I logged in just now specifically to say thanks. MSU1 is too big of a feature to be exclusive to one (fussy) emulator.
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I think there were some specific uses for the shield as an item.
Such as the Mario Spinies (whatever they were called in the game) where you have to use the shield to make them vulnerable.
And the flamethrower you need the Mirror Shield to get passed.
Technically maybe you could hack the game to auto-shield, but it would seem like, in the above situation, Link just suddenly gains the ability to repel fire.
Poor Stanley. He needs his own ROM hack starring role to offset demands like this.