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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
*editor's note: I also posted this at emufanatics, in DW's forum, because the topic has a lot to do with console history (even if MSX is not really a console), but I know not all of you go there, so I thought I'd adapt the post a little so it fits on emuforums ;)

I went to an MSX fair again recently, and this time acquired some very nice stuff. ...well, now, for some of you this post can be a little like Greek ;) ..or you could be wondering why on earth I'm interested in it that much.
Well, at home we had an MSX2 since 1986. Until the early 90's I was very much interested in it, then it was forgotten, but eventually thanks to emulation I became a fan of MSX again, even more than before, and I started recollecting stuff. Meanwhile some of the stuff I have now I could only dream off back in those days... pretty cool ;)
At the fairs you'll usually find MSX hardware, new developments (yes, there's still an active community) and if you're lucky some nice/rare MSX games in mint condition, of which some are rare enough to get prices over 100 euros (like SD Snatcher which was about 150); 60 is the most I paid for one once and that was already ridiculous....
Now this time, I acquired quite a bunch of cartridges for MSX, the most expensive one being 35 euros, which is very reasonable because it was an original Japanese version, complete, a Konami and called Nemesis 3! :) ...the other highlights I got were a Japanese Pennant Race 2 (baseball game, complete), Greatest Driver from T&E soft (That's actually a 2 disk game, also Japanese, and also complete), Salamander and Kings Valley 2 (both european versions just with the manual), and a bunch of incomplete ones (no box and manual) of which the most interesting is the fm-pac, an OPL-L music cartridge for MSX...quite funny to find it (cheap) because I had a hard time hunting down a clone version a while ago... this is the original version.
Also found 2 joypads for MSX; allthough they're not exactly the same (one's from Hudson and one's Korean (hey, could it be a zemmix one? ;) ) they're fortunately close enough (it's annoying with 2 players if 1 pad has a huge advantage over the other). The pads look a lot like NES controllers, and I'm better with them than with a joystick (allthough the latter are more duruable). They're in pretty good shape allthough I had to fix the Hudson one up.
Hm.. I did see an awesome MSX Turbo-R at the fair. It was very tempting, because it had everything you can wish for in an MSX (512 kb memory and MSX Music (=fm pac) internal) and looked in top shape too but 350 euros is a little above my budget o_O ..besides, I already have a souped up MSX2 that does most things just as well (and was expensive enough itself. duh.)... still, had it been 100 euros less I might have actually done it (with a big *gulp*, that is).
I also got new MSX hardware...yup, new. It's a Dutch production (woohoo ;) ), a cartridge that allows you to use CompactFlash cards as MSX harddisks! Very convenient, even more so because MSX uses either FAT12 or (with a trick) FAT16, both of which are readable on PC, so it's very easy to transport software from PC to MSX now :) Here's a pic:
http://www.msx.ch/sunformsx/products/hardware/ideflash1.html
There's more new stuff coming; in Japan they released a (USB) cartridge reader that allows you to use original carts in an emulator on PC. However, it's very hard to come by. Fortunately, the same guys that made the CompactFlash adapter are going to produce one as well, and it will be supported by a bunch of emulators like NLMSX, blueMSX and OpenMSX. Now one has a valid point if he says "but you can just load the dumped rom in an emu!". Correct, and it's hard to explain, but the idea of using your original carts on PC ....awesome!

ok, that about covers it ;)
I can post a few shots if people'd like...
I'm also wondering if I should perhaps make a site where I can post stuff like this ;)
 

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Heretic
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*me wonders what MSX is*

Seriously... I'm only 15 so its natural I have no idea what you're on about.
 

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MSX is short for MicroSoft eXtended, I think. They made the basic for the MSX, I'm not sure wether they were involved in the actual design of the MSX standard or not. So MSX is a computer system. Just like PC any company could build one and sell, as long as they kept to the standard design keeping it MSX compatible.

That's my view of it, I have one myself, a yamaha msx with a real piano keyboard I can attach to it. Unfortunately powercord to the powersupply has some problem in the connector, so I'll have to pick it apart someday in the future and fix it if I can. ;)

My uncle made 3 really good games for the MSX (and MSX 2) which we eventually released a few years ago on the internet: Loppan, Twinfleaz and Rocks & Snakes.

