Panasonic FS-A1F and 128kb RAM upgrade

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Por sdsnatcher73

Prophet (3810)

Imagen del sdsnatcher73

25-08-2022, 19:45

Hmm, I am still investigating. openMSX emulates the 5 bit read back registers on this machine (probably through its S1985 emulation). However when I boot PA3 on an emulated A1F it fails the memory check (as it should as PA3 requires 128kB) but on the real hardware the check passes (but the game crashes)... So there seems to be another factor in play here...

Por Retrofan

Paragon (1338)

Imagen del Retrofan

26-08-2022, 14:42

I tried Pumpkin Adventure 3 (1995) on my FS-A1F with external memory mapper of 512kB RAM and the game starts using SofaRun, but without sound, even though I inserted the FM-PAQ or AudioWave in slot 2.
Without SofaRun using DOS1 it doesn't boot at all, it crashes.

I also tried other productions of Umax:

Pumpkin Adventure II (1993) --> runs okay with sound and internal mapper of 128kB RAM using DOS1
The Witch's Revenge (1993) --> runs okay with sound and internal mapper of 128kB RAM using DOS1
The Lost World (1998) --> crashes during boot in DOS1 but works with DOS2 and with sound
Realms of Adventure (2000) --> crashes during boot in DOS1 but works with DOS2 and with sound

Maybe the Moonblaster replayer was updated after 1993 and became more incompatible depending more on DOS2 for memory management and MoonSound was also introduced (in 1994) and PA3 was the first game supporting it? I don't know. However, we do have sound again in TLW. By the way, The Lost World has separated versions for FM-PAC and MoonSound, because of the same problem with no sound?

When trying TESTMAP with DOS2 indeed there's no problem at all with both internal and external mapper when testing it. No errors. So, only errors in DOS1 mode, probably software bug and DOS2 correctly prevents to read memory I/O ports?

Luckily SofaRunit has a nice feature which can help sometimes like now with PA3 but without sound :-(
* Support for games using memory mapper, even if your MSX does not have memory mapper read-back capabilities.

I think we needs some fixes for incompatible software (probably incorrect DOS1 memory management): PA3, TLW and ROA for now.
Unknown Reality is a different story but also needs a fix.

Por Retrofan

Paragon (1338)

Imagen del Retrofan

27-08-2022, 12:18

When using the PA3 diskimages from MCCM Millennium CD nr 1, I don't need Sofarun as workaround to get it running.
Before I used the images from the file-hunter.

Update
Pumpkin Adventure II (1993) --> runs okay with sound and internal mapper of 128kB RAM using DOS1
The Witch's Revenge (1993) --> runs okay with sound and internal mapper of 128kB RAM using DOS1
Pumpkin Adventure III (1995) --> crashes during boot in DOS1 but works with DOS2 but NO SOUND.
The Lost World (1998) --> crashes during boot in DOS1 but works with DOS2 and with sound
Realms of Adventure (2000) --> crashes during boot in DOS1 but works with DOS2 and with sound

So I guess there was a bug in the Moonblaster replayer for PA3 as the older replayers work fine (PA2 and TWR) on my FS-A1F. Maybe someone can compare the MB replayers for PA3 with another Umax production like PA2 or TLW? Thanks!

Por Hydragon

Paladin (749)

Imagen del Hydragon

27-08-2022, 15:41

Interesting, never had such issues with PA3 in the past, played it in MB Stereo, and MoonSound.

Por Retrofan

Paragon (1338)

Imagen del Retrofan

27-08-2022, 18:58

Hydragon wrote:

Interesting, never had such issues with PA3 in the past, played it in MB Stereo, and MoonSound.

On Panasonic MSX2 FS-A1F?

Por Retrofan

Paragon (1338)

Imagen del Retrofan

28-08-2022, 19:04

sdsnatcher73 tried on different configurations and with a MFR SCC+ SD with 512kB memory mapper this issue can be fixed and also with a GR8NET. Thanks for testing!

On the SD Mapper V2 with 512kB memory mapper there's no sound, very strange. However, with other Umax releases I don't have issues, only with PA3.

Por Retrofan

Paragon (1338)

Imagen del Retrofan

30-08-2022, 09:27

I did do more investigation and here are some interesting results (128kB RAM FS-A1F without external mappers):

MB Muzax #1 (1993) does have sound
MB Muzax #2 (1994) does NOT have sound
MB Muzax #3 (1995) does have sound

Afaik all Muzax from Fuzzy Logic are based on F-Kernel and so is Pumpkin Adventure 3 which is also dated somewhere 1994. Maybe there was a release of F-Kernel between 1993 and 1995 containing a little bug having no sound on this configuration? I'm not sure ofcourse.

Maybe ro can check this? And if so, do a fix for MB Muxax #2 and PA3? Thanks!

Por Retrofan

Paragon (1338)

Imagen del Retrofan

30-08-2022, 15:41

When I disable Nextor from booting with 'N' on the SD Mapper V2 512K I do have sound with Muzax #2!

No idea what's the reason. However, not with PA3, but we're getting closer! Ro told me it shouldn't be a problem with the F-Kernel, thanks ro! Then it must be a memory reading issue with PA3 I guess. Maybe someone could check for illegal memory I/O and do a fix?

Por Hydragon

Paladin (749)

Imagen del Hydragon

31-08-2022, 06:27

What also might help since you were using MFR, Disable RAM Expansion.
Some things with no sound magically work then sometimes Wink

Por sdsnatcher73

Prophet (3810)

Imagen del sdsnatcher73

31-08-2022, 17:54

The Muzax disks have similar issues with memory mapper detection. Also they indeed don’t like it if two mappers are present. On an unmodified A1F they also report 128kB memeory even if it just has 64kB.

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