BS Zelda Info


I, BS The Legend of Zelda - Map 1 and Map 2 (BS Zelda no Densetsu: Map 1 and Map 2)
II, BS The Legend of Zelda - Ancient Stone Tablets (BS Zelda no Densetsu: Inishie no Sekiban)
III, BS The Legend of Zelda - Triforce of the Gods (BS Zelda no Densetsu: Kamigami no Triforce)

I, BS The Legend of Zelda - Map 1 and Map 2 (BS Zelda no Densetsu: Map 1 and Map 2)

BS The Legend of Zelda ( , BS Zeruda no Densetsu) was a remake of the NES game The Legend of Zelda, released for the Satellaview attachment for the Super Famicom in Japan.
BS stands for Broadcast Satellaview (commonly referred to as the BS-X). Using this add-on gamers could download the game from the satellite and save it onto either the base unit's memory or onto a BS-X Special Broadcast Cassette (but only Triforce of the Gods could be played outside of broadcast time).

This screen is considered to appear appeared while (down)loading the game into the BS-X

A, Gameplay

The gameplay was identical to its predecessor, but the maximum Rupees was increased to allow you more than a thousand (rather than 255 as in The Legend of Zelda), the overworld was heavily altered, and dungeons were completely different. This game was broadcasted in two versions, Map 1 and Map 2. Map 1 is sometimes referred to as a "Third Quest", in reference to The Legend of Zelda's Second Quest, and Map 2 would therefore be a Fourth Quest.

B, The Clock

The game was played in real-time. An onscreen clock showed the current time, and at various times on the clock certain events would happen. The game pauses for a moment before making a change. Sometimes the enemies are killed or stunned, sometimes a fairy appears, and occasionally the player is granted unlimited quantities of one of their items for a limited time. Bombs, boomerangs and candles can all be auto-upgraded this way, and will never run out of ammunition until the clock reaches the ending value, at which point the player's bombs are returned to the amount they had before the unlimited amount was activated, or the boomerang will downgrade, or the candle will turn from red back to blue.

C, Presentation

The Beginning
The game was divided into four weekly episodes. These episodes were downloaded from Satellite and played live, just as a TV programme. Due to technical limitations, the download time was a whole seven minutes just for one episode. The Satellaview was also used to broadcast actual videogame themed shows (probably containing ads and such to promote Nintendo games).

Here you may read a translation (with pictures) of a video taken during the original broadcast of the first week of Map 1.

D, Character selection

The player could configure their name and gender in the Satellaview game-selection interface. This then carried across to the game (similarly to Miis in Wii games). The characters themselves are nameless in-game. In actuality, they're Satellaview's mascots, and "come from another world" in this game (or at least they do in
BS Zelda: Inishie no Sekiban, where either of them is known as the Hero of Light).

E, Live Voice

BS Zelda's implementation of Live Voice was significantly different to that in BS Zelda: Inishie no Sekiban. When the clock hit certain times the game would pause and display Japanese writing onscreen (that apparently reads "listen"), and the player would hear a narrator (apparently playing the part of the Old Man, and allegedly the same voice actor as Sahasrahla) give a hint or suggestion. Under emulation the pauses are about two to three minutes long, which seems rather long winded and could be a result of faulty emulation (but it's hard to tell really). After that time the text disappears and gameplay resumes as before.

F, Free Gifts

In one issue of Nintendo Online Magazine, there is some allusion to players with good scores receiving free gifts (see [1]). The article states that players received a password that recorded the degree of completion of that day's featured dungeons. Players would then submit this password to the company, with players who completed the most receiving prizes. Due to costs involved, it is assumed that the prizes were Gashapon-style trinkets; many Zelda-themed merchandise items with unknown origins do exist, and some of these may originate from here. As a player had to be subscribed to the St. GIGA network to play, their mailing addresses would be known, and it is quite possible that these gifts were mailed. Still, information on this program has been very difficult to obtain, and its full extent might never be known.

