BS Mario and BS games.

#1
I've posted this before on another forum, but it's good enough for GAF too.

What would you consider to be Nintendo's most obscure games, in or outside of Japan? FDS games? N64 Disk Drive games? Arcade games? The 10 game portable that no one remembers called Pokemon Mini?

No, it's the Super Famicom Satellaview (BS-X) system games. Ones, that unlike FDS games, N64 Disk Drive games, untranslated games or the Pokemon Mini, will never ever ever be emulated or reproduced correctly. Ever.

Even though the BS-X is considered more as an expensive device that allowed people to play "live" SFC games than an add-on to the console, it truly was the Famicom Disk System or the N64 Disk Drive of the Super NES. Due to the nature of the Broadcast service, some of the games were played while a radio broadcast streamed arranged music and voices of actors playing the characters of the games. After the broadcast was over, you couldn't play the game ever again. These games were called "SoundLink" games.

A lot of games were released for the BS-X, many more than Virtual Boy or N64DD games. But you couldn't buy these games in a store, you had to download them from the broadcast service (ST. GIGA) and store them in a RAM cart. Some of the games you could keep for a limited time and some others could only be played live.

Thankfully, some of those games have been recovered and dumped, albeit partially. The most famous ones are the 3rd and 4th quest of Zelda 1 and the "sequel" to A Link To The Past. The streamed content, such as still cutscenes, arranged audio, voices and special events only exist in old VHS recordings uploaded to youtube. More than half of the library released for this system is still undumped and so far, lost in time or in the hands of hoarders.

The situation is not likely to change unless someone robs Nintendo HQ and recovers the original data, scripts and audio recordings of the broadcasts.


And so we come to Mario:

BS Super Mario USA Power Challenge. The game was broadcast in 4 parts, each part was one world for a total of 4 worlds. Even though the actual game is a condensed port of the Mario All-Stars Mario 2, story-wise it's a sequel. The king of Subcon made a bunch of golden Mario statues, but then Wart sends his minions to scatter the golden statues all over the realm. Mario then has to find all the statues and defeat Wart again. You only play as Mario, but during certain times, you change to other characters. During the game, the characters and enemies (played by radio actors) are constantly talking. Oh yeah, and there's a Birdo trio (Green Birdo FTW) that keep hinting transsexualism during the broadcast. Actually, their voice actors are even dressed in drag during the credits.





Next is BS Super Mario Collection, another condensed Mario All Stars port gameplay-wise. So far only the 3rd week as been dumped, and there's only VHS footage of the 1st week on youtube. It is unknown the contents of the 2nd and 4th week. The coolest thing you will notice is that Mario 1 now has a world map in the style of Mario 3. And Mario 3 has a different map altogether. Unfortunately the available stages are exactly the same as the originals. You can play any stage you want, but once the broadcast time is over, you'll be taken to fight the stage's boss and finally Bowser. Due to the live nature of the game, you can even get the game's ending without even reaching Bowser by just letting the time run out.







And finally, BS Excitebike: Bunbun Mario Battle Stadium. Nothing much to say except Excitebike with Mario characters. Pretty nifty.




These Mario games, the 3 Zelda games and lots of others will forever be lost in time and not emulated completely due to their original nature.


------------------------------------


Here's how one of the soundlink games (Mario 2) played out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMOH3rTDF6c


Here are some more BS games.


Toad/Kinopio started in her/his own BS game. It's a quiz game though.




Square made this cool aerial dogfight/RPG hybrid, Treasure Conflix.




And here are some of the art screens shown when you finished a week or the game in BS Legend of Zelda.

 
#3
Thank you for reposting this! I've heard lots about the BS games but never investigated them fully.

... will never ever ever be emulated or reproduced correctly. Ever.
...The situation is not likely to change unless someone robs Nintendo HQ and recovers the original data, scripts and audio recordings of the broadcasts.
I'm not sure what interests Nintendo could get out of this, but it seems like the "broadcast" approach could be emulated if they could monetize it.

I imagine a streaming audio system could be grafted onto the Wii emulator and still run full-speed, if Nintendo simply offered the BS games for sale as apps with the recorded broadcasts playing alongside the game. I wouldn't expect them to add any new content, but even if they ran the original as a looped stream rather than as a media download (would that be cheaper than a play-anytime stream? it'd certainly be more faithful to the original,) having the broadcast and the rarely-seen game available would make for an incredible app for Nintendo fans at fairly little cost. (*No chance of a US/EU release unless they translated it, and they'd never be able to get it to most European territories since they likely wouldn't be able to subtitle the stream, maybe that's one of the big stumbling blocks on a path Nintendo probably isn't eager to travel...)

