Any Good Tutorial Videos for MSX Newbies

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By Manuel

Ascended (14683)

Manuel's picture

21-07-2018, 23:56

Most good tape games were not multi-loaders, and I've never heard of a non-multi-loader which needed the other side of the tape. The multi-loaders were usually Speccy ports. I never cared for any multi-loader myself.

By wyrdwad

Hero (664)

wyrdwad's picture

22-07-2018, 00:40

Manuel wrote:

Most good tape games were not multi-loaders, and I've never heard of a non-multi-loader which needed the other side of the tape. The multi-loaders were usually Speccy ports. I never cared for any multi-loader myself.

If you play Japanese adventure games (visual novel-style), they're often multi-loaders -- and usually come on two or three cassette tapes, too, with one chapter on each side of each tape. At certain points in the story, you're told to insert a different side of a different tape and load it up. And these are usually pretty good games, but they do require being able to read Japanese in order to play them (though there was one English-language game that was structured similarly: an RPG called Mandragore; sadly, I was never able to get that one running on my PC, which is kind of a shame since I really liked the lore book that came packaged with it).

-Tom

By telecommand

Supporter (14)

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22-07-2018, 23:29

I'm only intending on playing games and 90% of them will be on cartridge so everything you've said just about covers that Big smile Thanks for all your help!

I've been using just a standard cassette recorder which works well, but I don't really get enough feedback when loading a tape so an actual data recorder will be the way to go later down the line after I've acquired a few more tapes!

By Manuel

Ascended (14683)

Manuel's picture

22-07-2018, 23:48

If you have specific questions, just ask.

By wyrdwad

Hero (664)

wyrdwad's picture

23-07-2018, 00:55

telecommand wrote:

I'm only intending on playing games and 90% of them will be on cartridge so everything you've said just about covers that Big smile Thanks for all your help!

Actually, that does bring up something else that I forgot to mention: cleaning your cartridges!

I don't know if this is your first foray into retro game collecting or if you've collected for other systems before, but this was pretty close to my first time collecting for a retro system (I grew up with a lot of retro systems, but like a lot of people, I was stupid enough to keep "upgrading" them over time, getting rid of my old systems and games after buying a new one, and thus have only ever used a lot of retro tech when it was still relatively new until recently). And nobody ever told me going into it just how EXTREMELY IMPORTANT it is to clean your cartridges.

The reason is because retro cartridges will often LOOK totally clean, so you'll put them in your system and flip it on... and they won't load. So you'll naturally think either your system is faulty, or the cartridge is faulty.

In actuality, though, it's most likely that the cartridge's pins are dirty or corroded. This isn't always visible to the naked eye, but moisten one end of a Q-tip with rubbing alcohol and run it over the pins of the cartridge, then note just how much DISGUSTING BLACK GUNK the Q-tip now has on it, and you'll see that basically every retro game has gotten filthy over the years, whether it looks it or not.

So yeah. Ever since I learned this, I've gotten in the habit of cleaning every single cartridge I buy before it touches the inside of my machine, just like I've gotten in the habit of checking every floppy disk for mold. And I would recommend you do the same, as you'll inadvertently be dirtying the inside of your MSX otherwise -- probably not to any great extent that it would cause problems in the short term or anything, but a little bit of invisible black gunk each time you insert or remove a cartridge is going to add up over time, you know?

The best way to clean a cartridge, I've found, is to so as I suggested: moisten one end of a Q-tip with rubbing alcohol, dab off any excess (so it's not DRIPPING wet), then run it along all the contacts, making sure to apply a little bit of pressure so you don't miss any caked-on gunk (you won't hurt the contacts unless you're SUPER forceful, so don't be afraid to "scrub" a bit). Then flip the Q-tip over and use the dry end to wipe off any excess moisture on the contacts, and let the cartridge sit for a few minutes to dry completely before you actually insert it into your system.

If it still doesn't work, you may need to disassemble the cartridge and clean farther up the contacts, as some cartridges have some real deep-down crud that stretches all the way into the cartridge casing. Or, if the contacts are corroded, you may need to be a little more forceful -- an emery board (like you'd use for filing your nails) will do the trick in the most severe cases, though it likely WILL leave visible scratches on the metal, and you need to be super-duper careful not to rub any part of the board above the metal contacts or you might break a trace or something. You'll also need to re-clean the contacts after using the emery board -- but in cases where there's actual rust/corrosion, this is a good last-ditch maneuver for bringing the cartridge back from the dead.

Make that your last resort, though, for sure!

-Tom

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