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Reply 40 of 51, by Jo22

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Sad news. I've just learned that the guy who made Super! Lonely Terminal, Peter J., had passed away in late 2021.

http://fullmotionvideo.free.fr/phpBB3/viewtop … .php?f=1&t=1870

While I didn't know him personally, I often visited his sites in the past years, wondering who that nice person behind the monitor actually is.

Just by the way these sites presented themselves, I somehow felt that it must be a fine person very dedicated to the hobby.

I hope he will be remembered. His legacy will live on, bringing joy to further generations to come.

Rest in peace.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 41 of 51, by Jo22

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Quick update. Found some more links related to PC-98/88.

Reviews: https://pc88mad.zouri.jp/review.htm
Gallery: https://www.cug.net/~anonB/

Edit: A Japanese video platform.
PC-88: https://sp.nicovideo.jp/tag/PC-88
PC-98: https://sp.nicovideo.jp/tag/PC-98

Sharp X1: https://sp.nicovideo.jp/tag/X1
FM-7: https://sp.nicovideo.jp/tag/FM-7

Sharp X68k: https://sp.nicovideo.jp/tag/X68K%20X68000
MSX: https://sp.nicovideo.jp/tag/MSX

Sharp MZ-2500 (Super MZ) : https://sp.nicovideo.jp/tag/MZ-2500
PC-6001: https://sp.nicovideo.jp/tag/PC-6001

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 42 of 51, by Jo22

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Update. Discovered a Japanese version of Win32s. It was uploaded to the net almost a decade ago by BetaArchive user DiskingRound.
From what I can say, it really works. I've tested it in PCem with the WinBIOS machine, an i486DX-50 and IBM DOS/V 7.0 and MS Windows 3.1 Japanese.

This version has Kanji/Kana support, unlike the English version. It copies over Japanese font files during installation.
Maybe this is useful to all of you who want to play Japanese Visual Novels or little Freeware games on real Windows 3.1x.

The international English version you're used to also works on Japanese Windows, of course.
However, it doesn't display any foreign (or rather, native) characters - that's because Win32s is a miniature Windows sitting atop Windows 3.1x.

As you can see from the screenshots, Japanese Win32s comes with a fully Japanese-ified version of FreeCell.
The other demo screenshots are of a 32-Bit game by popular Japanese developer Custom. The game has nice, err, music! (no, really). 😁

Tip: If you're using virtualization or modern hardware (roughly past Pentium III), be aware that Win32s v1.30 is very CPU sensitive.
Not speed-sensitive, but architecture sensitive. It does weird stuff. You need hardware-assisted virtualization, maybe.

I've attached it here for preservation purposes, since it seems to be missing from the usual places.

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  • freecell-win32s-en.png
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    freecell-win32s-en.png
    File size
    16.32 KiB
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    1240 views
    File comment
    FreeCell on Win32s (English)
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • freecell-win32s-jp.png
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    freecell-win32s-jp.png
    File size
    16.71 KiB
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    1240 views
    File comment
    FreeCell on Win32s (Japanese)
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • teen_win32s-en.png
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    teen_win32s-en.png
    File size
    115.24 KiB
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    1240 views
    File comment
    Japanese game on Win32s (English)
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • teen_win32s-jp.png
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    teen_win32s-jp.png
    File size
    115.41 KiB
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    1240 views
    File comment
    Japanese game on Win32s (Japanese)
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • Filename
    win32s130j.rar
    File size
    1.69 MiB
    Downloads
    72 downloads
    File comment
    Win32s 1.30a (1.30.166) Japanese
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 43 of 51, by Jo22

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Quick update. Found an interesting little review site about Anime in video games. ^^
Mostly PC98 platform. Reviews in English.

http://www.anime-games.co.uk/index.php

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 44 of 51, by Jo22

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Quick update. This site might be also useful: https://pc-9801.com/
The site has little text, but screenshots and a database with an search option.

It's possible to search for both English/Latin game's names and their original Japanese game's names.
It also has a category system (year of release, genre).

Edit: This site seems to have reviews, storyline, character information and general information for classic visual novels.
It's being called The Wonderful World of English Bishoujo Games: https://engbishoujo.tripod.com/

Another place worth a visit might be the Alice Soft Archives: http://tinyurl.com/3kjphrpu
Site seems to be clean and to have permission, but the titles themselves being featured might be rated 18+.
It features information, box art and downloads for the games.

alice_top.jpg
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Fair use/fair dealing exception
Last edited by Jo22 on 2024-01-18, 00:00. Edited 1 time in total.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 45 of 51, by Jo22

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Quick update. This one is also interesting.
"ELECTRONIC HANDLING OF JAPANESE TEXT"
https://jfly.uni-koeln.de/html/manuals/intern … t/japan.inf.txt

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 46 of 51, by Jo22

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Quick update. Found an interesting article about the first (perhaps) Hentai/JRPG game ported to western PCs (not counting MSX): Cobra Mission: Panic in Cobra City.

