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Thread: Any collectors of MSX or X68000?

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    Default Any collectors of MSX or X68000?

    I've always been fascinated by these two (mostly) Japan-only computers. Of course Konami got it's major breaks in Japan on the MSX and the X68000 is said to have some great arcade ports. Still - other than emulating to try them out (which always feels flat compared to the real thing) what are some other collector's/gamer's opinions on these two machines?

    Also - are there more interesting Japan-only computer machines I'm missing?
    -AB+

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    I have an MSX 2+, but importing games for it is expensive. I've been trying to find a cheap US source for cartridges, but no luck so far. I've got a bunch of disk images that I've been meaning to copy over and try out though.

    I'd love to import an X68000, but everything is so expensive! That's definitely a system that you need to be dedicated to if you're going to collect for it.

    There's also the PC-8001 and SC-3000 computers that were only released in Japan. The SC-3000 is basically a Sega SG-1000 (precursor to the SMS) with a keyboard and very little software, but the PC-8001 got a ton of games.

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    I have several MSX 1 and 2+ systems and a decent collection of games and accessories. I try to snatch up what I can if a game pops up cheap on eBay, though it's typically from Japan. As with all systems, I'm interested in adding an X68000 system to my collection, but I can't really think of anything on it that would appeal to a non-Japanese speaker, and they tend to be very expensive systems to acquire, so the odds of me actually getting one ever are slim at best. My personal recommendation would be to get a hold of a good MSX2+ system, as the MSX standard has a great International community around it and you're far more likely to find stuff to buy to use on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest View Post
    There's also the PC-8001 and SC-3000 computers that were only released in Japan. The SC-3000 is basically a Sega SG-1000 (precursor to the SMS) with a keyboard and very little software, but the PC-8001 got a ton of games.
    I think I would go for a PC-9801 before I got a PC-8001. First off, they're (relatively) more plentiful to find, since at the peak of the PC-98, they controlled over 60% of Japan's computer market, and secondly, the games are better looking and more varied -- if you wanted a quick and dirty analogy, you can think of Japan's PC-98 being our DOS machines. They used different parts and specifications, but they are both somewhat similiar. The PC-98 starting to trail off its popularity in 1990, but the last one manufacturered was in 2000.

    </history lesson>

    Also, I'll echo Tempest's sentiments: I have an MSX2. I NEED a X68000.
    "I am a cipher, wrapped in an enigma, smothered in secret sauce."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gapporin View Post
    I think I would go for a PC-9801 before I got a PC-8001. First off, they're (relatively) more plentiful to find, since at the peak of the PC-98, they controlled over 60% of Japan's computer market, and secondly, the games are better looking and more varied -- if you wanted a quick and dirty analogy, you can think of Japan's PC-98 being our DOS machines. They used different parts and specifications, but they are both somewhat similiar. The PC-98 starting to trail off its popularity in 1990, but the last one manufacturered was in 2000.

    </history lesson>

    Also, I'll echo Tempest's sentiments: I have an MSX2. I NEED a X68000.
    Ahh that's the one I was thinking of. The PC-98.

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    I picked up one of the One Chip MSX systems about a year ago and really enjoy it. It's nice to be able to run images on it from an SD card instead of needing to track down the carts. I've also got a Zemmix, but it would be much more cost effective to get a traditional MSX than trying to track down one of those.

    Add me to the list of people wanting an X68000. I came really close to getting one, but the deal fell through in the end. But it's on my list to buy as soon as I find one reasonably priced.
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    i've never had much of a problem finding cheaper msx games (cart only). i just have a msx2 with no disk drive so i want to eventually upgrade to a nice 2+

    there are several versions of the X68. the "compact" versions seem to be cheaper and more common on ebay but they lack the iconic double tower look, they also sprt 3.5 dick drives which i find wierd because almost all of the x68 software i've come across is on
    5 1/2 disks. the are also other versions of the computer some with faster cpu's or hard drives that were made as the system evolved over the years

    noones mentioned the FM towns computer. most people i suppose are more familier with the fm towns marty which is the consolised version but there is a much more capible fm computer which comes in 2 models, the first being the more powerful.

