Lost In Translation/NBA Jam

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This page is a stub for arcade games that are part of the Lost In Translation series using information based on MAME (version 0.113u2).
For an example of preferred content and layout please refer to Out Run or The Ninja Warriors.

NBA Jam marquee.
No screen shot.
NBA Jam control panel.
Manufacturer Midway
Released 1993
8-way Joystick
3 Button(s)
Main CPU TMS34010 (@ 6.250 MHz)
M6809 (@ 2.000 MHz)
Sound CPU Mono
YM2151 (@ 3.580 MHz)
DAC (@ 1.000 MHz)
Raster (Horizontal)
399 x 253 pixels
27.41 Hz
32,768 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 21 ROMs
10,616,832 bytes (10.13 MiB)
MAME ID nbajam · nbajamr2 · nbajamt1 · nbajamt2 · nbajamt3 · nbajamte

About The Game

NBA Jam is a two-on-two basketball arcade video game with digitized images of real NBA players, monster dunks and no referee - it's a blowout!


Released in February 1993. Many critics claim that the release of NBA Jam gave rise to a new genre of sports games, which were based around action-packed, unrealistic gameplay.

Midway Games, no stranger to releasing landmark games having released "Pac-Man", had started experimenting with the ideas two years earlier, with the "High Impact Football" series. Both High Impact and Super High Impact had somewhat average success in arcades. It was not until the release of NBA Jam that gamers noticed the new genre. The game became exceptionally popular, and generated a lot of money for arcades after its release, largely because of the fairly expensive prices put on these games; a game quarter generally took two credits and a full game generally took eight, typically equal to $2.00 USD. Nonetheless, the game was a smash hit.

NBA Jam was one of the first real playable basketball arcade games and was the first game to be officially licensed by the NBA (wikipedia:National Basketball Association|National Basketball Association]]. It was also one of the first sports games to feature real teams, real players, and their real digitized likenesses. However, the unrealism of the game was the major drawing point, as the high flying dunks (often featuring players jumping twice their own height in the air while making highly acrobatic slams) were the games' signature. Of course, seeing NBA superstars like Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone, David Robinson, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O'Neal flying through the air with the greatest of ease brought just as many fans back. In time, players discovered another major feature of the game, as it was filled with easter eggs, special features and players activated by initials or button/joystick combinations.


Revision 1
  • Software version : 2.00.
Revision 2
  • Software version 3.01.
  • Credit problems fixed.
  • Jersey color of special guests fixed.
  • Prevents games from ending at the Tank mini-game.
  • Added 'Fair Shake'.

Tips and tricks

Hidden Characters

Character Initials Date of Birth Comment
Air Morris WIL Jan 1
Carleton JMC Aug 5
Divita SAL Feb 1 Sal Divita did the artwork for NBA Jam, as well as some graphics work on Mortal Kombat
Goskie TWG Dec 7
Hey JWH Sep 20 On the design team screen, Jon Hey is the one in the checkered shirt and glasses, sticking his tongue out to the rest of the world)
Howard HOW Jul 15
Liptak SL(space) Jun 24 Shawn Liptak is the one on the design team screen with a basketball for a brain
Newcomer JRN Jun 18
Oursler SNO Jan 3
Petro GNP Oct 8 George N. Petro is the main designer of "Terminator 2 - Judgement Day"
Rivett RJR Jan 17 Jamie Rivett helped with the autostat portion of NBA Jam
Scott TON Jul 03 Tony Scoot helped with digitizing the player movements and performed many of the special dunks
Turmell MJT Mar 22 Mark J. Turmell is the main designer and programmer for NBA Jam

Big Head

Hold Up+Turbo+Steal at 'Tonight's match up'.


  • Defense - Press Steal or Block 8 times when it says 'Tonight's match up'.
  • Intercept - Hold Down joystick and hold all three buttons during 'Tonight's match up'.
  • Offense - press Steal or Block 21 times at 'Tonight's match up'.
  • Defense and Intercept - At 'Tonight's Match-Up', Press the Shoot button 7 times, then all at once, hold Down the joystick and all three buttons.
  • Powerup Defense and Big head - press Turbo 6 times, hold Turbo and Steal, then hold the joystick Up at 'Tonight's match-up'.
  • Fair Shake - Tap turbo 10 times when it says 'Tonight's match up'. The Fair shake can ONLY be done in Human vs. Human games and ONLY on machines that are version 3.0 or greater.
  • Fair Shake and Powerup Intercept - press Turbo 7 times, then hold Turbo+Pass+Shoot, then hold the joystick Down at 'Tonight's match-up'.
  • Fair Shake and Big head - Press turbo 8 times, then hold Turbo+Steal and hold the joystick Up.

Tank Mini-Game

Hold all buttons for all four players and press Down on all four joysticks at the 'Tonight's match up'. Keep the controls held until the mini-game begins.


  1. NBA Jam (1993)
  2. NBA Jam Tournament Edition (1994)
  3. NBA Hangtime (1996)
  4. NBA Maximum Hangtime (1996)
  5. NBA Jam Extreme (1996)
  6. NBA Jam 99 (1998, N64)
  7. NBA Showtime - NBA on NBC (1999)
  8. NBA Jam 2000 (1999, N64)
  9. NBA Jam 2001 (2000, GBC)
  10. NBA Jam 2002 (2002, GBA)
  11. NBA Jam (2003, PS2)
  12. NBA Jam (2003, X-Box)
  13. NBA Jam (200?, unreleased GameCube prototype)


Design Team
Mark Turmell (MJT)
Shawn Liptak (SL )
Tony Goskie
John Carlton (JMC)
Sal Divita (SAL)
Jamie Rivett
Music & Sounds
Jon Hey (JWH)
Hardware Support
Cary Mednick
Pat Cox
Ray Macika
Sheridan Oursler
Matt Booty
John Lowes
Al Lasko
Executive Producers
Neil Nicastro
Ken Fedesna
Wally Smolucha
Stephen Howard
Willie Morris Jr.
Todd Mcclearn
Tony Scoot
Kerri Hoskins
Lorraine Olivia
Awards by Kaydan

Cabinet and Artwork


Nintendo Super Famicom (1993)
Sega Mega Drive (1993)
Sega Game Gear (1993)
Nintendo Game Boy (1993)
Sega Mega CD (1993)
Nintendo Super Famicom (1994) (NBA Jam Tournament Edition)
Sega Mega Drive (1994) (NBA Jam Tournament Edition)
Sega Game Gear (1994) (NBA Jam Tournament Edition)
Nintendo Game Boy (1995) (NBA Jam Tournament Edition)
Sega 32x (1995) (NBA Jam Tournament Edition)
Sega Saturn (1995) (NBA Jam Tournament Edition)
Sony PlayStation (1995) (NBA Jam Tournament Edition)
Atari Jaguar (1996) (NBA Jam Tournament Edition)
PC [MS-DOS, CD-ROM] (1995) (NBA Jam Tournament Edition)

The contents of this page are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
The sources used include MAME (version 0.113u2) and history.dat (revision 1.28 - 2008-10-18).
Please see http://www.arcade-history.com for credits.