Kralizec’s Goonies ‘R Good Enough runs on Franky!

We just found out at the MRC that Kralizec is releasing their new game “Goonies ‘R Good Enough’ on the next 37th MSX users meeting in Barcelona, which will be held on June 19th in Barcelona. The first 35 buyers will get an official Goonies badge and a poster. The game is priced at 35 euro and the cartridge also contains a SCC and PSG in FPGA. Apart from being a great game, the best news is of course that this game also supports the MSX1 compatible screen mode of Franky ;-). Which could be nice for those users who have Franky and a MSX1, but no RGB output on the MSX1.  It’s also great for testing your Franky card.

The game can also be ordered from the MSX cartridge shop and Sunrise if you are unable to attend the meeting. Check Kralizec at the MSX cartridge shop for details.

There’s an old promo of the game on Youtube:

Converted software for Franky

One of our happy Franky users, PCEFAN, has adjusted a lot of games so they work (better) on Franky. PCEFAN also made some custom loaders for different types of memory. Of course we can not host those games here. A solution would be to host the IPS patches instead. unfortunately we don’t have the ability to host files on this WordPress site. If you know a good place to hosts the patches please let us know.

The following games are manually adjusted (please note that you still need a loader tool):

Alien Syndrome Ninja Gaiden
Alien Storm Outrun
Air Rescue Pacmania
Action Fighter Pitfall 2
Alex the Kid in BMX Trial Power Strike 2
Alex the Kid in High Tech World Quartet
Alex the Kid in Shinobi World Rastan Saga
Alex the kid in The Lost Stars Rtype
Altered Beast Sangokushi 3
Choplifter Scramble Spirits
Cloud Master Shadow Dancer
CyborgHunter Shinobi
Dynamite Dux Smurfs
Eswat Solomon No Kagi
Fantasy Zone The Maze Space Harrier
Fantasy Zone 2 Street Of Rage
Forgotten Worlds Street Of Rage 2
Gauntlet Thunderblade
Galaxy Force Time Soldiers
Global Defense Vigilante
Gokuaku Doumei Dump Matsumoto Wonderboy
KungFu Kid Wonderboy 3 The Dragons Trap
Maze Walker Wonderboy In Monster World
Mercs World Games
Moon Walker Zaxxon 3D
Ms Pacman Zillion
Choplifter
FantasyZone The Maze
Global Defense
Gokuaku Doumei Dump Matsumoto
KungFu Kid
Wonderboy
WorldGames
Zillion
Quartet
Alex Kid In High Tech World
Alex Kid Bmx Trial
Solomon No Kagi
MazeWalker
CyborgHunter
Gauntlet
Pitfall2
Alex kid The Lost Stars
Dynamite Dux
Wonderboy In MonsterWorld
Space Harrier
Sangokushi3
Ms Pacman
Rtype
Rastan Saga
Power Strike 2
Street Of Rage 2
Street Of Rage
Shinobi
Action Fighter
Smurfs
Altered Beast
Cloud Master
Vigilante
Thunderblade
Time Soldiers
Wonderboy 3 The Dragons Trap
Moon Walker
Ninja Gaiden
Shadow Dancer

New MSX Audio ROM Available

We have a new ROM for the MSX audio upgrade board. This new rom ensures better compatibility with Compile disk based games, support for loading programs from hard disk and configurations with slot expanders and multiple hardware configurations. Some users experiences lock-ups in some cases. We tested these configurations with a real Panasonic MSX Audio cartridge and we experienced the same problems. It’s safe to say that our new ROM is now more compatible than the original MSX audio ROM! We also included the default Philips Music Module program in the same rom. Pressing ESC during boot will start the default Philips Program. Pressing TAB during boot will disable the ROM completely. Because the new ROM is twice the size of our original rom some adjustments on the PCB are also necessary. Existing users who bought their expander PCB from SuperSoniqs may apply for the new ROM and needed parts without additional costs. Please contact info@supersoniqs.com for details. All new orders will go with the new ROM and adjustments to the PCB, starting today.

MIDI-PAC Prototype

Two days ago our prototype PCB’s for the MIDI-PAC came in from China. Shipping took much longer than expected so unfortunately we can not show a working product yet at the Dutch MSX fair in Nijmegen tomorrow. We made some pictures of the first assembled board, cartridge and art for the cartridge so you can at least have a sneak peak:

MIDI-PAC Proto Front

MIDI-PAC Side

We keep you posted about our developments. Now it’s time to work on the software again!

