A Satellaview research blog.

New dumps and redumps, and name corrections.

It’s time for another Satellaview post from yours’ truly, LuigiBlood.

We’ve got a bunch of dumps to share, some of which I should have shared earlier again but I’m here to make it right.

Coming from an anonymous source, another redump of Wario’s Woods Futatabi which the date is 8/11 this time.
It is identical to what is already dumped in the past.

Wario no Mori Futatabi (8/11) | ワリオの森 再び (8/11)
ROM Download

Then all of other dumps come from PrincessBeef, and there’s a lot of them:

It turns out that we got another dump of Bakushow Mondai no Totsugeki! Star Pirates, the other one was Week 1, this one is Week 3! It is a quiz show hosted by Bakushou Mondai performers and others, all Satellaview personality.

That said the dump was unfortunately corrupted, so the Download link will provide the original bad dump, and a version where the checksum is manually fixed, but make no mistake, we don’t know what has corrupted and we cannot fix it for certain.

Bakushow Mondai no Totsugeki! Star Pirates – Dai-3-wa | 爆笑問題の突撃!スターパイレーツ 第3回 (Bad)
ROM Download

 

Then another set of magazines, both of which are undumped volumes of magazines we’ve dumped in the past.

Do-Re-Mi de Faa~! is a magazine dedicated to music, Top 20 of CD sales, and other things, this is Volume 9 from 5/25.

Then there’s BS Famitsu Magazine Kawara-ban Issue 5/24, which was named Weekly Famitsu Express but this is not really the right name.
It turns out the name Kawara-ban would mean like, Tile Print, from the Edo period, and would be considered like Prospectus, it is something that really hammers home how it is a smaller version of Famitsu magazine.

Both came from the same Memory Pack, which I have included in the Download.

Do-Re-Mi de Faa~! Vol. 9 – 5-25 Gou | ドレミでふぁ~!5/25号 Vol.9
ROM Download

BS Famitsu Magazine Kawara-ban 5/24 Gou | BSファミ通マガジン かわら版 5/24号
ROM Download

 

Now, another issue of… okay so we said “Machi Magazine Idol Diary Media – Strawberry,” but the name is woolly inaccurate, a proper name would more be like “Future Idol Development System – Media Strawberry”, where… there’s no volume number, we can only rely on the date which is 4/17. Another issue we got was 3/22, which is Volume 12, so this should be dated after, in theory.

The first screenshot explains what kind of magazine it is, courtesy of Google Translate which seems to fairly translate what it is about:

このマガジン型番組は、明日のスターを夢見る、若き乙女たちが続々と登場する、エンターテイメント・アイドルカタログである。
This magazine type program is an entertainment idol catalog in which young girls dreaming of becoming stars of tomorrow appear one after another.

The memory pack also contains some leftover data which I couldn’t decipher, but I’ll include it anyway.

Mirai-gata Idol Kaihatsu System – Media Strawberry – 4/17 | 未来型アイドル開発システム メディアストロベリー 4/17
ROM Download

 

Another Memory Pack with several things in them. The first is a magazine program I’ve never seen before: Satella Yokochō, which we could translate like, Satella Street?

It seems to include a bunch of information about BS-X lore involving the characters and their names! It seems to talk about the local rumors and whatnot, but my knowledge of japanese is still limited and would rather not go too much into the things if I don’t think I understand them easily, but this is cool to have!

And then, a full Super Famicom title: Super Soukoban! And it is absolutely 1:1 corresponding to the retail release, the only thing different is the header part.

The full Memory Pack dump is included with both, it includes leftover graphics from something else, but I couldn’t figure out what it actually is.

Satella Yokochō – 8-24 Gou | さてら横丁8/24号
ROM Download

Super Soukoban | スーパー倉庫番
ROM Download

 

And last, but not least, from Hard4Games, an anonymous source and PrincessBeef, a collection of RPG Maker 2, Sound Novel Maker and Music Maker user content!

