Just a few days ago, Kaze Emanuar shared his finding of a recently unearthed trailer for a lost game by Camelot called Waluigi’s Taco Stand 64. I think I remember seeing this on Toonami right around the time they held the Banjo-Kazooie sweepstakes — maybe the game was just overshadowed? Thankfully, the VHS recording still exists. It’s just a shame that the game can’t be found anywhere today.
Today Kaze uploaded a video explaining that someone mailed him their complete-in-box copy of the game nobody thought existed. As ridiculous as that may sound, he provides evidence with an unboxing video and even demo’s the game for a moment on his Nintendo 64.
“Hey, so a few days ago I uploaded the lost Waluigi’s Taco Stand commerical that some of you probably have seen. Since then, I have been contacted and someone has actually sent me their copy of this game. I have never heard of anyone else having a copy of this game. Maybe this is the only one that exists at all in the entire world… but let me show you what I have.”
Something worth noting is that during the unboxing the bottom of the cartridge is shown. It looks like the region lock molding of the plastic was manufactured for playability on both NA and EU/Japan consoles. I’m assuming this might allow for international beta testing to occur meaning that someone from Camelot or once affiliated with them might be responsible for sending Kaze this cartridge. It could be a coincidence or it could be a former employee appreciating that someone is rekindling interest in their work.
Thankfully, Kaze has dumped the rom online for everyone to play. Kaze also stated that since a digital version is available, he’s going to auction off the physical copy sent to him for collectors to bid on. A link to his ebay auction can be found here.
Playing through the rom itself, I had a pretty good time! The story goes that Waluigi couldn’t pay his rent so his landlord orders him to work at his Taco Stand. Many hungry Goombas, Koopas, Ukiki and Thwomps each with their own personality and meal ticket.
When Waluigi gathers ingredients for each taco, he has to do so by visiting different taco worlds depending on his taco rank. Scattered around these worlds are various ingredients like beef, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, a few special ingredients unique to that world.
As I satisfied each line of customers, I noticed that I was surveying each level differently. In typical SM64 fashion, it’s very easy to forget what enemies are because of how trivial their existence in the world can be. With WTS64, I immediately latched onto the placement of every enemy just because they dropped essential items. There was one taco I had to make that needed lettuce, tomato and beef and I was going to do the usual of grabbing everything separate but then I remembered that a Piranha plant was inside the tomato patch and just a little ways away was a Goomba I could harvest beef from.
Little things like this really helped me remember that I wasn’t playing an SM64 mod or something but a stand alone game made by Camelot in the late 90’s.
The only thing I didn’t like about this game was how short it was. No surprise considering this is potentially just a beta copy in the first place but if who ever leaked this could leak a complete game like this, that’d be awesome. Ideas I’ve got my fingers crossed should a sequel exist would be procedural generated orders and maybe a ‘shift clock’ that lets you see how many tacos you can make in a certain amount of time using only platforming skills and level layout knowledge. Something like that would be awesome for the casual speedrunners out there — like myself!
What’s most interesting to me is that Camelot found a way to use the SM64 engine and break conventions players still associate with the SM64 framework. Not even a lot of rom hacks today try to shape how we use it to game but Camelot we thinking of these things back in the mid 90’s. Also, they have more faith in their character than Nintendo and if Camelot had more say in Smash Ultimate then Waluigi would definitely be a playable character.
Thank you, Kaze, for dumping this rom! The official download can be found here. Be sure to follow the madman on Twitter, @KazeSSBM. Also, don’t forget about the VERY REAL auction of the physical WTS64 here.