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    There were actually a lot of different FM Towns models. If you're looking at buying one (or any other Japanese consoles) nikdog made a nice list of resources for the models and their specs here:

    http://www.risingstuff.com/forums/vi...hp?f=36&t=1366

    Yeah, if you're seriously into FM-Towns a tower is a lot better than the console and probably about the same price after shipping. Not to mention way more obtainable.
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    I've always wanted to get an X68000, but the thought of importing a matching monitor kinda kills the whole idea (Yeah, I could probably run it on something else... but I wouldn't be able to resist the sexiness of this kind of setup).

    I want to get an MSX one of these days, but haven't put a lot of effort into it yet. The wide variety of hardware kinda stuns me every time, with the Yamaha CX5M being my dream machine.

    As for other Japanese computers, check out this page... That alone is enough to make me want a PC-8801!

    --Zero

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    I have an MSX, an MSX2,and two 2+'s sitting here. They are great machines. Getting a good working one in NA is a bit of an experience, and the game importing is kind of a mixed bag, but the games are great. Some really REALLY sweet action games live on the MSX.

    I have a pretty big bin of MSX carts, and some Disk games too. If you're ok with sometimes having to bite the bullet on shipping, and are OK with opening the beast up and swapping out the FDD if it suddenly goes out, an MSX and real games definitely beats the emulators! The FM music for Microcabin games is worth it all by itself.


    X68000 is of the same deal. I dont have as much for it, but thats because I blow all my money on MSX and PC Engine stuff. They are sexy though.

    I also have a nice PC9800 setup, though, in all honesty, unless you are REALLY horny for having a real one, there are a few exceptional emulators out there that will boot real disks, and CDROMs. So you could collect real games (even 5.25's).

    I actually have Pretty Sammy sitting in my CDROM drive right now and tested that.

    The emulators even do some port communication and stuff. I am pretty impressed. The PC9800 emulators might be the best computer emulators around.

    The PC9800 is the thing to get into if you love digital comics. Definitely. Thats half the reason I bought it!

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    MSX seems like (to me) the next possible entry in my retro computer nook, next to the LC520 mac and my lovely a500 Amiga

    Now to find one without needing to hack off a limb... I've heard of MSX flashcarts or multicarts out there... I wonder how easy it would be to procure so one could run the english translations floating about.

    I want to play an 8-bit Metal Gear that doesn't suck, please
    -AB+

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ze_ro View Post
    I've always wanted to get an X68000, but the thought of importing a matching monitor kinda kills the whole idea (Yeah, I could probably run it on something else... but I wouldn't be able to resist the sexiness of this kind of setup).


    --Zero
    thats funny Zero cause thats the exact reason i didn't buy a FM marty not long ago. i could afford the system but i wanted the monitor/keyboard ect to have a matching setup. it bumped things just up a little over what i could afford so i passed. damn heavy monitors

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    As far as Japanese computers go, I have an X68000, FM Towns, an MSX 2, a MSX 2+, Fujitzu FM-7 and FM-77, PC-88, Sharp X1, Tomy Pyuuta, IBM PC JX, Casio PV-2000, and probably one or two others I've forgotten to mention.

    If I was to recommend which to buy, I'd get an X68000 and an MSX 2 because they have the most games playable to non-Japanese speakers. I would not recommend a PC-98 because there don't seem to be many action games for the thing, and the few that they are have superior X68000 or FM Towns version.



    That's a picture of my current computer setup. I don't keep everything plugged in at once, but you can see the X1, FM-77, PC JX, PC-8801, and X68000. They all work off the same monitor.

    Importing the machines can be a pain, but don't bother importing the monitors unless you're really hell bent on everything color coordinating. Just buy an old NEC Multisync II and wire up the required adapter.