Collection of Maker Series User Content dumps (2022-08-28)
ROM Download

I may as well because it is still pretty entertaining to check them out.

Dispelling confusion about Satellaview

Hey, LuigiBlood here.

It occured to me that I talk a lot about Satellaview in places that don’t really make you easily find this information, so I hope to solve this in this blog post.

No subscription

In the past few years, I spoke with people who actually played the Satellaview back then. One of these informations I stumbled upon is that the Satellaview never ever had a subscription.
I was told that the signal was descrambled when the Satellaview service was in effect (more on that later).

I tried to source this information and looked at Wikipedia, the JAPANESE Wikipedia, and it turns out it explicitly mentions that during the time soundlink programs are broadcasted, that the audio becomes a “free non-scrambled broadcast.” You can also assume this for the data portion of things. However it does not really tell me a source but I did find a Satellaview flyer presenting the features, and it does explicitly say ノンスクランブル (Non-Scrambled) about the audio, which really means this was not scrambled, and therefore can be accessed by anyone owning a BS Tuner and the other necessary equipment.

Source for the flyer (the black & white one mentions the non-scramble): https://twitter.com/Suterovich/status/835430133112635393

This also means that like, the thing about the subscription numbers is actually a different thing, and I feel like we don’t actually know the amount of players who played the Satellaview back then.

No upload, no Internet

I saw a bunch of people saying the Satellaview could do Internet, online multiplayer and stuff like that…

This is completely wrong. This is even impossible with the Satellaview hardware.

The only thing the Satellaview can do is tune in to a continuous signal from the sky that contains the audio and data. The Satellaview hardware handles the synchronization by itself; but that also means it cannot send any data through anything. This isn’t the Internet, this is a completely different technology.

This is also why you had to tune in at specific times to play and download content. This is like the radio or TV, a user cannot tell a service what to access (this is where upload would be used), you have to wait until you can get what you want.

The japanese satellite signal standard of its time was to have NTSC video signal with digital audio up to 4 channels and then a data channel modulated in together. Soundlink games merely only enable the standard audio channel that isn’t scrambled at this point and can be processed by the Satellaview hardware. This is why soundlink games are bound to their time as well, because the audio is streamed continuously.

You don’t necessarily need to understand the terms in detail, but I assume you should get the point by now.

EXT port

The Satellaview itself, which connects to the Super NES’s EXT port, also has its own EXT port for an expansion for the Satellaview.

Thanks to japanese patents, and newer research, we know what that port is for: A Hard Drive.
The hard disk drive would be used to contain content via regular ATA commands. The connector itself is a proprietary ATA variant.

The BS-X BIOS does not contain any code to access the EXT hardware, unfortunately, which is why we could only find this information ourselves.

We however know that it cannot contain or play Soundlink audio, the patent never seem to mention anything about that.

Source: https://patents.google.com/patent/JP3615588B2

Is Preservation doomed?

Honestly… yes. For many reasons.

The thing with Satellaview is that it is a lot more than about what’s contained in Memory Packs, which is its own can of worms, since we pretty much just buy them blind and hope for the best, especially for those that are treated as empty because we know that we cannot trust the BS-X BIOS for this.

Thank god for kukun kun and the others to have recorded VHS tapes of their playthroughs of Satellaview games, as it also brings a lot of context but also a way to visualize how it was meant to be at the time, which is very hard to get sometimes. This stuff is more important than anyone can realize.

Some at the time also figured out how to record satellite signal through tricks, such as plugging BS bitstream output directly into a D-VHS recorder and then being able to play the tape directly into the Satellaview’s BS IN port. This, essentially, would have been the perfect playable preservation state I would have dreamed of as we would have been able to reproduce the entire experience. Unfortunately, these tapes were lost over time.

