King & Balloon stuck on title screen?

By wyrdwad

Paladin (931)

wyrdwad's picture

02-12-2015, 09:36

I recently won an eBay auction for a lot of four MSX cartridges, including a super old-school Space Invaders-esque title called "King & Balloon." What's weird is, when I power on the game, I can't get past the title screen -- it says "PRESS SPACE," but pressing the space bar does absolutely nothing. In fact, no buttons on my controller or keys on my keyboard do anything at all except the "stop" key, which causes the word "PAUSED" to flash in the center of the screen until I press it again.

The game isn't frozen, as I can still pause and unpause it with the "stop" key (or the "pause" key, which lights up the pause light on the chassis -- something which doesn't happen when the system locks up)... yet, for whatever reason, it just won't advance past the title screen, no matter what I do.

I've confirmed that my space bar DOES work with all other titles (and in MSX-DOS and MSX-BASIC), as do all the buttons on my controller, so this just strikes me as really odd -- I've had games fail to load for me before, but they've always locked up the system when they did so, or entered an infinite loop of loading and unloading the boot-up blue screen. I've never had a game just... fail to recognize input, and I have to wonder if I'm somehow doing something wrong, or if the game has some sort of known quirk about it that might be causing this issue to occur.

For reference, I'm using an unmodified Panasonic FS-A1WX Japanese MSX2+ system with a Joycard Needs controller attached.

I'm not really concerned about the game (it doesn't look like that good of a game to begin with), but I am curious if anyone might be able to explain why this would be occurring, as I simply can't figure it out.

Thanks for any help you're able to provide!


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By madscient

Master (182)

madscient's picture

02-12-2015, 10:25

Early versions of NAMCO's games DO NOT work properly on MSX2 and later due to incompatibility of BIOS.

Use corrected version which is contained in "Disk NG 1" instead.

By wyrdwad

Paladin (931)

wyrdwad's picture

02-12-2015, 11:02

Well, that would certainly explain it! Thanks very much. Good to know there's not something wrong with my system.


By Manuel

Ascended (18088)

Manuel's picture

02-12-2015, 11:45

Yep, I could reproduce this issue in openMSX, so it's not your hardware's fault Smile

Both the not working and the good version are in GOODMSX1.

By gdx

Enlighted (4637)

gdx's picture

14-07-2021, 03:10

There are two versions of King & Balloon. The first (crc32=2ABA2253) works on MSX1 only.
Tiny Yarou released on his website a patch to fix it.

He forgot a 47 00 at the address 64F4h. This two bytes must be also replaced by F0 BF.
In addition, I think the bytes at the addreses 0083h, 0094h, 2083h and 2094h do not need to be replaced.

The second version (crc32=1EEBA987) works fine. It doesn't need to be patched.