Back in the days when home-computers and CRT monitors where the common compute, interesting hardware peripherals where available to enhance gaming experience. One of those devices was a light gun. With such a device you could point and shoot at the screen. Nintendo's Duck Hunt is one of the most known games that uses such an extension. FRS's MSX pages has now released several hardware and software patches to fully enjoy light-gun games.
On the home-computer market there where actually different brands of light guns, besides the MSX light gun. Here are a few well known:
- Sega's Light Phaser Gun for SEGA Master System
- The Gun Stick for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum
- Nintendo's Zapper for the NES
- ASCII's Plus X Terminator Laser for MSX
- MHT Ingenieros's Gunstick for Amstrad CPC and MSX
Although you can connect a Sega Light Phaser directly to the MSX without any adapter, this method is not recommended. It can cause serious damage to your MSX internal hardware. When plugged this way, the Light Phaser will obtain the ground for its entire circuit from a data pin of the PSG. In the long run there's a high probability to fry the PSG Port3/bit5.
The FRS' MSX page has just released the gunSMS and gunNES light gun adapter schematics to allow easy connection of either the Sega Light Phaser or the NES Zapper to the MSX so anyone can play those games without harming precious MSX hardware.
For MSX there are just a handful of games for the laser light gun:
- Karoshi's Duck Hunt (a port of the NES version)
- Dungeon Hunter
- Various Gun Stick games
- Air Hockey
- Pig Race
- Shooting Collection
Where Duck Hunter might the better known, the latter three games where recently re-discovered. They are bug-fixed, optimized and patched for turbo R to pass all MSX Acid Tests by MRC user sd_snatcher. These ROM's are now circulating the net.
The original game released by Karoshi for the MSXdev'04 is great, but it uses the Sega Light Phaser directly connected to the MSX without any adapter. You can either use an adapter to connect a phaser or zapper, or just play the newly released patched version of the game with an MSX light gun.
This patch by FRS implement the following enhancements and fixes:
- Change the embedded Lightgun driver to the standard MSX lightgun. The Gunstick support was also dropped (not enough space in a 8KB ROM).
- The game now passes all MSX AcidTests
- The turbo will be enabled if the CHGCPU routine is present in the BIOS
- A better interrupt handler was implemented
- Both light guns can now start the game. When the 2nd light gun starts the game, the two player mode will be selected.
There's still a bug in the game that wasn't fixed though: in two player mode, if both players pull the trigger at the same time and player-1 misses his shot, the player-2 sensor won't be checked and will miss his shot too.