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    What's the thing with the cartridge slots? Those look like a PCjr cartridges.
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    It's the PC JX, the Japanese version of the JR. They're not very software compatible, although you can physically stick a JR cartridge in the JX. I tried putting Pitfall II for the JR and the JX, and it loaded fine. However, the screen was inverted (the underground areas were on top and vice versa). There isnt anything really notable about the computer other than it's one of the computers that Thunder Force I was ported to.
    Last edited by blue lander; 10-19-2009 at 02:26 PM.

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    heres a question for you guys that have an MSX, MSX2, MSX+.

    are there any incompatibiblites between versions backwards compatible wise? say if someone wants to play all the MSX has to offer all you would need is a MSX2+ right? (i know theres a turbo as well)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soviet Conscript View Post
    heres a question for you guys that have an MSX, MSX2, MSX+.

    are there any incompatibiblites between versions backwards compatible wise? say if someone wants to play all the MSX has to offer all you would need is a MSX2+ right? (i know theres a turbo as well)

    More or less. An MSX2 would be fine too. The 2+ just usually has some nice stuff added in, like onboard FM so you dont waste a cartridge slot with an FMPAC. All MSX games will work on an MSX2, and all MSX2 games will work on a 2+. AFAIK there are no actual "MSX2+ required" games.

    The Turbo R is NOT needed. Ever. No justifications other than development or extreme OCD.

    As for flash carts,etc. theres the CF reader from Sunrise, it functions like a giant floppy disk. So it wont let you fire up any ol' cartridge rom. Some will work though provided you have enough RAM! They work great for disk images though.

    If you want to play Metal Gear without paying out the ass for it (So expensive!), they have an SCC flasher cart, its got 512k ram and SCC music. Good stuff. Great stuff actually.

    They're actually really easy to find. A bit pricey since theyre from Europe, but they are worth it!

    http://personales.mundivia.es/mpazos...om/index2.html



    I would go with an MSX for your next Japanese computer for sure. Good blend of action, rpg, text / graphical adventure games. Alot of translations exist for it too. Hell some of the games dont even need translation, theyre just playable as is.

    I'd start with Aleste, Hydlide 1 -3 , the DSlayer games, Undeadline, and anything Konami makes. Thatll be a good start to tasting the MSX.


    Then try out Compile and MicroCabin games. Fray is the best game ever for the MSX.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue lander View Post
    It's the PC JX, the Japanese version of the JR. They're not very software compatible, although you can physically stick a JR cartridge in the JX. I tried putting Pitfall II for the JR and the JX, and it loaded fine. However, the screen was inverted (the underground areas were on top and vice versa). There isnt anything really notable about the computer other than it's one of the computers that Thunder Force I was ported to.
    They made a Japanese PCjr? No way! Will the PC JX games play on the PCjr at all? I'd love to see Thunder Force on my PCjr.

    Pitfall II ran inverted? I wonder why? That's weird! Did the game still play or was it crashed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest View Post
    Pitfall II ran inverted? I wonder why? That's weird! Did the game still play or was it crashed?

    Tempest
    I wonder if it has anything to do with Japan reading things Right to Left and that causing it to get reversed if a pin layout or orientation is flipped on the Japanese one.

    maybe.

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    I'm pretty sure JX games won't run on the Jr. The JX uses 3.5 inch disks with a weird format that can't be read on PCs. I tried making a disk image of Thunderforce and running it from a PC Jr emulator, but it wouldn't load at all. I haven't tried plugging the JX 3.5" drive directly into my JR yet, so I suppose it's possible that might work. I have a cartridge for the JX that forces it to behave like a normal PC, but when I put that cartridge in the JX-only software won't work. I have 3 or 4 games for the thing. A couple adventure games, a golf game, Thunderforce, and Polaris III.

    If I had more Jr cartridges maybe I could determine why the screen is flipped, but I assume it has something to do with the video memory being mapped differently.

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