Bringing up the possibilities is probably a piss in the wind...
 
#5
Games like this would have been great to see on the VC...

Nintendo is often accused of re-relaseing games multiple time over multiple platforms... but they are also are sitting on ALOT of content which has not been released in ages..

BS games
Various Alternate versions of games
Arcade games
CDI Games

Etc. Etc
 
#11
Ah, I would love to know more about the BS games. I only know of the two Zeldas, Excite Bike (with Mario characters!), and F-Zero.

If I could go back in time, I'd totally want to play the massively multiplayer, one-time-only Zelda games.

BS Detective Club was pretty awesome. It had streaming voice acting.
So did Zelda. But to be fair, the exact same stream was broadcasted to everyone at the same time, so it wasn't like the games had "real" voice acting.
 
#14
Ah, I would love to know more about the BS games. I only know of the two Zeldas, Excite Bike (with Mario characters!), and F-Zero.

If I could go back in time, I'd totally want to play the massively multiplayer, one-time-only Zelda games.



So did Zelda. But to be fair, the exact same stream was broadcasted to everyone at the same time, so it wasn't like the games had "real" voice acting.
I'm not sure how that precludes it from having "real" voice acting. I played it at the time, it was pretty awesome.
 
#16
Nice OP.

Still, they're more or less hacks of existing games. I don't think anyone's missing out on any KILLER GAMEPLAY. Some of those unique sprites are pretty rad though.

Except the one with the dwarf king and the guy on the phone because hahahahahaha look at those shitty fucking peripheral characters.
 
#22
Nice OP.

Still, they're more or less hacks of existing games. I don't think anyone's missing out on any KILLER GAMEPLAY. Some of those unique sprites are pretty rad though.

Except the one with the dwarf king and the guy on the phone because hahahahahaha look at those shitty fucking peripheral characters.
The part I want to experience is, well, the experience. Competing with hundreds of others who are playing the exact same game, hearing the live, streaming music (link to some music that played during Zelda) and voice acting... Not necessarily the game itself.

Though I do also appreciate the little changes in the games, too.

I'm not sure how that precludes it from having "real" voice acting. I played it at the time, it was pretty awesome.
You're right, "real" wasn't the right word. I guess I mean the voice acting was not technically a part of the game since it was just a satellite stream akin to a radio broadcast. But effectively, it was real voice acting.
 
#23
I was lucky enough to find a Satellaview (in its original box, no less!) for about ~$30 when I was living in Japan.
It's pretty useless now considering nothing is being broadcast, but there's still an interesting town-menu-thing to explore and one of my carts actually still works - it has the JP version of Pocky & Rocky on it. :)

I purchased another cart on Yahoo Auctions with "Panel de Pon '98" (AKA: the only version of Tetris Attack missing from my collection) on it, only to be greeted with a "the game data on this cartridge has expired, press 'A' to continue" message. :(

Another BS game of interest is the "sequel" to Chrono Trigger, Radical Dreamers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_Dreamers
 
#27
There is also a BS for Zelda III.
It's called A Link To The Past: Anicent Stone Tablets, and I think you can get all parts (just without voice and that stuff, although you can read the subtitles).
It has the overworld of AlttP, but completely new dungeons. And it is basically Majoras Mask 0.5, since there are certain events that only happen at certain times (like rescuing Zelda from enemies, getting the priest out of the water and so on).
 
#29
Bandai Satellaview. I'm not sure of Bandai's involvement in the console, though.
Bandai was not involved. This is a misconception that probably came from magazines. BS means Broadcast Satellaview.

It's pretty useless now considering nothing is being broadcast, but there's still an interesting town-menu-thing to explore and one of my carts actually still works - it has the JP version of Pocky & Rocky on it. :)

I purchased another cart on Yahoo Auctions with "Panel de Pon '98" (AKA: the only version of Tetris Attack missing from my collection) on it, only to be greeted with a "the game data on this cartridge has expired, press 'A' to continue" message. :(

Another BS game of interest is the "sequel" to Chrono Trigger, Radical Dreamers:

Have you tried getting in touch with kiddo or the BS Zelda forum guys? They can dump the games even if the contents are unavailable, as long as the info is still on memory. Even if the cart is empty, they have been able to find and rescue a lot of content from the SRAM saves.

