Kanji display
This page was last modified 11:59, 21 April 2019 by Gdx. Based on work by Mars2000you and Rderooy and others.

To display kanji you need a Kanji-ROM. It's an optional Japanese font for MSX computers that contains Shift-JIS coded font divided into two parts (level 1 and 2). Level 2 provides additional characters.

Notes:

  • In addition to the 128kB or 256kB Kanji ROM, there's generally a 16kB ROM called a Kanji driver, but some MSX1 or MSX2 computers with Kanji ROM don't have this small driver ROM. Kanji BASIC is only included in this ROM, if the computer is a MSX2+ or a MSX Turbo R. On MSX2, the only Kanji related BASIC instruction is PUT KANJI. MSX1 computers don't have a BASIC instruction to handle the Kanji characters.
  • A standard Japanese cartridge (like the HBI-J1) can be used to add the Kanji ROM, driver and BASIC extensions to any MSX generation that doesn't have these features built-in.
  • Many computers or cartridges with Kanji ROM also provide MSX-JE in a specific firmware ROM. See Kanji-ROM page.
  • MSX View uses its own font. The cartridge version is a MegaROM with ASCII 8k mapper. The version included in the firmware of the MSX Turbo R FS-A1GT does not contain all the characters of the cartridge version, due to lack of space.
  • Very few games need Kanji JIS1, and even fewer need JIS2. A list of software titles known to support or require the optional Kanji ROM can be found on Generation-MSX.nl.

Contents

Kanji display with MSX View font

MSX View Rom Detection

You can detect the MSX View ROM cartridge by looking for the string "MSXViewKROM" in slots at address 8010h. If you do not have this ROM, you can download a compatible version made by AtoC here. This is an extended font with some data fixed. To use it, you must write the ROM image "kaname_v.rom" into a 256kB ROM with the ASCII 8k mapper. Of course you can use a MegaFlashROM or a MegaSRAM cartridge with the same mapper. The string used for this extended font is "MSXViewKROM&2nd".

MSX View font is integrated in the MSX Turbo R FS-A1GT except for the 12x12 level 2 font which is missing. To access to MSX View font of a FS-A1GT you have to use the Panasonic mapper in slot 3-3.

FS-A1ST computers do not have the MSX VIEW font built-in, but it can be added by soldering a EEPROM to the mainboard (a W27C010 or W27C020 is probably ok). The mainboard has an empty chip location for this purpose. However, if you add it this way the detection method will be different compared to the FS-A1GT. You will have to search for the string "MSXViewKROM" in slot 3-3 on segment 12 (Panasonic mapper) at ofset 0010h. If you added the extended font the string will in addition also contain "&2nd".

To ensure it is a FS-A1GT, you can for example read the bytes at the following addresses in the Main-ROM.

Address Returned value if FS-A1GT
002Dh 03H (if Turbo R)
0C49h 00H
1A74h DBH
1A75h E9H
1A7Bh DBH
1A7Ch E9H

Font Map

MSX VIEW font cartridge map

Addresses Font type
0000h~1FFFh No font (contains the header only)
2000h~26BFh 12x12 font (Half size characters 20h to 7Fh)
26C0h~5CBFh 12x12 font (Various characters)
5CC0h~613Fh 12x12 font (Half size characters A0h to DFh)
6140h~67FFh Empty (zero filled)
6800h~13FFFh 12x12 font (Kanjis level 1)
14000h~239BFh 12x12 font (Kanjis level 2) (some data are wrong)
239C0h~23FFFh Empty (zero filled)
24000h~2447Fh 12x8 font (Half size characters 20h to 7Fh)
24480h~2687Fh 12x8 font (Various characters)
26880h~26B7Fh 12x8 font (Half size characters A0h to DFh)
26B80h~26FFFh Empty (zero filled)
27000h~2FFFFh 12x8 font (Kanjis level 1)

Extended MSX VIEW font cartridge map

Addresses Font type
0000h~1FFFh No font (contains the header only)
2000h~26BFh 12x12 font (Half size characters 20h to 7Fh)
26C0h~5CBFh 12x12 font (Various characters)
5CC0h~613Fh 12x12 font (Half size characters A0h to DFh)
6140h~67FFh Empty (zero filled)
6800h~13FFFh 12x12 font (Kanjis level 1)
14000h~239BFh 12x12 font (Kanjis level 2) (Data fixed)
239C0h~23FFFh Empty (zero filled)
24000h~2447Fh 12x8 font (Half size characters 20h to 7Fh)
24480h~2687Fh 12x8 font (Various characters)
26880h~26B7Fh 12x8 font (Half size characters A0h to DFh)
26B80h~26FFFh Empty (zero filled)
27000h~2FFFFh 12x8 font (Kanjis level 1)
30000h~3A67Fh 12x8 font (Kanjis level 2)
3A680h~3BFFFh Empty (zero filled)

FS-A1GT MSX VIEW font map

Addresses Font type
140000h~1406BFh 12x12 font (Half size characters 20h to 7Fh)
1406C0h~143CBFh 12x12 font (Various characters)
143CC0h~14413Fh 12x12 font (Half size characters A0h to DFh)
144140h~1447FFh Empty (zero filled)
144800h~151FFFh 12x12 font (Kanjis level 1)
152000h~1BFFFFh Unknown
1C0000h~1C047Fh 12x8 font (Half size characters 20h to 7Fh)
1C0480h~1C287Fh 12x8 font (Various characters)
1C2880h~1C2B7Fh 12x8 (Half size characters A0h to DFh)
1C2B80h~1C2FFFh Empty (zero filled)
1C3000h~1CBFFFh 12x8 font (Kanjis level 1)
240000h~24BFFFh same as 1C0000h~1CBFFFh

Software that support the MSX View font

Links