Self-extracting MSX MegaROM games

for fast loading via tape interface

by: Stanislav Borutsky, a.k.a "borus", a.k.a "cax" (pronounced "sakh")

[Guestbook]

I. Introduction


The following files are the modified disk versions of MSX MegaROM games, running on computers with at least 128K memory mapper.
Each game consists of self-extracting (which, of course, means compressed) bload files and basic loader(s).

Here are the advantages of using the self-extracting MegaROM games:

a) you can store 7-10 games on the same 720K floppy disk instead of only 5 non-compressed games;

b) you can significantly reduce the loading time of the game, especially if you load via MSX tape interface.

Using MicroWAVer, or CasLink, or msxf2w and waveglue, you can generate the WAV file that can be either played directly from soundcard or from CD to load the game into your diskless MSX2 computer.

Following table shows the advantage of using compressed games and advanced tape loading techniques and tools:

Type of 128K MegaROM loadingTime required
non-packed, standard 1200 baud25-30 minutes
non-packed, standard 2400 baud13-15 minutes
packed, standard 2400 baud6-10 minutes
packed, non-standard 3200 baud (using sox)
(see "WAV conversion tools" section)
3:30 - 6:30 minutes
packed, MicroWAVer 3650 baud, compressed mode2:00-3:33 minutes
packed, MicroWAVer 5512 baud, experimental mode1:30-2:33 minutes

Each game's zip on this page contains 2 versions of loader - for loading from disk (name.bas) and for loading from tape interface (name.cas).
Both of them are basic files (don't confuse with MSX emulators' .cas format - I picked this extension just to distinguish between disk and "cas:" loaders).


I personally don't have a floppy drive, so I created these self-extracting versions of games using the RNC PRO-PACK software, which I adapted from the GameBoy Z80-alike CPU for the normal Z80 used in MSX. If you consider MSX programming using (de)compression algorithms, you can also check BitBuster, which has even more compact unpacking code.


II. Games download section & "what's new" log

Total: 90 MegaROMs

Game
Size of packed version
Size of original disk version
Notes
Game info

27/10/2003: Salamander is reworked for use with MicroWAVer. Only 1 MW-problematic game (Topple Zip) remains !
19/10/2003: F1 Spirit and A1 Spirit are reworked for use with MicroWAVer.
18/10/2003:Download MicroWAVer Catapult 1.1 - a frontend to mwaver.exe (both should be in the same dir). Please leave your feedback in my guestbook.
Download MicroWAVer 0.6 (mwaver.exe - command line version) - now packs 16K and 32K ROMs and converts them to BIN automatically !
16/10/2003: MicroWAVer Catapult 1.0 is out.
13/10/2003: Dragon Slayer 1 (Romancia) is fixed and reworked for use with MicroWAVer.
10/10/2003: MicroWAVer 0.5 command line version is out, now with built-in loader. A complete solution.
08/10/2003: I discovered that loading from MP3 encoded at 320 kbps from WAVs generated by MicroWAVer works !
It's better than using Audio CD, sound quality of which is affected by CD burner, player cache, quality of CD itself and other factors.
So portable MP3 player is the best device for 100% stable loading.
06/10/2003: I finished Visual Basic to C conversion of MicroWAVer. Now it runs in command line, don't need VB DLLs and controls, and runs faster.
Many thanks to WYZ, the author of MicroWAVer !
30/09/2003: Konami Game Master is fixed and reworked for use with MicroWAVer.
29/09/2003: Family Billiards is fixed and reworked for use with MicroWAVer.
23/09/2003: Hole In One Special and Super Triton are updated to work with MicroWAVer without SCREEN8 workaround.
Arsene Lupin, D.D.S, Hard Ball, King's Valley 2 (MSX2 version) are updated to work with MicroWAVer without width80 workaround.
Strategic Mars is reworked for use with MicroWAVer.

