A Satellaview research blog.

New ROM dump to sow the seeds of chaos on your pathetic, imperfect emulator.

(Minor updates to fix some small errors. ~ Cabbusses

General note: As ChronoMoogle did the primary write-up, he is credited for this in spite of me doing the publishing. I have some notes on emulation compatibility after his words. ~ Cabbusses)

Hello everyone,

it’s ChronoMoogle for a change. I did provide a small write-up for a recent ROM dump release of the Bounty Sword Satellaview demo, but it’s been a while since I did a more in-depth one.

Today, we have another similar demo that has kindly been obtained and dumped by Matthew Callis for the very first time – Chaos Seed, developed by Neverland of Lufia and Rune Factory fame. And since I helped with the beta-testing of the English translation by Dynamic Designs and pretty much know the full game inside-out from that, I hope I can give you a decent small introduction of the game and what exactly is included in this Satellaview demo.

(My video recording. ~ Cabbusses)

A few days ahead of the game’s retail release in Japan, this demo was streamed for download on the 11. March 1996 via the Satellaview to preview the game to interested players. There were later restreams, but this dump actually appears to be the initial one.

Most demos on the Satellaview were unaltered 8Mbit titles with limited startups, but Chaos Seed was one of the more ambitious previews that managed to shrink down a 32Mbit game to a demo that was only 8Mbit of the originals size to make it compatible with the 8M Memory Packs. Only a very few Satellaview demos did this, including Tactics Ogre: Let’s Cling Together, Bounty Sword, Tenchi Souzou (Terranigma) and a handful more.

Chaos Seed is an incredibly complex game, which combines the genres Action RPG (with actually quite Terranigma-esque execution) and Simulation (somewhat similar to Dungeon Keeper). You are a hermit tasked to maintian and create caves that hold the nature in balance through Feng-Shui, which is sadly misinterpreted by normal humans as an evil witchcraft.

The meat of the game is to manage these dungeons which get invaded by human “heroes” and monsters. While doing so, the player needs to expand, manage and protect the dungeons and their interior. In some parts of the game, there’s also some adventure-esque portions that feature town and dungeon exploration. And there are some quite impressive boss fights. The game is massive and easily offers 100+ hours with different endings and many secrets.

The demo being shrinked down to 1/4 of the orignal game’s ROM size and only being ment to promote the game obviously only offers a small part of that… Some Japanese sources in the internet prior to this dump pointed towards this being an exclusive scenario for the game – And while this is unfortunately not true, it’s a quite impressive demo nonetheless.
(Technically a modified, abridged scenario specific for this version could be considered an exclusive scenario, but needless to say that wasn’t entirely what I was hoping for when I read those initial descriptions. Aw, well! ~ Cabbusses)

The Chaos Seed Satellaview demo features the biggest part of the game’s introduction scenario, which is still roughly 2-3 hours (!) in length. This scenario includes the story intro, an in-depth tutorial dungeon and a first simplified simulation mission. The retail version features a non-simplified one and some more cutscenes in the scenario after that (enhancing this chapter to about 4+ hours in the full game), but this last part has been cut from the Satellaview demo, likely due to data size reasons. In the content that’s there though, pretty much all in-game features are intact without restraints. A fun oddity: You get to pick the heroine’s name at the start of the demo, despite her making no appearance in it. Guess they sort of forgot to cut that bit. After the demo has been cleared, the player gets send back to the title screen. Saving progress is still possible in this demo, but the save data will get wiped once the console is turned off.

All in all one of the more interesting and technically impressive Satellaview demos out there, it’s great to see it preserved!

(Additional notes on the dump added by Cabbusses below)

danyl has provided a list of confirmed scheduled broadcasts below:

1996/03/09~1996/03/15(2 times per day)
1996/03/20(1 time per day)
1996/04/07~1996/04/13(1 time per day)
CHAOS SEED (named like that on BS-X menu from May 1996 broadcasts)
1996/05/05~1996/05/11(2 times per day)
1996/05/12~1996/05/18(1 time per day)
1996/05/26~1996/06/01(2 times per day)

The date on the ROM header is 3/11, which coincides best with the first week of broadcast according to this list.

The YouTube recording above was recorded on the bsnes-plus emulator that is provided on LuigiBlood’s BS-X Project site, rather than my usual SNES9X (1.61 as of this article’s writing) recordings. The reason for that is because this ROM has issues running in SNES9X: The save menu seems to corrupt, causing the game to try to load unworkable save data. The game crashes if the bad saves are loaded or if there is an attempt to start a new scenario in these saves. (Strangely, the scenario menu corruption causes scenarios that do not exist in this demo to be listed.)

This is NOT an issue with the dump – the checksum is correct, and the game plays correctly on my BSNES recording.
Furthermore, these issues happen on SNES9X even if the BS-X BIOs emulation and SatData are used.
LuigiBlood has informed me that this ROM works on Mesen. Meanwhile, I tested on SNESGT and it does not work.
Other emulators still need testing, but it not working correctly on SNES9X means compatibility is going to be low (I’m not even going to bother with ZSNES). Please be patient for your emulator of choice to update if you seek to play this ROM dump on it.

Lastly, I will leave a general reminder: These ROM releases are the work of a group of enthusiasts whom will greatly appreciate any further assistance.
If you have a tip on finding any sort of Satellaview data or would like to make a contribution for the cause, please contact LuigiBlood.

カオスシード BS版 | Chaos Seed BS Ban
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