MSX2+ with 512k RAM, and ROMs without a flashcart

By ckrtech

Resident (36)

ckrtech's picture

20-02-2020, 10:32

So I have been experimenting with loading some roms using my WSX with 512k and a floppy drive. I figure that my situation must be a bit niche as I do not own a flashcart and have to rely on floppies.

What are my opinions, if any, for loading say... a 256k patched ROM file for Salamander? I would like to run a turbo-patched ROM for that game. I thought I had a solution after patching it with Lunar and "Salamander_DynamicVsync_CoolColors.ips" as the ROM stays at 128k rather than the newer "Salamander Smooth Scroll Patch.ips" (bumps the size to 256k and doesn't work), but the patched 128k version just runs the same on the WSX as the original. Unless there is a difference but I just don't notice it since I only have an MSX2+?

As far as loading, I mostly have to rely on loadrom 1.97 placed on an MSX-DOS1 disk with the ROM. Loadrom will run the original or patched version, and it does so using what I guess was the Konami 8k mapper?

I don't mind missing the music vs the original cartridge if I can get the extra speed just to experience it for a bit (and I don't have a way to safely place the original cart with SCC in a slot with the machine already up and running), but then I guess if the vsync boost doesn't make a noticeable difference for me... then it is irrelevant.

Do I have many options with 512k of RAM + a stack of blank floppies?

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By alexito

Paladin (747)

alexito's picture

20-02-2020, 16:06

"@ckrtech said: it does so using what I guess was the Konami 8k mapper?"

is very difficult to patch a Konami 8k mapper in a MSX Computer inclusive with 4096K RAM because the RAM Banking system is made in 16k segments you can find some really good hacks for make those SCC games runs fairly well but you'll see noticeable slow downs during the game play.

By Manuel

Ascended (18385)

Manuel's picture

20-02-2020, 20:49

I think the SofaRun probably does a better job on loading and running MegaROMs on MSX Memory Mapper. Try it!

Also, there are quite some specific cracks from the 80s that you could use, but these are of course not patched with enhancements.

By ckrtech

Resident (36)

ckrtech's picture

20-02-2020, 21:33

I would like to try SofaRun, but it looks like I need DOS2 for it to work properly?

I tried it a few times yesterday, and it threw an error I couldn't read before basically restarting. I realized I had basically written it to my DOS1 boot floppy, and it requires DOS2.

I haven't tried DOS2 before, but it looks like it is more than simply a floppy disk? Or can I just use a disk utility to format a floppy for DOS2 and then drop the and msxdos2.sys files on it? Based on, it looks like the files can be obtained legally?

Would love to try SofaRun despite my "old school" (No flashcart) approach to patching!

By Manuel

Ascended (18385)

Manuel's picture

20-02-2020, 22:48

By ckrtech

Resident (36)

ckrtech's picture

20-02-2020, 23:42

SofaROM also flashes a message for a split second "Can't open ROM file."

Running it alone starts spitting out the parameters defined in the documentation, but eventually it blue screens.

MSX-DOS 1.03. Command 1.11

By Wild_Penguin

Hero (642)

Wild_Penguin's picture

26-02-2020, 10:24

I do guess your situation is a bit niche... as already stated, the mappers (of MSX RAM <-> most ROM mappers) are too different to make all games playable efficiently, as the ROM image needs to be hacked/patched by the loader.

That being said, I do believe SofaROM should work in DOS1, though I must admit haven't tried it. However it can not do any wonders, but is probably the tool to have most compatibility hacks in place to be able to load the ROM image into RAM. (EDIT: Forgot to say here, have you made sure the RAM is OK on your computer? It probably shouldn't crash as you describe.)

If you do get it working, take a look at this page. Before I got a Flash cart, I used the tape trick to prevent an SCC cart from booting up (to run SCC games).

It might be worthwhile to get one of the Flash carts after all...

By Manuel

Ascended (18385)

Manuel's picture

26-02-2020, 12:17

SofaROM requires MSX-DOS 2 after all. Sorry.

By Parn

Paladin (672)

Parn's picture

26-02-2020, 13:08

I think at this point @ckrtech would be better off running one of the old disk-cracked versions people used when we had no easy way to run the ROMs themselves. In Brazil the MegaRAM expansion took off really fast, so we used cracked versions for that instead (which was doubly convenient since MegaRAM is a 8k mapper, so it was easier to convert to it than the other way around, and Brazilian MSXs didn't usually have any memory mapper).