To give an idea of the data we are missing:

  • BS-X Town Data
    It is easy to ignore this, but Nintendo programmed BS-X in a way that they can customize the town. This includes custom NPCs as well, custom text, custom event building, shops info, and the likes.
  • PSRAM Program Data (for certain games)
    A bunch of Soundlink titles like Waiwai de Q / Satella-Q rely entirely on the PSRAM, none of the contents are ever downloaded on Memory Pack.
    There’s also the case of bigger games, like BS Zelda, BS Zelda Ancient Stone Tablets, BS Marvelous, Mighty Pockets and more, that first downloads a PSRAM program that contains the intro, ending and other screens. While the intro plays, it downloads the main game into the Memory Pack.
    Some games like BS Zelda Ancient Stone Tablets rely on PSRAM content to contain vital game data, which is why the original dumps always end crashing: THIS DATA HAD TO BE RECREATED FROM SCRATCH because it was not in the Memory Pack.
    A particularly sad side of preservation indeed.
  • Soundlink Audio (Clean)
    This is the obvious, soundlink games rely on those. It would have been great to preserve these in a clean state, at least to reproduce the experience more easily.
    Due to the standards of the time and how the audio was non scrambled, it was actually possible to actually listen in with a BS Tuner without the need of the Satellaview, meaning you could actually possibly record this audio seperately from the Super Famicom and therefore avoid any possible sound effects.
    Some people actually did this… and someone even has a collection of these. Unfortunately it is also very hard to negociate any access.

These are just examples, but what we can only preserve, at this time, are mostly Memory Pack content, and you can tell that’s really just a portion of the Satellaview experience.

I also could mention how Famitsu was important at the time for including a Satellaview schedule weekly.

Some people come in to upload their recordings as well, sometimes with more testimonials of the time from the japanese players who had the chance to play.
I recommend checking out https://ameblo.jp/satebo/ for that, includes a lot more context to parts of the experience. It is managed by Twitter user @Wifi_h1024.

Kukun kun is also a savior for bringing even more recordings, too bad that YouTube is so shitty: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuXH9J-zamUAOJPYc_nAQrA

…who stole the name of the town?

…it’s easy to forget that BS-X used to have a lore about “The Story of the Town Whose Name Was Stolen.”

Machi Magazine was among the few content we got about the NPCs’ names, but also a list of rumors, of which we could reveal the town’s name, as well as who actually stole it.

Upon asking the people who lived the days, I was told that this was never ever able to be solved and they don’t know the answer to that, and that at one point, the town lore was completely rebooted, with some NPCs changing names afterwards.

That’s kinda sad, hopefully we could eventually solve this.

 

I hope this post would dispel some confusion about the Satellaview with some nice information.

Redumps and New Dumps that’s overdue

Hey, LuigiBlood here.

…this is way overdue, I really should have released this stuff much earlier, but I’m righting the wrong now.

First things first:

Coming from Marko, and dumped by Kundenbetreuung, a redump of BS Super Mario USA Episode 3, it is literally the same as previous dumps, but here it is anyway for posterity:

BS Super Mario USA – Power Challenge – Dai-3-kai | BSスーパーマリオUSA パワーチャレンジ 第3回
ROM Download

 

From Aaron Cincinatus… LITERALLY ANOTHER variant of BS Dragon Quest I.

Considering the game contains all 4 episodes in one, and the way it is downloaded prevents us to really understand when it is from, but I can just notice that the data is different from the two other dumps of this game.

BS Dragon Quest I | BSドラゴンクエストI
ROM Download

 

Techknight came back with more dumps of all kinds, but the most interesting one is another retail game that has seen a release on Satellaview:

This is Nintama Rantarou Special, a game adaptation of the japanese anime series Nintama Rantarou. It has a lot of talking, including some minigame segments for ninja training and also a platformer. This was released as a Super Famicom cartridge title in Japan. The game seems to have about ~20% of differences when compared with the retail ROM.