Here's Kiddo's blog about SB-X hacking, emulation and development:
http://superfamicom.org/blog/

By the way, are you sure that's not a Nintendo Power Service Pocky & Rocky? Because as far as I know, P&R (Kiki Kaikai) was not released on the BS-X.


was just gonna ask about this. Is this lost or is it preserved on the net?
The soundlink games (the ones that were only playable live and in tandem with a radio broadcast) are not possible to emulate 100% because the music, voices and art screens were streamed from the broadcaster and the data is not found in the ROM. The only way to experience them is through old VHS recordings uploaded to niconico or youtube.

Non-soundlink BS-X are able to be dumped and emulated perfectly. Except, that a lot are still missing because you couldn't buy an individual cart with an individual game, instead, you had an empty cart which you filled with the games you bought. So a lot of those carts on Japanese auctions are empty or damaged.
 
#32
There is also a BS for Zelda III.
It's called A Link To The Past: Anicent Stone Tablets, and I think you can get all parts (just without voice and that stuff, although you can read the subtitles).
It has the overworld of AlttP, but completely new dungeons. And it is basically Majoras Mask 0.5, since there are certain events that only happen at certain times (like rescuing Zelda from enemies, getting the priest out of the water and so on).
Yep, but again, the game had to be hacked and recreated from watching niconico videos because when the game was dumped, a lot of graphic titles were missing and everything inside dungeons looked black. If you don't patch the game with the dungeon hack, you won't be able to get anywhere.
 
R

Rösti

Unconfirmed Member
#34
One of my favourite puzzle games, Sutte Hakkun (Event Version and ROM cartridge), happens to be for the Satellaview. I don't really know how to describe it, but you play as this kiwi looking fella that has a hollow body, which he uses to store some kind of liquid (looks like Kool-Aid) that he then injects in blocks to make them move and pave for a way to complete the level. The story surrounds a certain broken "Rainbow of Happiness" that Hakkun needs to mend. It's a bit similar in gameplay to Lode Runner.



Hompage (for the ROM cartridge): http://www.nintendo.co.jp/n02/shvc/bshj/index.html
Video: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/n02/shvc/bshj/mov1.html

The game was developed by indies zero that most recently made Theatrhythm Final Fantasy for Nintendo 3DS. A 3D version of Sutte Hakkun would be awesome I think, and it shouldn't be that difficult bringing the original to the eShop either seeing it's cartridge release. The game sells for about $60 still.
 
#36
IIRC Radical Dreamers has been persevered on at least once ram cart from the back in the day and recentlyish went to auction. No idea what it went for but it wasn't cheap.

Surely Nintendo/the developers would have these games stored away in some form in their digital vaults? Would be awesome to have them on VC, (3DS or WiiU)
 
R

Rösti

Unconfirmed Member
#38
Are you sure? It says there the game came out for the Nintendo Power service and not for the BS-X.
There are multiple versions of the game, five to be precise. The Nintendo Power version is the second to be launched. The Event version is the initial release for Satellaview.
 
#40
This is very interesting. I had heard about BS games in the past but never really looked deeper into it.

I do much very want Mario Excitebike though, as a future thing.
 
#41
Wasn't there also an NES BS Zelda 1 that had SNES style graphics?
Yes, two actually. Called "Map 1" and "Map 2", but affectionately called "Third Quest" and "Fourth Quest". They are not NES remakes by the way, they are totally new games with a different overworld map and dungeons.
 
#47
man, this BS-X stuff was surreal, I mean, satellite stuff requiring crazy hardware and only available during transmission? Who thought was a good idea?
Yeah, sounds crazy to me too. Was this sort of thing common in Japan at the time? Did people subscribe to this service or buy the hardware just for these games or was it possible to do more stuff with it? What was the draw behind this stuff, the contests?

It's cool now as a history piece, but it's hard to imagine paying for and participating in this stuff if I lived in Japan at the time. Can anyone clarify how it all worked?
 
#48
Yes, two actually. Called "Map 1" and "Map 2", but affectionately called "Third Quest" and "Fourth Quest". They are not NES remakes by the way, they are totally new games with a different overworld map and dungeons.
Has any of it been "captured?" I haven't checked, but I'd image someone has hacked or rebuilt NES Zelda with the BS graphics.
 
#49
I thought this a long time ago and figured there wasn't enough high speed internet connections yet.
If Nintendo let people download the the game a day or two ahead of schedule, wouldn't that safe bandwidth for live audio and quick changes(like making it rain in a 2d Zelda)?