Some "newbie" questions about MSX

By Toni Ramirez

Expert (73)

Toni Ramirez's picture

18-05-2016, 11:33

I have a SVI-738 since longer than I can remember, and I'm experiencing a newfound interest in my MSX. I want to make the most of it, but my ignorance is remarkable. I don't know about mods, solder or anything techie... I just want to play and considering this I have some questions.

-Although this one is more for when I buy a MSX2 in the future, I'd like to know why it seems that even with a MegaFlashRom people need also a FM-PAC. Is it really necessary? Or is it just for the sound improving? And again: isn't this already included in MFR features?

-As I already said, I have a SVI-738, and on the Wikipedia I read some disturbing words: bugs in the first model's design (Konami SCC-sound based cartridges do not work or have bad sound). Well, how can I know if my MSX is one of the first models? Aside from buying games with SCC chips and try them, which coincidentally I don't have yet. Is there any serial number list or something? I can't find any information about this.

Thanks a lot and I'm afraid I'll come back with more stupid questions.

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By foobarry81

Master (148)

foobarry81's picture

18-05-2016, 11:59

The FM-PAC contains another sound chip than the MFR.

- If you're going to play games that support MSX-Music (which is what FM-PAC is for), and you want to hear FM music, you will need an FM-PAC.
- If, on the other hand, you're playing the Konami games that support Konami's proprietary SCC sound chip, the MFR has an SCC on board for exactly that.

An FM-PAC is not necessary. If you don't have it, you will still hear music. It's just an inferior version of the music, because it uses the MSX's internal PSG sound chip in stead of the MSX-Music sound chip.

E.g. this is R-Type
-> with FM-PAC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5vFNVlQeJM
-> without FM-PAC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTfU9l0xdRI

Note that some of Panasonic's MSX2+ computers have FM-PAC/MSX-Music built-in. So you don't need an external cartridge with those.

As for Konami's SCC: all Konami cartridge games that support the SCC have an SCC built into the cartridge. So you don't need an MFR when you own the original cartridge. There are also some floppy disk games that support SCC (e.g. Snatcher). You will need a separate cartridge (which was included in the original Snatcher release) to enable SCC sound in that game.

By Toni Ramirez

Expert (73)

Toni Ramirez's picture

18-05-2016, 12:42

Thanks for your answer Smile

So, with my MSX1 I really don't need it, and anyway I connect it to a 14" television with mono sound, thus I really won't notice any difference, I think. Sad

When I get a MSX2 obviously will try to play Snatcher, and unfortunately I won't be able to pay for a cartridge version, so it will be on floppy disk. In this case, and if I'm unable to find the separate cartridge, will I hear the PSG sound or no sound at all?

By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5392)

NYYRIKKI's picture

18-05-2016, 12:57

Toni Ramirez wrote:

Thanks for your answer Smile

So, with my MSX1 I really don't need it, and anyway I connect it to a 14" television with mono sound, thus I really won't notice any difference, I think. Sad

Very few MSX1 games really use MSX-MUSIC, so I practically it would be idling anyway. This is mostly interesting extension for MSX2 users.

Quote:

When I get a MSX2 obviously will try to play Snatcher, and unfortunately I won't be able to pay for a cartridge version, so it will be on floppy disk. In this case, and if I'm unable to find the separate cartridge, will I hear the PSG sound or no sound at all?

Snatcher comes with separate SCC+ cartridge that does not have any game in it, only sound chip. There exists also cracks that use normal SCC catridge (= other game with SCC chip) for the sound instead. If you don't have either of these chips, you will normally hear drums & sound effects + maybe some bass lines when you play the SCC enabled Konami games. The actual music will be missing.

I don't know if the external sound cartridge problems were fixed on later SVI-738 models, but at least I had to change the R2 from motherboard to ~100-150 Kohm resistor (I used variable resistor, original is 4K7) to be able to hear the sounds.

By Toni Ramirez

Expert (73)

Toni Ramirez's picture

18-05-2016, 15:05

foobarry81 wrote:

The FM-PAC contains another sound chip than the MFR.

- If, on the other hand, you're playing the Konami games that support Konami's proprietary SCC sound chip, the MFR has an SCC on board for exactly that.

An FM-PAC is not necessary. If you don't have it, you will still hear music. It's just an inferior version of the music, because it uses the MSX's internal PSG sound chip in stead of the MSX-Music sound chip.

E.g. this is R-Type
-> with FM-PAC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5vFNVlQeJM
-> without FM-PAC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTfU9l0xdRI

Note that some of Panasonic's MSX2+ computers have FM-PAC/MSX-Music built-in. So you don't need an external cartridge with those.

As for Konami's SCC: all Konami cartridge games that support the SCC have an SCC built into the cartridge. So you don't need an MFR when you own the original cartridge. There are also some floppy disk games that support SCC (e.g. Snatcher). You will need a separate cartridge (which was included in the original Snatcher release) to enable SCC sound in that game.

Wow, the difference in R-Type is huge :S

Anyway, my MSX1 has only 1 cartridge slot, and I want an original R-Type, so I wouldn't be able to hear it with FM-PAC sound unless I insert it in a MSX2 and have the FM-PAC cartridge, from what I understand.

Regarding the SCC, now I wonder... if I had a MFR, would I be able to use it only for the SCC sound in my MSX1 if I wanted it? I mean: imagine I have the MFR full of MSX2 games, which of course don't work in a MSX1. Then, would it be possible to use a MFR full of MSX2 games occasionally in a MSX1 just for the sound enhancement? Or would there be incompatibilities because of the games?

By Grauw

Ascended (8457)

Grauw's picture

18-05-2016, 15:16

Toni Ramirez wrote:

Regarding the SCC, now I wonder... if I had a MFR, would I be able to use it only for the SCC sound in my MSX1 if I wanted it? I mean: imagine I have the MFR full of MSX2 games, which of course don't work in a MSX1. Then, would it be possible to use a MFR full of MSX2 games occasionally in a MSX1 just for the sound enhancement?

Yes you can.

By Wild_Penguin

Hero (546)

Wild_Penguin's picture

24-05-2016, 18:28

Or just fill it with MSX1 games =)

MFRSCC+SD does work on an MSX1, but you can not use all the features. It will run in MSX-DOS1 mode, which will mean no subdirectories, for example (and only MSX-DOS1 prompt, no Nextor etc.). You can still flash a lot of ROMs on it!

By Grauw

Ascended (8457)

Grauw's picture

24-05-2016, 19:48

MFRSCC+SD will work in DOS2 mode on MSX1 when you have a memory mapper of at least 128K. I recommend the 512K RAM option for the MFRSCC+SD.

By Wild_Penguin

Hero (546)

Wild_Penguin's picture

24-05-2016, 20:15

I stand corrected, I don't want to spread misinformation... I was confused by my own autoexec.bat that didn't work correctly (because of differences in slots!) on my HB-75P. I just checked and MSXDOS2 (/Nextor) works without problems.

But MultiMente does not (since it requires 80chars display, which is not available on an MSX1)... something that is good to know, if one is not comfortable with dos prompts... you can do everything manually from DOS, that you can (could) do with MultiMente!