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Proto:Side by Side Special

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Side by Side Special.

Two demo versions of Side by Side Special can be found, the first in a Taikenban version of the game, and on the PlayStation port of Densha de GO!.

Taikenban Disc

SBSS Title Demo.png

The Taikenban disc (henceforth demo disc) version of the game was compiled on August 23, 1997 (judging by the SLPS file), roughly two months before the final game was built and five months after the original release of Side by Side 2 in Japanese arcades.

Playable Content

Two tracks, the April and March course from Side by Side 2, and the following three cars are available to the player:

  • Nissan BNR32 Skyline GT-R
  • Mazda FD3S RX-7 RZ
  • Mitsubishi CN9A Lancer GSR Evolution IV

All regular cars (as described here) and tracks are available on the disc (and can appear as opponent cars), except for the secret Taito-branded cars and the secret original tracks (described later); they can be chosen by modifying the value of the currently chosen track (3005D4F0 00xx) or car (3005D580 00xx).

Version Differences


Demo Disc Final
SBSS Course Select Demo.png SBSS Course Select.png
  • The banners during the track and course selection was changed from silver-like to a polished black.
  • There are no finish ranking or lap record in the track selection, and the music cannot be changed in this screen; instead, the game randomly chooses the music during every race start. Also note the lack of space between the game name and the number.
Demo Disc Final
  • The tone used when you select a car or track features a different pitch.
  • During car selection, the car appears to be more zoomed in on the screen (see the Cars section).
  • This demo features a three-car race, against two opponent racers, something that isn't possible in the final game (which instead has eight cars per race, as with the arcade games). The opponent cars also are hard to catch in the demo.
Demo Disc Final
SBSS Race Start Demo.png SBSS Race Start.png
Demo Disc Final
SBSS Finish Demo.png SBSS Finish.png
  • The camera position during the race start and finish sequence was changed vertically.
Demo Disc Final
SBSS HUD Day Demo.png SBSS HUD Day.png
  • The track map, position indicator, and rear view mirror (when in bumper cam) are not displayed in this demo. (Also note the gas station sign is missing from the April course).
  • Shading was added to the Lap Record (set to 0:00.000 for all tracks) and Total Time indicator text in the final game.
  • The turbo boost indicator was changed in the final game to better resemble one found in Side by Side 2.
  • During the start of races, a higher pitched version of the three countdown is played, ostensibly to simulate a "ready" voice (present in the first Side by Side arcade game). This sound was removed from the final game.
  • When you finish a race by crossing the goal, the Game Over screen is then used from when you ran out of time. The game then displays a product information screen with a projected release date of December 25th, 1997 (see the Densha de GO! demo build section for details).
  • When the player almost runs out of time, or already runs out of time, there is no announcer voice warning such.
Demo Disc Final
SBSS Pop-up Headlights Demo.png SBSS Pop-up Headlights.png
Demo Disc Final
SBSS HUD Demo.png SBSS Tachometer.png
  • If a night track is forcibly loaded and a car with pop-up headlights is chosen (Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno GTV, Nissan RPS13 180SX, Honda NA1 NSX, Mazda FC3S RX-7 ∞, or Mazda FD3S RX-7 RZ), the pop-up headlights will not open. Additionally, the tachometer also still uses the daytime palette, while inversely, the gear indicator uses the night palette even at daytime tracks.
Demo Disc Final
SBSS Wrong Way Demo.png SBSS Wrong Way.png
  • If the player ever goes the wrong way, there is no "REVERSE!" warning.
  • In the 22:00 track's starting line, there are no crowd, buildings, or parked cars.


Car textures in general are rougher in this build, and two cars in particular had their color changed from their arcade versions.

Demo Disc Final
SBSS Levin Rear Demo.png SBSS Levin Rear.png

The Toyota AE86 Corolla Levin GT-Apex has some trim decal on the rear, as well as parts of a license plate on the front, turn from white to red. This may suggest that between the demo and final build, Taito might have considered changing the car's color to white, but decided to stick to red like in the arcade game.

Demo Disc Final
SBSS Trueno Demo.png SBSS Trueno.png

The Levin's cousin car, the Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno GTV is one of them with no major changes, with the hood palette being synchronized with the rest of the car.

Demo Disc Final
SBSS Celica Rear Demo.png SBSS Celica Rear.png

The Toyota ST205 Celica GT-Four WRC has the rear parts of the car completely redone for the final build.

Demo Disc Final
SBSS Supra Demo.png SBSS Supra.png

The Toyota JZA80 Supra RZ features a rear license plate decoration/garnish in the demo disc, which was removed in the final game.

Demo Disc Final
SBSS Legacy Demo.png SBSS Legacy.png
Demo Disc Final
SBSS Legacy Rear Demo.png SBSS Legacy Rear.png

The Subaru BG5 Legacy Touring Wagon GT-B not only has the hood and roof palettes synced with the rest of the car, the "LEGACY" text on the rear blinker was also made more slightly readable.

Demo Disc Final
SBSS Impreza Demo.png SBSS Impreza.png

The color of the Subaru GC8 Impreza WRX STi Version III was made slightly lighter in the final game as part of the texture redetailing process.

Demo Disc Final
SBSS 180SX Demo.png SBSS 180SX.png
Demo Disc Final
SBSS Silvia Demo.png SBSS Silvia.png

Like the Impreza, the Nissan RPS13 180SX and Nissan S13 Silvia K's have their textures simply redetailed, in the process also making their colors appear brighter.

