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Big Nose and the Witchdoctor

Cart Front

Class: Unreleased (Unl.)
Publisher: Camerica
Developer: Baton
Region: United States (USA)
Peripherals: Standard or Compatible Controller
TV Format: NTSC
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
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Used Price: NEI

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From NintendoAGE
Who says the days of good flea market scores are over? Just a small number of years ago, Basil T., aka Dr. Morbis, of Calgary, Canada, discovered this little gem at a flea market for all of $5 Canadian. To top it off, he passed it over several times, thinking that it was simply a normal Big Nose Freaks Out cart that had it's label removed at some point in the cart's life, with "Big Nose II" written on it for identification. Just what he found was, in fact, a very unique piece of gaming history.

When he powered up his console, the first thing that greeted him was the title screen... but instead of the expected Big Nose Freaks Out startup, he instead was greeted with the title, "Big Nose and the Witch Doctor." At that point, he knew something wasn't quite right with it. Upon doing some research, he discovered that Camerica had indeed announced the title, but nothing was heard about it since. Was this an unreleased prototype?

No, unfortunately it wasn't. The game featured one level from Big Nose Freaks Out, but with some very major differences. First, you can't use your club in any way. This adds to the level's difficulty because you are unable to defeat any enemies along the way - you MUST dodge or jump them. There are also only 25 bones in the level. There is also no boss encounter, and indeed no way to complete it. However, you are given 9 lives at the start, and you don't truly die per se... your counter goes down, and you can advance from the same point, just as if you had been hit once and not died at all. However, you start from the beginning if you fall in a pit.

So is that it? We can't be sure at the moment. There may well be more hidden away in the dark recesses of this cartridge. For starters, there are two other levels shown at the beginning when you leave the title screen for a few seconds. This means that there may well be two other playable levels on the cart.  The secret to unlocking these levels, however, will remain a mystery... at least for now. Once the ROM gets dumped, there may be future discoveries that would mean a few new paragraphs. But for now, there is no more information about this very early development cart to be had.

--Mike Z. (the_wizard_666)