G, Broadcast Dates

According to a broadcasting list of the BS-X games, Map 1 and 2 were transmitted at the following days:

A complete list of all dates and reruns can be seen here! Source

H, Emulation

Due to the live nature of the game in its original incarnation, the game's ROM could not be played properly on emulators. Many hackers have since created patches that removed the game's download pauses and time limits, pieced together all four episodes and given the game a title screen and file selection screen (both of which are reminiscent of the title screen and file selection screen from the original Legend of Zelda), all of which has ultimately allowed BS Zelda to be played as a traditional, non-Satellaview game. Some patches can even replace the game's protagonist with Link himself, or allow the player to select Link or one of the game's original characters via the file selection screen.

II, BS The Legend of Zelda - Ancient Stone Tablets

BS Zelda no Densetsu Inishie no Sekiban ( , BS Zeruda no Densetsu Inishie no Sekiban, lit. "The Legend of Zelda: The Ancient Stone Tablets") is a video game developed by Nintendo for the Satellaview, a Japanese-only attachment for the Super Famicom. The game was broadcast in 1997 and again in 1998.

BS stands for Broadcast Satellaview; the Satellaview unit is commonly referred to as the BS-X. Using this addon, gamers could download the game from the BS-5 channel of St. GIGA's satellite radio network and save it onto either the BS-X base unit's flash-RAM (included) or a BS-X Special Broadcast Cassette (an additional purchase or prize).

BS Zelda AST - Loading Screen on the BS-X

A, Storyline

In the context of the game, the player "come[s] from another world" and is referred to as the Hero or Heroine of Light (the original Japanese for this title is genderless). According to a prophecy by Princess Zelda, they have been summoned to face a peril that is soon to strike Hyrule. In order to do so, the player is to collect 8 stone tablets (two for each week).

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
In the last week, a resurrected Ganon is revealed to be the great peril. After defeating him, at the end of the game, the hero solemnly places the Master Sword in its pedestal to rest once more, and then vanishes. They have gone back into their own world whence they came. Sahasrahla and Zelda walk away, but the princess turns to take one last look back, and then she too departs (whether this ending scene was voice acted, like the cutscenes at the end of previous weeks, in which you stood before Zelda, is unknown). Spoilers end here.

It probably took place consequently to Link's Awakening due to the fact that Link is gone and his current location is hinted at by one of the game's characters.

B, Gameplay

The game and its gameplay was mostly identical to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (hereafter abbreviated ALttP), which it is modified from. It is similar to a "second quest" or "Master Quest" except for having a new story, new features and generally easier difficulty.
The most notable change was to the Pegasus Boots; the player could now change directions when running with the Boots, and could also run between rooms and screens without automatically stopping as in ALttP. The dungeon items were also changed. Instead of three pendants and seven crystals the player now collected the titular Ancient Stone Tablets, of which there were only eight.
Bombable walls, which in ALttP were noticeably cracked, are in this game completely invisible (except for some walls that present a slightly altered pattern). Only prodding with a sword will lead to their discovery by making a hollow ringing sound. Most bombed-out area rewarded the player with Rupees, or pots containing bomb and arrow refills, and so on. Sometimes the wall concealed an "Upgrade Thief"; the thieves who in ALttP knocked into the player and stole the items they dropped now appeared in a helper role; he would upgrade their maximum of one ammo type (either bombs or arrows, each thief only upgrades one type, and once only), but for a cost. The price increased as the player progressed through the game. When discovered in caves found on the overworld, these thieves would give out large quantities of Rupees.

