The original NBA Jam machines (with version 1.0 of the code) contain a secret Battlezone-style mini-game that can be played without using money! This secret was deemed unethical by many of the video game magazines of the time, and magazines like EGM and Gamepro were specifically asked not to publish the code. Both magazines agreed, and to this date it is the only video game code that is considered "taboo" by the press. This mini-game was removed in the next update of the machine code.
Its possible to enter a code that allows the cheerleaders to be playable characters, but the codes were intentionally made complex since their existence did not please the NBA. As a result, the information has never been released, and to date none have been found.
There are a lot of hidden player and secret power-up codes. Among the more popular:
MJT Mar 22 - Mark Turmell, lead designer (and the most powerful character in the game)
SAL Feb 1 - Sal DiVita, artist
SL_ Jun 24 - Shawn Liptak, programmer
TWG Dec 7 - Tony Goskie, animator
RJR Jan 17 - Jamie Rivett, programmer
WIL Jan 1 - Willie "Air" Morris, player model
HOW Jul 15 - Stpehen Howard, player model
SNO Jan 3 - Sheridan Oursler, Midway staffer
Since Mark Turmell is a Detroit Pistons fan, he sweetened the arcade code to give them a slight advantage over their regional rivals, the Chicago Bulls. Turmell said in an interview, "If it boiled down to a last-second shot, forget about it - the Bulls would never score."
This was the first-ever officially licensed arcade sports game.
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