F-Zero fans are in for a treat! Over the weekend, it was revealed (via DidYouKnowGaming) that members of the game's community have released a new patch for the original Super Nintendo game that successfully restores courses and other data from two lost F-Zero titles for the Japan-exclusive Nintendo Satellaview.
In case you're unaware of what the Satalleview is (here's our article on it) or need a quick refresher, it was essentially a satellite-based service that came about after Nintendo invested in a Japanese broadcasting company named St. Giga in the early '90s and allowed users to download games and other data to the Super Nintendo with the help of a peripheral that was attached to the bottom of the console. Two cartridges were required to access these games: a BS-X cartridge (which featured an interactive menu that allowed users to explore a town to access different types of data), and an 8mbit memory pack (which could be constantly overwritten with new games).
The service first began broadcasting in 1995 and continued through to 2000 (though Nintendo stopped supplying new software in 1998 after St. Giga's management failed to apply for a broadcasting license and rejected Nintendo's proposal to reduce the firm's capital to wipe out its accumulated debts).
F-Zero BS Grand Prix 1 and BS Grand Prix 2 were just two of the games that were offered on the service and were broadcast between 1996 and 1997. Collectively, they delivered four new machines, 10 new courses, and a "ghost" feature, and included live commentary from radio hosts as well as CD-quality sound at the time of broadcast.
As you'd probably expect, given the rewritable nature of the Satellaview's memory packs and the Satellaview's regional exclusivity, attempting to preserve these titles hasn't been easy, though, fortunately, all four weeks of F-Zero BS-Grand Prix have successfully been found and dumped.
F-Zero Grand Prix 2, however, is a different matter altogether, with video footage from the Japanese user Kukun Kun being pretty much all we have from the Soundlink version of the title (though a dump does exist of BS-F-Zero 2 Practice, a non-soundlink version that featured a small sample of these tracks).
That's why it is so impressive that a team of ROM hackers, including GuyPerfect, PowerPanda, and Porthor, has managed to accurately restore the game, as not only has the team never played it but they don't even have access to the ROM for the Soundlink title. Instead, they had to rebuild the game using the video footage and a set of tools to reproduce the tracks.
You can find out more about how they did this in the video above, or download the hack now from Romhacking.net to experience these lost tracks for yourself as part of the aptly titled BS F-Zero Deluxe.