C, Presentation

BS Zelda AST Screenshot
In each week the player could only access certain portions of the overworld. Areas shrouded in clouds were unreachable. Two dungeons were accessible per week, however the episode ended only when time expired, not when the player had completed all the objectives for that week. In the meantime, the player could complete sidequests and hunt for Rupees, bottles, and Pieces of Heart.
Once they acquired certain key dungeon items, new areas of the overworld become available. For example, once a player has the Magic Hammer, he or she can knock previously unpassable pegs into the ground, allowing access to the area it blocked. At one point in the game large and heavy rocks lie in the hero's path; when he or she acquires various types of Gloves he or she can lift some or all of these rocks and throw them out of the way.

D, Live Voice

All cutscenes were fully voice acted, live, much like a radio play. The players constantly heard the "narrator" (playing the part of the voice of Sahasrahla, a character from ALttP) give various tips and hints during play. During the final minutes his statements become more demanding and forceful as time was running out.
The non-mandatory sidequests were also fully voice-acted; however since the player could come across that event at any point rather than at a forced time, and there was no viable way for the console to convey proximity information to the voice acting center, it is assumed that the voice actor for that character kept saying their script over and over for the entirety of the designated time (they can each be saved from about 18:43 until 18:56), whether any player was actually on the same screen (and thus in "earshot") or not.
Zelda no Video documentary shows several minutes of Live Voice-enhanced gameplay in action, both of the opening cutscenes and of a sidequest, with the voice actor for Princess Zelda calling for help desperately for the entirety of the clip. Similarly music was also broadcasted in CD quality (taken from the remastered ALttP tracks of the Zelda Sound and Drama CD) and just as it was for the voice, the tracks could not change according to the whereabouts of the players, so that often times the overworld music (or any other) would play while exploring a dungeon etc.

E, Character selection

Satellaview players configured a profile and gender using its game-selection interface. This information then carried across to the games, where they are represented by the unnamed Satellaview mascots. In the case of this game, the female character was the ALttP Link model with hair replacing the traditional green hat, while the male character was Link with a baseball cap.

F, Real-time clock

The game was played in real-time. Each episode was one whole hour, and so the gameplay was intense and compressed, with cutscenes in between. However, the game in its entirety took one hour, that means the cutscenes counted as part of the gameplay time.
There were several optional sidequests available, each with its own mostly text-only cutscene (they were not activated at any set time so could not feasibly feature live voice), the completion of which netted a score bonus and some Rupees, but getting this reward meant deviating and delays while reading through all the thanks responses, thus shortening the available game time even further. The player could also choose to bomb walls and explore caves and find countless chests full of Rupees (and, in turn, get points for opening them). While doing these sidequests netted more points for players hoping to win prizes, every minute of delay subtracted points from the value of that week's Tablets, and if the player got lost or waylaid in the dungeon or overworld and ran out of time it is assumed that they got nothing at all (judging by the specific wording of the "bad ending" scene in week 4).
Unlike other games where any clock feature stops when the player open a menu or pause it in this game, like in the previous BS Zelda, the clock kept on ticking no matter what. The enemies and everything else in the world as a whole do pause when the item menu opens, but the clock does not. So the player could not leave it paused and go off to the bathroom or get a snack or something like that, he or she had to keep playing or he or she would lose precious time.

AST Screenshot

The clock affected gameplay enormously. At particular times on the clock various things might happen: health-restoring fairies appear, a Bombos or Ether magic attack destroys enemies onscreen, the player gets unlimited bombs or arrows or magic or can shoot magic rings from their sword, etc. An enormous variety of things could happen each week, and the events and the times they occur vary between weeks.
At a different time each week, fog descended on the overworld. A few minutes afterward a thunderstorm would break loose, restricting exploration by defusing any bombs and increasing the difficulty by replacing any normal overworld (i.e. not in a dungeon) enemies with Zoras, fierce lizard-like creatures that home in on the player and could not be stunned with the Boomerang like their ALttP forefathers. After a few minutes the rain and thunder cleared leaving. The fog remained, although it too disappeared shortly after.

