The Curious Case of Tiger Woods 99 PGA Tour Golf
I was an exceedingly curious child, always getting myself into trouble while trying to figure out how and why things worked. One of my experiments was putting a Playstation disc onto my PC just to see if it would play the game. Back then I didn’t understand the concept of operating systems, BIOS, or why some games would only run on whatever system. The only thing that happened was a window popped up displaying the contents of the disc, much the same as it would for any data disc. Clearly I wasn’t the only curious person out there as it came to light that certain copies of Tiger Woods 99 PGA Tour Golf held a secret easter egg on the disc that could only be accessed by putting it into a PC.
How exactly this easter egg ended up on the final release version of the game disc is still a bit of a mystery, but with EA ever being the party pooper, once they found out about the stowaway data, they quickly recalled the game and released a patched version. Tiger Woods 99 PGA Tour Golf is, undeniably, a sports title, so while many video game collector’s may not own a copy at all, those who do may have the original version with the secret on the disc. Which version is more rare isn’t very well documented but I would guess that the version harboring the hidden secret may be a little easier to find than the patched version.
If you’ve just returned from checking through your Playstation collection to see whether or not you have the disc, there are a few simple ways to tell. The first thing to keep in mind is 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 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 you’ve found one in your collection, or happen to find one in the wild that matches the numbers above, you can now pop it into a PC and look for the hidden file yourself. The hidden secret is a file named ZZDUMMY.DAT. Even though the file is a .dat it can be viewed on many media players, such as VLC. 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. Again, how and why this file ended up on the game disc are still a bit of a mystery.
Some might say I spent too much for both copies at a total of $4, and to be honest I kind of agree with you. It’s probably 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 hidden secret.