Thanks to Chris Covell on the Assembler Forum, we finally have some more informations about the assumed BS-X remake of Zelda 2. As we can read on Wikipedia, the Satellaview (also know as BS-X) was a satellite modem add-on for Nintendo’s Super Famicom system, released in Japan in 1995. The system required a subscription to the St. GIGA satellite radio station, and during a limited time (between 4:00 and 7:00 PM), users could download games and receive news about the gaming world (as well as see some ads), and save it on a memory card that plugged into the Satellaview.
Satellaview was broadcast from April 23, 1995 to June 30, 2000. It continued receiving new games up until March 1999. The first game on the system was Zelda BS, based on the original Zelda for the NES. The gameplay was identical to its predecessor, but a few differences exist which make the experience distinctly different. The overworld was altered from an 8 by 16 map to an 8 by 8. As in the The Legend of Zelda’s Second Quest, dungeons are again completely different.
Some years ago, a misterious scan from an unknow Japanese magazine was found, and on it there was a screen that showed what it looked like a 16bit version of Zelda 2:
Without any informations about the scan, this image was talked about in more than a forum and it was though to be a screen from a cancelled BS-X version of Zelda 2. When the japanese text was finally translated, we found out that it talked about a possible Zelda 3, making it even more suspicius.. untill some weeks ago, when Chris Covell wrote a good explanation of this mistery:
“Here’s my webpage which has pictures from the Famicom Tsushin special on the Super Famicom announcement in 1988 with that picture. That particular section in the Super Famicom article explains the graphical capabilities of the SFC, including a large number of on-screen colours, and large memory addressing, allowing for Kanji text display. That mock-up pic of a recoloured Zelda 2 with kanji text is all that was ever seen of a SFC ‘Zelda 2’. It’s just a single-screen mockup shown during the SFC’s tech demo showcase.”
“The text (in both magazine pictures) writes to the effect: The pixel-addressing capabilities of the SFC are so high that Kanji text can easily be displayed. This allows game like RPGs, for example, to display easy-to-read Kanji messages”
So, the presumed Zelda 2 BS-X was nothing more than a 1988 “tech demo” to show the SNES power to the press.. well, it was more fashinating before, but we are happy to have an answer now! Props to Chris Covell for these informations! You can read the original Assembler topic in here or take a look at Chris webpage in here. We can still wonder about the meanings of this image, as it could be seen as an early “concept” for the third Zelda game, but maybe it’s a bit too vague..