Link: archived site

It was translated and enhanced by Megatech, also known for their port Knights of Xentar (aka Dragon Knight 3 in Japan) and Power Dolls.

The article explains the origin of Cobra Mission and the differences to its Japanese counterpart.

It was released under a NR-18 rating only, while with Knights of Xentar and other games, there was a censored and +18 version released.
Source: https://www.mobygames.com/game/3404/cobra-mission/trivia/

Unfortunately, the article linked is clean, no nudity shown whatsoever.
But there are other places.. ;)

PS: Please check the specs. The ported games seem to make use of the standard resolution modes of EGA/VGA (mode 10h and 12h, respectively ).
So they're not bad for testing graphics fidelity of your vintage PCs.

Edit: I've double checked and the game does indeed seem to support both EGA and VGA..
Moreover, it has support for MCGA. That might be interesting to some of the lo-fi fans among of us (among some of you). ;)

What's interesting though - it's not just a matter of using different graphics modes, apparently.
The game has three different sets of graphics files, maybe.

Edit: Or maybe not? I'm simply basing my reasoning on how quickly the pictures/GUI background elements are drawn in the lower res graphics modes.
While downscaling from VGA to MCGA is possible on the fly, it should slows things down a bit, which I didn't notice so far.

If we look closely, we see that each higher end version has more detail and a slightly larger view-port (MCGA has smallest GUI, but a bit more picture height than EGA).
That's why I've chosen the scene of the shop girl. We can see that the text on the vending machine goes further down.

Also interesting is how the EGA graphics set does slightly vary from MCGA and VGA.
In the EGA set, some bottles have labels with text, whereas it's absent in the other versions.
The dithering is more subtle, too. Edit: Maybe due to a palette related difference.

Anyway, I just thought I should let you know. If you have a real EGA setup, Cobra Mission might be an entertaining game to try out.
It's not so much about the Hentai part, but the funny dialogue (80s trash talk) and humor. And its place in history. ^_^

Edit: Screenshot attached (real CRT).
Edit: Some more pictures over here. ;)

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  • cm_vga_lqcrt.jpg
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    cm_vga_lqcrt.jpg
    File size
    435.71 KiB
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    1058 views
    File comment
    Screenshot, 15 KHz CRT TV via converter (VGA)
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • cm_mcga_2x2.png
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    cm_mcga_2x2.png
    File size
    15.12 KiB
    Views
    1090 views
    File comment
    MCGA, doubled (mode 13h, 320x200)
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • cm_ega.png
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    20.6 KiB
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    1090 views
    File comment
    EGA (mode 10h, 640x350)
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • cm_vga.png
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    23.35 KiB
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    1090 views
    File comment
    VGA (mode 12h, 640x480)
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
Last edited by Jo22 on 2024-01-14, 15:02. Edited 1 time in total.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 47 of 51, by chris2021

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Yes the NEC APC III was to whatever degree a gringo 8086 based PC98. There was an SLE board (Software Library Expander) that made it I wanna say 90+ percent IBM compatible. Mine came pre loaded with Jeopardy, not a litmus test for compatibility afaik, but a run of the mill cga game.

The stock machine was not IBM compatible. It had 1 (or 2?) NEC upd7220 chips for graphics. The original hulking APC beast definitely had 2, and allow for hardware pan and zoom.

The sle board came with it's own dos, not sure if it's simply vanilla dos. APC specific dos doesn't follow standard version numbers. There is an MS-DOS 3.2 but I'm told it's a 2.n variant.

It also had an api, the name escapes me, or rather a set of graphics primitives that eventually formed the basis of the GEM gui. I think I'm getting that right. I have most of the manuals and disks imaged.

Mine doesn't work anymore. Nor the color monitor. Nevertheless it is 1 of the last items in my collection that I'd part with. NEC is badass, and their are a host of other Japanese specific puters (other then members of the PC98 line) that I would assassinate, extort, and/or commit other more hideous acts of indecency in order to own. But I just can't seem to hang out on buyee religiously. I may one day hijack a container ship and sail every dog gone Japanese computer I can find to my place of residence.

Japanese puters are truly monstrous and kaiju in their coolness.

Reply 49 of 51, by Jo22

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chris2021 wrote on 2023-08-10, 05:03:

GSX (Graphics System Extension) was the name of the graphics library. The wiki page even mentions the APC III. Did PC98 in general have this library?

