The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past – Live Japanese Script Viewer

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NOTE: This little program is an old “is it possible to do this?” experiment I did a good while back. I’ve since developed a far better + customizable tool that can be used for any SNES game. I plan to release this new tool sometime in the near future.
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In late 2016 I threw together a quick program as an experiment. I wanted to see if I could take The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Super NES) and work some magic to display the Japanese lines of text whenever English lines text appeared. I posted about the entire process here.

Many readers asked to try the program out for themselves, but because it was a quick experiment, I had never intended it to be user-friendly or stable. Even so, I decided to add a little bit of error-checking and then upload it here for others to try:

Be sure to read the info below and/or the included README.TXT file before running the program!


This is an experimental program that displays the Japanese line from Zelda: A Link to the Past whenever an English line appears while running in an emulator. It’s very likely this won’t run on your system, as it was designed for a specific environment, but if you’d like to try it, try it at your own risk.


  • The program likely requires a 64-bit version of Windows (I’ve tested it on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1) and possibly the MonoGame, XNA, and/or .NET frameworks to be installed. If you have a recent version of Windows you probably already have most of this installed, though.
  • Snes9x emulator, version 1.53 (not tested on/meant for any other versions)
  • ROM of the Japanese version of A Link to the Past, named z3j.sfc (needs to be headerless, 1,048,576 bytes in size exactly)

To Use:

  • Place the Japanese ROM in the same folder as Zelda3RAMWatcher.exe
  • Load the English version of A Link to the Past in Snes9x 1.53
  • Run Zelda3RamWatcher.exe


  • Esc: Quit program
  • Up/Down: Scroll Japanese text up/down
  • Left/Right: Refresh text and reset text position

If you have an XBox/Windows controller attached, you can use the right stick to scroll the text as well, and press the right stick to refresh the text.


The program is a bare-bones “proof of concept” experiment. There’s no guarantee that it will work on your system/setup. It’s not intended to be user-friendly or receive any bugfixes/upgrades. I do hope to create a better, more customizable, general-purpose solution in the future.

If you enjoyed this, check out Legends of Localization Book 1: The Legend of Zelda, my book dedicated to the very first Zelda translation and how it has affected every Zelda game since! (free preview PDF )
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