- The Japanese version of the game has fewer text boxes, which adds up to around 5 seconds saved . J1.0 is the only version that save corruption works on for the No Ace category. It's also the fastest version for Magical Journey because of some J1.0 exclusive tricks.
- Text boxes work differently between J and U. On the J version, text boxes work like "pages" whereas with the U version of the game, they "scroll".
- In J1.0 & U1.0, there is a glitch that you can do in 6-5 where you tongue a Boo Guy before it comes out of the pipe and if you spit it out afterwards, it will start flying in a straight line, unlike in 1.1/1.2, where it will take the normal flying arc. This isn't useful in a speedrun, but it is top tier swag.
- In 1-3, you can change the control scheme from patient to hasty via Message Block. There is one less text box here on J vs U, meaning on U it is faster to change on the overworld before 1-1.
- In 6-7, in the room before the final room, there is an additional bandit and potted jumping cactus enemy on the Japanese version. US Japanese
- In 6-E, there is a room that spells out "YOSSY" with platform guides in the J Version and "YOSHI" in the U Version. US Japanese
- Other changes include a slightly different pause menu and score screen. On J1.0 it says, "STAR", "COIN", "FLOWER" and "TOTAL POINT", whereas in J1.1/1.2, they added the "S" to each of the words. The U version has this fix as well and on 1.1 a bolder font.
You can see an extensive list of differences with images here.
Which Version Should I Get?
NTSC-J (1.0) is the best version to get if you want to play on the fastest version for all categories. After that come the J1.1 and J1.2 versions. Then U1.0>U1.1. J1.1 and 1.2 are just as good as 1.0 for non-glitched categories.
You don't want to play on the PAL version. Even though Yoshi runs (in game) at a higher speed, the game itself runs at 50Hz which makes it slower overall, unless you play on a 60Hz modded console, which would invalidate your run anyway, so don't run on PAL, pal ;)
How To Tell Which Version You Have
You can tell very easily whether or not you have U/J/PAL but to find out the exact version, you want to look at the back of your cartridge and search for a little imprint. The number appears to be random, so that isn't important.
- Number only = 1.0
- Number + A = 1.1
- Number + B = 1.2
You can also just look at the pause menu to determine what version you have.
SNES vs. GBA