Added 22/09/2003

Hacker (Japanese)69.4129-MSX-DB
Hole In One Special81.6145SCREEN8 is set when loading begins.MSX-DB

20/09/2003: Aliens is fixed and reworked for use with MicroWAVer.
19/09/2003: Predator is removed from the list, because original disk version is unstable.
18/09/2003: Zanac-Ex is fixed again and doesn't reboot before start anymore.

Added 17/09/2003

Project A272.1129-MSX-DB

Added 16/09/2003

Digital Devil Story (Monogatari Megami Tensei, D.D.S, Goddes, Dezutaru Debiru)80.7129width80 is set when loading begins.MSX-DB
Hard Ball47.1123If you have more than 1 diskdrive, press CTRL on MSX boot.
width80 is set when loading begins.
MSX-DB

17/09/2003: MicroWAVer workaround info added for the following games: Super Triton, Arsene Lupin, King's Valley II (MSX2), D.D.S., Hard Ball
14/09/2003: Added links to database of game descriptions.
13/09/2003: Sofia is fixed.
12/09/2003: Golvellius and Gall Force re-tested and considered working OK now.
11/09/2003: Super Rambo Special is fixed.
10/09/2003: Fantasy Zone is fixed.

Added 03/09/2003 (both games are converted to use with MicroWAVer)

Fantasy Zone71.2129-MSX-DB
Super Rambo Special63.9129No splash screen on 128K machines
Game begins with the black screen, press space to start.
On MSX with RAM>128K splash screen is loaded with the last file.
MSX-DB

Added 02/09/2003 (Defcon is converted to use with MicroWAVer)

Defcon45.2112Don't work on my Yamaha MSX2. I'll try to fix.???
Sofia21.749-MSX-DB

Added 01/09/2003

King's Knight49.2121-MSX-DB
Knither Special37.5112-MSX-DB
Mahjong 2 (Hai no Majutsushi)86.9129-MSX-DB

24/08/2003:
all2wav.bat work now also on Win95/98/ME.
22/08/2003: Nemesis (Gradius) is reworked and now can be used with MicroWAVer.
21/08/2003: Zanac-Ex is reworked and now can be used with MicroWAVer.
20/08/2003: Marked with (MW) games that require reworked BASIC loader for use with MicroWAVer.
19/08/2003: WAV-conversion tools (2wav.bat) work now also on Win95/98/ME.

17/08/2003: fixed SCC games and added new ones
NOTE: SCC detection routine seems don't work on some MSX machines.
In these cases try to use SCC in slot 1, if not specified otherwise

Salamander
Nemesis 2 (Gradius 2) Beta
98.3
94.9
129
129
No sound on 128K machines. Needs more than 128K RAM for sound.
Auto-detects SCC in any slot or subslot.
If you have more than 1 diskdrive, press CTRL on MSX boot.
Light CAPS ON button during loading to play tweaked game.
width80 is set when loading begins.
MSX-DB
MSX-DB
A1 Spirit
F1 Spirit
99.3
98.7
138
138
No sound on 128K machines. Needs more than 128K RAM for sound.
Auto-detects SCC in any slot or subslot.
If you have more than 1 diskdrive, press CTRL on MSX boot.
Light CAPS ON button during loading to play tweaked game.
MSX-DB
MSX-DB
King's Valley II - The Seal of El Giza (MSX1)
Kings Valley II (MSX2, SCC in slot2)
81.3
86.1
122
129
Auto-detects SCC in any slot or subslot.
If you have more than 1 diskdrive, press CTRL on MSX boot.
width80 is set when loading begins.
MSX-DB
MSX-DB
"Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake" Demo
Japanese
English

63.9
59.6
112This disk/tape version of 128K ROM I created myself.
Auto-detects SCC in any slot or subslot, or uses PSG only if no SCC found
(many thanks to Manuel for SCC detection routine).
Translated by reverse-engineering the English version of the full game.
MSX-DB
Contra (Gryzor)81.1129Auto-detects SCC in any slot or subslot.MSX-DB
Pennant Race (SCC in slot2)88.5129Auto-detects SCC in any slot or subslot.MSX-DB

