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The Satellaview was a peripheral add-on for the SFC, created in a joint venture between Nintendo and contemporary radio company St.GIGA that was released exclusivly in Japan on April twenty third, 1995. The purpose of the product was to allow an SNES to receive ROM data broadcasted from a satellite owned by St.Giga, and the titles available through the service were given the BS prefix to signify that they were played via a Broadcast Satellite.
Broadcast structure and interface
Upon purchasing a Satellaview and subscribing for a monthly fee, the owner was free to play any of the titles being broadcast at their leisure. The available games would rotate in hour long intervals similar to radio and television programming schedules, and would bring the player to a conclusion screen assessing their progress at the end of a particular title's time slot regardless if they completed the game or not. While small-scale original content was produced for the Satellaview, it's most well known titles are modified version of older games with new features such as an adjusted play style to serve as a time attack mode in several instances, adding a simultaneous two-player mode to F-Zero, and even changing the protagonist in the two Legend of Zelda titles.
Players would interact with the Satellaview via controlling a protagonist of their design and navigating through a modern city styled after the then-recent Earthbound. The various buildings in the city represent the Satellaview's services and the noticeboard would host announcements posted by Nintendo and St.GIGA. The city was a game in and of itself, roughly translated as BS-X: The Town Whose Name Was Stolen, with the players uncovering the mystery by exploring.
A less documented aspect of the Satellaview was the presence of digital magazines covering a variety of topics. Though rendered through the SNES native resolution, the publications were of standard page count for contemporary periodicals and would span multiple issues
The Satellaview was able to directly stream satellite radio to the player's television while in use, making use of the large music library owned by St.GIGA. Certain games made extensive use of this feature and were marketed as Soundlink titles, often incorporating audio commentary to be played over the course of a game. This commentary ranged from simple words of encouragement triggered under certain conditions to fully blown audio dramas.
BS Dragon Quest I
The sole Dragon Quest title available for the service was BS Dragon Quest, a remixed version of the first game that was available from February 4th to March 1st in 1996, with no service on saturdays. The game reused the 16-bit assets created for Dragon Quest I & II and was divided into four episodes approximately an hour long. Extensive use of the Soundlink feature was utilized for the game, making it the first instance of voice acting in any Dragon Quest title. Specifically, certain conditions would trigger voiced events in which an NPC would aid the player--the most notable of these would be the Goddess Rubiss granting blessings to the Hero under the guise of an old crone and Erdrick guiding his descendant towards important items.
Completing certain weekly tasks rewarded the player with points. The player was supposed to send a password that generated after each playthrough to Enix in order to enter a leaderboard.