MoonBlaster v1.4 BASIC driver 
Monday, August 5, 2019, 10:40
Today I've released an update of the MoonBlaster v1.4 driver:

Changes in this version:
  • added detection for memory mapper availability and size in DOS1
  • added detection for other than real MSX-AUDIO
  • improved stability when switching between Z80 and R800 on MSXturboR

Also the official assembly sources updates are available. The changes are:
  • merged MBPLAY.SRC and MBPLAY2.SRC
  • translated the comments to English
  • added conditional assembly flags
  • added detection for other than real MSX-AUDIO

The driver can be downloaded from my Home Page or MSX Banzai!.
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Cheats for Konami Antiques MSX Collections for PlayStation 
Tuesday, August 7, 2018, 15:54

Introduction


In 1997 and 1998 Konami released a collection of MSX games for the PlayStation spread of 3 volumes which are sold separately. In 1998 a version for Sega Saturn was released containing the same titles combined on 1 disc. The disc contains the ROM images of the MSX games replacing BIOS video routines by unused Z80 instructions. Some of these games are also known to have extra features by inserting certain Konami games in the second slot of the MSX computer, or by built in cheats.

This article contains all cheats for the games per volume, and how to activate them on the PlayStation discs. This information is accumulated by trial and error, sometimes with help of a few existing pages. At this moment no information is known about how to activate these cheats on the Sega Saturn version.

The formatting of each entry is as follows:
  • Game title
    • Game title (combination) or Description of the cheat.
      Button or buttons to start the game with from the menu.
      Description of what it does.


Volume 1


The games affected on Konami Antiques MSX Collection Volume 1 are:
  • Gradius
    • TwinBee (combination)

      Vic Viper will turn into TwinBee and the power-up capsules will turn into bells.

Volume 2


The games affected on Konami Antiques MSX Collection Volume 2 are:
  • Yie Ar Kung Fu 2
    • Yie Ar Kung Fu (combination)

      Starting from stage 3, once your life bar is almost depleted, Lee Young from Yie Ar Kung Fu will drop you some tea.
  • Knightmare
    • Invisibility on demand
      +
      You will become invisible for 100 in-game counts. This can be done 3 times.
    • Invisibility on demand
      +
      You will become invisible for 100 in-game counts. This can be done as often as you want.
    • 26 lives
      +
      (on MSX with LEFT+RIGHT+SELECT+N).
      You will start with 26 lives in stead of 3 lives.
    • 26 lives & invisibility on demand
      ++
      This combines the two afforementioned cheats.
  • Gradius 2
    • Penguin Adventure (combination)
      +
      Metalion will turn into Penguin and power-up capsules will turn into fish and a seagull.
    • Q*Bert (combination)
      +
      Enter passwords for special features:
      Fully power-up Metalion.
      Skip to the next stage.
      Create a temporary green shield around Metalion.
    • The Maze of Galious (combination)
      +
      Get a Weapon Backup feature when you die. This does not apply after a Game Over.

Volume 3


The games affected on Konami Antiques MSX Collection Volume 3 are:
  • Salamander
    • Gradius 2 (combination)
      There is no special combination to specifically start this combination.
      Enables the possibility to reach the Good Ending of Salamander.


Referenced pages


http://urawaza.in/ps/konami.htm
http://urawaza.in/ps/konami2.htm
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DalSoRi R2.0 toolset released 
Sunday, December 31, 2017, 17:41
Today I released the start of a toolset for the DalSoRi R2.0 OPL4 extension.

Changes:
  • new: DSR2SET, configure every setting in the DalSoRi R2.0
  • new: DSR2SROM, load a customised Sample ROM in SRAM

The toolset is released as TNI product.
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Multi IPS Archive tools version 1.1 released 
Friday, July 21, 2017, 11:09
A new version of the Multi IPS Archive tools have been released. Version 1.1 comes with an addition to the MIA format as well:
  • added a disk switch feature
  • added a rename feature

The disk switch feature will allow applying patches on multi-disk file based software. MIAPPLY will display which disk to insert and wait for a key press. The rename feature should preferably only be used to change filenames that are part of a translation and which are not hardcoded in the software.

Also the MIA format specification has been given an update in the existing part. More information regarding this is available in the package to create MIA files.

The tools are available on MSX Banzai!, BiFi's Home Page and MSX IPS Patch Archive.
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Konami RC-code Locations 
Saturday, October 15, 2016, 13:46

Introduction


A long time ago someone asked me if I knew how Konami embedded the RC-codes their games. At the time I noticed 2 methods which are also used by many of the combination detection code. The Konami Game Master also uses one of these methods to detect cartridges that were released after the Konami Game Master. Many of the smaller games are detected using a different mehod.

Konami was a big fan of the BCD (Binary Coded Decimal) notation. In this notation the letters A-F are never used. This choice was made to speed up the displaying of regularly updated values, such as scores.

This article explains the methods as seen from the different ROM sizes.

16K ROM modules


The last 2 bytes of the ROM (addresses 7FFEh and 7FFFh) contain the RC-code in BCD, followed by 170 (0AAh). Testing this from other Konami titles, usually the last 6 bytes (7FFAh) are tested to increase the improbability of false positives.

The Konami Game Master detects these cartridges by adding the values of the 128 bytes starting from 5000h, which will be matched with a table directing to the actual Game Master data.

32K ROM modules


The last 2 bytes of the ROM (addresses 0BFFEh and 0BFFFh) contain the RC-code in BCD, followed by 170 (0AAh), just like in the 16K ROM modules. Some Konami titles use this method to test the last 6 bytes (0BFFAh) to increase the improbability of false positives. Other Konami titles use the second method.

The second method is split up into 2 formats for the Konami Game Master.

With the absolute format. From address 4010h the format is as follows:

- The ASCII value of the letter "A" (41h)
- The ASCII value of the letter "B" (42h)
- The value 7 (07h)
- The last 2 digits of the RC-code in BCD

Following this are 17 bytes of the Game Master data. These include addresses for the number of lives, stage number, the high score and the players scores. The exact explanation of this table goes beyond the scope of this article.

With the relative format. From address 4010h the format is as follows:

- The ASCII value of the letter "C" (43h)
- The ASCII value of the letter "D" (44h)
- The value 7 (07h)
- The last 2 digits of the RC-code in BCD

Following is a byte for option flags followed by addresses and maximum value you can input for that option. The exact explanation of this table goes beyond the scope of this article.

MegaROM modules


There are 3 games known which use the 32K ROM module method with the relative format: Nemesis or Gradius, Penguin Adventure and Ganbare Goemon. Also, some Konami titles had extra zeroes in that sequence (for coders: DW in stead of DB): Vampire Killer and Pennant Race. Finally some titles use the relative format with the letters "E" and "F" in stead of "C" and "D": Shalom and Pennant Race 2. All other titles only use the relative format as described in the 32K ROM modules section.

The Konami Game Master 2 has its own detection. Check on address 4010h for "Y" (59h) and "Z" (5Ah). This allows Konami titles to use the built-in SRAM disk.

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