Since first entering the video game business in 1974 and striking it big with Donkey Kong in 1981, Nintendo has — to put it simply — released a lot of video games, and not all of them make it to all regions. Some titles, even perceived big ones, may never leave the North American or PAL regions, though by far the most common instance is that of games which never leave Japan at all. That includes a number of titles for an add-on that could be fittingly described as something of a “sequel machine,” the Satellaview which utilized the expansion port of the Super Famicom.
Among the types of data which could be transferred via satellite to users were “SoundLink” games which had to be played at certain times for limited one-hour duration in order to accommodate the broadcast of voice actors to narrate or otherwise further enhance the gameplay experience. The first of these was BS Zelda no Densetsu, or BS (Broadcast Satellite) The Legend of Zelda, which began in August 1995.
Following the release of the 16-bit enhanced remakes of the 8-bit Super Mario Bros. titles in 1993’s Super Mario All-Stars, fans began to wonder when (or if) they would ever see an equivalent for Link’s two Nintendo Entertainment System adventures. From a graphical and audio standpoint, that’s what BS The Legend of Zelda provided, though the gameplay was tweaked somewhat to accommodate the SoundLink format. Furthermore, a different story featuring the player as the protagonist (by way of a choice between the Satellaview service’s boy and girl avatars) and slightly different map helps to establish the title as something of a sequel or side-story in the overall Zelda lore.
Unfortunately, Nintendo has never seen fit to do much of anything with BS The Legend of Zelda past its initial release, a few rebroadcasts aside — no Virtual Console, no “Zelda All-Stars,” or anything of the sort. Fortunately for the sake of preservation (as well as curious players), much of the data from the Satellaview’s 8M Memory Packs has been preserved and modified to not only play the game at all, but even allow players to use Link in what is labeled as a “Third Quest” of the NES original.