Famicom Disk System
February 21, 1986
The Famicom Disk System was a disk drive add-on for the Nintendo Famicom. Like the PCs of the time, the Famicom Disk System used floppy disks, although the Disk System disks were of a proprietary format. The Disk System included an FM (frequency modulation) synthesis chip for enhanced sound; international and domestic cartridge releases of Disk System games lack the enhanced sound. A RAM cartridge, inserted into the Famicom's cartridge slot, was used as the Disk System's drive buffer. The magnetic disk format allowed true game saving at a time when battery-backed memory was unavailable, which caused most cartridge-based games to use passwords to unlock various areas of the game for later play. The Legend of Zelda was the launch title for the Disk System and fully used its capabilities, most notably the Disk System's ability to save directly to the game disk. (The international cartridge version would, in turn, be the first NES game to use battery-backed save memory).
The Famicom Disk System utilized floppy disks for game storage and saving. Games could be purchased on prerecorded disks or recorded to blank disks from kiosks for a price. Unlike other consumer floppy disks, Famicom Disk System disks did not have disk shutters, presumably to save cost. Disks were double-sided; usually, title screens were recorded onto side A (top), while the actual game data was recorded onto side B (bottom), necessitating a disk side change when the game was started.
The two Zelda games released for the Famicom Disk System were originally developed for the Disk System. Both games saw Famicom cartridge releases, without the enhanced sound, long after the US cartridge releases.
Zeruda no Densetsu
- Main article: The Legend of Zelda
Link no Bōken
- Main article: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link