a case, or any front art on the disc, you can pop it into a PC and look at the ZZDUMMY.DAT file to see whether or not your copy is patched. What you'll want to check is the date of the file; if you see Dec 20 1996 you've got the correct Tiger Woods 99.
I spent roughly $4 for both of my copies and to be honest I feel as though I spent $4 too much! It's not a rare game, it's probably not even a good game, but the video game oddity collector within myself wanted to own both the original and the patched version. This is nothing more than just one of those extremely weird oddities in the video game industry that made me want to own a game for no other reason than it's silly little history.