MSX tapes recovery thread

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By Louthrax

Prophet (2272)

Louthrax's picture

04-06-2016, 16:39

Hi all,

You're welcomed to post here if you need help recovering damaged or unreadable MSX tapes (that you can't read anymore on real MSX or using tools like WAV2CAS).

I recently developped a new tool that uses a different approach to read tapes / .WAV files, and it seems to give good results, but it's still a bit complex to use, so this thread could be a good place to gather informations and tips.

I'm of course more interested by "undumped" tapes, in ordered to preserve them before they are lost.

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By montagut

Master (196)

montagut's picture

04-06-2016, 23:05

https://mega.nz/#!o85wxIaY!bMQK6hFzium2QHNVX15aRdaMjCIuc19_sSPXJdVrO3U
is the tape version of Laser Squad, i was unable to convert to cas with WAV2CAs

By Louthrax

Prophet (2272)

Louthrax's picture

05-06-2016, 00:40

Hi Montagut,

Yes, this one can't be converted to .CAS. The .CAS format only supports standard "MSX-BIOS FSK" encoding.

I managed to restore the binary loader ("LASER", &hBB80, &hBE80, &hBB80), but the following data are encoded in custom format (at 900 bauds, quite weird !). And they do not seem to load correctly as the loading screen is not flashing in a regular way...

Have not been able to load that .WAV file on a real MSX, neither on openMSX. Restoring that tape would need to customize SofaCas to recognize that special format (that could be guessed by looking at the loader disassembly).

Some questions for you:
- Have you already been able to load that tape on a real MSX ?
- Do you know if this is a MSX 1 game ?

By montagut

Master (196)

montagut's picture

05-06-2016, 01:00

This is a MSX 1 game.
Whith WAV2CAS i was able to make a cas of the binary loader, loading this cas with openmsx and loading the wav is posible to run the game in the emulator

By SLotman

Paragon (1218)

SLotman's picture

05-06-2016, 01:08

Great tool! With it I was able to read some files of a tape I couldn't read anything before! Smile

By Louthrax

Prophet (2272)

Louthrax's picture

05-06-2016, 01:50

montagut wrote:

This is a MSX 1 game.
Whith WAV2CAS i was able to make a cas of the binary loader, loading this cas with openmsx and loading the wav is posible to run the game in the emulator

That's good to know. I'll try to build a first .WAV file that could load on openMSX (replacing the header with the .CAS recovered one). Next step would be to rebuild the audio data so that it could load on a real MSX.

By Louthrax

Prophet (2272)

Louthrax's picture

05-06-2016, 12:26

Hey, that Laser Squad game is just GREAT! How could I have missed it ??

I managed to have to .WAV files working on a real MSX by amplifying the signal with Audacity (and using the re-generated loader). Strangely it does not work on Japanese MSX 1 (either the BIOS or the 60Hz display... I'll try it on my modified Toshiba HX10, which has a european BIOS but 60Hz VDP).

So that's the english version of the game. Slotman you didn't had that one when you made your Laser Squad english translation and patch?

By Louthrax

Prophet (2272)

Louthrax's picture

05-06-2016, 17:31

Solution was to convert the MSX tapes to Spectrum's TZX format (except for the MSX binary loader of course). I then converted the .TZX files to .WAV again so that they can be loaded on openMSX or realMSX.

You can temporary find the restored version here: Restored Laser Squad
It contains both the .CAS+.TZX files and the "ready to play on MSX" .WAV files (as the .WAV files are clean the .ZIP file is only 370KB big).

Maybe the Spectrum's TZX stages could be loaded on MSX too (maybe they are completely identical). Also wondering if it would be possible to load Spectrum's expansion pack stages that have not been released for MSX...

By Manuel

Ascended (16616)

Manuel's picture

05-06-2016, 19:30

I wonder who was the publisher of the original English version... All we know is that it was released in Italian langage by ReFLEX (in Italy).

By montagut

Master (196)

montagut's picture

05-06-2016, 20:10

Thanks.
The english version was published in Spain by System4, was reviewed in the magazine MSX-Club 69 (december 1990):
https://archive.org/stream/MSXClub/MSX%20Club%2069#page/n19/...

By Louthrax

Prophet (2272)

Louthrax's picture

05-06-2016, 20:58

Amazing, I've just checked that the Spectrum tapes are loading on MSX ! This means we could easily get the Speccy extra levels to work on MSX Smile
There's only some kind of CRC or name at the beginning of each file that would need to be changed...

EDIT: Checksum is located at byte 0x2B of the .TZX file, I've been able to load the Speccy extra levels this way.

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