Nintama Rantarou Special | 忍たま乱太郎すぺしゃる
ROM Download

He also provides us another redump of Yoshi no Panepon, downloaded on July 25th (year unknown), there are no differences with other dumps:

Yoshi no Panepon – BS Version (7-25) | ヨッシーのパネポンBS版
ROM Download

And then a bunch of Ongaku Tsukuru user made music, which you can play in Ongaku Tsukuru:

Kanaderu Score 1
ROM Download

Kanaderu Score 2
ROM Download

 

And one of the best for last, which is insane that we finally have a dump:

From Andrew Henderson, who provided us dumps before, this is the first dump of content for Shigesato Itoi’s Bass Fishing No.1!

This is a magazine containing tons of tips and tricks, as well as a leaderboard. This magazine is different from the others, because it is a magazine that has to be launched from the game, and not BS-X!

So after downloading this magazine, you had to switch cartridges, put the Memory Pack in the game’s cartridge and then select Memory Pack from the main menu:

This is making me very happy, and of course, it contains brand new magazine music, which I totally ripped as SPC format and uploaded for you all:

Weekly Bass Fishing No.1 Magazine Vol.24 | 週刊 バス釣りNo.1 マガジン Vol.24
ROM Download

Weekly Bass Fishing No.1 Magazine Vol.24 | 週刊 バス釣りNo.1 マガジン Vol.24
SPC Download

I will have more to release very soon, but enjoy these in the meantime!

A paradise of cinema and RPGs… and tides of sound.

Hey, LuigiBlood here. Interesting developments have been happening lately, but here’s the Satellaview goods first.

The following dumps are courtesy of PrincessBeef, who bought a couple Memory Packs and dumped them, we found new previously undumped content.

A cinema e-magazine for the Satellaview, providing a story overview, impressions and context of Vampires, Runaway and There’s something about Mary, as well as some mail Q&As.

It also brings some cool music with it, so I did a SPC rip of them… and I randomly find a short Zelda jingle in there for some reason.

View Cinema Paradise – Vol. 4 | ビュー・シネマ・パラダイス vol.4
ROM Download

View Cinema Paradise – Vol. 4 | ビュー・シネマ・パラダイス vol.4
SPC Download

 

Next is another RPG Tsukuru 2 game that was previously undumped.

It is called Organic Stone. There was apparently a teaser version, but this seems to be a one part full story, so that’s pretty cool. My research is that this is a game produced by ASCII staff and that the story is apparently pretty serious and not really about humor.

Unfortunately my lack of japanese knowledge prevent me to understand more.

Reminder that to play it, you need to insert the Memory Pack on RPG Tsukuru 2, and then go to the first menu, and then the 3rd option (Sample Game) and then select the 2nd game (see screenshot).

Organic Stone – Main Story | オーガニックストーン 本編
ROM Download

Here’s also a couple of redumps:

Columbus no Tamagoyaki – Dai-1-kai (07-05)
ROM Download

Sutte Hakkun – 98 Fuyu Event Version
ROM Download

Sutte Hakkun – BS Version 2 (10-06)
ROM Download

 


If you were following my Twitter last week, I have released a bunch of St. GIGA related aircheck recordings and natural sounds courtesy of an anonymous person who trusted me for the release:

You can now find 80+ hours of St. GIGA’s Tide of Sound radio program here: https://archive.org/details/stgigaarchive

As well as a rip of a couple discs of OCEAN BLUE filled with St. GIGA recordings of natural sounds all around the world here: https://archive.org/details/oceanblue_cdrip

It is very easy to forget that St. GIGA was also providing their own radio service, a pretty ambient radio that wasn’t successful enough to sustain more than a decade.
To access that service, you had to pay a subscription fee, unlike the Satellaview service.

A lot of people don’t know that the Satellaview service was actually free to use (equipment aside), because the data transmission was descrambled, and there was a small window of time where the audio (soundlink) was also descrambled and dedicated to the Satellaview service. They relied on advertisements to keep the cash flowing at the time.

