BS The Legend of Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets

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Ancient Stone Tablets
BS Zelda The Ancient Stone Tablets Logo.png

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BS Zelda No Densetsu: Inishie No Sekiban, which translates into English as BS The Legend of Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets, was a The Legend of Zelda series game created for the Satellaview, a Japanese only attachment for the Super Famicom. The "BS" part stands for Broadcast Satellaview, reflecting the fact that the game was available only through a combination of a download via satellite transmission to storage media and live, unstored sound. Rather than Link, the protagonist could be chosen from the male and female Satellaview mascots, dubbed the "Hero of Light" in-game.

Broadcast only three times - in March/April 1997, June 1997 and November/December 1998[1] - the downloaded game data was later rediscovered and made playable by volunteers, including English translations.

Gameplay

The game was built on A Link to the Past, and uses the same overworld but with different dungeons, resembling the later A Link Between Worlds in some respects. However, as with some other Satellaview games, it was designed to be played only "live" in a one-hour weekly time slot for four weeks, outside of which the game was not available for play. During the live broadcast period, including approximately fifty minutes of actual playing time and cutscenes to open and close, sound was broadcast, including The Legend of Zelda: Sound & Drama tracks and voice acting for characters including Aginah and Princess Zelda.

Utilising the fact that the player could only play within a limited time, real-time events and sidequests were incorporated into the game directly. For instance, in Week 1 the weather changes several times - standard enemies are present when sunny, but for approximately seven minutes (~18:23-18:30) it rains, during which time all outdoor enemies are replaced by walking Zora and bombs do not explode in the rain.

Content was partitioned per week - of the eight dungeons, only two were accessible per broadcast. Dungeons from previous weeks were blocked off by thieves, who would give the player any missed items from that dungeon when talked to, including if they had missed a week or weeks entirely.

Story

The game takes place six years after A Link to the Past. In this time, Link has left for other shores, and Hyrule has been at peace. However, Princess Zelda begins to have prophetic dreams of a shadow threatening the land. When a mysterious figure falls from the sky near the southern tip of the Eastern Palace Compound with a burst of light, she goes to investigate and meets Aginah. The old man was also warned of trouble by his brother Sahasrahla, who had gone in search of Link, and reached the figure slightly before Zelda. Recognising the youth's clothes as foreign, they took them to Sahasrahla's former hideout to recover, noting their lack of wounds despite the events.

Zelda acquiesced to Aginah's request that she take shelter in Hyrule Castle, but not before noting a strange power in the youth, dubbing them the Hero of Light. Soon after she left, a wounded soldier came from the Eastern Palace to warn of a horde of monsters who had killed the rest of his troop. When the "Hero of Light" awoke, they were sent by Aginah to investigate the situation at the Eastern Palace, and to ultimately collect eight Ancient Stone Tablets and save Hyrule.

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