Sights from Zelda games that will probably never be released again
December 26, 2014 4:15 PM   Subscribe

It's Zelda Day! Presented for your consideration: BS-Zelda, the satellite radio-based Zelda games that never got released outside of Japan.
The first BS Zelda game was an update/modification of the original Legend of Zelda. It was intended to be played over four weeks, an hour at a time, with different areas of the overworld unveiled each week. Here is video, with broadcasts included: 1 (YT 1h) - 2 (YT 58m) - 3 (YT 58m) - 4 (YT 1h2m) Each takes several minutes to get started, which mirrors the time delay before the game started when broadcast.
The second game was called Ancient Stone Tablets, and it used the Link To The Past engine, and much of its map. YouTube playlist (YT 12 items, 3h50m)
More information and emulator files hacked to be playable are at: The BS-Zelda Homepage.

The Satellaview (WIKI) was an add-on device Nintendo released in Japan for the Super Famicom (their version of the SNES) that could download and play games transmitted through St.GIGA satellite radio broadcasts. These games could be saved on either the Satellaview's internal 256KB Flash memory or on optional 8MB memory cards. Many releases were made for the system, some being mere rereleases of retail games, but some produced only for the Satellaview. Some of those were special time limited games that were intended to be played in conjunction with satellite radio broadcasts. Many of these releases are documented and archived on the Satellablog.

posted by JHarris (11 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
Never Forget.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:28 PM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

When I saw a mention of "BS Zelda games" on twitter, I assumed you meant the awful CDi games.
posted by sparkletone at 4:59 PM on December 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

No. It's not that meaning for "BS" at all. Heh.
posted by JHarris at 5:15 PM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's kind of amazing how ambitious various home console makers were, trying to push the envelope before the world was really ready for it- Sega Channel, Satellaview, and so on. It's a reminder of how amazing the internet is.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:34 PM on December 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

The CD-i games deserve to be defended in many ways. Only entries with Zelda as a protagonist, for one. They also look really nice, weirdly Westernized character design aside. That One FMV that is the only thing anyone ever knows about them is not representative.

Happy Zelda Day
posted by byanyothername at 5:50 PM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

OK, I gotta play BS-Zelda, the NES-analogous one. Any particular emulator-ROM-patch combo recommended?
posted by ignignokt at 5:51 PM on December 26, 2014

My favorite means of emulation is using SNES9x GX on a Wii hacked to run the Homebrew Channel, because you can play it with Wiimotes and Classic Controllers.
posted by JHarris at 6:06 PM on December 26, 2014

Or you can go the whole nine yards with the SFC controllers they released for the Wii as a Club Nintendo thing a few years ago
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:38 PM on December 26, 2014

I hope the next Zelda day post is about the Wii U Zelda.

I'm really looking forward to it. Aonuma is going much more open world than they ever have before with the next one.
posted by zixyer at 9:47 PM on December 26, 2014 [5 favorites]

(This post just inspired me to add the zeldaday tag to an old December 26th post of mine.... It's like, the minorest of minor internet holidays, but I love it.)
posted by kaibutsu at 11:03 AM on December 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, and ignignokt, the BS-Zelda homepage linked has a page with playable ROMs on it, sorry I thought the links were more findable on the FPP link. There's lots of different versions there though.

The game you want to play depends on your familiarity with the original Zelda. You'll probably want a hack that removes the time limit unless you really good at it. The original game was split into four weeks, with more of the overworld opening each time. The object was to complete two dungeon levels each time, and the last week also defeat Ganon (who wasn't in a dungeon, but in a certain cave in the Overworld).

An important thing about the hacks is that they don't supply the voice acting broadcast that went along with the game, which I believe supplied hints to help guide players along. But the cart doesn't have room for that audio, and furthermore it's in Japanese. So playing a timed version without it is definitely hard mode.

If you want it with the timer, as close to the original as possible, you want the BS Zelda Restoration Map 1 ROM, which is near the top of the download page.

If you want it without the timer, you want "The Legend of Zelda Third Quest."

Another hard version, that includes a second quest, is The MottZilla ROM. It's playable on SNES hardware if you have a flash cart, and supplies a full save system.
posted by JHarris at 1:02 PM on December 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

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