G, Rental shops

ALttP veterans may notice many changes to the overworld, most notably the additions of many rental shops. At these a player can purchase a sword upgrade (unless he or she already has the L-4 sword) or a Shovel (unless he or she already has it), for 100 Rupees each. However these items are rented, as the title indicates, for only ten minutes, so the player must make the most of them in order to make his or her purchase worthwhile.
It was most advisable to buy the Shovel, because with it the player could dig for a hidden Piece of Heart (there were an even number of these in each week). The first time a shovel was rented each week, the shop owner marked the location of the digging spot on the map. Each week this could be one of four different locations, and the locations that are randomly chosen between change from week to week.
Since the Shovel could now dig up Rupees almost anywhere in the overworld - it couldn't in ALttP - it became a very lucrative way to fill up any spare time before the gameplay hour ended.

H, Mole

The Mole is a strange character unique to this game. At a certain time he will burrow out somewhere (the location is different from week to week). If the player talks to him he or she will get 10,000 points, but then he burrows down once more. If the player can again locate his diggings, he or she will find he has discovered a Rupee treasure trove. He will have opened a cave containing six treasure chests, and the quantity of Rupees found inside increases for each successive week.

I, Scoring and prizes

Each event on their journey, both major and minor, will net the player points. Every event in the chart to the right has a score value associated with it. The scores add up, so a chest will give points to the player, even if it contains a points-bearing item in turn. However, 500 points are deducted from the player's score for every minute that passes (including the six minutes before play starts).
Strangely enough, there are no points given for collecting Rupees, slaying enemies, or defeating bosses. The items the player acquires after defeating bosses do give points.
There is no feasible score limit; while the game allows for 8 digits worth of scoring, there is no way a player can ever reach this even if they do absolutely everything and collect the tablets as soon as possible. This is because the amount of score-giving items in the game world are strictly finite; there is thus no way to discover what the game would do if the score was surpassed.
While scoring had absolutely no effect on gameplay whatsoever, there were other post-game benefits. At the end of each hour of play the gamer was given a score readout. By submitting these game high scores (probably a coded password sent by mail, but perhaps sent directly via the satellite link) his or her score would be recorded. If the player scored high enough, he or she might receive a free gift, such as a phonecard or flash-cart.

J, Replaying the game

Because the Live Voice content was absolutely central to gameplay (and was not stored on the base unit or flash-RAM cartridge in any way whatsoever) and also due to the fact that the timer was based on a real-time clock set by the satellite itself, this game could not be played whenever the player chose like some of the other BS-X games, but only during the set hours. The game would not run outside these broadcast times. The game was rebroadcast in the following year, but other than that the game was rendered completely unplayable (until the advent of emulation). It is possible to play the entire game in four separate parts (sans the cutscenes and voice acting) using the latest version of SNES9x. A patches must be applied to each part in order for the game(s) to be playable. Nintendo has yet to include Inishie no Sekiban in any collection of Zelda re-releases, nor has it become completely available in emulated form (due to the lack of music and, of course, voice acting).

H, Original broadcast dates

According to a broadcasting list of the BS-X games, Inishie no Sekiban was transmitted at the following days:

(Please note that "Kodai no Sekiban" was an early mistranslation of "Inishie no Sekiban")

A complete list of all dates and reruns can be seen here! Source

K, Emulation

Due to the live nature of the game in its original incarnation, the game's ROM could not be played properly on emulators. The rom dumps were disrupted but some hackers set the indoors in manually, so that we are able to emulate and play this game now.

III, BS The Legend of Zelda - Triforce of the Gods

This game is actually the japanese a Link to the Past (whose japanese name was Triforce of the Gods) broadcasted on the satellaview. There is no difference between this game and the A Link to the Past (the japanese cart and this broadcasted version are exactly the same).

Title Screen

Original broadcast dates

According to
a broadcasting list of the BS-X games, this game was transmitted at an unknown day. We are told the "Remix" entry below it is actually a mistake due to the person making the broadcast list running into our hacked version fo the game and believing it to be yet another different version. We list it here just in case there was something more to it.

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