The reception of these St. GIGA content releases was great, I feel like today if St. GIGA still existed, they could have been able to reach a bigger audience.

 

Anyway, that’s about it for this post, have fun with the new releases 🙂

Two new dumps for today, and a great day for Map 1.

Hey, LuigiBlood here. Today is a great day.

Now, not for the blog itself as of now as the blog engine updated and broke a lot of things, where japanese became mojibake garbage, we will look into that, promised.

But I have not one, but two dumps today.

 

Let’s get the big one out of the way, we now have a dump of BS Zelda Map 1 Week 1 courtesy of a really cool guy, Matthew Callis!

For the bit of info dump, it is the rerun updated version, as seen by the following screenshots where the compass boss dot is red instead of green as the original version was.

A quick compare with the Week 4 dump shows that the content has quite some differences here and there, it needs to be looked into further.

Aside from the mismatch of original and rerun versions, what this means is that we finally have a complete collection of legit dumps of all BS Zelda Map 1 Weeks, which honestly is nothing short of a miracle 21 years after the end of the Satellaview service!

Now let’s keep in mind: Playing the original dump will work, but it might not save as it depends on the PSRAM program that runs the main content download. The game will also crash at :57 as it attempts to go back to the PSRAM program which isn’t dumped.

Unfortunately, the PSRAM program was never dumped and cannot be dumped through our usual means, as the PSRAM memory content gets lost on power off, which means the only way to get it is either from an engineer who cared about dumping content was interested back when the service was available, or through other means like recording the satellite bitstream signal (which was done by someone who unfortunately lost the digital tapes…). But until then, that content has to be recreated.

Here’s the download link:

BS Legend of Zelda – Map 1 Week 1 (Rerun, 1/1)
ROM Download

 

But I said two dumps, as the other comes from techknight, with this time a retail Super Famicom game that was released on Satellaview called Jissen Pachi-Slot Hisshouhou! Twin.

It is sorta amazing to see the Pink Panther in such a game, which of course is a slot machine. I have compared the game with the retail ROM dump, and it is strictly identical; header info aside. There is also a single start left, and it is suspected that the download was not really completed as the Flash allocation information was not properly put in place.

What this essentially means is that the full game was sent like a demo to be played a single time, and the save is temporary as well.

Jissen Pachi-Slot Hisshouhou! Twin (BS)
ROM Download

It may not be as interesting as you think but Satellaview preservation is also about keeping track of these games. Have fun 🙂

The sound of novelty and horse racing

Here’s a brand new Satellaview Memory Pack dump from Andrew Henderson, with some interesting content, to say the least.

This Memory Pack contains 4 files, filled with brand new undumped content, and everything works.

The first file is オキラクコウザ (お気楽講座), which is actually a first: This is the first dump of a playable Sound Novel Tsukūru DLC!
This is dated June 30th, 1996, and with a bit of a playthrough, this is a very silly one, and it’s fairly hard to find actual information about this.
It starts with a lot of instructions, and a choice between the main story, a minigame and to exit. I did not understand much, unfortunately.

To play it, load the Memory Pack with Sound Novel Tsukuru, select the first option, then the last option, then it should be after the two first samples from the base game.

The second and third file are KANADERU SCORE, which are Ongaku Tsukuru music data. The thing to understand about these files is that they’re basically SRAM backups, not very different in functionality than using ASCII’s Super Turbo File. Loading one of these would replace the SRAM entirely.
What is very interesting however, I believe these are actual downloadable content of some sort because these are some of the actual non converted music used in Ryōma de Yuku!

Normally, you use the convert feature of Ongaku Tsukuru to make a new file compatible with RPG Tsukuru 2 and Sound Novel Tsukuru, but you cannot actually convert back to an editable format, so this is either the Memory Pack of someone who actually made the music, or this was made available via broadcasts.

