Ace Computer Difficulty Unlock Method for NTSC version has been confirmed Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
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In the PAL (Europe and Australia) and Japanese versions of the game, from what I've heard, it's very easy to unlock this difficulty since all that is needed to unlock it in those versions is just to beat each Star Tournament once. That would make it unlocked alongside the No Simulation Line handicap. In the NTSC (North America), that requirement only yielded the handicap unlock.
At first, it was initially thought that for this version of the game, you needed to beat every Tournament and Star Tournament with every non-Star and Star Character (GBA characters are not counted), resulting in a total of 384 Tournaments needed to unlock the difficulty. I am happy to say that it turns out that only a total of 102 Tournaments (minimum) need to be beaten so it can be unlocked. You need to beat the six Normal Tournaments to unlock the Star Tournaments, then you need to beat all Star Tournaments with every non-Star character. Once you beat the 96th Star Tournament, you will unlock the Ace Difficulty. It seems that everyone saved the hardest quarter of Tournaments for last, which is why 384 Tournaments was initially thought to be the unlock method. If you have Advance Tour, you can use the transferred Custom Clubs to make it easier.
Thanks to the work of MetalYoshi Pro Gamer on YouTube (one of the best Mario Golf players I have ever seen), he has been able to quickly truck through the tournaments in order to see what the unlock method was. Here's his video confirming it:
Ace Difficulty is pretty hard overall, but unfortunately, if you beat an Ace CPU in a Character Match, the game only counts it as you beating a Pro CPU for some odd reason. Don't know if the PAL and Japanese versions do the same. So it's pretty much just a way for you test your skills against the best the game can offer. Would have been nice to see a record of it kept though.
I am glad to see that Toadstool Tour has been 100% uncovered, just before the release of Mario Golf: World Tour as well! Hope that game will feature an Ace Difficulty that is easy to unlock.
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Very cool. I'm on my 3rd non-star character in a star tournament now. I'm really excited that it's not 380+ tournaments. That would be an insane requirement. Also glad to see that this was figured out, even this late in the game's life. Do you know who exactly came to conclusion that you only need the 96 star tournaments (other than MetalYoshi, I know he pretty much confirmed it, or maybe he's the one that found it too)?
MetalYoshi found out as soon as he first unlocked Ace Difficulty, since he didn't complete the Tournaments and Star Tournaments with Star Peach and Star Daisy yet. Turns out Tails82 unlocked it last year before completing all 384 Tournaments as well:
That's really interesting that it was found out inadvertently. Too bad Tails82 didn't investigate it further, or really anyone else that read the topic. That would be pretty neat to be the one to discover something like this.