Laser Squad (Italian game?)

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Van Manuel

Ascended (17936)

afbeelding van Manuel

03-08-2011, 22:56

enribar, I'm really interested in that tape image. I think it should be possible to make it work on the proper MSX model. Try a Toshiba HX-10, for instance. Most stuff works on it.

Van SLotman

Paragon (1236)

afbeelding van SLotman

04-08-2011, 00:05

My version is an Italian version converted by "Reflex" and not Hydra Soft.
More infos on: http://www.generation-msx.nl/forum/read.php?7,7957,page=1#msg-7957
Btw, just dumped correctly with Martos tools, with no errors, but openMSX and blueMSX hang when loading first file (the BIN loader of following Turbo-Spectrum blocks).

That's the same problem I'm having here with the disk version. Running the game on BlueMSX as generic MSX2 and the game works.
Also, a "generic MSX1", with a mapper cartridge on slot A will work. Remove the mapper, and it hangs after the level selection screen.

Van SLotman

Paragon (1236)

afbeelding van SLotman

04-08-2011, 00:21

Also, on OpenMSX a Philips NMS8245 can run the game.

Van enribar

Paragon (1113)

afbeelding van enribar

04-08-2011, 09:12

Hi, I had the same loading problem with another game I dumped "The Race" : http://www.generation-msx.nl/msxdb/softwareinfo/3640
But in that case Manuel suggested me to use openMSX with Toshiba HX-10 configuration, and It worked.
Really seems that not Japanese MSX software was targeted to run on machines of specific market.
In this case of Laser Squad, my dump seems correct : Tape2cas without /R , first file on side A is a BIN loader of following turbo blocks (Spectrum's format), side B is made of several turbo blocks (game levels).
But Tape2cas switches authomatically to Spectrum's turbo format, so we are not sure that it really the Spetrum's one. In fact, I have many Italian tapes with files recorded in a special Italian turbo format for the MSX (for instance: the "MSX Hit Parade" tape series).
This evening I'll send dump to manuel and slotman to research purpose.
:)

Van Metalbrain

Expert (67)

afbeelding van Metalbrain

04-08-2011, 09:54

Really seems that not Japanese MSX software was targeted to run on machines of specific market.

I'd say the problem isn't related to specific markets, but simply that coders didn't have the proper documentation, so they just coded it for their own machine, not knowing about differences and problem with others.

But Tape2cas switches authomatically to Spectrum's turbo format, so we are not sure that it really the Spetrum's one. In fact, I have many Italian tapes with files recorded in a special Italian turbo format for the MSX (for instance: the "MSX Hit Parade" tape series).

That's something I don't like about tape2cas, it seems to detect a certain kind of loaders as "spectrum type" and patch them to use a different, fixed speed. It results in working files, but they aren't perfect images. Also, I think the .cas format doesn't store any pause information, and that can be a problem when there's a big pause while an intro is showing. Something similar to Spectrum's TZX format would be much better.

Van muffie

Paladin (933)

afbeelding van muffie

04-08-2011, 16:15

I'd say the problem isn't related to specific markets, but simply that coders didn't have the proper documentation, so they just coded it for their own machine, not knowing about differences and problem with others.
Yep, but that's normally easy to fix.
The game fits entirely on the memory, or it loads from the tape during the game?

Van SLotman

Paragon (1236)

afbeelding van SLotman

04-08-2011, 18:11

The RAM detection routine in the game is a mess!

Just to give you guys a small taste of what is done in the first block:

9204 db a8		IN	A,(A8h)	; A = main slots configuration
9206 f5			PUSH	AF		; save it
9207 21 00 00		LD	HL, 0000	; 
920A db a8		IN	A, (A8h)	; read slots config again?
920C e6 f0		AND	F0h		; just the 4 upper bits (11110000b)
920E f5			PUSH	AF		; save it
920F e6 30		AND 	30h		; just the 2 upper bits (11000000b)
9211 47			POP	AF		; get A back???
9213 57			LD	D,A		; save it on D
9214 3d			DEC	A		; WTF???
9215 3c			INC	A		; WTF???
9216 d3 a8		OUT 	(A8h),A	; WTF?

Pretty, hum?

Van max_iwamoto

Hero (521)

afbeelding van max_iwamoto

04-08-2011, 20:36

The RAM detection routine in the game is a mess!

Just to give you guys a small taste of what is done in the first block:

9204 db a8		IN	A,(A8h)	; A = main slots configuration
9206 f5			PUSH	AF		; save it
9207 21 00 00		LD	HL, 0000	; 
920A db a8		IN	A, (A8h)	; read slots config again?
920C e6 f0		AND	F0h		; just the 4 upper bits (11110000b)
920E f5			PUSH	AF		; save it
920F e6 30		AND 	30h		; just the 2 upper bits (11000000b)

        ^^^

9211 47			POP	AF		; get A back???
9213 57			LD	D,A		; save it on D
9214 3d			DEC	A		; WTF???
9215 3c			INC	A		; WTF???
9216 d3 a8		OUT 	(A8h),A	; WTF?

Pretty, hum?

I believe this is not 2 higher bits. it should be (00110000b). But they not even saving it anywhere... And then they get (11110000b) value and put it back in slot register. WTF? If I understand correctly after this you will have slot 0 in 0000..3FFF and 4000..8000 areas.

If I recall correctly on ZX-Spectrum game could load levels. Or have all of them loaded if Spectrum have 128KB RAM. Or maybe it was one of many russian modifications, because a lot of people liked this game and made a lot of new levels.

Max

Van SLotman

Paragon (1236)

afbeelding van SLotman

05-08-2011, 09:33

One big improvement: got the game to work on some machines!

On OpenMSX, it now works on FS-A1FM, FS-A1ST, FS-A1GT, Philips NMS 8245, Sony HB-F1 and Sony HB-F1XD.

On BlueMSX, it works on all configurations, except 'MSX1 Japanese' and 'MSX2 Korean'

On my real turbo-R, it worked too Big smile
(and it even works from IDE, if I ran MAP2.com first!)

Maybe I should release it as it is... or should I try to make it more compatible first???

Van sd_snatcher

Prophet (3450)

afbeelding van sd_snatcher

05-08-2011, 23:47

@SLotman

It probably don't work on MSX1 Japanese because of the lack of memory mapper. Even if you connect an external one, its registers will not be initialized and the machine will not work properly.

I think it can be released as it is, since it has other problems that will make it incompatible with other more exotic configurations. The only way to make it run on those other configurations will be a complete bugfix of the game: something that requires a much bigger project.

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