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Neo Turf Masters (Neo Geo)

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Title Screen

Neo Turf Masters

Also known as: Big Tournament Golf (JP)
Developer: Nazca
Publisher: SNK
Platforms: Neo Geo, Arcade (Neo Geo)
Released internationally: January 29, 1996 (MVS), March 1, 1996 (AES)

SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

Debug Dipswitches

As usual for Neo Geo games, Neo Turf Masters has two sets of debug switches which can be enabled when running the game with a compatible BIOS version.

Bit DIP 1 DIP 2
1 Main debug mode Unused
2 CPU meter 1 Control wind speed and direction using P2 joystick
3 Unused Unused
4 Debug display 1 (shot info) Disable free movement (if main debug mode enabled)
5 Debug display 2 (ball position) Unused
6 Unused Unused
7 Unused Unused
8 CPU meter 2 Unused

Main Debug Mode

This setting controls several of the individual debug options. When enabled, you can:

  • Press P2 button C during the intro or title to access the sound test.
  • Select any hole to play on before teeing off.
  • Use the P1 joystick during shots to freely move the ball around (if bit 4 of DIP 2 is not also set).
  • Skip contest announcements by pressing P1 buttons A/B/C.

Also, the icon in the center of the shot meter that shows the ball's most recent lie will update continuously during shots to reflect whatever is on the ground directly underneath the ball.

Sound Test


This sound test uses both P1 and P2's controls, allowing you to assign different songs or sound effects to all four of P2's buttons.

Pressing P1 button B ("bank change") will cycle the currently selected sound number between banks 00 (music), 01 (sound effects), and 11 (voice clips).

Hole Select


When the main debug mode is enabled, you can select any hole from the current course to play when starting a game or after completing a hole, allowing you to play them in any order or as many times each as you want.

CPU Meters


DIP 1 bits 2 and 8 activate two different CPU meters, which darken two different areas of the screen to show the amount of CPU time used by different parts of the game loop. Both meters can be activated simultaneously.

Debug Displays

Turfmast-debugdisp1.png Turfmast-debugdisp2.png

DIP 1 bits 4 and 5 activate two different debug displays that appear on-screen when making a shot. Bit 5 shows information about the ball's current position (shown higher on-screen), and bit 4 shows information about the player's shot (shown lower on-screen). Both of these can be activated simultaneously.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Audio

Using UniBIOS to access Jukebox you could scroll to code approximately 0x1100 where all or most of voice lines are.

To do:
  • Rip all the audio and figure out what is actually used and what's not

Some notable lines that seemingly never used in game:

  • "World Tour Golf" id 0x11FE, comes right before 0x11FF which is "Big Tournament Golf", which could mean that game was called "World Tour Golf" outside Japan before it was changed to "Neo Turf Masters"

Some voice lines are actually used but they are either:

  • Multiplayer related (and in arcade environment are hard to hear without headphones which you probably won't be using in a multiplayer game)
    • "Player 1/2 one/two/three/etc holes up" 0x11?? used for 2P Match Play.
    • "Player 2" voice lines that lack the usual filtering other lines have (todo: check multiplayer stroke play, dig deeper into jukebox)
  • Require some specific conditions to play
    • "Nice putt" id 0x11??, sounds same as "nice birdie" and likes. - played seemingly after near-missing an eagle (or albatross) putt.
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Regional Differences

  • Game is called "Big Tournament Golf" if region is set to Japan, game actually plays voice line of its title in this region but not for other regions (see below about unused audio, might be related)
  • Order of courses changes depending on region so that course that's most related to region is at first place and therefore automatically selected. This could be disorienting if you're used to certain region.
    • US region gets Grand Canyon (USA)
    • Japan gets Fujiyama Oriental (Japan)
    • Europe gets BADEN (Germany)
  • US region changes some golf terminology used, this affects voice lines, on-screen announcements as well as putting info box (i.e. "For d. eagle")
    • "Albatross" becomes "Double eagle" (todo: actually check if it's same in European and Japanese regions)
      • Interestingly enough, voice over says the stroke count instead of "double eagle try"
    • "Bunker" becomes "Sand Trap"
  • Japanese version only translates dialogue boxes, game instructions, second player entry instruction (i.e. "no entry now") and stats in player select screen. It also changes all references to "Neo Turf Masters" to "Big Tournament Golf" including the logos.
  • Japanese version changes names of some stats to a bit more precise and simpler terms:
    • Driving becomes Power
    • Accuracy becomes Control
    • Skill becomes Technique
  • European region also let you switch language to Portuguese or Spanish, but it only affects very few aspects of the game:
    • Game instructions (if enabled)
    • "Continue from here?" when recovery out of Water Hazard is possible
    • "Would you want to give up?" dialog in Match Play
    • "You have finished the final round" dialog.
    • "You must give up this hole" dialog for beyond Par+3
    • "One stroke penalty" on-screen announcement text (seemingly the only translated on-screen announcement)
    • Also oddly enough stats on player select, second player entry instruction, MVS credit/level bar (todo: verify) remains in English.
  • AES version of the game has difficulty select screen listing 4 difficulties: Easy, Normal, Hard, MVS, however it's unknown whether Normal is the same as default MVS (level 4).
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Revisional Differences

While the the international version was initially released without changes in the ACA Neo GEO branch of Arcade Archives re-releases for modern platforms, an update released on August 2019 changed all instances of its title to that of the Japanese one due to a trademark dispute with Augusta National, Inc.

(Source: Delisted Games)