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Satellaview emulation

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Due to the uniquely software-bound condition of Satellaview ROMs, the advent of SNES emulation has enabled Satellaview fans to experience a wide variety of material originally broadcast by St.GIGA for Satellaview owners. Considered by some to be a labor of love akin to amateur archeology, the recovery of data from previously undumped Satellaview memory packs allows Satellaview researchers to bring to light material that has been excluded from the public view for some 15 years. As a time capsule from the mid-90s, the interest in this data is in part driven by nostalgia for the halcyon days of youthful video-gaming and in part by an interest in canonical material (especially belonging to popular video game series) that is largely ignored or even denied by Nintendo.[1][2]

As a result of the differences between Satellaview ROM data and Super Nintendo ROM data (e.g. calls made by Satellaview programs to retrieve information from the St.GIGA servers) and due to the fact that the Satellaview's hardware setup required that Satellaview games be booted from a slotted cartridge (usually the BS-X BIOS), standard emulation is often not possible for many Satellaview games. Although some emulators, like SNES9X and ZSNES, do purport to have limited capacity to boot 2 files simultaneously (such as the BS-X BIOS and the ROM to be played), this has not been shown to work for any Satellaview games not otherwise bootable without the BS-X BIOS. Consequently a subculture of Satellaview ROM hackers has developed to modify Satellaview ROMs to the point where they can be launched on standard emulators such as ZSNES and Snes9X. Modern ROM hacks have emphasized compatibility of the file with both emulators and with real hardware. [3] For English-speaking Satellaview researchers and enthusiasts, the need for ROM-hacking also rests on the importance of translation into English.

Attempts have also been made at modifying and specializing emulators themselves to allow Satellaview ROMs to be run unmodified, and ROM hackers have experimented with numerous emulators to determine which is best to tailor modified ROMs to. Naturally opinions differ, however with few exceptions the current recommendations for best emulators to use for Satellaview games are as follows:

Apart from general appearance and internal design, one of the most notable differences between Snes9x, SNESGT, and BSNES in terms of their ability to display Satellaview ROMs comes from the different emulators' attempts to load the seemingly-missing objects from SoundLink titles like BS Zelda no Densetsu: Inishie no Sekiban. Specifically, with SNES9X these objects are completely missing, whereas SNESGT displays scrambled objects, and BSNES appears to display less-scrambled chunks of these objects.[9]

Below is a list of SNES emulators with notes made on the successes and/or failures of Satellaview emulation under their employ.

SNES emulators for the Personal ComputerEdit

  • VSMC
  • Super Pasofami
  • Snes96
  • Snes97
  • Snes9x
    • Snes9x SE - A modified version of Snes9x, Snes9x SE is often considered the easiest emulator to use because internally it has the option of enabling BIOS emulation which means that players do not even need the BS-X BIOS ROM. The downside to this emulator is that due to the absence of the BS-X BIOS, emulation is not perfect for programs that would re-access the BIOS during playthrough (such as Treasure Conflix, some downloadable magazines, and most SoundLink files).[6][7]
    • Snes9xpp XE - Another modified version of Snes9x, Snes9xpp XE is a specialized emulator used primarily to emulate BS F-ZERO games.[10]



  • SNESGT - Compatibility is more or less the same as for SNES9X SE, but there are fewer noticeable glitches with ROM playthrough. The emulator adds a number of helpful features as well, such as the ability to modify the game's real-time clock to readily allow players to go from timed-segment to timed-segment of the game for review reasons.


SNES emulators for the iPhoneEdit

SNES emulators for the PlayStation PortableEdit

SNES emulators for the Nintendo DSEdit

SNES emulators for the Game Boy AdvanceEdit

SNES emulators for the GizmondoEdit

SNES emulators for the GP2XEdit

SNES emulators for PDAsEdit

SNES emulators for the WiiEdit

Hardware emulatorsEdit

The Ultra 16, a hardware emulator shell similar to the Super UFO, can play locked ROMs[16] and locked memory packs. According to d4s, even deleted games can be played using an Ultra 16 unit.[17]

Future and planned emulatorsEdit

HyperSpin Arcade Frontend - As information about the Satellaview has increased in recent years, ambitious future emulators have been planned to allow emulation of Satellaview games as well. Developers of such emulators have noted that the Satellaview in particular poses difficult emulation issues.[18]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. This may be due in part to the fact that in Japan the Satellaview is generally considered to have been an unsuccessful "failed system" similar to the Virtual Boy.
  2. KiddoCabbusses. Nintendo can’t tell two Zeldas apart The Satellablog. 4 December 2008.
  3. KiddoCabbusses. BS Zelda ROM hacks update.. Satellablog. 9 April 2009.
  4. KiddoCabbusses. Page reserved for reccomended emulators.. Satellablog. 31 March 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 KiddoCabbusses. The first new Satellaview merchandise in years – …. what?. Satellablog. 15 September 2009.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 KiddoCabbusses. How to use Satellaview emulation; for Broadcast games.. Satellablog. 15 June 2008.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 KiddoCabbusses. How to use SNESGT to play Soundlink titles. Satellablog. 15 June 2008.
  8. KiddoCabbusses. Satellaview Emulation – SNES9Xpp XE is SWEET.. Satellablog. 18 October 2009.
  9. 9.0 9.1 KiddoCabbusses. BSNES update renders previous blog post obsolete, first @ TBSX news.. Satellablog. 21 November 2008.
  10. 10.0 10.1 KiddoCabbusses. Satellaview Emulation – SNES9Xpp XE is SWEET.. Satellablog. 18 October 2009.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 KiddoCabbusses. How to emulate the Satellaview: Data Cart goes in game!. Satellablog. 17 June 2008.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 KiddoCabbusses. How to emulate the Satellaview: Data Cart goes in game!. Satellablog. 17 June 2008.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 KiddoCabbusses. Emulating the Satellaview - some new ROMs need BSNES!. Satellablog. 16 August 2008.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 KiddoCabbusses. Emulating the Satellaview – some new ROMs need BSNES!. Satellablog. 16 August 2008.
  15. KiddoCabbusses. belated note.. Satellablog. 31 March 2009.
  16. KiddoCabbusses. Explaining BS-X “lockout” – why your Zelda pack won’t play anymore. (sorry dude.). Satellaview. 29 March 2010.
  17. KiddoCabbusses. Just how difficult is getting new stuff? A sorta-personal story.. Satellablog. 1 June 2010.
  18. KiddoCabbusses. Busy Busy Busy – 2: HyperSpinning makes me dizzy.. Satellablog. 19 October 2010.

External linksEdit

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