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Two lost F-Zero Satellaview games recreated by fans

Two F-Zero games exclusively released on Nintendo’s Satellaview SNES service have been restored by fans and are available to play for free.

The BS F-Zero Grand Prix games were first made available in a series of broadcasts in 1996 and 1997, including remixed courses from the original SNES game and some exclusive tracks too.

However, these games appeared to be lost in the mute city of time – until now.

F-Zero 99 Nintendo Switch Online – Nintendo Direct 9 14 2023Watch on YouTube

If you’re unfamiliar with the BS-X Satellaview, this SNES add-on was released only in Japan and allowed users to download games through a series of satellite broadcasts that players needed to tune into.

Broadcast content could only be stored on special cartridges, meaning most Satellaview games – including the BS F-Zero Grand Prix games – are now incredibly rare.

However, recordings of the F-Zero broadcasts were uploaded to YouTube back in 2018, which someone named ROMhacker GuyPerfect then used to recreate these lost games (thanks, Kotaku).

Next, the project made use of a tool called Graphite (created by YouTuber FlibidyDibidy – great name) designed to view footage of Super Mario Bros. being played and calculate the positions of characters and button inputs.

This tool was repurposed by GuyPerfect for F-Zero to recreate the layouts of the exclusive Satellaview courses using assets from the original F-Zero game, with further assets created by artists Porthor and PowerPanda.

Now the exclusive courses are available to download in a mod for the original game that incorporates the new content.

But wouldn’t it be nice to play the original? A $5000 bounty is still in place for anyone who can source the original BS-X carts. Or is that a Wild Goose chase?

Nintendo itself released F-Zero 99 last year for Switch, which turns the SNES classic into a battle royale. Playing it feels like being bounced around in a pinball machine, but it’s a good laugh until a fully-fledged new game is released.

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