J. P. Winkle -- is it bugged?

Page 1/3
| 2 | 3

By wyrdwad

Paladin (729)

wyrdwad's picture

31-01-2019, 00:33

Hey all,

I recently won an eBay auction for a super-obscure ASCII "MSX Magazine Soft" rom cartridge for a game called "J. P. Winkle." I bid on it after seeing some footage of it on YouTube and deciding that it looked like a somewhat fun puzzle platformer, somewhat reminiscent of The Castle or Eggerland.

It arrived today, so after cleaning the contacts with isopropyl alcohol and letting it sit for a while (something I always do with vintage rom cartridge games before playing them, to keep my MSX clean and ensure the cartridge can be read without any trouble), I popped it in.

It seemed to be working fine, but after about 3 or 4 minutes of play, it just completely froze on me -- all movement on-screen stopped, and the PSG note that had just been played in the music was being held forever.

I thought it might've been a fluke, so I reset my MSX and started a new game, only for it to freeze even quicker the second time.

...Long story short, I continued resetting the MSX, turning it off and then removing and reinserting the cartridge, booting my MSX with Ctrl held, booting my MSX with left Shift held, playing the game in cartridge slot 2, etc., etc., and each time, the game would freeze on me within 2-4 minutes of play. Usually, it would freeze during room 1, though on my 7th or 8th try, I was able to beat room 1... only for it to freeze on me during the screen transition to room 2. After another few tries, I made it IN to room 2, but it froze after only about 5 seconds of play in room 2.

So, yeah, as far as I can tell, the game is completely unplayable on my system -- it freezes every single time I attempt to play it, without fail.

I tried other cartridge games to see if maybe my MSX was dying, but they all play just fine -- it's only J. P. Winkle that's giving me issues.

I'm wondering if maybe this is one of those rare MSX1 games that has compatibility issues with the MSX2+ (or at least with my model, the Panasonic FS-A1WX, with base 64kb RAM and 128kb VRAM), like King & Balloon... or if the rom cartridge I received from eBay is defective.

Is anyone else familiar with this game? Has anyone else ever tried it on a WX with the base 64kb RAM? I'd like to know if the copy I received is defective, or if the game itself is just bugged.

Thanks, to anyone who might be able to assist!

-Tom

Login or register to post comments

By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5176)

NYYRIKKI's picture

31-01-2019, 04:52

I don't know the game, but checking should be relatively easy... Take a copy of the cartridge and try to play the copy. If the hanging still happens randomly then the fault is in software. Other ways it is in the cartridge hardware.

By wyrdwad

Paladin (729)

wyrdwad's picture

31-01-2019, 05:55

Yeah, good call. I loaded the game onto my Megaflashrom, and have confirmed that it still freezes constantly even there, so it's definitely the game -- not the cartridge.

What's weird, though, is that I found a way around the freezes. Whenever the game freezes, if I press the Pause button on my keyboard to pause the game, then press it again to resume, it'll unfreeze and I'll be able to continue.

...I'm baffled by this, however, as I've literally NEVER seen this behavior in any other game, and can't even begin to explain what could be causing it. The YouTube videos I've watched of the game being played don't include any freezing, so it must be hardware-specific to some extent or another -- but also, why would pausing and unpausing allow me to unfreeze the game? How does that even work?!

It's a shame, as the game itself is... kind of OK. It's not a GREAT game by any means, but it's really not bad, save for the CONSTANT FREAKING FREEZING. Heheh.

Anyway, thanks for the tip! It helped me determine that the eBay seller didn't sell me a defective product -- the game itself is just poorly (and bizarrely) programmed, I guess!

-Tom

By gdx

Prophet (2566)

gdx's picture

31-01-2019, 06:25

Recently I played during about 40 min on Turbo R with ROM2MMM up to the 6 or 7th room without any freeze. This game looks pretty nice. Can you scan the manual? There are many items.