Added 11/08/2003

Parodius - Tako Saves Earth97.5129Auto-detects SCC in any slot or subslot.
If you have more than 1 diskdrive, press CTRL on MSX boot.
SCC is detected, but not activated, I'll try to fix.
MSX-DB

Added 07/08/2003

Super Boy 3 (Super Mario clone)46.2112-???
Shigun (Shogun, Japanese)80.4132-MSX-DB

Added 21/07/2003

Super Lode Runner77.8129-MSX-DB
Super Pierrot28.980.6-MSX-DB
Vaxol71.3129-MSX-DB
Victorious Nine II51129-MSX-DB
Young Sherlock (Japanese)93.5129-MSX-DB
Zoids (Japanese)74129-MSX-DB

Added 14/07/2003

Acrojet36.765.1-MSX-DB
Cross Blaim40.564.6-MSX-DB
Black Onyx 2 (Japanese)51.8129-MSX-DB
Bolu Fez And Five Evil Spirits (Borfes, Japanese)85.8129-MSX-DB
Dynamite Bowl50.1129-MSX-DB
Craze82.0129-MSX-DB
Deep Dungeon 2 (Japanese)92.5129-MSX-DB
Deep Forest51.9129-MSX-DB
Gate Of Labyrinth (Japanese)3696.7-MSX-DB
Jagur106129-MSX-DB
Makaijima - Higemaru87129-MSX-DB
Return Of Jelda40.697-MSX-DB
Magnum Critical Moment52129-MSX-DB
Malaya No Hibou73.1129-MSX-DB
Mon Mon Monster78129-MSX-DB
O.G.R.E59.9129-MSX-DB
Replicart56.9112-MSX-DB
Robowres 200171.3129-MSX-DB
Vampire Killer82.4129-MSX-DB

Added 07/07/2003

TheThree-EyedOneComesHere (Natsume)82129-MSX-DB
Arsene Lupin in Babylon59.2129width80 is set when loading begins.MSX-DB
Dragon Quest 156.4100-MSX-DB
Family Billiards35.280-MSX-DB
Final Zone Wolf68.5129-MSX-DB
Konami Game Master II53.6104-MSX-DB
Hydlide 271.8129-MSX-DB
Mirai72.9129-MSX-DB
Seikima II Special (Punky 2)54.6112-MSX-DB
Dragon Slayer 1 - Romancia (Japanese)80.3129-MSX-DB
Topple Zip (MW)59.8117Press space after loading - MSX reboots, then game startsMSX-DB
Inquiry Parodic (XYZ,
Zukkoke Yajikita Onmitsudoutyuu, Japanese)
55.1100-MSX-DB

Added 03/07/2003

Zombie Hunter61.8123If you have more than 1 diskdrive, press CTRL on MSX bootMSX-DB

Added 02/07/2003

Aliens57.2129-MSX-DB
Arkanoid 261.2129-MSX-DB
Druid67129-MSX-DB
Girly Block60.1129-MSX-DB
Golvellius74129-MSX-DB
Ninja Kun (Mr. Ninja - Ashura's Chapter)64.9129-MSX-DB
Super Triton (Tritorn)50.6144SCREEN8 is set when loading begins.MSX-DB

Added 01/07/2003

Mr.Ghost (Yuureikun)79.4144-MSX-DB

Added 30/06/2003

Strategic Mars58.5112-MSX-DB

Added 29/06/2003

194267.3144-MSX-DB
Bubble Bobble72.9129-MSX-DB
Fairyland Story54.481-MSX-DB
Gall Force79.3129-MSX-DB
Super Runner63.5129-MSX-DB

Added 28/06/2003

Eggerland Mystery 260.7112-MSX-DB
Woody Poco86.8129-MSX-DB

Added 26/06/2003

Valis: The Fantasm Soldier69.5121-MSX-DB

25/06/2003: Got an idea to use "sox" to squeeze WAV files.

