Panasonic WX MSX2+

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By engineer

Supporter (8)

engineer's picture

27-10-2018, 06:15

Hello all!

I just purchased a Panasonic WX MSX2+. It has the native 64k of memory and was wondering what you guys recommended getting to upgrade the memory. I want to be able to play Snatcher and any other game that requires a minimum of 128k to play. I have been researching memory mapper carts, but not sure which one to pursue. Also, I am unsure if I understand the carts correctly also. If I purchase one of the mapper carts, it will extend my system memory?

Also, the WX has MSX_MUSIC, so I won't have to worry about purchasing a sound cart or anything?

And finally, which flashcart should I get? I am thinking of getting the MegaFlashRom. If I do get this, I shouldn't need a memory mapper as FDD games will use the memory mapper in this?

I apologize for all the questions and I appreciate any pointers you guys can give!

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By Meits

Scribe (5373)

Meits's picture

27-10-2018, 11:31

You're right about the MegaFlashROM if you get the version with 512KB ram. You can keep the lid on your WX then and don't need to bother for other cartridges. There's an SCC in it as well, so along with your built in MSX Music you'll have quite a few music expansions.

By rderooy

Hero (517)

rderooy's picture

27-10-2018, 13:29

Snatcher and SD Snatcher don't require 128KB RAM. 64KB is enough for the vast majority of MSX2 and MSX2+ games. There is just a handful of European MSX2 titles that require 128KB. That is unless your looking to run cracked megaROMs...

VRAM is another matter, there you do require 128KB to run almost all MSX2 and 2+ games, but your MSX2+ has 128KB VRAM so there is no issue there.

https://www.generation-msx.nl/software/konami/snatcher/1144/
https://www.generation-msx.nl/software/konami/sd-snatcher/1267/

By saccopharynx

Master (132)

saccopharynx's picture

27-10-2018, 13:33

Hi engineer,

Form my recent experience, I would say that FDD games MIGHT NOT use the MegaFlashRom memory mapper. It will depend on how a particular game selects the mapper segments as well as on what mapper registers are actually read on your computer configuration. In other words, depending on the sizes of your mappers and hardware itself, games that read from ports #FC-#FF might only get reads from the internal mapper (64k).

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (2992)

sd_snatcher's picture

27-10-2018, 15:15

My considerations on this topic:

- The upgrade of the internal memory requires soldering skills. It's very easy for 256KB, but 512KB requires some very experienced technician.

- The translated versions of SD-Snatcher and Snatcher allow the game to be run without the original "Konami Sound Cartridge", by using a plain-vanilla SCC or MFRSCC+. But for this, it requires 128KB of *free* memory.

- Reading the memory mapper registers wasn't allowed by the MSX standard. Based on this, the Panasonic MSX2+ machines block reading of external memory mapper registers. But many European software do read those ports. This means that an external memory mapper won't help you to run such games. In fact, it's much on the opposite: they'll hinder your ability to run such games even if your machine has the internal memory expanded.

Bottom line: For Panasonic MSX2+ machines, your best choice is to expand the internal memory, and if you get a combo cartridge (massive storage + RAM expansion), be sure to choose one that allows you to disable the external memory expansion for when you need to run the specific bad-behaving European games (not all of them are).

By engineer

Supporter (8)

engineer's picture

27-10-2018, 17:06

Thank you guys for all the info!

I will be looking to expand the memory to 256k and getting the MegaFlashRom.

As for the 128k upgrade, are there any clear directions on the internet or on here? I found a pdf that has directions, but they are not a clear as I would like for a first time MSX owner. lol

Also, sd_snatcher said that the MSX2+ block reading external memory mappers. Does this mean that it would be pointless to get a flash cart that has extra memory?

As for FDD games, what I'm understanding is that they will not use the external memory mapper? So after upgrading the memory, I should be able to play the translated sd_snathcer? I see that I can purchase the IPS patch for the game (I'm in the United States) and would like to go that route as I would like to try and stay as true to the original hardware/software when playing games. This is quite restrictive though as the original FDD game is really expensive!

Again, thank you for all the information!

By Grauw

Enlighted (8014)

Grauw's picture

27-10-2018, 23:18

engineer wrote:

Also, sd_snatcher said that the MSX2+ block reading external memory mappers. Does this mean that it would be pointless to get a flash cart that has extra memory?

No, it’s not pointless.

They can be used perfectly well, but some few software which reads from the I/O ports (something they’re not supposed to do) is limited to the capacity of the internal memory.

engineer wrote:

As for FDD games, what I'm understanding is that they will not use the external memory mapper?

They will.

The simple explanation is that generally the external mapper will be used instead of the internal memory when plugged in. The complicated explanation of how it works exactly I will omit Smile.

I feel things are made way too complex and scary in this thread Smile. Get a MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD with 512K memory, use it, notice how almost everything out there works fine. If you do happen to run into trouble with a particular game, come back here and ask. You can always consider an internal memory expansion later, but it’s a hassle. Note that on 64K machines, the MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD won’t be able to run DOS2 (for FAT16 & directory support), so I definitely recommend to get the 512K option.

Enjoy your nice WX Big smile.

By djh1697

Paragon (1391)

djh1697's picture

27-10-2018, 23:28

The Carnivore2 should also work, although there is a wait to obtain these

By saccopharynx

Master (132)

saccopharynx's picture

28-10-2018, 01:08

Hi,

Grauw, I think it is just the opposite for most of the FDD games: the external mapper will NOT be used. Recently, I have been playing around with several multi-mapper configurations and OpenMSX, and these games most of the time use the internal mapper instead. So, if that internal mapper is not expanded, MSX2 (FDD) games will not load.

By saccopharynx

Master (132)

saccopharynx's picture

28-10-2018, 02:58

saccopharynx wrote:

Hi,

Grauw, I think it is just the opposite for most of the FDD games: the external mapper will NOT be used. Recently, I have been playing around with several multi-mapper configurations and OpenMSX, and these games most of the time use the internal mapper instead. So, if that internal mapper is not expanded, MSX2 (FDD) games will not load.

Just to expand on that: By using the internal mapper, I actually mean that instructions like "in a, (#FC), in a, (#FD), etc", commonly used in FDD games, would read the registers from the internal mapper. Then, if the size of the internal mapper differs from the size of the external mapper, other instructions like "out (#FC), a" would end up setting the wrong segment of the external mapper, even if the external mapper is connected to all memory pages.

So, in a multi-mapper configuration, the issue is that the external mapper is actually used, but not the right segments, and it seems that, programmatically, you cannot indicate which mapper you want to read registers from because that is controlled at hardware level.

By DarkSchneider

Paladin (792)

DarkSchneider's picture

28-10-2018, 08:34

I recommend upgrade to 256KB. It is easy an 512KB are unnecessary IMO.

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