Demo Disc Final
SBSS R32 GT-R Demo.png SBSS R32 GT-R.png

In the inverse of the S-chassis duo, the Nissan BNR32 Skyline GT-R's color was made darker to try to match the Side by Side 2 version of the car, although it fails in doing so as it appears to be look rather dark bluish rather than black.

Demo Disc Final
SBSS R33 GT-R Demo.png SBSS R33 GT-R.png

The Nissan BCNR33 Skyline GT-R's color was completely changed from blue (the color it had in the first Side by Side game, and was offered as the "LM Limited" version of the car in real life) to white in the final game.

Demo Disc Final
SBSS CR-X Demo.png SBSS CR-X.png

The Honda EF-8 CRX SiR's texture was almost entirely redone, with the demo version lacking front plates.

Demo Disc Final
SBSS Civic Demo.png SBSS Civic.png
Demo Disc Final
SBSS Civic Rear Demo.png SBSS Civic Rear.png

The second of two cars to have their colors changed between builds, the Honda EG-6 Civic SiR had the color changed from black that it had in Side by Side 2 (and this game's back cover, as it was taken from Side by Side 2's marquee art) to dark maroon, likely in an attempt to tie in with the Civic driven by Initial D character Shingo Shoji. Note what appears to be headlight textures spilling into parts of the front and rear bumpers of the car in the demo version of the car. The rear spoiler was also made larger in the final.

Demo Disc Final
SBSS NSX Demo.png SBSS NSX.png
Demo Disc Final
SBSS NSX Rear Demo.png SBSS NSX Rear.png

The Honda NA1 NSX also undergoes the same texture redetailing as with the CRX; the rear blinkers were made darker in the final game.

Demo Disc Final
SBSS FC RX-7 Demo.png SBSS FC RX-7.png

The Mazda FC3S RX-7 ∞ saw only a minor redetailing resulting in a brighter license plate...

Demo Disc Final
SBSS FD RX-7 Demo.png SBSS FD RX-7.png
Demo Disc Final
SBSS FD RX-7 Rear Demo.png SBSS FD RX-7 Rear.png

...while the other half of the rotary-engined tag team, the Mazda FD3S RX-7 RZ, saw some changes made to the rear of the car, as well as a brighter color as a byproduct of the redetailing.

Demo Disc Final
SBSS Lancer Demo.png SBSS Lancer.png

Finally, the Mitsubishi CN9A Lancer GSR Evolution IV also did not went into anything major, other than a much-needed texture redetailing.

Side by Side Track Maps

While track maps are not used in the demo disc, all nine tracks that utilize it (the 22:00 course from the second arcade game, a point-to-point course, does not use a track map) have their data files include the track map. The data files for the five tracks from the first Side by Side game has the track maps done in the style of that game, which was redrawn to match the style of the second game in the retail release, as the Side by Side Special's HUD is mainly based on that.

Demo Disc Final
SBSS Spring Map Demo.png
SBSS Spring Map.png
Demo Disc Final
SBSS Summer Map Demo.png
SBSS Summer Map.png
Demo Disc Final
SBSS Autumn Map Demo.png
SBSS Autumn Map.png
Demo Disc Final
SBSS Winter Map Demo.png
SBSS Winter Map.png
Demo Disc Final
SBSS Special Map Demo.png
SBSS Special Map.png


Demo Disc Final
SBSS MC Access Demo.png SBSS MC Access.png

The "Memory Card Access" indicator was slightly redone in the final game.

Demo Disc Final
SBSS Original Track Demo.png SBSS Original Track.png

As mentioned, the secret "original" point-to-point tracks have not yet to be implemented in this game. All these tracks use the Special track icon from the first Side by Side game, and loading them instead loads the April track with night skybox and jumbled checkpoint positions. Of note is that the road texture in the preview model appears to be slightly darker.

Densha de GO! Demo

SBSS Title Densha Demo.png

A promotional demo of Side by Side Special can also be found in the PlayStation port of the first Densha de GO! under the latter's Omake menu option. (Quite coincidentally, the original version of Side by Side Special also includes a promotional video for Densha de GO! in the former's Information menu.) The SLPS file for the demo (located in the SBS folder) is dated October 30, 1997 like the final game, but there is a ten hour gap between the timestamps between SLPS files of this demo version and the final game.

The game contains similar car and track choices as with the separate Taikenban demo disc, but with almost all assets and behaviors of the final game, including the secret Taito cars; the regular cars meanwhile have their texture updates like in the retail build. However, only files for the playable tracks (the April and March courses) exists; attempting to load other tracks will cause the game to hang, as the track data do not exist for them. This demo also does not contain an attract mode; it will return you to Densha de GO! if you sit too long in the title screen. Additionally, like in the Taikenban demo disc, finishing a race gives you the out of time Game Over screen and then a product information screen (with a different date and layout) like in the Taikenban build, before returning you to Densha de GO!.

Demo Disc Densha de GO! Demo
SBSS Demo Post-Race.png
Software for PlayStation
Side by Side Special
On sale Thursday, December 25
Retail price ¥5,800 (excluding tax)
SBSS Demo Post-Race Densha.png
Software for PlayStation
Side by Side Special
For those wanting to enjoy the full experience!
Retail price ¥5,800 (excluding tax)
On sale December 4