They are freeware and I am yet to repost them on my site someday, but you can find them if you google for them. Or actually here they are:

http://www.msxgamesbox.com/Sections/topgames/amateur/files/loppan.zip
http://www.msxgamesbox.com/Sections/topgames/amateur/files/twinfleaz.zip
http://www.msxgamesbox.com/Sections/topgames/amateur/files/rocksnakes.zip

http://www.msxgamesbox.com/Sections/topgames/amateur/games/rocksnakes.php
http://www.msxgamesbox.com/Sections/topgames/amateur/games/twinfleaz.php
http://www.msxgamesbox.com/Sections/topgames/amateur/games/loppan.php

Hours of fun, twin fleaz you can play with two players simultaneously.
 

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THE GREAT MSX :bow:

You have one of these?! I HATE YOU!
Seriously i would have to say that MSX is probably the gratest virtually unknown system out there, I think thats because it was mostly released in Europe and Asia.
I remember playing Solid Snake on it at this friend of a friend house it was soooo sweeet >,<. I wish I had one, thanks for the thread please post some pics...
 
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
actually I have 2... (don't kill me, k ;) )
both are philips models; I live in the Netherlands, and these models were common here.

One is the Philips NMS8250 MSX2, a desktop model (looks a lot like a PC), modified to MSX2+, 512kb internal, 2 720kb diskdrives with a faster diskrom and a 7mhz switch (which appears to be useful in some rare cases); it's the same model I originally had, and my favourite in usability. It's also easy to hook up to a stereo set ;)

The other's a Philips VG8235 MSX2 that looks more like other old home computers (keyboard and computer in one); it also has one improved diskdrive. It has only the standard 128kb memory but I have a 4MB (that's overkill, yeah) memory mapper (cartridge) so it can mostly do what the other MSX can.

I'd love to have an MSX Turbo-R or an original Japanese 2+ with 512kb memory, but both are friggin' expensive. Not that the modded 8250 wasn't.

Of course you can always get an emulator.... at the moment I'd rate BlueMSX the highest in overall usability and accuracy.

I'll post some pics later; I only have a webcam, so the quality won't be perfect, but it will do (it's a new webcam).

Lento > I don't know those games, but I'll check 'em out :)

from the MSX faq (faq.msxnet.org):
The MSX standard has been designed by a company called ASCII in Cooperation with Microsoft which provided a firmware version of its BASIC for the machine. Because this BASIC version was an extended version of MicroSoft Basic, it was called "MicroSoft eXtended BASIC". This explains the name "MSX". The system thanks his name to the built-in BASIC.

Note that according to Kazuhiko Nishi, the `inventor' of the whole MSX idea, MSX can mean a lot more than just MicroSoft eXtended. He says (published in an article in a Japanese business magazine in 1997) that he used the abbreviation MSX to contract a lot of companies saying that it means Matsu****a Sony X-machine in which the X could stand for the company Nishi was talking with at that moment. He also said that he initially wanted to name it NSX, Nishi Sony X (or MNX, Matsu****a Nishi X) but the name NSX was already taken by Honda. So, in the case of Microsoft he just said the MS stands for MicroSoft. Anyhow, at least it is clear that Matsu****a and Sony are the most important companies that produced MSX machines and hardware, according to Nishi.

Other possibilities were Matsu****a Sony Shake-hands (X). But actually, MSX doesn't really have a meaning, it's just a nice-sounding 3-letter combination. On the MSX fair in Tilburg (21st April) 2001, Nishi gave a general meaning: Machines (hardware) with Software eXchangeability. A funny remark was that when MSX seemed to be succesful, Microsoft said MS in MSX means MicroSoft, but after 1986, when MSX seemed not as succesful as Microsoft had hoped, they denied that...
*edit: gotta love how m a t s u s h i t a is blocked out here...stupid filter :p
 

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I say you're crazy, i wouldn't pay more than $50 for any kind of MSX, anything higher you're getting really ripped off :p. Seriously, 350 euroes (436 USD) is such an absurdly high price for something so old. I know you really cherish the MSX, and it IS a quality machine with plenty of great games, but it's also old as hell, you wouldn't see an NES cost that much would you? Unless it's super rare and a vintage machine that's probably going to go up in value, you're crazy for even considering it :p.
 
