Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Examples of Download Game - Satella-Shooting Trilogy

(URLs repaired)

I just realized that my naming convention for this kind of article does not have "Game" pluralized. Ah, well. That's what I get for staying up all night on these.

But enough about me, back on the subject! Here I have a video of a game that was downloaded to a Memory Pack to be played at any time.

This game, called "Dezaemon BS-X Version" when loaded, was just one of many of the available Satellaview downloads that could be stored up.

"Dezaemon BS-X Version", in fact, is one of 3 of a set of downloadables called the "Satella-Shooting Trilogy".

That's the 2nd one. And next is the last...

On a note of "DEZAEMON" in general, apparently it's a series of Shoot-em-up Creator kits. It has been released on various platforms.

A note to ROM finders: I can not find any ROMs of these three games. Help would be appreciated in that endeavor.

EDIT: For the sake of properly giving credit where credit's due, the original NicoNicoDouga links.

01 BS-Xシューティング

02 すごいSTG 人体

03  クリスタルガーディアン

These will be used when applicable, as long as the videos stay up on the site itself.

Note that I've collected some videso from NicoNicoDouga which have since been deleted. In those cases, I will note as such.


Pictures of the Satellaview: Hardware And Carts

(URLs fixed)

This post will have some pictures of Satellaview hardware, carts, memory packs, and whatnot.

Most of these pictures were taken from other sites, and for that I apologize. These are meant for educational purposes, but if you have any objections, send me a comment and I'll remove them.

I'll start with this box right here...


This is a Satellaview box. Open it up...


And here's what's inside! But how does this all go together? Let's go one piece at a time...


This looks like a Super Famicom cartridge, and it is! But it's not just any cartridge; it's the Satellaview's BIOs cartridge, "BS-X : Sore wa namae o nusumareta machi no monogatari".

You could pop this in as-is on top of a Super Famicom and play it, but without anything else, there isn't much of a point.

You might prefer trying to find a BS-X cart with...


A BS-X Memory Pack! Nowadays, since the Satellaview service does not work, you might prefer a used one with some data already in it compared to what seems to be this perhaps-not-so-touched-one which still has it's retail box.


The Memory Pack goes into the Bios cart like so. Now, when you load up the Bios, it will read the data from this memory pack.

So, yeah, that's great. Now what about that other thing..?


Oh, this Satellaview base? This is the actual hardware add-on which allowed you to use the Satellite services and whatnot.


They connected to a Super Famicom like so - Cartridge with Memory Pack on top, and the Satellaview base at the bottom, through a port that, up until that point, the Super Famicom did not use.

(All the other things are to assist in these connections. It'd be a bit ridiculous to go in-depth on the use of the L-Bracket to send power from the Super Famicom to the Satellaview base... although now I just realized I explained it's use already! Drat!)

Using these, and the St. Giga Satellite service, you could have the Satellaview download and stream data.

Oh, by the way, one more picture? These aren't included in the set, of course...


What are these? They have the shape of the bios cart and appear to take carts in the shape of Memory Packs.

These carts read data from Memory Packs for use in their own games. These uses were more restricted than the Bios itself (You could not load a game of Special Tee Shot from a Derby Stallion 96), and instead were more specialized; The data these games looked for was usually expansion data, which may have been downloaded from the Satellaview service onto the Memory Pack.

NOTE to ROM users:

I have the following expansion downloads in ROM format -

"Same Game Koma Data"
"RPG Tsukuru Data", around 3 or 4 portions, need to double check.
"Sound Novel Tsukuru Data", around 4 or 5 portions, need to double check

Other dumps would be appreciated.

If you have these ROMs and don't know how to use them, I will put up a guide to loading them using BSNES shortly.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Examples of Live Broadcast Game - BS Dragon Quest


I do want to get into some game-specific things eventually, although I feel it's a bit soon. Regardless, I wanted to post some examples of Live Broadcast games.

These videos were originally on NicoNicoDouga, but I'm not sure of their position on things such as redistributing videos. If anyone has a complaint, they can post a comment and I'll remove the offense.

So, right.

I'll start with these BS Dragon Quest videos. Why? Because the videos of it are abridged, making for easier viewing.

First, an abridged "week 1". Huh? Week 1? Yes. Remember when I mentioned this experimented with "Episodic Content"? Live Broadcasts were distributed in episodes, usually a set of four.

Seeing the gameplay of this, you should note the few differences between this and it's non-BS-X Counterpart, "Dragon Quest 1 and 2" for the Super Famicom.

This next video is Week 2, abridged.

When you went to the next week of gameplay, you had to re-download the game. The save data was stored in the BS-X SRAM for the new episode to read, to continue where you left off.

What I have of the third week is split into 2 parts, and seems imcomplete. This is the last of the BS Dragon Quest videos from an actual braodcast that I have.

And with that, you should have a decent idea of how the game played.

Now I shall go off on a tangent here, directed specifically to ROM users, because this specific game is a peculiar topic when it comes to it's ROM.