Added 21/06/2003

Firebird (Hinotori)95.9129-MSX-DB
Goemon93.6129-MSX-DB
King Kong 2 (English)89.8129English translation by ImanokMSX-DB
Knightmare II: Maze Of Galious98129If you have more than 1 diskdrive, press CTRL on MSX bootMSX-DB
Metal Gear93.2129-MSX-DB
Nemesis (Gradius)67.2112-MSX-DB
Penguin Adventure (Yumetairiku Adventure)91.1129If you have more than 1 diskdrive, press CTRL on MSX bootMSX-DB
The Treasure Of Usas102129-MSX-DB
Zanac Excellent57.2112-MSX-DB
Arsene Lupin in the Castle (Zariostr)75.7129-MSX-DB

14/06/2003: First self-extracting MegaROM created.
01/06/2003: Received parcel with my first private MSX computer - Russian Yamaha MSX2 (YIS503IIIR).


III. WAV conversion tools


IMPORTANT NOTE: MicroWAVer tool, developed by WYZ and me, is superior to the method I am going to describe, so try mwaver.exe and MicroWAVerCatapult.exe first !

Note that I don't provide WAV files, and here are the reasons:

1) WAVs created by CasLink are not large in size and work good via PC soundcard, but fail to load when burned on CD, because they are in 8-bit, 11025 Hz format instead of 16-bit, 44100 Hz required by Audio CD standard.

2) WAVs produced by msxf2w and waveglue tools are good to put on CD, but a way bigger, and will require too much time to download. Instead, I provide a set of tools and scripts which you can run on your computer to create WAV files yourself.

3) MSX machines are capable of loading on speeds faster than 2400 baud. The set of tools, mentioned above (namely, sox), will also "squeeze" the WAV file, so it can be loaded even faster ! On my Yamaha YIS503IIIR, the maximum speed is about 3200 baud, which makes MegaROMs load in 3.5-6.5 minutes only !

Usage:

1) Extract 2wav.zip into a directory with unzipped games you downloaded from this page.

2) Run 2wav.bat game_name to convert only one game, or use all2wav.bat to create WAVs for all the games you downloaded.

If you MSX is unable to load the WAV you created, or you want to speedup the loading even more, you can experiment with "speed" parameter at the end of 2wav.bat file. Currently it is set to 2.6744, which means 1200 * 2.6744 ~= 3200 baud. Another thing that can help you is increasing the pause between files - just replace "-p" with "-q" in the same file.

3) Type run"cas: on your MSX and start the playback of the WAV file, either via the soundcard, or from the CD you've burned.

Good Luck !

Credits (in random order):


Alex Podrezov, the author of CasLink, for selling me Russian Yamaha MSX2 (YIS503IIIR);
JJC Software for msxf2w and wavglue utilities;
Funet FTP - for most of original disk versions;
Possi's Konami MSX Page - for some of megaroms;
Sylvester - for his huge collection of disk versions that helped me to add many new games and replace some slow or bad ones I got from other sources;
Bytemaniacos - for their ultimative collection of MSX games;
WYZ - for MicroWAVer and testing the compressed games on his Sony MSX2 machine;
Nev - for testing the compressed games on his Yamaha MSX2 machine;
MSX Database on a Generation MSX site;
HansO (MSXHans) and other MSX lovers who published link to this page and gave the others to know about this project.

Dear visitor ! If you have another 128K MegaROMs disk versions that can be compressed, please send them to me.

Mail me to: borus@[NEVER_SEND_SPAM]bigfoot.com


Things I am currently working on:

1) Adding more games (not too much remain - just 3-5 games, if you have another ones - send them to me)
2) Either making all SCC games use the same SCC slot, or fix a SCC autodetection
3) Testing MicroWAVer and porting it from Visual Basic to C.
MicroWAVer can load faster (about 30%-50%) and is developed by WYZ right now.
4) Fixing the known problems, marked with red color on this page (includes fixing bad startup code found in many games)
5) Making 128K RAM disk/tape versions for the ROMs that don't have disk version.



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