New version of Franky example code

Armando has send us a new version of the Franky example code. the following routines are new or changed:
  • checkfranky changed: New version of detect routine of Franky.
  • checkrefresh: (Thanks to MKII for this code). Check if Franky card is PAL or NTSC (50 or 60hz). hz var is 1 if franky is NTSC and 0 if Franky is PAL. This code is very important for coders to control music replayers. This has to be tested with NTSC Franky cards.
  • keyint flag. You can control the interrupt with this flag. If you want the KEYINT BIOS routine enabled put value != 0 in this var.
The code and rom can be downloaded here:  fsc2v2.zip

Philips Music Module Expander installation manual now online

We announced earlier that we would make the Philips Music Expander available again. This excellent upgrade PCB for your Philips Music Module will turn it into a Panasonic MSX Audio compatible device. With support for the MSX Audio Basic (which you can also use to play FM-PAC basic listings on) and with 256KB sample ram included.

Philips Music Module Expander

The manual with detailed instructions how to mount the expander PCB in 12 easy steps is now online. Please check the MSX Audio Extension Upgrade Manual v1d

Sample code for Franky available

As reported earlier, Kralizec is busy with porting existing games to Franky. Kralizec also started with making code to support MSX compatible screen mode2 on Franky. We asked Armando (main coder) if it would be possible to share his code with the rest of us. Luckely Armando agreed.

His code detects if Franky is present and does all the initializations to ready the Franky screen mode (MSX screen 2 compatible mode).  Also included is the compiled rom file. You need a tool like loadrom for MSX-DOS to load the 32kb rom. The rom first detects if Franky is present, initialize Franky and then shows a snapshot of Arkanoid on Franky and at the same time shows a color rotation on MSX (on the Franky VDP interrupt). Feel free to download, study and use for your existing or new productions. Thank you Armando!

Link to Franky Example code (zip file)

To execute the example rom you need a tool like loadrom which can be downloaded here:

Link to loadrom (lzh file, can be unpacked with Winrar under Windows)

For your convenience we also put the Sega loader tool online:

Link to Sega Loader (zip file)

36th MSX users meeting in Barcelona a succes!

We attended the 36th users meeting of AAMSX in Barcelona.

AAMSX kindly provided a stand and a couple of monitors for us so that we could show our Franky cartridge with the latest converted software. Luckily we managed to assemble our first batch of Franky cardridges on time for the meeting. And, to our surprise, all Franky cartridges we brought with us were sold! We even got to take pre-orders (we do our best to send these to you in the coming days).

Our participation resulted in given support from the following Spanish developers: Relevo Software, Nerlaska Studios, Z80ST Software and Kralizec. Z80ST software ported their new game Qbiqs live at the meeting to Franky, which is of course quite an achievement.

Kralizec will adapt  one of their great productions to Mode4 on Franky, great news indeed. The other developers will port existing code or -hopefully- build in support for Franky in their new productions.  All in all the MSX meeting was vibrant and crowded. Refreshing!

Also, we had a late dinner afterwards (and with late I mean very late 😉 with most of the active meeting crew and active Spanish developers. We really had a great time.  Our hosts took care of everything, even the massive bill afterwards. A big thank you for that! We owe you ;-).

We hope to be there next time. Barcelona is always a great place to stay. Also on Sundays. See below..

We even managed to get two Sega Master System consoles (pretty wrecked on the outside) on a flea market. They will probably get a new life soon…

Design considerations – part 2

In our earlier post we explained a little about all the choices that have to be made when developing new hardware for MSX. One of those choices was whether we  should support input connectors on Franky for the MSX video output signals. After looking at all the options, we decided not to support this functionality. Let me explain this decision. First of all, there are a lot of MSX computers which have different types of output signals. We can simply not support all (TV PAL/ TV NTSC/RGB/CVBS). Second, space on the Franky PCB itself is limited (take a look at the earlier posted photo of the Franky PCB).  Third, all that extra logic to reroute input signals not only costs money in terms of electronic parts and thus the final sale price, but also makes the design even more complex than it already is. And bigger and more complex designs are more vulnerable for errors, during assembling and operation.

Now, before everybody start throwing tomatoes; we did include one thing and that might also solve a lot of problems regarding your monitor setup, namely the inclusion of a PAL/NTSC encoder for CVBS (composite) output . If you have a TV or monitor with support for switchable RGB and CVBS input signals (Like most TV’s have, and for example the Philips CM 8833 MSX monitor) you can connect your MSX to RGB and Franky to the CVBS input signals (or vice versa) and there you go.

Another option is to buy an external switch box for video signals. There’s one lying here, it costs about 15 euros  and it eats multiple SCART and CVBS input/output signals.

Franky Box Art -W.I.P.

It’t not finished yet and might be changed completely, but here’s a peek. Inspired by a 1931 lobby card and a poster of Frankenstein the movie, I think it fits perfectly. Take a look. Franky is redrawn in Japanese Super Deformed style. Everything is made with Adobe Photoshop, converted with Vector Magic and then imported in Adobe Illustrator. This version took about 10 hours.

Franky box art