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.
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.  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:
- Games intended to run from the BIOS and data carts meant for compatible slotted cartridges - BSNES version .042.
- SoundLink games - SNESGT .218
- Exception: BS Fuurai no Shiren: Surara wo Sukue - SNES9XWSE
- Exception: Treasure Conflix - SNESGT .218 (link above)
- Exception: BS F-ZERO titles - SNES9Xpp XE
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.
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
- Super Pasofami
- 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).
- Snes9xpp XE - Another modified version of Snes9x, Snes9xpp XE is a specialized emulator used primarily to emulate BS F-ZERO games.
|To use Snes9xpp XE...|
|To use Snes9xpp XE... to play SoundLink games, players must first create a subdirectory entitled "BIOS" within the "Save" directory. A header-less version of the BS-X BIOS ROM must then be copied to this subdirectory and renamed "bsxbios.bin". Finally, a subdirectory entitled "BSXPSRM" must be created with no contents. The SoundLink ROM can now be loaded as if it were a regular SNES/SFC ROM, and the emulator will boot the BS-X BIOS. As with BSNES, the player must navigate the BS-X avatar to its house (the red-colored building entitled "Watashi no Ie" (私の家) or "Boku no Ie" (ぼくの家)) within the town of BS-X, and select "Hozon jouhou no jikkou" (保存情報の実行) (the first option presented) in order to load the Satellaview ROM.|
- bsnes - This emulator is one of the only emulators that can load Write-protected memory pack data (often shortened to "data carts") in conjunction with slotted cartridges other than BS-X. It is also one of the few ways to play the game Konae-chan no DokiDoki Pengin Kazoku. Prior to using BSNES, it is important to note that the emulator will not work with any Satellaview ROM containing a "ROM Copier header". As such, the Copier headers must be manually removed by the player prior to booting them on BSNES. Tools available online to automate this procedure include SNEStool, Ucon64, etc. The current version of BSNES is "BSNES .042", however to date there is no available Mac version of this.
|To use BSNES...|
|To use BSNES... to boot data carts, players must launch the emulator and then enter the "Load BS-X Slotted Cartridge" menu (under File -> Load Special -> Load BS-X Slotted Cartridge...). Within the "Load BS-X Slotted Cartridge" menu, players must fill the "Base cartridge:" field with the computer's internal file address (often referred to as the "file location") for the slotted cartridge ROM associated with the intended data cart. The player must then fill the "Slot cartridge:" field with the file location of the data cart ROM associated with the intended slotted cartridge. Attempts to boot a data cart associated with an improper slotted cartridge will result in an error. A list of proper data-cart-to-slotted-cartridge associations may be found here.
- 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.
|To use SNESGT...|
|To use SNESGT..., players must launch the emulator and then enter the "BS" menu (under Options -> Settings -> BS).
SNES emulators for the iPhoneEdit
SNES emulators for the PlayStation PortableEdit
- Ruka's Unofficial Snes9xTYL
- Snes9x PSP
- Snes9x Optimised
- UoSnes9x PSP
- UoSnes9x PD
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
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.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ KiddoCabbusses. Nintendo can’t tell two Zeldas apart The Satellablog. 4 December 2008.
- ↑ KiddoCabbusses. BS Zelda ROM hacks update.. Satellablog. 9 April 2009.
- ↑ KiddoCabbusses. Page reserved for reccomended emulators.. Satellablog. 31 March 2009.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 KiddoCabbusses. The first new Satellaview merchandise in years – …. what?. Satellablog. 15 September 2009.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 KiddoCabbusses. How to use Satellaview emulation; for Broadcast games.. Satellablog. 15 June 2008.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 KiddoCabbusses. How to use SNESGT to play Soundlink titles. Satellablog. 15 June 2008.
- ↑ KiddoCabbusses. Satellaview Emulation – SNES9Xpp XE is SWEET.. Satellablog. 18 October 2009.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 KiddoCabbusses. BSNES update renders previous blog post obsolete, first @ TBSX news.. Satellablog. 21 November 2008.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 KiddoCabbusses. Satellaview Emulation – SNES9Xpp XE is SWEET.. Satellablog. 18 October 2009.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 KiddoCabbusses. How to emulate the Satellaview: Data Cart goes in game!. Satellablog. 17 June 2008.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 KiddoCabbusses. How to emulate the Satellaview: Data Cart goes in game!. Satellablog. 17 June 2008.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 KiddoCabbusses. Emulating the Satellaview - some new ROMs need BSNES!. Satellablog. 16 August 2008.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 KiddoCabbusses. Emulating the Satellaview – some new ROMs need BSNES!. Satellablog. 16 August 2008.
- ↑ KiddoCabbusses. belated note.. Satellablog. 31 March 2009.
- ↑ KiddoCabbusses. Explaining BS-X “lockout” – why your Zelda pack won’t play anymore. (sorry dude.). Satellaview. 29 March 2010.
- ↑ KiddoCabbusses. Just how difficult is getting new stuff? A sorta-personal story.. Satellablog. 1 June 2010.
- ↑ KiddoCabbusses. Busy Busy Busy – 2: HyperSpinning makes me dizzy.. Satellablog. 19 October 2010.
- How to use SNESGT to play Soundlink titles - A set of instructions with pictures to describe how to run SoundLink titles on SNESGT.
- How to emulate the Satellaview: Data Cart goes in game! - A set of instructions with pictures to describe how to run data packs on BSNES.