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
ah, well, that's just got (partly) to do with how much you like something. To me, MSX is a lot more special than the NES. I suppose it's kinda strange though, given the fact I keep postponing the purchase of a ps2 ;) ...I could've done that easily from the money I spent on hunting down msx stuff. (and I drive a car; 3 tanks of gas = ps2 :p (so yeah, I think I'm gonna get one))
the 60 euro's I spent once on the Japanese Contra cart WAS way too much, I know and afterwards felt I paid too much for it, but I did so in a rush. And I can assure you, when you see the stuff displayed at such a fair you automatically become more eager to buy it.
However, 35 euro's for a mint condition Japanese Nemesis 3 is to me a reasonable price. The game's much rarer than your average old nes SMB2 cartridge or something.
As for the turbo-r, it's expensive because it IS quite rare, and the MSX2+ isn't common either. (http://www.faq.msxnet.org/msxtr.html - the one for sale was the second (and best) model; quite simply the coolest MSX ever made). Most of that stuff has to be imported from Japan, and that's also why those fairs (and ebay) are about the only place where you can find 'em. However, normal (not modified) Philips msx2 models ARE common here and you should indeed not pay much for those.
The modded ones are more expensive; a guy at those fairs makes the improvements himself and naturally he isn't doing that for naught...allthough he could lower his prices a bit, I think ;)
A while ago I got a normal VG8235 for 5 euros (without the disk improvement); its cartridge ports were a little worn out but the keyboard was in a good condition, so I took the top off and replaced it with the top of the other vg8235, which had a kind of worn-out keyboard (space bar, specifically).
Anyways, those fairs are full of MSX fans. of course things won't be dirt cheap there.
New hardware like the CompactFlash HD adapter isn't cheap either because it can only be made in limited quantities.
In the end, I suppose it is a little crazy. I agree with you that it isn't cheap.
I recently bought a C64 in a great condition for about 5 euros, but that also depends a lot on what kind of fair you are looking. I could probably sell the C64 for at least 5 times that price if I wanted, but naturally I'm not ;)

One final note; original versions of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake are being sold (IF you can find one, they're not even at those fairs) at prices over 300 euros. now THAT's crazy ;)
 

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I think its worth it, after ive played it I couldnt believe what I just saw, the movie in the begining was awsome :drool: and the radar(first game that introduced it NOT METAL GEAR SOLID!) and the music!!! :guitar:. Still the game was like the hardest game ever, he told me that he finished it but I think he lied, because it was just imposible for me to get true that first level/zone >.<

Im not surprised that he had it either the kid was like super ritch.

MSX RULLES!!! :laser:
 
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Discussion Starter #9
actually, the game's not that hard...I'm no pro and I finished it.
However, at first you need to get used to it...if you don't know what to do it can indeed be hard.
MGS was too easy after it though. Too many hints and jokes that I remembered ;)
 

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i tried MG2 and bluemsx glitched out when loading a save state... so i stopped :p. I wouldn't pay 300 euros for it, but it's definitely a worthy game in the MG series. Oh no how did we start talking about this?
 
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Discussion Starter #11
I wouldn't pay 300 euros for it either; equally I wouldn't pay 350 euro's for a TurboR;
that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to have both of 'em, though ;)
 

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Samor said:
I went to an MSX fair again recently, and this time acquired some very nice stuff. ...well, now, for some of you this post can be a little like Greek ;) ..or you could be wondering why on earth I'm interested in it that much.
Well, at home we had an MSX2 since 1986. Until the early 90's I was very much interested in it, then it was forgotten, but eventually thanks to emulation I became a fan of MSX again, even more than before, and I started recollecting stuff. Meanwhile some of the stuff I have now I could only dream off back in those days... pretty cool ;)
At the fairs you'll usually find MSX hardware, new developments (yes, there's still an active community) and if you're lucky some nice/rare MSX games in mint condition, of which some are rare enough to get prices over 100 euros (like SD Snatcher which was about 150); 60 is the most I paid for one once and that was already ridiculous....
Now this time, I acquired quite a bunch of cartridges for MSX, the most expensive one being 35 euros, which is very reasonable because it was an original Japanese version, complete, a Konami and called Nemesis 3! :) ...the other highlights I got were a Japanese Pennant Race 2 (baseball game, complete), Greatest Driver from T&E soft (That's actually a 2 disk game, also Japanese, and also complete), Salamander and Kings Valley 2 (both european versions just with the manual), and a bunch of incomplete ones (no box and manual) of which the most interesting is the fm-pac, an OPL-L music cartridge for MSX...quite funny to find it (cheap) because I had a hard time hunting down a clone version a while ago... this is the original version.
Also found 2 joypads for MSX; allthough they're not exactly the same (one's from Hudson and one's Korean (hey, could it be a zemmix one? ;) ) they're fortunately close enough (it's annoying with 2 players if 1 pad has a huge advantage over the other). The pads look a lot like NES controllers, and I'm better with them than with a joystick (allthough the latter are more duruable). They're in pretty good shape allthough I had to fix the Hudson one up.
Hm.. I did see an awesome MSX Turbo-R at the fair. It was very tempting, because it had everything you can wish for in an MSX (512 kb memory and MSX Music (=fm pac) internal) and looked in top shape too but 350 euros is a little above my budget o_O ..besides, I already have a souped up MSX2 that does most things just as well (and was expensive enough itself. duh.)... still, had it been 100 euros less I might have actually done it (with a big *gulp*, that is).
I also got new MSX hardware...yup, new. It's a Dutch production (woohoo ;) ), a cartridge that allows you to use CompactFlash cards as MSX harddisks! Very convenient, even more so because MSX uses either FAT12 or (with a trick) FAT16, both of which are readable on PC, so it's very easy to transport software from PC to MSX now :) Here's a pic:
http://www.msx.ch/sunformsx/products/hardware/ideflash1.html
There's more new stuff coming; in Japan they released a (USB) cartridge reader that allows you to use original carts in an emulator on PC. However, it's very hard to come by. Fortunately, the same guys that made the CompactFlash adapter are going to produce one as well, and it will be supported by a bunch of emulators like NLMSX, blueMSX and OpenMSX. Now one has a valid point if he says "but you can just load the dumped rom in an emu!". Correct, and it's hard to explain, but the idea of using your original carts on PC ....awesome!

