PASOKON: old Japanese computers (MSX, PC-98, X68000)


Honestly I’m happy with any games being playable, even the adult ones (I’ve not played any yet so I may eat those words). Plus those old VNs had some of the most technically accomplished pixel art ever. I’m gonna have to look into what has been translated. Is there a good source for these translations? Romhacking has only 2 pages of PC-98 translations for example, I’m sure there were hundreds or even thousands of games released.


There aren’t that many translated games at this point. People have only started becoming interested recently, mainly for the adult games as I said. Steam Hearts, for instance, is currently underway. It’s an fairly average shooter with porn, and there’s a Saturn version with no porn and much better gameplay.

I mean, it’s fine and I’m glad people are paying some attention to the platform, but there are much better games out there. Not that all of the adult games for PC98 aren’t worth anyone’s time. There are some genuinely great games that had adult sequences added as an attempt to sell more copies, but a lot of those eventually got ports to other systems without the porn that are much higher quality.


I really want an msx2 but the lack of many English games always stops me from buying one.


I will say that it would be wise to keep an eye on 48 Okumen for PC98 translations, because they seem to be the most active.

There are a lot of English games, both official and fan translated. Many more than you’d find for most Japanese computers, since the MSX platforms we’re really popular in many parts of Europe. Probably the first known fan translation across any system was for SD Snatcher by a Dutch group called Oasis. That was done way back in 1993! There is quite a culture of this stuff in the MSX community.


Were all MSX games keyboard-controlled?


No. Some support joystick.

The MSX used the “Atari” style 9-pin d-sub connector for it’s controllers/joysticks.


While true, the pins aren’t set up the same way so out of the box, the buttons won’t work as intended. It’s a very easy mod, though.

There were many joysticks released specifically for MSX computers however, and the X68000 had the same pinout, so you can use those as well.


What was the output format? Was it all composite/rf? Mostly 240p too?

I’m a complete novice with this stuff.


For MSX? Depends entirely on the machine. Note that MSX was a computer standard and not a specific machine, and lots of different companies produced computers to the spec. Unfortunately, video output ports were not included in the spec, so it varied a lot. MOST of them had RF out and CVBS (composite) at the minimum. SCART was also very common for the European models, with 8-pin RGB being more common on the Japanese models.

As for resolutions, it’s most comparable to the C64. It had many different screen modes. Check out this page for info about that.


Were the European SCART models all using 50hz? Is there a 60hz SCART model people generally regard highly?


For MSX1 machines, European machines were 50hz and Japanese we’re 60hz and that was the end of it. MSX2 machines had a video processor that was much more flexible, and as a result, there is a simple BASIC command you can run to switch between 50hz and 60hz display modes. It doesn’t change color encoding, but if you’re using RGB then that doesn’t matter anyway.


So cool. Thanks for the info.


anddddd you’ve sent me back down the rabbit hole of looking at msx2’s on ebay! Thanks for the info


I’m doing the same.


I love the look of the Sony MSX machines.


This discussion got me hankering for getting my MSX2 kitted out. I’ve always run it through composite on a CRT television, which worked okay. Composite through the Framemeister looks dramatically worse, so I’ve got an RGB cable coming. Also ordered a Mega Flash ROM SCC+SD+512k which is a flash cartridge that can load cartridge ROMs and mount disk images from SD card, and is also a RAM expansion and an SCC (Konami special sound chip) cartridge all in one. It’s going to be great not having to fiddle with constantly rewriting floppy disks.


GameSack did a profile of the MSX. Their system videos are rather great.


Pretty decent look at a lot of the games. They don’t go very far off the beaten path in terms of games, and some of the more popular games (i.e. Usas and Maze of Galious) are missing, but I’m glad they covered the paid translation of SD Snatcher because it’s phenomenal. Plus no MSX Final Fantasy?!


I still need to play MG and SS. SS looks like such an upgrade graphically too, Michael Douglas Solid Snake aside lol.


If @IrishNinja or anyone else is interested, the Zemmix FPGA MSX unit is in stock again.