In the mid-90’s Nintendo tried a unique experiment with the Super Famicom in Japan: if customers signed up for a special service, they could download games via satellite. Unlike the Sega Channel (which came through your cable system and was mostly games already available through retail), Nintendo’s BS-X service consisted of new content.
Mostly, though, this new content took the form of expansions or remakes. F-Zero got a Japan-exclusive expansion, and the original Legend of Zelda was remade with SNES graphics and enhanced sound. According to a brief story in Nintendo Power, the US branch of the company was considering bringing these games over in cartridge form, but nothing would become of it.
Ever since it became possible to dump old games over the Net, the BS-X games have existed in ROM form, but the Zelda remake has never been available the way it originally appeared. This is because the month it was first broadcast (August 1995), it was coupled with a CD-quality streamed soundtrack and commentary by Japanese VAs.
That track took quite a bit of work to get working again. But a group of fans out there has announced their labors are finished: the complete original BS-X Zelda is now available to play. You can either use the original Japanese track, or a dubbed version they created themselves. Several minutes of it can be heard below….
It isn’t currently known how they did it, as most believed this feat impossible. But it’s been done now, and a rare piece of Nintendo history has been preserved.