By Gloriou

Expert (106)

Gloriou's picture

31-01-2019, 06:53

wyrdwad wrote:

Hey all,

I recently won an eBay auction for a super-obscure ASCII "MSX Magazine Soft" rom cartridge for a game called "J. P. Winkle." I bid on it after seeing some footage of it on YouTube and deciding that it looked like a somewhat fun puzzle platformer, somewhat reminiscent of The Castle or Eggerland.

It arrived today, so after cleaning the contacts with isopropyl alcohol and letting it sit for a while (something I always do with vintage rom cartridge games before playing them, to keep my MSX clean and ensure the cartridge can be read without any trouble), I popped it in.

It seemed to be working fine, but after about 3 or 4 minutes of play, it just completely froze on me -- all movement on-screen stopped, and the PSG note that had just been played in the music was being held forever.

I thought it might've been a fluke, so I reset my MSX and started a new game, only for it to freeze even quicker the second time.

...Long story short, I continued resetting the MSX, turning it off and then removing and reinserting the cartridge, booting my MSX with Ctrl held, booting my MSX with left Shift held, playing the game in cartridge slot 2, etc., etc., and each time, the game would freeze on me within 2-4 minutes of play. Usually, it would freeze during room 1, though on my 7th or 8th try, I was able to beat room 1... only for it to freeze on me during the screen transition to room 2. After another few tries, I made it IN to room 2, but it froze after only about 5 seconds of play in room 2.

So, yeah, as far as I can tell, the game is completely unplayable on my system -- it freezes every single time I attempt to play it, without fail.

I tried other cartridge games to see if maybe my MSX was dying, but they all play just fine -- it's only J. P. Winkle that's giving me issues.

I'm wondering if maybe this is one of those rare MSX1 games that has compatibility issues with the MSX2+ (or at least with my model, the Panasonic FS-A1WX, with base 64kb RAM and 128kb VRAM), like King & Balloon... or if the rom cartridge I received from eBay is defective.

Is anyone else familiar with this game? Has anyone else ever tried it on a WX with the base 64kb RAM? I'd like to know if the copy I received is defective, or if the game itself is just bugged.

Thanks, to anyone who might be able to assist!

-Tom

WoW that is a nice game really. Me and my brothers were used to call it the smurf Tongue

By wyrdwad

Paladin (729)

wyrdwad's picture

31-01-2019, 07:05

gdx wrote:

Recently I played during about 40 min on Turbo R with ROM2MMM up to the 6 or 7th room without any freeze. This game looks pretty nice. Can you scan the manual? There are many items.

I only have the cartridge -- no box or manual.

Interesting that it plays OK on a turboR, though, but freezes on my 2+. I wonder why?

-Tom

By gdx

Prophet (2566)

gdx's picture

31-01-2019, 07:37

Try this version:
https://mon-partage.fr/f/qsAbDPZE/
Put the two files in same directory and run it with BLOAD. It loads the second part automatically.

By wyrdwad

Paladin (729)

wyrdwad's picture

31-01-2019, 07:50

Just tried, and... it doesn't do anything? I loaded both files onto a disk, booted into MSX-BASIC (with Ctrl held down for a little extra memory), then typed BLOAD"WINGKLE.BIN" and it said Ok. I then typed RUN... and it just said Ok.

Do I need MSX-DOS on the disk as well? I'm confused as to how I'm supposed to run this...

-Tom

By gdx

Prophet (2566)

gdx's picture

31-01-2019, 07:56

Type BLOAD"WINGKLE.BIN",R

By wyrdwad

Paladin (729)

wyrdwad's picture

31-01-2019, 08:11

Wow, duh! I'm an idiot. Wink

Just tried it, and the game runs off the disk just fine, but still freezes exactly as it did when running off of the original cartridge or the Megaflashrom. So it really does seem to be an issue in the game's programming with my particular system.

-Tom

By rderooy

Champion (432)

rderooy's picture

31-01-2019, 09:35

Perhaps running it on openMSX with a few different machine types, including your WX, you could pinpoint the issue.

Page 1/3
| 2 | 3
My MSX profile