ok, that about covers it ;)
I can post a few shots if people'd like...
*sigh*
....it's always good to see people still taking good care of their old home computers, unlike some *cough* other *cough* folk, who heve kept neglecting their retro hardware to the point that parts of it have eventually "broken down". :emb:

Samor said:
I'm also wondering if I should perhaps make a site where I can post stuff like this ;)
....well, I don't mean to be a pessimist (some prefer the less appealing term "party pooper" :D), but the general interest for retro computer stuff is rather limited (at least in Emuforums - since it's a "next gen" forum and all that) so you really shouldn't expect a huge number of hits or anything...
I promise I'll visit your site if you finally come around and set it up, though; (so there's your -one- visitor right there ;) )

...btw, will this (still hypothetical) site cover MSX only, or perhaps other vintage home computers as well ? ...I'll have no problem doing a few mini-reviews of, maybe, some CPC or Amiga games (that is -if- you're planning to include other sections, including game reviews, at all).
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Oh, I was just thinking of making it quite generic.... I also have a C64, a famiclone and some other stuff to rant about ;)
..and just games in general.
need to find time for it first though. These ideas usually take forever to materialize in my case :heh:
 

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I'm very fond of MSX, since it was what got me into computers. That was 15 years ago. I'm 20 :p

Ps.: I still have my MSX 1...it was manufactured by "Gradiente", from Brazil (it was very popular around here).
 
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Discussion Starter #15
I never had a MSX1. The first we got was one of the first MSX2's.
I have on galaxian cartridge that doesn't work on my MSX'es though, because it works on MSX1 only.
 

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interesting :)
the model looks a little like the NMS8250 (with the separate keyboard and all, and even the numeric keypad (not all MSX'es have it)).
Did you know they later rereleased Kings Valley in a games collection with level editor? (not talking about kings valley 2, but 1).
 

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i didn't know about the re-release. Is there a ** cough, cough ** rom dump of it?
On a related note, i started playing MSX games again thanks to the purchase of a N-Gage (fMSX for Series 60).
 
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No, because the rerelease actually was on a disk (Konami Games Collection). :p
It may only work on MSX2, but I'm not sure.

Konami released a series of game collections. Some of the MSX1 games were adapted for MSX2, but Kings Valley 1 , I think, wasn't. The game's on the second disk of Games Collection volume 1.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
some pics... webcam cable's a bit short; I can make better pics when I have a new adapter for my laptop again.

a few comments...

first pic: 'overview'; keyboard in front, the MSX is conveniently placed under the tv. The other comp in the pic (at the left) is a C64 ;)

second pic: Running F1 Spirit 3D Special ....

third pic: the msx itself; 2 carts in it, top one is an fm-pac, the other's the harddisk cart; it has a compactflash card in it (partially visible: green bit at the right of the pic)

fourth pic: One of the gamepads I found for MSX.... works on all kinds of older computers though
 
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