I had thought maybe Retry could mean to "try again with a different game." But then again, the Japanese text next to the SAVE command is "End", so I'm not sure what they're thinking.
From what I understand of the "hold Reset" issue, it is because the mapper isn't designed to handle a sudden power on/off state, which could cause unwanted writes to the save RAM, corrupting the save files.
I think some of the later mappers might write-protection.
According to this site
, "Revision A" US carts use the MMC1B variant, which according to NESDev, is supposed to allow the RAM to be disabled. (and the Famicom version uses the MMC1B variant)
Then again, Zelda probably doesn't disable the SRAM because it uses it to store parts of the game program (likely because of the memory map. While the FDS had PRG-RAM from $6000-DFFF, carts PRG-ROM uses addresses $8000-FFFF. So, by storing code in the SRAM, they can have code in the $6000-7FFF region and not have to change everything in the code that references those addresses.
Everything in Zelda is probably in katakana because in VRAM there is only space for the katakana and English characters. The katakana tiles were simply blanked out in the English version. I had once made a hack to use those unused tiles for a VWF but I don't think I finished it and I can't remember how far I got.
Retranslating Zelda? That's an idea I'll have to think about.
Do you know of the FDS Zelda prototype that is spreading around? Though I guess much of that has already been documented, and I'm not sure if it would fit within the goal of your article.