The fourth file is サテスポDX5号 (Satesupo DX Vol.5), which is a magazine pretty much all about horse racing! You may remember that we have dumped some of these in the past, which also prompted the findings of new Satellaview music (which were in the BS-X ROM the whole time), there’s really not much to say as we don’t really read japanese properly, but we still think these magazines should be preserved too.

The overdump data after those is from a RPG Maker Super Dante title, it cannot be differenciated from any of the Super Dante games like Jewel of Live or Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, there’s nothing to recover.

Here’s the file with the full Memory Pack dump. Again, thanks Andrew Henderson for the dump!

Okirakukouza + Kanaderu Score + Satesupo DX Vol. 5 | お気楽講座 + KANADERU SCORE + サテスポDX5号
ROM Download

And then seperate downloads for each part:

Sound Novel Tsukūru Data – Okirakukouza | 「サウンドノベルツクール」対応データ お気楽講座
ROM Download

KANADERU SCORE – Ryōma de Yuku | KANADERU SCORE – 龍馬でゆく
ROM Download

Dai-1-Kai BS Satellaview SateSupo DX – Dai-5-gou | 第1回BSサテラビュー杯 サテスポ DX第5号
ROM Download

Guns are going Wild now

LuigiBlood here. Lately someone named Kaeru got in touch with me about Memory Packs that were bought recently, as well as overall Satellaview discussion.

I learned that Wild Guns was one of them, which was at the time, undumped, it was on eBay for a price that we didn’t think it was good, so we passed on it.

After giving advice on how to dump Memory Packs, Kaeru got dumping hardware and dumped the Memory Packs, and allowed me to release the brand new Wild Guns Satellaview release dump, right here.

The game seems slightly different within the data when I compared both the retail japanese release and this one, so they might have done some various small fixes here and there.

There was actually 1 startup left (and it was launched a couple times recently), and it seems the data wasn’t entirely finished being processed, but it is correct, and that’s the most important thing.

I have included a ROM with the limited starts removed, but if you use the DRM free BS-X ROM you don’t need it.

WILD GUNS | ワイルドガンズ
ROM Download

2020 Was A Rough Year, But It’s Almost Ogre.

(Yes. I waited that long just for that pun.)

One more release before the year’s end – one I was kinda holding back on for a bit while I thought of how to present it.

Back in February, hendersa found an 8M pack of the 8M Pack demo of Tactics Ogre and put some footage up on this channel.

It was ROM dumped fairly shortly afterwards – I believe hendersa learned how to make a dump himself, which is impressive – and I spent a bit of time analyzing it.

There’s no issues with the dump, and it emulates well enough on just about anything, so we can get right down to the contents.

The game boots right into a pre-set map with a red team and blue team, each with matching sets of characters from Tactics Ogre’s minor character/class pool.

The most interesting thing about this demo is when it clicks in that the player has control over all the characters in the battlefield; regardless of red team or blue team, the 1P controller can check their menus and issue them commands as their turn comes up. If you have a buddy (or group of buddies) around, you can pass the controller to make a sort of multiplayer experience.

Here’s where I give a reminder that Tactics Ogre is normally a completely single-player game. 😀

The header date of the ROM is 10/2. Since it’s not likely for the demo to have been put out long after the retail game’s availability, this makes the download date almost certainly 10/2/1995. That was a Monday, so it’s possible this may have been the demo’s earliest availability, but I can neither confirm or deny that (It does not seem to appear in those scanned Famitsu schedules? Then again, neither did the Cho Aniki demo…)
Tactics Ogre would be released 4 days later.

If you’ve been checking the Satellaview archival videos on NicoNico and from Kukun kun’s YouTube Channel, you can tell that Tactics Ogre was frequently promoted – there’s potentially more to ROM dump for Tactics Ogre regarding magazines with promo screenshots and potentially more radio programming to recover. However, It doesn’t seem like any of the archival recording we have directly references the demo. That said, I might be wrong there. Feel free to correct me if that is the case.


タクティクスオウガ BS版 | Tactics Ogre BS-Ban
ROM Download