In the December of 1996, a follow up to the previous year's Legend of Zelda broadcast streamed into Japanese homes (or at least those lucky enough to shell out for the Satellaview add-on with BS-X game pack and memory card, St. Giga's BS Tuner as well as the monthly Satellite Radio subscription). Dubbed the 'Fourth Quest' by fans, this is basically another remixed version of the NES original. To see how it plays, read my 'Third Quest' review 'cos I won't repeat myself. Here I'll be talking about the different fan-made hacks the both of them share.
The restoration saw three different forks that are notable; the basic restoration, the full restoration and the Link Map. For the longest time, only the basic restoration was available for English speakers with the original audio thought to be lost. I've briefly covered these versions in the early days of this site (though I must stress 'early'). In the last few years, a longplay appeared online and talented fans managed to piece everything together for the full experience.
The beginning and end of each chapter features some nice art that details the ongoing story.
Due to merging the chapters into one, these are a sad casualty in the Quest version.
The 'Link Map' hack is pretty much exactly the same as the basic restoration with the Satellaview mascots changed to Link. While the male mascot is now a 16-bit sprite of the hacker's own design, the female mascot has been changed to the 8-bit version of Link as seen in the original game. It looks at odds with the rest of the visuals, but it's a nice bonus that it's there. Be warned, though. You cannot change your avatar mid-game.
You may have noticed that all the talk on the game so far has been about the restoration version and its variants. What about the versions that are actually called the Third and Fourth Quests? Well, if you want to experience these games in much the same way as you have on the NES back in 1986, these are the ones to play. They've been hacked to play like a single full adventure, without the game being broken up into weeks. Also, you can now play as Zelda herself if you want. The female Satellaview mascot has been changed to a faithful 16-bit sprite of the Hyrulian princess. She does play exactly the same as Link or the othe mascots with the only difference being a high-pitched squeal whenever she's hit.
The Quest versions allow you play as Zelda.
This rarely happens outside of the CDi abominations.
It's a nice idea that allows you to have one unbroken playthrough, though I personally did miss some of the more unique gameplay elements of the broadcast. The intro is entirely gone along with all speech. Also gone are the old man's interruptions. This means that if you're stuck, you'll get no help in the form of magic spells or hints. The time limit is also gone so at least you can take your time exploring the place. You'll need that time in the 'Fourth Quest' too, as I definitely found Hyrule to be more compact and confusing compared to the previous one.
I also found the difficulty to be a bit higher too. Some enemies take more hits to defeat and inflict more damage. Add to that the fact that they're less likely to drop health items and it makes every encounter a dangerous prospect. Once they're defeated they do remain done which is something of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you can explore in peace which is nice when you're hunting for the next dungeon or experimenting with bombs. On the other hand, there are fewer options to find those precious hearts they can sometimes leave behind. If you've cleared the known map of monsters, the only place to heal is the Fairy Fountain, but there will be times when she won't be there. There are two ways I've found to trigger a respawn of monsters; enter and exit a dungeon or die and start again.
The original Japanese broadcast gave you a code when you completed the game.
You could send these into Nintendo to enter a competition and win prizes.
There are two Quest options available; the original and the CD-Audio version. The latter has the MSU patch added to it which replaces the emulated sound chip with a high-quality fanmade soundtrack. Depending on what you look for in a soundtrack, this is either better or worse than the full restoration version. That may have gathered its music from an approximation of the official soundtrack, but here the theme changes depending on your location. While the full restoration has gameplay elements that rely on a single specific audio track to play in full, the Quest versions can dynamically alter themes at particular moments like say if you enter a dungeon or encounter a boss for example.
No matter which version you play, these additional quests to the original Legend of Zelda are must-plays for any fan of the series. Lest I remind you that outside of the translation and restoration hacks, they're 100% Nintendo made titles too. I would love to see these get an official re-release or re-make but until then, these remixed masterpieces are preserved thanks to the dedicated fans at the BS Zelda Homepage.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses Retroarch with the SNES9x core to emulate the PlayStaion games on modern PCs. XBox 360 controllers supported. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 1.95 Gb. Install Size: 2.66 Gb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
BS Zelda & Satellaview is © Nintendo
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me