Release historyWhile the game was developed in Japan at Technos' Niigata studio, and has a Japanese title screen and complete Japanese text, it never actually saw official release in Japan. With the NeoGeo's greater popularity in North America, it saw a US arcade release in limited quantities in early 1996, but Technos Japan's bankruptcy shortly after nixed any plans for a Japanese release or a home AES version. There are however numerous bootleg conversions, including professional-looking AES packages with covers, so buyer beware.
The game did, however, see a limited location test in Japan, with a curious story behind it. During development, the team wanted to use the original arcade version of Super Dodge Ball as a reference, but discovered that there wasn't a single copy of it at either the Niigata office, the Tokyo office, or even the US office. They wound up borrowing a board from a local game shop, and the new game was later tested there, making it the only place it could be officially played in Japan. To thank him for his help, Technos made a custom Game Boy cartridge as a gift to the store's owner, which contained a modified version of Downtown Special: Kunio-kun no Jidaigeki da yo - Zenin Shūgō! called JIDAIGEKI.