Old software polished as brand new

Old software polished as brand new

by ro on 12-05-2019, 11:39
Topic: Software

Making old software look shiny and new again seems like the hip thing to do in MSX land. Sure, we have seen translation projects in the past but this is a new beast. Take existing software and patch it to fix bugs or even enhance it with new features. No software gets spared, from games to utilities, everything goes. It's a thing.

Brazilian MRC user FRS, aka sd_snatcher, does some serious jiu jitsu with reverse engineering on MSX titles and re-writes parts of code just to enhance or fix the damn piece. There's loads of bits released in the past that just needs fixing. Doesn't matter the original publisher, even games from Konami and T&E get the rubber glove treatment. Fixing that nagging bug or incompatible code, changing colors, speed it up or even add new sparkling features, FRS gets his hands dirty.

Here's what he has been working on recently:

Some nifty things that the man does, are these:

  • CoolColors - a new color palette that enhances the look of MSX1 games when run on a MSX2 or higher.
  • DynamicVsync - a new timing routine that both TurboFixes the game and makes it run better on Z80A/3.57MHz machines.
  • TurboFix - a fix on the timing routine that allows the game to be run at the correct speed on turbo machines.
  • Jukebox - Process of the game that contains both the music replayer and music data on a single block
  • Enhanced sprite cycling - sprites will be cycled as fast as your CPU is able to do it, up to 60Hz. This results in smoother flickering on the sprites.
  • AcidxTest compliance - follow the MSX standard guidelines strictly and pass on the MSX AcidTest

And those are just some standard tricks he got in his bag. Already impressive. But there's more, much more. Too much to mention here. To see what this wizard is capable of, just peek at his page about patching. Download it for free there. All patches for existing software are in IPS format. You can patch your own copy with this patching mechanism.

The replay value of all these pieces just got up, thanks to the MSX community and geeks like FRS that take shelter there. Now get your copy patched, play that game again and take a deep bow for sd_snatcher while yer at it.

relevant link: FRS' MSX page

text: Ro | image: Hamlet

Comments (1)

By Vampier

Prophet (2405)

Vampier's picture

12-05-2019, 19:36

I wish frs didn't redo the controls - decades of muscle memory down the drain Big smile other than that I really enjoy his work.