Can't emulate MSX1 machine code game with BASIC loader

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By socialiststeve

Supporter (4)

socialiststeve's picture

17-02-2006, 13:18

Hi all.

I'm having great difficulty using MSX emulators in Windows XP. I'm trying to run a game of mine called "Buster Block" which was on the original MSX platform (which I presume was MSX1 - it had 64K of RAM including two blocks of 16K that could be accessed by paging out BASIC or the operating system, and graphics was limited to two colours per line of eight pixels). I've got Buster Block running on an Amstrad emulator, but the MSX version had better graphics so I'd like to get it working on an MSX emulator.

[I'd also be keen to run my game "Hyperviper", also sold by Kuma Computers but I can't find it on-line, because I didn't produce an Amstrad version of that game. "Fruity Frank" and "Galaxia" have MSX versions too, but the Amstrad graphics are far better for those two games.]

All my games were written with a BASIC loader, which didn't do much more than load and run two files containing machine code, firstly to display a loading screen and secondly to run the actual game. If anybody knows how to extract the machine code files from a ".dsk" or ".lzh" file then I might be able to run them that way. I can't find a ROM file for BASIC on the web.

I've tried OpenMSX and BlueMSX. OpenMSX says "No cartridge found", and when I try the Catapult program with it, it says it can't determine the version number and I should download version 0.6.0 or above (which I did do). BlueMSX crashes after doing "Disk Drive A (or B) - insert" and doing "Run" or "Hard Reset". I've tried getting a single file ".dsk" or ".lzh" file or getting the game as part of a collection from {mod: read on our no-copyrighted-software-links below} with no luck (I can't figure out how to unpack the ".lzh" file).

Can someone help me please?

Thanks in advance,
Steve.

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By mars2000you

Enlighted (6019)

mars2000you's picture

17-02-2006, 16:38

I've just build a disk image with only your game "Buster Block"

It can be runned in blueMSX, but you need

1 - to press on Left Ctrl in the boot sequence until you hear a beep (it de-activates the second drive and gives more free memory)

2 - to change the line 5 in the file BLOCK.BAS as following :

5 IF PEEK(&H2D) >0 THEN POKE-1,(15-PEEK(-1)\16)*17

(Btw , the file BLOCK.GM is a clone of the BLOCK.BAS file, so you can delete it and you can also rename BLOCK.BAS as AUTOEXEC.BAS if you place only the files of the game Buster Block on a disk image)

The by default POKE-1,170 works only on a Philips MSX2 machine, I have it replaced by the universal poke for all MSX2, 2+ and Turbo-R machines

The condition on this line checks the MSX version; the universal poke is not required for the MSX1 machines

Send me an e-mail if you have some problems to create a DSK image with only this game :

benoitPOINTdelvauxATfreebelPOINTnet

By AuroraMSX

Paragon (1902)

AuroraMSX's picture

17-02-2006, 16:42

Try emulating a 'real' MSX machine in either openMSX or blueMSX instead of C-BIOS.
C-BIOS does agood job running game ROMs, but does not (yet) incorporate support for MSX-BASIC.
As for finding system ROMs of real machines: google is your friend.
(MRC's forum policy dictates that I can't point you directly to the ROM images on ftp.f***t.fi - sorry :( )

By AuroraMSX

Paragon (1902)

AuroraMSX's picture

17-02-2006, 16:53

As for the LZH files: you need LHEXT from the lha 2.13 package. Somewhere hidden in WinZips options you can configure Winzip to use lhext for handling LZH files.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (6019)

mars2000you's picture

17-02-2006, 16:56

More handful option to 'unzip' LZH files is WinRar : no need to have the lha 2.13 package, WinRar makes all the work !!!

By MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

MäSäXi's picture

17-02-2006, 17:54


(MRC's forum policy dictates that I can't point you directly to the ROM images on ftp.f***t.fi - sorry :( )

ftp.f***t.fi always looks like dirty curse word... ;) actually it seems to be such word in MRC. :P

By Manuel

Ascended (18253)

Manuel's picture

17-02-2006, 19:14

steve: could you send me a private e-mail (manuel AT msxnet DOT org), or better: join us on #openMSX on irc.freenode.net? I'd like to investigate what's happening with your openMSX installation.

Your problem with "Cartridge Not Found" is answered in the openMSX FAQ: http://openmsx.sourceforge.net/manual/faq.html

The game does indeed run on openMSX. I used a PHilips machine and you need to press left CTRL pressed indeed.

Benoit: that poke is not MSX1 or MSX2 specific, but specific to whether the RAM is in a subslot. Some MSX1's do have that, e.g. the Philips VG-8020/20. This is in the Ultimate MSX FAQ: http://faq.msxnet.org/

It's an interesting game though, I had never heard of it.

By Manuel

Ascended (18253)

Manuel's picture

18-02-2006, 11:34

By the way, the URL you gave is not an lzh file but a zip file (as the URL says).

By Manuel

Ascended (18253)

Manuel's picture

18-02-2006, 22:22

OK, this is why his Catapult doesn't work: Steve doesn't have a soundcard installed and due to some openMSX/Catapult bugs (crappy design, whatever you name it), Catapult thinks the version is "warning: Couldn't initialize DirectSound driver".
So, if you want to use Catapult, make sure you have a sound card installed Tongue

By socialiststeve

Supporter (4)

socialiststeve's picture

20-02-2006, 15:53

Thanks a lot to manuel and everybody else on the openMSX IRC forum, who helped me get openMSX working on Saturday. Buster Block, Fruity Frank and Galaxia now work using Philips NMS 8250 system ROMs.

As manuel states, I can't use Catapult on my desktop machine due to obsolete speakers to which I couldn't find drivers when I upgraded from Windows 98 to XP.

I have got the three games mentioned above working using Catapult on my laptop which does have sound. I didn't need to modify the BASIC program for any of those games. However, I have tried to run another game I wrote called "Hyper Viper" the same way and the screen stays black (whether I hold down the left CTRL key or not). I get some sound after a while (probably from the demonstration game) but no picture. I suspect I need to modify the BASIC program. Can anybody please tell me how to do this - and preferably how to save the modified files as a ".dsk" or ".zip" file for easy use? Or alternatively, suggest a different machine on which it works? A ".zip" file for this, or any of my other games, can be downloaded from planetemu.net.

This Philips machine has more RAM than the MSX machine I used (256K including 128K for the screen memory; I only had 64K in total).

Thanks again in advance, Steve.

PS I have a page on my website devoted to the games I wrote with my brother (Sean Wallis), including details of how to play some of them using an Amstrad emulator. I will modify the page soon to include details of how to use the openMSX emulator.

By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5889)

NYYRIKKI's picture

20-02-2006, 17:07

If you want to fix your sound problem, check http://www.driverguide.com/
If you install the software, it will automaticly search correct drivers for your device.

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