Hi there! Sorry for not responding to you, I didn't notice it earlier. Thank you for replying!
GSX, yes, I heard about it. It was used by CP/M systems, too.
I'm not sure about the PC-98, though, I have to check.

Speaking of the PC-98, though, there's a blog entry I've just found..

https://degenaura.wordpress.com/2020/03/05/fe … -the-nec-pc-98/

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 50 of 51, by wyatt8740

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Hiya. I see you're linking to blog posts, so I'll just plug a post I've been working on for the last few months. It's still in progress, but if you see things that are factually wrong or debatable, or else need clarifying/elaboration, I'd love another set of eyes to look over it. Also, maybe there's something in there you haven't learned about yet? - I don't know.

https://wyatt8740.gitlab.io/site/blog/011_012.html#pc9801-1

Great thread, by the way! - I think I stumbled across it when I was in the market for my PC, and this thread is probably the main reason i felt confident enough to try to go for an Epson clone. I only dove deeper into the Japanese side of things after the computer arrived.

There's also a "links" section at the bottom; I don't know if everything in that section has been linked in this thread. There's some pretty specific stuff about the proprietary RAM SIMM pinout Epson clones used (different from NEC's proprietary RAM SIMM pinout), and information on the specific floppy drive pinouts used by various Epson computers. I also have a section on third party SCSI CD drives; NEC's SCSI driver seems to only work properly with their own brand of drives. I found a driver with assembler source code available that actually works for my Plextor drive (mostly), but it messes up when trying to play CD digital audio. Works fine for navigating the filesystem. I've not found a patch for it, so I might have to try to make a patch myself. I also have drawn a few wiring diagrams, given some information about common IRQ settings on PC-98's, and talked about a variety of cards and other odds and ends.

I want to make something as comprehensive as possible about the hardware and everything I might know about it. I got an Epson PC-486GR (with 486 DX4 75MHz accelerator card!) in October, and a friend of mine got four(!) PC-9821's: three Ce2's and a Cs2.

486gr_01.jpg

I am trying to collaborate with my friend on this; she's said she'd like to write her own observations about the PC-98 (which is basically her first real DOS experience; she never even really used western DOS before, except for with Windows 9x on top of it, so she leaned kind of heavily on me for help at first). I hope that her observations might be a bit more practical than most of mine, given that there's probably a lot of basic stuff that'd be useful to know that I just sort of take as a "given."

I'm also trying to help her to find an accelerator/"geta" (name of a Japanese kind of traditional wooden sandal/shoe; it seems to be the term Japanese people use to describe CPU accelerator boards) for putting an upgraded CPU with her systems. They exist, and it looks like they sort of 'piggy-back' on top of the QFP 486SX soldered to the mainboard, pulling the 'upgrade' pin high (or was it low?) so that the one on the board can take over. Cool stuff. Wonder if we ever got anything like that outside of Japan that she could try to use instead?

My 486GR had a nice CPU socket readily available, and I lucked out and got one with the DX4 upgrade already inside.

Anyway, if you have the time, I'd love to know what you think so far. And let me know if you find any mistakes or places I cut off mid-thought. The post is getting pretty big.

Reply 51 of 51, by Jo22

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Hi wyatt8740! Thank you very much for these kind words, it means a lot to me! 😊
I'm also very happy that I could help you a bit or inspire you.
Your site is excellent, I think, by the way! Kudos! 🙂👍

Personally, I think that the collected information could even be used as an introduction book, maybe in the form of a physical magazine or PDF?
With the right layout, a few pictures each page (not too crowded), it would end up with a good amount of pages.
In my humble opinion, of course.

That being said, I haven't read all of it yet.
It's quite comprehensive and I want to read it when I'm less stressed (personal stuff, family etc).
Hope you don't mind that I'm a bit of a slowpoke. 😅

PS: About the magazine/PDF idea.. Please take it slowly. The interest in PC-98 isn't slowing down at the moment,
we're just learning about the history of Japanese computing over here (generally speaking).

Maybe you can also find inspiration in manuals of 90s era Super Famicom manuals or video game magazines.
They did tend to be colorful without being too crowded.
I've just found scans of the booklets of Pachinko Collection series (1, 2, 3, 4), for example.

It's just an idea, of course. Maybe it's not the best, not sure. And a matter of preference. It just came to mind.

The soft pastel tones were generally well accepted, didn't cause any criticism I can remember.
I'm thinking of titles like Yoshi's Island, Kirby's Dreamland 3 and so on.

Edit: Again, it's just an idea. Maybe there are better ones.
Classic game magazines like, say, MSX Fan or Bug Bug might be inspiring, too, as far as layout and colouring is concerned.
Internet Archive has some copies, that's why they come to mind. 🙂

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//