> I'm curious about something: is this game truly a bootleg?
> The reason that I ask is that it was released by a licensee of the original
> (Gremlin/Sega). Wouldn't that just make the game an update of sorts, rather than a
> bootleg? Midway did something similar with Space Invaders 2 cocktail, where it was an
> in-house project rather than a release of Taito code.
> There are pictures of the cabinet around, and they all look quite official (i.e. not
> shoved into a generic box). Electronic Games even mentioned it (with cabinet photo)
> in an issue of the magazine back in the 80s...
> ... or is the set that MAME supports from an actual bootleg of SMC?
well the set in MAME is definitely a bootleg, the 'POR' you see in the corner actually points at an earlier bootlegger before Gremlin got it.
specifically, it's originally part of the Spanish bootleg by Sonic where it says 'Por Sonic' which translates to 'By Sonic' The rest of the string was blanked out.
I suspect Gremlin just bootlegged it from another bootleg to be perfectly honest, a lot of companies had shady beginnings. You'll find people swearing blind it's original because it came from an original PCB or whatever, but it isn't, not even slightly.