There is only a single ROM dump of BS Dragon Quest that I have. This ROM dump apparently has all 4 "weeks" of the game available in an option screen, with the chance to choose things like your starting items and some of your stats. This would not make sense in the BS-X's actual distribution. Therefore, I must ask: What, exactly, is this "BS Dragon Quest" ROM I have?

(EDIT 1: My apologies to the assumed total of 2 or 3 people who saw this when the embeds were fucked up. They should work now.)

(EDIT 2: Now tossing in the origianl NicoNicoDouga links for proper crediting's sake.



Satellaview Content, Part 2: Downloads

This should be a bit easier to explain than the Live Broadcast stuff.

Downloads are stored into a BS-X Memory Pack, and did various things.

For example, Special Tee Shot is a game that the BS-X Bios can load from the memory pack.

Other kinds of content included less interactive "Magazines" and books, news bulletins, and expansion data for other games which accepted reading from a BS-X Memory Pack.


Satellaview Content, Part 1: Live Broadcasts

With the Satellaview, various kinds of content distribution was performed. I'll try to explain these here. Let me start with this one:

The most creative and gimmicky kind of content was "Live Broadcast" games. These games were an experiment in limited-time speedrun game contests, live audio broadcast, and episodic content, among other things.

This Youtube video, uploaded my makuchan, shows how such a game was downloaded. This specific example is BS Zelda, which was the first Live Broadcast game released.

koitetsu213 uploaded this video, which originally appeared on NicoNicoDouga, which has some of the gameplay, as it was originally played, via the live broadcast. NicoNicoDouga also has various other videos, which I will talk about later.

Note that nowadays, when you try to play these on an emulator...

There is no music. The reason should be readily apparant: Live audio was not saved into the ROM data. As far as I know, clean versions of the original audio are not available anywhere, and very few of the musical pieces are around.

(thanks to SobmicSSBB for the BS Fire Emblem video)

Playing these games, you will notice a clock. These games ran in tune with the BS-X's internal clock, and played in real-time. The majority of the games had a time limit of slightly less than an hour. They would also use the clock to cue various in-game events.

The games could ONLY be played when permitted as such by the service. Between "broadcast dates" and after the Satellaview service ended, none of the Live Broadcast games could be played anymore, and save data from them was useless on the actual Super Famicom Hardware. To make this situation more problematic, little of the content was re-released in any form officially. ROM dumps, a few musical pieces, and video uploads are currently the only known remnants of the Satellaview Live Broadcast games going around the internet - and they are far, far from a complete set in any form.

Currently, the only way to try to play "Live Broadcast" games is from a ROM Dump. However, very few emulators properly support BS-X games. I will post a guide on what I know here later on, but for now, I'll state that for Live Broadcast games, the emulator called SNESGT is the most likely to play any of them.


To put it short - What is the BS-X?

I'll get this question out of the way with as short an answer as I can.

The Satellaview, or BS-X for short, was an add-on for the Super Famicom. It's "Gimmick"? "Satellite Broadcasting".

What does that mean? It means data was sent to you from Satellite. Perhaps in the same manner that the Sega Channel had data sent to you through Cable. Using the Satellaview, you could download various things into memory packs, including games, news, and magazines. You could also take advantage of the Satellite Audio capabilities to listen to your favorite radio shows, or play special games which made use of live audio broadcasts.

More on each of these as I put up examples.

The Satellaview was a cooperative project between Nintendo, whom need no introduction, and St. Giga, a Japanese Satellite Radio service. I hope to get more about St. Giga as a company later, but for now, I will link their JP Wikipedia article.

A translation would be appreciated.


About this Blog.

As expected, the first post will describe the goal of the blog here itself.

The objective of this blog is, at the moment, to write down everything I believe I understand about the Japanese Super Famicom add-on called the Satellaview, or BS-X for short. The piece of hardware, and the software associated with it, is at various times misunderstood or unrecognized. Confusion often comes around when people think the "B" stands for "Bandai", or question why a certain game ROM lacks music when they play it on their favorite emulator, assuming the game even runs.

To put it shortly, not much is known about the Satellaview,, and I hope to rectify that with this blog.

If this is your first time hearing of this stuff, I hope my descriptions will give you a better understanding of the device. If you're a fellow nerd like myself, I hope you get questions answered just like I got a few answered myself. If you think any of my information is wrong, comment on it, but be sure to back up your statement with as much foundation as my information is backed-up on.

If you're here looking for ROMs, sorry, I can't offer any. I'm looking for ROMs just as much as you are.

If you don't understand what I mean, you will see in some later posts that I have video media of games which do not have ROM dumps. How do I get these? Well, at the moment all of the ones I'm refering to are still on NicoNicoDouga ( ) and, if you wanted to, you could find them, as well. Note that a lot of Satellaview material has been deleted from there, though. If I have a video that used to be up there, but isn't, I'll consider showing it here for you guys to see.

Anyway, my next few posts should cover some general information and link some more websites which can fill in information. I will also bring up any findings that I previously posted in the BS Zelda Shrine, but at the moment this blog is more archival than current; you'll want to head to them forums to see if I just had a sudden revelation.


Articles on the New Satellablog

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